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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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
136 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 ...
-1
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
178 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
97 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
290 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
734 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
305 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?
20
votes
5answers
3k views

How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?

I need help understanding anacrusis (pickup notes). I'm no musician - I'm more of an anthropologist. I was reading some articles on ethnomusicology, and one of them makes reference to anacrusis in ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

A major scale flat and natural accidental

Wikipedia states the following for the A major scale The key of A major is the only key where a Neapolitan sixth chord on 2 requires both a flat and a natural accidental. Can anyone explain what ...
2
votes
4answers
148 views

Is there a pattern behind the numbers of sharp keys in chromatic scale

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

“ii and ii6 rarely used to harmonize 6 in the soprano” - for what reason?

In my old theory book, I read that while ii and ii6 harmonize scale degrees 2 and 4, they rarely harmonize scale degree 6 in the soprano. (I'm assuming they mean for common practice music, SATB). ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Why Cminmaj7 is used and the purpose of minor and major are together?

I am learning the construction of 7th chords and this Cminmaj7 chord made me really confused when I came across in my studies. Why do both minor and major 7 exist together? Also, is this a consonant ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

In Four Part Writing, is an augmented unison interval in a single voice allowed?

I'm composing a traditional four-part part-writing piece with a soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The song progresses from a F Major chord to an A Major chord. In the former chord, the bass is on C, and ...
1
vote
1answer
258 views

How can I change the style/rhythm of a song?

I came across a video by Maan Hamadeh, in this he has played Fur Elise in different styles. What is the theory behind this ?
4
votes
4answers
303 views

What do uncommon time signatures consist of?

Take a X/4, it means "the measure will contain X notes, the value of which are 1/4" I understand this concept for X/Y signatures, with Y being a power of 2. But what does that mean for the others ? ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

At what speed should notes be played?

I'm in the very early stages of reading music. There are great resources on the internet but I'm struggling to find a suitable explanation for a 'Time Signature' that I completely understand. I think ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

How does a Time Signature affect tuplet duration?

Take a X/Y time signature (but I don't think X matters here). What would be the duration of a n-tuplet (of 8th, 16th and 32nd notes), depending on Y and n?
4
votes
2answers
148 views

Can a note be heared in wrong pitch?

Just like Optical illusion happens to our eyes. can this happen to our ears? Consider a well tuned Piano. can we make hearing illusion with music? because of my horrible English and lack of ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
107 views

Minor Chord Progression

Let's say we have this chord progression (keyboard and SATB voicing): b: i-V-i If I understand it correctly, we have to use harmonic minor in chord progressions. Thus, we never use natural minor for ...
5
votes
2answers
284 views

What do these unusual time signature symbols mean?

I have been studying advanced music theory lately. Having explored a wide range of musical symbols, I was surprised to encounter the following time signature symbols I've never seen before in ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

When to learn music reading?

Do I have to know some scales before learning to read music notation? And please recommend me a good book to learn read music on the guitar.
2
votes
7answers
323 views

How can I learn the theory behind chord progressions?

How can I learn about the relationships between chords to build chords progressions? Every book I read explains how to build chords, but they don't teach how to put the chords in progression. They ...
8
votes
7answers
1k views

Theory behind the change from a major chord to the same in minor

In many songs I hear the change from a major chord to the same, but minor. For example F A Bb Bbm. It sounds really nice to me and I'm wondering if there is a theory behind it. Is there a genre ...
4
votes
3answers
651 views

How Long Can an Anacrucis Be?

Most anacruses are less than a bar long. Often a one note pick up. An example that brings up my question is 'Fur Elise', which seems to have a pick up which lasts for four beats (in 3 time), before ...
14
votes
1answer
322 views

Do accidentals earlier in the measure affect a trill?

I was attempting to help someone understand all the markings in a piece with which they are unfamiliar. One, however, has given me pause: Now, I know the rule for a trill is that it ordinarily ...
14
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Bass Guitar Theory: playing with lead sheets

When playing with lead sheets (which is how I always play), I sometimes have a hard time when to go "off script" and go from boring old root-note playing to walking up or down and hitting passing ...
2
votes
4answers
202 views

Should I learn the CAGED patterns for harmonic and melodic minor scales?

So I learned all the 12 patterns for major scale. Should learn the CAGED system for harmonic and melodic minor scales because there are 4 notes on some strings?
6
votes
3answers
192 views

Melody Writing - Tension & Release

I'm back with a more specific question. I read in a book entitled 'Complete Idiots Guide for Music Composition' which has a detailed discussion on writing melodies and techniques to do so. As I have ...
1
vote
2answers
411 views

Scale, Heptatonic Scale, Diatonic Scale, Major Scale

A scale with 7 notes, in an octave, is called a Heptatonic Scales. Heptatonic scales are further divided based on tone and semitones arrangements. If a Heptatonic scale have five tones and two ...
6
votes
2answers
197 views

How did the plagal modes differ from their authentic counterpart in practice?

In the traditional modal system there were eight modes. Four that were authentic and four were plagal. These modes are depicted below: Based on the description of the modes the final note of the ...
7
votes
6answers
596 views

When does the amount of beats not add up to the time signature? (Besides pickup measures)

I read from https://www.boundless.com/users/232513/textbooks/understanding-basic-music-theory/notation-1/time-8/pickup-notes-and-measures-54-13529/ that there are exceptions to the rule that there ...
6
votes
4answers
756 views

What Happens To The Melody When Played In A Different Key

What happens to notation (e.g. a melody line) when a tune is played in a different key than the one it was written in? Do the notes alter in any way or do they always stay the same as originally ...
3
votes
4answers
752 views

Can a melody contain only non chord tones?

I was wondering if it is acceptable, from a theoretical standpoint, to have a melody that doesn't contain any tones from the chord that is played with it? Are there any examples of songs that have ...
-2
votes
2answers
72 views

Percentage Of Different Scales That Are Exactly Alike? [closed]

Was playing with iOS app “Piano Companion” and apparently I'm really quite amazingly consistent. I added two favorite scales that I found in the app and they are exactly the same; namely: ...
10
votes
3answers
766 views

What mode consists of the note G A Bb C Db E F G?

I was playing random scales . I came to a strange nice sounding mode,but could not find out what it's name theoretically. (Even I could not find a tonic sounding in it) The scale/mode notes are : G ...
0
votes
2answers
134 views

Basic music theory learning tips

sorry if this has been posted before. I have a very specific question and although the answers may be scattered, it may be easier to post as a new one. I've started learning scales and this has come ...
4
votes
6answers
367 views

Using the correct enharmonic equivalent

I'm trying to figure out in which situations say, a G# is preferred to an Ab. I know that the two spellings wont necessarily represent tones of identical frequency, and that they only coincide in ...
0
votes
3answers
97 views

Tips on improving rhythmic notation

I know in theory what rhythmic values are such as quarter note, half note, and whole note etc.., and I can do linear scale exercises very quickly without metronome, but I feel difficult to integrate ...
4
votes
4answers
216 views

Is there a term that describes straight 8ths / 16ths vs swing?

I'm a student and have been playing exercises that are either straight 8ths, swing 8ths, straight 16ths or swing 16ths. I'm wondering if there's a term for these different rhythms. If used in a ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Can a motif be found outside of a phrase?

Can motifs be found outside of phrases, like by itself? Or do you think that would actually make that "motif by itself" act like a phrase in it's own right?
1
vote
5answers
215 views

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece music to make it pleasant to listen to?

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece of music? For example, when playing a guitar accompaniment for 'Amazing Grace' it does not sound pleasant when you play only a G chord throughout the ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

What's are the essential skills that I need to arrange songs to guitar?

I'm a beginner guitarist (started five months ago), my goal is to be a fingerstyle player. On the horizon of two years, I want to be able to arrange songs. So what's are the essential scales and ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Score analysis: Beethoven - Menuetto IV in F major (WoO9) at measure 4

I'm new to music and I'm trying to learn analysis, my question is, what chord is represented in the last bar of this excerpt? It has C in bass, so it could be a dominant chord, but rest of the notes ...
5
votes
3answers
876 views

Why isn't there a key signature with F flat?

I think the title asks the question. There are key signatures with Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb and Gb. But no Fb. There's probably no practical reason for my question. I'm just curious.