Questions tagged [analysis]

For questions about studying the intricacies of a piece of music. Questions should also be tagged with a more specific form of analysis if applicable.

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31
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6answers
3k views

Why is bass note so important in harmonic analysis of music?

In any type of harmonic analysis the bass plays a big part in determining the function of the harmony. There are even special ways to describe what note of the chord is in the bass (known as ...
24
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3answers
70k 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 ...
16
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3answers
3k views

What makes a piece sound like Beethoven?

I can't seem to find non-harmonic analyses of Beethoven's sonatas. And I'm not a classical music analyzer. That makes it hard to write a sonata in the style of Beethoven when I don't know what ...
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5answers
6k views

Score analysis: Minuet in G Minor BWV Anh 115

The piece modulates from G minor to Bb major between the bars 12-14 but I don't know how to mark these chords as they have B natural in them, which doesn't belong neither to G minor nor Bb major. So, ...
13
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4answers
11k views

Roman numeral notation for a suspended chord?

On the Wikipedia entry for Roman numeral analysis, it says that major chords use the upper case numerals (e.g. IV for the F major chord in the C major scale) and lowercase letters for minor chords (e....
12
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2answers
4k views

Why play out of scale notes as part of a chord?

So, I'm learning 'Stray Cat Strut' right now and came across something I'm not sure I understood. I have to say, I've only just begun to learn theory, so maybe that's why. Anyway, as far as I can ...
12
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3answers
4k views

How would one create music based on the principles of Cubism?

How would one create music based on the principles of Cubism? (e.g., 20th century painters: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger) The basic definition of Cubism calls for the use ...
11
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5answers
3k views

How would this chord from “Rocket Man” be analyzed?

[Chorus:] Bb Eb And I think it's gonna be a long, long time Bb 'Till touch down brings me roung again to find ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Features of a Coda section

I came across a question in a music theory book, which asked about explaining why bars 30-36 in the following music extract could be considered as a Coda. The extract is from Prelude in C minor by ...
11
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2answers
497 views

Software to analyse music for playability

Is there any software that can analyse instrumental parts for playability? I want to compose orchestral music, I know the ranges of the individual instruments, but do not know if what I compose is ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between grouping overlaps and elisions?

I am reading "A Generative Theory of Tonal Music" by F. Lerdahl and R. Jackendoff and I don't understand the difference between grouping overlaps and elisions (this is explained in section 3.4). The ...
10
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4answers
3k views

What is bad about Roman Numeral Analysis?

I have studied roman numeral analysis in my theory courses and I think that it's a good way of describing and understanding classical music, especially that of the classical and early romantic periods....
10
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1answer
3k views

Harmonic analysis of the B section of “Have You Met Miss Jones”

I've been studying the standard Have You Met Miss Jones and I came across a very interesting chord progression in the B section of the piece. The A section is pretty typical and the key it's in is F ...
10
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2answers
931 views

Which scores are best for those who are new to analysis?

Are there some scores that are better suited to aspiring composers? What specific elements of analysis are more important for a beginner to start with if his goal is to improve as a composer (Harmony?...
10
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2answers
1k views

Which roman numeral should I use for F# diminished chord in the key F Major?

In the key of F major, what roman numeral is the F# A C chord? I know it is a diminished chord. It is going from a F to F#dim to Gm7
9
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5answers
4k views

If A minor doesn't have any accidentals, is it still minor?

As part of a music course, we have to compose a 3 minute long piece based on a river's journey. Having finished the composition, we now have to write a set of sleeve notes - basically an analysis and ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Is there a term for when a lyric is sung and then an instrument (sound) is played to mimic the lyric?

Is there a term for when a phrase in a song, i.e., "shivers down my spine" as in Bohemian Rhapsody, after that phrase is sung, a tinkling or some kind of sound is made with an instrument, to mimic "...
9
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2answers
10k views

Making sense of 5/4 time signatures

Normally, we're told that 5/4 is usually 3/4 + 2/4 or 2/4 + 3/4. (At the very least, it's unusual to have a meter that large without "secondary stress" beats.) However, how do we make sense of the ...
9
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5answers
887 views

Incorrectly labeled chord. Is this a dominant seventh?

I am trying to analyse this but am confused by the chord marked Am7. Am7 shouldn't have a D in it and doesn't make much sense in the context. Could it possibly be a D7 with the G being a suspension of ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Alternative Analysis for Non-Functioning Secondary Dominants

I've been reading though my Pocket Music Theory book and in the chapter on secondary dominants there is a concept that confuses me. The book says there can be non-functioning secondary dominants that ...
9
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3answers
4k views

Harmony analysis program

Is there any computer program that automatically analyzes harmony given the score? I refer specifically to roman numeral analysis and functional harmony.
8
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3answers
171 views

Unintentional plagiarism while composing

I have recently started composing using some knowledge that I got after a few months of studying counterpoint and harmony (well it is more like trying to compose). And I have mentioned that quite ...
8
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2answers
5k views

Differentiating between II and II7 (secondary dominant V of V)

I'm studying harmony and start to make roman numeral analysis on Bach pieces. I often mistake a II (second degree) for a secondary dominant on the 2nd degree(V7 of V). I guess there are some notes ...
8
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5answers
1k views

chords in BWV 846

I have been doing chord analysis on BWV 846 (prelude). It is very interesting and I hope you can help me with some questions: I understand that doing chord analysis is good but what is the reason for ...
8
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3answers
14k views

How do I determine the chord progression Roman numerals?

Let's say I'm playing the chords D, G, A and Bm. I know that D is my key, which would be Roman numeral I. How do I associate the other chords with their proper roman numerals? How would I determine ...
8
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2answers
678 views

What is the Hanson system used for?

Recently I've been learning about alternate analysis techniques used for modern compositions and one that I've recently learned about the Hanson system partiality described below: Now as shown in the ...
8
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3answers
6k 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. ...
7
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5answers
2k views

Why does this progression sound good, even if it not resolve to the root?

I'm trying to learn some music theory. I'm interested in the magic of chord progression, and how little changes can make a dramatic change in the feeling. Anyway, I suppose that a progression moving ...
7
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2answers
4k views

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 ...
7
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3answers
321 views

Is this really better analyzed in G minor than in Bb?

So I have been analysing Rondo a Capriccio by Beethoven and I reached a point where a so called "expert's" opinion and mine differ drastically. It starts at bar 57 and continues to bar 68. After the ...
7
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3answers
7k views

Nashville numbers in major vs minor keys

Some songs refer to their key as specifically major or minor, but others use both the major and relative minor as key centers, in an even enough proportion where it can be hard to say whether the I ...
7
votes
1answer
609 views

Harmonic analysis of arpeggios in Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

I've always liked the arpeggio section in dance of the sugar plum fairy, it sounds so sweet and mysterious. I was trying to figure out the idea behind them. Here's the section in Synthesia. From ...
7
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2answers
983 views

Harmonic functions of chords in “Killing Me Softly”

I have some background in classical harmony, and now I'm reading through "The Chord Scale Theory and Jazz Harmony" by B. Nettles and R. Graf as an introduction to modern harmony. In Ch. 2 they ...
7
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2answers
588 views

Origin of Roman Numeral Analysis

Out of curiosity, I was searching for the origin of Roman Numeral analysis and the only online source I could find was this passage in Wikipedia: Gottfried Weber's Versuch einer geordneten Theorie ...
7
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2answers
428 views

Roman Analysis of “Ab B G” chord

I am currently analyzing a bit of music for homework which consists of four voices (string quartet). It is in the key of G Major, but the chord that it ends on, is a Ab on the cello, B on the Viola, ...
7
votes
1answer
105 views

What is the utility of Schenkerian analysis?

I have seen that Schenkerian analysis is a method of analyzing tonal music distinct from the usual one which employs roman numerals for the degrees, specifies the inversions, the functions, etc. ...
7
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1answer
331 views

Roman Numeral Treatment of Suspensions

My question today stems from me having difficulty assigning a roman numeral to a chord which either has a suspension (please see below) Or when there is melodic motion in the bass (please see below) ...
7
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1answer
3k views

Franz Liszt Liebestraum No. 3 Bar 17 Roman Numeral Analysis

I'm going through Liszt's Liebestraum No. 3 in Ab M.... in bar 17, I don't know how to mark the A natural chord. It's either a #1 or the song has modulated to the natural minor, in which case it would ...
7
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4answers
1k views

I, (II), III major chord progression?

In Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers, the introduction alternates between D and F# chords, with an E in between as a passing chord in some cases. There is also a g# passing note played over ...
7
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1answer
229 views

Help with a Minecraft Piece Analysis?

So I did an anlysis for a Minecraft Piece for a video I'm working on. I was wondering if there were any glaring errors? I called the chords that had arpeggiated the 9th Maj9 chords, but for some that ...
6
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5answers
3k 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 ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Why does the IV - V♯ - I chord progression work so well?

The song Long Away by Queen does this, but it's a pattern you'll probably find in many songs. Basically, I've noticed that when moving from IV to I, a V♯ or V♯maj7 chord is sometimes used as a ...
6
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4answers
426 views

Characteristic scale degrees

Came across an article at openMsicTheory.com about harmonic function. Below excerpt was about finding function of a chord Each of the three harmonic functions — tonic (T), subdominant (S), and ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Harmonic analysis of “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith

I'm trying to do harmonic analysis of "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith. Verses and choruses uses I to IV progression, but I wonder about the riff in the bridge. It seem to be played in the E key. Joe ...
6
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4answers
6k 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 ...
6
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2answers
810 views

Are there any thematic similarities between Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony? [closed]

Taking a look at the opening bars of Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony 4th movement (bar 136 onwards) see below they sound kind of similar. Somebody suggested (Radio 3 I think)...
6
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2answers
863 views

Are these “power chords” in a classical composition?

I've been trying to figure out the chord progression from the beginning of this Mussorgsky piece (orchestrated by Shostakovich, link below) and I'm just curious if I'm getting things right. The chords ...
6
votes
2answers
318 views

Functional analysis of chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' BWV 244/46

I did some analysis of the chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' (from Matthew Passion BWV 244 no.46), see below. But how would I analyse the first chord in measure 2? Obviously, it's an E ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

What is the rhythm of this Herbie Hancock song, and why is it so weird?

I've always listened to a lot of jazz and heard some weird rhythms, but only this year did my high school offer music theory - and right now, we're learning about rhythm. All we've done so far is ...
6
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2answers
310 views

What is Chris Potter playing here?

NB: This is all in Tenor Sax key (Bb), not Concert I've been mulling over the following excerpt of a Chris Potter solo on the tune "Just One Of Those Things," I find it probably the most harmonically ...