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19

The key change you are describing is known as a Chromatic Mediant Relationship. This type of modulation rose to prominence in the Romantic Period and has been used by composers and musicians ever since. Chromatic Mediant Relationships are ones in which the roots or tonal centers of the keys are a non-diatonic 3rd apart. If diatonic (within the key), it ...


18

There are some very simple ways to transform the mood of a song by slight alterations in the melody, harmony or both. A transposition of the melody to the relative minor (ex. from C major to A minor) or to the parallel minor (ex. from C major to C minor) are both very simple ways to retain the melodic material, while drastically changing the sound. ...


18

I think there's an element of pragmatism to this. Some people are out for what they can get, but they also have an eye on what they could lose. Let's say you wrote Stack Exchange Blues, you're collecting royalties from it, and you hear my song Downvotes Got Me Cryin', which you believe steals enough to perhaps warrant a law suit. Well, you're going to have ...


17

Harmonic mixing is the practice of using music theory in your dj sets. You can use this knowledge to achieve specific functions when mixing two songs (similar to chord progressions), or to know which songs are compatible with each other, just to give a few examples. The most common and basic form of harmonic mixing. If you don't want to know about the ...


16

The basis of counterpoint (point against point) is melody. Harmony is evident in counterpoint which, I suppose, is what is causing the confusion. A theory professor once told me that Harmony is a byproduct of the rules of counterpoint being used properly. Counterpoint changed from renaissance to baroque in some significant ways. Renaissance counterpoint ...


14

Counterpoint is a type of polyphony with certain restrictions on form. For instance, contrapuntally organized music focuses on melodic interaction between multiple independent voices rather than harmonic interaction. In other words, chords occur as a result of coincident notes in multiple melodic lines rather than as a primary textural element. Other forms ...


12

I think the difference you would hear would be the difference in the direction and rhythm of the lines. Counterpoint would fill in the melodic "gaps" rhythmically and harmonically. Basic harmony often lines up with the melody. Counterpoint frequently goes opposite the melody, thus its name. Listen to some Baroque music, where counterpoint was used heavily ...


11

Start out by learning the characteristic sound of a V-I progression. Play only the guide tones (3rd and 7th) and note how the 7th of the V moves down a half step to become the 3rd of the I. Then do the same for the ii-V, noticing how the 7th of the ii moves down a half step to become the 3rd of the V. Then put them together. There are many possible ...


10

The words denote totally different concepts and the difference lies in the arrangemental intent for the instruments playing tones in parallel octaves: Parallel, or consecutive, octaves If the intent of an arrangement is to have independent voices but two (or more of) them happen to move in parallel at the octave (or in unison, or two or more octaves apart) ...


9

It surely can be done and it's largely used in, for example, games to signal mood changes to the listener while still conveying the original "idea" of the song. Take as an example the soundtrack to Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy III in the USA). The main theme for Terra - one of the protagonists - is a strong yet melancholic song with emphasis on the ...


8

Visualizing harmonies takes place in what I and others call the aural image; basically, being able to hear music internally with little or no outside stimulus. When instrumentalists practice this, they usually do it by singing, since the voice is that much more closely related to the brain than any given instrument. For all of the above, though, it can be ...


8

There are a couple interesting idioms used by Prokofiev that stand out for me: Tonal ambiguity and disjunct melody, often using chromatic lines, fourths (quartal harmony), tritones, symmetric scales based on minor or major thirds (octatonic or augmented, respectively), harmonies and melodies involving dissonant minor second and major seventh intervals, ...


8

To answer the question: "Where does the line between what is acceptable to call plagiarism and musical "style" come in to play?" I have to say that unfortunately, pragmatically, it comes down to what you as a plaintiff can prove in court. It really does come down to the law. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I am not giving any legal advice, which in any ...


8

Well, yes, when listening to pop and rock music, it can seem like much of the vocal harmonisation moves in parallel motion (often in thirds and sixths), but there are plenty of examples of different motion out there, if you listen out for them. I've always thought that The Beatles used some subtly interesting vocal harmonies. Below are the first 8 bars of ...


7

Harmony refers only to the relative pitches of the different voices you hear sounding together in a nice way; it says nothing about the timing of the notes in the different voices. Counterpoint refers to different voices forming their own separate melodies: (many of) their notes are produced at different times and with different durations. Counterpoint ...


7

If there are rules, they are pretty much the same as for popular music of the early 20th century. Some rags have simple progressions; some use more complex progressions. As with jazz improvising, "substitution" chords can be used, like ii-V7-I in place of IV-V7-I. Ninth chords and beyond are rare. Joplin's "Euphonic Sounds" and "Antoinette" are extreme ...


7

As she explains later in the video, she's being extremely contrary to the basic ideas of serialism by implying tonality in the first place. The point of 12-tone serialism as it was designed was to treat each pitch equally so as to not create tonal function by emphasizing one pitch over another. Even if you are operating within these rules, it's possible to ...


7

I'll give some general tips but really I think you can't beat the books I'll mention below as a guide on how to write euphonious counterpoint. As far as the order of composing voices, Schoenberg's advice was that you have to be able to hear the full harmony as you write it. I believe he set a good value at 4 voices at once. That's one way to look at it. ...


7

I think the confusion comes when ideas are lumped together. From a harmonic perspective, the bass note determines what is the inversion of the chord and given C in the bass and E-G-C the chord is a C in root position. That being said however, from a pianist perspective, the closed form in the upper voices is a C chord in first inversion. When grabbing ...


6

As Matthew indicated, overlapping tuplets are most commonly used for rhythmic effect, called polyrhythm. Try writing an ostinato accompaniment in one subdivision (like triplets, or 6/8), and write a melodic line in the other subdivision (straight 8ths, or 2/4), while staying in the same key. Almost certainly, some composers have used bitonality alongside ...


6

There are other transformations besides the shift to relative minor, but it begins to depend on what kind of melody you're dealing with. If the melody covers only a short range of the scale, you can alter any notes it doesn't touch. Like if the melody only ranges over 1-2-3-4-5 of the scale, you can shift it to 4-5-6-7-8 of the ascending melodic minor ...


6

You have a great number of options. Some of them: Change the tempo (duh) Change rhythmic figures, add pauses, change note duration. Change time signature; classic examples are bringing a 4/4 piece in 3/4 or even 5/4. Work on the harmony: change voicings, add or remove notes. A seventh where there wasn't one (or vice versa) makes a big difference, and gives ...


6

Your question is a bit too open-ended to be answered completely and all the comments that have been made already give you useful pointers. Said simply: your ear has been trained by what you have heard over the years. When you hear a few notes, your brain will want to make sense of it, fall back onto its feet, the same way that you make sense of a few dots ...


6

I'll qualify my answer here by saying I've studied jazz theory more as an improviser than as a composer. My first thought is that you should study some jazz tunes to learn a bit more about the kinds of harmony that are used. Learning a bit about chords with extensions would be helpful as well, but actually I consider that more a 'stylistic' addition than a ...


6

First let me make this remark: as always when analyzing, know what key you are in and look for accidentals outside the key. If there are no accidentals outside the key then you can't be dealing with a secondary dominant. Now let's look at the chords in the key of C major: ii: D F A V/V: D F# A ii7: D F A C V7/V: D F# A C As you can see the ...


5

Edward Sarath's Music Theory Through Improvisation is available online, thanks to google books. The subtitle of the book ("A New Approach to Musicianship Training") seems to address your situation directly. You may also find my posts about another book and about chord functions useful.


5

Most teachers regardless of whether they teach piano, guitar, voice, or tuba, should be teaching you the basics of music theory. This should include key signatures, time signatures, note durations, and how chords are made, inverted and arpeggiated. Since you mention major, minor, diminished I assume you are learning western music vs other world music. ...


5

You have a couple good questions here. Parallel Fifths and Parallel Octaves occur primarily in realizing functional harmony; whether it is in a chorale, a fugue, or any number of traditional forms of the European Classical tradition. They are the result of two voices moving in parallel motion - hence the term "parallel fifth / octave." They are forbidden ...


5

With regard to the jazz examples, there really is a theory. It may not have been studied by musicologists at the start or taught in college classes, but it was there, and was picked up and understood by the musicians. In this case when I say "theory" I mean a mental model that has both explanatory and predictive power. It is easy to see that there is a ...


5

Learning to create your own vocal harmony part along with a melody is often something that musicians learn intuitively, through listening to a lot of music, but also by singing in a band or choir. Having said this, there is nothing wrong with taking a short cut towards gaining this skill, by using a little musical knowledge. You can create vocal (or any ...



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