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Top > The Chord Grid
 The SongTrellis Music Editor has a dialog called the Chord Grid that makes it super easy to find new chord progressions. The Chord Grid dialog displays a rectangular array of little squares. To the left of each row of squares in the array is the name of a type of chord. There are twelve squares in each row each of which displays the name of one of the pitches that fit in one octave (C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, and b). Touching one of the squares with a mouse causes that square to be selected and shown with a black background.
 When you select the square labelled D in the row labelled 7sus, this means that you have selected a D7sus chord. When you press the Play button in this dialog, an arrangement of a D7sus chord is calculated and played for you. By clicking in different squares and pressing Play you can get a feeling for what chords sound good after one another.
 The cool part about this is that SongTrellis generates a different voicing for the selected chord type every time the Play button is pressed. So you get an idea of the different faces each chord can present to the listener.
 By default the chord roots in each row are arranged in ascending chromatic sequence starting with C. There is a dropdowm menu however that allows you to change the order in which the chord roots are arranged in the rows of the grid. You can ask for the roots to be displayed in the cycle of 4ths or fifths, in descending chormatic order, or in cycles of major seconds, minor thirds, major thirds, or flatted fifths.
 This is also cool because then you can very quickly what it sounds like to hear all of the different types of chords played in varoius cycles. These cycle motions catalog and characterize all of the different sensations you can get by moving from one chord to another.
 I'm going to program a version of the Chord Grid for the SongTrellis site. It will work in a more clumsy fashion than the version in the Editor and will be much slower. I'll also have to restrict the number of voicings presented for each chord type to four or five instead of the unbounded number that's available in the Editor. If you'd like to see this, send me encouraging mail ( so I work on it faster. If you're a Mac user and would like to use the Editor, send me mail and sign up as one of my beta testers.
Editor: David Luebbert; Updated: 2/18/01; 1705 hits.

Last update: Friday, November 10, 2000 at 12:50 PM.