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

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2answers
76 views

Augmented chords and chord substitution?

Say we are in C major; how do we use chords like the Augmented chords, other diminished chords outside the scale (minor to major substitution, dominant 7th substitution, altered chords, chord ...
13
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2answers
1k 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?
2
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2answers
104 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
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1answer
61 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
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1answer
3k views

Why is C the base note of standard notation and keys?

Why is it that notes "start" with C? In key signatures, for example, C Major is the basis and accidentals are added for all other key signatures. I know that the musical alphabet starts with A and ...
10
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5answers
6k views

How do I become a better electronic music producer?

I am 18 years old. I love music and I would love to make it and maybe become a music composer. However I do not know anything about music theory or anything. I can't play any instrument or so. When I ...
5
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6answers
628 views

Ending a song with a dominant chord

As far as i know, almost all songs end in the tonic chord, because this is the most "stable" condition. On the other hand, a dominant chord at the end of a progression (or song) sounds "incomplete". ...
-2
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0answers
35 views

German opera with Tra la la la [on hold]

On this year's AP music theory exam there was an excerpt from an opera where the lead male voice's lyrics are "Tra la la la." The rhythm is quarter eighth eighth quarter; the notes are sol do re do ...
13
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5answers
12k views

What is the purpose of the mixolydian scale?

For example: the G-Mixolydian is G-A-B-C-D-E-F (rather than G-A-B-C-D-E-F#). Why not just call it C? thanks
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4answers
242 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
3k 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? ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Building Lydian chords

I am learning about chords and their relationships to major scale modes in jazz. As I understand it, each mode allows a different chord to be built by choosing the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th of the scale. I ...
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1answer
26 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 ...
4
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3answers
2k views

recognizing the motif

I encounter the term motif in composition books, and still have no idea what a motif is. Many sources (including some dictionaries) try to define it as "prominent sequence of notes" or "basic theme of ...
3
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
3
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5answers
105 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
757 views

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?
3
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1answer
40 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
1answer
186 views

Is it normal to struggle through “The Jazz Piano Book” by Mark Levine?

I'm a hobbyist pianist who has been playing primarily rock and blues music for about 2 years, and classical before that for a few years. I have a beginner grasp of music theory (I know my major, 3 ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the I-vi-ii-V Chord Progressions?

Are there any scales that work well over this progression? My Mistake!! I was thinking of the song Breezin' by George Benson!!
6
votes
3answers
98 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
279 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
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2answers
120 views

How does instrumentation change the personality of a piece?

I don't understand how a change in instrumentation can make the same sequence of notes feel different if nothing else is changed about the piece. I mean for example if I listen to Symphony no 5 by ...
10
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
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3answers
75 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 ...
28
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord?

I know that if I played C and B together they would be very dissonant compared to if I played a G or C one octave up. Is there a quantitative way to describe that sort dissonance? Edit: I understand ...
4
votes
4answers
184 views

How to write music using standard notation / Finding key

I would like to ask a typical question from amateur musician. Most of amateur musicians understand tablature notation and often even some music theory, I personally can read notes but not in all keys ...
12
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7answers
950 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 piece ...
4
votes
3answers
55 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. ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

Ηοw important is to know classical music theory to study jazz theory?

I was interesting in getting a little more involved with jazz theory. I know classical music theory and harmony up to a point. Should I keep developing my classical music theory/harmony knowledge ...
2
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
566 views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I ...
6
votes
3answers
889 views

How to identify key changes?

I have learned music theory from the internet, but I have this question that how to come to know that where one key starts and other end when I am reading the music sheet. For example, in Minuet In ...
3
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3answers
92 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
145 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
1answer
78 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
380 views

How to analyze chord progressions in tonal music?

I've been told that you have to analyze progressions according to the key at the end, despite how many keys/tonality that precede it. Is this true? If a composition contains one key in long ...
13
votes
2answers
7k 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 with? How does the progression tie in with different scales?
1
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1answer
42 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?
3
votes
5answers
265 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
188 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
264 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
338 views

Which other chords are considered equivalent or function like a V7?

A dominant seventh chord as the fifth degree of a key (notated V7) is often used to build a cadence back to the tonic. With that function in mind, I've seen people refer to other chords as "it ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Knowing what chord to play next?

This is a question I've had for a long time but I've never really found the answer other than following some suggestions on chord sequences like 1,3,2,5 and 1,4,5, but I'm sure there must be another ...
0
votes
9answers
2k views

Improving as a solo guitarist without learning scales

I am a drummer of 20+ years. I am a guitarist for only the last 5 or so (more of a guitar owner). I can play many chords, and have composed a number of songs. I learned to play drums without a ...
12
votes
3answers
11k views

Classical music theory notation for chord inversions (figured bass)

In classical music harmony analysis, we see the chord inversions notated like I6/4, I6, V4/3. Examples: What are those numbers? How do they define the inversion? What's the theory behind using ...
2
votes
4answers
104 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 - ...
13
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8answers
2k 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?
4
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3answers
187 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 ...
33
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16answers
17k views