A sequence of musical notes in ascending or descending order of pitch belonging to a single key within the compass of one octave.

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24
votes
15answers
8k views

What is the difference between a mode and a scale?

I can't seem to find a straight definition for both.
4
votes
1answer
179 views

Full range with white keys only?

This is probably a really stoopid question but.....I'm trying to learn to play a virtual keyboard online(Virtual Piano) but its really hard to use the black keys since you need to press Shift+(another ...
6
votes
4answers
107 views

When to use different scale modes over chord progressions?

I know my major/pentatonic/blues scales pretty well, and I can apply it pretty fluently when playing over 1-4-5-min6 chord progressions, but I find that when I try to improvise over more ...
17
votes
5answers
809 views

B flat minor - the key of death…seriously?

My music teacher always rambles on about b flat minor, endlessly repeating how it is the key of death and is therefore used in movies for death scenes. Alright, I understand that it is minor, no ...
9
votes
3answers
263 views

How would you describe F G A chord progression?

I like the sound of F G A chords progression on a guitar, three major bar chords. Do these chords fit any scale? Am with an added 3 in it? Does it make it a 6-7-1 progression? When I solo over this ...
5
votes
3answers
158 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?
11
votes
5answers
749 views

How to make melodies effectively?

Are there any tricks that help make melodies besides just experimenting until you find something that sounds nice?
10
votes
4answers
643 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?
2
votes
3answers
148 views

How major pentatonic scale is built?

I would like to use this scale to start improvising on an acoustic guitar. I understand the shape on the neck, but I want to increase my knowledge and ask you how is it constructed. Thank you for ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

What is the Slonimsky-Schillinger Symmetric System?

What is the Slonimsky-Schillinger Symmetric System? What's the theory behind it? How is it used in composition?
7
votes
4answers
343 views

A Major Key Song for a Sad Lyrics - a Mismatch?

Isn't it odd that "I dreamed a dream" (a very sad song from "Les Misérables") is written in a major key? Isn't it a mismatch between the lyrics and the music?
9
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the purpose of the mixolydian scale?

For example: the G-Mixolydian is G-A-B-C-D-E-F (rather than G-A-B-C-D-E-F#). Why not just call it C? thanks
18
votes
1answer
364 views

Is this piece of renaissance music really in the locrian mode?

A fifteenth-century dance manual contains this piece of music: which appears to be (uncharacteristically) in the locrian mode. Is it really, or am I mis-reading? Does anybody know of other music ...
8
votes
1answer
151 views

What is the theory behind a chord progression like E, Bm, C#, A#, G and B?

I was playing the chords from Pyramania by The Alan Parsons Project. In the verse from 0:17 the chords are E, Bm7, E, Bm7, C#, A#, G, B. I get the first four chords, E and Bm7 fit in the same scale. ...
4
votes
2answers
58 views

Scales and Ascending/Descending differences

I'm learning some unique guitar scales and I'm confused with certain scales. For example, the Raga Asavari scale plays a list of notes when ascending. However when you descend, you add more notes to ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

If Für Elise is in Am why there is a D# in it?

Für Elise intro starts with E D♯ E D♯, Wikipedia says the key is Am. What scale does it fit? Is it like a blues scale where D♯ is a flat 5? Why D♯ is used in the sheet music? Is it easier to read ...
8
votes
2answers
136 views

What Scale is This?

I sort of stumbled upon an unusual scale in a black metal song. It goes: E-F-G-A-A#-C-C#-D#-E or HWWHWHWH It is not a scale I recognize, though it resembles a mixture of familiar scales. Would ...
6
votes
1answer
50 views

How much of classical Arabic maqam music is improvised?

I am listening to a piece of music sung in maqam bayat (or bayati). It's Psalm 126, which is 7 verses long, but the piece takes about 10 minutes and sounds very improvisatory. This is similar to ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Violin fingering schemes for different scales

I had a 10 year gap in my violin play and I'm still having trouble remembering the correct fingering (specifically for 4 and more sharps/flats). Where can I find some fingering charts/schemes ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Vocal Melodies: Suitable Training [closed]

My biggest obstacles with singing are two things: Identifying suitable notes on the fly and keeping pitch. I play guitar, have been for many years and I have always been singing along with it. I can ...
2
votes
4answers
162 views

Guitar arpeggios and finger practice

I've been playing my acoustic guitar for three years now and I have been told that I play good. I composed a few instrumentals and they have been quite appreciated. But its not good enough. I can play ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Why does the first note is the second Bach cello suite(Prelude) sound like C#?

Suite 2 in the Bach suites is in D minor howcome the first note sounds like C# even though its written on the 3rd line(d)?
2
votes
3answers
148 views

Piano scale and arpeggio fingering technique: Thumb Under vs Thumb Over methods

Let's first define the methods: Thumb Under (TU): the thumb is brought under the hand in order to pass the 3rd or 4th finger for playing the scale. The thumb has movement up and down (to play the ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

Priorities of piano scale practice as a complete beginner and what should I be paying attention to

So, I decided my life needed a little more piano so I picked up a MIDI keyboard and started learning some of the basics. The very first thing I'm doing is learning the scales (starting with major) and ...
24
votes
9answers
4k views

Why are the white and black keys on the piano placed the way they are?

I am pretty convinced it is not just for historical reasons. I have found a mathematically-sound explanation of the twelve-tone musical scale, thanks to this question. Does anyone know a similar, ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What use is knowing how many sharps or flats a key signature has?

Books and articles I've read on learning key signatures seem to focus on mnemonics that tell you how many sharps or flats the key has, but I don't understand how knowing B Major has 5 sharps helps you ...
17
votes
7answers
5k views

Why does the Dorian mode on C have two flats?

I'm studying scale modes and I just found on Wikipedia that the Dorian mode on C has two flats... Why is this? Because the Dorian mode is just the major scale (Ionian) starting from the second ...
5
votes
9answers
4k views

As a beginner guitarist is it worth learning to play lead guitar early on?

I started to learn how to play guitar a month ago, but being in a busy science program in college I have limited time to practice. I would like to eventually play lead rather than rhythm. I am using ...
6
votes
3answers
370 views

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is the aeolian mode the minor scale?

I've studied music theory for many years now, and one thing has always confused me about the naming methodology for the minor scale. A major scale is based off the Ionian mode and consist of only ...
2
votes
4answers
147 views

How can I increase my note reading and finger strength?

I'm playing piano and I have problem going through pieces quickly, I keep pressing wrong keys and it takes me a lot of concentration and practice to get the piece sounding like it should and even ...
14
votes
2answers
772 views

Scale modification in sus2 and sus4 chords

I've recently been looking at what makes chords what, and hence my first target for this was looking at major, minor, sus2, and sus4 chords. I know major chords are made up of the first, the third, ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Why do I see different tabs for same C Major scale and which one should I use?

I was reading 10 minute guitar workout and I'm doing some exercises to understand how to create a Cmaj6 chord for example, from a C major chord. When I was reading online for tabs to understand which ...
90
votes
10answers
7k views

Why do minor keys sound “sad”?

Oftentimes major keys are called "happy" and minor keys are "sad". Why is this? Is it universal across cultures that use these scales? Do similar connotations exist in other scale systems? (If this ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Why isn't D the “most central” note?

When laying out the notes in the two-dimensional Wicki-Hayden layout, which is the most symmetrical layout I know of, it is visually clear that D is the "most central" note. Why, then, doesn't D play ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

What is this scale called?

Can someone tell me what the scale in this video is called please? I am checking out various backing tracks and some of them do not provide the scale like this. They only mention "Dm" or some such, ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

Naming pitch and interval collections

I have a few questions regarding the correct naming of pitch and interval collections. We call an ordered collection of adjacent pitches a scale. For example, (C D E F G A B) is called C major (or ...
5
votes
2answers
307 views

I don't understand scale positions

I know the Maj/Min pentatonic scale positions. I need a clear explanation of why Position#1 for minor pentatonic for A starts on the fifth fret; it has something to do with octaves. How do you go ...
11
votes
3answers
835 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Blues E scale on guitar

I am currently learning the guitar, particularly solo-ing, and teaching myself by figuring out the Blues scale in various keys. At the moment I'm looking at the key of E. The way I understand it (may ...
4
votes
4answers
253 views

Do the different Modes have different scale degrees?

For example, C Ionian has the same notes as D Dorian. But when looking at the scale degrees, I think they have to be different. Here's what I mean: C Ionian: C Db D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B C ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How to make songs with chords that don't belong in a scale?

I've always wondered how come there can be a chord progression with some chord that doesn't belong in the particular scale... Moreover, how can it be possible that this progression is in any key at ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What scale is this? ( A B C# D E F G A)

This is a very minor question, but I'm trying to learn a piece (a Bach Concerto in D minor) that has the following sequence of notes played in order: A B C# D E F G A My piano teacher said it was a ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Scale degree naming

As I understand the minor pentatonic degrees are 1 b3 4 5 7b it says b3 & 7b, does it matter which side the b is on? and do they both mean flat? Scale degrees are almost always based off the ...
6
votes
3answers
369 views

How to identify key changes?

I have learned music theory from the internet but I have this question that how to come to know that where one key starts and other ends? (When I am reading the music sheet) For example, in Minuet In ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Scales, chords and piano music

Songs have chord progressions - different chords played in a sequence repeatedly [mostly]. These chords don't belong to a single scale [usually]; they belong to different scales. As I gather along, ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

What is ideal to learn first - scales or chords?

This scale-key-chord thing is mind boggling. I wonder what is the right method to learning music theory? Shall we learn about the chords first and then scales or the other way round?
3
votes
2answers
315 views

Question about “The Place I'll Return to Someday” music sheet

There is a song I want to play with my 12 holes ocarina: "The Place I Will Return to Someday" (also known as "A Place to Call Home"). These are the music sheets: Music sheet part 1 Music sheet part 2 ...
11
votes
2answers
537 views

How to interpret a switch from Em (Aeolian) to Bm?

I'm self taught, so I know just a few things on scales and modes, some probably wrong. So the other day I was composing a new song. I believe it starts in E minor, as I was playing over the Chords Em ...
3
votes
3answers
168 views

Is it necessary to learn a new scale to improvise over it?

I'm a beginning guitar theory learner and I'm confused about certain things when improvising/soloing/figuring songs out. I've just started learning, and certain things seem hard to imagine. Let's say ...