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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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18. Chord Progressions and Root Movement

To write tunes successfully using the resources of a particular key, you must know the notes that belong to the key. If the only instrument you play is a MIDI keyboard, this means being able to at least play the scale through without any difficulty.

This represents an important first stage. Once you have accomplished this, you can work out the seven triads that belong to the key. You can do so by taking each note of the scale as the root of a triad and adding to it the third and the fifth (being careful to remain within the bounds of the chosen scale). This procedure will yield the seven relevant triads.

When you’re comfortable with the chords that belong to a particular key, you can then start stringing ...

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