Who uses it
SeeChord has been used to help songwriters write better songs. In one case a songwriter was stuck between a verse and a chorus, struggling to make an effective key change while keeping the integrity of the piece intact. One half-hour session with SeeChord, and the key change was managed with ease. Not only that, she then went on to write a song based purely on the harmony developed from a SeeChord chart. The result was the quickest song she had ever written, and the most natural sounding.
In schools, we have conducted a pilot study involving a class of A level students working on two of their set pieces. The students were given one lesson of tuition on how the SeeChord system works. In less than one hour, they had a good understanding not only of how the system works, but the basic harmonic patterns that SeeChord displays such as harmonic sequences, cadences, modulations and an understanding of major and minor tonality. In the second lesson, we looked at two set works from the Anthology of music. SeeChord allowed a very complex discussion of the harmonic structure of the pieces very quickly with even the lower ability students being able to pick out areas of the music that had the greatest harmonic variation, and the areas that followed more predictable patterns such as falling fifths, or substituted chords. The feedback from the students and teacher was very positive with all students commenting that it had significantly increased their understanding of the harmonic structure of those pieces, and of music in general. If you want to read about the pilot scheme in more detail, please visit the pilot scheme page.
For performers, SeeChord can be used to better understand the harmonic language of a piece of music. It is important to know when the original key is being established, or when there is a movement towards another key. Although the basic harmonic structure can be understood by good musicians, the subtler aspects can remain hidden from even the most experienced performers. SeeChord can show you exactly where the emotional tension is at its greatest, or when there is most harmonic stability.
For improvisers, SeeChord provides instant access to all the most common chord progressions and how they are constructed. When working within modes or difficult keys it can be hard to keep a solo within the harmony of the piece. SeeChord allows improvisers to pick their root through difficult passages, and to easily see where they can be adventurous or when they should play it safe!