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

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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 ...
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2answers
84 views

What is this mirrored rest? [duplicate]

Haven't seen this mirrored rest before (from Gymnopedia No. 1). What does it mean? How long of a rest is it? Thanks.
3
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1answer
138 views

Which one to teach first: solfege or absolute notation?

Which musical notation should be taught to kids first- the solfege (movable do, in this case) or absolute notation? Thanks :)
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1answer
1k views

How do you do accidentals (eg. E♭) in solfège (Do Re Mi)? [duplicate]

I only ever learned the basics of the major scale syllables, mostly from the "Doe, a deer" song. In C Major, Do - C Re - D Mi - E Fa - F Sol - G La - A Ti (or Si) - B Do - C So how ...
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1answer
440 views

i-bVII-bVI-V Progression

I was looking for some flamenco progressions when I came accross this page http://www.angelfire.com/fl4/moneychords/moneychords.html It shows the i-bVII-bVI-V progression in the key of A minor - A-G-F-...
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2answers
338 views

F Dorian and Associated Chords

So I have been playing guitar for a long time, but only recently have begun to seriously dive in to music theory. I have limited knowledge, so little that I am unaware if this is a very simple ...
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2answers
157 views

Resources for learning music theory whilst doing other things?

I spend about 2 hours a day driving in my car, along with a few hours sat at a desk working. I was wondering if anyone can recommend some good audio to listen to (e.g. Podcasts, ear training exercises)...
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1answer
497 views

Beginning counterpoint above or below a cantus firmus

I have more questions on the Study of Counterpoint: Must the cantus firmus always start on the tonic? If the cantus firmus is in the bass then can the counterpoint start with something other than a ...
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1answer
3k views

Figuring out the difference between major and relative minor scales?

I always seem have difficulty determining whether a song is in a major scale, or the relative minor. (the 3rd note back into it, but minor) Lets use the Pokemon theme song for example. As I remember,...
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1answer
515 views

Can modal counterpoint be studied without studying harmony? Where to start?

I have a background 1 year of harmony study and I'm now taking a non-western modal approach to music (trough Indian Classical Music, which is mainly monophonic and have no concept of harmony). I have ...
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1answer
612 views

Does the three chord trick always end a chord progression on the third chord?

It seems almost a redundant question, but the meat of it is this: If one is using the three chord trick, is it stylistically required by rules of theory and phrasing to end the progression on the ...
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3answers
133 views

bV substitution in ii V I

So I have been playing around with the good'ol ii V I standard and I have found, just by playing around, that instead of going to the V, it sounds odd, but you can substitute it for a bV. Key: D ...
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1answer
138 views

Traits of calypso music?

I'd like to compose my own calypso music, but I've not been exposed to enough calypso in my lifetime to be able to do so intuitively. Of course, calypso is instantly recognisable as such, but why? ...
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3answers
369 views

Using multiple scales in ONE Song

Currently I am in the process of learning theory to be able to compose rap beats more efficiently and I have one question regarding (minor) scales. I know the formulas for natural, minor and harmonic ...
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3answers
262 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
463 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
385 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. ...
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1answer
270 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
512 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
65 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
393 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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2answers
141 views

Why does e.g a C Major Chord sound different from a F Major Chord?

Why does e.g a C Major Chord sound different from a F Major Chord ? Is it only the absolute Height of the Root ?
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1answer
93 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
270 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
89 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
89 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
438 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 don'...
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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
712 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
639 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
803 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
158 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
732 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
402 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
399 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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2answers
132 views

Are parallel octaves okay in other styles of music?

In a musical theatre piece is it wrong to have lots of parallel octaves in the voices?
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6answers
582 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
475 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
383 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
386 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
372 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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2answers
663 views

Scale, Heptatonic Scale, Diatonic Scale, Major Scale

A scale with 7 notes, in an octave, is called a Heptatonic Scales. Heptatonic scales are further divided based on tone and semitones arrangements. If a Heptatonic scale have five tones and two ...
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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
863 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
656 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
352 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 ...