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

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2answers
62 views

V chord becoming 7th? minor key

Im listening / looking at a song that is in the key of e minor And the chords for the song are just Em B7 Am Now..im no expert but from my theory i learnt a while back for a minor key thr chords ...
12
votes
7answers
882 views

When is a piece in A minor versus C major?

When would you say a piece, or a movement in a symphony, is in A minor versus C major? They both use the same notes on the scale... what would indicate that the piece is in A minor? Let's take an ...
3
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1answer
24 views

How many types of modulation are there?

I know a few types of modulation off the top of my head like common chord modulation and and chromatic modulation, but I was wondering how many different types of modulation are there?
26
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6answers
3k views

Why isn't D the “most central” note?

When laying out the notes in the two-dimensional Wicki-Hayden layout, which is the most symmetrical layout I know of, it is visually clear that D is the "most central" note. Why, then, doesn't D play ...
6
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2answers
265 views

How to calculate the difference in cents between a note and an arbitrary frequency?

Let's say I have the note A 440Hz and the frequency 450Hz. How do I calculate the distance in cents between that note and that frequency?
3
votes
2answers
61 views

Mathematics of Ritardando

Beyond feel & experience, is there a rule conductors use for ritardando in terms of (a) its rate, (b) its change in rate, and/or (c) the relationship between the final tempo and the tempo of the ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Chord Roles/Reputations

Does there exist literature examining the particular psychological/emotional role/reputation of each chord in a movement? (For example, I am currently infatuated with IVmaj7, which is to say I find ...
0
votes
3answers
168 views

What is this jazz scale?

I was jamming on a music piece and found that this scale fits the harmony. I have found the scale by using my ear, I see it is very similar to diminished F scale but can't find what scale it is. ...
13
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5answers
603 views

How to know if it's a mode or scale?

How do I differentiate between modes? Suppose a person is playing "D Dorian". How do I know that it's "D Dorian" and not "C Major/Ionian" or "E Phrygian" and so on, and in fact "A natural minor" ...
5
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4answers
462 views

Why does this progression sound good, even if it not resolve to the root?

I'm trying to learn some music theory. I'm interested in the magic of chord progression, and how little changes can make a dramatic change in the feeling. Anyway, I suppose that a progression moving ...
4
votes
3answers
102 views

Expand Bass Guitar Playing Beyond Root Notes

I am fairly new to the bass guitar and I'm in a band. So far, I almost always just play the root note of the chord. I sometimes hold it until a new chord and sometimes repeatedly play this same ...
8
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5answers
234 views

What is the “unresolvable chord”?

A musician friend mentioned this in passing - she talked about the something chord and then explained it was unresolvable, and how she hates it because she cannot stand music that doesn't resolve. ...
5
votes
2answers
244 views

Chord symbols for inversions of 7th chords

Why are root position, first, second and third inversion labeled by V7, V65,V43,and V42 repectively? Are there reasons for the specific numbers chosen? If not how can I memorize them? Thanks.
6
votes
5answers
190 views

Skills for writing your own songs

What are some good starting points to begin writing songs for someone who possesses limited theory knowledge and playing experience (beginner)? What are the essentials skills and knowledge for ...
15
votes
1answer
336 views

Are there any rules of thumb for shifting the key signature within a tone net?

[ ... struggling with giving this a better title ] I'm working out the algorithmic bases for generation of a tone-net (tonnetz) in preparation for programming the presentation layer. The problem is ...
14
votes
5answers
697 views

What gives a piece of music its personality and feeling?

What makes a piece of music sound angry, dark, sad, happy, or otherwise? "La Chute" by Yann Tiersen sounds so angry to me and "A Dark Knight" from "The Dark Knight" movie sounds so dark and ...
14
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5answers
1k views

If between E and F is a halftone, why can F not be an E#

A ♯ raises a note by a semitone or halftone. I'm confused. If E and F are a halftone apart, why can't F be E#?
24
votes
9answers
8k views

How is counterpoint different from harmony?

Harmony is a kind of second sound you hear. Counterpoint is also the second sound you hear. Aside from technical differentiation, how can you by ear differentiate these two concepts. Is it possible ...
31
votes
4answers
37k views

What is the relationship between “do re mi” and note letter names?

When the people sing the song, we use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, si, ect, but some time I hear that the music people say A, B, C, C flat, ect. Is their relationship or are they two different ...
76
votes
7answers
6k views

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

Why is there that funny tuning kink between the G and B string on a guitar in standard tuning? I.E. the gap (interval) between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Harmony analysis program

Is there any computer program that automatically analyzes harmony given the score? I refer specifically to roman numeral analysis and functional harmony.
8
votes
3answers
331 views

Roman numeral notation for a suspended chord?

On the Wikipedia entry for Roman numeral analysis, it says that major chords use the upper case numerals (e.g. IV for the F major chord in the C major scale) and lowercase letters for minor chords ...
7
votes
3answers
406 views

Can bass chord notes be different octaves after playing the root?

The reason for my question is because it seems like everything I read, the bass note is normally the root of the chord, but I am outlining an Am chord where E is the bass note. I thought I found an ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is bass note so important in harmonic analysis of music?

In any type of harmonic analysis the bass plays big part in determining the function of the harmony. There are even special ways describe what note of the chord is in the bass (known as inversions) ...
13
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6answers
7k views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature even if different parts of the song have different time signatures there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
2
votes
3answers
111 views

Can't seem to find a good tutorial on theory for guitar players

After 13 years of playing the guitar (just chords)... I am just starting to investigate learning theory to be a better guitar player. Also seeing piano players pick up the guitar and soloing in no ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

chord progression if the chords are not part of the scale?

I've been learning about harmony, and the harmonisation of major scales. I can recognise simple chord progressions, and I try and practice by listening to popular songs. For a major scale, we ...
3
votes
1answer
351 views

How can this simple bass line be categorized in chords or scales?

I am attempting to finally learn music theory after years of owning a bass and screwing around. So, with that, I have been playing certain things and trying to figure out the chord or scale. Take for ...
1
vote
3answers
134 views

How do I convert music to a mathematical formula? [closed]

Yes, I know this sounds absurd... Maybe even a little impossible. I saw a thing on youtube though where someone played the Fibonacci Sequence on a piano! There was also this song using Phi. Phi and ...
12
votes
2answers
333 views

What is the theory behind scales?

My question is the following: Scales are The backbone of quite everything in western music. Does anybody know if there is some sort of backbone behind scales? A number, something like that? Or do some ...
28
votes
11answers
37k views

Why learn scales? What are they for?

I tried Googling but it seems there is no answer for this one. So the internet assumes everyone knows what scales are for? Why should I learn them? Are they important to be a good guitarist?
-2
votes
1answer
52 views

Music in the 1990s [closed]

We're working on a school project whereas a part of the task is to find values in the 1990s music. I haven't found much to go on and a lot of the information out there is just a bunch of squeezed ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

How is a chord progression with G#, D#m, F and G possible?

I was analyzing Gone Hollywood by Supertramp, and from around 0:22 a riff starts. The chords in the riff are G#, D#m/F#, F and G. The weird thing is that in the key of G# major the D# minor chord ...
8
votes
2answers
474 views

In jazz, what is an upper structure triad?

What is upper structure? Which are the upper structure triads? How are they used?
7
votes
1answer
210 views

Tonnetz algorithms

I'm looking for applied algorithms for Riemannian tonnetz. I was thinking first of the "big bang" approach with some of the 3D projections of tonnetz, but those are overshoot.
7
votes
2answers
96 views

Which roman numeral should I use for F# diminished chord in the key F Major?

In the key of F major, what roman numeral is the F# A C chord? I know it is a diminished chord. It is going from a F to F#dim to Gm7
7
votes
8answers
754 views

Limits of Fortissimo and Pianissimo

How far can pianissimo/fortissimo go? I have heard both the limit is 4 and 2 of each. Meaning pppp/ffff or pp/ff. What is the actual limit?
5
votes
2answers
131 views

When to use inversions in harmonizing a bass line

What exactly is the procedure for harmonizing a bass line? In my class, the teacher introduced inversions of chords, which are not hard to understand per se, but I can't wrap my head around how can I ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What does it mean to be able to write a fugue?

My theory teacher told me once in passing that she had written fugues. Later on people let me know that to write a fugue you need to be somewhat of a theory genius. Why is this so? What makes the ...
9
votes
1answer
491 views

Is i-V a stronger progression than I-V?

I'm just starting to learn a little music theory (in connection with learning to play the ukelele), and I repeatedly see I-V as basically the strongest chord progression (in whatever sense "strongest" ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Music Theory: Frequencies related to playing a note on guitar

I am studying the physics related to playing guitar. I need to understand the relationship between the fundamental frequency of a guitar string and its harmonics. For e.g., the top string has the ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

What are the different rhythm styles? Is that the right word?

I remember way back in music class, at the top of the sheet music it would say things like the name of the piece, beats per minute and sometimes it would say something like Style = Swing. What ...
7
votes
4answers
371 views

Why are the natural notes on the staff special?

I can read music and I also understand how we build diatonic scales on top of the C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C sequence. I also know that intervals between any version of two "letter" notes have the same name, ...
3
votes
3answers
170 views

Diatonic scales

I'm reading a book on music theory, and it says that a diatonic scale is any seven-note scale that uses the notes ABCDEFG in an arrangement of 5 tones and 2 semitones. I wanted to clarify one point. ...
7
votes
4answers
468 views

Simple explanation of counterpoint?

Wikipedia defines counterpoint like this: In music, counterpoint is the relationship between voices that are interdependent harmonically (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour. What ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Ethno and folk music of the german region (excluding bavaria)

I'm having a hard time finding out about ethno or folk music in the german region (exluding bavaria) and especially about the inner workings of examples of such. I'm especially interested in anything ...
5
votes
3answers
234 views

How to decode this CSV from a MIDI file?

So I decoded a midi file using a MIDI to CSV converter I found online. The ouput is : 2, 3072, Note_on_c, 1, 26, 96 After reading on MIDI format, I still don't understand what I see here. What ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

How does fusion guitar playing work?

So I have seen a lot of guitar players playing fusion rock but never understood what is actually going on in the theory. When watching them play, it sounds like they're not in key and just ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is music for strings more likely to be in keys with sharps?

One thing I've noticed is that music written for strings, such as violin concertos, are a lot more likely to written in a key like D or A major than something like F or Bb major. I recently saw a ...
12
votes
2answers
971 views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?