Harmonic Progressions & Syntax

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This lesson is part of the Harmony category.


  • Students will be familiar with the concept of harmonic progression.
  • Students will be able to analyze the progression of a musical phrase in different time periods, genres, and modes.
  • Students will be able to construct a harmonic progression appropriate to a particular style of music.


Class Activities[edit]

  • General introduction to different systems of harmonic progression analysis, including McHose, root movements, neo-Riemannian and harmonic aspects of layer analysis (Schenker)
  • Exploration of common popular progressions, such as twelve-bar blues and the Pachelbel progression
  • Harmonic analysis of musical compositions from differing styles


  • Analysis of harmonic progression in written and recorded music
  • Composition of a harmonic progression in different styles