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

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10
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2answers
361 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
614 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
715 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
224 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
76 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
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1answer
194 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
528 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
293 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
320 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
141 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
323 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
226 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
148 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
107 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
752 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
324 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
200 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
191 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
467 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
176 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
220 views

How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the phrygian mode?

My question is: How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the Phrygian mode? I have seen many discuss the circle of fifths using Majors and minors but ...
4
votes
5answers
231 views

How to enter in jazz theory

Maybe this question has been asked before. I could not find. I am self-learned amateur guitar player. I play for quite long time (around 10 years) and not playing jazz/blues bad but I feel not ...
7
votes
3answers
208 views

Modern Harmonic Movements

I know quite a bit about the progression of harmony during the common practice period and up to basic jazz theory, but anything beyond the early 20th century just drops off for me. I know a little ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is melodic inversion and how to do it?

I understood how to invert the chords (moving the bass note an octave above). When it comes to melodies I have seen many examples on the net but cant seem to understand the idea behind it. This ...
1
vote
3answers
476 views

How does one choose the correct time signature to match the tempo and vice versa?

I am having quite some difficulty trying to determine the correct time signature as well as the tempo to match the rythm of the song I am trying to write for. It's not so much that I don't have an ...
14
votes
1answer
326 views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
4
votes
3answers
693 views

What are common analytic techniques for identifying phrases in music?

I understand that the concept of "phrase" is not always very well defined, and that there contrasting "intuitive" and "analytical" ways of thinking about music phrases and phrasing, per Wikipedia. ...
2
votes
3answers
204 views

How can I identify Gregorian modes in Bach music?

I'm learning these Gregorian modes things and I'm trying to identify these modes in a Bach music, Invention 8 F Major, for example: The music starts at F in Ionian mode. But I think It changes when ...
3
votes
3answers
251 views

What are the official modes from Ionian to Locrian?

I am having some confusion is respects to the formal definition of what the various modes are. I know that their defined in relation to their scale, however, I've come to realise this may not be best ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Does the bass always have to harmonise with the lead?

I have written a half decent lead, at least for my level, and I am now trying to harmonise a bass with it. I am employing one of the most basic kind of methods to achieve this - playing the root note ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Is there an explicit number of 'notes' in microtonal music/scales?

Western music consists of 12 unique notes that are repeated across octaves. Is there any set number of unique notes in microtonal music? Or does the number of notes vary depending on the octave?
4
votes
2answers
219 views

Diatonic substitution and upper-structure triads for minor chords

I'm going through Garrison Fewell's "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar - A Harmonic Approach". The start of Chapter 1 reads: Triad substitution is the use of triads derived from the chord tones and ...
5
votes
5answers
910 views

Why are pure tones depicted as sine waves?

This is pretty much the only thing in music theory (that i've covered so far) that I cannot understand. What I would expect to hear is what you get from LFO, or Low Frequency Oscillator represented by ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it too late to learn music theory and composition?

I have been playing electric guitar for 5 years and have pretty decent technique. I have a decent ear too (I'm still improving it). I listened to rock guitar virtuosos like Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

How do you write a corresponding bassline for an already written melody?

In my music theory class I have created a 16-measure melody, and have now been instructed by my teacher to create a corresponding bass-line for that melody. (I scored an 88% on my melody, so I assume ...
2
votes
7answers
440 views

Grand Staff using the Bass Clef and Treble Alto-Tenor Clef

Does anybody have any additional information regarding the origins and usage of the Treble Alto-Tenor Clef symbol? I found it in the late Gardner Read's book on Music Notation, and beyond that - ...
14
votes
8answers
5k views

The practical difference between 2/2 and 2/4 time [duplicate]

In practice, what is the difference between 2/2 and 2/4? Doesn't the emphasis fall in the same place either way?
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Terminology: note and “note class”

In music, the term note sometimes refers to a note in a specific octave (like "C♯4") and sometimes to the set of all notes with the same name, regardless of octave (like "C♯"). Which terms should one ...
0
votes
1answer
154 views

Understanding metal guitar music writing structure [closed]

I have a software package called TuxGuitar. (Any track writing software will be similar) I can write drum tracks on it no problem. but when it comes to writing guitar tracks I seem to be making a lot ...
5
votes
3answers
391 views

Scale degree in minor key

I am just beginning my ear training and I have a question about hearing minor scales. Music theory tells me that minor scale degrees work similarly to major scale degrees. For example in the key of ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Music Harmonic analysis: Chord identification

I'm struggling with identifying the chords in these measures because the notes on the base clef staff are not part of the chord in the top staff. This piece is in F# minor, so the top chords by ...
2
votes
4answers
315 views

What does it mean to play a note for half a second?

This is my first serious look at the science side of music, as I am getting started with audio programming, and I am greeted by an awkward bouncer first up. I know that a note is simply a certain ...
8
votes
5answers
581 views

The Tritone - is it a #4 or a b5?

Generally, in Blues and jazz, the oft-used tritone (C to F#/Gb) is referred to as a b5. Why is this a better term than #4? In the Blues scale, there will always be two notes of the same name, but why ...
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vote
2answers
123 views

Tritone as a passing note

Can a tritone be used as a passing note? (say in key of C, going from note C to G).
9
votes
3answers
581 views

Triangle Tonnetz vs. Hexagon Tonnetz

I have just started to learn about Tonnetz and I've run across two very representations of the same information in different types of Tonnetz. In the first one shown below the triangles represent a ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is Mozart's Turkish March considered a rondo?

I read on Wikipedia Mozart's Turkish March has the form A-B-C-D-E-C-A-B-C But I read in my textbook Listening to Music by Craig Wright that a rondo form is supposed to have more "symmetrical ...
4
votes
4answers
240 views

Understanding Inversions

I am not completely understanding how I find the major and minor chords. I understand half of what is going on, but not fully. Can someone please help.