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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

3
votes
2answers
336 views

How to analyze a chord from Beethoven sonata no 8 (Pathetique)

Looking at a chord towards the end of the development in measure 169, beat 2, spelled C♯-E-A♭ over the G pedal. How would you analyze this in the context of the harmonic progression at ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Beginnging Music Theory - What are scales and why should I learn them? [duplicate]

Background I'm looking for help with respect to where I could start learning music in general as a guitarist. I can play some simple songs and melodies I taught myself, understand what notes map to ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Diminished and augmented key signature

Now I know that augmented chords and diminished chords are dissonant normally. Arpeggiate it and it is much more consonant. 3rd octave and it is much more consonant. But can you actually have ...
2
votes
7answers
442 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 - ...
2
votes
4answers
328 views

Is this a C chord or an Em chord?

A nice little progression on acoustic guitar is to play a regular C chord (omit/mute the bottom E string), then slide your 3rd finger (A string) from the 3rd fret (C) to the 2nd (B), then play Am7 ...
3
votes
3answers
101 views

Gregorian modes in Renaissance music (with Cabezón's 'Tiento del Cuarto Tono' as an example)

I'd like to ask a question on how Gregorian modes were transformed during Renaissance using a piece of Antonio de Cabezón as an example. His 'Tiento del Cuarto Tono' is written in mode 4, which is, as ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Tonality of a song given some chords

I have this notes I extracted from a song using Adobe Audition’s frequency analysis. D F# A C# (Dmaj7) E G B D (Em7) F# A C# E (F#m7) G B D F# (Gmaj7) A C# E G (A7) B D F# A (Bm7) C# E G B ...
3
votes
7answers
925 views

Can a symphony be in many keys?

First of all, please excuse me for my bad musical vocabulary usages. I'm working on an information-system for music, and I'm trying to understand some basic concepts in order to move on in my ...
28
votes
10answers
5k views

Is it possible to write a song without a key?

"This song is in F Major", "That song is in A Minor", "This song is in D Minor, but modulates to F Major in the middle", etc. Can we say "This song has no key"? Are there songs that have/follow no ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Mark Levine the jazz theory versus the jazz piano book

I currently own the jazz theory book by mark levine. It's very informative and I'm sure it's gonna take me a few years to get the best out of it, but I wonder is it still worth getting the jazz piano ...
24
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
92 views

guitar beginner level - chord voicings

I have been playing guitar for a few years and lately I have been studying some music theory. So what is the difference between playing the bmaj chord with the root note in the fifth string (A string) ...
95
votes
11answers
15k views

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

Why is there that funny tuning kink between the G and B string on a guitar in standard tuning? I.E. the gap (interval) between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Books to start playing Piano? [duplicate]

I'm a guitar player and I would like to know a good starting book for piano. I have some music knowledge acquired with years of guitar theory. I did my research and I did find some interesting books ...
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Playing barre chords without E strings - does it have a name?

Many rock bands play barre chords without the E strings. Is there a name for that? For example, the F chord at 1:27. A normal F chord normally contains more notes. The last string is muted. I heard ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What are some interesting ways notes and chords are spelled in cultures outside of the U.S.?

I've heard that German musicians spell the seventh note of the C major scale with an "H" where an American musician would use a "B". And, for the fourth note of the F major scale, where an American ...
24
votes
7answers
40k 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., if the top note is C, and bundled below it ...
15
votes
5answers
890 views

Why is a note sometimes a 4th and sometimes an 11th?

If I play the chord: GBDA, then this is considered a Gadd9. But if I play the 3rd above the 5th (GDB), it is not called a 10th. Why don't we refer to all notes by 1-7, and is there a system to ...
2
votes
2answers
177 views

In what octave am I supposed to play a chord progression?

If someone asks me to play I VI II IV in C minor, am I supposed to play them in the same octave? Like, if I start with C minor in the third octave, do I then move 6 steps up to play G# major or can I ...
13
votes
4answers
640 views

What is this type of shift called?

In a lot of (usually electronic) music, I notice a section of music that seems to shift up a number of notes and continue with a similar melody in a way that greatly emphasizes the melody. Does this ...
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Does a chord imply a change in the key signature?

I was looking at Cold Duck Time : Where the key signature is F major. On the second bar, the bass line says that the A is to be played natural. The key signature doesn't have Ab, but the chord ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

How to name the key of a song that modulates?

I'm in the process of learning about keys. I'm looking at the song Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins. The tabs I see online say that the song is in the key of E major. The main riff of the verse ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Did baroque composers think of ritardando on their compositions?

I've been always told that whenever I play any baroque piece on the piano, I should take special care when attending to, for example, the amount of right pedal I should use. It sounded perfectly ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

DS or DC al coda how to tell go to 3 and 4 verses

I have a song in this format: Verse 1 Verse 2 Chorus has a 1st and 2nd ending Verse 3 Verse 4 Chorus I use repeat for V1 and V2 and then I go to Chorus easy enough. Now I want to go to Verse 3 and ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I determine the chord progression Roman numerals?

Let's say I'm playing the chords D, G, A and Bm. I know that D is my key, which would be Roman numeral I. How do I associate the other chords with their proper roman numerals? How would I determine ...
9
votes
2answers
377 views

Do capable harmony singers sing in just intonation or tempered tuning?

I understand that the mathematical frequency ratios between certain intervals will correlate with the overtones that are present when a note sounds in a fundamental frequency. Certain predictable ...
1
vote
3answers
149 views

Confusion about using scales and modes together in a solo?

Ok so my music theory knowledge is limited. I have been playing guitar for a couple of years now, mostly by ear and I often struggle in applying theory. While writing a solo I wondered whether I ...
3
votes
3answers
262 views

Does a key signature remain the same after a clef change?

Does a key signature stay the same after a clef change? I have provided an example; it is in the second staff of the lower system as indicated by the blue arrow.
3
votes
3answers
167 views

Why is a major second not called a perfect second? [duplicate]

Apart from a second, intervals can be described as either {Diminished, Perfect, Augmented} or {Dim, Minor, Major, Aug} depending on whether or not the major and minor scale share that interval. For ...
7
votes
1answer
212 views

How was the ordering of Allen Forte's list of prime forms determined?

I'm familiar with how "prime forms" are determined from a pitch class set using the Forte (or Rahn) systems. A good list is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forte_number However I am puzzled by how ...
8
votes
10answers
577 views

How can I learn to play the chords by listening to the song (like I do with notes)?

I have started learning to play piano (I am from a poor family and can't afford a teacher). So,I've learned some popular songs and the notes from the internet. From there I started listening to songs ...
5
votes
2answers
400 views

7th chord notation confusion

I simply cannot understand the notation used in this question: I need to express this chord in 4-part, open or closed position; I just can't seem to understand how the notation works. I know that ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Is F Lydian mode in the “key” of C Major?

I would assume that many would agree that if we have a piece of music and there are no sharps or flats in the key signature that in most cases (if not all) the piece would be considered in the key of ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Traits of calypso music?

I'd like to compose my own calypso music, but I've not been exposed to enough calypso in my lifetime to be able to do so intuitively. Of course, calypso is instantly recognisable as such, but why? ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the most common ways to “decorate” a melody?

Yes, I know, there are way too many possibilities and it depends on the style of the music... I would be happy with an incomplete list for beginners (like me). Here is what I have so far: ...
26
votes
6answers
9k views

What is the relationship between the melody line and the rhythm chords?

Let's say I've written a song with the chord progression I-IV-V in the key of A (just as an example). So, the chords I'm playing are A-D-E. When playing a lead over this rhythm, what notes do I need ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Soloing / leads over chord progression with vi chord a major 7th?

I've written a song that's based largely around G major, with some C major parts. However, the G major progression utilizes a B7 chord, so it sits outside a normal G major scale. I've heard lots of ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

How does fusion guitar playing work?

So I have seen a lot of guitar players playing fusion rock but never understood what is actually going on in the theory. When watching them play, it sounds like they're not in key and just ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why D sharp not E flat in Turkish March

I'm analyzing Mozart's Turkish March piece for the piano. As I see in measure 18 the harmony is F7 (fourth) with minor seven. Assuming it is a minor seven because the harmony is F7 why they thought ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Transformative vs Generative in Algorithmic Composition

What's the difference between generative and transformative algorithms in relation to algorithmic composition of music? As I understand the basic idea of the algorithms themselves, generative uses ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

What do the ratios of the partials in inharmonic spectra deviate from?

There is a paragraph where author talks about harmonic and inharmonic spectra, and he points out that the harmonic spectra have partials that deviate from the precise ratios (for example the term ...
4
votes
5answers
719 views

Book recommendations to understand theory and harmony of music. Classical, Jazz, R&B everything :)

Short story: I have started playing piano about 1.5 years ago. I miss only a few days without practise apart from being ill, on holiday, visiting family etc. I practice like crazy. My wife who ...
0
votes
2answers
150 views

Piano chord made of 2 notes an octave apart

How can one build a chord made of 2 notes an octave apart from more basic chords, inversions, and deletions? E.g: a chord made of C-C. For example, one can smoothen a V7 chord by omitting the 5th and ...
2
votes
4answers
442 views

Chords in the chromatic scale [closed]

In a major scale, I know the chords to be: major, minor, minor, major, major, minor and diminished. What are the chords for the chromatic scale...using the C-major scale as reference...?! What I ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Guide-lines for creating a simple chord-progression?

I am working on a computer program that generates a simple melody, based on a simple chord progression of four chords taken from the 7 triads of the C Major scale. The program is also supposed to ...
0
votes
3answers
141 views

Tonicisation of Secondary Dominant in D Minor

Okay, so I'm basically just hoping someone can tell me if I'm on the right or wrong track here. I have to implement the technique described in the title in a piece I've written for an assessment. In ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

Why are certain scales considered unstable?

The Locrian Mode is considered unstable - my question is what in it makes it unstable? What makes a scale stable (have better relation between the keys)?
3
votes
1answer
492 views

c#-minor Vs E-major for Moonlight Sonata

I see Moonlight sonata often referred to as being in the key signature of c#-minor. I am beginning to learn music and just learning about key signatures and I would have referred to the key signature ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

How would this woodwind's shape affect its sound?

So, hopefully this question doesn't sound too vague, maybe I can completely explain it here. I have been trying to invent a theoretical instrument that has three main parts to it. The middle piece is ...
11
votes
4answers
505 views

Can any diminished chord be used as V anywhere?

I've been playing with diminished chords as 'V' in ii-V-I progressions. I often use one of the three diminished chords in a ii-V-I progression -- I sharpen the 5th note of the scale and hang a ...