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

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3answers
577 views

AP Music Theory

I'd like to self-study for the Advanced Placement Music Theory Examination in the United States of America (offered by the College Board, a nonprofit corporation in the USA). This is an examination ...
3
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1answer
80 views

Alternatives to standard western notation geared towards composers?

While the western standard for music notation is good for both composers and performers alike, there are certain areas where it is lacking, especially when it comes to new developments in music ...
3
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7answers
884 views

Will a song written in a key only use chords in that key?

When you figure out a key that a song is written in. Will the entire song use the chords in that key? With maybe an accidental?? I've tried several different methods.
3
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1answer
90 views

Is there a term in Western music theory for the underlying mood of a music genre?

Though this doesn't seem to apply to all music genres, I get the impression that some of them have an "underlying mood". For instance, flamenco (the genre I specialize in) has strong melancholy ...
0
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1answer
63 views

What's the term for rapidly blending two pitches a single time in a beat?

Here's some examples of what I mean: A chiptune song's lead synth (@ 0:31) A song from Touhou (@ 0:51) Is there a general term for this? Is the term for the vocals version different to the term for ...
-1
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1answer
77 views

Why do Open Tunings work? [closed]

Anyone have any idea why open tunings with the A and E low strings in unison and changing the rest of the strings based on tonality works for playing (where you are only fretting with one finger or ...
3
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2answers
336 views

How to analyze a chord from Beethoven sonata no 8 (Pathetique)

Looking at a chord towards the end of the development in measure 169, beat 2, spelled C♯-E-A♭ over the G pedal. How would you analyze this in the context of the harmonic progression at ...
2
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2answers
151 views

Are these “power chords” in a classical composition?

I've been trying to figure out the chord progression from the beginning of this Mussorgsky piece (orchestrated by Shostakovich, link below) and I'm just curious if I'm getting things right. The chords ...
1
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0answers
23 views

Beginnging Music Theory - What are scales and why should I learn them? [duplicate]

Background I'm looking for help with respect to where I could start learning music in general as a guitarist. I can play some simple songs and melodies I taught myself, understand what notes map to ...
3
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2answers
138 views

“crescendo” vs hair pin

symphony no.1 movement 1 page 16 by the string sections Working on Peter I. Tchaikovsky first symphony manuscript Conductor score. I came to a interesting observation. On the same page all ...
0
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3answers
92 views

Diminished and augmented key signature

Now I know that augmented chords and diminished chords are dissonant normally. Arpeggiate it and it is much more consonant. 3rd octave and it is much more consonant. But can you actually have ...
2
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4answers
328 views

Is this a C chord or an Em chord?

A nice little progression on acoustic guitar is to play a regular C chord (omit/mute the bottom E string), then slide your 3rd finger (A string) from the 3rd fret (C) to the 2nd (B), then play Am7 ...
1
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1answer
118 views

Mark Levine the jazz theory versus the jazz piano book

I currently own the jazz theory book by mark levine. It's very informative and I'm sure it's gonna take me a few years to get the best out of it, but I wonder is it still worth getting the jazz piano ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Tonality of a song given some chords

I have this notes I extracted from a song using Adobe Audition’s frequency analysis. D F# A C# (Dmaj7) E G B D (Em7) F# A C# E (F#m7) G B D F# (Gmaj7) A C# E G (A7) B D F# A (Bm7) C# E G B ...
3
votes
7answers
925 views

Can a symphony be in many keys?

First of all, please excuse me for my bad musical vocabulary usages. I'm working on an information-system for music, and I'm trying to understand some basic concepts in order to move on in my ...
3
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3answers
101 views

Gregorian modes in Renaissance music (with Cabezón's 'Tiento del Cuarto Tono' as an example)

I'd like to ask a question on how Gregorian modes were transformed during Renaissance using a piece of Antonio de Cabezón as an example. His 'Tiento del Cuarto Tono' is written in mode 4, which is, as ...
0
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0answers
12 views

Books to start playing Piano? [duplicate]

I'm a guitar player and I would like to know a good starting book for piano. I have some music knowledge acquired with years of guitar theory. I did my research and I did find some interesting books ...
2
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2answers
153 views

Playing barre chords without E strings - does it have a name?

Many rock bands play barre chords without the E strings. Is there a name for that? For example, the F chord at 1:27. A normal F chord normally contains more notes. The last string is muted. I heard ...
1
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2answers
92 views

guitar beginner level - chord voicings

I have been playing guitar for a few years and lately I have been studying some music theory. So what is the difference between playing the bmaj chord with the root note in the fifth string (A string) ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

In what octave am I supposed to play a chord progression?

If someone asks me to play I VI II IV in C minor, am I supposed to play them in the same octave? Like, if I start with C minor in the third octave, do I then move 6 steps up to play G# major or can I ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Does a chord imply a change in the key signature?

I was looking at Cold Duck Time : Where the key signature is F major. On the second bar, the bass line says that the A is to be played natural. The key signature doesn't have Ab, but the chord ...
11
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Did baroque composers think of ritardando on their compositions?

I've been always told that whenever I play any baroque piece on the piano, I should take special care when attending to, for example, the amount of right pedal I should use. It sounded perfectly ...
9
votes
2answers
376 views

Do capable harmony singers sing in just intonation or tempered tuning?

I understand that the mathematical frequency ratios between certain intervals will correlate with the overtones that are present when a note sounds in a fundamental frequency. Certain predictable ...
3
votes
3answers
262 views

Does a key signature remain the same after a clef change?

Does a key signature stay the same after a clef change? I have provided an example; it is in the second staff of the lower system as indicated by the blue arrow.
3
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3answers
167 views

Why is a major second not called a perfect second? [duplicate]

Apart from a second, intervals can be described as either {Diminished, Perfect, Augmented} or {Dim, Minor, Major, Aug} depending on whether or not the major and minor scale share that interval. For ...
5
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2answers
400 views

7th chord notation confusion

I simply cannot understand the notation used in this question: I need to express this chord in 4-part, open or closed position; I just can't seem to understand how the notation works. I know that ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Is F Lydian mode in the “key” of C Major?

I would assume that many would agree that if we have a piece of music and there are no sharps or flats in the key signature that in most cases (if not all) the piece would be considered in the key of ...
2
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2answers
60 views

Soloing / leads over chord progression with vi chord a major 7th?

I've written a song that's based largely around G major, with some C major parts. However, the G major progression utilizes a B7 chord, so it sits outside a normal G major scale. I've heard lots of ...
0
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2answers
113 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why D sharp not E flat in Turkish March

I'm analyzing Mozart's Turkish March piece for the piano. As I see in measure 18 the harmony is F7 (fourth) with minor seven. Assuming it is a minor seven because the harmony is F7 why they thought ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Transformative vs Generative in Algorithmic Composition

What's the difference between generative and transformative algorithms in relation to algorithmic composition of music? As I understand the basic idea of the algorithms themselves, generative uses ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Traits of calypso music?

I'd like to compose my own calypso music, but I've not been exposed to enough calypso in my lifetime to be able to do so intuitively. Of course, calypso is instantly recognisable as such, but why? ...
4
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2answers
88 views

What do the ratios of the partials in inharmonic spectra deviate from?

There is a paragraph where author talks about harmonic and inharmonic spectra, and he points out that the harmonic spectra have partials that deviate from the precise ratios (for example the term ...
0
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2answers
150 views

Piano chord made of 2 notes an octave apart

How can one build a chord made of 2 notes an octave apart from more basic chords, inversions, and deletions? E.g: a chord made of C-C. For example, one can smoothen a V7 chord by omitting the 5th and ...
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3answers
124 views

Why are certain scales considered unstable?

The Locrian Mode is considered unstable - my question is what in it makes it unstable? What makes a scale stable (have better relation between the keys)?
0
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1answer
57 views

How would this woodwind's shape affect its sound?

So, hopefully this question doesn't sound too vague, maybe I can completely explain it here. I have been trying to invent a theoretical instrument that has three main parts to it. The middle piece is ...
3
votes
1answer
492 views

c#-minor Vs E-major for Moonlight Sonata

I see Moonlight sonata often referred to as being in the key signature of c#-minor. I am beginning to learn music and just learning about key signatures and I would have referred to the key signature ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Why are major and minor harmonies multiple orders of magnitude more common than modal harmony? [duplicate]

At least for Western music of the past 300 years, it has been far more common for music to have major or minor scales as their basis of harmony, as opposed to a modal harmony. Is there a reason modal ...
1
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3answers
148 views

Confusion about using scales and modes together in a solo?

Ok so my music theory knowledge is limited. I have been playing guitar for a couple of years now, mostly by ear and I often struggle in applying theory. While writing a solo I wondered whether I ...
4
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2answers
284 views

I've played piano for three years and have never seen this symbol above a note, what is it?

Really freaked me out when I saw something this uncommon in a beginner song. It's piano solo music if you need that info.
0
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2answers
79 views

confused about modes and the proper way to use them in my playing

I was wondering if someone could explain to me the correct way to play and use modes. some websites that I use to teach myself about them say that (in relation to C major) the Dorian would simply be: ...
13
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4answers
1k views

Distinction between same notes played on different strings

While playing a particular piece (not chords, fingerpicking/single note playing) on my ukulele (or as far as the question is concerned, any similar instrument), I use the standard notation and then ...
2
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6answers
563 views

What key could the progression Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E be in?

A friend is writing a song that begins with the following chord progression: Dmaj7-A-Esus4-E, and then repeats. I changed it to this (just trying things out): Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E. The two A ...
1
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1answer
718 views

Transposing notes from piano notation to play on guitar

I have music theory book that is piano centered and switches between bass and violin clefs. I'm wondering how to transpose notes to comfortably play it on guitar. Moving one octave up is best way? ...
0
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1answer
89 views

Do I have perfect or relative pitch? [closed]

Okay, I fully understand the definitions and differences between perfect and relative pitch, but I've still been wondering what I have because I feel like my abiities fit neither. To make things ...
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2answers
121 views

Roman numerals analysis

I'm studying music theory in https://www.musictheory.net I have reach a point where the roman numeral analysis is explained. A couple of lessons later, I found the next image: I really can't make ...
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1answer
73 views

Song is described as C# is this C# major, minor or?

I am learning to play "Every praise by Hezekiah Walker" and the gentleman in the video describes the song in C# with the chords F, Eb, F#, is he referring to C# Major or Minor? I understand C# is ...
5
votes
3answers
758 views

Is two singing voices occasionaly being unison “allowed”?

I was writing a lower harmony to an existing (rock) lead voice with a given chord progression and there is a point in time, where it seems like the two voices need to sing the very same note. The only ...
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4answers
92 views

Em9-A-B progression - would you consider that a key change?

From a theory perspective, does a repeated R&B progression like Em9-A-B count as a key change occurring over and over, or a I-IV-V progression with a seriously modified I chord (from major to ...