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

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13
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1answer
259 views

Do accidentals earlier in the measure affect a trill?

I was attempting to help someone understand all the markings in a piece with which they are unfamiliar. One, however, has given me pause: Now, I know the rule for a trill is that it ordinarily ...
2
votes
4answers
308 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
114 views

Harmonic Progression

I'm trying to figure out how to do this harmonic progression thing. What I did so far was write out the scale of all the roots. Now I'm trying to determine the common tones. I don't see any common ...
30
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord?

I know that if I played C and B together they would be very dissonant compared to if I played a G or C one octave up. Is there a quantitative way to describe that sort dissonance? Edit: I understand ...
6
votes
3answers
638 views

How to determine what key changes are appropriate?

In the month or so until my band get back together I've been working on writing some new material, and want to try and expand how complex my songs are. I apologise if there are a lot of questions - ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Bass Guitar Theory: playing with lead sheets

When playing with lead sheets (which is how I always play), I sometimes have a hard time when to go "off script" and go from boring old root-note playing to walking up or down and hitting passing ...
7
votes
6answers
334 views

When does the amount of beats not add up to the time signature? (Besides pickup measures)

I read from https://www.boundless.com/users/232513/textbooks/understanding-basic-music-theory/notation-1/time-8/pickup-notes-and-measures-54-13529/ that there are exceptions to the rule that there ...
34
votes
7answers
3k views

What notes are optional in jazz chords?

I have a question on jazz chords, and what notes can be removed from the chord. My understanding is fairly superficial - mostly from what I've read in books. This is what I understand: In some ...
9
votes
3answers
299 views

Can any diminished chord be used as V anywhere?

I've been playing with diminished chords as 'V' in ii-V-1 progressions. I often use one of the three diminished chords in a ii-V-1 progressions - I sharp the 5th note of the scale and hang a ...
5
votes
3answers
104 views

Melody Writing - Tension & Release

I'm back with a more specific question. I read in a book entitled 'Complete Idiots Guide for Music Composition' which has a detailed discussion on writing melodies and techniques to do so. As I have ...
10
votes
4answers
488 views

Raised leading tones in Phrygian mode counterpoint

In most cases the penultimate note of the counterpoint will be the leading tone, which must be raised in minor to establish a sense of tonality. But why is the leading tone in the Phrygian mode ...
1
vote
2answers
178 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the theory behind switching modes during a passage?

Look, at the following two chord progressions: (1) Dm C Bb Am Gm F Em Am (2) Dm C Bb Am Gm F E A Now, for the first six measures in both (1) and (2), we're just playing chords contained ...
9
votes
2answers
244 views

Do Neapolitan chords exist in modes with a minor second?

In relation to a question I asked earlier—What is a Neapolitan 6th chord—I have a follow up question. A Neapolitan chord is pretty much a Major chord built on the lowered second scale ...
2
votes
4answers
91 views

Is the bass line accompaniment in a song classed as its own melody / voice?

Lets take Fur Elise as an example. Would we class the left hand accompaniment as a melody in its own right? If this is so, would this be considered contrapuntal writing?
7
votes
4answers
7k views

When to use different scales or modes over chord progressions?

I know my major/pentatonic/blues scales pretty well, and I can apply it pretty fluently when playing over 1-4-5-min6 chord progressions, but I find that when I try to improvise over more ...
11
votes
7answers
7k views

What is a good solo to learn in the Dorian mode?

I understand that Dorian is a commonly used mode in rock. I am starting to play / improvise in the mode and would like to learn some guitar solos that are good examples of this scale so that I see how ...
6
votes
4answers
677 views

What Happens To The Melody When Played In A Different Key

What happens to notation (e.g. a melody line) when a tune is played in a different key than the one it was written in? Do the notes alter in any way or do they always stay the same as originally ...
9
votes
9answers
874 views

Is looking for chord after having the melody unusual?

Most people I encounter seem to have the opinion that the definitive way is to first have the chords and then "mess around" with the harmony notes until one founds a desirable succession of notes, ...
5
votes
3answers
620 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
458 views

Can a melody contain only non chord tones?

I was wondering if it is acceptable, from a theoretical standpoint, to have a melody that doesn't contain any tones from the chord that is played with it? Are there any examples of songs that have ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Basic music theory learning tips

sorry if this has been posted before. I have a very specific question and although the answers may be scattered, it may be easier to post as a new one. I've started learning scales and this has come ...
-2
votes
2answers
61 views

Percentage Of Different Scales That Are Exactly Alike? [closed]

Was playing with iOS app “Piano Companion” and apparently I'm really quite amazingly consistent. I added two favorite scales that I found in the app and they are exactly the same; namely: ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How does fusion guitar playing work?

So I have seen a lot of guitar players playing fusion rock but never understood what is actually going on in the theory. When watching them play, it sounds like they're not in key and just ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

What is the meaning of time signatures with fractions on the top like ⅘ /4?

Recently I came across this List of musical works in unusual time signatures on Wikipedia. Some of the time signatures mentioned have fractional numbers on the top. e.g. two and a half over four, ...
1
vote
9answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
163 views

Are whole notes/rests really used to signify variable lengths of time?

I saw this answer and I thought the guy was absolutely crazy for assuming that a whole note automatically equaled one measure regardless of time signature. However, there does appear to be more than ...
1
vote
5answers
174 views

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece music to make it pleasant to listen to?

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece of music? For example, when playing a guitar accompaniment for 'Amazing Grace' it does not sound pleasant when you play only a G chord throughout the ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

Tips on improving rhythmic notation

I know in theory what rhythmic values are such as quarter note, half note, and whole note etc.., and I can do linear scale exercises very quickly without metronome, but I feel difficult to integrate ...
19
votes
5answers
7k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Can a motif be found outside of a phrase?

Can motifs be found outside of phrases, like by itself? Or do you think that would actually make that "motif by itself" act like a phrase in it's own right?
2
votes
1answer
72 views

What's are the essential skills that I need to arrange songs to guitar?

I'm a beginner guitarist (started five months ago), my goal is to be a fingerstyle player. On the horizon of two years, I want to be able to arrange songs. So what's are the essential scales and ...
14
votes
7answers
879 views

How to know if it's a mode or scale?

How do I differentiate between modes? Suppose a person is playing "D Dorian". How do I know that it's "D Dorian" and not "C Major/Ionian" or "E Phrygian" and so on, and in fact "A natural minor" ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

Chord progression if the chords are not part of the scale?

I've been learning about harmony, and the harmonisation of major scales. I can recognise simple chord progressions, and I try and practice by listening to popular songs. For a major scale, we ...
13
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the purpose of the mixolydian scale? [duplicate]

For example: the G-Mixolydian is G-A-B-C-D-E-F (rather than G-A-B-C-D-E-F#). Why not just call it C? thanks
21
votes
7answers
1k views

What are modes and how are they useful?

I'm a self-taught guitarist with zero to little experience in music theory. After marrying a violinist I found that there's a lot to music theory that I know tribally but don't understand the ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What scale is this? ( A B C# D E F G A)

This is a very minor question, but I'm trying to learn a piece (a Bach Concerto in D minor) that has the following sequence of notes played in order: A B C# D E F G A My piano teacher said it was a ...
2
votes
3answers
55 views

What is the difference between (guitar) articulation and dynamics, and how do they relate?

I have been looking into articulation and dynamics over the past week, primarily focused on guitar (but I'm sure any learning musician can benefit from this regardless of your instrument). I believe I ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
26k views

What's the difference between “modal music” and “tonal music”?

As the title says, what's the difference between "modal music" and "tonal music"? Is there also any other classification besides "modal music" and "tonal music"?
4
votes
3answers
566 views

Why isn't there a key signature with F flat?

I think the title asks the question. There are key signatures with Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb and Gb. But no Fb. There's probably no practical reason for my question. I'm just curious.
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Score analysis: Beethoven - Menuetto IV in F major (WoO9) at measure 4

I'm new to music and I'm trying to learn analysis, my question is, what chord is represented in the last bar of this excerpt? It has C in bass, so it could be a dominant chord, but rest of the notes ...
7
votes
2answers
538 views

What is the name of the symbol like a combination of a mordent and f?

The Photo attached has a quaver marked with a red rectangle. Τhere is a symbol on that quaver that I do not recognize. It looks like a mordent but it's clearly different from one. Can anyone tell me ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Why is the snare always on the 3rd beat? [closed]

In the music I listen to (normally Future Bass, Glitch Hop and other genres like such), the snare is what keeps the music from getting unstable, it seems. All of the music has a snare smack dab on the ...
0
votes
3answers
82 views

Question on a piano piece

Hi! This piece (called Roundabouts) is from a book on how to play the piano. I thought it would be fun to analyse this piece but it seems to be very difficult. It's in the key of C major and the ...
3
votes
3answers
107 views

Can you have more dots on a note than a triple dotted note?

Recently I've come across some double-dotted notes, and even some triple-dotted ones which seem a bit quirky to me, but who knows? For one dot, you add 1/2 of the note's length, so I suppose for two ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

What is the name of the chord contains the notes Ab, C, D and G?

In the key of Bb major I came across a chord that contained the notes Ab, C, D and G. What chord could this be?
1
vote
4answers
251 views

Why is the complete circle of fifth progression more common in minor than major?

In relation to How common is the complete circle of fifths progression? which describes some examples of the complete circle of fifth progression (a consecutive 4-7-3-6-2-5-1 progression), apparently ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Some numbers in notation, what does it mean and how do I replicate it in Guitar Pro?

I am trying to copy a page of (guitar) music notation to Guitar Pro, but I am a bit confused about what the numbers above ( "4" "3" "2" "3") and numbers in circles ("3" "2") mean... as well as how do ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

8 under clef and timing questions

Please look at the below graphic, there are a few things that are confusing me: 1 - Why is there an 8 under the treble clef? 2 - This is in common 4/4 time, yet one of the beginning 8th notes (in ...