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

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2
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5answers
719 views

Can I say all black keys are enharmonic equivalents?

I just started reading a piano book (Pinao Lessons by Mantius Cazaubon). In chapter 1 explaining about keys and notes in the sections of The Black Keys and The White Keys. It is very clear from first ...
1
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1answer
65 views

What is the technical term for a quick pitch change / 'pleading' sound?

I was wondering what the technical term for this style of singing. The singer quickly changes the pitch (I think it exclusively goes up). In the forth example it made me think that it might be a ...
1
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3answers
89 views

Can you remove harmony from counterpoint?

For example, two melodies at once but one melody is only on the on beats while the other is only on the off beats, does this remove the harmony from counterpoint?
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the melodic minor scale with a flattened 5 called?

I can't find the answer anywhere on the internet. Except for that it can be seen as a whole-half scale with the sixth note left out. However this explanation doesn't satisfy my desire for an official ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Ear Training: How to figure out the key signature and chords used in a song

I have just started learning music but i find it very difficult to recognize the chords used in a song and its key signature when it seems to be far too easy a task for other students. Is there any ...
3
votes
3answers
185 views

Using multiple scales in ONE Song

Currently I am in the process of learning theory to be able to compose rap beats more efficiently and I have one question regarding (minor) scales. I know the formulas for natural, minor and harmonic ...
0
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2answers
189 views

How do I play B# and C at the same time?

Several times now, a piece I'm playing has asked me to play B# and C or E# and F at the same time. I'm very confused at what's this supposed to mean? The key is G minor/B flat, or 2 flats. Can anyone ...
2
votes
3answers
140 views

Ornaments in J. S. Bach's 4th prelude

Inverted mordents and turns are frequently used in the prelude No.4 of J.S. Bach in C-sharp minor. In what follows I assume the key of the piece is known. My first question is related to the normal ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Name for scale contain the notes C, D, E, F G#, A, A#

Is this an actual scale mode, like Phrygian, Locrian, etc, or is it just a constructed scale? C, D, E, F G#, A, A# (C) So, root, major second, major third, perfect forth, augmented fifth, major ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Why the same pitches are called differently in music theory [duplicate]

Here are the keys of the chromatic scale containing 12 pitches: | C | C# | D | D# | E | F | F# | G | G# | A | A# | B | |---+----+---+----+---+---+----+---+----+---+----+----+ | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

When did the half-step/whole-step modulation in the middle of a song become popular?

Many pop songs in modern times will use a half step or a whole step modulation in the middle of a song in order to increase excitement. I would like to know when this strategy started, and if it is ...
3
votes
4answers
378 views

From Scales and Chords Theory to a chord Progression

I'm a beginner at music theory and started learning it just about a week ago. The whole thing with the piano scales and chords is really difficult to understand, but I have a lot of fun learning it. ...
4
votes
6answers
145 views

How do time signatures relay information on the grouping of beats?

I'm trying my best to understand musical meter, but it's just not making sense to me. In particular, I don't understand how one might deduce from the two numbers in the time signature (i.e. 3/4 or 4/4 ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

What is the difference between alto and tenor saxophone in the lines they produce? [closed]

Sometimes I hear musical jazz mentors say to the saxophone player, "You are playing the tenor saxophone like an alto one, please play the tenor like a tenor". What do they mean by these words? I know ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Substituting all chords with relative minor/major…?

I was mucking around with Oasis' "Don't look back in anger" on the acoustic guitar/vocals. I was using these chords, but on capo 4 as I reworked the song a bit: ...
3
votes
4answers
101 views

“The” versus “a” diatonic scale

A diatonic scale is defined as an ordered collection of pitches. However, given the many modes of the diatonic scales, what is meant when someone says "the" diatonic scale? Wikipedia says it's an ...
3
votes
4answers
182 views

Music Theory Classification Systems

For musical instruments there are a number of hierarchical classification systems in use worldwide, amongst them the well-known but somewhat limited Hornbostel-Sachs system. I find myself wondering ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

What is the most convoluted standard musical form?

In musical composition, we tend to reuse sections of a piece in patterns that are referred to as "musical forms". Some basic examples of these that I know of are ABA, AABA, ABAB, and the rondo form ...
4
votes
5answers
114 views

Learning while recovering from tendonitis

I've recently developed some tendonitis in both hands and will be significantly reducing my practice hours for about a month (hopefully!). I had been putting in a lot of hours before with my ...
5
votes
2answers
137 views

Theory behind Bach's deviations from the scale

It's very common to see in Bach's work, that he follows a particular scale but then in a special moment, uses a chromatic alteration. What I have observed is that he usually does it when reversing the ...
4
votes
6answers
162 views

Intervals for music

I have a question concerning the intervals on a piano Between A flat and G, is it a Major 7th or Minor 7th? It seems both scales have the same note.
3
votes
5answers
188 views

Why does the minor scale have modes?

My knowledge of music theory is very limited at the moment. I'm in the process of learning about scales and modes. I've learned that the major scale has a mode for every degree of the scale. The 6th ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

Rahn Atonal Prime Form Confusion

A review via the mark I eyeball of the prime form tables in "Basic Atonal Theory" (Rahn, 1980) versus modern software calculations of the prime form yields some differences; are these errors in ...
2
votes
4answers
302 views

Tonal harmony, counting intervals and confusing about Perfect Fifth in C Major

Distance from E to F is a half step because no other notes fall between them. Why are we using the G note as a perfect fifth in C Major chord? Shouldn't be G sharp?
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vote
2answers
106 views

Has anyone done any work specific to experimenting/creating formulaic math evaluations for the purpose of defining musical patterns?

I realize the question may sound too broad or unclear but specifically, I was recently thinking that you could take a certain genre of music, or a certain composers' works, and mathematically define ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Modulation via a major chord, then another major chord a half step down

In Nick Cave's "Darker With The Day", there's a modulation at the end of the chorus which sounds very good (to me), but I don't understand why it works. The verse is more or less in G major: GM ...
7
votes
4answers
749 views

Is it possible to have a note that is both dotted and a triplet?

Basically, I am coding a C# function that returns a number of milliseconds depending on the given note. I was wondering if it's possible to have a note that is both dotted and a triplet, it would be ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Why is the Phrygian Dominant Scale thusly named?

I recently started experimenting with the Phrygian dominant scale. As I understand, it is the 5th mode of a harmonic minor scale. For example an A Phrygian Dominant consists of the notes ...
2
votes
3answers
68 views

Which of two enharmonic note names to use? [duplicate]

If during composition, an accidental note is used, is there a method/reason for using one name instead of the other? For example if a song is in the key of A, but a Eflat/D# note is written is there ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

Music Theory, Circle of Fifth, Chords that fit, Exceptions and example song “Sultans of Swing”

I am playing guitar for some years now, mostly self-taught. I had never studied that much of music theory, but now as I want to improve my improvisation skill and want to get a broader view I started ...
8
votes
2answers
297 views

What's the caged system good for?

So I see a lot of people talking about how the caged system us good because It connects scales with chords, what I don't understand is that If I'm playing A major scale Caged system helps me find all ...
4
votes
7answers
584 views

Why does a minor sixth chord contain a major 6th interval?

This is something that has always puzzled me. Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way but when I build chords I always build them based on the scale that corresponds to the quality of the chord. ...
0
votes
1answer
119 views

Improvisation Technique and Theory Over Modal Sus or slash chords

i would like to understand how to improvise over a Modal Sus chord progression. As an example you can look at the video down here at 3"00. There Begins a Improvisation by a Keyboarder and later a ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

Why are the harmonic and melodic minor scales called what they are?

Does the harmonic minor have something to do with harmony, and does the melodic minor have something to do with melody? I searched this question on Google and nothing came up.
3
votes
3answers
178 views

How does one establish a key? What are the criteria?

I am reading 'Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony' by Tchaikovsky. On page 63, he says to pass from one key into another it is not sufficient merely to employ a number of chords not belonging ...
5
votes
4answers
367 views

Are chord progressions based off of one chord used?

I was fiddling around with chords on the guitar and "variations" of the D chord. After a bit I noticed the following progression was pretty good: D - Dsus2 - D6 - Dsus4 In tabs it is: D ...
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vote
1answer
99 views

Question on blues chords

In most blues the chords are I-IV-V. I am learning Help me through the day by Freddie King. I looked at the intro of this song and the chords are B minor, E minor and F sharp 7th. What key signature ...
3
votes
3answers
319 views

Modulating from E Minor to C Minor

I'm struggling to get from E Minor to a Bbsus chord. Once I get there, my modulation to C minor is good but I'm struggling to find something that moves me smoothly to the Bbsus. Any thoughts?
3
votes
2answers
372 views

Open/Close Position Chords: What I am missing?

Working through Hindemith's harmony I encountered the following diagram of all the valid positions for a C-Major chord in strict four-part writing. I am befuddled as to why the third chord in the ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is the 2nd note of a chord called major third?

On a piano, the root note of the C major chord is referred to as 1. The second note played is E, which is actually the fifth key when starting at C. Not 3? Yes this makes senses to call it a 3 when ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any “research” in music theory?

A researcher in, say, mathematics, conducts research in the form of proving theorems, laying out foundations for new theories, etc. But what do, for example, PhD candidates do in music theory? Split ...
5
votes
5answers
134 views

Are the inharmonic frequencies of an instrument in addition to or instead of the theoretical overtone frequencies?

I'm working on some computer code to detect musical notes and have just found out about in-harmonics (up until now I was under the impression that the overtones were always integer multiples of the ...
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votes
3answers
79 views

Is a composition of a major triad constant in a key

If you have a C major triad with a root, 3rd and 5th in the key of C major, would a G major triad still be composed of a root, 3rd and a 5th?
3
votes
7answers
176 views

Why are there major and minor intervals?

I'm clearly thinking about this wrong, because it just doesn't make any sense to me. The way I'm mentally modelling intervals, a minor second should just be named a second (interval encompassing 2 ...
-5
votes
1answer
96 views

Music theory. HELP! [closed]

Guys I have music homework due in on the 14th of September. I need to know what the time signature is for a minim and a crotchet. The minim's number of beats is 4. the crotchet's number of beats is ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

What is such deviation and reconciliation called?

Can anybody please suggest what it is called when different instruments that play in an agreement to the melody, suddenly deviate from each other by couple of notes creating an asymmetry and then ...
4
votes
2answers
271 views

What are the characteristics of medieval music? [closed]

What I would like to know is what make medieval music sounds the way it sounds? What are its characteristics? Are there some specific keys? Are there some specific modes? What about rythms? I ...
2
votes
6answers
729 views

classical guitar - how hard is it to learn new songs

I have no musical knowledge, am just able to hold a few chords. I am trying to learn the classical guitar tab of a song i really like. I see in the tab many combinations of notes being played ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Do different instruments playing single notes simultaneously form a chord?

Wikipedia says about chords: A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. The Glossary of musical terms by naxos.com defines a ...
3
votes
2answers
303 views

Why do composers use fermatas?

I am taking part in a music theory course on coursera, and I could not understand the difference between a tie and a fermata. Could someone please explain it to me?