Harmonic Context

Information on key, chord, scales and bass that governs every moment in time

Every box in a Harmony parameter represents a Harmonic Context. It provides the necessary harmony information and rules all instruments must follow to render MIDI output. In most cases you just provide a Chord and Synfire figures out the rest. You can then alter its properties at any time.

Key signature as it appears on printed notation.
The key we would have to assume if the vertical scale and chord were required to be included in the reference scale (which they not necessarily are). It provides a hint how much the vertical scale deviates from the reference scale.
Horizontal Scale
The Horizontal Scale that defines the steps I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII of the key.
Vertical Scale
The Vertical Scale for building melodies and ornaments over the chord.
The Chord selected for this context. Options like a preferred inversion and voicing can be set, although Interpretation settings per instrument decide whether to follow these default preferences.
Desired bass interval, which does not necessarily have to be contained in the chord. The bass is also independent of the chord inversion, i.e. it is not necessarily the lowest note of the chord.
Harmonic Functions
Possible role(s) the chord may take in a progression according to the Theory of Harmonic Functions.
Roman numeral of the chord within the key.
List of chord extensions possible under the current scales.


The way a chord name is displayed tells you something about it.

Italic Font
The harmonic context is for one of the multiple layers of a polytonal progression.
Exclamation Mark (!)
Indicates one or more of the following mismatches:
  1. The horizontal or vertical scale violate current Scale Selection Preferences. For example, when the vertical scale is not a subset of the horizontal scale.

  2. Chord notes or bass are not included with the vertical scale.

This is not a problem, but may lead to dissonances that are not approved by the scale selection preferences. You can remedy this by selecting different scales, changing the scale selection preferences, or by re-estimating the whole progression, or parts of it.
Question Mark (?)
The harmonic context is incomplete or broken. This should happen rarely if at all. You can remedy this by setting different scales or by re-estimating the progression, or parts of it.