chord progressions in tonal music

Version Information


November, 2020
New demos implemented due to demise of Adobe Flash
July, 2018
Privacy Policy added
April, 2014
General tidying
September, 2010
Part of Full Analyses Chapter,
and Glossary of Symbols added
April, 2009
Voice Leading Appendix added
June, 2008
Bibliography and Glossary updated
Aug/Sept, 2007
Referencing Guidelines added and other small changes
November, 2006
Pop and Rock Music Section added

Possible updates for the future are:

  • more full musical analyses
  • more on comparisons with other theories such as Schenker
  • more notes on popular music topics
  • a demo including a static coda. (If I can find an example short enough to fit on a screen)

If you have any suggestions for improvements to this site then please e-mail me at contact address.

Feedback, so far received has been very positive and has been used to improve the content of the site. Thanks to those who have provided valuable input. The most frequently asked questions have been incorporated into the Q and A Section.

© Copyright Note

Copyright for all material on this site is owned by Tom Sutcliffe. The site has been designed to be reasonably complete in itself but with the intention of publishing most of the material in book form once sufficient feedback has been received. The book will contain more examples and analyses and further detail in some sections. In the mean time, you may print off individual sections once only for private study. If you wish to print off multiple copies of any material for class room study then please e-mail the author for permission. You may only print off parts of the web site. You may not print off or copy the whole content. The duplication of the complete or partial content of the site in any format is not permitted. Links to the site should be made via the home page This is important as the URL (address) of individual pages may change for technical reasons. For guidelines on how to reference this site from other websites or from academic papers please refer to the guidelines page.

All musical examples on this site have been typeset from scratch to avoid infringement of any typesetting copyright. Where examples are included for pieces still in copyright I've included only brief examples or just chord progressions to avoid infringement of those copyrights.

If you are aware of any accidental copyright issues then please e-mail the author. For e-mail address see contact information at the end of this page.


All original ideas, research, writing and design by Tom Sutcliffe.

Thanks to Andy Braben for creating the HTML and web site.

Thanks to Nick Hill for constructing the musical demos, the database and for managing the web site.

Thanks to Tim Duce for his invaluable assistance in the development of the 20th Century Popular Music Section.

Thanks to all of those people who have provided feedback.


All ideas expressed on this site are the views of Tom Sutcliffe based on research and analysis. A large number of positive comments have now been received. It is hoped that this alternative perspective of the subject is useful to the reader and it is hoped and expected that further academic approval will be forthcoming as a result of the publication of this web site and later a book.

Suggestions for improvement have been, and will continue to be, incorporated into the content of the site and book.

For the links section I've included links that relate in some way to the content of this site. However, I cannot take any responsibility for the content of these independent sites in any way.

Contact Information

If you would like to contact me about anything on this web site, please write to me at:

All feedback and comments are welcome and I normally respond to all e-mails. If I don't respond for any reason, please re-send your e-mail.


This site and book are dedicated to my parents: Tom and Giorgia and to the teacher who first inspired me to study music theory: Esther B Laing.


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