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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

35
votes
19answers
33k views
6
votes
1answer
322 views

What are the Coltrane Changes?

Also known as Coltrane Matrix, Coltrane Cycle, chromatic third relations, and multi-tonic changes. What are the Coltrane Changes? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in improvisation, ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Why `Do` is called as `C`? [duplicate]

Alphabet is start with A and scale is start with Do(in C Major scale) but we call Do as C and La as A. There is any behind story or rule that I don't know?
4
votes
4answers
232 views

Can you have more dots on a note than a triple dotted note?

Recently I've come across some double-dotted notes, and even some triple-dotted ones which seem a bit quirky to me, but who knows? For one dot, you add 1/2 of the note's length, so I suppose for two ...
2
votes
1answer
353 views

How can I overcome '8va' for a few notes?

Let's say I have a whole passage marked with 8va, like below: I want to play just the circled notes at their normal octave. Is there a way to denote this, instead of ending the 8va bracket and ...
3
votes
7answers
946 views

Will a song written in a key only use chords in that key?

When you figure out a key that a song is written in. Will the entire song use the chords in that key? With maybe an accidental?? I've tried several different methods.
2
votes
1answer
339 views

What is the interval between two enharmonic notes?

The interval between, say, C4 and D4 is a major 2nd. What is the interval between B#3 and C4? Is it still a 2nd? For lack of a better term would it be something like a minor minor 2nd?
5
votes
6answers
974 views

How does “Music Theory” all tie together?

I'm a self-taught musician and have been playing for years, but being self-taught really limited my knowledge of music theory (in that I know pretty much nothing about it) and I'm having difficulty ...
1
vote
5answers
9k views

What is a simple way to determine the notes in a scale?

What is a simple way to determine the notes in a scale? For example, let's say, that somehow you determined that a song you want to play, is in the key F# major. How can you quickly recall or figure ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

What is a Schenkerian graph?

I just started reading Audacious Euphony: Chromaticism and the Triads Second Nature pretty early on it mentioned Schenkerian graphs and put them in the same group of analysis as Roman Numeral ...
6
votes
4answers
915 views

How to determine what key changes are appropriate?

In the month or so until my band get back together I've been working on writing some new material, and want to try and expand how complex my songs are. I apologise if there are a lot of questions - I'...
13
votes
7answers
17k views

Polymeter vs Polyrhythm

What is the difference between a polymeter and a polyrhythm? Do these words mean anything different for different instruments? PS: I'm a drummer.
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Playing Over Changes and Subsitutions

Im a fairly advanced guitarist/musician and love improvising, as most of us do. However, when a progression goes out of the main key, such as borrowing or subsituting, I tend to get lost in my head. ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

I need help figuring out some of these note values for my sequencer

Alright so I'm using a sequencer that allows you to input notes and change the values of those notes, but for the note values, there are notation symbols used, the majority are quite easy to figure ...
29
votes
9answers
14k views

How to transcribe music by ear?

Often times we find ourselves enjoying a piece of music that, for whatever reason, we are unable to find appropriate documentation/tablature for. What are good practices for transcribing music by ear ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

What is the difference between the Circle of Fifths and the Camelot Wheel?

I understand the Camelot Wheel is used by DJs to mix songs of different keys together by using adjacent and relative major/minor keys. Can't this same information be deduced from the Circle of Fifths? ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Why does a minor sixth chord contain a major 6th interval?

This is something that has always puzzled me. Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way but when I build chords I always build them based on the scale that corresponds to the quality of the chord. ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

History of “jazz minor/melodic minor” harmony

I'm curious about the development of modern (post-bop-ish) jazz harmony. In Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book, he shows how modes of the melodic minor scale can be used to form and improvise over chords ...
1
vote
4answers
65 views

What basics should I know to accompany on piano?

I need to accompany on piano for some blues songs. I play a little on piano in childhood and know basic theory. What I need to accompany for this songs: Sweet Home Chicago B.B.King - Everyday I ...
2
votes
12answers
3k views

Improving as a solo guitarist without learning scales

I am a drummer of 20+ years. I am a guitarist for only the last 5 or so (more of a guitar owner). I can play many chords, and have composed a number of songs. I learned to play drums without a ...
12
votes
4answers
4k views

What time signatures are used in flamenco and related styles?

Recently I've been trying to get some flamenco spirit into my playing. I've already experimented with some 'gypsy' scales and it feels good ... but I've also realized that part of the secret is in ...
6
votes
4answers
225 views

What are some harmonic options for layering guitar lines while recording?

I would like to layer multiple guitar lines for a section of a song that I'm working on. What are some harmonic variations that I would be able to use?
36
votes
10answers
71k views

Why learn scales? What are they for?

I tried Googling but it seems there is no answer for this one. So the internet assumes everyone knows what scales are for? Why should I learn them? Are they important to be a good guitarist?
4
votes
4answers
1k views

From Scales and Chords Theory to a chord Progression

I'm a beginner at music theory and started learning it just about a week ago. The whole thing with the piano scales and chords is really difficult to understand, but I have a lot of fun learning it. ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What is an atonal mode?

I got an album by Ornette Coleman and Pat Methany, "X", and on the linear notes it talks about atonal experiments within the song structures. Are there scales and chord progressions that go along with ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Alternatives to standard western notation geared towards composers?

While the western standard for music notation is good for both composers and performers alike, there are certain areas where it is lacking, especially when it comes to new developments in music (...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Is there a term in Western music theory for the underlying mood of a music genre?

Though this doesn't seem to apply to all music genres, I get the impression that some of them have an "underlying mood". For instance, flamenco (the genre I specialize in) has strong melancholy ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the IV - V♯ - I chord progression work so well?

The song Long Away by Queen does this, but it's a pattern you'll probably find in many songs. Basically, I've noticed that when moving from IV to I, a V♯ or V♯maj7 chord is sometimes used as a ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Are these “power chords” in a classical composition?

I've been trying to figure out the chord progression from the beginning of this Mussorgsky piece (orchestrated by Shostakovich, link below) and I'm just curious if I'm getting things right. The chords ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Is a ♭ 3 a minor 3rd, a ♭♭3 a diminished 3rd, and ♭5 a diminished 5th?

I just need some clarification. Am I getting chords notated this way - 1-5-♭7-9-11, 1-3-5-♭7-♯11, 1-3-5-♭7-9-13, 1-4-5-♭7-9-13 - right? 3 == M3 5 == P5 ♭7 =...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

If between E and F is a halftone, why can F not be an E♯

A ♯ raises a note by a semitone or halftone. I'm confused. If E and F are a halftone apart, why can't F be E♯?
3
votes
2answers
149 views

“crescendo” vs hair pin

symphony no.1 movement 1 page 16 by the string sections Working on Peter I. Tchaikovsky first symphony manuscript Conductor score. I came to a interesting observation. On the same page all ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

Why do Open Tunings work? [closed]

Anyone have any idea why open tunings with the A and E low strings in unison and changing the rest of the strings based on tonality works for playing (where you are only fretting with one finger or ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

What's the term for rapidly blending two pitches a single time in a beat?

Here's some examples of what I mean: A chiptune song's lead synth (@ 0:31) A song from Touhou (@ 0:51) Is there a general term for this? Is the term for the vocals version different to the term for ...
7
votes
1answer
510 views

Why isn't the second whole note's accidental natural?

Above is a staff. After the third bar, why isn't the second C either sharp or natural?
3
votes
2answers
351 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
24 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
97 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
453 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
337 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
109 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 (C#...
3
votes
7answers
947 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 project....
29
votes
10answers
6k 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
134 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 ...
25
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 I'...
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) ...
97
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
166 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 ...