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

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Expand Bass Guitar Playing Beyond Root Notes

I am fairly new to the bass guitar and I'm in a band. So far, I almost always just play the root note of the chord. I sometimes hold it until a new chord and sometimes repeatedly play this same ...
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5answers
170 views

What is the “unresolvable chord”?

A musician friend mentioned this in passing - she talked about the something chord and then explained it was unresolvable, and how she hates it because she cannot stand music that doesn't resolve. ...
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2answers
238 views

Chord symbols for inversions of 7th chords

Why are root position, first, second and third inversion labeled by V7, V65,V43,and V42 repectively? Are there reasons for the specific numbers chosen? If not how can I memorize them? Thanks.
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5answers
172 views

Skills for writing your own songs

What are some good starting points to begin writing songs for someone who possesses limited theory knowledge and playing experience (beginner)? What are the essentials skills and knowledge for ...
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1answer
44 views

What musical form is Michael Nyman's 'The Heart Asks Pleasure First'? [closed]

What musical form is Michael Nyman's 'The Heart Asks Pleasure First'? I wondered if it could be thematic or perhaps a variational form? I'm not too sure... Any help is appreciated!
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3answers
401 views

Can bass chord notes be different octaves after playing the root?

The reason for my question is because it seems like everything I read, the bass note is normally the root of the chord, but I am outlining an Am chord where E is the bass note. I thought I found an ...
8
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3answers
324 views

Roman numeral notation for a suspended chord?

On the Wikipedia entry for Roman numeral analysis, it says that major chords use the upper case numerals (e.g. IV for the F major chord in the C major scale) and lowercase letters for minor chords ...
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1answer
346 views

How can this simple bass line be categorized in chords or scales?

I am attempting to finally learn music theory after years of owning a bass and screwing around. So, with that, I have been playing certain things and trying to figure out the chord or scale. Take for ...
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2answers
75 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 ...
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3answers
128 views

How do I convert music to a mathematical formula? [closed]

Yes, I know this sounds absurd... Maybe even a little impossible. I saw a thing on youtube though where someone played the Fibonacci Sequence on a piano! There was also this song using Phi. Phi and ...
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3answers
101 views

Can't seem to find a good tutorial on theory for guitar players

After 13 years of playing the guitar (just chords)... I am just starting to investigate learning theory to be a better guitar player. Also seeing piano players pick up the guitar and soloing in no ...
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1answer
52 views

Music in the 1990s [closed]

We're working on a school project whereas a part of the task is to find values in the 1990s music. I haven't found much to go on and a lot of the information out there is just a bunch of squeezed ...
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1answer
126 views

How is a chord progression with G#, D#m, F and G possible?

I was analyzing Gone Hollywood by Supertramp, and from around 0:22 a riff starts. The chords in the riff are G#, D#m/F#, F and G. The weird thing is that in the key of G# major the D# minor chord ...
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4answers
1k views

Why is bass note so important in harmonic analysis of music?

In any type of harmonic analysis the bass plays big part in determining the function of the harmony. There are even special ways describe what note of the chord is in the bass (known as inversions) ...
7
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2answers
94 views

Which roman numeral should I use for F# diminished chord in the key F Major?

In the key of F major, what roman numeral is the F# A C chord? I know it is a diminished chord. It is going from a F to F#dim to Gm7
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2answers
129 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

What does it mean to be able to write a fugue?

My theory teacher told me once in passing that she had written fugues. Later on people let me know that to write a fugue you need to be somewhat of a theory genius. Why is this so? What makes the ...
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8answers
749 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?
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2answers
91 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 ...
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4answers
364 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
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3answers
163 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. ...
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4answers
464 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 ...
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2answers
153 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 ...
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1answer
48 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: ...
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3answers
134 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 ?
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1answer
56 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 - ...
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3answers
229 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 ...
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3answers
396 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
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5answers
125 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 ...
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1answer
79 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
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1answer
87 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. ...
8
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
192 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 ...
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3answers
734 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
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1answer
120 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.
6
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3answers
519 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
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3answers
104 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 ...
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1answer
208 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 ...
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3answers
248 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 ...
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1answer
155 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 ...
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3answers
405 views

What is tritone substitution?

What is tritone substitution? How can this device be applied to improvisation and composition?
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8answers
619 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
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3answers
128 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 ...
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2answers
55 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
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1answer
118 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
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3answers
552 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
972 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 ...
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1answer
317 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?
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3answers
143 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 ...