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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
3answers
175 views

Why does the V6 chord sound so different from the plain V chord?

I am a twelfth year pianist, and I have done a fair amount of composition. However, I have no idea why the major five chord sounds so much different when played over the major seventh in the bass. ...
4
votes
3answers
182 views

Ideas on how to concentrate/not get lost when listening to a song for transcription/understanding purposes

I am learning to listen analytically to music (listening to try and figure out what is going on) but I tend to get lost in the music quite easily. For example, when I start counting in my head, at ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

Why are the same notes written on different staves?

I am learning Chopin's Prelude No. 15 in D flat Major, and I was curious as to why the Db F notes in the bass are written in the lower stave in the first bar but then the upper stave in the second bar....
5
votes
5answers
176 views

Are the inharmonic frequencies of an instrument in addition to or instead of the theoretical overtone frequencies?

I'm working on some computer code to detect musical notes and have just found out about in-harmonics (up until now I was under the impression that the overtones were always integer multiples of the ...
4
votes
3answers
98 views

Does this cadence have a name?

The cadence on the fermata in this (simplified) example sounds familiar to me (in blue): Since it does, I suppose it possibly has a name. My best guesses trying to analyze it so far are: half ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

accidentals in measure

What I self studied is that an accidental stays throughout the measure to the bar. Lately I saw in a theory work book, there's two conditions 1. The same note. (That's ok with me) 2. It's on the same ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why play out of scale notes as part of a chord?

So, I'm learning 'Stray Cat Strut' right now and came across something I'm not sure I understood. I have to say, I've only just begun to learn theory, so maybe that's why. Anyway, as far as I can ...
9
votes
5answers
763 views

chord progressions - Fm to Bb, sounds different to Cm to F

I recently started trying my hand at composition and could not figure out why the two chords progressions sounds different: F minor followed by B flat major, which is an interval of a 4th C minor ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Why are there 18 notes listed for chromatic scale tuning

The Wikipedia page for the Chromatic scale opens by saying (emphasis added): The chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone above or below another. However if you ...
4
votes
3answers
282 views

Do the notes of a chord form parallel octaves, even when they are not played simultaneously?

Here is an example of what I'm trying to say The sample below is in Bb major. Do the notes of the bass and the alto form parallel octaves? On the alto voice I'm using delayed resolution. On the ...
16
votes
7answers
638 views

Is it necessary to learn the names of fret notes?

I know the names of the notes up to about the fifth fret on each string. I play from sheet music occasionally, but mostly from tabs - so is it necessary to learn the names of the notes for each fret ...
9
votes
3answers
972 views

What is this straight line at the beginning of the measure?

Could this just be a error on the editors part? Is it possible that i could also be a ghost note of some sort?
2
votes
4answers
292 views

Is it essential to learn music theory in order to play an electronic keyboard as a piano for fun?

I have been learning musictheory.net. It seems adequate for reading notes. But, I don't know how much I want to learn about music theory if I want to play an electronic keyboard well enough to enjoy ...
0
votes
2answers
186 views

Is there a lower limit for how short a note can be, in a given time signature?

A given time signature, say common time, establishes a limit for how long a note's value can be (nothing bigger than a whole note would fit in a 4/4 bar), but does this imply also a lower limit? For ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

How to transcribe a score without a rigid tempo?

How do you notate a score that doesn't have a continuous tempo, but ebbs and flows? How can you communicate the rhythmic intentions of the composer to future players? What I was lectured that you need ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
25
votes
6answers
2k views

How to create Chord progressions that make sense

I've been reading over Walter Piston's Harmony book, and it has been an eye-opener to say the least. I understand concepts like tension and release, voice leading and so forth, but I still don't ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

notating a cappella liturgy music

Trying to notate recorded liturgy a cappella music. I have a problem with getting the notes right. Since the music changes keys from 3/4 to 4/4 etc. in a movement, the ebb and flow changes constantly. ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

How to understand a 32 bar progression

I am learning some country progressions. There is a waltz time 32 bar progression in the style of some old Tex Ritter song, I think. It's not just two 16 bar progressions (the last two 16 bars are ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). One example is a C♯ ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

What is state and response and modal sequence in music theory structure analysis?

So in for say a sentence structure, we have the basic idea phrase, and then it repeats the basic idea again. However, the second repetition basic idea can be either an exact repetition, state and ...
20
votes
6answers
2k 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?
3
votes
2answers
131 views

Is there an easier way to remember the notes in 11th and 13th chords?

Is there an easier way to remember the notes in 11th and 13th chords, like maybe an alteration of a different chord or a combination of two triads? For example, if I see a 13th chord, I have to think "...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Understanding music with multiple key changes within chord progressions

So this has been bothering me for some time now; I've been making beats for maybe 7-8 years now but my earlier work is heavily-sampled. I just started actually picking up piano, but on my own, ...
4
votes
1answer
383 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

What does it mean for a song to be played in C minor, D, etc?

I like listening to classical music, I noticed that a song may come in many versions (example : Hungarian Dances). I know what majors and minors scales are, but my music theory knowledge ends there. I ...
5
votes
3answers
498 views

General procedure for determining the name of an interval given a major key / diatonic collection

I'm attempting to program a library that lets one make use of concepts from Peter Westergaard's tonal theory. The current problem I'm trying to solve is to determine the specific name of an interval ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

How do you compose a Dominant Seventh Scale?

It seems like you just make the seventh note flat, but are there any restrictions to that? Can any scale become a Dominant Seventh Scale by slight modification or does it differ on a case-by-case ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

On a piano scale what is considered “middle C”?

I'm learning to play the piano and I'm slightly confused after reading this: http://pianoscale.org/scales/root/c/major/ Is the 1st note in the treble clef the same as the 8th notes in the bass ...
0
votes
3answers
92 views

Common denominator bpm

I have a video of nature. I noticed that there are three repeating elements, one has 80.197844 bpm, the other 64.664 bpm and the other 67.4 bpm. I want to compose music for it. To get started, how do ...
2
votes
4answers
717 views

Why does it take 700 cents to get to a perfect 5th, which is 3/2 (one and a half) from the root?

I think I have the wrong perspective. If you take an octave and express it in cents, you get 1200. Half of that is 600. A perfect 5th is 1.5 (3/2) of the root. But 600 is not a perfect fifth, 700 ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

How could I create a musical vocabulary based on a group of similar classical pieces?

Sometimes I'll be working on a group of pieces and realize that I'd like to experiment with abstracting some of the musical ideas (rhythms, harmonies, etc) into a musical vocabulary that I could use ...
1
vote
3answers
116 views

Re-harmonize the chord with the bass?

Hi i'm a bass player and as any other bassist i was looking to improve my bass skills and I've always wondered how I could change the root note of a certain chord to give it a different feel. For ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Help me name this scale

I have a six-tone scale with the notes A#,B,C,D,D#,G. As far as I'm aware this is not contained in any other well known scale. What should I call it?
3
votes
2answers
39k views

On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo postions?

I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is in ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Need help understanding how this progression fits in with music theory

I am learning a new song on the piano. I have questions: The chorus includes the F (or G sharp if played on the piano) chord but this chord is outside of the key (Bb). It sounds good but how do you ...
8
votes
2answers
765 views

What does a pair of long horizontal lines between two whole notes mean?

While writing out some sheet music from this video, I came across notation I have never seen before. It is this on the lead guitar parts 1 and 2: I also found it interesting that it is notated with ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

What are modes and how are they useful?

I'm a self-taught guitarist with zero to little experience in music theory. After marrying a violinist I found that there's a lot to music theory that I know tribally but don't understand the ...
21
votes
2answers
529 views

Is this piece of renaissance music really in the locrian mode?

A fifteenth-century dance manual contains this piece of music: which appears to be (uncharacteristically) in the locrian mode. Is it really, or am I mis-reading? Does anybody know of other music ...
6
votes
2answers
89 views

Large Groups Tending Towards Specific Keys?

The gym that I go to made an announcement about a staff member's birthday and invited everyone to sing. Over 100 people started singing in a different key but by the end most everyone was singing in ...
2
votes
4answers
407 views

Bass clef changed to treble clef in the middle of the music sheet [duplicate]

If the bass clef changes to treble clef in the music sheet, would you read the bottom treble clef as the bass clef notes or treble clef notes?
28
votes
4answers
41k views

What's the difference between “modal music” and “tonal music”?

As the title says, what's the difference between "modal music" and "tonal music"? Is there also any other classification besides "modal music" and "tonal music"?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

question on a certain chord progression

I am learning a slow blues called After hours in a video lesson with Johnnie Johnsson. It includes some sheet music with this chord progression: 1:G 2:C7 3:G 4:G Db9 5:C9 6:C9 7:G7 8:G7 9:G/A 10:D G/D ...
2
votes
4answers
92 views

Time signature equivalent - two bars in Waltz time

I'm teaching a dance class in Waltz, the music is of course in 3/4 time. I wanted a way to describe to the students the beats in 2 consecutive bars, which I thought of as describing as '6/4' - I know ...
4
votes
5answers
119 views

Learning while recovering from tendonitis

I've recently developed some tendonitis in both hands and will be significantly reducing my practice hours for about a month (hopefully!). I had been putting in a lot of hours before with my ...
4
votes
3answers
668 views

Why does the chord progression Gmaj - F#maj - Amaj sound the way it does?

I really like the chord progression Gmaj - F#maj - Amaj ... (I think it can be written I, VII, II)? While all the chords are major, there is some sadness about it. What is the story behind this ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Is there an accepted way to numerically represent note values out of standard notation?

Say, a quarter note, how is it most commonly represented? "1/4"?, "quarter"? What if it's a dotted-note? It would be useful to have a simplified numeric representation for note values, e.g. the ...
30
votes
11answers
8k views

What is the difference between a “riff” and a “melody”?

How do I tell when a riff becomes a melody, or is it even important to know? Can you construct a song around a riff - what are some suggestions on how to construct a song in that manner?
3
votes
2answers
149 views

I am playing a song in D Major, and it contains an Am. How do I notate this in roman numerals?

I am learning music theory and I was told to transcribe some songs and also note the chords as roman numerals. The song I have is in the key of D Major, but contains an A minor, which to my ...
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 ...