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

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2
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4answers
126 views

Is the bass line accompaniment in a song classed as its own melody / voice?

Lets take Fur Elise as an example. Would we class the left hand accompaniment as a melody in its own right? If this is so, would this be considered contrapuntal writing?
0
votes
3answers
208 views

How to play a Pentatonic Major using a Pentatonic Minor 3 octave shape

Ok, so the : C Major Pentatonic and the A Minor Pentatonic are supposed to be the same stuff. But I'm unsure how that happens theoretically. (Apart from the obvious fact that they have the ...
4
votes
6answers
308 views

What is the best way to learn scales on guitar?

I want to be able to just play solos in a certain scale, but what is the best way to learn scales? Is it in the block shapes or just learn the fret board?
2
votes
2answers
311 views

C Major Blues Scale Formula

I'm very new to the music theory and I have started to write every single scale to my notebook but I come across this C major pentatonic scale and felt the need to ask how it can be written in the ...
3
votes
6answers
739 views

Time signatures

Again I do some calculations to put clarity in my question Say BPM = 120 so beat time is 0.5 seconds Now in 4/4 the quarter note duration is 0.5 seconds If you have 4/2 (for same BPM)the half note ...
8
votes
7answers
447 views

Why aren't unusual leading tone cadences more common?

As far as I understand, the main reason why an authentic cadence (i.e. V–I) works well and is so common, is that the dominant chord contains the leading tone, which resolves very strongly to the ...
3
votes
0answers
399 views

How to determine whether a song is considered musical plagiarism? [closed]

When I a try to compose my own music, I often come up with melody that is a bit similar with songs that I have heard before, and sometime I just feel that I have heard the melody somewhere, but I ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Term for central note in melody

Is there a music theory term to describe when a melody revolves around one key repeated note? For example, in a piece I am playing, the melody is: F C G C Ab C Bb C. Or, in my version of "spatial ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

Bartok Mikrokosmos Book 3, no. 70

I have recently been trying to master this piece from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, and at first sight, it appeared daunting due to the fact that the right-hand part is in B major and the left-hand part is in ...
1
vote
3answers
190 views

Correctly notating sharps and flats [duplicate]

I always had this issue when naming certain notes in the music scale. For example, when I spell out certain notes such as Eb, some people have advised me to use D# instead of Eb stating that it is the ...
2
votes
5answers
445 views

How to master the guitar fretboard

I've been playing guitar for many years, yet I have made the huge mistake of never really learning scales. I want to catch up, but I'm a bit lost, since there are so many scales in so many different ...
4
votes
5answers
257 views

Tonality of modes?

With the basic modes like phrygian, Lydian etc, the modes with the same notes as C major ( so no flats or sharps) how do they sound different from a major or minor scale.( this is like E phrygian).
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0answers
12 views

How do figure out time signatures [duplicate]

Just by listening to a song, phrase or any music how can I find the time signature, will i just keep tapping or is there a more effective method.
1
vote
3answers
128 views

Melody notes over Chord progressions

Is there any way of knowing what note in a scale would fit with a chord, or is it all trial and error, or do you just have to have that not you play in the melody feature in the chord you are playing? ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Unusual time signatures?

I was just wondering if you could get time signatures where the bottom number is 3,5,6,7,9,10,11 and so on. I did not know if you could have dotted notes as your base note
2
votes
3answers
266 views

What is the difference between a chord progression and a riff?

I am just wondering what the difference between a chord progression and a riff is? My assumptions are that riffs are generally 2 measures long, and they are pretty much classed as being played over a ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

How are phrases used in Rock music? [closed]

My assumption is that what constitutes a phrase is a full riff, or full chord progression?
3
votes
3answers
114 views

A question about quarter notes

I have a question about the term quarter note. I thought of putting clarity in the question by doing a little calculation. Let us say BPM = 120 .So Beat time is 0.5 s. So in 4/4 signature the ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

What does this crossed-note notation mean?

What does this notation mean? It is in 5/8 time. Is it some sort of a performance direction?
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Why and when to use 12-bar blues?

Why and when do I use 12-bar blues? I know it's used with pentatonic and blues scales, but people like Jimi Hendrix, John Frusciante, and many others use pentatonic and blues scales with other chord ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Creating a Harmony that Harmonizes with a Chord

I'm trying to get a harmony that will harmonize with my chord, Am. I want something to harmonize with the A,G,F melody and with Am. Is there any way to do this? This is what I have, I would like to ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them make me a better guitarist? [closed]

I found a similar question on SE already, but it still didn't adequately explain what I'm trying to figure out, so here goes: What exactly is a scale, what are they for, and how does practising them ...
3
votes
4answers
493 views

Why is the 3rd omitted from common G Maj 7 shapes in guitar?

I'm reading that Major 7 is : 1-3-5-7. But most G Maj 7 stuff i see does not have the third. Mainly because keeping a third(2nd fret, 5th string, standard tuning) results in a difficult to hold ...
3
votes
3answers
77 views

I don't understand dominant 7ths in cadences

I am confused with the following passage: Dominants are associated with a strong urge to resolve to their next chord in the circle of fifths. This particular sequence, E7 A7 Dm (or V7/V-V7-i) ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

“Spoiled” suspension

What is the theoretical term for the voice-leading phenomenon whereby the note that a suspension is expected to resolve to appears in another voice on the same beat that the suspension begins? You can ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh

The Phrygian dominant scale with a major seventh instead of a minor seventh is formed by: a root a minor second a major third a fourth a fifth a minor sixth a major seventh. My questions are: ...
6
votes
3answers
189 views

“Tritone” intervals in n-tone equal temperament

In 12-tone equal temperament, the tritone interval is made of three whole tones (six semitones) and is considered, if I am not mistaken totally, as the most dissonant interval. I have two questions: ...
10
votes
2answers
309 views

How long is Staccato?

Question for skimmers: how do we know when to play portamento/portato or a dry staccato? Is it based on a date or composer? Or is a half-staccato still common practice? Sometime in college I played ...
4
votes
3answers
556 views

Are whole notes/rests really used to signify variable lengths of time?

I saw this answer and I thought the guy was absolutely crazy for assuming that a whole note automatically equaled one measure regardless of time signature. However, there does appear to be more than ...
3
votes
2answers
624 views

How Do Time Signatures Affect a Song?

I've never really understood time signatures and why there are different ones. Just trying to get a better understanding of them. If you are just changing how you count it, how does that translate ...
3
votes
2answers
213 views

Voice-leading and Composition

This is a follow up to a post I made a couple of months ago regarding the way the four-part harmony voice-leading, taught in most harmony texts, is to be understood in relation to composition. In the ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

What is this mirrored rest? [duplicate]

Haven't seen this mirrored rest before (from Gymnopedia No. 1). What does it mean? How long of a rest is it? Thanks.
1
vote
1answer
181 views

How to tell binary form from ternary form?

I know that binary form has 2 equal sections (AB) and ternary has 3 (ABA), but because my piece of ABA form music has 6 bars and can be divided into 3 equal sections, it means that the same total ...
6
votes
6answers
503 views

Normal chords are boring, I want more!

Playing for example, pop songs can be boring, max 6 chords are used. When I listen to pro players, they add more weird, dissonant chords while transiting from one of that 6 chords to another. Now, ...
9
votes
1answer
290 views

How does it make sense to leave the root out of a chord?

Chord names can include information about notes to be left out, for instance no5, no3 or even nr (for no root). - Bob Broadley on "Are the names for these chords valid?", May 29 2015 How can a ...
3
votes
1answer
292 views

What is it called when the note pattern is the same in each bar but the actual pitch and note are different?

I have a question for music theory asking me about what I notice about the rhythm in bars 3-6 and the note pattern is the same : crotchet, 4 quavers, crotchet, minim. But the actual name of the note ...
1
vote
3answers
127 views

What's a “chord register”?

Someone said: "When you're doing more than one person who does the rhythm part, do your chord in another register, maybe higher or maybe lower." What's really the definition of the "register" ...
5
votes
2answers
301 views

Why does the Hendrix E7#9 chord sound good?

The Hendrix chord contains both a flat 10th/sharp 9th, which are a half step (plus an octave) apart from the major third. From a classical harmony standpoint, those two notes in the same chord should ...
3
votes
3answers
218 views

Chord progressions : which note resolves to which note

In the key of C , going from G to C, note B resolves strongly to note C. How should the note D resolve? (To note C or E? I guess it should be to note C, assuming the key note has higher "priority". ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Priority of Da Coda vs. Repeat sign

There are three different cases I can think of, with a Da Coda embedded within repeat signs. My question for these three cases is the same: Do you jump to the Coda right when you reach the Da Coda or ...
1
vote
1answer
105 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
737 views

What is the difference between a “triplet” and a “trill”

This may be an easy question... but I have limited Theory knowledge so... I have heard the word Trill being used to describe a method of adding multiple notes into one beat. Now from what I ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Whole bar rest in 6/8 time?

Can one expect to find a semibreve rest in 6/8 compound time?
4
votes
1answer
301 views

How are keys in the circle of fifths related?

I know this seems like a basic question, and in the traditional sense, I actually know how their related. Though, whilst reading a book titled 'harmony for computer musicians', I've come across a ...
9
votes
1answer
197 views

Scales in modal versus tonal music

When tonal music replaced modal music, why were 6 of the 8 scales (modes) used in modal music abandoned in favor of only two, major and minor? Superficially this would look like a reduction in the ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

Are the names for these chords valid?

I came up with these chord names, but I don't know if they are right: 1st chord c d# F# G# B = cmM7add-13b5 --- cmm7 = c d# B... add-13 = g#<< min 6 without 11th.... b5 = actual 5th lowered ...
4
votes
1answer
440 views

What is a bebop enclosure?

One of the cornerstones of the bebop style is the bebop enclosure. What is it? How is it used in improvisation? What effect does it have?
25
votes
4answers
4k views

Physics behind why a bugle can play several notes, while a whistle only plays one note

A bugle and a whistle are essentially both tubes open at both ends. A bugle has no keys, yet you can play several notes on it. A whistle also has no keys, but it only plays a single note. Why is this? ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Motifs in Bartók's 5th Quartet

I'm doing a motific analysis of the first movement of Bartók's 5th Quartet and I've traced almost everything. The only bit which bothers me occurs at bar 82, then again at bar 177 where it forms the ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Is sensitive a vaild alternative name for the leading tone?

I was reading the sample version of Modern Harmony Step By Step and one passage caught my eye: In the passage above it seems that what is typically referred to as the leading tone is revered to as ...