# Tagged Questions

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

1answer
364 views

### What do the numerator and denominator of a chord name in roman numerals mean?

I'm reading a paper on music theory and I keep coming across names of chords expressed as a fraction - I/I, I/V, ii/I, etc. Based on the use of these names in the paper, I'm reading this as: I/I: A ...
1answer
525 views

### Parallel Fifths in Pachelbel's Canon in D?

The other day, I was watching a scrolling score of Pachelbel's (in)famous Canon in D on Youtube, when I noticed something interesting. In the excerpt below, shouldn't the the circled notes in the 1st ...
2answers
3k views

### In jazz, what is an upper structure triad?

What is upper structure? How are upper structure triads constructed? How are they used?
2answers
1k views

### What is a “Chord of Nature”?

Could someone explain in simple terms, and preferably with an example or two what "chord of nature" means. I tried reading about this in Wikipedia, but I cannot see how this is different from just a ...
1answer
255 views

### What are the significant schools of 20th century music theory?

I'm reading the following paper, Lerdahl, F. (1988). Tonal pitch space. Music Perception, 315-349. I'm interested in comparing what is written here with other equivalent theories. Some of these ...
1answer
313 views

### Tonnetz algorithms

I'm looking for applied algorithms for Riemannian tonnetz. I was thinking first of the "big bang" approach with some of the 3D projections of tonnetz, but those are overshoot.
3answers
2k 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 ...
4answers
485 views

### Is there a Relative Pitch Clef?

To start out: I am more-or-less familiar with all the standard musical clef notations, including F, C, and G clefs; as well as the fact that clefs can be movable (tenor clef, french violin clef...) ...
4answers
526 views

### Can any diminished chord be used as V anywhere?

I've been playing with diminished chords as 'V' in ii-V-I progressions. I often use one of the three diminished chords in a ii-V-I progression -- I sharpen the 5th note of the scale and hang a ...
1answer
626 views

### What are the fundaments of Harmolodics?

Ornette Coleman has developed a framework for his ideas called Harmolodics. It is somewhat hard to understand what this constitutes though. It is stated that melody, harmony and rhythm are equally ...
2answers
416 views

### Voice-leading with three chords in first inversion?

Hey guys just keeping my part writing skills sharp (not flat) for the long summer. I got this out of Assignment 9.4 of Robert W. Ottman's "Elementary Harmony." It's in G♭ major. I was already given ...
1answer
182 views

### Groups of eighths

A lot of times, I've seen eighths in groups of 2, and other times in groups of 4. Is there any difference in the way you are supposed to play them?
9answers
3k views

### Why isn't D the “most central” note?

When laying out the notes in the two-dimensional Wicki-Hayden layout, which is the most symmetrical layout I know of, it is visually clear that D is the "most central" note. Why, then, doesn't D play ...
3answers
760 views

### Why is bII 7(b5) considered a dominant?

I am using Ear Master for ear training and at the Chord Progression exercises, there is an exercise called "Various dominant-tonic combinations". These are the chord progressions that are being ...
3answers
324 views

### Naming pitch and interval collections

I have a few questions regarding the correct naming of pitch and interval collections. We call an ordered collection of adjacent pitches a scale. For example, (C D E F G A B) is called C major (or ...
5answers
4k views

### Why is music theory built so tightly around the C Major scale?

Lately, I'm trying to study deeper into music theory, learning Intervals, key Signatures, Chords, Progressions etc. I can see that everything is built around the 'normal' notes that belong to the C ...
1answer
295 views

### Does a taste in music reflect an understanding of that music?

It has been my experience that often times I will not like a song the first time I hear it, but the more I hear it the more I begin to like it. I think it has something to do with understanding the ...
4answers
499 views

### What notation would you use to differentiate different types of minor keys (e.g. Em natural, Em harmonic, Em melodic)?

Are they all just 'Em', or is there some standard, concise way of differentiating between them? Thanks!
2answers
792 views

### Name for a group of notes made up of a root, major third, and perfect 4th?

I'm looking at the song One thing leads to another by the Fixx. Throughout the song, the guitarist plays the highest three strings at the 5th fret (giving C E A). Correct me if I am wrong, but the C ...
3answers
401 views

### How can I practice harmony?

I know some basic stuff about harmony, but I do not know have to advance any further.I finished my harmony lessons for this year and I'm going to start again in the autumn. Is there any way I can ...
3answers
1k views

### Pentatonic scale with a sharpened 2nd note, any name?

I was messing with the A minor pentatonic scale and discovered that if I sharpen the 2nd note of the scale, it sounds very interesting to my ears, even more than the original scale. Does this already ...
2answers
132 views

### Good material source for learning to read music?

Specifically I am interested in learning how to play the Violin. I am good at reading music insofar as the open strings are concerned, but when we are using the E string such that we are hearing a G I ...
2answers
942 views

### How to calculate the difference in cents between a note and an arbitrary frequency?

Let's say I have the note A 440Hz and the frequency 450Hz. How do I calculate the distance in cents between that note and that frequency?
2answers
402 views

### What's so off about the intro to Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights?

Now this question is by no means an attack on any conductor or orchestra, nor Prokofiev himself, but why does it seem that it's hard for everyone to get right into time with one another with this ...
4answers
15k views

### What defines pop music as a genre? Which patterns and trends can we find in pop music?

Today, not all popular music is labeled as pop. To me it seems that pop has become a genre that can be defined by its musical patterns, techniques, and styles. Similar to rock, jazz, and classical ...
2answers
496 views

### Naming Scale Degrees

As I understand the minor pentatonic degrees are 1 b3 4 5 7b It says b3 & 7b, does it matter which side the b is on and do they both mean flat? Scale degrees are almost always based off the ...
4answers
594 views

### Ηοw important is to know classical music theory to study jazz theory?

I was interesting in getting a little more involved with jazz theory. I know classical music theory and harmony up to a point. Should I keep developing my classical music theory/harmony knowledge ...
2answers
237 views

### What is the technical term for what the percussion is doing in this song?

In Massive Attack and Burial's collaboration track Four Walls, the percussion in the middle part of the song does something interesting where it shifts around the beat. It can be heard at 6:22 and ...
3answers
558 views

### Interval of a 4th above the bass

As I was studying music theory (harmonizing a melody in particular) I got confused with the statement: The interval of a 4th above the bass is considered dissonant and must resolve down by step....
5answers
659 views

### Is a high A in the key of D flat still flat?

I'm learning a song in the key of D flat. I know that any middle A within the song is flat. However, is a high A (above the staff) still flat?
3answers
830 views

### Tips on arranging music on ukulele?

I started off by writing the melody line because I need them on top. Let's just assume the melody note I'm working on is C on the C major scale; I will have like 3 chords to choose from which are C(C,...
3answers
489 views

### General procedure for determining the name of an interval given a major key / diatonic collection

I'm attempting to program a library that lets one make use of concepts from Peter Westergaard's tonal theory. The current problem I'm trying to solve is to determine the specific name of an interval ...
2answers
765 views

### How to interpret a switch from Em (Aeolian) to Bm?

I'm self taught, so I know just a few things on scales and modes, some probably wrong. So the other day I was composing a new song. I believe it starts in E minor, as I was playing over the Chords Em ...
4answers
17k 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 ...
2answers
307 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 (Harmony?...
6answers
976 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 ...
3answers
989 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 ...
3answers
2k 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 G,...
3answers
163 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 ...
3answers
506 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 ...
3answers
345 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 ...
4answers
6k 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 ...
1answer
669 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 ...
5answers
384 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 ...
6answers
2k views

### How to create Chord progressions that make sense

I've been reading over Walter Piston's Harmony book, and it has been an eye-opener to say the least. I understand concepts like tension and release, voice leading and so forth, but I still don't ...
1answer
286 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 ...
3answers
676 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 duration,...
3answers
198 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. ...
2answers
540 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.
1answer
361 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. ...