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

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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 ...
4
votes
3answers
620 views

Why does the chord progression Gmaj - F#maj - Amaj sound the way it does?

I really like the chord progression Gmaj - F#maj - Amaj ... (I think it can be written I, VII, II)? While all the chords are major, there is some sadness about it. What is the story behind this ...
4
votes
3answers
219 views

Is there an accepted way to numerically represent note values out of standard notation?

Say, a quarter note, how is it most commonly represented? "1/4"?, "quarter"? What if it's a dotted-note? It would be useful to have a simplified numeric representation for note values, e.g. the ...
29
votes
11answers
7k views

What is the difference between a “riff” and a “melody”?

How do I tell when a riff becomes a melody, or is it even important to know? Can you construct a song around a riff - what are some suggestions on how to construct a song in that manner?
3
votes
2answers
110 views

I am playing a song in D Major, and it contains an Am. How do I notate this in roman numerals?

I am learning music theory and I was told to transcribe some songs and also note the chords as roman numerals. The song I have is in the key of D Major, but contains an A minor, which to my ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Can one measure the “distance” between chords? If so, how?

I was reading an article an the author gave the following sequence of chords: C A7 Dm G C I would like to measure the "distance" if there is such a thing between C and A7. Can this be done? In ...
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6answers
27k views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature; even if different parts of the song have different time signatures, there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
20
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7answers
11k views

Why does the Dorian mode on C have two flats?

I'm studying scale modes and I just found on Wikipedia that the Dorian mode on C has two flats... Why is this? Because the Dorian mode is just the major scale (Ionian) starting from the second ...
5
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1answer
333 views

What is the math behind how keys/holes on woodwind instruments affect the pitch?

To make this question more specific, I'll provide an example of what I mean. Let's say you have an instrument that's just a tube you blow into, and it has one hole exactly halfway down the tube (I ...
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6answers
3k views

How to differentiate between 12/8 vs 6/8 timing (or hemiola)

How would a composer differentiate between a 12/8 and a 6/8 time signature? On 3/4 timing you'd have 3 quarter notes as your rhythm, on 6/8 you'd have 2 dotted quarter notes correct? I wrote a song ...
4
votes
3answers
465 views

Question about time signatures with voices

I'm learning the basics of musical theory and I see this sheet and get this question, the white dotted noted has a time of (2 + 1/2) right? But with the value of the black note the compass make a ...
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4answers
3k views

What's so special about minor and major scales?

background: I'm an amateur and self-learner pianist. What I know, I know from books or google, so I'll start with summarising what I already know - please don't hesitate to correct me if I have ...
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5answers
343 views

What are the benefits of determining form before composing?

I've heard time and time again of composers who say "It is better [for beginners] to know your form, and have a general idea of important chord progressions before you begin thinking seriously about ...
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1answer
158 views

What key is this song in? [closed]

Does anyone know what key the following would be in? Any help is appreciated!
4
votes
3answers
346 views

Musical construction in rock - what does this mean?

Andrew Chester writes (emphasis mine): Western classical music is the apodigm of the extensional form of musical construction. Theme and variations, counterpoint, tonality (as used in classical ...
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vote
5answers
198 views

In any major key, what Roman Numerals indicate the major, minor, and diminished chords?

I was wondering what the Roman Numerals are. I though it was I,III, V, for major key but that was not it.
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4answers
25k views

The differences between natural, harmonic and melodic minors

I'm studying scales and came across the natural, harmonic, and melodic minors. I understand the patterns for each scale but what other important differences exist between the three?
14
votes
1answer
654 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have heard the term Neapolitan 6th quite a few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
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5answers
2k views

Why is bass note so important in harmonic analysis of music?

In any type of harmonic analysis the bass plays a big part in determining the function of the harmony. There are even special ways to describe what note of the chord is in the bass (known as ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

Harmonic analysis of the B section of “Have You Met Miss Jones”

I've been studying the standard Have You Met Miss Jones and I came across a very interesting chord progression in the B section of the piece. The A section is pretty typical and the key it's in is F ...
0
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1answer
65 views

“Minim Semi-Quaver” Semi Quaver with a space in the note [duplicate]

Hi today I have received audition music for a band for next year but I have a question about some of the notes in the music. They looks like semi-quavers (16th notes) but they have a space in the ...
2
votes
4answers
170 views

I'm stuck at a fork in the road

I've been playing guitar for about 11 years now and i'm at the point where I need to start learning something new. I have a book of exercises (for building chops) which covers the major scale in every ...
7
votes
5answers
873 views

Why does this progression sound good, even if it not resolve to the root?

I'm trying to learn some music theory. I'm interested in the magic of chord progression, and how little changes can make a dramatic change in the feeling. Anyway, I suppose that a progression moving ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Time Signature Translation [duplicate]

I need to change a simple piece from 9/8 to 9/4. Do I only need to double the values for each note? (Ex. quarter to half note & eighth to quarter?) And what would I do to change a dotted quarter ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Which scales for particular chords [Piano]

Two part question: If I'm playing a ii-V-I (e.g., Dm7, G7, CM7) and just want to improvise, what scales can I play with my right hand while on each chord, and why (so I can follow the logic and ...
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2answers
69 views

Changing Time Signature

I need to change a simple piece from 4/8 to 4/4. Do I only need to double the values for each note? (Ex. quarter to half note & eighth to quarter?)
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2answers
85 views

Which blues scale and 7th chord voicings match up?

Which blues scale goes with which chord voicing? For example, Dm7 (D,F,A,C) does not go with the D pentatonic minor blues scale. So what scales go with Dm7? And then accordingly, which go with DM7 (D ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

Alternative Numerical Representation of Pitch

I'm aware of a number of different ways of representing pitch as numbers (including one I developed for use in my own software) but am interested if there are others. The most widespread is probably ...
11
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the Linear Harmonic Transform?

What is the Linear Harmonic Transform actually?
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2answers
78 views

What is the name for the scale that is Aeolian with a lowered root?

This track at the beginning has some kind of an augmented scale. The first sounds I hear are C, D#, G#, E, A, F#. While analyzing it to give it as least as possible ...
7
votes
3answers
582 views

Why do some intervals sound better than others?

Why do some intervals sound so good (e.g. a perfect fifth: seven semitones), whereas others sound so awful and diabolical (e.g. an augmented fourth: six semitones)? Is this phenomenon dependant on ...
2
votes
5answers
250 views

How to learn musical theory?

I am taking 1/2 hour lessons in classical guitar and progressing well. I guess I am at the high end of beginner level, just finishing Aaron Shearer's first book. But I don't know how to gain an ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Determining closest key when primary contributing factors are shared among keys

Given a construct of intervals as follows: 1,#2,3,4,5,6,b7 (Dominant #2 first position) For the purpose of general notation, as the #2 is equivalent to a b3 and the 3rd is still present, would this ...
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18answers
27k views

What is the difference between a mode and a scale?

I can't seem to find a straight definition for both.
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4answers
12k views

What defines pop music as a genre? Which patterns and trends can we find in pop music?

Today, not all popular music is labeled as pop. To me it seems that pop has become a genre that can be defined by its musical patterns, techniques, and styles. Similar to rock, jazz, and classical ...
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
67 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 ...
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3answers
90 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?
14
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5answers
2k views

Score analysis: Minuet in G Minor BWV Anh 115

The piece modulates from G minor to Bb major between the bars 12-14 but I don't know how to mark these chords as they have B natural in them, which doesn't belong neither to G minor nor Bb major. So, ...
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votes
11answers
2k views

Why is the tonic chord of a key formed with the 1,3 and 5 notes of the key but the major chords in that key are the I IV and V?

The tonic chord in a given key is formed by using the 1 and 3 and 5 notes of the scale in whatever key you are in. However, in chord theory, the Major chords that work in that key are the one, four ...
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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 ...
0
votes
4answers
352 views

How to write music theory symbols in evernote?

I want type my music theory class notes in evernote but i can't seem to figure out how to do this correctly. I have managed to put following symbols in evernote just by copy and pasting but some as ...
2
votes
5answers
733 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
11k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
2
votes
2answers
376 views

Naming Scale Degrees

As I understand the minor pentatonic degrees are 1 b3 4 5 7b It says b3 & 7b, does it matter which side the b is on and do they both mean flat? Scale degrees are almost always based off the ...
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 ...
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2answers
122 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 ...
2
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3answers
142 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 ...
23
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3answers
15k views

How do harmonics work?

The guitar has harmonic notes at some places. I can play it, but I don't understand the logical reason why/how this is can played. Can you tell me how exactly this works? What other musical ...
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3answers
192 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 ...