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

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12
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1answer
471 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have hear the term Neapolitan 6th a quite few times, but I don't know what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Score analysis: Minuet in G Minor BWV Anh 115

The piece modulates from G minor to Bb major between the bars 12-14 but I don't know how to mark these chords as they have B natural in them, which doesnt't belong neither to G minor nor Bb major. So, ...
6
votes
5answers
554 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 ??
2
votes
3answers
400 views

melody within a chord progression

Ive searched for such a simple question though all i get is the worst of answers. how do I add voice melody in a guitar chord progression. By voice melody i mean the singing you are doing throughout ...
13
votes
6answers
7k views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature even if different parts of the song have different time signatures there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

Omitting the 5th in four part counterpoint

When writing four part counterpoint in context of the common practice period it is common to omit the 5th of a chord when in a jam. Is it always ok to omit the 5th and are there times when the 5th of ...
5
votes
2answers
557 views

Difference between passing note and suspension?

I'm under the impression that a passing note has a dissonance on a "weak" beat. So you may have |3, 4|6 where | is a barline where the 3 4 6 all form a scalic run. e.g. F G| A ontop of a bass of D | ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

music theory on a minor chord and how long to hold each chord when creating a song. [closed]

i know that for a major chord the ones that sound best are the 1st 4th n 5th though what bout for a minor chord. Does that rule still apply. I would also like to humbly ask for a simplified way to ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Classical music theory notation for chord inversions (figured bass)

In classical music harmony analysis, we see the chord inversions notated like I6/4, I6, V4/3. Examples: What are those numbers? How do they define the inversion? What's the theory behind using ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Melodic Equivalence of a rhyme?

It is very common in most songs with lyrics for the end of a vocal phrase to rhyme with the end of another vocal phrase. It also very common for solo instruments to play the same phrase twice and have ...
4
votes
2answers
396 views

Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys

As a search for specific questions for this broad question (Changing key in a song convincingly), I am asking for "mainstream" classical music examples (pre-modern era and movie scores can be ...
10
votes
1answer
191 views

Trumpet improv harmonics?

So I have no background in music theory, only basic knowledge from junior high band, but I've recently started playing trumpet with some friends and I've noticed that when I try to improvise, if I ...
11
votes
5answers
534 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
340 views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I ...
5
votes
3answers
356 views

What is the definition of counterpoint?

We see the concept of counterpoint in many contexts, from classical music composition to jazz improvisation. What is the definition of counterpoint?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

In jazz, what is a guide tone?

I've heard that guide tones are very useful while improvising, and seems to be an important concept for jazz theory. What is a guide tone? How can it help improvisation?
2
votes
2answers
190 views

The tonic's seventh

The tonic's seventh is both the seventh of the chord and the leading tone of the scale. So what should happen with this seventh if it needs to be raised or lowered?
17
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5answers
3k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
3
votes
1answer
768 views

What is texture, according to classical music theory?

Texture in a sound-design, acoustic, and sound engineering context refers to the harmonic content of a sound, its timbre. Now that I'm starting to dive into classical music theory, it seems that ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
145 views

The Harmony of Clashing Tempos

The jazz guitarist John McLaughlin once published a book of scores for a number songs that he composed for his Mahavishnu Orchestra. There are some very unusual theoretical conundrums that come up ...
13
votes
1answer
919 views

What is harmonic mixing / mix in key?

I'm currently learning how to become a DJ. One of the concepts that caught my attention was "harmonic mixing". I know some very basic music theory, and I'm having some trouble understanding it. What ...
2
votes
4answers
192 views

Progressing from a C Minor 9th

If I am playing a C Minor 9th chord what are the next chords up that work with a C Minor 9th? Am I able to follow the C Minor scale and create a 9th from each note in the scale? A bit confused on ...
6
votes
3answers
170 views

How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
4
votes
3answers
313 views

I need help understanding a complex (or maybe compound) time signature

I composed this song a few years ago originally using a tracker (an old-school, very freeform compositional workflow), and have been recently trying to transcribe it into a more modern DAW (Ableton ...
6
votes
4answers
891 views

How does “triplet feel” for eighth notes affect non-eighth notes?

I'm a software developer creating a MIDI player that can play with "triplet feel" -- that is, when it sees two eighth notes, it plays them as if they were a triplet of quarter note + eighth note. This ...
7
votes
5answers
194 views

The Musical Effect of a Unison Ensemble

Upon reading sheet music for black spirituals, I discovered something unusual: As you might notice, the bass, tenor, alto, and soprano parts are all singing the exact same notes throughout the ...
7
votes
1answer
564 views

What are 5 and 6 note chords called?

I only know how to play 2 different types of chords which is a Triad (3 notes) and a 7th (4 notes). But, I often see chords with 5 or 6 notes being used. What are these types of chords called? An ...
4
votes
4answers
289 views

How to analyze music outside of common practice harmony?

I'm familiar enough with common practice harmony, its rules and methods for diatonically harmonizing the scale, tonicizing scale degrees and modulating into new keys. But these tools seem to lose ...
7
votes
5answers
241 views

Chords and Intervals - Unison

Just trying to wrap my head around intervals but I'm confused by Unison. If I am playing a chord on a piano, how do you play a Unison chord if you can't press the same key twice at the same time? ...
15
votes
4answers
545 views

Why do melodies have harmonies?

It seems to me that every melody can be assigned chords. Although different people may assign different chords, in many cases, only certain chords (a small subset of all possible chord choices) seem ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

What are the notes in a 11th chord?

Does a chord like C11 contain (apart from 1st, 3rd, 5th) the 7th and the 9th? Or I can just play the 3rd, 5th and the 11th and the root? I have the same question with chords like C9 and C13.
11
votes
4answers
339 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the aeolian mode the minor scale?

I've studied music theory for many years now, and one thing has always confused me about the naming methodology for the minor scale. A major scale is based off the Ionian mode and consist of only ...
13
votes
3answers
398 views

Why do harmonics sound good?

Harmonics, as in multiple of a fundamental frequency, sound good to our ears. A few examples: Octaves, i.e. doubling the frequency. We assimilates pitches separated by octaves to a same pitch class. ...
17
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4answers
2k views

Why do frets get closer as the notes get higher?

Why do spaces between guitar frets get smaller as the notes get higher?
3
votes
2answers
241 views

Common patterns in music

When I asked my question on why do C7 chords contain a Bb and not a B, a user gave an example, how tonic chords transforms into a IV chord thru a dominant chord (C - C7 - F). I found this transition ...
2
votes
1answer
426 views

Which scales to use on complex chord progressions?

According to this article, it is possible to make a chord progression by just keeping one tone that remains constant in all chords of the progression. Also, it gives these examples: Cadd9 F6 D G ...
6
votes
3answers
159 views

Cb and Eb in C minor

I'm working on Beethoven's Sonata no 5 I passed by this I can't figure out how the C and E are flat, as Cb is a B and E is already Flat according to the C minor scale I'm very new to music ...
9
votes
5answers
384 views

Writing Arrangements

I play in a youth brass band and I've been writing basic arrangements for it for the past year or so. The thing is, I use MuseScore. I just enter what I think will sound good, play it back and make ...
4
votes
2answers
794 views

What are the chords in the harmonic minor and the melodic minor scales?

I want to know what the chords are in the harmonic and the melodic minor scales. Like if we take C major scale, then the chords are C Dm Em F G Am Bm(b5) C If we take C natural minor scale, then ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Question about key modulation in 'Magdalena' by Johannes Brahms

I am analyzing the chords in 'Magdalena' by Johannes Brahms, and am having trouble determining whether the key modulates from g minor. The piece is in strophic form, and repeats measures 1-8 three ...
5
votes
4answers
281 views

What chord is this and when is it the dominant?

For a song I've written I do a chromatic descending climb with the bass note in a Cm chord and end up with my fingers like this: First of all I'd like to know what chord this is, my guess is an A ...
8
votes
3answers
372 views

What is a “D-10” Chord?

I found a Paul McCartney Song..."Maybe I'm Amazed"... that showed a chord that still has me stumped: D-10 is the name of the chord Now, I understand that most chord names are 'even' (as opposed to ...
1
vote
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

Placement of F# on Alto Clef

For the past four or so years now, I have been playing the Viola. Y'all know what that means: Alto clef. Up until just a few weeks ago, I have always seen an F# displayed in a key signature like this: ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How to make songs with chords that don't belong in a scale?

I've always wondered how come there can be a chord progression with some chord that doesn't belong in the particular scale... Moreover, how can it be possible that this progression is in any key at ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

How are pitch and tempo related to harmony

Currently I am trying to write a program to create harmony. From an input wav file (human voice) , I used some signal processing to get tempo and pitch. My next step is to create harmony based on the ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

seeking a piece or study, melodic minor [closed]

I'm teaching electric guitar to a chap who has developed a love for music theory and playing classical and neo-classical pieces. He has requested some more minor work and further explanation of the ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

How to improve/solo over a song/backing track besides staying in key?

I recently bought an electric guitar and am looking to start soloing/playing along songs/backing tracks - I have learnt all positions of the pentatonic scale, know a handful of licks and have a basic ...