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Questions tagged [chord-theory]

For questions about the theory behind building and naming chords. Do not use for questions about how to physically play a chord or chord progression on an instrument.

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How do I read chords with beams?

When I am to assign a chord to a stacked notes, if a beam is present, do I include the notes connected by the beam(the red box)? or do I ignore them(blue box)?
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
4 votes
6 answers
300 views

Why does the C# dim chord include a minor third?

My understanding of chord building must be wrong. If I read a chord is dim I understood it meant that I needed to take the chord and flatten the fifth, so I would look for my root, third and fifth ...
Three Diag's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
531 views

What chord symbol would you use to describe this voicing?

Actually this is one of exercises in the book that I am reading, and I have encountered this piece. The chord symbol given is D7. The chord written is B/D. How could (D F# B D#) be considered same as (...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
0 votes
1 answer
21 views

Name for a minor chord progression using primarilyy Am G F E (with D or Dm and C sometimes) [duplicate]

The "Walk Don't Run" chord progression goes Am G F E. Then has a bridge in C major. Am is the relative minor of C, so the verse is in A minor. became the three chords on which metal songs ...
TMMusic's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
111 views

How do you identify chords?

I was reading on modal progression, and I encountered above example. In a bar with C7 symbol, I understand that the first voicing with C in the bass is C7, but the second voicing with D in bass is ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
1 vote
1 answer
112 views

Identity of scale of chord progression I created

While messing around with my piano, and experimenting with different chords, I created a pleasant-sounding chord progression. Problem is, I've spent a long while trying to identify what scale is ...
epic man's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
46 views

Ballade Pour Adeline: How to understand the dyads?

I am listening to Ballade pour Adeline for piano and specifically to this version on YouTube. After the quick introductory arpeggio, the main part starts with a dyad of G and E played with the right ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 405
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is it called when the root is omitted from a chord?

I am learning chord notation and I noticed that the Wikipedia page does not mention any specific notation for a chord where the root is omitted. Omitting the root note seems to be quite commonplace, ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 405
3 votes
4 answers
99 views

In C minor, is Am7b5 a borrowed chord from Dorian?

Above is actually a thread from reddit, OP asks what Am7b5 is doing in the piece. (I am actually not sure posting it here is OK in the first place) https://www.reddit.com/r/musictheory/comments/...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
5 votes
1 answer
487 views

Dominant seventh without dominant of dominant

It is to say a dominant seventh without the degree II of root tonality. For example, in Clara Schumann's lied Was weinst du, Blümlein, we have B-A-B-D#. In this bar we are in E major ; this chord ...
Lava's user avatar
  • 119
6 votes
1 answer
166 views

How do I make microtonal music less jarring? [closed]

I'm a beginner at composing with microtones. I understand that microtonal music is going to be jarring for most people because it is so different compared to 12-tet music. My current strategy is to ...
Dylan Levine's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
119 views

what is a sus2 chord with minor 2nd?

I am going over an exercise in a chapter about sus2, sus4 and chords without 3rd and 5th note. The exercise below is to write down roman numerals for each chord symbols, and I found out that for ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does this Roman numeral chord have a ♯ prefix?

These are the chords for some A minor scales: For melodic minor, why does the F♯o diminished chord have a '♯' in front of the Roman numeral, and the G♯o diminished chord does not?
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
3 votes
2 answers
77 views

What makes vi chord tonic or subdominant?

vi chord has both tonic and subdominant functionalities, and iii chord has both tonic and dominant functionalities. What decides vi(or iii) chord tonic or subdominant(or dominant)? For example, in the ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
2 votes
1 answer
171 views

Do flamenco guitarists use distinctive chords?

Classical guitarist here. Does flamenco guitar use distinctive chords (other than, say, the major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads and seventh chords), or is it just the favored modes, chord ...
Noah J's user avatar
  • 267
0 votes
4 answers
93 views

Why is finding parent scale important in playing modes?

I am reading Nicholas Carter's Music Theory: From Beginner to Expert. I am at the part where he explains altered Dominant chords provide easy access to parent melodic minor scale because if b9, #9, #...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
1 vote
2 answers
112 views

What chords am I using here?

I am composing a marimba solo in A minor (it uses a decent amount of chromatic notes but otherwise stays diatonic) and I wanted to analyse the chords. In this measure, I got stuck on the third chord ...
Dylan Levine's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
402 views

Is there a difference between C6sus4 and an inverted Fadd2?

I was playing with a sequencer and added a sixth to a C6sus4 to get C F G A. I liked the sound, so I did some basic research to find that C6sus4 chords are a thing. But then, taking a second look, I ...
Lake's user avatar
  • 51
-1 votes
1 answer
91 views

Does anything non-microtonal resolve to a neutral triad?

I have been recently looking into neutral triads and trying to incorporate them into my music composition. However, there are very little online regarding composing with them. I am trying to use the ...
Dylan Levine's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
409 views

Can Flat ii Function as a Dominant and Pre Dominant?

In the key of C, the chord Db(b) is an N6, pre dominant chord. However when reading about tritone substitution Db7 can also be a dominant substitution. Is it the inversion and the added 7 that makes ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 629
2 votes
3 answers
583 views

Why does Cmaj7 and Emaj7 sound good (or a name to describe this progression)?

I have an extremely limited understanding of theory, and from what I currently understand, chords will sound good together if they share a common key/scale (e.g. for C major scale, the chords that ...
lycus's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
0 answers
74 views

Was this chord substitution chart part of a larger harmony system?

I recently rediscovered in my files several photocopied sheets of chords similar to the one below. A friend (deceased in 2014) gave them to me many years ago. There are a total of 11, covering keys ...
Theodore's user avatar
  • 2,920
0 votes
1 answer
127 views

Questions on Chords in This Piece of Music

Could I ask for some help with this piece of music. Please confirm if my understanding of the chords are correct: The Gb in Measure 1 is a Neapolitan chord of F Major (Gb Bb D); The composer than ...
user95334's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
121 views

How to achieve a similar "vibe" to this song? [closed]

I want to write a song similar to "dumb dumb" by mazie. I want to achieve a similar feel of weird, dreamy nostalgia the song has. I know a lot of this feeling comes from dissonance between ...
Robyn Starre's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
154 views

How do I notate b5 chords in roman numerals?

I want to name the chord C♭5 (i.e., C with a diminished fifth) in roman numerals; how would I do that? The key is C major. I am fairly sure it is I♭5, but I want to check. Also, how do you name modal ...
alistato's user avatar
  • 317
3 votes
4 answers
168 views

Is there a name for raising the v chord to a dominant V

From what I've understood from other questions, the dominant chord is always major. So in a minor key, the v chord is not considered dominant. Considering that, is there a name for when we're in a ...
Teleporting Goat's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
168 views

Novice: Trying to memorize 1-4-5 chord progressions in varous keys when I discovered something. Is my understanding correct?

Absolute novice at music theory here so please be patient with me. While doing some self-practice I observed the below pattern where a 1-4-5 chord progression of a major scale is exactly mapping to 1-...
aliensurfer's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
228 views

How do i arrange chords after mixing pentatonic modes?

The Ionian mode which is the Major scale - is the second mode of the minor pentatonic scale (the Major pentatonic scale) plus a Perfect 4th and a Major 7th notes. It is also a combination of, for ...
Mike Hawke's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
75 views

Do added-tone chords change depending on the key?

I'm so confused. I have three questions. 1. Is the added tone (or note) counted from the tonic of a key or the root note of the chord? 2. Since, with the same scale degree, a note changes depending on ...
Laura Strondtham's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
126 views

how to theoretically understand that chords are compatible? [closed]

how can we theoretically understand that chords are compatible? let's imagine that there is a chord X1 and X2, what rules/conditions must these chords follow in order to be compatible? I have a ...
Asd Fgh's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
5 answers
297 views

What do the chord symbols on each bar mean?

I see chord symbols on each bar, and I assume they represent the notes in the bar. But many times not all the notes are present, and sometimes a bar with only 1 note has a chord symbol. If they are a ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

Why don't guitar chords and staff notations match each other?

The G7 chord in root position on a fretboard diagram for guitar looks like this: But in staff notation, the G7 chord in root position looks like: The correct representation of the notes on the ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,021
4 votes
1 answer
113 views

Resolving chordal 7ths (Maj7, min7, V7, etc.) (melodic vs harmonic tendency)

I'm aware of "melodic" tendencies, where [2-4-6] all usually resolve down & [7] usually resolves up. But I cannot find any resources that explain WHY chordal 7ths, when dealing with ...
ECtheory's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
619 views

How to Identify & Complete Sequences

I'd like help understanding the concept of sequences. I know it is considered a form of repitition, but not much else. Below is an excerpt from Bach's Invention in Dm. I am told this excerpt includes ...
Exandrius Grey's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
222 views

How do you recognize open-position chords by ear?

So, in my ear training class, we're seeing open-position triads. Major, minor, and diminished in all inversions. I can't for the life of me identify these chords by ear. I just hear a random string of ...
John05's user avatar
  • 335
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

How would you notate the chord G# F B E as a substitute for a G7 chord leading to C?

An example of this sort of sound seems to happen at the very beginning of Joao Gilberto's Aguarela do Brasil. And I have been using it a lot in my guitar playing recently. But I don't know what to ...
William Oliver's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
243 views

Why write notes with same letter name an octave apart but in different positions

What would be the reasons for composers to write notes with the same letter name (eg C) an octave apart and have one in root position and the second one in first inversion. For example, the first C ...
user95334's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
884 views

When do you include the bass note of a chord if the bass is the b9?

I'm writing chords for a pop piano part (so definitely want to follow what is more intuitive for pop/jazz players rather than sticking hard to the music theory books). The chord in the right hand is a ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 81
3 votes
5 answers
1k views

Questions on get a chord's name

I have an algorithm to determine a chord's name. A chord is a set of notes, like A B C. I'd like to improve the algorithm and have several questions. First of all, I'm aware of this thread but that's ...
Maxim's user avatar
  • 420
2 votes
2 answers
180 views

What should this chord be called?

In a piece that I'm composing, I use a very weird chord (arpeggiated) in bar 3 of the below excerpt: The chord progression is G - C♯7 - ??? - A. How should this chord be named, and does it include the ...
mathlander's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
133 views

In harmonic syntax (“root progressions”), does only the root matter, or the entire chord?

I’ve read in these threads that Rameau & CPE Bach have a different opinion on wether or not more notes than the root of a chord are relevant in harmonic syntax. Here are some stand out quotes from ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 964
3 votes
1 answer
206 views

Bb7 chord in C major , function

Could you please help me make sense of the accompaniment for 'Moon River' in terms of why certain chromatic chords seem to be the only solution and if certain modulations are implied when using some ...
Irina 's user avatar
  • 65
6 votes
3 answers
800 views

What is mode borrowing?

There's a question asking me about to identify mode borrowing, how do I do it? What is mode borrowing, may i have some examples?
Funnyplayer's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
613 views

How to analyze/spell this chord progression

I generally feel that I have a good intuition for chord naming, but know very few formal rules that apply to chromatic progressions like this one I wrote: It seems obvious that one should avoid ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
74 views

Which is better in determining consonance in chords and in scales: The Harmonic Series or Simpler Ratios?

Is the answer to this question simply that both of these concepts aid in understanding which chords and intervals are consonant or is one of these discoveries actually better than the other?
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 964
1 vote
2 answers
116 views

Naming chords with diminished intervals

From a pure theoretical perspective, what would be the appropriate names for these two chords? I want to respect the specific degrees. In other words, not treating the double flat seventh as a sixth, ...
VorganHaze's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Why did the ancient Greeks choose tetrachords?

Why did the ancient Greeks choose tetrachords as the basis for their musical theory rather than some other structure?
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 964
7 votes
2 answers
845 views

How do major 7th chords (no inversion) sound consonant?

A note and its flat or sharp do not sound good played together. The sound is as dissonant as it gets. How is it that placing a 3rd and 5th between a note and its major 7th (flat of its octave), then ...
ejbpesca's user avatar
  • 521
2 votes
0 answers
98 views

(24-EDO) Microtonal chord symbols for these chords

I came across some interesting chords recently in a series talking about 19-EDO but I found that a lot of them work quite well in 24-EDO as well, and they are shown below. I can get behind everything ...
user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
599 views

Why are triads considered perfect chords and the basis which all extensions are built off of?

Why are triads considered perfect chords and the basis which all extensions are built off of? I'm sort of posting the question from an ignorant standpoint but I do already have some prior knowledge. I ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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