A Trivial Plain-text Notation for Pivot Chords

A simple way to write about modulations and the pivot chords which can help effect them using nothing but ASCII.

  • Use braces and brackets to distinguish the controlling tonality.
  • Use (tonic, mode) notation where:
    • tonic is in [C, C sharp, D flat …]
    • mode is in [-, +]

For example:

(C, +):{[VI;II} -> V -> I]:(G, +)

reads in plain English:

A modulation is effected from C major to G major by the pivot chord VI in C major which is II in G major (which progreses to a tonicisation of G major)