Squinkytronix Harmony vs Meander: question of understanding

Hello, yesterday i download and use the new modul Harmony. After reading the manual it remembers me a of Meander. Possibility of chord progressions in many different ways. In Meander there are many presets and the choice to manually make some. In Harmony there are rules to create progressions. As far as i understand, or am i wrong? Regards Karl

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Hi Karl. Yes, Meander has a harmony section that does what Squinktronix Harmony does, although Harmony is quite a bit more sophisticated with harmony theory. I would call my Meander harmonic chord progressions as somewhat naive. Meander’s harmony strength is in providing a large library of common chord progressions as well as the ability to create custom progressions. These all tie in exactly to the circle of fifths. Meander slaves to the chord progession (harmony) and generatively creates a melody with arpeggiation and a bass. So, Meander and Arpeggiator have some similarities.

It is interesting that Meander, Harmony and Arpeggiator all have their roots in MIDI from 36 years ago (for Meander)…

But as far as i understood from harmony’s manual the progression is strictly rule based. In meander i could set a preset with rules to jump from one segment to another and the overall steps for the progression. Out of the choosed segments meander takes a chord to play. Everything bundled to the circle of fifth. Isnt it also rule based? But anyway, the strictly binding to the circle of fifth in meander is clearer for me, as described in harmony. Or do i understand something completly wrong? I like both of them and want to use them both in the future. I use meander for a longer time and have fun with it. So i will with harmony, i think.

Yes, Meander is rule based in some aspects and musically stochastic on others. I use what I believe to be the most common “common practice” for the circle-of-fifths as to which chords are allowed and whether they are played as a major, minor or diminished chord for a given mode and root scale.

Meander uses chord inversions in a way that minimizes the number of fingers that must be moved between playing two chords on the keyboard. This is fairly naive and doesn’t really consider the formal rules of harmony voicing. I believe that the Meander harmonic progression will always sound consonant, but not as good as it could. Of course, there is a lot of subjectivity in music, in my opinion.

I have not formally studied music theory.

BTW, I like to combine modules such as Meander and Harmony together via sharing the modal scale when both modules support that. In this case, Meander can follow the standard rules of the circle of 5ths chord progression and then send the chord root or tonic to Harmony for more sophisticated voicing.

Yes, this combination is also on my mind. I will start to patch a bit the next days.

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I think it’s all been covered, above, but I’ll add some useless info.

I think it would be fair to say that both modules use “rules”. It sounds like Meander may use one simple (but effective) rule, whereas Harmony uses perhaps a dozen rules.

It’s fairly subjective whether you call something a “rule base”. I’m not sure what Meander is doing. I can tell you that when Harmony wants to generate a new chord to follow an older one, it looks at every possible voicing of the target chord, evaluates the progression using all the rules, and picks the one that violated the fewest rules. It’s actually not exactly how it works, but pretty close.

To most users none of this stuff matters, it’s what sounds better to them, or what’s easier to patch, which module looks better (I joke, but it’s true).


As I mentioned elsewhere, most of Harmony was written around 1989, Which is probably around the time C++ came out (on the PC), and around the time I was reading that book. So - both programs are ancient, I think :wink:

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Correct and it is good to have two those modules, that bring in harmonically stuff to play with. Nice and thank you both!


Another fun module to use with Meander and Harmony is the Chinenual Tint module that has a “Quantize” mode such that you can quantize to a chord rather than a full scale.


but then i have only three notes to choose, is it correct?

You have as many notes as are in the chord, so for Harmony, 4. But if you change the chord input into Tint, you have all of the chord notes available to quantize to with melodic lines, arpeggios, ostinatos or some type of random pattern. Its use is supplemental to the capabilities of Meander and Harmony.

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