In order to be competitive as a composer for moving media, it is of utmost importance to have a wide musical palette, to expose yourself to as much music as you can.  It’s important to be familiar with multiple genres of music, but something that never ceases to prove useful is having command of harmonic procedures of the so called “common practice period”.  Knowing them can get you “unstuck”  when battling with writer’s block, or help add a layer of interest to your themes.

These two “clocks” have always served me to remember how to use enharmonic modulation with symmetric chords, and to remind me how there are only really 3 possible fully diminished seventh chords and 4 possible augmented triads, that can help me bridge distant key centers, generating interesting changes in mood for my compositions.



In these symmetric chords, any note can be the root of the chord, taking you to different key areas.

Enharmonic Modulations with Symetric Chords

Try these resolutions out for yourself.  They are by no means revolutionary, as this procedure has been around for a very, very, long time, but see how you can make it your own!

Diminished 7th Resolutions to Mayor and Minor:


Augmented Resolutions to Mayor and Minor:


Further Reading

A very nice and very detailed standard college book on harmony is Stefan Kostka’s “Tonal Harmony“.  It is definitely a good companion for a well-rounded composer.


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