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

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6
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2answers
618 views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I ...
6
votes
3answers
961 views

How to identify key changes?

I have learned music theory from the internet, but I have this question that how to come to know that where one key starts and other end when I am reading the music sheet. For example, in Minuet In ...
3
votes
3answers
102 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
168 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
400 views

How to analyze chord progressions in tonal music?

I've been told that you have to analyze progressions according to the key at the end, despite how many keys/tonality that precede it. Is this true? If a composition contains one key in long ...
13
votes
2answers
7k views

What is a “Circle of Fourths” chord progression?

Are there any examples of songs that employ a Circle of Fourths that I might be able to practice along with? How does the progression tie in with different scales?
1
vote
1answer
50 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?
3
votes
5answers
310 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
329 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
360 views

Which other chords are considered equivalent or function like a V7?

A dominant seventh chord as the fifth degree of a key (notated V7) is often used to build a cadence back to the tonic. With that function in mind, I've seen people refer to other chords as "it ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Knowing what chord to play next?

This is a question I've had for a long time but I've never really found the answer other than following some suggestions on chord sequences like 1,3,2,5 and 1,4,5, but I'm sure there must be another ...
0
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
11k views

Classical music theory notation for chord inversions (figured bass)

In classical music harmony analysis, we see the chord inversions notated like I6/4, I6, V4/3. Examples: What are those numbers? How do they define the inversion? What's the theory behind using ...
13
votes
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?
4
votes
3answers
202 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
502 views

What is the name of the interval Db - D#?

I know that Db - Eb is a major second/diminished third. What is the interval Db - D# called (and why)? EDIT: oops, Db - Eb is NOT a diminished third.
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
654 views

What is the definition of counterpoint?

We see the concept of counterpoint in many contexts, from classical music composition to jazz improvisation. What is the definition of counterpoint?
2
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
261 views

Is it necessary to learn a new scale to improvise over it?

I'm a beginning guitar theory learner and I'm confused about certain things when improvising/soloing/figuring songs out. I've just started learning, and certain things seem hard to imagine. Let's say ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Melody improvisation over chords

My question deals with what scale to play over a given chord progression. For example, consider a progression containing I,II,IV,V in C. I.e., the rhythm guitar is playing C, Dmin, F, and G... My ...
3
votes
5answers
210 views

V chord becoming 7th? minor key

Im listening / looking at a song that is in the key of e minor And the chords for the song are just Em B7 Am Now..im no expert but from my theory i learnt a while back for a minor key thr chords ...
1
vote
5answers
263 views

Is there a constant relation between a song notes and its chords progression?

Please forgive me in advance if I am using the wrong terms to describe something, I am not a professional musician. Sometimes I can play a song notes on the guitar (same notes the singer sings) and ...
8
votes
5answers
404 views

The Tritone - is it a #4 or a b5?

Generally, in Blues and jazz, the oft-used tritone (C to F#/Gb) is referred to as a b5. Why is this a better term than #4? In the Blues scale, there will always be two notes of the same name, but why ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Tritone as a passing note

Can a tritone be used as a passing note? (say in key of C, going from note C to G).
0
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the best way to develop a theoretical approach to practical harmony for guitar?

I am playing guitar approximately ten years but I know only basic harmony and rhythm guitar. I want to develop theoretical and practical harmony. What can I do for this?
1
vote
4answers
216 views

Book recommendations to understand theory and harmony of music. Classical, Jazz, R&B everything :)

Short story: I have started playing piano about 1.5 years ago. I miss only a few days without practise apart from being ill, on holiday, visiting family etc. I practice like crazy. My wife who ...
4
votes
1answer
92 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
10k 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
237 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
115 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
783 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?
12
votes
6answers
12k 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
201 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
76 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
11k 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
9k 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
votes
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 ...
9
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
273 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
82 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
543 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
241 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
198 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 ...
28
votes
11answers
12k 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
235 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 ...