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

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10
votes
5answers
632 views

Is a high A in the key of D flat still flat?

I'm learning a song in the key of D flat. I know that any middle A within the song is flat. However, is a high A (above the staff) still flat?
35
votes
4answers
55k views

What is the relationship between “do re mi” and note letter names?

When the people sing the song, we use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, si, ect, but some time I hear that the music people say A, B, C, C flat, ect. Is their relationship or are they two different ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

Uses for augmented chords in composition

I've been studying for music theory for many years and I enjoy just writing little chord progressions and melodies to see what certain progressions sound like and how interesting I can make them. The ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Compound meter( 6/8) beat subdivisions?

I know in the 6/8 compound meter, the first beat gets strong downbeat and the second beat gets the weak upbeat. But I am trying to analyze syncopation in a piece, so I want to know how each of the ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Sharps vs Flats - Formula to determine correct sharp and flat notes in a scale

I am trying to figure out how to know if a note in a scale is a sharp or a flat. So my starting point/input are the intervals of any scale. E.g. here are the Minor pentatonic intervals Interval: 1, ...
21
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
830 views

What is a chord with a diminished third called?

The third of the chord is one of the criteria to determine the name of the chord. If the third is major (and the fifth is perfect), the chord is called major chord ; if the third is minor and the ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the ''backbeat'' called the ''rock beat''?

The basic rock beat is 4/4, so you count 1-2-3-4. And to create the rock rhythm, you have to place the emphasis on the off-beats, which 2 and 4. So it goes like this: one, TWO, three, FOUR. At least ...
6
votes
5answers
681 views

What do these numbers at the start of the music score mean

At the start of a guitar or drum score , there are always these 2 numbers which I don't understand What do the 2 numbers circled in red mean ??
11
votes
5answers
10k 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.
10
votes
5answers
4k views

How to recreate a sound on a synth

Is is possible to recreate any sound you hear in a synth? Think of it like ear training, but with a synth. Being able to deconstruct a sound with your ear, know what type of waveform is being used, ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

How to judge a mix, on e.g. muddiness and balance?

I have been producing music for 7 years: And I have yet to understand how artists are able to tell what a proper mix sounds like. They often tell me that my mix sounds weird and "muddy", but I myself ...
5
votes
3answers
357 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 ...
18
votes
11answers
800 views

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? (as opposed to containing C and D♭ notes)

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? Or do you always have to use D♭ rather than C♯ in a chord that already contains the note C? I'm guessing the answer is no, both C and C♯ should not be ...
13
votes
5answers
930 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

harmonic and melodic minor chord function

if the natural minor and major chord functions are Tonic Function: I, i, and vi - The home chord sounds at rest. It usually provides the beginning and ending for most progressions. Sometimes the ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Word for part of a beat

I'm writing an article describing the musical tradition of a particular culture, but I'm at a loss for general terms for durations shorter than a beat. Simple prolation (such as 2/4 or 3/4) divides a ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo postions?

I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is in ...
85
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
141 views

Voiceleading and piano

I have for a long time been very confused about how the principles of voice leading taught in 4 part Harmony writing relate to music in general. The dogma seems to be that virtually all tonal music is ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Circle of fourths in Jazz

I read on Wikipedia that the circle of fourths (as opposed to circle of fifths) is preferred in the analysis of Jazz music. Why is this so? Are the any good examples to explain this?
7
votes
2answers
361 views

Accidentals in First Species Counterpoint

On page 39 of Alfred Mann's The Study of Counterpoint there is a passage concerning justification of using accidentals in first species counterpoint. Here is the passage: Aloys: [...]but why did ...
0
votes
3answers
113 views

Are the formulae for Minor scale and Major scales related?

I'm looking at the formulae used to create the Major and Minor scales, with 'W' meaning whole step and 'H' meaning half step. Major scale: W-W-H-W-W-W-H Minor scale: W-H-W-W-H-W-W Is there ...
6
votes
5answers
291 views

Does a phrase ending in V7/V - V end in an authentic cadence or a half cadence?

Does a phrase ending in V7/V - V end in an authentic cadence or a half cadence?
11
votes
7answers
7k views

What is a good solo to learn in the Dorian mode?

I understand that Dorian is a commonly used mode in rock. I am starting to play / improvise in the mode and would like to learn some guitar solos that are good examples of this scale so that I see how ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

If A minor doesn't have any accidentals, is it still minor?

As part of a music course, we have to compose a 3 minute long piece based on a river's journey. Having finished the composition, we now have to write a set of sleeve notes - basically an analysis and ...
2
votes
1answer
690 views

Simple chord progression question

I am learning the piano online. I am trying to learn chord progressions. In this simple example the chord progression is supposed to be C F G C (I, IV, V, I). However, in the third part (G) the ...
9
votes
4answers
302 views

Can a chord be both major and minor?

So I was messing up with chords the other day and I came with a case where the chord could be both minor and major. I'm wondering if it can be true or if a chord is either, but cannot be both at the ...
5
votes
4answers
433 views

If I am playing lead in G scale, does it mean that I must start with a G note and end with a G note?

If I am playing lead for song on the spot, and I play a solo using a G major scale, can I start with a G and end with some other note (such as a D for example)? Or is it necessary to end on a G to ...
4
votes
4answers
465 views

Chord Progressions Including Majors That Should Be Minors

I have been learning a song by John Frusciante that looks like it's in D minor (or maybe F Major, you tell me). The main changes go something like this: Amin -- Bb -- Dmin F -- C -- Gmin -- Dmin C ...
6
votes
6answers
219 views

The teaching of scales, chords and keys

A question for the music educators out there. What are we doing wrong that is causing so many young musicians to ask so many questions based on the misapprehension that only certain notes and certain ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Where do the musical note names come from in the chromatic scale? [duplicate]

I'm trying to study some musical theory in my free time and it's starting to make sense but a few things are still bugging me. I've scanned the internet for hours but I can't find a satisfying answer. ...
9
votes
2answers
174 views

What are the characteristic intervals or scales of 13-limit harmony and beyond?

I've been studying and really getting into the Extended Just Intonation music of composers like Ben Johnston and Kyle Gann. I've started trying to explore the sort of intervals and scales that are ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Is there a name for this type ascending inversions of a repeated chord?

I was messing around on one of my guitars one day and stumbled upon this interesting ascending progression. I ended up writing a song using the progression even though I wasn't even sure what the ...
12
votes
10answers
855 views

What key could the progression Cm - G - Dm - Am be in?

I'm working on a song (my first ever actually) and I love the chord sequence: Cm - G - Dm - Am I started off working in C-Major, but borrowed Cm from the parallel minor key C-Minor. But really, in ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Im6 chord in a minor II-V-I

In a minor II-V-I progression, we usually have a IIm7(b5) chord followed by a V7(b9,b13) chord, resolving into Im7. I always thought the diminished 5th in the II chord (also the minor 9th in the V7 ...
6
votes
4answers
329 views

Is this progression considered to be in A mixolydian?

I have a chord progression that goes: A Bm D A G Other areas of the song also have an A, G, D, A progression. Would this song considered to be in A mixolydian vs A major or D major since the root ...
3
votes
9answers
1k views

Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?

I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge. Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

Country music elements

My question is in general but for right now I'm just specific about country music. Every genre of music has its own elements, and some genres have some features and some other don't. For example ...
4
votes
2answers
427 views

Is there a formula/theory for writing country licks/riffs?

Is there a formula/theory for writing country licks/riffs, and where can I find it?
1
vote
2answers
231 views

How can you find the key of a song by ear?

If you don't have the music notation available, how can you determine what key a song is in by just listening? Must one have perfect pitch to do this or is there an easy way or a trick that can help ...
2
votes
3answers
155 views

Ways to use quartal chords

By stacking 4ths in C major, the following quadads result: C, F, B, E D, G, C, F E, A, D, G F, B, E, A G, C, F, B A, D, G, C B, E, A, D (I used C major for simplicity, but this can obviously be ...
1
vote
7answers
456 views

Essential things to memorize in music theory

What are some of the essential music theory concepts to memorize? I just started looking at music theory earlier this week, and I have to admit that it's pretty overwhelming especially since my only ...
4
votes
1answer
601 views

Is this a dissonance? What causes it?

My question is about the use of dissonance in music. In the song Heart Of Amsterdam (for German users, click here instead[*]), from the Lucassen-van Giesbergen "The Gentle Storm" project, at the 3:00 ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Diminished progression

How can you use a progression (like the one below) and have it fit in C major well and support the melody? Please help me with some tips. Do these diminished chords fit in a diatonic scale well, ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

How to differentiate between a diminished fifth and an augmented fourth interval?

Both are a tritone appart, both sound the same. How can we differentiate when an interval is an augmented fourth or a diminished fifth? Context: In voice leading we learn that when the spelling of ...
4
votes
2answers
204 views

Diatonic Function of Accidentals in Counterpoint

Why is it in counterpoint that the fourth degree of natural mode "F" lowered to "Bb" instead of remaining as "B"? Why isn't the fourth degree lowered for other modes? Shouldn't the "B" ...
9
votes
2answers
787 views

Different modes of pentatonic scale

Just as there are seven modes of the diatonic scale, I would expect five modes of the pentatonic scale. Have these been classified? Here they are, in the form of {semitone interval gaps} (Notes for ...
4
votes
3answers
311 views

Understanding music with multiple key changes within chord progressions

So this has been bothering me for some time now; I've been making beats for maybe 7-8 years now but my earlier work is heavily-sampled. I just started actually picking up piano, but on my own, ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

What does a major-7 chord resolve/lead to?

I reckon the major-7 chord is my favourite guitar chord. I was strumming Amaj7 chord and got a lovely first line to a song, but I am not musical enough to figure out what chords fit the melody I was ...