Tagged: Mapping Tonal Harmony

Mapping Tonal Harmony in Music Education

Imagine an interactive harmony map that reveals the secrets of tonal harmony, where every harmonic function is placed coherently through-out the map, respecting the rules of tonality in such a way that any tonal song is in front of your eyes. You just need to discover it!

“If you study or teach harmony, Mapping Tonal Harmony is an app you must try.”


Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro is an interactive harmonic map, where you can study and listen to any function in any key played in 5-part harmony with impeccable voice leading, using standard classical or jazz voicings with chords and tensions.

The map detects standard cadences such as PAC (perfect authentic cadence), deceptive and alternatives cadences, bass lines, chord-scales and can show the map in chord notation or functional notation including inversions and pedal points.

The Map has seven levels of complexity from Diatonic Functions to Secondary Dominants to Blues and Modes to a Complete Map.

You can use Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro in Browse mode where you study by tapping on the different functions, identifying them and listening to the different harmonic progression you create in real time. Mapping Tonal Harmony will detect any standard cadences and important bass lines.

In Progressions mode you can load any of the many progressions included in the app, from simple cadences to jazz workouts to entire songs or create you own. You can also view them as chord changes, with standard notation or jazz notation, view them functional analysis or with jazz analysis using arrows and brackets or as chord scales. Or any combination of any two of them. It also plays the progression using 5-part harmony or as a play-along in different styles with rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) to practice improvisation and jazz standards.

In Audio mode you can load audio tracks from your iTunes Library and sync the harmonic progression with the track to view the analysis play in the map in real time while you listen to the song.

Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro is so vast that it would be impossible to list all the features in a short article. The best way to understand the power of the is application is by watching the demo videos provided by mDecks Music in their YouTube Channel.

For more information here’s a link to the app’s webpage:


Reharmonizing the V7 with the SubV7

One of the most-often-used re-harmonization of the V7 is done by replacing that chord with the subV7.

Which chord is the subV7
The subV7 is a dominant chord a tritone away from the V7 (also a half step above the tonic or I)

Why does the subV7 work as a substitute of the V7?
There are two main reasons why this chord is such a perfect substitute for the V7

  • The guide tones (3 & 7) are the same in both functions.
    The 3 & 7 in the subV7 are the 7 & 3 in V7. The guide tones are the notes that give the chord its characteristic sound. In dominant chords, the guide tone (3,7) are a tritone apart. The tritone is an interval with lots of tension, [it used to be called “The devil’s interval” back in the middle ages] , which wants to resolve by moving each note half a step in opposite directions, thus turning into a major 3rd (when resolving inward) or a minor 6th (when resolving outward)
    Example: In the key of C • G7 is the V7 • 3rd is B • 7th is F (since it is a flat seventh in dominants). B-F is a tritone. It wants to resolve either: inward to C-E (major 3rd) or, outward to Bb-Gb (minor 6th). A tritone apart from G is Db which would be the root of the subV7 in the key of C, and the guide tones in Db are F (the 3rd) and C flat (the flat 7th, which is B). Thus, we can resolve those two notes, as if we were in G7, to E and C, the tritone then resolves as expected in the key of C from Db7.
  • The root of the subV7 is a half step above the I (tonic)
    The bass-line for a V7-I progression moves down a perfect fifth (which is a very powerful bass movement).
    When substituting the V7 with the subV7, the bass-line for the subV7-I is moving a half step down (which is as strong as the perfect fifth). Substituting the V7 with the subV7 gives us a strong bass-line that resolves tension well.

Here are the two examples using Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 5 to view the different paths taken when using the V7 and/or the subV7 in the progression IIm7 – V7 – I (2-5-1)

Mapping Tonal Harmony 2-5-1 harmonic progression

The standard jazz progression (2-5-1) shown functionally in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro


The standard subV7 substitution shown functionally in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro

The standard subV7 substitution shown in the key of Eb major in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro

The standard subV7 substitution shown in the key of Eb major in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro

Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 4.1 on your Mac

Great News! MTH 4.1 ON YOUR MAC
Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 4.1 is now available on the Mac App Store
mapping tonal harmony pro for mac

“Thanks to all the great musicians that helped us create this version.”
To find out more visit:
Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro at mDecks.com

The optional workbooks are now also available