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

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564 views

Transposing notes from piano notation to play on guitar

I have music theory book that is piano centered and switches between bass and violin clefs. I'm wondering how to transpose notes to comfortably play it on guitar. Moving one octave up is best way? ...
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2answers
261 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 ...
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1answer
77 views

Why are major and minor harmonies multiple orders of magnitude more common than modal harmony? [duplicate]

At least for Western music of the past 300 years, it has been far more common for music to have major or minor scales as their basis of harmony, as opposed to a modal harmony. Is there a reason modal ...
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5answers
140 views

Approach to progressing with guitar?

Situation: I can play chords, barre chords, major and minor pentatonic, and diatonic scales. Have been playing for a couple of years but most of that was spent improvising on scales I already know, so ...
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2answers
280 views

I've played piano for three years and have never seen this symbol above a note, what is it?

Really freaked me out when I saw something this uncommon in a beginner song. It's piano solo music if you need that info.
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6answers
543 views

What key could the progression Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E be in?

A friend is writing a song that begins with the following chord progression: Dmaj7-A-Esus4-E, and then repeats. I changed it to this (just trying things out): Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E. The two A ...
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4answers
1k views

Distinction between same notes played on different strings

While playing a particular piece (not chords, fingerpicking/single note playing) on my ukulele (or as far as the question is concerned, any similar instrument), I use the standard notation and then ...
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2answers
77 views

confused about modes and the proper way to use them in my playing

I was wondering if someone could explain to me the correct way to play and use modes. some websites that I use to teach myself about them say that (in relation to C major) the Dorian would simply be: ...
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2answers
106 views

Roman numerals analysis

I'm studying music theory in https://www.musictheory.net I have reach a point where the roman numeral analysis is explained. A couple of lessons later, I found the next image: I really can't make ...
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1answer
88 views

Do I have perfect or relative pitch? [closed]

Okay, I fully understand the definitions and differences between perfect and relative pitch, but I've still been wondering what I have because I feel like my abiities fit neither. To make things ...
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3answers
746 views

Is two singing voices occasionaly being unison “allowed”?

I was writing a lower harmony to an existing (rock) lead voice with a given chord progression and there is a point in time, where it seems like the two voices need to sing the very same note. The only ...
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1answer
71 views

Song is described as C# is this C# major, minor or?

I am learning to play "Every praise by Hezekiah Walker" and the gentleman in the video describes the song in C# with the chords F, Eb, F#, is he referring to C# Major or Minor? I understand C# is ...
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4answers
92 views

Em9-A-B progression - would you consider that a key change?

From a theory perspective, does a repeated R&B progression like Em9-A-B count as a key change occurring over and over, or a I-IV-V progression with a seriously modified I chord (from major to ...
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5answers
4k views

What is “groove”?

How's possible to trigger it? Is there a technical reason for the groove to happen? Is it just when you stuble across any kind of rhythm / melodic progression interaction that "moves"? Please do not ...
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7answers
9k 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 ...
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4answers
868 views

Are there any great open questions in music theory/psychoacoustics?

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, ...
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1answer
94 views

I am a beginner. Why does it appear there are not Bmajor or Fmajor chords? [closed]

When viewing piano or guitar chords, there are the usual A,C,D,E,G major chords. Why not B and F majors as well?
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8answers
2k views

Is it possible to create a completely new genre of music

This question might appear really weird, but still I ended up asking me this. Every genre of music as we know today comes from some previous genre (as an evolution, a combination of two different ...
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1answer
44 views

Tchaikovsky symphony No1 movement 1 time 2/4

I'm busy with the first symphony of Peter I. Tchaikovsky. In movement 1 the time signature is 2/4. Can someone explain the choice of putting 2/4 instead of 4/4. If it goes with the feel I don't feel ...
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2answers
128 views

B - F - A chord in the key of C major

It was published in 1891 so I guess the harmony is based on common practice era music. There is one exercise (in C major) that I can play but I just don't really know how to understand it ...
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2answers
45 views

Making part of a triad chord sharper, but is it counted as minor?

I'm confused about the transitioning from Major triad chord to Minor triad chord ("Triad Chord" means playing 3 notes/keys at once to form a chord) So in band (Not those type of Rock Band,the one ...
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1answer
212 views

When do you play major or minor keys? [closed]

I'm confused about major and minor keys when reading sheet music. Major and minor keys are when you play multiple keys at once, but can you give me an example of when you'd do this while reading sheet ...
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2answers
280 views

Why are the harmonic and melodic minor scales called what they are?

Does the harmonic minor have something to do with harmony, and does the melodic minor have something to do with melody? I searched this question on Google and nothing came up.
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2answers
259 views

Is there a key signature for harmonic minor scale?

I know that sharp key signatures are applied in the order: F C G D A E B and that flat key signatures are applied as: B E A D G C F. But these are for major and minor scales, right? Is there a way to ...
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2answers
3k views

An effective method for counting and identifying time signatures.

When I listen to some odd time signature songs I have some serious trouble dissecting the time signatures at times. Songs with 6/8 or 3/4 are easy enough to identify, but some progressive rock/metal ...
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4answers
489 views

What's the term for the intervals between notes within a scale that produces a chord

I probably described that poorly in the title, and I'm not even sure there is a word for what I'm thinking. Lets say you're playing on just the white keys on a keyboard. C E G is C major, and D F A ...
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1answer
91 views

How to practice music theory? [closed]

Since i'm self taught, I don't really know how to go about this. Do i memorize the notes on the fretboard, the different chords in a scale, etc?
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0answers
88 views

Literature on scientific achievements in physiological acoustics after Helmholtz [closed]

I'm greatly interested in theoretical/mathematical/physiological aspects of music and sound. As everyone knows, the Greek already discovered that consonant sounds seem to correspond to simple ...
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9answers
2k views

Is it necessary to use only notes and chords that belong in a specific scale?

I used to think it is necessary to at least follow the chords of a scale until I came across the Nirvana song "Lithium" and I realized the notes and chords he used in the song don't fit in any scale! ...
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3answers
546 views

Triangle Tonnetz vs. Hexagon Tonnetz

I have just started to learn about Tonnetz and I've run across two very representations of the same information in different types of Tonnetz. In the first one shown below the triangles represent a ...
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1answer
46 views

A quarter note or an eighths? [duplicate]

Maybe a beginner question - but can't find any information on this and have no one to ask! On the image below - how is the first note meant to be played? How can it be both an eighths and a quarter? ...
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3answers
164 views

Why does the V6 chord sound so different from the plain V chord?

I am a twelfth year pianist, and I have done a fair amount of composition. However, I have no idea why the major five chord sounds so much different when played over the major seventh in the bass. ...
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3answers
169 views

Ideas on how to concentrate/not get lost when listening to a song for transcription/understanding purposes

I am learning to listen analytically to music (listening to try and figure out what is going on) but I tend to get lost in the music quite easily. For example, when I start counting in my head, at ...
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2answers
110 views

Why are the same notes written on different staves?

I am learning Chopin's Prelude No. 15 in D flat Major, and I was curious as to why the Db F notes in the bass are written in the lower stave in the first bar but then the upper stave in the second ...
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5answers
151 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 ...
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3answers
93 views

Does this cadence have a name?

The cadence on the fermata in this (simplified) example sounds familiar to me (in blue): Since it does, I suppose it possibly has a name. My best guesses trying to analyze it so far are: half ...
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1answer
57 views

accidentals in measure

What I self studied is that an accidental stays throughout the measure to the bar. Lately I saw in a theory work book, there's two conditions 1. The same note. (That's ok with me) 2. It's on the same ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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5answers
691 views

chord progressions - Fm to Bb, sounds different to Cm to F

I recently started trying my hand at composition and could not figure out why the two chords progressions sounds different: F minor followed by B flat major, which is an interval of a 4th C minor ...
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2answers
135 views

Why are there 18 notes listed for chromatic scale tuning

The Wikipedia page for the Chromatic scale opens by saying (emphasis added): The chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone above or below another. However if you ...
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3answers
257 views

Do the notes of a chord form parallel octaves, even when they are not played simultaneously?

Here is an example of what I'm trying to say The sample below is in Bb major. Do the notes of the bass and the alto form parallel octaves? On the alto voice I'm using delayed resolution. On the ...
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7answers
608 views

Is it necessary to learn the names of fret notes?

I know the names of the notes up to about the fifth fret on each string. I play from sheet music occasionally, but mostly from tabs - so is it necessary to learn the names of the notes for each fret ...
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3answers
967 views

What is this straight line at the beginning of the measure?

Could this just be a error on the editors part? Is it possible that i could also be a ghost note of some sort?
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4answers
226 views

Is it essential to learn music theory in order to play an electronic keyboard as a piano for fun?

I have been learning musictheory.net. It seems adequate for reading notes. But, I don't know how much I want to learn about music theory if I want to play an electronic keyboard well enough to enjoy ...
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2answers
181 views

Is there a lower limit for how short a note can be, in a given time signature?

A given time signature, say common time, establishes a limit for how long a note's value can be (nothing bigger than a whole note would fit in a 4/4 bar), but does this imply also a lower limit? For ...
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1answer
95 views

How to transcribe a score without a rigid tempo?

How do you notate a score that doesn't have a continuous tempo, but ebbs and flows? How can you communicate the rhythmic intentions of the composer to future players? What I was lectured that you need ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
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6answers
2k views

How to create Chord progressions that make sense

I've been reading over Walter Piston's Harmony book, and it has been an eye-opener to say the least. I understand concepts like tension and release, voice leading and so forth, but I still don't ...
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3answers
96 views

notating a cappella liturgy music

Trying to notate recorded liturgy a cappella music. I have a problem with getting the notes right. Since the music changes keys from 3/4 to 4/4 etc. in a movement, the ebb and flow changes constantly. ...
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1answer
95 views

How to understand a 32 bar progression

I am learning some country progressions. There is a waltz time 32 bar progression in the style of some old Tex Ritter song, I think. It's not just two 16 bar progressions (the last two 16 bars are ...