What is the word for the entire chord progression of a song? Small sequences of harmonies are call progressions, can we also call the entire sequence of chords in a song a progression, or is there a better word?

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    I'm not sure what you're asking. You'd refer to an entire song as a song :P. You can break that down into verses, chorus, etc. possibly. – user28 May 24 '15 at 17:22
  • I mean suppose you have a melody played over chords, and you want to specify the chords, in the song, in the same order as the song. Still just call it a song? – user20550 May 24 '15 at 17:24
  • You could say the chords of the song, I guess. I don't believe there's a singular word for it. – user28 May 24 '15 at 17:25
  • Maybe (musical) form is the term you're looking for. It refers not specifically to the chord progression but to the complete structure of a piece, i.e. which progressions are repeated when and how often, etc. – Matt L. May 24 '15 at 17:47
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    How about "changes"...? – Bob Broadley May 24 '15 at 18:04

There is no technical term for it that I know of. The only word I can think of is "changes", often used by jazz players.

Do you know the changes for "I got rhythm"? If you do, then you can comp on it or improvise on it because you know every chord, all the way through. That is, you know the entire chord progression of the song.

There's no other word for it, so that must be the word.

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You might use the phrase harmonic structure to refer to the piece as a whole in the context of talking about its, well, harmonic structure. E.g.:

The song's/piece's harmonic structure is interesting because of the downwards modulation in the middle.

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  • I'd say "harmonic structure" is a broader scale than individual chords. – Laurence Payne Aug 6 '16 at 20:59

As already stated, 'changes' is common. 'Chord sequence' is the other term often used. "What is the chord sequence for the middle eight?" Or "whole song..." O.k. - two words rather than one. Who's counting?

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I have heard this used: "the chart."

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The word you are looking for is "contrafact."

May have answered too quickly...if two or more songs share the same chord pattern they are contrafacts. Chord chart (or pattern) is probably a better answer.

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