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

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3
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2answers
81 views

Tips for writing an aggressive/violent orchestral piece?

So I'm writing an orchestral composition, and it is supposed to sound aggressive and violent, however I'm not sure how one can accomplish this. At first I assumed it would have a fast tempo, and would ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

“ii and ii6 rarely used to harmonize 6 in the soprano” - for what reason?

In my old theory book, I read that while ii and ii6 harmonize scale degrees 2 and 4, they rarely harmonize scale degree 6 in the soprano. (I'm assuming they mean for common practice music, SATB). ...
1
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3answers
133 views

Sharps at the start of a score

I'm having difficulty identifying and playing the sharps which are C# , D# , F# and G# . Do the sharps apply to all the bars ?
0
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3answers
130 views

Can the melody have more than one note sounding at once?

When more than one note is playing, it probably is a chord. But can the melody section have two or more notes, being played simultaneously? EDIT: I mean for a single instrument whose focus is either ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

I've found the chords to Chicago by Meg & Dia but can't figure out the theory

Chicago is one of my favourite Meg & Dia songs (RIP 2012). I've tabbed out a few of their songs and figured out their keys and such, but this one seems to be more than your standard vi-IV-I-V ...
0
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0answers
42 views

Additional notes that are being played besides picked ones

I was experimenting with sound analysis lately and from what I see when I plot spectral data of an audio file is that apart from notes that were actually plucked there are some other notes with quite ...
0
votes
4answers
163 views

What is the process I should follow to analyse a piece like this?

This piece (called Roundabouts) is from a book on how to play the piano. I thought it would be fun to analyse this piece but it seems to be very difficult. It's in the key of C major and the two ...
0
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0answers
43 views

do birds know about musical scales? [duplicate]

I sometimes wonder whether musical scales are "merely" the result of our cultural tradition and experience or whether they are (even) more fundamental. In this context - and given that spring has ...
4
votes
5answers
130 views

How do professionals think about notes/degrees/intervals while playing a melody

By my count there are 3 natural ways one might think about a simple melody - I'll use "row row row your boat" as an example. a) notes: CCCDE EDEFG b) scale degrees / distance from tonic: 11123 32345 ...
29
votes
11answers
5k views

Why do octaves sound equivalent?

It is, I think, a perfectly clear observation that one note an octave above another note sounds as if it were the same in a certain sense; while they are by no means the same exact note, they are ...
15
votes
5answers
953 views

Why do harmonics sound good?

Harmonics, as in multiple of a fundamental frequency, sound good to our ears. A few examples: Octaves, i.e. doubling the frequency. We assimilates pitches separated by octaves to a same pitch class. ...
4
votes
5answers
298 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).
14
votes
4answers
16k views

Difference between “Bar” and “Measure”

I was taught musical theory in the UK where I grew up. I was taught what a bar is. In my experience, the terminology "measure" is not used in a musical sense in the UK. Since living in the US, I ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

Rule of the octave for melody

In thorough bass (where the bass line is written first) there are simple "rules" for ascending and descending scales with different inversions and other rules in "partimenti". They are all based on ...
1
vote
5answers
167 views

Vocals on guitar

Okay so I asked a question earlier and I wasn't so clear. I'll try and rephrase it. I want to learn how to take a song, and then play something on the guitar that sounds like the vocals. For example: ...
7
votes
11answers
6k views

Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?

I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge. Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be ...
3
votes
5answers
315 views

What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
19
votes
6answers
11k views

How to play chords like G/B

I heard that if there is a chord written like x/y then that means an x chord with y in the bass. This can be played by playing x normally, but then playing the y note on the 6th string, correct? Then ...
1
vote
8answers
217 views

Do such chords exist?

for example, C D E or C C# D motivation: I am trying to get all of the permutations for all possible notes, chromatically (within the octave of a selected tonic, in this case C-chromatic scale) I ...
5
votes
4answers
519 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Counter-example of counterpoint technique?

I'm trying to fully understand the concept that "Counterpoint" entails... but I can't seem to think any situation in which a counterpoint is not present on a song/piece/whatever. If counterpoint is ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

How do I find the chord progressions for sheet music?

Just wondering if someone could give me some steps to working out the chord progression of sheet music ie. chord IV or II etc. How do I know what is what?
11
votes
2answers
338 views

When did keyboard partitions start to use the G-clef for the upper staff ?

When you look at very old sheetmusic (for harpsichord or organ), you see that the upper staff has a C-clef, first line. The lower one is the familiar bass F-clef, fourth line. Why and when did the ...
0
votes
4answers
191 views

How to get started on keyboard?

I'm 18 years old and I'm soon getting a keyboard because I'm really interested in music. I am especially interested in composing my own music and learning a lot of music theory. I used to play the ...
18
votes
11answers
7k views

What makes an interval “Perfect”?

I've been trying to find an answer, but to no avail. Is what we call a perfect interval somewhat arbitrary? It seems as if the modern definition is "perfect under inversion". I know the other thing ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Theory behind the change from a major chord to the same in minor

In many songs I hear the change from a major chord to the same, but minor. For example F A Bb Bbm. It sounds really nice to me and I'm wondering if there is a theory behind it. Is there a genre ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Is doubling the root when converting guitar chords to piano wrong?

If you take guitar chords and put them into sheet music for piano, should you double the root (CEGC) or not (CEG)? And if you do is it wrong because you'd have parallel octaves? I mean I know ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Why does e.g a C Major Chord sound different from a F Major Chord?

Why does e.g a C Major Chord sound different from a F Major Chord ? Is it only the absolute Height of the Root ?
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Are parallel octaves okay in other styles of music?

In a musical theatre piece is it wrong to have lots of parallel octaves in the voices?
18
votes
11answers
2k views

Looking for a high level Music Programming language

I'm looking for a high-level programming language. I did some googling and found a number of examples (some summarized here http://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~sasha/proj/musicpaper.pdf) but haven't found ...
0
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0answers
18 views

What do repeated notes mean? [duplicate]

I was wondering what do the repeated notes mean: For context, this is for guitar. Also, key signature is A major
0
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3answers
48 views

Should I use inversion or root position?

I'm writing a song for a project and putting piano chords under the melody. I don't know if this makes sense but for example, if I'm in C major, and there is an "E" in the voice, should I pair it with ...
24
votes
3answers
17k views

How do harmonics work?

The guitar has harmonic notes at some places. I can play it, but I don't understand the logical reason why/how this is can played. Can you tell me how exactly this works? What other musical ...
0
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0answers
23 views

Stylistic elements of four styles

I'm doing an exam soon where I have to name 3 stylistic elements of Soul, Rock, Funk, and blues... and I was wondering what the most important elements of these styles are? Thanks in advance!
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Mozart's Turkish March considered a rondo?

I read on Wikipedia Mozart's Turkish March has the form A-B-C-D-E-C-A-B-C But I read in my textbook Listening to Music by Craig Wright that a rondo form is supposed to have more "symmetrical ...
5
votes
4answers
492 views

Analysis of Scarborough Fair

I'm attempting to figure out what is going on in terms of harmony with this song. This is the best I have managed so far (supposing a tonal center of A): Chords are: Am Em G ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What is the difference between a prime order, tone row and serial, if there is one?

I'm studying Op. 22 by Anton Webern for my AS music. I have 2 teachers and a revision guide, each of which uses one of the terms listed in the question and avoids the other two. I just wanted to see ...
17
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
404 views

Can someone explain what a voice is in piano?

So as I was browsing the forum, I saw many posts about voices in piano, and how you should play them all at the same time. I really don't get when a voice exists in a song, and how I should I play it. ...
5
votes
5answers
913 views

Why are pure tones depicted as sine waves?

This is pretty much the only thing in music theory (that i've covered so far) that I cannot understand. What I would expect to hear is what you get from LFO, or Low Frequency Oscillator represented by ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Why should my band learn music theory?

I recently started a band that plays a mixture of blues, rock, and funk. I am the only one in the trio that knows any music theory. Can someone tell me how to explain to my band members that they ...
13
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the full list of possible chord names? Are there chords that don't have a name in chord theory?

My chord book covers 35 different chord types. When I look on the web or in other tools, all the same types of chords come up. But I don't think this is the "full" set of possible chords. I'm not ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Music theory: Modulation [closed]

So I wanted to compose a sonata like I said before but I have a problem with modulating the keys, can I get some help? I don't know how to modulate, and it's kinda hard to understand when I search for ...
4
votes
3answers
578 views

AP Music Theory

I'd like to self-study for the Advanced Placement Music Theory Examination in the United States of America (offered by the College Board, a nonprofit corporation in the USA). This is an examination ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

If I press C4, C5 and C6, is this a chord?

Are there any other special requirements for three sounds to be a chord by musical definition? Do overtones or the same note just sounding on different octaves (sounding together) still can be named a ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

What is the length of the beat?

As I understand, the quarter note is a note that lasts for one beat. the half note, is a note that lasts for two beats, the full note, is a note that lasts for four beats, now i get that, but what ...
54
votes
23answers
3k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before I'm one of those guys that got ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

what's the difference between these two notations?

I am using this book http://www.librariamuzicala.ro/cs-docs/12069-1382689258.pdf and just on page 3, the said: I am using this virtual piano http://virtualpiano.net so what is the difference in ...
0
votes
8answers
824 views

Essential things to memorize in music theory

What are some of the essential music theory concepts to memorize? I just started looking at music theory earlier this week, and I have to admit that it's pretty overwhelming especially since my only ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Finding chords that sound like a single note

I cannot seem to find an algorithm to do this. Say I play an E (not a chord)... it sounds a certain way. If I make it into a chord an play an E Major chord it sounds completely different. What would ...