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21

There is a rather more fundamental, physical reason for this than so far mentioned: the bass fills not only the bass frequency range, but its harmonics actually reach well into the midrange where all other voices have their fundamentals! In fact, since the bass has typically the strongest amplitude1 of all tuned instruments (save perhaps trumpets, lead ...


18

I would actually consider this to be ♭III - IV - I in B major, with the ♭III borrowed from the parallel minor key. In fact, with the ♭III chord, it's somewhat similar in character to one of the "Fellowship of the Ring" themes: I - ♭III - I (in your key, that would be Bmaj - Dmaj - Bmaj). It's the first three chords here. Soundtracks aside, this type of ...


15

I would argue that your premise that the chords used in a song should be comprised of notes that occur in the scale of the tonic key doesn't really hold. Yes, the majority of songs tend to use almost exclusively diatonic triads, however, there are many example of non-diatonic chords, for instance, borrowed chords and secondary dominants. In traditional ...


13

You are looking at the chords in an interesting way, but you are over complicating the subject a lot and have a few slight misconceptions. I to V or i to V is a very normal chord movement and it is quite strong, but the the opposite is much stronger i.e. V to I or V to i. The movement is so strong at the end of a phrase the movement is known as an authentic ...


12

In common-practice theory, secondary dominant chords are chromatic harmonies used to approach a non-tonic chord with greater urgency. Let's use C major for examples: I might want to approach the V chord (G) with a secondary dominant to give greater direction or "color" to the approach. I construct the secondary dominant by going to the V chord of the V ...


12

You are missing the fact that you are looking at two different keys. The chord progression (C G Am F) is in the key of C. The chord progression (G D Em C) is in the key of G, which contains F#. The first site you were looking at, shows you alternatives for a C major chord in different keys than C. (Maybe compare the third alternative when you are ...


11

Diatonic substitution is changing a diatonic chord into another diatonic chord with a similar function. For example, in a C major tonality, you can often reharmonize a melody harmonized with F[maj7] with Dm[7] (or vice versa). These chords share some important notes which makes them functionally similar (both have subdominant character). Chromatic ...


11

The primary answer to your question is that although pitch defines the basic frequency of the note, there is—at least in common-practice tonal music, and many other styles too—an entire other trait called function. A C# and a Db are the same pitch (at least on the piano, these will often have slightly different tunings when played by unfretted string ...


11

Yes it is the dominant chord. The third is sharpened to G# to make a major chord, which gives a stronger cadence when moving V-i. This is why the Harmonic Minor has a sharpened seventh degree, to create the sharpened third in the dominant chord (or leading note in the scale, whichever way you want to think about it). In common-practice harmony, the strong, ...


11

On a basic level, this is just a modal chord progression using the Mixolydian mode, which contains a b7 scale degree. That makes the notes you're using G A B C D E F G. The G major triad (G B D) and the F major triad (F A C) are both right in there. But doesn't necessarily reconcile other chords aside from those two (assuming not all the songs you're talking ...


10

Two modes are parallel if they share the same tonic. That is, D Major, D Minor, D Dorian, and D Mixolydian are all parallel modes. Using a parallel mode will cause a chromatic alteration to your usual key signature. For example, Dorian uses #6 and Phrygian uses b2 (when compared to a minor key or Aeolian mode), while Mixolydian uses b7 and Lydian uses #4 ...


10

Tritone substitution is as it says. The substitution of one chord for another, that is a tritone away from the one being substituted. Thus a V7-I ( G7 - C ) becomes Db7 - C. Because the Db is a tritone, or 3 tones away from the G. Exactly half way, as it happens. G7 is spelled G,B,D and F. Db7 is Db,F,Ab and Cb. The two common notes of F and B (Cb), being a ...


10

You were right on when you said that this chord "toys with switching to the minor scale." In classical musical analysis, the major chord built on the flattened third is considered a "borrowed chord", a chord that is borrowed from the minor version of the key. In Roman numberal analysis, it is written exactly as you would expect: ♭III. Like many other ...


9

There isn't any hard and fast rule. The first thing is that the key signature narrows it down to two keys. So, for example, if there are no sharps or flats in the key signature, the key is either C major or A minor. Most of the time, the first few measures in the piece will establish whether you're in the major or minor key. Beethoven's 5th symphony is a ...


9

Harmony refers to the "vertical" relationship between simultaneous pitches in a musical texture (usually, but not always, chords - see below for the exception). However, it also refers to the "horizontal" relationships between successive vertical relationships of pitches; it's probably easiest to think of these as chord progressions. The exception, mentioned ...


9

I'm sure someone more experienced will come to help, but for now, here are some suggestions: Make use of dissonant chords. In particular, augumented fifths, and diminished major sevenths. In particular I'd just look into the various scale modes (e.g. Lydian) and pick out chords from there. If it's a slow horror song I'd suggest using a Dorian mode for ...


9

Melodic Inversion Where the original melody goes up by an interval, the inverted melody goes down by the same interval. Sometimes you do it where you keep the same number of semi-tones (sometimes you do a "diatonic" inversion and just keep the scale degree). It's a technique for taking given melodic content and constructing more, related melodic content. ...


8

An avoid note is a chord tension which creates an interval of a minor ninth (or less) above a chord voice. Chord voices are the 1, 3, 5, and 7. Chord tensions are the 9, 11, and 13. As I recall, the Imaj11 sounds terrible. On the other hand, the iimin11 is fine (because of the b3). Ditto the vimin11. And the IVmaj#11 sounds fine as well. The avoid notes ...


8

The central basis of a multi-tonic system is that the underlying scale or primary note collection is symmetrical, thus allowing several notes within the collection to behave as tonic since they are all approached and left in the same way. In other words: in a C major scale, the tonic has an entirely unique relationship to the other six notes of the scale—at ...


8

12 bar blue sequences - poffle.com shows at least a dozen. The blues sequence doesn't have to be 12 bars long, it's just that this is the commonest. 8 and 16 are other well used ones. Basically putting 7ths onto each chord will help to bluesify a sequence. Or 9ths, which sound more jazzy. A lot of varieties use 'passing' chords such as diminished to get from ...


8

The term for chord connections like this, where each note of the chords changes (usually chromatically, almost always step-wise) one-by-one, is linear harmony. It's quite common in Liszt, Scubert, Schumann, etc. Roman numeral analysis is mostly pointless during linear harmony passages, most analysts will either just label it as linear harmony until the next ...


8

Debussy surely influenced the piano playing of trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke. It is also said that the bebop harmony has been inspired by Western Music; from people like Debussy and Schoenberg. Kubik, Gerhard. "Bebop: a case in point. The African Matrix in Jazz Harmonic Practices." (Critical essay) Black Music Research Journal 22 Mar 2005. Digital.: While ...


8

The basic idea of the melodic minor scale is to be able to traverse the minor scale by step while having the option to take advantage of the leading tone while avoiding the augmented 2nd interval. It may seem random when you use melodic and when you use natural minor scale degrees, but there is a very simple test: Are you going to the tonic or are you ...


7

Harmony supports the melody. Polyphony is when there is more than one independent melody. The basic idea is that in polyphony is that each melody can stand on its own independent of the other melody. Common examples of this are rounds, fuges, and counterpoint. In the case of harmony, everything supports the melody. Their may be secondary melodies or the ...


7

Not a stupid question at all! But, yes, only the bass note is taken into account when naming the inversion of a chord. The voicing above this is unimportant. Indeed, the bass note may be doubled, as can any other chord-tones. (Although, this may be inappropriate, if following the rules of specific styles of harmony or counterpoint.) Also, notes above the ...


7

First of all, I think it's important to keep in mind that harmony is written for something. I'm going to follow the sort of academic rules of part-writing in my answer, but if this were for "real life" purposes, it would be worth subjecting a lot of those assumptions to the test of what makes the best music (and the most idiomatic music for whatever you're ...


7

On many non-keyboard instruments performers will play slightly different notes; these slight differences reflect/determine how these notes behave in a given harmonic and melodic context. In at least some cases, these differences are related to (approximations of) just intonation; in other cases there are ideas of expressive intonation, which again result ...


7

A single bassline can be harmonized in a number of different ways. Assuming you are working only with diatonic triads (three note chords that require no accidentals), you'll typically have three options for your harmony for each note. In the key of G major, those options look like this: G: I, vi6, IV64 A: ii, vii°6, V64 B: iii, I6, vi64 C: IV, ii6, ...


7

It's figured bass and while typically associated with analysis and chords the meaning typically differs. As you said typically when thinking in chords or analysis in a V9 the 7th is implied. However, in figured bass only the typical triad is implied unless otherwise noted so just putting the 9 would make the harmony add9 instead of dominant 9. So yes it is ...


7

I think, Dom, that you would need to do a few things: Truncate the tonic - it will always be root and third. (This kind of truncation wasn't all that unusual in late Renaissance and early Baroque modal polyphony, by the way, even though the Locrian mode itself wasn't used at all.) Borrow procedures from the Phrygian mode, which is the closest in ...



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