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. "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."
|Major triad||Uppercase||C||Play (help·info)|
|Minor triad||Lowercase||c||Play (help·info)|
|Augmented triad||Uppercase||+||C+||Play (help·info)|
|Diminished triad||Lowercase||o||co||Play (help·info)|
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.
Other systems of notation for chords include: plain staff notation, used in classical music, Roman numerals, commonly used in harmonic analysis,figured bass, much used in the Baroque era, and various names and symbols used in jazz and popular music.