relationship between pitches (sounding simultaneously).

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40
votes
4answers
9k views

What are some chord substitutions for a I-IV-V blues progression?

I was watching a video of SRV and one of the things that really stood out was the fact that he seemed to have a different iteration of the I-IV-V turnaround - and made it look/sound effortless. Any ...
21
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
9answers
7k views

How is counterpoint different from harmony?

Harmony is a kind of second sound you hear. Counterpoint is also the second sound you hear. Aside from technical differentiation, how can you by ear differentiate these two concepts. I mean, is it ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

In blues, country blues, why don't songwriters get sued for aping the same progressions/tempos/scales as other established blues songs?

Thought: As a guitar player, you can play the blues in pretty much any scale, A for instance with stock rhythms and endings. Example: You write a song in that scale you may even use the same solo ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Chord progressions

I know these kinds of question are asked a thousand different ways in every forum, but I've read many of them and they seem to be lacking in certain respects, so I'll cross my fingers and hope for the ...
16
votes
1answer
278 views

What is a multi-tonic system?

Coltrane changes, Slonimsky-Schillinger Symmetric System, three-tonic system, four-tonic system: what are they? How are they used in improvisation, composition, harmonization, and reharmonization? Are ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Prokofiev's style

I have a predilection for music from the first half of the 20th century. I can't pinpoint the exact reason why, I suspect it is from absorbing so much music from movies, tv series and computer games ...
15
votes
4answers
485 views

Why do melodies have harmonies?

It seems to me that every melody can be assigned chords. Although different people may assign different chords, in many cases, only certain chords (a small subset of all possible chord choices) seem ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any real difference between Counterpoint and Polyphony?

From what I understand, they both kind of refer to the same thing. Why the need for 2 terms?
13
votes
4answers
1k views

C#m in Am chord progression

I was listening to this song; ...
13
votes
1answer
790 views

What is harmonic mixing / mix in key?

I'm currently learning how to become a DJ. One of the concepts that caught my attention was "harmonic mixing". I know some very basic music theory, and I'm having some trouble understanding it. What ...
13
votes
1answer
674 views

Singing: How to pre-visualize harmonies

When singing, I have a good singing voice for harmony--once I've identified the note. However, finding the note is exactly my problem; I tend towards singing the note the lead singer is using if I'm ...
13
votes
1answer
225 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
502 views

My ear is not very well trained - what can I look for as easy hints when trying to identify a ii-V-I progression in blues music?

I'm looking to learn how to better analyze music I am listening to, and I'm having problems identifying ii-V-I progressions, especially when they're the basis for improvisation. What are some hints or ...
12
votes
3answers
319 views

Interval of a 4th above the bass

As I was studying music theory (harmonizing a melody in particular) I got confused with the statement: The interval of a 4th above the bass is considered dissonant and must resolve down by ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What online resources should I use to learn harmony and musical analysis?

I had some harmony courses and I want to learn some more about it. Ideally, I am looking for is a KhanAcademy-like website about harmony and musical analysis. If that doesn't exist, where else should ...
11
votes
3answers
864 views

Pentatonic scale with a sharpened 2nd note, any name?

I was messing with the A minor pentatonic scale and discovered that if I sharpen the 2nd note of the scale, it sounds very interesting to my ears, even more than the original scale. Does this already ...
11
votes
4answers
185 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a secondary dominant chord?

What is a secondary dominant chord? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in composition?
10
votes
2answers
352 views

Harmony and roman numeral analysis: how to deal with chromaticism?

I recently started playing piano. While learning and performing new pieces, I found that it helps me a lot to have some certainty of what's going on with the notes, the chords, and the harmony. I ...
10
votes
4answers
676 views

Is there a minimum of notes and chords i need to determine the key of a song?

Just by curiosity. What is the minimum of notes and chords i need to determine the key of a song?
10
votes
1answer
402 views

In jazz, what is diatonic substitution?

What is diatonic substitution? How is it used in improvisation?
10
votes
4answers
762 views

Why does this key change work?

In the song 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin which is a fairly simple progression in Bb major the saxophone solo part of the song seems to make a key change to the key of Em. I don't understand why this ...
10
votes
1answer
180 views

What is Debussy's influence on bebop?

It has been said that Claude Debussy invented jazz harmonic theory. But is there any evidence that Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, the inventors of bebop, were aware of Debussy's harmonic ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Understanding the elements of harmony in “honky-tonk” or ragtime style piano

I enjoy improvising piano in what I call (perhaps incorrectly) a "honky-tonk" or "ragtime" style, usually involving a steady stride or two-step in the left hand, and playing over that with lots of ...
9
votes
3answers
774 views

Understanding minor key harmony

A comment discussion under this question from me, clued me in to the fact that I don't really understand how minor keys work very well. So here is what I think I know The natural minor comes from the ...
9
votes
1answer
106 views

Why does Fux use F# in his counterpoint to a firmus written in G mixolydian

In the given image below, Fux writes a counterpoint to a cantus firmus given to him as part of his studies by his fictitious teacher Aloysious. A rule that is often emphasised is that one should ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I practice harmonizing in singing?

I'm not good at singing harmonies. In my mind to harmonize, you can just sing an alternate melody and that usually sounds good with the main melody. I don't think to myself that I have to sing a 5th ...
8
votes
2answers
348 views

What's the difference between harmony and polyphony?

What's the difference between harmony and polyphony? Is it a matter of perspective or is there a qualitative difference?
8
votes
2answers
259 views

Correct terminology for chord inversions

I am confused with what I've read in various sources concerning chord notations. Is there a standard notation for chord inversions? As far as I understand, a chord inversion is determined from the ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Ic-V-I perfect cadence progression SATB part writing rules

I am studying Music at AS-level - we have to harmonise a soprano line (in any style we wish I believe) with the alto, tenor and bass parts. One possible perfect cadence I have been taught is the ...
7
votes
5answers
335 views

How do enharmonic notes affect harmony and chord progressions?

Quoting the Wikipedia article: The notes C♯ and D♭ are enharmonic (or enharmonically equivalent) notes. Namely, they are the same key on a keyboard, and thus they are identical in pitch, although ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Parallel octaves vs doubled octaves

I've read this Wikipedia article on parallel fifths, which also touched on parallel octaves. However, I'm having difficulty understanding the difference between doubled and parallel octaves. I think I ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
3answers
486 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
454 views

In Jazz, what is an avoid note?

Why are some scale degrees avoided? What is the reasoning behind the avoid notes? Are there avoid notes in all modes? If so, which are the avoid notes of the different modes? Is this pattern widely ...
7
votes
3answers
431 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
votes
2answers
1k views

Using modes and static harmony

Edit: i know what modes are and how they are related to major scale..etc. question is about modal harmony and chord progression in modal harmony. not what is a mode and name of other modes..etc What ...
7
votes
1answer
126 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?
6
votes
3answers
397 views

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?
6
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
134 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
118 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
votes
1answer
263 views

In jazz, what is an upper structure triad?

What is upper structure? Which are the upper structure triads? How are they used?
5
votes
4answers
178 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?
5
votes
2answers
404 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
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
168 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?