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

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0
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4answers
53 views

B -> C and E -> F, No Sharp?

The keyboard has these notes: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# Why do B and C and E and F not have a sharp note between them? If they did, the keyboard would look like this: A A# B ...
6
votes
4answers
176 views

chords in BWV 846

I have been doing chord analysis on BWV 846 (prelude). It is very interesting and I hope you can help me with some questions: I understand that doing chord analysis is good but what is the reason ...
7
votes
6answers
254 views

Why aren't unusual leading tone cadences more common?

As far as I understand, the main reason why an authentic cadence (i.e. V–I) works well and is so common, is that the dominant chord contains the leading tone, which resolves very strongly to the ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Do algorithms exist to calculate chords during performance while playing only baseline and melody?

I would like to play a bassline and melody on a MIDI controller and have the computer dynamically fill in chords as I'm playing. I assume that there are several choices for each chord that the ...
4
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4answers
114 views

What's the difference between arpeggio and broken chord?

I always thought of them as synonyms, but googling around found that some people see them as different, with the distinctions changing depending on who you ask. Is there a formal distinction between ...
2
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1answer
38 views

Is the bass line accompaniment in a song classed as its own melody / voice?

Lets take Fur Elise as an example. Would we class the left hand accompaniment as a melody in its own right? If this is so, would this be considered contrapuntal writing?
3
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1answer
176 views

Which category of music theory would the topic of “which scales to play over which chords” fall into?

For example, in blues it's common to play a minor pentatonic scale over a major chord, and in a lot of rock music it is common to play the corresponding major/minor pentatonic scale over a major/minor ...
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0answers
14 views

Websites or software for ear training [closed]

I need some website or software that has ear training for beginners to advanced. I need it to be free and have a wide variety of information.
3
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6answers
550 views

Time signatures

Again I do some calculations to put clarity in my question Say BPM = 120 so beat time is 0.5 seconds Now in 4/4 the quarter note duration is 0.5 seconds If you have 4/2 (for same BPM)the half note ...
27
votes
10answers
38k views

How to know what notes/chords go together while improvising?

This is 3 questions in one, so it might take a slightly involved answer, or some good links. I'm a very good classical pianist, but I skipped theory entirely in my early days and learned to play well ...
0
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2answers
44 views

How to play a Pentatonic Major using a Pentatonic Minor 3 octave shape

Ok, so the : C Major Pentatonic and the A Minor Pentatonic are supposed to be the same stuff. But I'm unsure how that happens theoretically. (Apart from the obvious fact that they have the ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

C Major Blues Scale Formula

I'm very new to the music theory and I have started to write every single scale to my notebook but I come across this C major pentatonic scale and felt the need to ask how it can be written in the ...
4
votes
6answers
168 views

What is the best way to learn scales on guitar?

I want to be able to just play solos in a certain scale, but what is the best way to learn scales? Is it in the block shapes or just learn the fret board?
3
votes
2answers
86 views

Bartok Mikrokosmos Book 3, no. 70

I have recently been trying to master this piece from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, and at first sight, it appeared daunting due to the fact that the right-hand part is in B major and the left-hand part is in ...
2
votes
5answers
166 views

How to master the guitar fretboard

I've been playing guitar for many years, yet I have made the huge mistake of never really learning scales. I want to catch up, but I'm a bit lost, since there are so many scales in so many different ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

How Do Time Signatures Affect a Song?

I've never really understood time signatures and why there are different ones. Just trying to get a better understanding of them. If you are just changing how you count it, how does that translate ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

How to determine whether a song is considered musical plagiarism? [closed]

When I a try to compose my own music, I often come up with melody that is a bit similar with songs that I have heard before, and sometime I just feel that I have heard the melody somewhere, but I ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

Term for central note in melody

Is there a music theory term to describe when a melody revolves around one key repeated note? For example, in a piece I am playing, the melody is: F C G C Ab C Bb C. Or, in my version of "spatial ...
13
votes
1answer
211 views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
33
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17answers
18k views
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Sustain Pedal in Jazz Piano

I recently purchased a jazz piano book (Beginning Jazz Keyboard, Noah Baerman) and it says this: "Jazz pianists tend to release and depress the [sustain] pedal as the chord changes" **Why is this? ...
1
vote
3answers
69 views

Correctly notating sharps and flats [duplicate]

I always had this issue when naming certain notes in the music scale. For example, when I spell out certain notes such as Eb, some people have advised me to use D# instead of Eb stating that it is the ...
3
votes
4answers
76 views

Tonality of modes?

With the basic modes like phrygian, Lydian etc, the modes with the same notes as C major ( so no flats or sharps) how do they sound different from a major or minor scale.( this is like E phrygian).
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4answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Melody notes over Chord progressions

Is there any way of knowing what note in a scale would fit with a chord, or is it all trial and error, or do you just have to have that not you play in the melody feature in the chord you are playing? ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

What is the difference between a chord progression and a riff?

I am just wondering what the difference between a chord progression and a riff is? My assumptions are that riffs are generally 2 measures long, and they are pretty much classed as being played over a ...
0
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2answers
56 views

How are phrases used in Rock music? [closed]

My assumption is that what constitutes a phrase is a full riff, or full chord progression?
0
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0answers
9 views

How do figure out time signatures [duplicate]

Just by listening to a song, phrase or any music how can I find the time signature, will i just keep tapping or is there a more effective method.
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Unusual time signatures?

I was just wondering if you could get time signatures where the bottom number is 3,5,6,7,9,10,11 and so on. I did not know if you could have dotted notes as your base note
0
votes
2answers
52 views

A question about quarter notes

I have a question about the term quarter note. I thought of putting clarity in the question by doing a little calculation. Let us say BPM = 120 .So Beat time is 0.5 s. So in 4/4 signature the ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What does this crossed-note notation mean?

What does this notation mean? It is in 5/8 time. Is it some sort of a performance direction?
5
votes
3answers
131 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
7
votes
3answers
294 views

How many types of modulation are there?

I know a few types of modulation off the top of my head like common chord modulation and and chromatic modulation, but I was wondering how many different types of modulation are there and what are ...
26
votes
8answers
8k views

Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
2
votes
3answers
94 views

Are whole notes/rests really used to signify variable lengths of time?

I saw this answer and I thought the guy was absolutely crazy for assuming that a whole note automatically equaled one measure regardless of time signature. However, there does appear to be more than ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Creating a Harmony that Harmonizes with a Chord

I'm trying to get a harmony that will harmonize with my chord, Am. I want something to harmonize with the A,G,F melody and with Am. Is there any way to do this? This is what I have, I would like to ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Why and when to use 12-bar blues?

Why and when do I use 12-bar blues? I know it's used with pentatonic and blues scales, but people like Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, and many others use pentatonic and blues scales with other chord ...
2
votes
4answers
209 views

Why is the 3rd omitted from common G Maj 7 shapes in guitar?

I'm reading that Major 7 is : 1-3-5-7. But most G Maj 7 stuff i see does not have the third. Mainly because keeping a third(2nd fret, 5th string, standard tuning) results in a difficult to hold ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them make me a better guitarist? [closed]

I found a similar question on SE already, but it still didn't adequately explain what I'm trying to figure out, so here goes: What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh

The Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh instead of a minor seventh is formed by: a root a minor second a major third a fourth a fifth a minor sixth a major seventh. My questions are: ...
9
votes
2answers
81 views

How long is Staccato?

Question for skimmers: how do we know when to play portamento/portato or a dry staccato? Is it based on a date or composer? Or is a half-staccato still common practice? Sometime in college I played ...
2
votes
3answers
51 views

I don't understand dominant 7ths in cadences

I am confused with the following passage: Dominants are associated with a strong urge to resolve to their next chord in the circle of fifths. This particular sequence, E7 A7 Dm (or V7/V-V7-i) ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

“Spoiled” suspension

What is the theoretical term for the voice-leading phenomenon whereby the note that a suspension is expected to resolve to appears in another voice on the same beat that the suspension begins? You can ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

Diatonic substitution and upper-structure triads for minor chords

I'm going through Garrison Fewell's "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar - A Harmonic Approach". The start of Chapter 1 reads: Triad substitution is the use of triads derived from the chord tones and ...
16
votes
6answers
15k views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature even if different parts of the song have different time signatures there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

Voice-leading and Composition

This is a follow up to a post I made a couple of months ago regarding the way the four-part harmony voice-leading, taught in most harmony texts, is to be understood in relation to composition. In the ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Score analysis: Minuet in G Minor BWV Anh 115

The piece modulates from G minor to Bb major between the bars 12-14 but I don't know how to mark these chords as they have B natural in them, which doesn't belong neither to G minor nor Bb major. So, ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

What is this mirrored rest? [duplicate]

Haven't seen this mirrored rest before (from Gymnopedia No. 1). What does it mean? How long of a rest is it? Thanks.
4
votes
6answers
289 views

Normal chords are boring, I want more!

Playing for example, pop songs can be boring, max 6 chords are used. When I listen to pro players, they add more weird, dissonant chords while transiting from one of that 6 chords to another. Now, ...