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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
88 views

What is the name for the scale that is Aeolian with a lowered root?

This track at the beginning has some kind of an augmented scale. The first sounds I hear are C, D#, G#, E, A, F#. While analyzing it to give it as least as possible ...
8
votes
3answers
724 views

Why do some intervals sound better than others?

Why do some intervals sound so good (e.g. a perfect fifth: seven semitones), whereas others sound so awful and diabolical (e.g. an augmented fourth: six semitones)? Is this phenomenon dependant on ...
2
votes
5answers
281 views

How to learn musical theory?

I am taking 1/2 hour lessons in classical guitar and progressing well. I guess I am at the high end of beginner level, just finishing Aaron Shearer's first book. But I don't know how to gain an ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Determining closest key when primary contributing factors are shared among keys

Given a construct of intervals as follows: 1,#2,3,4,5,6,b7 (Dominant #2 first position) For the purpose of general notation, as the #2 is equivalent to a b3 and the 3rd is still present, would this ...
13
votes
4answers
14k views

What defines pop music as a genre? Which patterns and trends can we find in pop music?

Today, not all popular music is labeled as pop. To me it seems that pop has become a genre that can be defined by its musical patterns, techniques, and styles. Similar to rock, jazz, and classical ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

What is the technical term for a quick pitch change / 'pleading' sound?

I was wondering what the technical term for this style of singing. The singer quickly changes the pitch (I think it exclusively goes up). In the forth example it made me think that it might be a ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Can you remove harmony from counterpoint?

For example, two melodies at once but one melody is only on the on beats while the other is only on the off beats, does this remove the harmony from counterpoint?
14
votes
5answers
3k 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 doesn't belong neither to G minor nor Bb major. So, ...
2
votes
11answers
3k views

Why is the tonic chord of a key formed with the 1,3 and 5 notes of the key but the major chords in that key are the I IV and V?

The tonic chord in a given key is formed by using the 1 and 3 and 5 notes of the scale in whatever key you are in. However, in chord theory, the Major chords that work in that key are the one, four ...
0
votes
2answers
195 views

How do I play B# and C at the same time?

Several times now, a piece I'm playing has asked me to play B# and C or E# and F at the same time. I'm very confused at what's this supposed to mean? The key is G minor/B flat, or 2 flats. Can anyone ...
0
votes
4answers
406 views

How to write music theory symbols in evernote?

I want type my music theory class notes in evernote but i can't seem to figure out how to do this correctly. I have managed to put following symbols in evernote just by copy and pasting but some as ...
2
votes
5answers
796 views

Can I say all black keys are enharmonic equivalents?

I just started reading a piano book (Pinao Lessons by Mantius Cazaubon). In chapter 1 explaining about keys and notes in the sections of The Black Keys and The White Keys. It is very clear from first ...
28
votes
5answers
13k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
2
votes
2answers
433 views

Naming Scale Degrees

As I understand the minor pentatonic degrees are 1 b3 4 5 7b It says b3 & 7b, does it matter which side the b is on and do they both mean flat? Scale degrees are almost always based off the ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

What is the melodic minor scale with a flattened 5 called?

I can't find the answer anywhere on the internet. Except for that it can be seen as a whole-half scale with the sixth note left out. However this explanation doesn't satisfy my desire for an official ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Ear Training: How to figure out the key signature and chords used in a song

I have just started learning music but i find it very difficult to recognize the chords used in a song and its key signature when it seems to be far too easy a task for other students. Is there any ...
2
votes
3answers
168 views

Ornaments in J. S. Bach's 4th prelude

Inverted mordents and turns are frequently used in the prelude No.4 of J.S. Bach in C-sharp minor. In what follows I assume the key of the piece is known. My first question is related to the normal ...
3
votes
3answers
341 views

Using multiple scales in ONE Song

Currently I am in the process of learning theory to be able to compose rap beats more efficiently and I have one question regarding (minor) scales. I know the formulas for natural, minor and harmonic ...
4
votes
6answers
177 views

How do time signatures relay information on the grouping of beats?

I'm trying my best to understand musical meter, but it's just not making sense to me. In particular, I don't understand how one might deduce from the two numbers in the time signature (i.e. 3/4 or 4/4 ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

What are the actual notes of each natural harmonic?

So I know that if you play a natural harmonic at the 12th fret, this is just the same note as fretting the 12th is. Also, when I play my electric guitar and listen to lots of metal music in ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Name for scale contain the notes C, D, E, F G#, A, A#

Is this an actual scale mode, like Phrygian, Locrian, etc, or is it just a constructed scale? C, D, E, F G#, A, A# (C) So, root, major second, major third, perfect forth, augmented fifth, major ...
0
votes
1answer
102 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? Do these diminished chords fit in a diatonic scale well, even though they're chromatic? ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Why the same pitches are called differently in music theory [duplicate]

Here are the keys of the chromatic scale containing 12 pitches: | C | C# | D | D# | E | F | F# | G | G# | A | A# | B | |---+----+---+----+---+---+----+---+----+---+----+----+ | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ...
7
votes
1answer
376 views

When did the half-step/whole-step modulation in the middle of a song become popular?

Many pop songs in modern times will use a half step or a whole step modulation in the middle of a song in order to increase excitement. I would like to know when this strategy started, and if it is ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What key is correct when guitars are half step down?

I see many charts for praise and worship songs charted in sharp keys (A#, F#) major. One song is charted F# Major. I would think the guitars are tuned a half step down and they are playing like it is ...
1
vote
0answers
81 views

What is the difference between alto and tenor saxophone in the lines they produce? [closed]

Sometimes I hear musical jazz mentors say to the saxophone player, "You are playing the tenor saxophone like an alto one, please play the tenor like a tenor". What do they mean by these words? I know ...
3
votes
4answers
105 views

“The” versus “a” diatonic scale

A diatonic scale is defined as an ordered collection of pitches. However, given the many modes of the diatonic scales, what is meant when someone says "the" diatonic scale? Wikipedia says it's an ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Substituting all chords with relative minor/major…?

I was mucking around with Oasis' "Don't look back in anger" on the acoustic guitar/vocals. I was using these chords, but on capo 4 as I reworked the song a bit: ...
7
votes
3answers
282 views

Dealing with synthesized sounds where only a subset of tones sound good

I created a heavily modulated and filtered bass sound on F-1 but cannot play anything other than the F-1 itself and its # as the rest have too many conflicting frequencies. How can these two keys be ...
18
votes
8answers
22k views

What chord is formed by the open strings of a guitar in standard (EADGBe) tuning?

Here is something that I have been wondering about for a while: If you strum all six strings of a guitar in standard (EADGBe) tuning what chord would you play? I think it would be some variety of a ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

What is the most convoluted standard musical form?

In musical composition, we tend to reuse sections of a piece in patterns that are referred to as "musical forms". Some basic examples of these that I know of are ABA, AABA, ABAB, and the rondo form ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Has anyone done any work specific to experimenting/creating formulaic math evaluations for the purpose of defining musical patterns?

I realize the question may sound too broad or unclear but specifically, I was recently thinking that you could take a certain genre of music, or a certain composers' works, and mathematically define ...
3
votes
3answers
396 views

Do different minor chords (vi, ii, etc) convey different nuances?

I came across some postings discussing whether different minor keys produce different moods, but i have not found one that compares different minor chords. As each minor chord has a different sound, ...
3
votes
5answers
288 views

Why does the minor scale have modes?

My knowledge of music theory is very limited at the moment. I'm in the process of learning about scales and modes. I've learned that the major scale has a mode for every degree of the scale. The 6th ...
5
votes
2answers
187 views

Theory behind Bach's deviations from the scale

It's very common to see in Bach's work, that he follows a particular scale but then in a special moment, uses a chromatic alteration. What I have observed is that he usually does it when reversing the ...
4
votes
6answers
167 views

Intervals for music

I have a question concerning the intervals on a piano Between A flat and G, is it a Major 7th or Minor 7th? It seems both scales have the same note.
11
votes
11answers
3k views

Use of Music Theory in Composition

I've been told by many people that music theory is not normative; it doesn't tell you what to write or do in music to create something beautiful that sounds good. I've been told that it's strictly ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between equivalent Flat and Sharp keys as far as musical notation? Are there any reasons to prefer one over the other?

I wrote a sone in Dd Major, but I could also notated that it would be equivalent to say C# Major as well. I am not well versed in musical theory and I think both are equivalent to each other and ...
6
votes
1answer
64 views

Rahn Atonal Prime Form Confusion

A review via the mark I eyeball of the prime form tables in "Basic Atonal Theory" (Rahn, 1980) versus modern software calculations of the prime form yields some differences; are these errors in ...
2
votes
4answers
358 views

Tonal harmony, counting intervals and confusing about Perfect Fifth in C Major

Distance from E to F is a half step because no other notes fall between them. Why are we using the G note as a perfect fifth in C Major chord? Shouldn't be G sharp?
16
votes
5answers
10k views

Is it possible to find the correct chords from melody notes alone?

I'm caught up in this thought. My friend gave me just the melody notes of a song. Here it is, So, here is the problem: "without having the chords supplied, there is no way of knowing what the chords ...
2
votes
3answers
74 views

Which of two enharmonic note names to use? [duplicate]

If during composition, an accidental note is used, is there a method/reason for using one name instead of the other? For example if a song is in the key of A, but a Eflat/D# note is written is there ...
7
votes
4answers
834 views

Is it possible to have a note that is both dotted and a triplet?

Basically, I am coding a C# function that returns a number of milliseconds depending on the given note. I was wondering if it's possible to have a note that is both dotted and a triplet, it would be ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Modulation via a major chord, then another major chord a half step down

In Nick Cave's "Darker With The Day", there's a modulation at the end of the chorus which sounds very good (to me), but I don't understand why it works. The verse is more or less in G major: GM ...
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?
8
votes
2answers
437 views

What's the caged system good for?

So I see a lot of people talking about how the caged system us good because It connects scales with chords, what I don't understand is that If I'm playing A major scale Caged system helps me find all ...
31
votes
9answers
1k views

What is the best way of learning the notes on the fretboard.

What is the best way to learn the notes on the fretboard. Are there any good tips on how to do this?
1
vote
3answers
141 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.
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What is a chromatic scale?

I notice that the blues scale usues notes that don't fit into the regular pentatonic scale, is there an entire scale that icorporates this method?
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Why is the Phrygian Dominant Scale thusly named?

I recently started experimenting with the Phrygian dominant scale. As I understand, it is the 5th mode of a harmonic minor scale. For example an A Phrygian Dominant consists of the notes ...