The way individual pitches interact when grouped to bring structure to music.

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213 views

How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
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2answers
404 views

How far do the supporting chords contribute to the tonality of Vi Hart's “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and if they do, how?

Vi Hart, a mathemusician (cool eh!) at the Khan Academy posted an excellent video explaining 12 Tone music. She first explains the rules thus: You have to use all twelve chromatic pitches in some ...
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3answers
3k views

F# major vs Gb major?

I was looking at Dvorak's Humoresque (op 101 n 7) : it's mostly in Gb major, in the middle it changes to F# minor. This would have looked more natural for me if F# major instead of Gb major were ...
7
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2answers
244 views

Melodic Minor - Uses

The one problem I have with the Melodic Minor is that I just don't know how and where to use it. From my comprehension, it is the Minor scale when descending and when ascending it has a maj6 and maj7. ...
7
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3answers
926 views

Is there some trick for counterpoint beyond 2 voices?

I really suck at chord harmony, so whenever I compose, I tend to use counterpoint a lot. Counterpoint is somewhat easy when you just have two voices. Because I just compose for fun, I generally do ...
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3answers
483 views

How do you compose tuplets against straight notes?

I would like to know how to compose tuplets of odd numbers against even numbers on the piano (ie. 3 against 2). How would you go around composing something like this? I have been composing for some ...
7
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4answers
1k views

What is the best way to learn to sing harmony?

I am quite capable of singing the lead vocal but have a difficult time finding the 3rd or 5th harmony in order to harmonize with someone else. Is there a method of learning to hear or find the ...
7
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2answers
355 views

Accidentals in First Species Counterpoint

On page 39 of Alfred Mann's The Study of Counterpoint there is a passage concerning justification of using accidentals in first species counterpoint. Here is the passage: Aloys: [...]but why did ...
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1answer
308 views

How to make C lydian not sound like G ionian?

What are some concrete melodic and harmonic tools to establish the correct tonic center in a lydian melody? The reason for asking about lydian specifically is that there is no minor seventh for the ...
7
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1answer
217 views

What is the four tonic system?

What is the four tonic system? What's the theory behind it? How is it used in improvisation, harmonization, reharmonization?
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4answers
978 views

Is there any other blues chord progression?

I've seen many blues songs, with progression: I / / / | I / / / | I / / / | I / / / | IV / / / | IV / / / | IV / / / | IV / / / | V / / / | V / / / | I / / / | I / / / | or I / / / | I ...
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4answers
204 views

What are some harmonic options for layering guitar lines while recording?

I would like to layer multiple guitar lines for a section of a song that I'm working on - what are some harmonic variations that I would be able to use?
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2answers
384 views

When to use inversions in harmonizing a bass line

What exactly is the procedure for harmonizing a bass line? In my class, the teacher introduced inversions of chords, which are not hard to understand per se, but I can't wrap my head around how can I ...
6
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3answers
816 views

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?
6
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3answers
129 views

Modern Harmonic Movements

I know quite a bit about the progression of harmony during the common practice period and up to basic jazz theory, but anything beyond the early 20th century just drops off for me. I know a little ...
6
votes
1answer
126 views

Songs that resolve late

I was recently listening to Slide Away by Oasis and could not help but notice how the song hits the I chord a whole minute in the song (the "now that you're mine"). I really loved this move and was ...
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3answers
418 views

What does the indication 9 7 mean?

I' m studying classical harmony, and on the chapter with the V9, I came upon this numbered bass: What does 9 7 mean? I know that it includes the 9th, but why is there the 7th there? Does it tell me ...
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1answer
384 views

Is the bass note of a chord the only indicative of its [the chord's] inversion?

If a C major chord is voiced as (from low to high) E-G-C, it is said to be in first inversion , if it is voiced as G-C-E, it is the second inversion. But the resources I have read do not specify if a ...
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2answers
163 views

Notation used for harmonic context

Could someone please explain what it means to say, "the harmonic context of V/V-V-I". How should one read this? It would be nice if you could also give two or three examples if you think it would ...
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2answers
262 views

Voice-leading with three chords in first inversion?

Hey guys just keeping my part writing skills sharp (not flat) for the long summer. I got this out of Assignment 9.4 of Robert W. Ottman's "Elementary Harmony." It's in G♭ major. I was already given ...
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2answers
394 views

Minor scale chord substitution

Considering the C major scale we can build the following table of chord function families: To a certain extent, inside each family chords can be interchanged to give a different flavour to a music ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Modal chord progressions for Rock music

I need some solid understanding on modal chord progressions. I would be glad if you can explain and give examples this especially from a rock or blues music perspective
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3answers
208 views

Using flatted third in 12 bar blues

I've found that when playing the last four bars of the 12 bar blues (V IV I I) with triads (in a typical 70s rock fashion) that inserting a major triad on the flatted third sounds really good as a ...
5
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2answers
629 views

Differentiating between II and II7 (secondary dominant V of V)

I'm studying harmony and start to make roman numeral analysis on Bach pieces. I often mistake a II (second degree) for a secondary dominant on the 2nd degree(V7 of V). I guess there are some notes ...
5
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1answer
333 views

What is melodic inversion and how to do it?

I understood how to invert the chords (moving the bass note an octave above). When it comes to melodies I have seen many examples on the net but cant seem to understand the idea behind it. This ...
5
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3answers
412 views

Finding advanced chords for melody

I can find basic chords for most of the "normal" melodies by ear, but I can't find right "Jazz" chords like 7th chords..(advanced chords). Well,I'm not bad in chord theory. what do I need to study in ...
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2answers
225 views

Roman Analysis of “Ab B G” chord

I am currently analyzing a bit of music for homework which consists of four voices (string quartet). It is in the key of G Major, but the chord that it ends on, is a Ab on the cello, B on the Viola, ...
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1answer
228 views

Harmonizing Bourrée in E minor

Out of interest and just to give myself practice in part-writing, I've been trying to harmonize the popular Bach Bourrée in E minor from his lute suite. It only has two voices, so there is a lot of ...
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2answers
1k views

Composing chord progressions for samba

I know that there are questions on samba chords, samba rhythm, samba shapes and samba melody but, as far as I am aware, this site does not have a question about the tonality and harmony of samba ...
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3answers
131 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
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5answers
360 views

Which other chords are considered equivalent or function like a V7?

A dominant seventh chord as the fifth degree of a key (notated V7) is often used to build a cadence back to the tonic. With that function in mind, I've seen people refer to other chords as "it ...
5
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3answers
363 views

How do I learn to detect chord voicing by ear?

When I hear music what I can consciously detect is the top melody note and the chord as a whole, for eg "that is a C sung over an A min". However, I am unable to detect how the chord is voiced, as in ...
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3answers
189 views

Max Payne theme scale

There is something weird about the Max Payne theme in that although technically it's in C minor, it's using B-natural prominently. What is this called, where is it coming from?
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4answers
655 views

How important is harmony theory?

In what way does matter for the overall sound of the orchestra that everyone is aware of how the chord is placed, more than just knowing their own part in it? I play trombone in what I believe is ...
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2answers
403 views

Can chords found in parallel modes of the relative minor of a key (or relative major when in a minor key) be considered borrowed chords?

In the key of C major, take the following progression: C----Em----A----G7----C I------iii------VI----V7-----I In this progression, can the VI chord be analyzed as a borrowed chord from the major ...
5
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1answer
196 views

What are the Coltrane Changes?

Also known as Coltrane Matrix, Coltrane Cycle, chromatic third relations, and multi-tonic changes. What are the Coltrane Changes? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in improvisation, ...
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2answers
643 views

Name for a group of notes made up of a root, major third, and perfect 4th?

I'm looking at the song "One thing leads to another" by the Fixx. Throughout the song, the guitarist plays the highest three strings at the 5th fret (giving C E A). Correct me if I am wrong, but the ...
4
votes
5answers
686 views

How to identify a pop tune that has vocal harmonization that does not move in parallel motion

I was trying to find an example of a pop tune that had vocal harmonization AND that it also does not move in parallel motion. I need help on what to look for to identify such patterns. I thought of ...
4
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4answers
486 views

Major Seventh chord with root note as melody : why the dissonance?

In wikipedia page - jazz chords : Major Seventh it is said that "if the melody note is the root of the chord, including a major seventh can frequently cause a harsh dissonance". But since the root ...
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1answer
526 views

Elements of a horror musical song?

When composing horror music for musical drama in general, what does one need to consider as in harmony, melody and rhythm, etc.? For harmony, I am especially interested in what chords are normally ...
4
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4answers
371 views

How to analyze music outside of common practice harmony?

I'm familiar enough with common practice harmony, its rules and methods for diatonically harmonizing the scale, tonicizing scale degrees and modulating into new keys. But these tools seem to lose ...
4
votes
2answers
233 views

How common is it to omit the I in II V I cadences in Jazz?

I was studying the song 'Satin Doll' by Duke Ellington: And basically, there many II V in different tonalities. The same happens in Charles Mingus's 'Nostalgia in Times Square' (bars 9-11): In ...
4
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2answers
91 views

Dissonances and harmony

When I listen to Bach, Handel or Vivaldi (especially Baroque composers) every single note seems to fit there perfectly I mean pretty consonant to their location. As I was trying to learn tonal ...
4
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3answers
248 views

How do you write successive, non-functional chord progressions?

Elements of non-functional harmony is ubiquitous among contemporary music creations. In most cases, it materializes in the way of non-functional chord progressions, which are characterized by its ...
4
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2answers
188 views

chord progression if the chords are not part of the scale?

I've been learning about harmony, and the harmonisation of major scales. I can recognise simple chord progressions, and I try and practice by listening to popular songs. For a major scale, we ...
4
votes
2answers
208 views

What does this b5 indication refer to?

I've been studying Jazz for some years now, and when I come upon a chord like Abm (b5), I play a diminished chord. But recently, on the classical harmony I'm studying, I came upon this exercise: ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

Harmony in Phrygian : What chords are tonic, subdominant, and dominant?

Phrygian is a very distinct sounding mode. I've been trying to better understand the harmony of the mode so I can use it more. Obviously the i chord is a tonic chord and iv is a subdominant chord, but ...
4
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1answer
681 views

Chords in Moonlight Sonata 1st movement

From here: In 1st measure - first chord - it's said that it is C#min (i) but there are C-C#-G. I thought it should be C#-E-G# why is it C#min (i) if there are C-C#-G?? In 3st measure - first ...
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4answers
403 views

Identifying Vocal Harmonies

I have been trying to improve my songwriting, and have hit a block when it comes to vocal harmonies. To train myself in this regard I have been listening to a lot of Beatles tunes and other rock ...
4
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1answer
98 views

Is Dudley Moore's Bedazzled in A Phrygian?

This song (YouTube) is one of the strangest pieces of music I've heard, with a long "A" pedal bass and a huge variety of crazy harmonies on top (my transcription), including lots of tritones. Is ...