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Questions tagged [chord-theory]

For questions about the theory behind building and naming chords.

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1answer
60 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
228 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
27 views

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
80 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
90 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
117 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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1answer
32 views

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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2answers
62 views

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
87 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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95 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
90 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 ...
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1answer
33 views

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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3answers
102 views

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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2answers
87 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
35 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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3answers
108 views

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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4answers
477 views

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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1answer
53 views

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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4answers
654 views

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
63 views

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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4answers
94 views

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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4answers
109 views

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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3answers
80 views

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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4answers
83 views

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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6answers
124 views

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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2answers
60 views

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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1answer
60 views

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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2answers
156 views

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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1answer
188 views

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 ...
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3answers
75 views

What is a common triad?

I have seen in some music theory books triads are called common triads or sometimes I see common chords. What does common exactly point to? Does common chord mean a complete chord? in that case do we ...
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4answers
211 views

step-wise vs. circle of fifths movement in bass line

This post got me thinking about root movement. It has been said time and again that root movement of an upward fourth and descending fifth are particularly satisfying, and obvious choices when working ...
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2answers
621 views

Term for two differently named chords that contain the same notes

Is there a musical term for two different chords that contain the same notes? E.g., Bdim7 is B D F A♭ and Ddim7 is D F A♭ B. They both have the same notes but their names are different.
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+50

expansion of the tonic

Another analysis of Strokes songs here. I love this band! Looking at the choruses of Hard to Explain, Barely Legal, and New York City Cops, I see similarities. It appears that the boys are just ...
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1answer
68 views

Harmonic Analysis of Chopin's etude op.10 no 5

In the circled part, what is the harmony? Is the E-flat a non-chord tone or is this just some weird chord? (I've only learnt basic harmony.)
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2answers
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Is GbM7 to DbM7/F also a chromatic movement?

I was writing a song in Bbm key. And the chord progression goes something like. Bbm,GbM7, DbM7/F In this situation does the GbM7 going to DbM7/F also consider as chromatic progression ? If it is,why ...
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1answer
99 views

Make Songs from Major Scale sound like Romany/Balkan/Hindi

We are trying to make songs sound "gypsy". We tried using double harmonic scale, but we're not sure how are we gonna make the chords fit the scale. Most of the songs we play are on major scale. ...
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2answers
126 views

Common Diatonic Chords Progressions? [closed]

The chords shown below are already compatible with the C Major scale. These are the diatonic chords. I ii iii IV V vi viidim C major = C , Dm , Em , ...
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1answer
61 views

Understanding chord prolongations

Harmonically oriented neo-Schenkerian analysis and generative theories have in common the concept that a single chord can be "prolonged" over a given span of music, even if not every (or even any) ...
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2answers
110 views

How are chords named?

I'm trying to understand this but I've not been very successful. For instance, this is a chord I took from something online to demonstrate: This is in the Bass clef, no key signature, and called F (...
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4answers
104 views

Pentatonic Scale and Chord Qualities

I am trying to play the pentatonic in the Key of G-Major. But like in Major scales we have the sequence Maj-min-min-Maj-Maj-min-dim, is there something for Pentatonic as well.?
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1answer
48 views

Does the harmony change in this part?

In the circled part, does the harmony change to ii or is the D an échappé (escape note) to the dominant?
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3answers
2k views

Is Cmaj7 in the C major scale different than the Cmaj7 in the C Dorian scale?

I was told that the 7 in Cmaj7 indicates the 7th scale degree. But here's what's confusing to me: in the C major scale, the 7th scale degree is B. And the interval from the root note of the Cmaj7 ...
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2answers
100 views

The major to minor/minor to major switch

From my previous question I decided to search for some info on switching between major and minor and the other way around. Unfortunately, I cannot find anything. And unfortunately, I couldn't find ...
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1answer
82 views

What is the use of the minor V chord in this song?

First of all, I would like to say hi since this is the first question I've had on this website. I recently came across Officially missing you by Tamia and when I look up the chord progression on ...
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3answers
158 views

Odd chord progression sounds perfect to my ears

I was playing yesterday and made up this 4 bar chord progression: Cm, F, C, Fm It's odd I guess, but it sounds perfect to what I am singing over it. Does it comply with music rules and is it anyway ...
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4answers
147 views

Chords with both major and minor sevenths

i was messing around trying to write a weird chord progression and i came across something i hadnt seen before. i played an E7 chord on the guitar but i played a D# on the b string, so the fingering ...
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3answers
109 views

Other than the Maj7, what other chords can create others by altering only one note?

So I have done this great exercise where you alter one note at a time to create a new chord: Cmaj7 C E G B C7 C E G B♭ Cm7 C E♭ G B♭ Cm7♭5 C E♭ G♭ B♭ ...