HARMONIC WHEEL: UTILITIES
In the next 2 large sections the main utilities of the Harmonic Wheel are explained in detail. They have been written in a simple and friendly way, so as to be useful even for the layman. In fact, a summary of main musical concepts is given, which may serve as an introduction to Music Theory and Harmony for anyone interested in this subject. Thus, all the concepts are explained in the simplest cases (for example, in the C Major key) and the rest of them are solved, automatically, with the aid of the Harmonic Wheel. In this development, a big effort has been made to logically connect all the concepts, to give the theory a solid and unified structure.
All the explanations are given without using the musical notation, for it is unnecessary in this approach. Only one example of it is presented in one of the last chapters. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended to learn it, for it is one of the few languages having the status as a universal language, along with the mathematical language, the symbols for the physical units and the symbols for the chemical elements. Moreover, once the contents of this Web page are acquired, it will be easier to understand this system of script.
Even for those people having musical knowledge, this new way of connecting musical concepts will result very interesting. And, particularly, those musicians who play monophonic or percussion instruments will find, in Level 2, a very useful summary of Harmony foundations, which may be sufficient to satisfy their real professional needs, thus avoiding the necessity of reading complex and extensive texts.
The contents have been organized into 2 Levels:
Level 1 is devoted to fundamental aspects of Music Theory. This level deals with the musical notes, the intervals, the Major and minor scales, and the keys. The Harmonic Wheel allows us to easily obtain the interval between any two notes, as well as the notes belonging to any Major or minor scale, being it natural, harmonic or melodic, along with their corresponding key signature. As novelty, the Harmonic Wheel gives a complete and panoramic view of the existing relationships among all the keys. While the cycle of fifths shows the keys on a line (one dimension), the Harmonic Wheel shows them on a surface (two dimensions). So, besides the cycle of fifths, the changes of mode are also visible, which are not in the cycle of fifths. Thus, a real MAP OF THE KEYS is achieved.
Level 2 is devoted to the foundations of Harmony. This level deals with the construction of Major, minor, Augmented and diminished chords, as well as all possible 4 note chords that can be obtained by superimposing Major and minor thirds. Then, the existing relationships among the different types of chords are explained by means of scales. On the Harmonic Wheel, all these chords have a simple graphical representation. This fact facilitates us to obtain the notes composing them, that is, their arpeggios. On the other hand, this instrument allows us to obtain, automatically, all the chords associated to any Major or minor scale. This function is named CHORD FINDER. As novelty, the particular representation of notes and consonant chords on the Harmonic Wheel explains, graphically, the construction of the Major scale, its relationship with its relative minor scale and the most important characteristics of their associated chords. All these things are difficult to see even in the conventional musical script. Moreover, thanks to this kind of representation, it is easy to determine which chords are more or less affine to any given scale. Finally, some special scales, containing 5, 6 and 8 notes, are explained, along with their associated chords.