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

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5
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2answers
319 views

What do these unusual time signature symbols mean?

I have been studying advanced music theory lately. Having explored a wide range of musical symbols, I was surprised to encounter the following time signature symbols I've never seen before in ...
1
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3answers
143 views

When to learn music reading?

Do I have to know some scales before learning to read music notation? And please recommend me a good book to learn read music on the guitar.
2
votes
7answers
366 views

How can I learn the theory behind chord progressions?

How can I learn about the relationships between chords to build chords progressions? Every book I read explains how to build chords, but they don't teach how to put the chords in progression. They ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Theory behind the change from a major chord to the same in minor

In many songs I hear the change from a major chord to the same, but minor. For example F A Bb Bbm. It sounds really nice to me and I'm wondering if there is a theory behind it. Is there a genre ...
4
votes
3answers
667 views

How Long Can an Anacrucis Be?

Most anacruses are less than a bar long. Often a one note pick up. An example that brings up my question is 'Fur Elise', which seems to have a pick up which lasts for four beats (in 3 time), before ...
14
votes
1answer
373 views

Do accidentals earlier in the measure affect a trill?

I was attempting to help someone understand all the markings in a piece with which they are unfamiliar. One, however, has given me pause: Now, I know the rule for a trill is that it ordinarily ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Can one measure the “distance” between chords? If so, how?

I was reading an article an the author gave the following sequence of chords: C A7 Dm G C I would like to measure the "distance" if there is such a thing between C and A7. Can this be done? In ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Bass Guitar Theory: playing with lead sheets

When playing with lead sheets (which is how I always play), I sometimes have a hard time when to go "off script" and go from boring old root-note playing to walking up or down and hitting passing ...
2
votes
4answers
252 views

Should I learn the CAGED patterns for harmonic and melodic minor scales?

So I learned all the 12 patterns for major scale. Should learn the CAGED system for harmonic and melodic minor scales because there are 4 notes on some strings?
6
votes
3answers
291 views

Melody Writing - Tension & Release

I'm back with a more specific question. I read in a book entitled 'Complete Idiots Guide for Music Composition' which has a detailed discussion on writing melodies and techniques to do so. As I have ...
2
votes
2answers
667 views

Scale, Heptatonic Scale, Diatonic Scale, Major Scale

A scale with 7 notes, in an octave, is called a Heptatonic Scales. Heptatonic scales are further divided based on tone and semitones arrangements. If a Heptatonic scale have five tones and two ...
6
votes
2answers
435 views

How did the plagal modes differ from their authentic counterpart in practice?

In the traditional modal system there were eight modes. Four that were authentic and four were plagal. These modes are depicted below: Based on the description of the modes the final note of the ...
7
votes
6answers
741 views

When does the amount of beats not add up to the time signature? (Besides pickup measures)

I read from https://www.boundless.com/users/232513/textbooks/understanding-basic-music-theory/notation-1/time-8/pickup-notes-and-measures-54-13529/ that there are exceptions to the rule that there ...
7
votes
4answers
831 views

What Happens To The Melody When Played In A Different Key

What happens to notation (e.g. a melody line) when a tune is played in a different key than the one it was written in? Do the notes alter in any way or do they always stay the same as originally ...
3
votes
4answers
868 views

Can a melody contain only non chord tones?

I was wondering if it is acceptable, from a theoretical standpoint, to have a melody that doesn't contain any tones from the chord that is played with it? Are there any examples of songs that have ...
-2
votes
2answers
77 views

Percentage Of Different Scales That Are Exactly Alike? [closed]

Was playing with iOS app “Piano Companion” and apparently I'm really quite amazingly consistent. I added two favorite scales that I found in the app and they are exactly the same; namely: D#/...
10
votes
3answers
812 views

What mode consists of the note G A Bb C Db E F G?

I was playing random scales . I came to a strange nice sounding mode,but could not find out what it's name theoretically. (Even I could not find a tonic sounding in it) The scale/mode notes are : G ...
0
votes
2answers
168 views

Basic music theory learning tips

sorry if this has been posted before. I have a very specific question and although the answers may be scattered, it may be easier to post as a new one. I've started learning scales and this has come ...
4
votes
6answers
462 views

Using the correct enharmonic equivalent

I'm trying to figure out in which situations say, a G# is preferred to an Ab. I know that the two spellings wont necessarily represent tones of identical frequency, and that they only coincide in ...
0
votes
3answers
127 views

Tips on improving rhythmic notation

I know in theory what rhythmic values are such as quarter note, half note, and whole note etc.., and I can do linear scale exercises very quickly without metronome, but I feel difficult to integrate ...
4
votes
4answers
246 views

Is there a term that describes straight 8ths / 16ths vs swing?

I'm a student and have been playing exercises that are either straight 8ths, swing 8ths, straight 16ths or swing 16ths. I'm wondering if there's a term for these different rhythms. If used in a ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Can a motif be found outside of a phrase?

Can motifs be found outside of phrases, like by itself? Or do you think that would actually make that "motif by itself" act like a phrase in it's own right?
1
vote
5answers
235 views

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece music to make it pleasant to listen to?

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece of music? For example, when playing a guitar accompaniment for 'Amazing Grace' it does not sound pleasant when you play only a G chord throughout the ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

What's are the essential skills that I need to arrange songs to guitar?

I'm a beginner guitarist (started five months ago), my goal is to be a fingerstyle player. On the horizon of two years, I want to be able to arrange songs. So what's are the essential scales and ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

Score analysis: Beethoven - Menuetto IV in F major (WoO9) at measure 4

I'm new to music and I'm trying to learn analysis, my question is, what chord is represented in the last bar of this excerpt? It has C in bass, so it could be a dominant chord, but rest of the notes ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why isn't there a key signature with F flat?

I think the title asks the question. There are key signatures with Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb and Gb. But no Fb. There's probably no practical reason for my question. I'm just curious.
2
votes
3answers
170 views

What is the difference between (guitar) articulation and dynamics, and how do they relate?

I have been looking into articulation and dynamics over the past week, primarily focused on guitar (but I'm sure any learning musician can benefit from this regardless of your instrument). I believe I ...
1
vote
1answer
298 views

Why is the snare always on the 3rd beat? [closed]

In the music I listen to (normally Future Bass, Glitch Hop and other genres like such), the snare is what keeps the music from getting unstable, it seems. All of the music has a snare smack dab on the ...
0
votes
4answers
168 views

What is the process I should follow to analyse a piece like this?

This piece (called Roundabouts) is from a book on how to play the piano. I thought it would be fun to analyse this piece but it seems to be very difficult. It's in the key of C major and the two ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

What is the name of the chord contains the notes Ab, C, D and G?

In the key of Bb major I came across a chord that contained the notes Ab, C, D and G. What chord could this be?
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Half oval 3 over notes

I'm a bit confused about this graphic, notice the half ovals on top with the 3 in the center: Is that a "triplet" and the same as this graphic in guitar pro? Please note that I have searched but ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

When/how to switch in between major and minor pentatonic

I'm trying to figure out how I can mix major and minor pentatonic scales and was wondering if someone could explain the underlying theory concepts that would dictate under what chords/chord changes ...
3
votes
3answers
310 views

8 under clef and timing questions

Please look at the below graphic, there are a few things that are confusing me: 1 - Why is there an 8 under the treble clef? 2 - This is in common 4/4 time, yet one of the beginning 8th notes (in ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

Some numbers in notation, what does it mean and how do I replicate it in Guitar Pro?

I am trying to copy a page of (guitar) music notation to Guitar Pro, but I am a bit confused about what the numbers above ( "4" "3" "2" "3") and numbers in circles ("3" "2") mean... as well as how do ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

What does this roman numeral (2) mean? [duplicate]

as you can see above, there is a II in two places, what does that mean? Thanks!
4
votes
2answers
302 views

What is the meaning of time signatures with fractions on the top like ⅘ /4?

Recently I came across this List of musical works in unusual time signatures on Wikipedia. Some of the time signatures mentioned have fractional numbers on the top. e.g. two and a half over four, ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Beginning of Chopin nocturne no.20: slur and tie confusion

In the opening bars of this c-sharp minor nocturne, we have the famous descending scales that are played twice, first in piano then in pianissimo. Here's a snapshot (source) of the part in question: ...
3
votes
5answers
340 views

Roman Numeral Analysis of Chords Outside Of The Key: C7 in the key of E major

I'm completing a roman numeral analysis in E Major, but there's several chords marked out that fall outside of the key - either with an accidental that shouldn't be there or they're marked as minor. ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

Difference between a I7 - V resolution and I7 - IV resolution

I watched a video lesson on the Floyd Cramer style and the teacher said that resolutions of C7-G (I7-V) is no good. We have to use resolutions of C7-F (I7-IV). Why would that be? It was supposed to ...
2
votes
3answers
347 views

Coda, segno; How to repeat chorus 3 times?

I have a song like this, for example: bar 1 = a bar 2 = b bar 3 = chorus bar 4 = d bar 5 = e bar 6 = chorus bar 7 = g bar 8 = h bar 9 = chorus Do I need rewrite "chorus" everytime? Or can I use ...
-1
votes
1answer
78 views

Is this piece of music in binary or ternary form? [closed]

Is the uploaded piece of music in binary or ternary form? I think it is ternary because it has 7 bars with an anacrusis and the melody doesn't repeat itself.
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Which key Harmonica to use in conjunction with Distorted Electric Guitar in C#/D half step down

I'm in a melodic metalcore band, and we're looking to include some harmonica riffs/solos in some songs. We're currently writing in C# or D half step down and would like some help in this subject. We'...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Can Appoggiaturas be doubled or tripled?

I know the basic definition of the nonharmonic tone an appoggiatura is a nonharmonic tone that is approached by skip/leap and then resolves by step in the opposite direction. I've recently heard the ...
7
votes
1answer
321 views

What is the Lydian Chromatic Concept?

I've recently found out about George Russell's book the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization and I've been curious about exactly what the Lydian Chromatic Concept is and how it can be used ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

In Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, why is the B always flat in the exercises done in the F mode?

In Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, when in the F mode (lydian), the B is always flat, at least in the first and second species examples. The cantus firmus proposed by master Aloys avoids the note ...
1
vote
4answers
866 views

B -> C and E -> F, No Sharp?

The keyboard has these notes: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# Why do B and C and E and F not have a sharp note between them? If they did, the keyboard would look like this: A A# B B#...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

Do algorithms exist to calculate chords during performance while playing only baseline and melody?

I would like to play a bassline and melody on a MIDI controller and have the computer dynamically fill in chords as I'm playing. I assume that there are several choices for each chord that the ...
7
votes
5answers
379 views

chords in BWV 846

I have been doing chord analysis on BWV 846 (prelude). It is very interesting and I hope you can help me with some questions: I understand that doing chord analysis is good but what is the reason ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the difference between arpeggio and broken chord?

I always thought of them as synonyms, but googling around found that some people see them as different, with the distinctions changing depending on who you ask. Is there a formal distinction between ...