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

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35
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do people sometimes write notes as E♯ or C♭?

Instead of writing F or B, sometimes people use E♯ or C♭ to write these notes. Are there any advantages to this notation?
36
votes
14answers
14k views

Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

How to play the bass and chord on piano?

actually im a beginner in music, but not that beginner, I know some chord and music theory, but I got doubt when I was playing keyboard, how to play the bass? is the bass in the left hand? and is the ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

How to start composing music? [closed]

I am a guitarist with enough information about music theory,little information about harmony. To expreince a music composition,I want to compose a very very simple Pop-Rock music... But i don't ...
2
votes
3answers
84 views

How much theory and how much transcribing?

I am a classically trained pianist, and I consider myself to be decent at playing. However I'm a poor sight in jazz, which is something that I really like. This summer I plan to study jazz thoroughly, ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Why do we remember music better? [closed]

I know by experience that we remember things better through music. How is it that we remember music better than regular speaking? What is unique about our brains that allow us to do this?
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Difference between a key and a scale [duplicate]

I am just getting into trying to learn music theory and am having some trouble differentiating the difference between what a key and a scale is. I have been told that they are different but do not ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What defines an instrument? [closed]

Can we argue that us stamping our foot on the ground is an instrument? What truly defines an instrument in the theology of music? We know that a piano is a musical instrument, but couldn't anything ...
2
votes
5answers
317 views

Magen Avot Scale - Indigenous Recordings

In a purely theoretical space, I noticed some interesting properties of a scale which I determined to be the Magen Avot Scale. The scale I am interested in is: C Db D# E F# G# A B or 1 b2 #2 3 #...
3
votes
4answers
87 views

Does anyone have any sources I could use to talk about who influenced Bach?

I am writing an essay about the synthesis of music theory Bach used to create his own music theory, especially in his fugal works. Any help would be appreciated, but if people could provide sources ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What's the ''rock rhythm'' like?

Every genre of music has its own rhythm, but I never understood the rock one. Theoretically, it's: one, TWO, three, FOUR but it's never this sequence. It's something like: three weak beats on one, a ...
9
votes
5answers
8k views

How to differentiate between a diminished fifth and an augmented fourth interval?

Both are a tritone appart, both sound the same. How can we differentiate when an interval is an augmented fourth or a diminished fifth? Context: In voice leading we learn that when the spelling of ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Theory of scales in piano improvisation

I'm learning the piano and just learned two scales, A and C (and the theory as to how to make the other keys: WWHWWWH). Other than learning how to make major/minor/dim etc chords how else can I use ...
0
votes
3answers
317 views

Is it possible to learn music theory with MuseScore?

Please forgive me if it is a stupid question. I love music and used to play some violin when I was a child. But I did not have any formal education in music theory. During the years I have made ...
17
votes
6answers
975 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 ...
52
votes
9answers
19k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
73 views

book to learn music [closed]

I don't know anything about theoretical music, but i'm in love with classical music and by classical i mean baroque, classic and romantic era. I've been listen to them almost all my life (24 years ...
5
votes
2answers
133 views

How to correctly invert non-compound greater-than-octave intervals?

(A.S.: Assuming that "non-compound" means "contains eight or less degrees.") TL;DR: How to invert doubly augmented seventh? I've ran into inversion problem with greater-than-octave intervals (not ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

How to make a dal capo/segno include repeats?

I'm currently writing on musescore, and I have a problem getting the desired playback using dal segno: the second time through, repeat signs are ignored. According to this link, inner repeats in a ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

How to approach learning another guitarists solo?

I'm an intermediate guitar player looking for tips on how to best approach learning another musician's guitar solo. I've got a good grasp of the major/minor scales and modes, but I am missing ...
3
votes
6answers
3k 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
9answers
3k views

What are good resources for learning music theory?

What is a good resource for learning music theory, especially as it relates to the guitar, coming from a completely beginner's perspective? I had a musician friend try to teach me about modes such as ...
6
votes
2answers
370 views

Why Seven Principal Tones?

Why are there seven principal tones (A-G)? Just tradition? In the same vein, why are various sounds (of differing pitches) said to represent the same principal tone?
3
votes
4answers
214 views

Can someone please tell me why there are 5 different patterns to Penatonic scales

I mean if you can move them, why do you need more than one? All are movable up and down the fretboard? Right? So why does each need 5 patterns and how do you know which one to use? This has really ...
7
votes
5answers
292 views

Where does a “cresc. ” begin (end)?

I'm curious about the "cresc." sign . which one is getting louder , no.1 or no.2? and when does this cresc. end ? Does it end until the next sign come out ?
5
votes
3answers
299 views

Why does a melodic half step resolve on the higher note?

What is so special about a melodic half step that makes it "want" to go up (As in the leading tone to the tonic). Why isn't there as much resolution in a melodic half-step downwards?
6
votes
3answers
62 views

What is the difference between Taktteile and Taktglieder?

I am reading a book about Metric Manipulations by Danuta Mirka and the author refers to some German words. In this book, he writes that Takt refers to measure, Taktteile to parts of a measure, ...
2
votes
4answers
136 views

The last note and only the last note!

The phrase "Only the last note matters" or "the first and last" or "the first last and highest", etc... come up repeatedly throughout musical education. What, technically is going on when someone ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

What gives a piece of music its personality and feeling?

What makes a piece of music sound angry, dark, sad, happy, or otherwise? "La Chute" by Yann Tiersen sounds so angry to me and "A Dark Knight" from "The Dark Knight" movie sounds so dark and ...
1
vote
3answers
146 views

Melody notes over Chord progressions

Is there any way of knowing what note in a scale would fit with a chord, or is it all trial and error, or do you just have to have that not you play in the melody feature in the chord you are playing?
3
votes
3answers
618 views

How to grok 20th-century pop music as evolution of classical harmony

With sufficient training, a student of harmony may build forwards from Bach through Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc... understanding music of a period in terms of what has gone before. But it's going ...
16
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
410 views

Why do the notes of Melodic-Minor Scale change when you play it in descending order?

Okay I'll admit, I don't know everything about music theory but I was pretty sure that any given diatonic (7 note) scale contained particular notes that defined the scale and were unique to the scale ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

Calculating the 'Tonal Center of a Musical Key [closed]

Concerning the 'Tonal Center' and 'Parent Scale', it took quite a while for me to wrap my mind, around this concept. However, through continued effort, I have reached an understanding, and am able to ...
23
votes
9answers
10k views

Fast Chord Identification

How would someone go about identifying chords quickly and efficiently? While sight reading, I would often come up to some strange chord and try to decipher it. It normally takes me (what feels like) ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Why have I never found any music written in the key of C Sharp Major?

Music is written in almost every key that corresponds to every note that is on my piano keyboard. There is clearly a C Sharp (black key right of C) on my piano keyboard but I don't recall ever seeing ...
2
votes
3answers
153 views

Chord name does not match the notes it's written above

Sometimes I find the chords above a guitar tab hard to understand. For example, in this piece: There is a C chord written above the first bar even though the note beneath is a single open E-string ...
12
votes
2answers
221 views

What makes graduate-level music theory different from undergraduate-level music theory?

It's been years since I graduated with a music minor. My background consists of: Traditional two-semester sequence in music theory (basic notation to borrowed chords), i.e., Kostka/Payne Twentieth-...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Why is the key of C the one key with no sharps or flats? [duplicate]

It would seem like that would have been A from a logical stand point. Does anyone know the origin of this as to how music evolved this way with C being the so-called starter key? Just a curiosity on ...
3
votes
3answers
310 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
118 views

What is the difference between grouping overlaps and elisions?

I am reading "A Generative Theory of Tonal Music" by F. Lerdahl and R. Jackendoff and I don't understand the difference between grouping overlaps and elisions (this is explained in section 3.4). The ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Collective word for sharps and flats in the key signature

On a mailing list I'm subscribed to, someone recently asked what the collective name was in English for the sharps and flats you find in the key signature. Apparently, the closest translation from ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Why (Occidental) conventional rhythm notation became conventional? [closed]

Human languages evolve and adapt themselves to the needs (phonetics, auditory, contextual) of the users. To what extent has been showed that Occidental music notation followed that path? Is it ...
3
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
129 views

How are notated the sequences of durations (13/27, 1/27, 13/27) and (4/81, 259/1296, 1/1296)?

The sequence (13/27, 1/27, 13/27) sum to a whole note, and it derives (presumably) from triplets, while the sequence (4/81, 259/1296, 1/1296) sum to a quarter, and may derive from triplets (the first ...
5
votes
4answers
541 views

Is it possible that a music piece written in a “flat key signature” contains sharp-accidentals (and vice versa)?

E.g. the key signature G Major contains one sharp (which is why I consider it as a "sharp key signature"). Can a music piece written in G Major contain a Db? Or can it only be a C# because the key ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

Changing songs' chords to Arpeggios

I want to know how I change chords to Arpeggios in a song? For example how do you change (Somebody's me) by Enrique from chords to Arpeggios or single notes? Can you show me this or another example as ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Dropping the 5th degree and counting a C♯Dom7

I'm currently writing out (into a chord diagram book) all the different voicing/finger positions for the seventh chords. Some voicings are difficult to play and I so my initial thought was "oh, the ...
6
votes
4answers
189 views

Tonality and Rules

One can find many books on "tonality"during the common practice period. e.g., Piston. Tonality seems to be definable as the way in which composers express the chromatic scale in a organized way ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Are sharp keys “bright” and flat keys “dark”?

I was reading this book and on the "Circle of Fifths" chapter it claims that keys with sharp key signatures (C, G, D, ...) are "often though by musicians" to be "bright" sounding and those with flat ...