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

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Correctly notating sharps and flats [duplicate]

I always had this issue when naming certain notes in the music scale. For example, when I spell out certain notes such as Eb, some people have advised me to use D# instead of Eb stating that it is the ...
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4answers
2k views

Understanding minor key harmony

A comment discussion under this question from me, clued me in to the fact that I don't really understand how minor keys work very well. So here is what I think I know The natural minor comes from the ...
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2answers
59 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? ...
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2answers
78 views

What is the difference between a chord progression and a riff?

I am just wondering what the difference between a chord progression and a riff is? My assumptions are that riffs are generally 2 measures long, and they are pretty much classed as being played over a ...
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2answers
68 views

How are phrases used in Rock music? [closed]

My assumption is that what constitutes a phrase is a full riff, or full chord progression?
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0answers
10 views

How do figure out time signatures [duplicate]

Just by listening to a song, phrase or any music how can I find the time signature, will i just keep tapping or is there a more effective method.
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2answers
62 views

Unusual time signatures?

I was just wondering if you could get time signatures where the bottom number is 3,5,6,7,9,10,11 and so on. I did not know if you could have dotted notes as your base note
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1answer
108 views

What does this crossed-note notation mean?

What does this notation mean? It is in 5/8 time. Is it some sort of a performance direction?
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3answers
139 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
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3answers
396 views

How many types of modulation are there?

I know a few types of modulation off the top of my head like common chord modulation and and chromatic modulation, but I was wondering how many different types of modulation are there and what are ...
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1answer
66 views

Creating a Harmony that Harmonizes with a Chord

I'm trying to get a harmony that will harmonize with my chord, Am. I want something to harmonize with the A,G,F melody and with Am. Is there any way to do this? This is what I have, I would like to ...
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1answer
61 views

Why and when to use 12-bar blues?

Why and when do I use 12-bar blues? I know it's used with pentatonic and blues scales, but people like Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, and many others use pentatonic and blues scales with other chord ...
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4answers
264 views

Why is the 3rd omitted from common G Maj 7 shapes in guitar?

I'm reading that Major 7 is : 1-3-5-7. But most G Maj 7 stuff i see does not have the third. Mainly because keeping a third(2nd fret, 5th string, standard tuning) results in a difficult to hold ...
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1answer
65 views

What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them make me a better guitarist? [closed]

I found a similar question on SE already, but it still didn't adequately explain what I'm trying to figure out, so here goes: What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them ...
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2answers
49 views

Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh

The Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh instead of a minor seventh is formed by: a root a minor second a major third a fourth a fifth a minor sixth a major seventh. My questions are: ...
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2answers
108 views

How long is Staccato?

Question for skimmers: how do we know when to play portamento/portato or a dry staccato? Is it based on a date or composer? Or is a half-staccato still common practice? Sometime in college I played ...
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3answers
61 views

I don't understand dominant 7ths in cadences

I am confused with the following passage: Dominants are associated with a strong urge to resolve to their next chord in the circle of fifths. This particular sequence, E7 A7 Dm (or V7/V-V7-i) ...
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1answer
56 views

“Spoiled” suspension

What is the theoretical term for the voice-leading phenomenon whereby the note that a suspension is expected to resolve to appears in another voice on the same beat that the suspension begins? You can ...
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2answers
135 views

Diatonic substitution and upper-structure triads for minor chords

I'm going through Garrison Fewell's "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar - A Harmonic Approach". The start of Chapter 1 reads: Triad substitution is the use of triads derived from the chord tones and ...
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6answers
18k 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 ...
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2answers
83 views

Voice-leading and Composition

This is a follow up to a post I made a couple of months ago regarding the way the four-part harmony voice-leading, taught in most harmony texts, is to be understood in relation to composition. In the ...
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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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2answers
66 views

What is this mirrored rest? [duplicate]

Haven't seen this mirrored rest before (from Gymnopedia No. 1). What does it mean? How long of a rest is it? Thanks.
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6answers
321 views

Normal chords are boring, I want more!

Playing for example, pop songs can be boring, max 6 chords are used. When I listen to pro players, they add more weird, dissonant chords while transiting from one of that 6 chords to another. Now, ...
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1answer
69 views

How to tell binary form from ternary form?

I know that binary form has 2 equal sections (AB) and ternary has 3 (ABA), but because my piece of ABA form music has 6 bars and can be divided into 3 equal sections, it means that the same total ...
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3answers
271 views

The tonic's seventh

The tonic's seventh is both the seventh of the chord and the leading tone of the scale. So what should happen with this seventh if it needs to be raised or lowered?
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4answers
169 views

Understanding Inversions

I am not completely understanding how I find the major and minor chords. I understand half of what is going on, but not fully. Can someone please help.
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6answers
238 views

Grand Staff using the Bass Clef and Treble Alto-Tenor Clef

Does anybody have any additional information regarding the origins and usage of the Treble Alto-Tenor Clef symbol? I found it in the late Gardner Read's book on Music Notation, and beyond that - ...
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3answers
153 views

Chord progressions : which note resolves to which note

In the key of C , going from G to C, note B resolves strongly to note C. How should the note D resolve? (To note C or E? I guess it should be to note C, assuming the key note has higher "priority". ...
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1answer
266 views

How does it make sense to leave the root out of a chord?

Chord names can include information about notes to be left out, for instance no5, no3 or even nr (for no root). - Bob Broadley on "Are the names for these chords valid?", May 29 2015 How can a ...
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3answers
64 views

What's a “chord register”?

Someone said: "When you're doing more than one person who does the rhythm part, do your chord in another register, maybe higher or maybe lower." What's really the definition of the "register" ...
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1answer
198 views

What is it called when the note pattern is the same in each bar but the actual pitch and note are different?

I have a question for music theory asking me about what I notice about the rhythm in bars 3-6 and the note pattern is the same : crotchet, 4 quavers, crotchet, minim. But the actual name of the note ...
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2answers
147 views

Why does the Hendrix E7#9 chord sound good?

The Hendrix chord contains both a flat 10th/sharp 9th, which are a half step (plus an octave) apart from the major third. From a classical harmony standpoint, those two notes in the same chord should ...
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5answers
468 views

“I-vi” in Major or “III-i” in Minor?

There are some progressions that seem to move back and forth between a major key and its relative minor, like the "I-vi" progression (C, Am for example, two measures each.) Most people would consider ...
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2answers
78 views

Are 2 or more octaves perfect consonant?

According to my knowledge, an octave is considered as a perfect consonant. But are 2 or more octaves considered perfect consonant? For example, is C1 and C5 perfect consonant?
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1answer
59 views

Priority of Da Coda vs. Repeat sign

There are three different cases I can think of, with a Da Coda embedded within repeat signs. My question for these three cases is the same: Do you jump to the Coda right when you reach the Da Coda or ...
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2answers
141 views

Are these parallel octaves?

I am writing a chorale in C flat major and I currently have a 3 chord going to a I6 chord. Stacked, the chords are EGEB to EGEC. Is this considered parallel octaves? HELP.
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7answers
463 views

Is it necessary to learn the names of fret notes?

I know the names of the notes up to about the fifth fret on each string. I play from sheet music occasionally, but mostly from tabs - so is it necessary to learn the names of the notes for each fret ...
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3answers
661 views

What is the difference between a “triplet” and a “trill”

This may be an easy question... but I have limited Theory knowledge so... I have heard the word Trill being used to describe a method of adding multiple notes into one beat. Now from what I ...
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3answers
2k views

Whole bar rest in 6/8 time?

Can one expect to find a semibreve rest in 6/8 compound time?
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7answers
6k 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) ...
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1answer
128 views

Scales in modal versus tonal music

When tonal music replaced modal music, why were 6 of the 8 scales (modes) used in modal music abandoned in favor of only two, major and minor? Superficially this would look like a reduction in the ...
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1answer
111 views

How are keys in the circle of fifths related?

I know this seems like a basic question, and in the traditional sense, I actually know how their related. Though, whilst reading a book titled 'harmony for computer musicians', I've come across a ...
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1answer
190 views

What is a bebop enclosure?

One of the cornerstones of the bebop style is the bebop enclosure. What is it? How is it used in improvisation? What effect does it have?
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4answers
1k views

Roman numeral notation for a suspended chord?

On the Wikipedia entry for Roman numeral analysis, it says that major chords use the upper case numerals (e.g. IV for the F major chord in the C major scale) and lowercase letters for minor chords ...
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2answers
175 views

Augmented chords and chord substitution?

Say we are in C major; how do we use chords like the Augmented chords, other diminished chords outside the scale (minor to major substitution, dominant 7th substitution, altered chords, chord ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
2
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2answers
159 views

Are the names for these chords valid?

I came up with these chord names, but I don't know if they are right: 1st chord c d# F# G# B = cmM7add-13b5 --- cmm7 = c d# B... add-13 = g#<< min 6 without 11th.... b5 = actual 5th lowered ...
26
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1answer
4k views

Why is C the base note of standard notation and keys?

Why is it that notes "start" with C? In key signatures, for example, C Major is the basis and accidentals are added for all other key signatures. I know that the musical alphabet starts with A and ...
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5answers
9k views

How do I become a better electronic music producer?

I am 18 years old. I love music and I would love to make it and maybe become a music composer. However I do not know anything about music theory or anything. I can't play any instrument or so. When I ...