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Questions tagged [chord-theory]

For questions about the theory behind building and naming chords.

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I would need someone to help understanding those chords

I have started reading "Jazz Theory" by Mark Levine. Note that I am a beginner so please be indulgent :) At the beginning of chapter 2 he gives examples of II-V-I chord progression. However when I ...
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Changing note order for larger chords (guitar)

So I understand chord inversions, but my question is this, do the notes have to remain in relative order? with triads there are only 3 possible inversions and because there are only 3 notes you're ...
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Determining the seventh chords of a key

I know that every key has a set of 7 chords by taking each note of the scale as a root. I also know that the pattern for naming these chords go as follows: Major, minor, minor,major,major,minor and ...
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Why is the 'standard chord' on the first step of Dorian b2 (second mode melodic minor) a sus-chord for jazz?

Why is the 'standard chord' for Dorian b9 a sus chord? More specifically, a sus4. Instead of stacking triads, i often see people (most notably Rick Beato on youtube) use a sus chord on the first step ...
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Chords with different bass and non-diatonic chords inside a progression

I'm studying music by myself and I'm dealing with several doubts: one of these is, are there some criteria for using a chord with a different bass in a chord progression? And how should I use it? Also,...
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Can someone help me figure out this music theory KEY finding question

Messing around Sunday I came up with a song that has the following Chord Progression. I'm just learning music theory and am having trouble on identifying the key. The chord progression is: C7 D7 F7 ...
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The function of the opening chords of Love is Here to Stay by Gershwin

I was interested to know the function of the opening chords of the standard "(Our) Love is Here to Stay". It opens with a G7, Gm, C7, F. I was intrigued by the surprise of the G7 to Gm. Is this a ...
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Seconds in a chord

Maybe someone knows about what means the “seconds” in a chord. I ask because I hear tha a person suggest to avoid “seconds” when you write music sheets for a guitar, because they are complex for a ...
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Key signature and chord progressions

I was studying a blues song (Bessie's Blues) in all keys and I seem unable to understand something that seems quite basic. So, in the typical progression for a Bb organ we have C7-F7-C7-C7-F7-F7 etc. ...
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What is the chord containing C, D, F#?

Its inversion "D F# C" appeared in the 10th measure of the Prelude in C Major(BWV 846). Seems like a usual triad, but I just can't fit it into pattern of any triad. Its most possible basic form of ...
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Why is this note in C7+9?

I’m reading the jazz piano book and I can’t see how the upper c flat note has a place in the C7+9 chord. The ninth note on the C major scale is a d so +9 would be d# not c flat = b Or am I wrong?
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Why does this guitar chord progression work?

I’m writing my first song. I came up with this chord progression and baseline. The progression is B A dm em played on the 5th and 7th frets. The bassline I came up with turned out to be part of the ...
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Effect of muted strings on chord formation

Many chord formations ask for one or more strings to be muted. IF, that string when played OPEN is one of the notes forming the triad chord, is it okay to use chord formations that include notes that ...
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1answer
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Notes in an A13 chord

Does an A13 chord include the 11th? Here's why I'm asking... If you google this chord for piano, sometimes the third (C#) is omitted and sometimes the 11th (D) is omitted -- but sometimes they are ...
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Chord exceptions in City of New Orleans

Here are the first few chords of "City of New Orleans" as performed by Arlo Guthrie: F# C# F# D#m B F# F# C# F# D#m B F# D#m A#m C# G# If I lay out the chords in a roman numeral chart, starting at ...
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What makes some intervals consonant while others dissonant?

Why does an authentic cadence sound pleasing to the ear? What makes an interval "Consonant" or "Dissonant" and why are there only two categories for intervals?
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HARMONY- Neighbour note

Can the 7th note of a chord be a neighbour note? For example if we have the Em (E,G,B,D) can the D be a neighbour note if we have E - D - E?
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Why does Cdim7 contain an A instead of a Bb?

CM7 - C, E, G, B C7 - C, E, G, Bb Cm7 - C, Eb, G, Bb Caug7 - C, E, G#, Bb But... Cdim7 - C, Eb, Gb, A. Why Does Cdim7 contain an A and not a Bb?
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Appoggiatura chord

While learning one of the Mazurka's of Chopin, I came across a chord that I think is an appoggiatura chord but I need a second opinion. The piece is Chopin Mazurka in A minor Op. 68 No. 2 and the ...
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Why is the fifth chord a dominant 7? And if it is a dominant 7, why most of the songs use just D major along with G and not D7?

He says here that D7 is the fifth chord in the key of G. Still in most songs and places, you'll see D being used instead of D7 along with G.
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How to solo over “endless” progression like Alice's Restaurant?

Alice's Restaurant is basically C A D G C With most of the chords going to a dominant 7. Is there a name for this type of progression? What is a good strategy for soloing over this type of ...
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1answer
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Analyzing Hisaishi Joe's “The Bygone Days” 2

The song is in D Maj I can't understand how that B Maj at bar 12 came out G maj7(IV), A(V) then B maj (VI) ? How does this work ?
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Is this voicing for Dmin7 right?

I am transferring a Basie chart into Finale. (A) For a 'Clean' copy and, (B) to study Frank Foster's process. The 'chart' in question is "Shiny Stockings". This is an ensemble passage where the ...
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I am planning to learn piano songs using only guitar chords, what chords should I learn since there are so many of them?

I am a complete beginner in piano, can read notes at a very basic level; came across this method of learning to play popular songs by using guitar chords so plan to do that, the problem is I do not ...
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What is the name of this chord? F# A D G D E

I'm looking for the name of this chord: F# A D G D E I have basic knowledge of chords but I can't figure out this one.
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Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto's “Self Portrait”

Listen From 00:56 The [E] part is in C Major key and I can't understand the C#m7-5 chord at bar 3 what is this chord ? Where did it come from? and what is its function ?
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Sibelius and Guitar VST problem

I have the latest Sibelius and I have one VST plugin for guitar. Now I have a song that use drums, piano, guitar. Now to activate the VST guitar plugin I need to go to play setup and here say Sibelius ...
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Chord A7 in piano

I attach a picture with an A7 chord in piano splitted as shown un the picture. Now I know the regular A7 chord is A,C#,E,G. Why was splitted like that in picture (using in treble cleff B,C# and F and ...
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Chords symbol and playing

maybe this is a dumb question but I want to ask when you have in the music sheet for example the symbol of the chord C7 or whatever; to put a symbol instead notes means you can play random the keys ...
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What's the point of 7, 9, and 11 chords? (I understand the purpose of the V7)

I was taking a look at "How Deep Is Your Love" by Bee Gees, and had a question about the verse progression. Do these 7, 9 , and 11 chords have a practical purpose? Or are they just for some extra ...
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What characteristics make a chord change sound scary/evil? [closed]

I realize that my question is inherently subjective to some degree but I think there might still be some prescriptive techniques to be gleaned from it from experienced composers. I know that ...
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Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto's “Ballet Mécanique” 3

(listen from 2:31) I don't get how from the [D] part's last bar BbM7 (IV) you could go to the [E] part (Ab/C). And if you see the [E] part, you could see that I analyzed it as a modulation to Ab ...
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How does G/B get to A/C#?

(Listen from 0:50) The song is in F Major if you see at bar 4 from [B] (Gm7 G/B A/C#) I don't get the G/B, How could G/B get to A/C# ? Is it actually E7/B without the G# ? I don't get it and if ...
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How to name this ninth chord?

C-E♭-G-B-D How should this chord be named? This chord has a root of C. It is used similarly to Cm(maj7) in G major (think Great Pumpkin Waltz by Vince Guaraldi's B section: G Cm(maj7) G [this chord])...
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Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto's “Ballet Mécanique”

What is that Abadd9/C , Bbm add9/Db on the intro ? is it just a modal interchange chord bIIIM7 and iv from the parallel minor key ? If it is, then whats with that inversion ? does it have any ...
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53 views

Analyzing Hisaishi Joe's “The Bygone Days”

( Play it from 1:12 to start from the [B] part ) what is that D#m7(11) ? how does that leads to Gmaj7 ?
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G-D-A naming convention

I've tuned my guitar to CGCGGe in order to learn 'Head Down' from Soundgarden, and are now experimenting a bit with that tuning. While in that specific tuning, and you hold a normal power chord rooted ...
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Definition of Functional Harmony

In a recent conversation I had, there was a disagreement regarding the definition of Functional Harmony. As I've understood it, Functional Harmony would be defined by chords having a function and is ...
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Is this chord bV° or something else?

I don't know much about music theory so I need some explanation! While playing a tune, I came across this: (in F minor) Bbm / Bdim7 / C7 / Fmin Where is that Bdim7 coming from? Would I call it a bV° ...
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proper use of secondary dominant

I'm writing a song--the photo posted below is the last two measures of the verse and the first measure of the chorus (this is a reduction). I wanted to create some extra tension before playing the A ...
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1answer
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Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto “Merry Christmas, Mr. Laurence”

The original song is not in C Maj key but the sheet I Have is in C Maj so let just see as the key is in C maj (The [B] part starts 1:50) How does the Gm (Vm) come ...
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My Favorite Things - Harmony Theory-Modal Question About E-7->F#-7

It's my understanding that the standard My Favorite Things is in the key of E minor and then modulates to E major. Since E-minor is the relative minor key of G major, from the major scale perspective,...
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Is there a specific name for the use of IV chord over the V in the bass, e.g. F/G in the key of C

You see this chord a fair amount, usually leading to the tonic as a sort of souped-up plagal cadence (plagal in the treble, perfect in the bass). Is there a specific name for this, other than "4 over ...
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Is tension always present?

I tension always present in a music? Sometimes I hear a simple acoustic song that has only two or three chords. What's more these chords are played in sequence: I -> ii -> I -> ii Is there any ...
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Leading tone and resolving tension

Is it always a third that "leads" to the root? For example, if we have GBD, it's B that leads to the C. Could it be also BDF that leads to C, or EGB? All of them contain B, a tone that leads to C. Do ...
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Chord that does not fit into any scale

I thought that to create a chord I am supposed to use one scale. And then I saw this chord, called Eb/E that is made of Eb E G Bb notes. They seem not to fit to either major or minor scale (I cannot ...
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could this be a half step chord progression?

At bar 3 to 4 the "Em7-5" goes to "Dm/F" could this be consider as a half step chord movement ? because the inversion bass F ? even tough "Em7-5" and the actual chord "Dm" without the inversion is not ...
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Name for changing middle note in chord

I want to know how the name of the chord would change in an Fmaj for example. let's say that instead of F , A , C I played F , A# , C What would it now be called? Sorry if it's obvious, ...
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Is there a G D F chord?

I've been learning how to play Imagine by John Lennon and in the video showing the chords I've noticed this sequence of notes (for right hand): G D F. I am confused because I've never seen this kind ...
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When were chords invented?

I'd like to know in what period/year chords were invented and by whom. Did musicians like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven think in chords to harmonize their melodies or did chords only emerge in the ...