Macro Analysis
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Macro Analysis
Macro analysis for triads on C.

In music theory, macro analysis is a method of transcribing, or writing down chords that may be used along with or instead of conventional Roman numeral analysis used in musical analysis. Macro analysis is placed above the staff while Roman numeral analysis is placed under the staff and, like all analysis, macro analysis may be considered a generalization; for example, nonchord tones are not recorded in macro analysis. The macromusic website defines it as

"a listening-based analytical system which views music via harmonic motion to and from a target chord or tonic. Its traditional application involves tonal music based upon "circle-of-fifths" root motion, however, this application can be extended to include other kinds of music that involve some sort of regular, directed harmonic motion."

The method was invented by Bruce Benward and is described in Benward & Saker's Music: In Theory and Practice. Uppercase or lowercase letters are used to indicate the roots of chords, followed by symbols which specify the chord quality.[1] "Macro analysis is an analytical technique that may be employed along with, or instead of, more conventional methods of analysis [such as Roman numeral analysis]. The system employs letter names to indicate the roots of chords, accompanied by specific symbols to depict chord quality."[1]

Macro analysis symbols
Triad Root Quality Example Audio
Major triad Uppercase C About this sound Play 
Minor triad Lowercase c About this sound Play 
Augmented triad Uppercase + C+ About this sound Play 
Diminished triad Lowercase o co About this sound Play 
Dominant seventh Uppercase 7 C7 About this sound Play 

Slurs are used to indicate motion, with solid slurs connecting roots a descending fifth or ascending fourth apart or dotted slurs indicating leading-tone resolution (in a dominant substitution). Macro analysis, traditionally placed below the score, may be accompanied by Roman numeral analysis, in which case the macro analysis is placed above the score.[1]

Other systems of notation for chords include:[2] plain staff notation, used in classical music, Roman numerals, commonly used in harmonic analysis,[3]figured bass, much used in the Baroque era, and various names and symbols used in jazz and popular music.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Benward, Bruce & Saker, Marilyn (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.74-75. Seventh Edition. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
  2. ^ Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p. 77. Seventh Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
  3. ^ Arnold Schoenberg, Structural Functions of Harmony, Faber and Faber, 1983, p.1-2.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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