The forced vibration analysis of a multi-bay coupled shear wall on an elastic foundation has been studied. The analysis considers shear walls with a finite number of stiffening beams, the properties of which vary from span to span and/or from section to section in the vertical direction. The continuous connection method is employed to find the structure stiffness matrix. The structure mass matrix is found with the lumped mass assumption. A time-history analysis has been carried out using the Newmark numerical integration method. A computer program has been prepared in the MATHEMATICA computer algebra system and a problem has been solved for verification and comparison purposes. The results obtained by the present method have been compared with those obtained using the SAP2000 structural analysis program and a good match has been observed. The two advantages of the proposed method are the simplicity of its data and the extremely short computation time, which render it an effective method for the predesign of high-rise buildings. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. and Civil-Comp Ltd. All rights reserved.