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

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2
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3answers
124 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
134 views

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece music to make it pleasant to listen to?

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece of music? For example, when playing a guitar accompaniment for 'Amazing Grace' it does not sound pleasant when you play only a G chord throughout the ...
4
votes
4answers
118 views

Using the correct enharmonic equivalent

I'm trying to figure out in which situations say, a G# is preferred to an Ab. I know that the two spellings wont necessarily represent tones of identical frequency, and that they only coincide in ...
0
votes
4answers
56 views

Tips on improving rhythmic notation

I know in theory what rhythmic values are such as quarter note, half note, and whole note etc.., and I can do linear scale exercises very quickly without metronome, but I feel difficult to integrate ...
3
votes
3answers
104 views

Is there a term that describes straight 8ths / 16ths vs swing?

I'm a student and have been playing exercises that are either straight 8ths, swing 8ths, straight 16ths or swing 16ths. I'm wondering if there's a term for these different rhythms. If used in a ...
19
votes
5answers
7k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
1
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1answer
27 views

Can a motif be found outside of a phrase?

Can motifs be found outside of phrases, like by itself? Or do you think that would actually make that "motif by itself" act like a phrase in it's own right?
1
vote
1answer
44 views

What's are the essential skills that I need to arrange songs to guitar?

I'm a beginner guitarist (started five months ago), my goal is to be a fingerstyle player. On the horizon of two years, I want to be able to arrange songs. So what's are the essential scales and ...
1
vote
8answers
2k views

What is a perfect fifth?

I have gone through many documents, but don't understand what a perfect fifth is. Can somebody please explain with an example? (An example is important!) I have already found these explanations, but ...
14
votes
7answers
849 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
votes
2answers
225 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the purpose of the mixolydian scale? [duplicate]

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
21
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What scale is this? ( A B C# D E F G A)

This is a very minor question, but I'm trying to learn a piece (a Bach Concerto in D minor) that has the following sequence of notes played in order: A B C# D E F G A My piano teacher said it was a ...
2
votes
3answers
50 views

What is the difference between (guitar) articulation and dynamics, and how do they relate?

I have been looking into articulation and dynamics over the past week, primarily focused on guitar (but I'm sure any learning musician can benefit from this regardless of your instrument). I believe I ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

How to play a Pentatonic Major using a Pentatonic Minor 3 octave shape

Ok, so the : C Major Pentatonic and the A Minor Pentatonic are supposed to be the same stuff. But I'm unsure how that happens theoretically. (Apart from the obvious fact that they have the ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

D major in a C major Chord progression?

on this site It gives a chord progression in C major by default(C G Am F), and I'm interested in one of the "Alternatives" it offers for the progression: G,D,Em,C the progression is also quoted in ...
23
votes
3answers
26k 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"?
4
votes
3answers
507 views

Why isn't there a key signature with F flat?

I think the title asks the question. There are key signatures with Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb and Gb. But no Fb. There's probably no practical reason for my question. I'm just curious.
0
votes
2answers
80 views

Score analysis: Beethoven - Menuetto IV in F major (WoO9) at measure 4

I'm new to music and I'm trying to learn analysis, my question is, what chord is represented in the last bar of this excerpt? It has C in bass, so it could be a dominant chord, but rest of the notes ...
7
votes
2answers
535 views

What is the name of the symbol like a combination of a mordent and f?

The Photo attached has a quaver marked with a red rectangle. Τhere is a symbol on that quaver that I do not recognize. It looks like a mordent but it's clearly different from one. Can anyone tell me ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Why is the snare always on the 3rd beat? [closed]

In the music I listen to (normally Future Bass, Glitch Hop and other genres like such), the snare is what keeps the music from getting unstable, it seems. All of the music has a snare smack dab on the ...
0
votes
3answers
77 views

Question on a piano piece

Hi! This piece (called Roundabouts) is from a book on how to play the piano. I thought it would be fun to analyse this piece but it seems to be very difficult. It's in the key of C major and the ...
3
votes
3answers
103 views

Can you have more dots on a note than a triple dotted note?

Recently I've come across some double-dotted notes, and even some triple-dotted ones which seem a bit quirky to me, but who knows? For one dot, you add 1/2 of the note's length, so I suppose for two ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

What is the name of the chord contains the notes Ab, C, D and G?

In the key of Bb major I came across a chord that contained the notes Ab, C, D and G. What chord could this be?
1
vote
4answers
234 views

Why is the complete circle of fifth progression more common in minor than major?

In relation to How common is the complete circle of fifths progression? which describes some examples of the complete circle of fifth progression (a consecutive 4-7-3-6-2-5-1 progression), apparently ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Some numbers in notation, what does it mean and how do I replicate it in Guitar Pro?

I am trying to copy a page of (guitar) music notation to Guitar Pro, but I am a bit confused about what the numbers above ( "4" "3" "2" "3") and numbers in circles ("3" "2") mean... as well as how do ...
3
votes
3answers
219 views

8 under clef and timing questions

Please look at the below graphic, there are a few things that are confusing me: 1 - Why is there an 8 under the treble clef? 2 - This is in common 4/4 time, yet one of the beginning 8th notes (in ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Half oval 3 over notes

I'm a bit confused about this graphic, notice the half ovals on top with the 3 in the center: Is that a "triplet" and the same as this graphic in guitar pro? Please note that I have searched but ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
1
vote
3answers
73 views

When/how to switch in between major and minor pentatonic

I'm trying to figure out how I can mix major and minor pentatonic scales and was wondering if someone could explain the underlying theory concepts that would dictate under what chords/chord changes ...
2
votes
5answers
147 views

Roman Numeral Analysis of Chords Outside Of The Key: C7 in the key of E major

I'm completing a roman numeral analysis in E Major, but there's several chords marked out that fall outside of the key - either with an accidental that shouldn't be there or they're marked as minor. ...
15
votes
11answers
1k views

Looking for a high level Music Programming language

I'm looking for a high-level programming language. I did some googling and found a number of examples (some summarized here http://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~sasha/proj/musicpaper.pdf) but haven't found ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Collective word for sharps and flats in the key signature

On a mailing list I'm subscribed to, someone recently asked what the collective name was in English for the sharps and flats you find in the key signature. Apparently, the closest translation from ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

What does this roman numeral (2) mean? [duplicate]

as you can see above, there is a II in two places, what does that mean? Thanks!
8
votes
1answer
681 views

What is this called? Why is it allowed?

"Golden Train" by Justin Nozuka (YouTube link below) is in the key of Ab major. However he uses a Cb major chord throughout the song, which is not in the key of Ab major. It sounds good and works ...
45
votes
22answers
7k views

What's the point of keys other than C and Am?

I'm VERY new to music theory, just learning. I'm reading about keys and scales right now. From what I understand major keys are all the same except for being shifted by one or more semitones (e.g. C ...
10
votes
3answers
820 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

What is the meaning of time signatures with fractions on the top like ⅘ /4?

Recently I came across this List of musical works in unusual time signatures on Wikipedia. Some of the time signatures mentioned have fractional numbers on the top. e.g. two and a half over four, ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it possible to write a song without a key?

"This song is in F Major", "That song is in A Minor", "This song is in D Minor, but modulates to F Major in the middle", etc. Can we say "This song has no key"? Are there songs that have/follow no ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Beginning of Chopin nocturne no.20: slur and tie confusion

In the opening bars of this c-sharp minor nocturne, we have the famous descending scales that are played twice, first in piano then in pianissimo. Here's a snapshot (source) of the part in question: ...
24
votes
4answers
8k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
2
votes
3answers
79 views

A question about quarter notes

I have a question about the term quarter note. I thought of putting clarity in the question by doing a little calculation. Let us say BPM = 120 .So Beat time is 0.5 s. So in 4/4 signature the ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

In jazz, what is a guide tone?

I've heard that guide tones are very useful while improvising, and seems to be an important concept for jazz theory. What is a guide tone? How can it help improvisation?
2
votes
3answers
100 views

Difference between a I7 - V resolution and I7 - IV resolution

I watched a video lesson on the Floyd Cramer style and the teacher said that resolutions of C7-G (I7-V) is no good. We have to use resolutions of C7-F (I7-IV). Why would that be? It was supposed to ...
4
votes
2answers
103 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

In Jazz, what is an avoid note?

Why are some scale degrees avoided? What is the reasoning behind the avoid notes? Are there avoid notes in all modes? If so, which are the avoid notes of the different modes? Is this pattern widely ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Can Appoggiaturas be doubled or tripled?

I know the basic definition of the nonharmonic tone an appoggiatura is a nonharmonic tone that is approached by skip/leap and then resolves by step in the opposite direction. I've recently heard the ...
2
votes
3answers
75 views

Coda, segno; How to repeat chorus 3 times?

I have a song like this, for example: bar 1 = a bar 2 = b bar 3 = chorus bar 4 = d bar 5 = e bar 6 = chorus bar 7 = g bar 8 = h bar 9 = chorus Do I need rewrite "chorus" everytime? Or can I use ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

In Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, why is the B always flat in the exercises done in the F mode?

In Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, when in the F mode (lydian), the B is always flat, at least in the first and second species examples. The cantus firmus proposed by master Aloys avoids the note ...