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

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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 ...
12
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2answers
975 views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
15
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3answers
5k views

Do all chords in a progression usually fit within a scale

I am wondering if when writing a chord progression, all the notes fit within a single scale. If not, what is the logic behind chord progressions?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Help identifying an harmonic progression [closed]

I keep hearing this 4 chord progression in some songs and I'd like to know what it is called. In one song you can hear it here: ...
1
vote
3answers
139 views

Why do I need to learn counterpoint if I know harmony?

When I search for differences between harmony and counterpoint I usually read that in the end there's harmony in counterpoint. Can't I learn just harmony and get the same results ?
3
votes
1answer
58 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 - ...
15
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4answers
2k views

Most common jazz theory method book

What is the most common text book for learning jazz music theory? I have a strong background in classical music theory and would like to supplement it. I particularly am looking for something for ...
11
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5answers
537 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

What's the term for the intervals between notes within a scale that produces a chord

I probably described that poorly in the title, and I'm not even sure there is a word for what I'm thinking. Lets say you're playing on just the white keys on a keyboard. C E G is C major, and D F A ...
4
votes
2answers
424 views

Double Sharps And Double Flats

A double-sharp (x) raises a natural (♮) note by two semitones. A double-sharp (x) raises a sharp (#) by one semitone. What does a double-sharp raise a flat by? A double-flat (♭♭) ...
2
votes
2answers
103 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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vote
3answers
160 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
298 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 ...
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vote
5answers
2k views

What is a simple way to determine the notes in a scale?

What is a simple way to determine the notes in a scale? For example, let's say, that somehow you determined that a song you want to play, is in the key F# major. How can you quickly recall or figure ...
5
votes
3answers
110 views

Is there any scale that contains eight different notes?

Today while praticing guitar I've played the following notes on the fretboard, one after another: E F G G# A B C D# E It didn't sound wrong, in fact, it sounded like Harmonic Minor with something ...
6
votes
1answer
634 views

What to call the chord G B F# A C# F#

I wrote a piece containing the following six string guitar chord (fingering shown; first finger barre; standard tuning): %3/2.2/1.4/3.2/1.2/1.2/1 What is the name of this chord?
2
votes
5answers
129 views

What's music? A question about 'foundations'

First of all, I'm new here. I'm a mathematician who's intersted in understanding music in a foundational way. Basically, I want to understand why we call things musical notes, and why there are a ...
14
votes
4answers
844 views

What is an atonal mode?

I got an album by Ornette Coleman and Pat Methany, "X", and on the linear notes it talks about atonal experiments within the song structures. Are there scales and chord progressions that go along with ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do the notes of a blues scale sound good with the I, IV, and V chords?

If you are playing the blues in the key of C, any note in the blues key of C should sound good in the melody with either of the C, F or G (I, IV or V) major chords in the bass. Why is this and how do ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Pentatonic Scales Question

I'm learning the notes on the fret board and I just wanted to ask something about the pentatonic scales you see, A minor pentatonic is A C D E G on the 5th fret, but when I play it on the 2nd fret its ...
6
votes
3answers
171 views

How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
14
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5answers
460 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
995 views

Voice leading confusion

I perfectly understand the theory of voice leading when explained in most theory books about moving voices between chords in the shortest possible manner to give a smooth connection between chords. ...
31
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4answers
2k views

What's so special about minor and major scales?

background: I'm an amateur and self-learner pianist. What I know, I know from books or google, so I'll start with summarising what I already know - please don't hesitate to correct me if I have ...
3
votes
3answers
859 views

International notation system

I would like to know if there is a special order for notes in English and/or an international notation system. In french, our order is Do Ré Mi Fa Sol La Si which is equivalent to C D E F G A B, what ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

What kind of chord progressions am I using?

I taught myself music theory mostly by playing with chord progressions and writing music based on what I like. (I've since learned music theory proper.) As a result, I prefer to use some chord ...
2
votes
1answer
92 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. ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

D major in a C major Chord progression?

on this site It gives a chord progression in C major by default(C G Am F), and I'm interested in one of the "Alternatives" it offers for the progression: G,D,Em,C the progression is also quoted in ...
4
votes
3answers
352 views

Chord Progressions Including Majors That Should Be Minors

I have been learning a song by John Frusciante that looks like it's in D minor (or maybe F Major, you tell me). The main changes go something like this: Amin -- Bb -- Dmin F -- C -- Gmin -- Dmin C ...
29
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16answers
12k views

What is the difference between a mode and a scale?

I can't seem to find a straight definition for both.
2
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3answers
204 views

Struggle improvising guitar with other musicians / band / jam session

I can write decent original guitar / keys melodies in my own time. But when I'm with other musicians I'm lost in a jam session (unrehearsed). I have a handful of times been lucky enough to produce ...
4
votes
3answers
735 views

How to memorize a long, seemingly random, sequence of two notes at a time?

When memorizing music, I typically use existing patterns. These are often a scale (sequence of notes) or a chord sequence (sequence of finger positions, giving 3 or 4 notes at a time). It's probably a ...
6
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1answer
122 views

What is a parallel seventh?

Does anyone know what this is? I was reading a book and they mentioned this. It might be something to do with scales but I am completely unsure.
17
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5answers
3k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
6
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3answers
1k views

Why is the ''backbeat'' called the ''rock beat''?

The basic rock beat is 4/4, so you count 1-2-3-4. And to create the rock rhythm, you have to place the emphasis on the off-beats, which 2 and 4. So it goes like this: one, TWO, three, FOUR. At least ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Debussy: Reflets dans l'eau: Rhythm Ambiguity

I'm having some trouble understanding my edition, particularly measures 23-30. For reference, use First Edition, Paris: Durand & Fils, 1905 [1]. I'll also refer to Leipzig: Edition Peters, 1970 ...
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10answers
1k views

Where do musicians draw their melodies from?

It has been in my head for so long. I am a visual artist, animator, I do motion graphics, 3D artwork and most of my work is done visually. I am puzzled by this question. Visual artists, they draw ...
6
votes
3answers
521 views

Need help with notation and time signatures

This is my first twelve-tone composition, and I realize that it's terrible. My problem is that I was told that I'm not writing in 4/4 correctly, and I have no idea how I'm supposed to interpret that. ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the (Practical) theory behind applying chords for a Song?

I love playing Guitar. I can play the lead for any song by listening to it. But often in our prayer meeting people sing different songs in different keys. I can track the major they sing, but I am ...
9
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3answers
484 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 ...
16
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5answers
3k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
5
votes
1answer
162 views

Can chords found in parallel modes of the relative minor of a key (or relative major when in a minor key) be considered borrowed chords?

In the key of C major, take the following progression: C----Em----A----G7----C I------iii------VI----V7-----I In this progression, can the VI chord be analyzed as a borrowed chord from the major ...
8
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1answer
1k views

What are the rules for using diminished chords in part writing?

If I use diminished chords such as ii diminished chord from the minor scale then do I according to the rules for proper part writing use the first inversion of ii diminished. What is the reasoning ...
7
votes
1answer
231 views

Different Simile Marks

In the pictures below, there are many measures with different simile marks. I know there are many different types of simile marks, varying number of lines, with or without dots, on barline or in the ...
3
votes
3answers
110 views

Why are notes beamed across the barline in this piece?

In the piece Three Pieces for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky I've noticed something very odd that I cannot explain. There are several places in the piece where eighth notes are beamed across ...
3
votes
3answers
248 views

Minor scale with 7th chords, 7th not raised on 1 and 3

In my music theory class, the text book has in an example, all of the 7th chords in a G harmonic minor scale. Why, in the chords on 1 and 3, is the 7th is lowered? While the chords on the 5 and 7 are ...
5
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2answers
201 views

Roman Analysis of “Ab B G” chord

I am currently analyzing a bit of music for homework which consists of four voices (string quartet). It is in the key of G Major, but the chord that it ends on, is a Ab on the cello, B on the Viola, ...
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2answers
97 views

What scales can I play over Maj7 with lowered ninth?

I know that I can play a b2 Dorian scale over a DomSus chord with a lowered ninth, but what about over a major7 b2?
13
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4answers
2k views

Can a scale contain both a sharp and a flat note?

So, the question should say it all, but for example: The G minor scale (G - A - Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G) To change this into the G harmonic minor scale, I would need to raise the seventh note a ...