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

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4answers
3k views

In traditional (tonal) harmony, how is the word “sonority” used?

In traditional harmony, I have heard the word "sonority" used sometimes freely in a way to describe harmonic structures or harmonic systems. However, in my experience the word was used somewhat ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Theory of country music vocal harmonies

This is a question that I have overcome simply by harmonising by ear, however I've recently joined this forum and in the time I have been here, I've been amazed by the clear knowledge and talent of ...
0
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0answers
50 views

Chord progression analysis

In the song "If You Have To Ask" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers there is this instrumental funk interlude with a bunch of seventh and ninth chords and I want to understand this progression more by ...
1
vote
3answers
55 views

Harmonising cadences given the bass line. When and when not to use inversions?

I've been completing practice exams online for Grade 5 theory and I'm struggling with some of the cadence questions. I feel that, without the use of inversions, you reach a dead end. The questions ...
3
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3answers
605 views

How to grok 20th-century pop music as evolution of classical harmony

With sufficient training, a student of harmony may build forwards from Bach through Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc... understanding music of a period in terms of what has gone before. But it's going ...
1
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2answers
62 views

How many (parallel) harmonies can we have in a song without one harmony being an octave apart from another?

I usually can only come up with two separate harmonies for a song, the ones I came up with after that are usually an octave higher or lower than those two harmonies.
9
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2answers
352 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. ...
0
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2answers
100 views

Harmonize any scale. Is there a rule?

A mayor scale is harmonized using triads using the pattern 1-3-5. Is this rule used to harmonize any given scale? Can the bebop scale be harmonized the same way than the major scale? Special scales ...
3
votes
3answers
698 views

Open/Close Position Chords: What I am missing?

Working through Hindemith's harmony I encountered the following diagram of all the valid positions for a C-Major chord in strict four-part writing. I am befuddled as to why the third chord in the ...
0
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2answers
48 views

Russell Lydian chromatic (again)

One more question about Russell Lydian theory. Russell uses as an example the Lydian C scale: C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C comparing it with C maj scale, then he starts to explain his theory as if they belong to ...
13
votes
9answers
5k views

Is Emajor the dominant chord in the key of A minor?

I read somewhere that Emajor is the dominant (V) chord in A minor. Is this correct? If so, why is it not Eminor, since the A minor scale has no sharps or flats in it?
2
votes
1answer
111 views

English name for 3-tone chords that have the bass tone different from the root

I've been studying Croatian music theory with durs and mols and H-s and not English so I don't know English names. I'm encountering one problem while writing the 63 chord in jazz harmony for to play ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
310 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, ...
3
votes
7answers
829 views

Will a song written in a key only use chords in that key?

When you figure out a key that a song is written in. Will the entire song use the chords in that key? With maybe an accidental?? I've tried several different methods.
3
votes
2answers
530 views

Harmonic analysis of “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith

I'm trying to do harmonic analysis of "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith. Verses and choruses uses I to IV progression, but I wonder about the riff in the bridge. It seem to be played in the E key. Joe ...
14
votes
2answers
536 views

Should the dominant-seventh chord in just intonation use 9:5 for its seventh, or rather 16:9?

It may be just out of habit, what with the 12-edo temperament all around us, but anyway: I find the dominant-seventh rendition 20:25:30:36 sounds extremely harsh. In particular, the tritone from the ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

History of “jazz minor/melodic minor” harmony

I'm curious about the development of modern (post-bop-ish) jazz harmony. In Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book, he shows how modes of the melodic minor scale can be used to form and improvise over chords ...
6
votes
4answers
224 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?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the IV - V♯ - I chord progression work so well?

The song Long Away by Queen does this, but it's a pattern you'll probably find in many songs. Basically, I've noticed that when moving from IV to I, a V♯ or V♯maj7 chord is sometimes used as a ...
2
votes
2answers
148 views

Are these “power chords” in a classical composition?

I've been trying to figure out the chord progression from the beginning of this Mussorgsky piece (orchestrated by Shostakovich, link below) and I'm just curious if I'm getting things right. The chords ...
3
votes
2answers
308 views

How to analyze a chord from Beethoven sonata no 8 (Pathetique)

Looking at a chord towards the end of the development in measure 169, beat 2, spelled C♯-E-A♭ over the G pedal. How would you analyze this in the context of the harmonic progression at ...
1
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4answers
362 views

Harmonizing All Music with the I,IV and V Chords?

I read somewhere that any melody line can be harmonized using the I,IV and V chords of the major scale. The reasoning behind this being that any possible note played in the melody will exist in one ...
0
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2answers
110 views

Fauxbourdon in minor - examples from actual compositions

Dimitri Tymoczko has a very nice overview of fauxbourdon harmony in this syllabus. While he gives several example for fauxbourdon in major, he doesn't give examples for minor. I don't know of any ...
2
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2answers
496 views

How can I find a chord to go to after any other chord played on the piano?

For example if I played a Dm triad, how would I find a/the chord this one would resolve to?
2
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0answers
93 views

Why is this minor subdominant chord being used in a major key? [closed]

On a nostalgic whim, I was playing around learning this piece of music from Final Fantasy 7, as I was interested in the chord changes that happen (specifically, the first two chords in the tune). ...
9
votes
2answers
322 views

Do capable harmony singers sing in just intonation or tempered tuning?

I understand that the mathematical frequency ratios between certain intervals will correlate with the overtones that are present when a note sounds in a fundamental frequency. Certain predictable ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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
7
votes
3answers
99 views

Harmonic implications of an instrument's timbre

Is there a study of harmonic implications of an instrument's timbre in western music theory? For example: If i use an instrument with a "rich" timbre, with lots of overtones, then isn't the sound ...
5
votes
2answers
400 views

7th chord notation confusion

I simply cannot understand the notation used in this question: I need to express this chord in 4-part, open or closed position; I just can't seem to understand how the notation works. I know that ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why D sharp not E flat in Turkish March

I'm analyzing Mozart's Turkish March piece for the piano. As I see in measure 18 the harmony is F7 (fourth) with minor seven. Assuming it is a minor seven because the harmony is F7 why they thought ...
4
votes
5answers
679 views

Book recommendations to understand theory and harmony of music. Classical, Jazz, R&B everything :)

Short story: I have started playing piano about 1.5 years ago. I miss only a few days without practise apart from being ill, on holiday, visiting family etc. I practice like crazy. My wife who ...
15
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5answers
1k views

Guide-lines for creating a simple chord-progression?

I am working on a computer program that generates a simple melody, based on a simple chord progression of four chords taken from the 7 triads of the C Major scale. The program is also supposed to ...
0
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3answers
137 views

Tonicisation of Secondary Dominant in D Minor

Okay, so I'm basically just hoping someone can tell me if I'm on the right or wrong track here. I have to implement the technique described in the title in a piece I've written for an assessment. In ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

What do the terms “pitch relationships” and “vertical dimension” signify in relation to harmony?

I am trying to learn more about the neurological basis of harmony perception. However, I am having a bit of trouble understanding the musical technical terminology being used by the authors in a ...
11
votes
4answers
478 views

Can any diminished chord be used as V anywhere?

I've been playing with diminished chords as 'V' in ii-V-I progressions. I often use one of the three diminished chords in a ii-V-I progression -- I sharpen the 5th note of the scale and hang a ...
5
votes
3answers
746 views

Is two singing voices occasionaly being unison “allowed”?

I was writing a lower harmony to an existing (rock) lead voice with a given chord progression and there is a point in time, where it seems like the two voices need to sing the very same note. The only ...
0
votes
3answers
132 views

Help harmonizing a piece

I came across this question in my theory workbook, (Master Your Theory Grade 4 by Dulcie Holland). I have to harmonize it in four part vocal style. However, the thing is, I can't seem to be able to ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

Do the notes of a chord form parallel octaves, even when they are not played simultaneously?

Here is an example of what I'm trying to say The sample below is in Bb major. Do the notes of the bass and the alto form parallel octaves? On the alto voice I'm using delayed resolution. On the ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Why do certain keys good together? [duplicate]

I am a DJ and the software I dj with just introduced key analyzation (Serato DJ). So now I have the key to every song in my library. Someone invented a way for DJ's to mix music in key without having ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

How to create Chord progressions that make sense

I've been reading over Walter Piston's Harmony book, and it has been an eye-opener to say the least. I understand concepts like tension and release, voice leading and so forth, but I still don't ...
4
votes
1answer
301 views

How are keys in the circle of fifths related?

I know this seems like a basic question, and in the traditional sense, I actually know how their related. Though, whilst reading a book titled 'harmony for computer musicians', I've come across a ...
16
votes
9answers
2k views

Why do many songs in major keys use a bVII in the chord progression?

Based on my understanding of chord theory, the chords used in most modern popular songs are comprised of notes that occur in the scale of the tonic key for that song. So the I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, ...
1
vote
3answers
110 views

Re-harmonize the chord with the bass?

Hi i'm a bass player and as any other bassist i was looking to improve my bass skills and I've always wondered how I could change the root note of a certain chord to give it a different feel. For ...
-1
votes
1answer
150 views

introducing the 3 main concepts of harmony : chord, tonality, mode

Where is the best example of a 7-8 pages course defining all together the basic concepts of harmony, that would be useful when teaching harmony to an adult who is interested in classical music, ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

Chord progression in Brangane's warning

I have been interested for quite some time in the harmonic progression in Brangane's warnings in the second act of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. My question: how can one analyze the chord progression ...
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vote
2answers
97 views

Does a dominant seventh chord always have to function as a secondary dominant/cadence?

Does a dominant seventh chord always have to function as a secondary dominant/cadence? In "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" they play a B7-C and a B7-G instead of resolving to an E. Does this just work as a ...
23
votes
9answers
8k views

How to dramatically change the feeling of a song while keeping the melody largely the same?

How to dramatically change the feeling of a song while keeping the melody largely the same? Let's say we have a happy, upbeat pop song and we want to turn it into a sad song (or vice versa). Is it ...
3
votes
3answers
300 views

I, (II), III major chord progression?

In Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers, the introduction alternates between D and F# chords, with an E in between as a passing chord in some cases. There is also a g# passing note played over ...
12
votes
5answers
366 views

What are the benefits of determining form before composing?

I've heard time and time again of composers who say "It is better [for beginners] to know your form, and have a general idea of important chord progressions before you begin thinking seriously about ...