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Chord audition, harmonies by ear


ChordPulse lets you audition chords, individual chord notes, chord roots and bass notes while the music is not playing. You can click the buttons in the chord selector or the edited chord itself to listen to the musical notes that make up the actual chord.

If you click on a chord type or operate the inversion buttons in the chord selector, the full chord will be played. In contrast, if you click on a musical note (root or bass) in the selector, the actual musical note will be played. This serves two purposes: (1) to make chord editing smoother for the ear (e.g. if you change from C major to F minor, you won't hear an F major when clicking on the new chord root), (2) to aid finding harmonies by ear by letting you play on musical notes (e.g. to find a chord root or bass by ear).

If you would like to hear the full chord when clicking on a musical note, you can double-click the root notes or Alt-click the root or bass notes in the chord selector. This is useful if you want to quickly listen to a chord that differs only in the root/bass note but has the same chord type (e.g. Cm9, Dm9, Em9,...). Double-clicking does not work for bass notes since these sensors are actually switches that select between normal/raised bass modes.

Note that you can always Alt-click on buttons in the selector or Alt-click the chord itself to play the chord (even if audition mode is set to "Off").


Options

Select "Chord Audition..." in the Options menu to change the mode (Off, Chord, Arpeggio), musical instrument and loudness for the chord audition function:

Chord audition settings

For a visual only feedback mode, turn down the volume of chord audition: the musical note visualizer will still display the chord notes or root/bass notes depending on what you click in the chord selector.


Note

The chord audition function plays the chord in an adaptive inversion (which depends on the actual chord and chord voicing options) in order to provide a smooth voice leading. Please note that musical instruments of the actual accompaniment style may use different inversions/voicings based on their type and function in the accompaniment. Some musical instruments may arpeggiate the chord, play it in a higher or lower inversion, play only a subset of chord notes or play more notes than the actual chord voicing settings suggest (e.g. play the root in rootless voicing mode). Also, a small fraction of accompaniment styles (e.g. in the blues genre) may add extra notes in the case of simple harmonies like a major triad. All this means that the chord audition function should be used as a guide and not as an exact preview of the harmonies played by the accompaniment.


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