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‘Harmonic Analysis’ Plugin Manual

(version 1.1 BETA for Sibelius 7.1.3 or later versions)

(working from Sibelius 7.1.3 to Sibelius 8.5. In last version of Sibelius (Ultimate), colors are not shown, hope it will be fixed in the next version of the plugin)

For the installation see:

This plugin performs various analyzes regarding the harmony of the music. Lines, Lyrics, Symbols, Texts, Noteheads and Color of your original score can be changed. So make a copy of the original score before using this plugin.
This plugin processes the entire score, disregarding any selection. Among the most interesting options can be to color the different tonalities of the score (two methods: by means the leading-tone or through a ‘tonal weight’ theoretical system). It can also be interesting the analysis of chords and cadences (tonal or phrygian).


Scan value: the chords and arpeggios are analyzed according to the selected value.

Ignore: Ignores notes whose value are equal to or less than the selected one. For example, if we select semiquavers, the analysis will not take into account sixteenth notes or smaller division values.

Paint: Colors the notes to indicate different harmonic aspects:

            Coloreixa tonalitat: Colors the tonal regions of the work (always using the same color, for example: the original tone is in black, the modulation to the dominant in red ...). It does not change color if the tonic note does not change, that is, the color does not specify the major-minor changes but they are indicated by uppercase and lowercase letters. Independently of 'Paint' the tonal regions are also specified above the last staff indicating the tonic. In uppercase if it is major mode and lowercase if it is minor mode.

We can also see the function of the modulations by selecting Write tonal functions in 1st staff

There are two ways to do the analysis of the tonal regions:

1.      Through the study of the leading tone (check box 'Tonal regions by leading-tone')

2.      Through its own algorithm (designed for more complex works and for works whose notes have enharmonic notes, wrong or not), see also at the bottom *** Variables ***


Coloreixa funcions: Colors the notes according to their 'harmonic function' (Tonic, Dominant, Subdominant ..., according to the Riemann school and our own theory, see: It is convenient at the same time to select the 'Analyze chord function' box below.


Coloreixa acords: Colors chords according to their intervalic structure (e.g. major triad (black), minor triad (blue-green), 'dominant' chords (red) ...), but different complex chords may share the same color. This option should be used together with 'Analyze chord structure'. See below the correspondence of the chords with the colors.


None: Does not color anything.


Mark auxiliary/nonchord notes: Marks with an X the noteheads of the notes that do not belong to any of the most usual chords: major & minor triads, diminished triad, dominant seventh, minor seventh & diminished seventh chords ...

Analyse only ‘downbeats chords’: only analyzes the chords that are 'found' at the beginning of the scan value used. For example, if we are in 3/4 and use ‘crotchet’ we will see the symbols corresponding to the chords that are at the beginning of each of the three quarter notes of the bar. If we use ‘dotted minim’, only the symbol corresponding to the chord of the beginning of each measure will be displayed.


If several analyzes are done using Paint or Mark, be sure to check Noteheads and Color in Clean score automatically


Show tonality changes beyond (number of chords) or more consecutive chords: shows the modulations that, at least, extend the number of chords specified.


Analyse chords structure:

shows, under the last staff, different symbols according to the analyzed chords, in different lines/rows.

First row: Shows the symbology of the fundamental(s) of the chords as described in the book 'The foundations of harmonic tensions' (see specifically ). Summing up: it decomposes the chords according to the structure of the first seven harmonics (the first 4 prime (2:3:5:7) harmonics: C:G:E:Bb)

Basic (harmonic) chords (also their inversions):

Examples of complex chords, separated into basic (harmonic) chords:


The software analyzes all the fundamentals of the chord according to the basic (harmonic) chords found, so many can be shown, but not all have the same importance. The program still does not make a selection of the most important but it gives us an idea of the tensions of the chord. Capital notes letters or having a 7 possess a greater functional importance. An improvement of the program is pending in order to eliminate the small fundamentals that in fact are not very useful to show the harmonic tensions and in order that the symbols coincide with the tables of chords realized in, where the main fundamentals are shown (eliminating the secondary ones, which are already deduced from the main ones). In bold appear the fundamentals that have their fifth. For example, if we see C (in uppercase) it means that we have found the interval C:E/E:C, if we see C (in bold) it means that we have found C:E:G (in the book a point is used instead of bold), if we see c (in bold lower case), we have only found the fifth C:G. As Sibelius code does not allow to use the / symbol on the note, for the virtual fundamentals, the underline symbol (C) is used. Something similar happens with the superscripts and subscripts, which are put to the side by the software (For example, C7 means that the structure E:G:Bb has been found in the chord).

Second row: It is dedicated to cadences, even internal ones. The signs **, *, o, a, ^ appear:

**: the plugin finds a V7-I (or V7-i) (D7-T) cadence, also as a secondary dominant (in perfect triadic chords without added notes)

*: the plugin finds a V-I (or V-i) (D-T) cadence, also as a secondary dominant (as in the previous case, but without the minor seventh)

o: internal cadence, as in the previous cases, but in chords with added notes (the plugin finds an upper fourth or lower fifth jump between fundamentals, the first fundamental must be in uppercase -it must have its major third-)

a: Phrygian cadence or Phrygian succession between fundamentals (lower minor second jump between fundamentals -the first, uppercase)

^: ‘locrianrelaxion between fundamentals (see

Third row: Indicates the type of chord, mostly using symbols similar to those currently used in jazz/modern theory (on the fourth row the root are placed according to the standard theory):

Major triad (CEG): M (notes in black color)

Minor triad (CEbG): m (notes in blue-green color)

Diminished triad (EGBb): o (notes in violet color)

Augmented triad (CEG#): M#5 (notes in green color)

Dominant seventh (CEGBb): M7 (notes in red color)

Minor seventh (ACEG): m7 (notes in orange color)

Major seventh (CEGB): M#7 (notes in olive color)

Minor major seventh (ACEG#): m#7 (notes in lime color)

Augmented major seventh (CEG#B): M#7#5 (notes in green color)

Augmented seventh (CEG#Bb): M7#5 (notes in red color)

Dominant seventh flat five (CEGbBb)(Simetrical chord): M7b5(Sim) (notes in brown color)

Half-diminished seventh (EGBbD)(inversión of Tristan chord): m7b5(T) (notes in brown color)

Diminished seventh (EGBbDb): °7 (notes in pink color)

Dominant ninth (CEGBbD): M9 (notes in red color)

Dominant minor ninth (CEGBbDb): Mb9 (notes in red color)

Major ninth (CEGBD): M9#7 (notes in olive color)

Minor ninth (ACEGB): m9 (notes in orange color)

Augmented major ninth (CEG#BD): M9#7#5 (notes in green color)

Augmented dominanth ninth (CEG#BbD): M9#5 (notes in red color)

Suspended second (CDG)(quartal 3 notes): 4ª2 (notes in blue color)

Suspended fourth (CFG)(quartal 3 notes): 4ª2 (notes in blue color)

Added second (or added nine)(CDEG): M9(7) (notes in red color)

Added fourth (or added eleven)(CEFG) (fundamental F): ()9#7 (notes in lime color)

Six-nine (4 notes)(CEAD): ()9 (notes in red color)

Six-nine (5 notes)(CEGAD)(quartal 5 notes): 4º4 (notes in blue color)

Quartal/Quintal (4 notes)(ADGC): 4º3 (notes in blue color)

Quartal/Quintal (5 notes)(ADGCF): 4º4 (notes in blue color)

Blue chord (CEGEb): Blue

Elektra chord (CEGBbEb)(also used in Blues playing C in the bass)(inversion of original EBDbFAb): Elek

Mompou chord (CEGbBbDb)(inversión of original F#CEbAbD)(also metallic chord): Mb9b5(Mom)

Fourth row: The chord root is specified according to classical theory. If the chord is an inversion a slash is written and afterwards the bass (as used in jazz). For example (FGDB): G/F

Show chords ID: If we consider the inversions of the chords to be the same type of chord, then there are relatively few different chords (chord classes) (see Each chord, according to its number of different notes, has a number (ID) that identifies it. These are the numbers that appear in

If selected, the ID numbers of the chords that have up to a maximum of six notes are shown. The first digit indicates the number of notes of the chord and after the hyphen, its identification number in this group (not to be confused with the PC Set numbers of Set Theory, see

Analyse chords function: Shows the harmonic function of chords. Always according to derivations of tonic, dominant and subdominant functions. It is an integrated theory of the theories of functional harmony by Riemann, Lendvai and ours. For more details see

            From global tone: Selecting this box the functional analysis is done ignoring the modulations, from the general tonality of the work deduced by the software. For example, the tonic chord (T) in a modulation to the dominant would be written D (dominant) instead of T (tonic). This is intended for the case of transient modulations.

                        Force to be (1-12): You can specify the reference tone for doing the functional analysis (C=1, Db=2, D=3, etc.. B=12)


Show only main fundamentals: We recommend that this box be selected. Anyway, as we have said before, an improvement is pending so as not to show fundamentals that are already deducted from the main ones and to match them with


Don’t repeat symbols: If the symbol is exactly the same as the previous chord then it is not shown.

Clean score automatically: For the symbols used in the analysis to be seen more clearly it is advisable to 'clean' parts of the score that are not useful for the harmonic analysis and will be the variables selected in Clean. If an analysis is repeated it is advisable to use at least Text, Noteheads and Color.

You can also use this plugin simply as a 'cleaner' of the score. In this case press Clean score and then Cancel. If OK is pressed, the cleaning is performed automatically before the analysis.

Do only fundamentals and cadences (ignore Paint): If the score has many measures, the execution of the plugin can be quite slow. If you only need to know the fundamentals and the cadences, click on this box. The program will do the analysis more quickly.


***Variables*** (default values advised)

Only in the case that the analysis of the tonalities and modulations is not done through the leading tone (uncheck 'tonal regions by leading tone') the plugin has an algorithm with the weight of its variables modifiable. It is advisable to use the default values. But next we explain briefly the meaning of them:

Memory subtraction: Higher values will give more importance to the ‘tonal memory’ of previous chords.

#4th & m7 sub: that a tone has its augmented 4th and its minor seventh goes against its alternative as a tonic. Higher values increase this drawback.

Augm 5th & incorrect leading tone: as in the previous case this also reduces the chances of a tone becoming tonic. Higher values amplify it.

Cadence sum: the localization of tonal cadences gives 'points' to its tonic.

Internal cadence sum: same as the previous case but now with internal cadences between fundamentals.

Coefficient for 5th, l-tone, 4th: The notes that support a tone to become a tonic are (in the chord or in the previous chords) its 5th, its 4th and its leading tone (7M3 structure). Increasing the coefficient increases their 'weight' of support.

Default values: check this box to use the algorithm's default values (respectively 19, 70, 80, 85, 40 // 100, 110, 90)


Llorenç Balsach


The fundamentals of harmonic tensions