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

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3
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2answers
284 views

What technique is it called in the song “Better Man” by Robbie William?

I just recently recall about this song and started to play it. There is a change of base chord in the song during the bridge. I am playing on C (C, G, Am, F, Em) and during the bridge, it changed to ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

What's so special about III ?

Take a C major scale, and pick each other note, starting from each note C-D-EF-G-A-BC-D-EF I: C E G = C ii: D F A = Dm iii: E G B ...
10
votes
3answers
469 views

How can I easily translate between a key and a key signature?

Is there a good mnemonic or trick for working out the key signature from a given key? I can always write out the chromatic scale, then count out the appropriate intervals from the tonic, and figure ...
6
votes
3answers
237 views

What makes augmented fourths and the diminished fifths so hard to sing/remember?

I've always wondered what makes these particular intervals so difficult.
2
votes
1answer
96 views

personal interview for musicology studies

I'm applying for musicology studies at the university, which requires a personal interview in order to check my musical skills and knowledge. However, some theoretical points are unclear to me ...
14
votes
2answers
680 views

Music education audio lessons

I am currently learning to play the guitar, and that has sparked an interest in learning more about music in general. I would like to learn about music theory, ear training, history, musical styles ...
4
votes
1answer
438 views

Why do the Canadian and American ways of writing chords symbols differ?

I've been studying music harmony (for the RCM program), and my teacher explained to me that the American way of writing chord symbols slightly differs from the Canadian way. For example, the chord ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

What's so special about minor and major scales?

background: I'm an amateur and self-learner pianist. What I know, I know from books or google, so I'll start with summarising what I already know - please don't hesitate to correct me if I have ...
5
votes
1answer
180 views

Non-fixed-frequency instruments playing by themselves versus with fixed-frequency instruments

[I don't know a better term than "non-fixed frequency instruments" but I mean things like string instruments, voice, trombone as opposed to things like a piano which has a fixed (typically 12-et) ...
5
votes
2answers
137 views

Links and tips for Learning and using scales

Tips and links on learning and using different types of scales will be helpful. If possible List of scales with songs in which they are used and (artists/types of bands) who uses certain scales to a ...
20
votes
5answers
439 views

What are some of the components of a good guitar solo?

Putting aside the emotional value of listening to a great guitar solo, what are some of the criteria that can be applied to make an educated judgement as to the quality of a solo within the context of ...
7
votes
5answers
232 views

Resources for learning the Blues

Can anyone recommend any good resources (books or online) for learning the Blues on the guitar? Scales and theory is what I am looking for.
6
votes
4answers
364 views

When is it proper (if ever) to extend time signatures (8/4 vs 4/4)?

When listening to most contemporary music, in my experience, time signatures tend to be in "common time", or 4/4. But sometimes it feels like the phrase or measure extends beyond the four quarter ...
11
votes
4answers
643 views

What is an atonal mode?

I got an album by Ornette Coleman and Pat Methany, "X", and on the linear notes it talks about atonal experiments within the song structures. Are there scales and chord progressions that go along with ...
7
votes
3answers
627 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?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What are alternative “voicings” for Major/Minor/Dominant Chords if I can't play “Barre Chords”?

I would like some alternative Chord Voicings if I don't want to play the standard barre chords for major/minor/dominant voicings: Thanks!!
4
votes
4answers
160 views

What are some harmonic options for layering guitar lines while recording?

I would like to layer multiple guitar lines for a section of a song that I'm working on - what are some harmonic variations that I would be able to use?
16
votes
2answers
6k views

What is concert pitch?

I was watching a song video lesson earlier today and it mentioned that the guitar should be tuned to concert pitch. What does that mean? Is it different from the normal EADGBE tuning?
3
votes
1answer
290 views

Chord lick, looking for others similar and maybe a bit of the theory behind how it works…

Here's a nice little chord lick that I picked up from Little Charlie of Little Charlie and the Nightcats. Charlie uses it as a turnaround in a few Swing Blues tunes he does. $4.9.$3.8.$2.9.$1.7 / ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What does it mean to play in an 'arpeggiated' style on the guitar?

I sometimes hear a guitar player described as having an 'arpeggiated' style, such as Peter Buck of R.E.M. I know that an arpeggio is the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th of a scale, but exactly what does it ...
4
votes
3answers
941 views

Can I use semi-acoustic guitar with overdrive (or compressor) without getting feedback?

Old-school method like to put lots of paper into body of guitar is not recommended in here =)) Anyway, I saw on youtube that one guy having delay+compressor+overdrive+reverb played with epiphone DOT, ...
11
votes
7answers
609 views

How to figure out what key a piece is in?

I am trying to write a guitar accompaniment to the piece "Fair and Tender Ladies". But I have no clue what I need to do to figure out what key that piece is in. Also, the instrument playing the ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Capitalization of key names (C Minor vs. c minor)

I was taught when I was young that minor key names should be written with the note in lowercase, as well as the word "minor". Nowadays on recordings, etc., I usually see both capitalized. What was ...
5
votes
1answer
217 views

Alternative Numerical Representation of Pitch

I'm aware of a number of different ways of representing pitch as numbers (including one I developed for use in my own software) but am interested if there are others. The most widespread is probably ...
9
votes
4answers
427 views

In what order shall I introduce traditional music theory concepts to adults using solfege?

I have 24 sessions in which to deliver basic music theory to university-age students. Although they are likely to do some singing in their future careers, they are unlikely to receive further musical ...
16
votes
1answer
612 views

Are there any machine-readable databases of chord progressions available?

I'm interested in doing some linguistics-inspired computational musicology on chord progressions and am wondering if there are any freely available databases of chord progressions. Obviously, I could ...
4
votes
4answers
372 views

Do music theory books differ per instrument?

I'm an amateur Spanish guitar player, I know Solfège and how to read music sheets (not expert though). I'm looking for a book that teaches me music theory to gain more understanding and maybe try to ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

How to formulate a chord on the piano?

I play guitar, and am attempting to teach myself the piano. Which notes from a scale form the chord on the keyboard? Is there a common rule for this? Thank you for your time.
3
votes
1answer
446 views

Does the three chord trick always end a chord progression on the third chord?

It seems almost a redundant question, but the meat of it is this: If one is using the three chord trick, is it stylistically required by rules of theory and phrasing to end the progression on the ...
3
votes
1answer
511 views

Are there in-depth music theory books that can serve as a compendium?

If I'm looking for Music Theory on Google I find articles, tutorials and sites that explain the basics. However, this won't allow me to really master Music Theory and be able to look up advanced ...
8
votes
1answer
281 views

Comprehensive theory book

I learned solfège as a kid long ago, and have been playing ever since without interruption, but I seem to have forgotten quite a few things that I haven't really needed all those years, and might not ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Beaming in different time signatures

I'm studying music theory in the UK, aiming for ABRSM Grade 5, currently working for grade 3. I'm having trouble grasping the rules for when to beam quavers. In my study book, by Eric Taylor, I see ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What is a “Circle of Fourths” chord progression?

Are there any examples of songs that employ a Circle of Fourths that I might be able to practice along to? How does the progression tie in with different scales?
8
votes
2answers
17k views

What chords are used often in “Funk” - Why?

"Pass The Peas";"Le Freak"; "Get up and Jump";"Shake your Pants""The Crunge"....They all use very similar chords in a Funk setting - what are some Standard Funk Chords and why (from a Music Theory ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
361 views

What is the difference between “Solo” and “Improvisation”?

How would someone describe the differences that make up the two?
6
votes
1answer
963 views

How do you know what beat to emphasize based on the time signature?

In learning the guitar I have run across various time signatures. In each time signature it seems as if you are supposed to emphasize different beats. Is this something that you just have to intuit, ...
3
votes
2answers
61 views

Interesting melodic resolutions: A specific example. What's happening?

Listen to the intro of the following MuteMath song, Break The Same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfyChdikLo4&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1 These guys are stellar and well known ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the Linear Harmonic Transform?

What is the Linear Harmonic Transform actually?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the 1-6-2-5 Chord Progression?

Are there any scales that work well over this progression? My Mistake!! I was thinking of the song Breezin' by George Benson!!