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

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Why do octaves sound equivalent?

It is, I think, a perfectly clear observation that one note an octave above another note sounds as if it were the same in a certain sense; while they are by no means the same exact note, they are ...
14
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4answers
16k views

Difference between “Bar” and “Measure”

I was taught musical theory in the UK where I grew up. I was taught what a bar is. In my experience, the terminology "measure" is not used in a musical sense in the UK. Since living in the US, I ...
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0answers
83 views

Rule of the octave for melody

In thorough bass (where the bass line is written first) there are simple "rules" for ascending and descending scales with different inversions and other rules in "partimenti". They are all based on ...
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5answers
165 views

Vocals on guitar

Okay so I asked a question earlier and I wasn't so clear. I'll try and rephrase it. I want to learn how to take a song, and then play something on the guitar that sounds like the vocals. For example: ...
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11answers
6k views

Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?

I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge. Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be ...
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5answers
313 views

What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
18
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6answers
11k views

How to play chords like G/B

I heard that if there is a chord written like x/y then that means an x chord with y in the bass. This can be played by playing x normally, but then playing the y note on the 6th string, correct? Then ...
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8answers
203 views

Do such chords exist?

for example, C D E or C C# D motivation: I am trying to get all of the permutations for all possible notes, chromatically (within the octave of a selected tonic, in this case C-chromatic scale) I ...
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4answers
511 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 ...
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2answers
48 views

Counter-example of counterpoint technique?

I'm trying to fully understand the concept that "Counterpoint" entails... but I can't seem to think any situation in which a counterpoint is not present on a song/piece/whatever. If counterpoint is ...
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2answers
57 views

How do I find the chord progressions for sheet music?

Just wondering if someone could give me some steps to working out the chord progression of sheet music ie. chord IV or II etc. How do I know what is what?
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2answers
338 views

When did keyboard partitions start to use the G-clef for the upper staff ?

When you look at very old sheetmusic (for harpsichord or organ), you see that the upper staff has a C-clef, first line. The lower one is the familiar bass F-clef, fourth line. Why and when did the ...
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4answers
191 views

How to get started on keyboard?

I'm 18 years old and I'm soon getting a keyboard because I'm really interested in music. I am especially interested in composing my own music and learning a lot of music theory. I used to play the ...
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11answers
7k views

What makes an interval “Perfect”?

I've been trying to find an answer, but to no avail. Is what we call a perfect interval somewhat arbitrary? It seems as if the modern definition is "perfect under inversion". I know the other thing ...
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7answers
2k views

Theory behind the change from a major chord to the same in minor

In many songs I hear the change from a major chord to the same, but minor. For example F A Bb Bbm. It sounds really nice to me and I'm wondering if there is a theory behind it. Is there a genre ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Is doubling the root when converting guitar chords to piano wrong?

If you take guitar chords and put them into sheet music for piano, should you double the root (CEGC) or not (CEG)? And if you do is it wrong because you'd have parallel octaves? I mean I know ...
2
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2answers
132 views

Why does e.g a C Major Chord sound different from a F Major Chord?

Why does e.g a C Major Chord sound different from a F Major Chord ? Is it only the absolute Height of the Root ?
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2answers
118 views

Are parallel octaves okay in other styles of music?

In a musical theatre piece is it wrong to have lots of parallel octaves in the voices?
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11answers
2k 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 ...
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0answers
18 views

What do repeated notes mean? [duplicate]

I was wondering what do the repeated notes mean: For context, this is for guitar. Also, key signature is A major
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3answers
47 views

Should I use inversion or root position?

I'm writing a song for a project and putting piano chords under the melody. I don't know if this makes sense but for example, if I'm in C major, and there is an "E" in the voice, should I pair it with ...
24
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3answers
17k views

How do harmonics work?

The guitar has harmonic notes at some places. I can play it, but I don't understand the logical reason why/how this is can played. Can you tell me how exactly this works? What other musical ...
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0answers
22 views

Stylistic elements of four styles

I'm doing an exam soon where I have to name 3 stylistic elements of Soul, Rock, Funk, and blues... and I was wondering what the most important elements of these styles are? Thanks in advance!
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
488 views

Analysis of Scarborough Fair

I'm attempting to figure out what is going on in terms of harmony with this song. This is the best I have managed so far (supposing a tonal center of A): Chords are: Am Em G ...
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1answer
37 views

What is the difference between a prime order, tone row and serial, if there is one?

I'm studying Op. 22 by Anton Webern for my AS music. I have 2 teachers and a revision guide, each of which uses one of the terms listed in the question and avoids the other two. I just wanted to see ...
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6answers
4k views

Prokofiev's style

I have a predilection for music from the first half of the 20th century. I can't pinpoint the exact reason why, I suspect it is from absorbing so much music from movies, tv series and computer games ...
8
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3answers
396 views

Can someone explain what a voice is in piano?

So as I was browsing the forum, I saw many posts about voices in piano, and how you should play them all at the same time. I really don't get when a voice exists in a song, and how I should I play it. ...
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5answers
907 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 ...
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6answers
2k views

Why should my band learn music theory?

I recently started a band that plays a mixture of blues, rock, and funk. I am the only one in the trio that knows any music theory. Can someone tell me how to explain to my band members that they ...
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9answers
6k views

What is the full list of possible chord names? Are there chords that don't have a name in chord theory?

My chord book covers 35 different chord types. When I look on the web or in other tools, all the same types of chords come up. But I don't think this is the "full" set of possible chords. I'm not ...
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1answer
72 views

Music theory: Modulation [closed]

So I wanted to compose a sonata like I said before but I have a problem with modulating the keys, can I get some help? I don't know how to modulate, and it's kinda hard to understand when I search for ...
4
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3answers
577 views

AP Music Theory

I'd like to self-study for the Advanced Placement Music Theory Examination in the United States of America (offered by the College Board, a nonprofit corporation in the USA). This is an examination ...
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3answers
2k views

If I press C4, C5 and C6, is this a chord?

Are there any other special requirements for three sounds to be a chord by musical definition? Do overtones or the same note just sounding on different octaves (sounding together) still can be named a ...
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2answers
77 views

What is the length of the beat?

As I understand, the quarter note is a note that lasts for one beat. the half note, is a note that lasts for two beats, the full note, is a note that lasts for four beats, now i get that, but what ...
54
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23answers
3k views

Ways to get out of a scalar rut?

I'm a well versed and experienced guitarist. I have a decent sense for rhythm and melody, but I have a VERY hard time with soloing. I know you've heard it all before I'm one of those guys that got ...
0
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2answers
68 views

what's the difference between these two notations?

I am using this book http://www.librariamuzicala.ro/cs-docs/12069-1382689258.pdf and just on page 3, the said: I am using this virtual piano http://virtualpiano.net so what is the difference in ...
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8answers
818 views

Essential things to memorize in music theory

What are some of the essential music theory concepts to memorize? I just started looking at music theory earlier this week, and I have to admit that it's pretty overwhelming especially since my only ...
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4answers
4k views

Finding chords that sound like a single note

I cannot seem to find an algorithm to do this. Say I play an E (not a chord)... it sounds a certain way. If I make it into a chord an play an E Major chord it sounds completely different. What would ...
6
votes
1answer
605 views

What is the name of the (I think) Renaissance harmonic device used in choral music that sounds slightly odd today?

I remember in college hearing about people playing minor 'pranks' using this device, however I've forgotten the name and I can't remember the exact details. It has to do with notes (possibly ...
3
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0answers
28 views

What are the rules of improvisation in gamelan music?

I see repeated reference to improvisation in Javanese and Balinese gamelan music but I don't see any reference to the actual rules of improvisation in that music. What are the rules of improvisation ...
2
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0answers
29 views

What are the rules of improvisation in Indian ragas?

In How does improvisation in Indian ragas differ significantly from jazz melodic improvisation? Phil states: With a Raga, there is no theme, per se. A Raga is more like a set of rules as to how ...
16
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7answers
1k 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" ...
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4answers
110 views

Can I Teach Myself to Play Guitar?

Is it possible for me to teach myself to play guitar and be a good guitarist without music private lessons ?? for example : i play everyday for half an hour , and I try to play my favourite song by ...
0
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3answers
31 views

Should a song's meter be tied to the text, or the text-tune combination?

I'm improving a web site that has indexes of hymnals, and one of the things I'd like to do is add an index of hymns' meters. I've learned a little bit about meters but I'm confused about a few points. ...
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3answers
126 views

Does a dominant seventh chord always have to function as a secondary dominant/cadence?

Does a dominant seventh chord always have to function as a secondary dominant/cadence? In "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" they play a B7-C and a B7-G instead of resolving to an E. Does this just work as a ...
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3answers
67 views

Secondary dominant of a minor chord?

I understood how to get the secondary dominant of a major chord, but I don't understand how to get the secondary dominant of a minor chord, mainly because I don't know which minor mode (natural, ...
3
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1answer
42 views

Music Terminology: Difference between Additive and asymmetric?

I've been reading up on Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra and came across the two terms 'additive rhythm' and 'asymmetrical grouping'. I would assume they are synonymous... Is there a ...
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3answers
78 views

The meaning of Coda

What does a Coda mean in music? I don't understand, it appears in many articles about "sonata form" but I still don't know..
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6answers
216 views

Whats are some ways of visualizing notes on guitar's fret-board if you come from piano background?

I come from piano background and it's been really difficult to visualize the notes I'm playing on guitar. On piano it's simple - they follow sequentially. So, my question is - what is the best way to ...