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

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13
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3answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
213 views

Which scores are best for those who are new to analysis?

Are there some scores that are better suited to aspiring composers? What specific elements of analysis are more important for a beginner to start with if his goal is to improve as a composer ...
16
votes
5answers
697 views

Finding the Shadaj (tonic) in Hindustani Sangeet (North Indian Classical Music)

This question pertains to non-Western music and hence a bit of explanation before a question is stated. I listen to and play Hindustani Sangeet i.e. North Indian Classical Music which does not use ...
5
votes
3answers
622 views

What is the proper name of the dash symbol over a note and how to play it

Can anyone specify the name of the particular symbol above the crotchet? According to Wikipedia it's called a Tenuto but my teacher said it's called a "dash". Which one is correct? Or are both names ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to identify key changes?

I have learned music theory from the internet, but I have this question that how to come to know that where one key starts and other end when I am reading the music sheet. For example, in Minuet In ...
6
votes
3answers
149 views

Predicting the rate at which intensity diminishes as frequency/note increases

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, so feel free to move this or delete it. I'm working on this application and I've run into a little roadblock. I noticed that as I play higher ...
4
votes
3answers
313 views

How to interpret non-diatonic note?

This might look like is just curiosity to know something about one particular song, but is not, I'm hoping it'll help me understand better when I'm doing song analysis. I keep struggling when ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

Is it necessary to learn a new scale to improvise over it?

I'm a beginning guitar theory learner and I'm confused about certain things when improvising/soloing/figuring songs out. I've just started learning, and certain things seem hard to imagine. Let's say ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is music for strings more likely to be in keys with sharps?

One thing I've noticed is that music written for strings, such as violin concertos, are a lot more likely to written in a key like D or A major than something like F or Bb major. I recently saw a ...
2
votes
1answer
418 views

How do you construct a musical motive?

I was wondering if I could get a second opinion on methods for constructing a musical motive. I have been creating melodies for quite some time, mainly without taking harmonic progression into ...
11
votes
4answers
255 views

What are the benefits of determining form before composing?

I've heard time and time again of composers who say "It is better [for beginners] to know your form, and have a general idea of important chord progressions before you begin thinking seriously about ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Chord progressions

I know these kinds of question are asked a thousand different ways in every forum, but I've read many of them and they seem to be lacking in certain respects, so I'll cross my fingers and hope for the ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Pattern Identification: Rit. followed by a tempo

I've found what seems to me to be a common musical pattern in several different pieces, and I'm wondering if this pattern has a name. Here's the pattern: the metaphorical musical train is chugging ...
2
votes
3answers
434 views

How to analyze chord progressions in tonal music?

I've been told that you have to analyze progressions according to the key at the end, despite how many keys/tonality that precede it. Is this true? If a composition contains one key in long ...
0
votes
3answers
187 views

What is this jazz scale?

I was jamming on a music piece and found that this scale fits the harmony. I have found the scale by using my ear, I see it is very similar to diminished F scale but can't find what scale it is. ...
0
votes
2answers
405 views

What is the difference between minor and major chords?

Can you please simply explain the definitions? And then explain it in terms of triad, root notes, and inversions.
0
votes
1answer
257 views

What content do the charts from the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization contain?

I recently purchased George Russell's seminal work, the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, however my used copy is missing its fold-out charts. The text refers these charts extensively. ...
4
votes
5answers
725 views

How to identify a pop tune that has vocal harmonization that does not move in parallel motion

I was trying to find an example of a pop tune that had vocal harmonization AND that it also does not move in parallel motion. I need help on what to look for to identify such patterns. I thought of ...
1
vote
2answers
180 views

Which key mode is funk saxophone played in?

I am analysing the musical style of playing saxophone on dance beats, or dubstep, like in this song. Would you characterise this as funk? And what is the key they use. My closest guess is a minor or ...
4
votes
4answers
486 views

Do the different Modes have different scale degrees?

For example, C Ionian has the same notes as D Dorian. But when looking at the scale degrees, I think they have to be different. Here's what I mean: C Ionian: C Db D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B C ...
11
votes
10answers
987 views

What is the secret of jazz phrases?

I'm diving into Jazz, both with guitar and trumpet, and I'm looking for that typical jazzy sound when traveling from lows to highs (and opposite). How were Miles and friends achieving it? What ...
2
votes
4answers
206 views

How can I increase my note reading and finger strength?

I'm playing piano and I have problem going through pieces quickly, I keep pressing wrong keys and it takes me a lot of concentration and practice to get the piece sounding like it should and even ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
538 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
125 views

Book about development of music

I'm not new to the musical world, and for quite a bit of time I've been wondering on all the reasons that are behind our usual way of understanding music (7-note diatonic scale, 12-note chromatic ...
10
votes
2answers
392 views

What is the difference between the classical and contemporary method of teaching instruments?

Ever since I learned that you could learn to play instruments through a classical or contemporary method, and that musical teachers are taught classically or contemporarily, I've been asking myself ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Can a passage resolve a problem of not being in sync in band?

A friend told me that when the time signature is 4/4, if your playing is not in sync with the other band members, then you can solve the problem by a passage. But this cannot happen if the time ...
3
votes
4answers
177 views

Drums: Playing consecutive beats with the same hand compared to alternating hands

I am currently learning the Seven Stroke Roll , Drum tune : Right , Right , Left Left .... Will playing the above tune : Right , Left , Right , Left instead of Right , Right , Left , Left ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

what is the difference between writing and pronouncing of notes?

what is the difference between note letters and pronouncing of them? we write C D E F G A B but pronouncing them DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI respectively , I've heard that in many videos people call notes ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

C#m in Am chord progression

I was listening to this song; Chord progression is something like this; Am, E, F, C, Dm .(BTW His guitar is tuned half step down) And almost all solos are in A ...
38
votes
4answers
4k views

(1/√π)/√⅔ as a time signature?

I recently found this article on wikipedia about lists of musical works in unusual time signatures and the first unusual time signature is (1/√π)/√⅔. I looked up the piece that was listed as having ...
9
votes
2answers
245 views

Do Neapolitan chords exist in modes with a minor second?

In relation to a question I asked earlier—What is a Neapolitan 6th chord—I have a follow up question. A Neapolitan chord is pretty much a Major chord built on the lowered second scale ...
12
votes
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
228 views

Chord alteration references? (“inside” vs. “outside”)

Originally, I asked the question immediately below and it created some confusion. My revision appears below the original. # What books or references do you recommend which teach about altered chords ...
4
votes
2answers
439 views

Is there a formula/theory for writing country licks/riffs?

Is there a formula/theory for writing country licks/riffs, and where can I find it?
1
vote
1answer
98 views

How many disruptive ideas in music harmony were there, that became widely accepted? [closed]

How often radically new musical ideas become common practice? New in a sense where composer/performer is unquestionably first to abruptly depart with musical tradition with no similar precedent, even ...
5
votes
4answers
355 views

What is theory of music about?

What kind of questions does theory of music try to answer? I wonder whether there are formal theories of music which define axioms and rules of inference. There must be plenty possible small ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Can music theory help hobbyist instrumentalist get better at playing?

For hobbyists who don't plan to write songs, is it worth to invest their time to study music theory rather than get better at playing? I sometimes wonder how given piece is it structured, especially ...
0
votes
5answers
385 views

A reliable foundation from which to understand what “key” really means [closed]

(my original question) I am well-educated. I'm new to, and trying to learn, music theory, but the constant hedging on what things mean is frustrating. Can you say ANYTHING that is 100% reliable about ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

I-IV-V blues progression

I'm currently learning a 12 bar blues rhythm and am getting confused by it. The solo is played over the A minor pentatonic scale. And the underlying chord progression is A - D - E. But isn't this ...
1
vote
2answers
195 views

Difference between These Two Styles of Playing Guitar

I see some people playing every note in a song on the guitar such as: And some people only play the key notes: When should you ...
5
votes
1answer
325 views

How is the mordent played in the given piece from Petzold

Here is an excerpt of Petzold's Menuett in G major and I stumbled upon a mordent which I don't know how to play. The fun fact is: The excerpt is from a beginner book where there is an explanation of ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Harmonic Transpose [closed]

I once had a useful music software from Voyetra which could harmonically transpose a piece of music. However, after a crash I lost the software. Now I know how to transpose to another key, but I don't ...
17
votes
16answers
5k views

X or Y guitarist doesn't know music theory - how true is this statement?

We've all heard a statement similar to the following: X didn't / doesn't know any music theory and is one of the all time greats replacing X with a famous guitarist. Being a novice, I am ...
6
votes
3answers
376 views

Book or reference for music theory with deep explanations? [closed]

I attempted to get into guitar years ago and quickly burned out. I never properly learned theory and was never able to play what I heard (either in my head, or by listening to music). Playing ...
0
votes
1answer
835 views

How to know what scale or what is the key of the composition(lyrics and singing) is this song?

I always have trouble finding the key of the song, actually when ever I write a song just lyrics and I know how I sing it I mean I know the composition, but I don’t get to know what should be what ...
5
votes
2answers
683 views

Differentiating between II and II7 (secondary dominant V of V)

I'm studying harmony and start to make roman numeral analysis on Bach pieces. I often mistake a II (second degree) for a secondary dominant on the 2nd degree(V7 of V). I guess there are some notes ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Equal Interval Usage

So I was thinking, similar to sharps and flat notes, interval usage is contextual. In the same way that Bb is the same as A#, a diminished fifth is the same as an augmented forth etc. I understand ...
1
vote
3answers
238 views

Chord compatibility or something else?

Say you have a scale and you've found a chord that is rooted at degree 1 of the scale and such that every tone of the chord is in the scale as well. The chord is then said to be compatible with the ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

How to use diminished scale over I IV V changes in blues

I want to spice up my solos over a Blues progression. I already can play a variety of scales but the Diminished scale is something I would like to add because of the particular sounds it creates. In ...