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

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1
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8answers
2k views

What is a perfect fifth?

I have gone through many documents, but don't understand what a perfect fifth is. Can somebody please explain with an example? (An example is important!) I have already found these explanations, but ...
14
votes
7answers
843 views

How to know if it's a mode or scale?

How do I differentiate between modes? Suppose a person is playing "D Dorian". How do I know that it's "D Dorian" and not "C Major/Ionian" or "E Phrygian" and so on, and in fact "A natural minor" ...
5
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the purpose of the mixolydian scale? [duplicate]

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
21
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7answers
1k views

What are modes and how are they useful?

I'm a self-taught guitarist with zero to little experience in music theory. After marrying a violinist I found that there's a lot to music theory that I know tribally but don't understand the ...
16
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3answers
2k 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 ...
2
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3answers
46 views

What is the difference between (guitar) articulation and dynamics, and how do they relate?

I have been looking into articulation and dynamics over the past week, primarily focused on guitar (but I'm sure any learning musician can benefit from this regardless of your instrument). I believe I ...
0
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2answers
64 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
23
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3answers
25k views

What's the difference between “modal music” and “tonal music”?

As the title says, what's the difference between "modal music" and "tonal music"? Is there also any other classification besides "modal music" and "tonal music"?
4
votes
3answers
490 views

Why isn't there a key signature with F flat?

I think the title asks the question. There are key signatures with Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb and Gb. But no Fb. There's probably no practical reason for my question. I'm just curious.
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Score analysis: Beethoven - Menuetto IV in F major (WoO9) at measure 4

I'm new to music and I'm trying to learn analysis, my question is, what chord is represented in the last bar of this excerpt? It has C in bass, so it could be a dominant chord, but rest of the notes ...
7
votes
2answers
535 views

What is the name of the symbol like a combination of a mordent and f?

The Photo attached has a quaver marked with a red rectangle. Τhere is a symbol on that quaver that I do not recognize. It looks like a mordent but it's clearly different from one. Can anyone tell me ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

When do I know I can move to another scale? [closed]

I practice scales a lot but I don't know when to move to another new scale, I mean when do you know you're finished with a scale? When you can visualise it in 12 keys and know the chords in each key, ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Why is the snare always on the 3rd beat? [closed]

In the music I listen to (normally Future Bass, Glitch Hop and other genres like such), the snare is what keeps the music from getting unstable, it seems. All of the music has a snare smack dab on the ...
0
votes
3answers
76 views

Question on a piano piece

Hi! 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
101 views

Can you have more dots on a note than a triple dotted note?

Recently I've come across some double-dotted notes, and even some triple-dotted ones which seem a bit quirky to me, but who knows? For one dot, you add 1/2 of the note's length, so I suppose for two ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

What is the name of the chord contains the notes Ab, C, D and G?

In the key of Bb major I came across a chord that contained the notes Ab, C, D and G. What chord could this be?
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vote
4answers
233 views

Why is the complete circle of fifth progression more common in minor than major?

In relation to How common is the complete circle of fifths progression? which describes some examples of the complete circle of fifth progression (a consecutive 4-7-3-6-2-5-1 progression), apparently ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Some numbers in notation, what does it mean and how do I replicate it in Guitar Pro?

I am trying to copy a page of (guitar) music notation to Guitar Pro, but I am a bit confused about what the numbers above ( "4" "3" "2" "3") and numbers in circles ("3" "2") mean... as well as how do ...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

8 under clef and timing questions

Please look at the below graphic, there are a few things that are confusing me: 1 - Why is there an 8 under the treble clef? 2 - This is in common 4/4 time, yet one of the beginning 8th notes (in ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Half oval 3 over notes

I'm a bit confused about this graphic, notice the half ovals on top with the 3 in the center: Is that a "triplet" and the same as this graphic in guitar pro? Please note that I have searched but ...
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?
1
vote
3answers
70 views

When/how to switch in between major and minor pentatonic

I'm trying to figure out how I can mix major and minor pentatonic scales and was wondering if someone could explain the underlying theory concepts that would dictate under what chords/chord changes ...
2
votes
5answers
145 views

Roman Numeral Analysis of Chords Outside Of The Key: C7 in the key of E major

I'm completing a roman numeral analysis in E Major, but there's several chords marked out that fall outside of the key - either with an accidental that shouldn't be there or they're marked as minor. ...
15
votes
11answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Collective word for sharps and flats in the key signature

On a mailing list I'm subscribed to, someone recently asked what the collective name was in English for the sharps and flats you find in the key signature. Apparently, the closest translation from ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What does this roman numeral (2) mean? [duplicate]

as you can see above, there is a II in two places, what does that mean? Thanks!
8
votes
1answer
681 views

What is this called? Why is it allowed?

"Golden Train" by Justin Nozuka (YouTube link below) is in the key of Ab major. However he uses a Cb major chord throughout the song, which is not in the key of Ab major. It sounds good and works ...
45
votes
22answers
7k views

What's the point of keys other than C and Am?

I'm VERY new to music theory, just learning. I'm reading about keys and scales right now. From what I understand major keys are all the same except for being shifted by one or more semitones (e.g. C ...
10
votes
3answers
819 views

How can I easily translate between a key and a key signature?

Is there a good mnemonic or trick for working out the key signature from a given key? I can always write out the chromatic scale, then count out the appropriate intervals from the tonic, and figure ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

What is the meaning of time signatures with fractions on the top like ⅘ /4?

Recently I came across this List of musical works in unusual time signatures on Wikipedia. Some of the time signatures mentioned have fractional numbers on the top. e.g. two and a half over four, ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it possible to write a song without a key?

"This song is in F Major", "That song is in A Minor", "This song is in D Minor, but modulates to F Major in the middle", etc. Can we say "This song has no key"? Are there songs that have/follow no ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Beginning of Chopin nocturne no.20: slur and tie confusion

In the opening bars of this c-sharp minor nocturne, we have the famous descending scales that are played twice, first in piano then in pianissimo. Here's a snapshot (source) of the part in question: ...
24
votes
4answers
8k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
2
votes
3answers
77 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

In jazz, what is a guide tone?

I've heard that guide tones are very useful while improvising, and seems to be an important concept for jazz theory. What is a guide tone? How can it help improvisation?
2
votes
3answers
99 views

Difference between a I7 - V resolution and I7 - IV resolution

I watched a video lesson on the Floyd Cramer style and the teacher said that resolutions of C7-G (I7-V) is no good. We have to use resolutions of C7-F (I7-IV). Why would that be? It was supposed to ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the phrygian mode?

My question is: How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the Phrygian mode? I have seen many discuss the circle of fifths using Majors and minors but ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

In Jazz, what is an avoid note?

Why are some scale degrees avoided? What is the reasoning behind the avoid notes? Are there avoid notes in all modes? If so, which are the avoid notes of the different modes? Is this pattern widely ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Can Appoggiaturas be doubled or tripled?

I know the basic definition of the nonharmonic tone an appoggiatura is a nonharmonic tone that is approached by skip/leap and then resolves by step in the opposite direction. I've recently heard the ...
2
votes
3answers
73 views

Coda, segno; How to repeat chorus 3 times?

I have a song like this, for example: bar 1 = a bar 2 = b bar 3 = chorus bar 4 = d bar 5 = e bar 6 = chorus bar 7 = g bar 8 = h bar 9 = chorus Do I need rewrite "chorus" everytime? Or can I use ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

In Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, why is the B always flat in the exercises done in the F mode?

In Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, when in the F mode (lydian), the B is always flat, at least in the first and second species examples. The cantus firmus proposed by master Aloys avoids the note ...
-1
votes
1answer
44 views

Is this piece of music in binary or ternary form? [closed]

Is the uploaded piece of music in binary or ternary form? I think it is ternary because it has 7 bars with an anacrusis and the melody doesn't repeat itself.
5
votes
1answer
125 views

What is the Lydian Chromatic Concept?

I've recently found out about George Russell's book the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization and I've been curious about exactly what the Lydian Chromatic Concept is and how it can be used ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Which key Harmonica to use in conjunction with Distorted Electric Guitar in C#/D half step down

I'm in a melodic metalcore band, and we're looking to include some harmonica riffs/solos in some songs. We're currently writing in C# or D half step down and would like some help in this subject. ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

What is a “Circle of Fourths” chord progression?

Are there any examples of songs that employ a Circle of Fourths that I might be able to practice along with? How does the progression tie in with different scales?
0
votes
4answers
149 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 ...
62
votes
6answers
9k views

Why are there twelve notes in an octave?

I know that one scale consists of 12 half-tones. But my question is still: Why? Why not 13 or 11?
28
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...