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

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3
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1answer
85 views

Is there a collection of pop or jazz standards that include harmonic analysis? [closed]

I'm learning to do harmonic analysis and I'm quite happy with the sources for the theoretic aspects online and in books. But to practice, it would be great to have excercises with solutions ...
9
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the difference between sharp note & flat note?

In guitar or generally in any musical instruments, what is the difference between sharp notes & flat notes? For example : Are A♯ & B♭ the same? And are C♯ & D♭ the same? Does that make ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Triangle Tonnetz vs. Hexagon Tonnetz

I have just started to learn about Tonnetz and I've run across two very representations of the same information in different types of Tonnetz. In the first one shown below the triangles represent a ...
2
votes
2answers
111 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)?
3
votes
8answers
533 views

Confusion about major and minor second intervals

Why is a major second interval different from a minor second interval considering that in the natural scales formulae they are both one whole step?
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Understanding Inversions

I am not completely understanding how I find the major and minor chords. I understand half of what is going on, but not fully. Can someone please help.
23
votes
8answers
35k views

How to know what notes/chords go together while improvising?

This is 3 questions in one, so it might take a slightly involved answer, or some good links. I'm a very good classical pianist, but I skipped theory entirely in my early days and learned to play well ...
12
votes
6answers
11k views

When playing in a minor key, will the chords be minor as well?

I've been jumping into music theory myself and I've been stumbling on creating certain melodies and such. I've played guitar all my teenage life and not once have I ever sat down and said I'm going to ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

What is a “7-9” chord? (G7-9, etc..)

There's a chord in the Lennie Niehaus arrangement of the Stan Kenton Orchestra version of Laura, written by Johnny Mercer and David Raksin. This chord is written as G7-9. In googling, I get G7(#9) a ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Is there a modulation to the relative minor in the bridge to the Vanessa Carlton song “A Thousand Miles?”

I have been told different things by different people and I don't really understand how to make heads or tails of it. I understand that it is somewhat a matter of opinion but it also seems from other ...
45
votes
9answers
10k views

Purpose of double-sharps and double-flats?

In a few pieces of music I have read through, I have come across double-sharps and flats. To my understanding, they are two semitones above/below the note indicated. What is, then, the point of ...
28
votes
11answers
8k views

Why are the white and black keys on the piano placed the way they are?

I am pretty convinced it is not just for historical reasons. I have found a mathematically-sound explanation of the twelve-tone musical scale, thanks to this question. Does anyone know a similar, ...
11
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3answers
1k views

How does one start learning music theory?

I know some basic stuff like scales and how to construct chords, but I don't know much about the roles notes play in melody, what kinds of melodies there are, how to do chord progressions, and so on. ...
17
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
258 views

“The Simpsons” main theme

http://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/view/danny-elfman/the-simpsons-main-title-theme how did the theme go from C lydian to B lydian to E lydian to C lydian to Db lyian? how did they (modulate) ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Compare the similarity of flow and rhythm of 2 songs

First off, I apologize if I'm not able to articulate my question correctly due to my lack of knowledge on music terms. My friends and I were having an argument about whether two foreign songs we ...
3
votes
4answers
360 views

Difference between equal temperament and just intonation

I am learning Indian classical music and learned about just intonation and equal temperament. I want to know the difference between them. I know that Indian classical music uses just intonation and ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Is it possible to learn theory without sight reading?

I'm learning music theory by myself with online books and video lessons. I don't have much trouble understanding the basics of theory, such as intervals, basic scales and modes, but I have a huge ...
3
votes
7answers
229 views

What's the theory behind using a B major chord in Bb major?

If you're in Bb major, how can you use a Bb major chord and a B major chord? Bohemian rhapsody is a good example. |B Bb A Bb|B Bb A Bb| ...
4
votes
4answers
170 views

Why are key signatures like E# and B# necessary?

Why do we need key signatures such as E#, B#, Cb, and Fb? Take a look at the scales for E# and B#: E# has 4 sharps and 4 double sharps. The key of F is exactly the same, and it only has one note ...
27
votes
11answers
11k views

How is counterpoint different from harmony?

Harmony is a kind of second sound you hear. Counterpoint is also the second sound you hear. Aside from technical differentiation, how can you by ear differentiate these two concepts. Is it possible ...
2
votes
3answers
205 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

V6-I6 and V-vi6 chord successions

Why are V6-I6 and V-vi6 inappropriate chordal successions (when harmonizing for the Common Practice Period)?
4
votes
2answers
151 views

Is there a proper way to train the ears?

To become a better play, I want to figure out how I can train my ears to be able to pick something up by listening/watching to it and then being able to play it. Or to be able to listen to something ...
1
vote
2answers
249 views

Learning for entry level exam for music school

On Sunday I am going to take a entry level exam in music theory. They didn't give me any sample exam or references to where can I learn this stuff. All I have is a list of what will be in the exam ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Melody in Diminished Scale

I came up with a cool melody and just find out it is a diminished scale. The melody has the following notes: D D# F G# A. Most scales containing these notes are diminished (I believe all of them are ...
7
votes
3answers
290 views

Do triads sound strongest in second inversion?

On Mark Levine's Jazz Theory book, on Chapter Five, Slash Chords, it says: Although triads can sound good in any inversion, all things being equal triads sounds strongest in second inversion. ...
1
vote
3answers
159 views

How to write music theory symbols in evernote?

I want type my music theory class notes in evernote but i can't seem to figure out how to do this correctly. I have managed to put following symbols in evernote just by copy and pasting but some as ...
10
votes
5answers
626 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?
8
votes
4answers
922 views

Roman numeral notation for a suspended chord?

On the Wikipedia entry for Roman numeral analysis, it says that major chords use the upper case numerals (e.g. IV for the F major chord in the C major scale) and lowercase letters for minor chords ...
34
votes
4answers
49k views

What is the relationship between “do re mi” and note letter names?

When the people sing the song, we use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, si, ect, but some time I hear that the music people say A, B, C, C flat, ect. Is their relationship or are they two different ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

Uses for augmented chords in composition

I've been studying for music theory for many years and I enjoy just writing little chord progressions and melodies to see what certain progressions sound like and how interesting I can make them. The ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Compound meter( 6/8) beat subdivisions?

I know in the 6/8 compound meter, the first beat gets strong downbeat and the second beat gets the weak upbeat. But I am trying to analyze syncopation in a piece, so I want to know how each of the ...
2
votes
5answers
828 views

Sharps vs Flats - Formula to determine correct sharp and flat notes in a scale

I am trying to figure out how to know if a note in a scale is a sharp or a flat. So my starting point/input are the intervals of any scale. E.g. here are the Minor pentatonic intervals Interval: 1, ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

What are the practical reasons for still having transposing instruments?

I understand that historically there was a need for transposing instruments. e.g. Brass instruments would use lead pipes to change their key and players in brass bands would like to stick to the same ...
6
votes
7answers
772 views

What is a chord with a diminished third called?

The third of the chord is one of the criteria to determine the name of the chord. If the third is major (and the fifth is perfect), the chord is called major chord ; if the third is minor and the ...
6
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
649 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 ??
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Polymeter vs Polyrhythm

What is the difference between a polymeter and a polyrhythm? Do these words mean anything different for different instruments? PS: I'm a drummer.
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How to recreate a sound on a synth

Is is possible to recreate any sound you hear in a synth? Think of it like ear training, but with a synth. Being able to deconstruct a sound with your ear, know what type of waveform is being used, ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

How to judge a mix, on e.g. muddiness and balance?

I have been producing music for 7 years: And I have yet to understand how artists are able to tell what a proper mix sounds like. They often tell me that my mix sounds weird and "muddy", but I myself ...
5
votes
3answers
323 views

Arpeggio vs. Acciaccatura

(When writing notation for piano) Scenario: I would like the player to play the chord G (G3, B3, D4, G4), in a "spreaded" way. That is, not hit all keys at once, but start with the bottom G and end ...
18
votes
11answers
781 views

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? (as opposed to containing C and D♭ notes)

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? Or do you always have to use D♭ rather than C♯ in a chord that already contains the note C? I'm guessing the answer is no, both C and C♯ should not be ...
13
votes
5answers
829 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
69 views

harmonic and melodic minor chord function

if the natural minor and major chord functions are Tonic Function: I, i, and vi - The home chord sounds at rest. It usually provides the beginning and ending for most progressions. Sometimes the ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Word for part of a beat

I'm writing an article describing the musical tradition of a particular culture, but I'm at a loss for general terms for durations shorter than a beat. Simple prolation (such as 2/4 or 3/4) divides a ...
1
vote
2answers
309 views

On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo postions?

I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is in ...
83
votes
9answers
8k views

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

Why is there that funny tuning kink between the G and B string on a guitar in standard tuning? I.E. the gap (interval) between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...