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Questions tagged [chord-theory]

For questions about the theory behind building and naming chords.

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Is this chord in Für Elise an example of a diminished seventh chord in classical music?

We seem to think that some of those 'far-out' seventh chords are only the remit of jazz music but you can as I understand it add a fourth note to any of the diatonic chords in standard harmony to make ...
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1answer
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Melodic lines are diatonic, harmony doesn't seem to be

Okay so this is something that I came across as I was writing my canons and analyzing the harmony to try to figure out which canon is best for my symphony. There is a section in one of my canons where ...
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6answers
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What chord does C, E, G♭ , and B♭ make?

You can use whatever note, but we can use C. Unfortunately, I don't know what the root position would be in this case, so I will lay them out as positions. I used intervals, too. Position 1: Root, ...
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1answer
39 views

Identifying chords with multiple extensions

I understand that this may be basic. I have a chorus progression (C major) I am working on, and it originally started as basically the following: I-VII-V-vi-V I wanted to experiment a little by ...
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1answer
78 views

Parallel chord substitutions

Are parallel chord substitutions common in (classical) music (if so, please share some examples)? And do they have the same function as the original chords? By saying parallel chords I am referring ...
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3answers
747 views

What is the name for a chord with two suspensions?

Specifically, the chord I'm wondering about is one with Root, 2nd, 4th, minor 7th. Example So let's say it's D, E, G, C. My thinking is to call it Dm7sus2sus4, but that becomes quite the mouthful. ...
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3answers
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Borrowed chords - does their function change?

I have a theory question. In the key of C major (as an example) there are some common borrowed chords. Like: D, E and Fm. Sometimes B♭, A♭ and E♭ as well. A natural minor share the ...
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9answers
199 views

How do I find suitable chords for a melody or a song? Or How do I come up with chord progression?

I have spent some time reading a book that taught me different types of chords and different scales and I understand them very well. But the book didn't really expand on how to actually use these ...
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1answer
64 views

How to tell if the notes in the chord are flat or sharp?

I'm programming some Music stuff for piano and I need to know when exactly to call the note b or #. Can you help me out in understanding it? I know the difference and the purpose for those but I ...
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2answers
88 views

What key is this progression? Amaj7- Gmaj7- Fmaj7- Cmaj7

I have been building chords in maj7 and stringing them together in what sounds good to me. I like the sound of this progression and am curious as to how to determine what key it is, if any. I am very ...
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4answers
136 views

Building a dominant triad in a minor key - are these double sharps correct?

As I understand it, one builds the dominant triad of a minor key using its harmonic scale based on the dominant, leading tone and supertonic notes. Under this criteria I seem to get some weird ...
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Chord progression leading using B lydian (and others)

I'm reading the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory, and in the book is a cool table with chord leading patterns. The explanation in the book is this: So if you have a scale with the ...
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2answers
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Does a song in C major need to start in C major? Generally, what can a starting chord be in relation to the key?

I'm making a tool to help plan chord progressions, and I'm wondering what the starting options should be.
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3answers
79 views

Abstracting chords for a C++ class [closed]

I am trying to abstract the building blocks for a Musical Chord for a Music Composition Code Library, I am trying to fit this in a way that complex chords can be created and properly named. This is ...
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3answers
53 views

Six-Four chord: inversion of tonic or dominant with non-chord tone? [duplicate]

Is the triad G-C-E an inversion of C major or a dominant with a non-chord tone?
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4answers
51 views

Key and possible missing “tonic chord”

I just figured out in this tune the chords F major and e minor fit, and they are repeated all over. Surely its a simple and repetitive piece, but what I am wondering is, the only key where both chords ...
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1answer
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Chord Prog. V6 5 / V (J.S. Bach) [closed]

Could you explain the chord progression used in this image? Please enlighten me thanks
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65 views

Does this chord function as a 13 chord?

In Debussy's La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin, there is this passage: (Debussy: Préludes Livre I, No. 8, bar 24) The piece is in Gb major. This first chord is probably a I chord. But since it has that ...
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4answers
503 views

Chords and Keys [closed]

To what keys do chords like C6, C6/9 , Gm7b5 or dominant 7 sharp ninth chords, suspended chords, power chords, belong to? Note: I don't specifically mean C6, I'm more focused on the type of chord ...
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3answers
376 views

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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3answers
57 views

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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4answers
273 views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
54 views

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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1answer
45 views

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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3answers
109 views

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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2answers
92 views

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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3answers
75 views

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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2answers
1k views

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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3answers
1k views

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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5answers
116 views

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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4answers
55 views

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
98 views

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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3answers
970 views

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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113 views

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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2answers
250 views

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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2answers
89 views

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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2answers
161 views

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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4answers
127 views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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3answers
99 views

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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2answers
110 views

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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2answers
124 views

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 ...