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

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1answer
87 views

What is this song? [closed]

I've been hearing this song everywhere, but cannot identify it. It's the first few seconds of this video: ...
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2answers
159 views

Harmonizing melody exercise question with specific parameters

I'm reading the book Harmony for the computer musician and there's an exercise where you need to harmonize 3 notes of a melody in D major, parameters are: you must use the same note length as the ...
7
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2answers
259 views

Finding the “Starting point” when creating a composition or score

This is a fairly simple one, and hopefully not too wide-open to be permitted here: what approaches are available when sitting at a fresh screen or sheet of paper, or at your instrument, to create the ...
6
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3answers
1k views

On a piano scale what is considered “middle C”?

I'm learning to play the piano and I'm slightly confused after reading this: http://pianoscale.org/scales/root/c/major/ Is the 1st note in the treble clef the same as the 8th notes in the bass ...
8
votes
3answers
705 views

What is the difference between a collection of sounds and music?

From my reading I've gathered that the difference between music and noise is that music is an organized collection of sounds. In that definition, noise would then be an unorganized collection of ...
0
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1answer
347 views

Difference between dissonance and clashing notes

Wikipedia describes dissonance as the quality of sounds that seems "unstable" and has an aural "need" to "resolve" to a "stable" consonance Which basically means it hurts your ears and you want it to ...
-2
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1answer
109 views

2 guitar progression [closed]

These are progression from a song that I was playing with a friend but we don't understand it at all. Can somebody please explain conceptually why they sound good when played together i.e first ...
2
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3answers
201 views

The origin of “Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father” [closed]

The order of the flats is given by the mnemonic "*B*attle *E*nds *A*nd *D*own *G*oes *C*harles' *F*ather". What is the history behind this strange phrase?
10
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4answers
7k 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?
2
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3answers
242 views

Looking for advice on my self-taught music education

Until a year ago, I had absolutely no music education, and I decided to change that around this period, well more exactly I picked up on (acoustic) guitar as a hobby and from there gained interest in ...
4
votes
3answers
108 views

Can the “music of the spheres” be applied (or projected) to instrumental music?

I've read lots of books on Pythagoras and the philosophy of the Music of the Spheres, but it all seems to stop at labeling planets with scale degrees. And then what? If they're all there, filling up ...
11
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4answers
3k views

Playing Guitar Tabs on Piano?

I was wondering if anyone could possibly explain how I could somehow translate a guitar tab into notes on piano. Is there some sort of algorithm I can apply? ex: ...
11
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1answer
261 views

What are some good/interesting ways to exit a circle of fifths section?

Circle of 5ths is in tons of chord progressions, sounds nice and 'easy', etc. But if you keep going on it the song can sound unreasonably predictable. What are some good ways to use a little bit of ...
6
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3answers
221 views

Dominant functioning as a Subdominant!

The D9 chord voices appropriate seems to be able to function as a subdominant chord. This is very intriguing and I've always thought and read that dominant chords function as dominant chords(except in ...
2
votes
2answers
191 views

What should I be trying my hand at to practice composing?

I don't really know how to play any instrument, but I do have some USB keys that I have plinked with in Garageband. I'm not interested so much in learning to perform my works. I enjoy and am inspired ...
6
votes
4answers
851 views

Does the bass note in a “slash” chord really have an associated interval?

I have a question about "slash" chords. Look at the chord E/G: E G♯ B G 1 3 5 ? G is the minor 3rd interval (♭3) in the key of E. However, I would have thought by definition chords cannot ...
4
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2answers
1k views

What is a key signature?

I'm trying to learn the flute and I bought a book that is supposed to help me learn. In one of the first chapters it describes something about key signatures and the circle of fifths and I'm ...
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4answers
998 views

How Can I Replicate The Sound Of An Instrument?

I have experience of basic music theory, guitar and piano. My current project involves creating a computer program that can replicate the sounds of any given instrument (starting with piano). I can ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Name for music that imitates speech

I have searched and asked others for the answer to this but have come up dry: what is the name or technique in music where musical notes approximate/imitate speech? Note that I am not talking about ...
18
votes
6answers
892 views

The major scale - why and how?

background: I am an amateur guitarist. I was trained in Indian classical music as a kid. Most of what I know in music theory is from books or Google. So please feel free to correct me or tell me if ...
6
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2answers
565 views

“Andalusian cadences”: How are they commonly heard?

The "Andalusian cadence" I-bVII-bVI-V is commonly heard as a repeated figure in Flamenco music as well as many pop songs, e.g. "Hit the Road, Jack": ...
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2answers
347 views

What is A flat to C minor?

I know that Cm is the relative minor of Eb. I noticed the Eb chord is made up of two of the same notes of Cm (beginning on the third degree). Ab is also made up of two of the same notes, but on the ...
6
votes
2answers
851 views

What does it mean when progression is resolved?

I saw this text inside a very basic piano workbook in which I'm not sure what the author means by using "resolve". Progression #1: C-F-G-F-C NOTE: This 4 bar progression resolves back to C ...
8
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2answers
578 views

Why do we use thirds to construct chords?

I am (slowly) learning music theory on the guitar. I've begun learning about scales and chords, and it seems that all chords are built using some combination of thirds. For example, a minor triad is ...
0
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2answers
195 views

How To Derive Note Frequencies From The Harmonic Series? [closed]

The harmonic series give us the (natural or just) frequencies of the notes in an octave. To achieve that we need to transpose the higher-order harmonics to the same octave as the fundamental tone. But ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
3
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2answers
148 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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5answers
5k views

When playing in a minor key, will the chords be minor as well?

I've been jumping into music theory myself and I've been stumbling on creating certain melodies and such. I've played guitar all my teenage life and not once have I ever sat down and said I'm going to ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Arpeggio vs. Acciaccatura

(When writing notation for piano) Scenario: I would like the player to play the chord G (G3, B3, D4, G4), in a "spreaded" way. That is, not hit all keys at once, but start with the bottom G and end ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

How to compose an acoustic guitar chorus?

I've been playing guitar off and on for years, and every once in a while I come up with some lyrics and chords that seem to be really great for a few verses. The problem is that I can never seem to ...
13
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9answers
568 views

Musical Aids to Memorize Intervals

As the tutor for my school's music department, I spend a lot of time helping students drill intervals. However, I only have a handful of songs to recommend recognition. P8 — Somewhere Over the ...
4
votes
4answers
618 views

Does playing in scale mean only using notes from that scale?

Many melodies contain notes that are not from scale they are composed in. For example, "Stairway Heaven" solo contains an A minor pentatonic scale plus an additional F note. I've read that this is not ...
6
votes
2answers
621 views

Converting to harmonic and melodic minor

Is this correct? In converting from major to harmonic minor of the same root (not the relative minor (with the same key signature)), flatten the 3rd and 6th. In converting from major to ...
16
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4answers
1k views

Algorithms for music composition

I'm a beginner in music but I also like to fool around with simple computer programs . So I found a little python library to generate MIDI files . So what I do now is that I have a few rhythm ...
8
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2answers
607 views

Why play out of scale notes as part of a chord?

So, I'm learning 'Stray Cat Strut' right now and came across something I'm not sure I understood. I have to say, I've only just begun to learn theory, so maybe that's why. Anyway, as far as I can ...
9
votes
2answers
697 views

How does one start learning music theory?

I know some basic stuff like scales and how to construct chords, but I don't know much about the roles notes play in melody, what kinds of melodies there are, how to do chord progressions, and so on. ...
6
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2answers
247 views

The relationship between music theory and physical phenomena

The first unique overtones of a simple vibrating string form a major chord. Are there other simple physical structures that would generate other chord types?
18
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4answers
8k views

How to identify the root note of a chord

I struggle with chords on the staff because I'm not sure which note is the root note. Is it the top note with the rest of the notes falling below it? E.g., The top note is C, and bundled below it are ...
3
votes
4answers
291 views

Introduction to jazz theory

I have developed an appreciation of jazz (Coltrane, Ayler, Sanders, etc.). I have no musical education though. I am therefore looking for some sort of lectures or texts for a better (or any at all) ...
13
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8answers
3k views

How many (major and minor) keys are there? Why?

I am wondering about how many major and minor keys there are and why. Here are some suggestions: 24 keys One could argue that there should be one major and one relative minor key for each of the 12 ...
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3answers
360 views

18-note groupings across 4 beats in this Yngwie Malmsteen inspired lick

I have a few questions regarding the following lick: ...
13
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3answers
2k views

What are the practical reasons for still having transposing instruments?

I understand that historically there was a need for transposing instruments. e.g. Brass instruments would use lead pipes to change their key and players in brass bands would like to stick to the same ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What makes a song a “rock” song?

I mean, sometimes I'm not completely sure when a song is a "rock song" or when it is from another music genre or even a "something-rock" song, how do you recognize it?? is it some bass rithm? some ...
15
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3answers
519 views

Are the any great open questions in music theory?

In many sciences there a are a number open questions that are well known in the field, and for which a solid answer would gain the answerer much Prestige. For example, maths has many open questions, ...
8
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2answers
186 views

Was the pitch A given that letter because the minor key was originally the “basic” mode?

It's something that's puzzled me; The key that has no sharps and no flats, in essence the "basic" key, is C Major. Well, fine, but why C? Why not label that key and note A, if it's the foundation of ...
8
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3answers
692 views

Voice leading confusion

I perfectly understand the theory of voice leading when explained in most theory books about moving voices between chords in the shortest possible manner to give a smooth connection between chords. ...
9
votes
2answers
209 views

Do different modes have the same cadence structure?

In major and minor keys, the perfect cadence is V to I Will this structure remain the same in a different mode? I.e. E Phrygian Mode in the key of C (E F G A B C D), the tonic chord is the iii of ...
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2answers
126 views

Which note is consonance and which is dissonance

1) I did some reading saying 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th note are unstable note. where 7th note tends to move towards the tonic and it is the most unstable note. Is it true? When I play through the scale, i ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

How to come over nervousness while stage performance? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I overcome the fear of performing in front of an audience? I have played guitar several time on stage. But every time I start performing I feel a lot nervous. I ...
3
votes
3answers
343 views

Musical Harmony: When to use more than three chords

I understand that I, IV, and V chords in both major and minor keys are common chords that make up a good progression. I understand that those 3 chords cover all the notes diatonic to the key that we ...