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

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1answer
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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 ...
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3answers
294 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 ...
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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
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5answers
377 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 ...
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5answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
193 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
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1answer
308 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 ...
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1answer
110 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
359 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 ...
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1answer
777 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 ...
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2answers
657 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
229 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 ...
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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 ...
0
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2answers
179 views

Understanding the key concept

I'm trying to understand the concept of key. After googling for a while I found that key is the same as tonality, and it consists of the set of notes that form a scale (major, minor, ...). But which ...
2
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2answers
494 views

What can I do on the ukulele beside plucking just melody line?

I can already figure out the melody of a song by 'trial and error' along the C major scale just because it is easier on that scale and eventually become okay at guessing melody. This is fun enough on ...
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13answers
6k views

Why can some people play music well who don't “know music”?

I have seen people who can play instruments well, but can't: 1.Read sheet music. 2.Do not know anything about music theory. 3.Do not know the structures or rhythms of sound, acoustics, or the such. ...
3
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4answers
319 views

What is the best way to organize chords/keys in a database (details below)?

I am working on a project that involves putting together a database of chords/keys, and I'm wondering what you guys think is the best way to categorize each chord/key. For example, if I want users to ...
2
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4answers
925 views

Why is the basis of Jazz harmony tetrads (7th chords)?

Triads are the basic building blocks of classic harmony, but in Jazz the basic building blocks of harmony are tetrads (7th chords). Why does Jazz use 7th chords as the basis of their harmony instead ...
3
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3answers
245 views

Should my air be cold when singing?

I am a beginner singer, and during some singing classes I took the teacher showed me that when the air is coming from the diaphragm, it is a little cold. She showed me some exercises and I learned how ...
4
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6answers
312 views

What is this common chord pattern, if that's the right term?

I really commonly find that contemporary songs use an arpeggiated up-and-down progression over notes that are in this shape, here are some examples: C1, G1, C2 C#1, G#, C#2 E1, B, E2 A1, E, A2 Is ...
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5answers
2k views

Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). Ex a C# to a Gb would be ...
9
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3answers
309 views

Which has more overtones: vowels or consonants?

When comparing frequency patterns(e.g. using an FFTSCOPE) for spoken vowel sounds and that of consonants, some of us found vowel sounds to have more overtones(i.e., a larger number of peaks in the ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the difference between equivalent Flat and Sharp keys as far as musical notation? Are there any reasons to prefer one over the other?

I wrote a sone in Dd Major, but I could also notated that it would be equivalent to say C# Major as well. I am not well versed in musical theory and I think both are equivalent to each other and ...
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3answers
164 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 ...
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1answer
540 views

The meaning of the word “inversion”

I'm looking for clarity over how to best describe two different meanings of the word "inversion" I have come across. The two different aspects I see are: I have three notes C-E-G. The intervals ...
45
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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 ...
2
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3answers
578 views

How to give voice into a chord progression?

Say, I am going to use my vocal into a chrod progression like C Am Dm G (that belongs to C major scale). Since a chord consists of three notes. As I know I can give voice any notes belonging to that ...
14
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1answer
567 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have hear the term Neapolitan 6th a quite few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
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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, ...
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5answers
682 views

What do these numbers at the start of the music score mean

At the start of a guitar or drum score , there are always these 2 numbers which I don't understand What do the 2 numbers circled in red mean ??
2
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3answers
830 views

Melody within a chord progression

How do I add vocal melody in a guitar chord progression? Are there any rules I must follow such as only using certain notes in the melody for each chord throughout the chord progression?If so how do I ...
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6answers
16k 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 ...
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2answers
150 views

Omitting the 5th in four part counterpoint

When writing four part counterpoint in context of the common practice period it is common to omit the 5th of a chord when in a jam. Is it always ok to omit the 5th and are there times when the 5th of ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Difference between passing note and suspension?

I'm under the impression that a passing note has a dissonance on a "weak" beat. So you may have |3, 4|6 where | is a barline where the 3 4 6 all form a scalic run. e.g. F G| A ontop of a bass of D | ...
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1answer
117 views

music theory on a minor chord and how long to hold each chord when creating a song. [closed]

i know that for a major chord the ones that sound best are the 1st 4th n 5th though what bout for a minor chord. Does that rule still apply. I would also like to humbly ask for a simplified way to ...
12
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3answers
12k views

Classical music theory notation for chord inversions (figured bass)

In classical music harmony analysis, we see the chord inversions notated like I6/4, I6, V4/3. Examples: What are those numbers? How do they define the inversion? What's the theory behind using ...
3
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1answer
58 views

Melodic Equivalence of a rhyme?

It is very common in most songs with lyrics for the end of a vocal phrase to rhyme with the end of another vocal phrase. It also very common for solo instruments to play the same phrase twice and have ...
4
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2answers
716 views

Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys

As a search for specific questions for this broad question (Changing key in a song convincingly), I am asking for "mainstream" classical music examples (pre-modern era and movie scores can be ...
10
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1answer
307 views

Trumpet improv harmonics?

So I have no background in music theory, only basic knowledge from junior high band, but I've recently started playing trumpet with some friends and I've noticed that when I try to improvise, if I ...
13
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5answers
939 views

Guide-lines for creating a simple chord-progression?

I am working on a computer program that generates a simple melody, based on a simple chord progression of four chords taken from the 7 triads of the C Major scale. The program is also supposed to ...
6
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2answers
681 views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I ...
6
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4answers
694 views

What is the definition of counterpoint?

We see the concept of counterpoint in many contexts, from classical music composition to jazz improvisation. What is the definition of counterpoint?
10
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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
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3answers
264 views

The tonic's seventh

The tonic's seventh is both the seventh of the chord and the leading tone of the scale. So what should happen with this seventh if it needs to be raised or lowered?
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5answers
7k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
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1answer
945 views

What is texture, according to classical music theory?

Texture in a sound-design, acoustic, and sound engineering context refers to the harmonic content of a sound, its timbre. Now that I'm starting to dive into classical music theory, it seems that ...
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5answers
4k views

How to differentiate between a diminished fifth and an augmented fourth interval?

Both are a tritone appart, both sound the same. How can we differentiate when an interval is an augmented fourth or a diminished fifth? Context: In voice leading we learn that when the spelling of ...
6
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2answers
161 views

The Harmony of Clashing Tempos

The jazz guitarist John McLaughlin once published a book of scores for a number songs that he composed for his Mahavishnu Orchestra. There are some very unusual theoretical conundrums that come up ...