The study of how music works, seeking to identify structures and patterns in music.

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4
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7answers
657 views

Limits of Fortissimo and Pianissimo

How far can pianissimo/fortissimo go? I have heard both the limit is 4 and 2 of each. Meaning pppp/ffff or pp/ff. What is the actual limit?
2
votes
2answers
70 views

What are the different rhythm styles? Is that the right word?

I remember way back in music class, at the top of the sheet music it would say things like the name of the piece, beats per minute and sometimes it would say something like Style = Swing. What ...
6
votes
4answers
341 views

Why are the natural notes on the staff special?

I can read music and I also understand how we build diatonic scales on top of the C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C sequence. I also know that intervals between any version of two "letter" notes have the same name, ...
3
votes
3answers
129 views

Diatonic scales

I'm reading a book on music theory, and it says that a diatonic scale is any seven-note scale that uses the notes ABCDEFG in an arrangement of 5 tones and 2 semitones. I wanted to clarify one point. ...
6
votes
4answers
441 views

Simple explanation of counterpoint?

Wikipedia defines counterpoint like this: In music, counterpoint is the relationship between voices that are interdependent harmonically (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour. What ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

How does fusion guitar playing work?

So I have seen a lot of guitar players playing fusion rock but never understood what is actually going on in the theory. When watching them play, it sounds like they're not in key and just ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Help identifying an harmonic progression [closed]

I keep hearing this 4 chord progression in some songs and I'd like to know what it is called. In one song you can hear it here: ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

Why do I need to learn counterpoint if I know harmony?

When I search for differences between harmony and counterpoint I usually read that in the end there's harmony in counterpoint. Can't I learn just harmony and get the same results ?
3
votes
1answer
45 views

i-bVII-bVI-V Progression

I was looking for some flamenco progressions when I came accross this page http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/moneychords/moneychords.html It shows the i-bVII-bVI-V progression in the key of A minor - ...
5
votes
3answers
203 views

How to decode this CSV from a MIDI file?

So I decoded a midi file using a MIDI to CSV converter I found online. The ouput is : 2, 3072, Note_on_c, 1, 26, 96 After reading on MIDI format, I still don't understand what I see here. What ...
3
votes
3answers
379 views

Why does this progression sound good, even if it not resolve to the root?

I'm trying to learn some music theory. I'm interested in the magic of chord progression, and how little changes can make a dramatic change in the feeling. Anyway, I suppose that a progression moving ...
2
votes
5answers
124 views

What's music? A question about 'foundations'

First of all, I'm new here. I'm a mathematician who's intersted in understanding music in a foundational way. Basically, I want to understand why we call things musical notes, and why there are a ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What kind of chord progressions am I using?

I taught myself music theory mostly by playing with chord progressions and writing music based on what I like. (I've since learned music theory proper.) As a result, I prefer to use some chord ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Do chord changes affect the key of a song or do all chords in a song belong in the same key?

So I'm not really sure I'm phrasing the question properly but I'll try to explain. My theory level is pretty basic. I'm trying to deconstruct a song and (according to a website) it's in the key CMin. ...
7
votes
4answers
993 views

D major in a C major Chord progression?

on this site It gives a chord progression in C major by default(C G Am F), and I'm interested in one of the "Alternatives" it offers for the progression: G,D,Em,C the progression is also quoted in ...
2
votes
3answers
163 views

Struggle improvising guitar with other musicians / band / jam session

I can write decent original guitar / keys melodies in my own time. But when I'm with other musicians I'm lost in a jam session (unrehearsed). I have a handful of times been lucky enough to produce ...
4
votes
3answers
717 views

How to memorize a long, seemingly random, sequence of two notes at a time?

When memorizing music, I typically use existing patterns. These are often a scale (sequence of notes) or a chord sequence (sequence of finger positions, giving 3 or 4 notes at a time). It's probably a ...
6
votes
1answer
115 views

What is a parallel seventh?

Does anyone know what this is? I was reading a book and they mentioned this. It might be something to do with scales but I am completely unsure.
5
votes
3answers
509 views

Need help with notation and time signatures

This is my first twelve-tone composition, and I realize that it's terrible. My problem is that I was told that I'm not writing in 4/4 correctly, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to interpret that. ...
3
votes
3answers
97 views

Why are notes beamed across the barline in this piece?

In the piece Three Pieces for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky I've noticed something very odd that I cannot explain. There are several places in the piece where eighth notes are beamed across ...
7
votes
1answer
126 views

Different Simile Marks

In the pictures below, there are many measures with different simile marks. I know there are many different types of simile marks, varying number of lines, with or without dots, on barline or in the ...
3
votes
3answers
238 views

Minor scale with 7th chords, 7th not raised on 1 and 3

In my music theory class, the text book has in an example, all of the 7th chords in a G harmonic minor scale. Why, in the chords on 1 and 3, is the 7th is lowered? While the chords on the 5 and 7 are ...
-1
votes
0answers
57 views

12-notes: an arbitrary choice? [duplicate]

Are there natural sonic reasons for using a 12-step octave, as opposed to another whole number? It seems like we could just as easily make 13-note intervals of frequency between octaves at will. Is ...
5
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
394 views

What is tritone substitution?

What is tritone substitution? How can this device be applied to improvisation and composition?
4
votes
8answers
555 views

Improving as a solo guitarist without learning scales

I am a drummer of 20+ years. I am a guitarist for only the last 5 or so (more of a guitar owner). I can play many chords, and have composed a number of songs. I learned to play drums without a ...
5
votes
3answers
116 views

Alternative Analysis for Non-Functioning Secondary Dominants

I've been reading though my Pocket Music Theory book and in the chapter on secondary dominants there is a concept that confuses me. The book says there can be non-functioning secondary dominants that ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Ethno and folk music of the german region (excluding bavaria)

I'm having a hard time finding out about ethno or folk music in the german region (exluding bavaria) and especially about the inner workings of examples of such. I'm especially interested in anything ...
7
votes
1answer
107 views

Debussy: Reflets dans l'eau: Rhythm Ambiguity

I'm having some trouble understanding my edition, particularly measures 23-30. For reference, use First Edition, Paris: Durand & Fils, 1905 [1]. I'll also refer to Leipzig: Edition Peters, 1970 ...
8
votes
3answers
533 views

Flat symbol in key signature and bar

If i have a flat for a note in the key signature, and then in a bar the same note with an flat symbol, does that mean the note is "double flatted"? For example in the key of D Minor with hash one ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Name for descending semitones under a repeating musical phrase?

In much contemporary music, especially instrumental guitar music, there is a particular device employed. It involves a musical phrase in which usually one note, often a bass note, descends in one ...
6
votes
3answers
719 views

How do I become a better electronic music producer?

I am 18 years old. I love music and I would love to make it and maybe become a music composer. However I do not know anything about music theory or anything. I can't play any instrument or so. When I ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

How can I find the length in seconds of a quarter-note (crotchet) if I have a tempo marking?

Given a tempo marking in bpm (beats-per-minute), how can I work out the length of a crotchet (quarter-note) beat?
2
votes
3answers
134 views

What is a good for system for learning theory through improvisation?

I have been playing the guitar for many years yet I find music theory elusive. Consequently, my musical vocabulary is limited. But I still love to improvise and, through trial-and-error, compose ...
9
votes
1answer
294 views

What is the theory behind scales?

My question is the following: Scales are The backbone of quite everything in western music. Does anybody know if there is some sort of backbone behind scales? A number, something like that? Or do some ...
7
votes
1answer
201 views

What is this chord called that looks similar to power chords?

While watching to some guitar covers I found this chord that looks similar to a power chord. In the cover the guitarist played it on the second and fourth fret. It looks like this: Images ...
4
votes
0answers
30 views

Essential strumming patterns/techniques? and the theory behind it? [duplicate]

I used to play silly led zeppelin and velvet underground covers. i knew all the vu strumming just because i knew the records by heart. i've started to get more into classic folk and country and nick ...
12
votes
2answers
955 views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
3
votes
2answers
92 views

Why Seven Principal Tones? [duplicate]

Why are there seven principal tones (A-G)? Just tradition? In the same vein, why are various sounds (of differing pitches) said to represent the same principal tone?
7
votes
4answers
478 views

Why does this harmonic minor scale notation use a natural sign?

On the Wikipedia page for Minor scale is this diagram of the harmonic minor scale starting at A: Why is there a natural sign on the F? I thought the natural sign was only used when the note had ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Pentatonic Scales Question

I'm learning the notes on the fret board and I just wanted to ask something about the pentatonic scales you see, A minor pentatonic is A C D E G on the 5th fret, but when I play it on the 2nd fret its ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

If between E and F is a halftone, why can F not be an E#

A ♯ raises a note by a semitone or halftone. I'm confused. If E and F are a halftone apart, why can't F be E#?
4
votes
2answers
90 views

Studies showing the brain chemical reactions when listening to depressive music

I have been listening for some time "classical"(not the proper meaning of the word) music. Many works, such as Schubert's, capture incredibly well the feeling of sadness. Other works seem to create ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Why do composers choose different keys for their works? [duplicate]

For example, why did Beethoven choose C sharp minor when composing his moonlight sonata while choosing f minor for appassionata? Why did he not choose to compose all of his works in C major or A ...
8
votes
7answers
296 views

Is it possible to create a completely new genre of music

This question might appear really weird, but still I ended up asking me this. Every genre of music as we know today comes from some previous genre (as an evolution, a combination of two different ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

In 12 tone equal temperament, why are the notes named c, c#, d, d#, e, f, f#, g, g#, a, a#, b, instead of something else?

In 12 tone equal temperament, why are the notes named c, c#, d, d#, e, f, f#, g, g#, a, a#, b, instead of, for example, c, c#, c##, c###, c####, d, e, f, g, a, b, b#, OR c, c#, d, d#, e, e#, f, f#, g, ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Are certain subdivisions “uncountable”?

Typically every note gets a beat. The way I learned how to count 32nd notes in 4/4 though only every other beat gets a count so it's like counting 16th notes, but having two notes every count. I.E. ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

String gauge, scale, and tuning relationship? (Guitar in particular)

Does anyone have general guidance or a good resource on this, specifically considering scale length, string tension, string gauge, and tuning? I've found loads of anecdotal research and a even few ...
4
votes
3answers
336 views

Chord Progressions Including Majors That Should Be Minors

I have been learning a song by John Frusciante that looks like it's in D minor (or maybe F Major, you tell me). The main changes go something like this: Amin -- Bb -- Dmin F -- C -- Gmin -- Dmin C ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

F Dorian and Associated Chords

So I have been playing guitar for a long time, but only recently have begun to seriously dive in to music theory. I have limited knowledge, so little that I am unaware if this is a very simple ...