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

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What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them make me a better guitarist? [closed]

I found a similar question on SE already, but it still didn't adequately explain what I'm trying to figure out, so here goes: What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them ...
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4answers
222 views

Why is the 3rd omitted from common G Maj 7 shapes in guitar?

I'm reading that Major 7 is : 1-3-5-7. But most G Maj 7 stuff i see does not have the third. Mainly because keeping a third(2nd fret, 5th string, standard tuning) results in a difficult to hold ...
2
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3answers
55 views

I don't understand dominant 7ths in cadences

I am confused with the following passage: Dominants are associated with a strong urge to resolve to their next chord in the circle of fifths. This particular sequence, E7 A7 Dm (or V7/V-V7-i) ...
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1answer
50 views

“Spoiled” suspension

What is the theoretical term for the voice-leading phenomenon whereby the note that a suspension is expected to resolve to appears in another voice on the same beat that the suspension begins? You can ...
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2answers
44 views

Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh

The Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh instead of a minor seventh is formed by: a root a minor second a major third a fourth a fifth a minor sixth a major seventh. My questions are: ...
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3answers
132 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
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2answers
91 views

How long is Staccato?

Question for skimmers: how do we know when to play portamento/portato or a dry staccato? Is it based on a date or composer? Or is a half-staccato still common practice? Sometime in college I played ...
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3answers
109 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 ...
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2answers
138 views

How Do Time Signatures Affect a Song?

I've never really understood time signatures and why there are different ones. Just trying to get a better understanding of them. If you are just changing how you count it, how does that translate ...
2
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2answers
68 views

Voice-leading and Composition

This is a follow up to a post I made a couple of months ago regarding the way the four-part harmony voice-leading, taught in most harmony texts, is to be understood in relation to composition. In the ...
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2answers
64 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.
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1answer
63 views

How to tell binary form from ternary form?

I know that binary form has 2 equal sections (AB) and ternary has 3 (ABA), but because my piece of ABA form music has 6 bars and can be divided into 3 equal sections, it means that the same total ...
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6answers
298 views

Normal chords are boring, I want more!

Playing for example, pop songs can be boring, max 6 chords are used. When I listen to pro players, they add more weird, dissonant chords while transiting from one of that 6 chords to another. Now, ...
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1answer
260 views

How does it make sense to leave the root out of a chord?

Chord names can include information about notes to be left out, for instance no5, no3 or even nr (for no root). - Bob Broadley on "Are the names for these chords valid?", May 29 2015 How can a ...
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1answer
187 views

What is it called when the note pattern is the same in each bar but the actual pitch and note are different?

I have a question for music theory asking me about what I notice about the rhythm in bars 3-6 and the note pattern is the same : crotchet, 4 quavers, crotchet, minim. But the actual name of the note ...
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3answers
56 views

What's a “chord register”?

Someone said: "When you're doing more than one person who does the rhythm part, do your chord in another register, maybe higher or maybe lower." What's really the definition of the "register" ...
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2answers
129 views

Why does the Hendrix E7#9 chord sound good?

The Hendrix chord contains both a flat 10th/sharp 9th, which are a half step (plus an octave) apart from the major third. From a classical harmony standpoint, those two notes in the same chord should ...
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3answers
136 views

Chord progressions : which note resolves to which note

In the key of C , going from G to C, note B resolves strongly to note C. How should the note D resolve? (To note C or E? I guess it should be to note C, assuming the key note has higher "priority". ...
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1answer
52 views

Priority of Da Coda vs. Repeat sign

There are three different cases I can think of, with a Da Coda embedded within repeat signs. My question for these three cases is the same: Do you jump to the Coda right when you reach the Da Coda or ...
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3answers
648 views

What is the difference between a “triplet” and a “trill”

This may be an easy question... but I have limited Theory knowledge so... I have heard the word Trill being used to describe a method of adding multiple notes into one beat. Now from what I ...
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3answers
2k views

Whole bar rest in 6/8 time?

Can one expect to find a semibreve rest in 6/8 compound time?
2
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1answer
100 views

How are keys in the circle of fifths related?

I know this seems like a basic question, and in the traditional sense, I actually know how their related. Though, whilst reading a book titled 'harmony for computer musicians', I've come across a ...
8
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1answer
122 views

Scales in modal versus tonal music

When tonal music replaced modal music, why were 6 of the 8 scales (modes) used in modal music abandoned in favor of only two, major and minor? Superficially this would look like a reduction in the ...
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2answers
150 views

Are the names for these chords valid?

I came up with these chord names, but I don't know if they are right: 1st chord c d# F# G# B = cmM7add-13b5 --- cmm7 = c d# B... add-13 = g#<< min 6 without 11th.... b5 = actual 5th lowered ...
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1answer
163 views

What is a bebop enclosure?

One of the cornerstones of the bebop style is the bebop enclosure. What is it? How is it used in improvisation? What effect does it have?
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4answers
3k views

Physics behind why a bugle can play several notes, while a whistle only plays one note

A bugle and a whistle are essentially both tubes open at both ends. A bugle has no keys, yet you can play several notes on it. A whistle also has no keys, but it only plays a single note. Why is this? ...
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1answer
30 views

Motifs in Bartók's 5th Quartet

I'm doing a motific analysis of the first movement of Bartók's 5th Quartet and I've traced almost everything. The only bit which bothers me occurs at bar 82, then again at bar 177 where it forms the ...
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1answer
134 views

Is sensitive a vaild alternative name for the leading tone?

I was reading the sample version of Modern Harmony Step By Step and one passage caught my eye: In the passage above it seems that what is typically referred to as the leading tone is revered to as ...
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2answers
103 views

How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the phrygian mode?

My question is: How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the Phrygian mode? I have seen many discuss the circle of fifths using Majors and minors but ...
3
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5answers
141 views

How to enter in jazz theory

Maybe this question has been asked before. I could not find. I am self-learned amateur guitar player. I play for quite long time (around 10 years) and not playing jazz/blues bad but I feel not ...
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3answers
135 views

Modern Harmonic Movements

I know quite a bit about the progression of harmony during the common practice period and up to basic jazz theory, but anything beyond the early 20th century just drops off for me. I know a little ...
5
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1answer
372 views

What is melodic inversion and how to do it?

I understood how to invert the chords (moving the bass note an octave above). When it comes to melodies I have seen many examples on the net but cant seem to understand the idea behind it. This ...
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3answers
136 views

How does one choose the correct time signature to match the tempo and vice versa?

I am having quite some difficulty trying to determine the correct time signature as well as the tempo to match the rythm of the song I am trying to write for. It's not so much that I don't have an ...
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1answer
220 views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
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3answers
89 views

What are common analytic techniques for identifying phrases in music?

I understand that the concept of "phrase" is not always very well defined, and that there contrasting "intuitive" and "analytical" ways of thinking about music phrases and phrasing, per Wikipedia. ...
2
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1answer
77 views

How can I identify Gregorian modes in Bach music?

I'm learning these Gregorian modes things and I'm trying to identify these modes in a Bach music, Invention 8 F Major, for example: The music starts at F in Ionian mode. But I think It changes when ...
3
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3answers
177 views

What are the official modes from Ionian to Locrian?

I am having some confusion is respects to the formal definition of what the various modes are. I know that their defined in relation to their scale, however, I've come to realise this may not be best ...
3
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3answers
112 views

Does the bass always have to harmonise with the lead?

I have written a half decent lead, at least for my level, and I am now trying to harmonise a bass with it. I am employing one of the most basic kind of methods to achieve this - playing the root note ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there an explicit number of 'notes' in microtonal music/scales?

Western music consists of 12 unique notes that are repeated across octaves. Is there any set number of unique notes in microtonal music? Or does the number of notes vary depending on the octave?
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2answers
128 views

Diatonic substitution and upper-structure triads for minor chords

I'm going through Garrison Fewell's "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar - A Harmonic Approach". The start of Chapter 1 reads: Triad substitution is the use of triads derived from the chord tones and ...
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5answers
329 views

Why are pure tones depicted as sine waves?

This is pretty much the only thing in music theory (that i've covered so far) that I cannot understand. What I would expect to hear, is what you get from LFO, or Low Frequency Oscillator represented ...
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3answers
380 views

Is it too late to learn music theory and composition?

I have been playing electric guitar for 5 years and have pretty decent technique. I have a decent ear too (I'm still improving it). I listened to rock guitar virtuosos like Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul ...
2
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5answers
263 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 ...
2
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6answers
199 views

Grand Staff using the Bass Clef and Treble Alto-Tenor Clef

Does anybody have any additional information regarding the origins and usage of the Treble Alto-Tenor Clef symbol? I found it in the late Gardner Read's book on Music Notation, and beyond that - ...
14
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8answers
2k views

The practical difference between 2/2 and 2/4 time [duplicate]

In practice, what is the difference between 2/2 and 2/4? Doesn't the emphasis fall in the same place either way?
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1answer
54 views

Terminology: note and “note class”

In music, the term note sometimes refers to a note in a specific octave (like "C♯4") and sometimes to the set of all notes with the same name, regardless of octave (like "C♯"). Which terms should one ...
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1answer
88 views

Understanding metal guitar music writing structure [closed]

I have a software package called TuxGuitar. (Any track writing software will be similar) I can write drum tracks on it no problem. but when it comes to writing guitar tracks I seem to be making a lot ...
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3answers
211 views

Scale degree in minor key

I am just beginning my ear training and I have a question about hearing minor scales. Music theory tells me that minor scale degrees work similarly to major scale degrees. For example in the key of ...
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1answer
87 views

Music Harmonic analysis: Chord identification

I'm struggling with identifying the chords in these measures because the notes on the base clef staff are not part of the chord in the top staff. This piece is in F# minor, so the top chords by ...
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4answers
253 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 ...