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

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247 views

How does one establish a key? What are the criteria?

I am reading 'Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony' by Tchaikovsky. On page 63, he says to pass from one key into another it is not sufficient merely to employ a number of chords not belonging ...
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3answers
439 views

Modulating from E Minor to C Minor

I'm struggling to get from E Minor to a Bbsus chord. Once I get there, my modulation to C minor is good but I'm struggling to find something that moves me smoothly to the Bbsus. Any thoughts?
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1answer
380 views

Do chord changes affect the key of a song or do all chords in a song belong in the same key?

So I'm not really sure I'm phrasing the question properly but I'll try to explain. My theory level is pretty basic. I'm trying to deconstruct a song and (according to a website) it's in the key CMin. ...
3
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1answer
263 views

leaps: small vs. large (learning counterpoint)

I'm reading Harmony in Context by Roig-Francoli as a first theory text to teach myself composition. In his Introduction to Species Counterpoint chapter, he mentions that the melody should consist of ...
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1answer
506 views

Consonance & Dissonance Relative To Melodies

I've been reading of consonant and dissonant intervals within a scale and was wondering if this is a rule that is generally applied in current music? Can this rule help make a melody for example if I ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
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3answers
390 views

Is raising the flat 7th scale-degree of a mode to become a leading tone to the final still modal?

So for example, taking mixolydian mode, the third of the vm7 chord (the flat seventh of the mode) is raised to create a V7 chord (as commonly occurs in tonal music in a minor key) which is then ...
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1answer
89 views

Is there a term in Western music theory for the underlying mood of a music genre?

Though this doesn't seem to apply to all music genres, I get the impression that some of them have an "underlying mood". For instance, flamenco (the genre I specialize in) has strong melancholy ...
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6answers
266 views

Music Theory Classification Systems

For musical instruments there are a number of hierarchical classification systems in use worldwide, amongst them the well-known but somewhat limited Hornbostel-Sachs system. I find myself wondering ...
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0answers
28 views

What are the rules of improvisation in gamelan music?

I see repeated reference to improvisation in Javanese and Balinese gamelan music but I don't see any reference to the actual rules of improvisation in that music. What are the rules of improvisation ...
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0answers
88 views

Literature on scientific achievements in physiological acoustics after Helmholtz [closed]

I'm greatly interested in theoretical/mathematical/physiological aspects of music and sound. As everyone knows, the Greek already discovered that consonant sounds seem to correspond to simple ...
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0answers
413 views

How to determine whether a song is considered musical plagiarism? [closed]

When I a try to compose my own music, I often come up with melody that is a bit similar with songs that I have heard before, and sometime I just feel that I have heard the melody somewhere, but I ...
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12answers
3k views

Improving as a solo guitarist without learning scales

I am a drummer of 20+ years. I am a guitarist for only the last 5 or so (more of a guitar owner). I can play many chords, and have composed a number of songs. I learned to play drums without a ...
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9answers
7k 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 ...
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4answers
706 views

Why does it take 700 cents to get to a perfect 5th, which is 3/2 (one and a half) from the root?

I think I have the wrong perspective. If you take an octave and express it in cents, you get 1200. Half of that is 600. A perfect 5th is 1.5 (3/2) of the root. But 600 is not a perfect fifth, 700 ...
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11answers
3k views

Why is the tonic chord of a key formed with the 1,3 and 5 notes of the key but the major chords in that key are the I IV and V?

The tonic chord in a given key is formed by using the 1 and 3 and 5 notes of the scale in whatever key you are in. However, in chord theory, the Major chords that work in that key are the one, four ...
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4answers
634 views

Where on earth do I begin? [closed]

This question has been answered sufficiently, and I have posted a new, more specific question as was suggested. So, this probably isn't the usual post you might expect going by the title - this isn't ...
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5answers
794 views

Can I say all black keys are enharmonic equivalents?

I just started reading a piano book (Pinao Lessons by Mantius Cazaubon). In chapter 1 explaining about keys and notes in the sections of The Black Keys and The White Keys. It is very clear from first ...
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2answers
154 views

What interval do all the modes have in common?

I was watching a video exercise to play all of the modes you can over a power chord A5 in this case. Is there an interval that all modes share over a particular tonic (A in this example)?
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6answers
706 views

How to practice piano more efficiently and effectively?

I'm a beginner pianist trying to figure out how to play more efficiently and effectively . I hired a piano teacher to teach me how to play better but all she does is just gives me simple randoms ...
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4answers
400 views

Can the the same note be trilled two different ways?

C# and Db are one and the same, as shown in the first measure of the example. If you trill the two, as seen in the second measure, you'd expect the two trills to be the same. However, a trill is ...
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4answers
386 views

What keys contain both E and Am and is there an easy trick to determine this?

By 'keys contain' I mean in the normal rules of choosing what chords 'fit' within a given key, since of course you can put just about any chord anywhere if you try hard enough! Is there a shortcut ...
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6answers
559 views

What key could the progression Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E be in?

A friend is writing a song that begins with the following chord progression: Dmaj7-A-Esus4-E, and then repeats. I changed it to this (just trying things out): Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E. The two A ...
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4answers
315 views

What does it mean to play a note for half a second?

This is my first serious look at the science side of music, as I am getting started with audio programming, and I am greeted by an awkward bouncer first up. I know that a note is simply a certain ...
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7answers
1k views

Why do some arrangements of notes make a good melody and some don't?

A note by itself is not always particularly pleasant to hear. Why do some specific combinations of notes make a good, pleasant melody? Why are some people good at coming up with such pleasing ...
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3answers
458 views

How is a chord progression with G#, D#m, F and G possible?

I was analyzing Gone Hollywood by Supertramp, and from around 0:22 a riff starts. The chords in the riff are G#, D#m/F#, F and G. The weird thing is that in the key of G# major the D# minor chord ...
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2answers
379 views

F# Minor and F# harmonic Minor are same?

I'm a musician who can try to learn everything byself. Thats why internet is my only way for searching . I checked F# Minor and F# harmonic Minor and their scales are same . Is it true? I just ...
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3answers
370 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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4answers
343 views

Bass clef changed to treble clef in the middle of the music sheet [duplicate]

If the bass clef changes to treble clef in the music sheet, would you read the bottom treble clef as the bass clef notes or treble clef notes?
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
793 views

Progressing from a C Minor 9th

If I am playing a C Minor 9th chord what are the next chords up that work with a C Minor 9th? Am I able to follow the C Minor scale and create a 9th from each note in the scale? A bit confused on ...
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3answers
644 views

18-note groupings across 4 beats in this Yngwie Malmsteen inspired lick

I have a few questions regarding the following lick: It runs for about 8 bars and starts at 53 seconds into the video (it is a time marked lick so will start playing ...
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1answer
349 views

How can I overcome '8va' for a few notes?

Let's say I have a whole passage marked with 8va, like below: I want to play just the circled notes at their normal octave. Is there a way to denote this, instead of ending the 8va bracket and ...
2
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1answer
335 views

What is the interval between two enharmonic notes?

The interval between, say, C4 and D4 is a major 2nd. What is the interval between B#3 and C4? Is it still a 2nd? For lack of a better term would it be something like a minor minor 2nd?
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1answer
963 views

Simple chord progression question

I am learning the piano online. I am trying to learn chord progressions. In this simple example the chord progression is supposed to be C F G C (I, IV, V, I). However, in the third part (G) the ...
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6answers
749 views

Why do composers use seemingly/unecessarily complex time signatures?

I see this all the time: In the piece I'm currently analysing (Sei Quartetti Brevi by Sciarrino), the composer uses 7/16 + 4/8 in the first measure, followed by 5/8 + 3/8 in the second, followed by ...
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2answers
151 views

Are these “power chords” in a classical composition?

I've been trying to figure out the chord progression from the beginning of this Mussorgsky piece (orchestrated by Shostakovich, link below) and I'm just curious if I'm getting things right. The chords ...
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2answers
138 views

Why are there 18 notes listed for chromatic scale tuning

The Wikipedia page for the Chromatic scale opens by saying (emphasis added): The chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone above or below another. However if you ...
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2answers
126 views

Why Cminmaj7 is used and the purpose of minor and major are together?

I am learning the construction of 7th chords and this Cminmaj7 chord made me really confused when I came across in my studies. Why do both minor and major 7 exist together? Also, is this a consonant ...
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4answers
222 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 ...
2
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2answers
175 views

In what octave am I supposed to play a chord progression?

If someone asks me to play I VI II IV in C minor, am I supposed to play them in the same octave? Like, if I start with C minor in the third octave, do I then move 6 steps up to play G# major or can I ...
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4answers
176 views

I'm stuck at a fork in the road

I've been playing guitar for about 11 years now and i'm at the point where I need to start learning something new. I have a book of exercises (for building chops) which covers the major scale in every ...
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3answers
168 views

Ornaments in J. S. Bach's 4th prelude

Inverted mordents and turns are frequently used in the prelude No.4 of J.S. Bach in C-sharp minor. In what follows I assume the key of the piece is known. My first question is related to the normal ...
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3answers
284 views

What is the difference between a chord progression and a riff?

I am just wondering what the difference between a chord progression and a riff is? My assumptions are that riffs are generally 2 measures long, and they are pretty much classed as being played over a ...
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5answers
1k views

How do you write a corresponding bassline for an already written melody?

In my music theory class I have created a 16-measure melody, and have now been instructed by my teacher to create a corresponding bass-line for that melody. (I scored an 88% on my melody, so I assume ...
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3answers
361 views

Is there a name for this phenomenon in the circle of fifths?

I've recently come across some interesting properties of the circle of fifths in relation to diatonic modes. I'm wondering whether this has been noted elsewhere and if so, in what capacity? A name to ...
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1answer
656 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 ...
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5answers
307 views

Magen Avot Scale - Indigenous Recordings

In a purely theoretical space, I noticed some interesting properties of a scale which I determined to be the Magen Avot Scale. The scale I am interested in is: C Db D# E F# G# A B or 1 b2 #2 3 ...
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2answers
308 views

is there a modulation in boogie-woogie?

Consider the standard boogie-woogie bass such as this one. The C, F and G phrases are each in its own mixolydian. Is that a modulation from C to F and G? If no, why?
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3answers
152 views

Chord name does not match the notes it's written above

Sometimes I find the chords above a guitar tab hard to understand. For example, in this piece: There is a C chord written above the first bar even though the note beneath is a single open E-string ...