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Questions tagged [chord-theory]

For questions about the theory behind building and naming chords.

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Labeling half-diminished seventh chords - m7b5 or m6?

On my older question Are the diminished chords not that common in modern popular music?, I got this answer: The half-diminished (or m7b5) is usually suggested as the diatonic chord on the 7th ...
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What is a good app, software or other efficient method to type out staff notations? [on hold]

I’m asking for suggestions and recommendations from music theory educators who often need to prepare music lesson notes and set tests that will require a lot of staff notation images, for e.g. an ...
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329 views

Melodic minor Major 9 chords

While researching melodic minor chords I came across Am(M9). If this is a true chord what notes are in it? My guess is A-C-E-G#-B. Not sure if one plays this on a piano… probably something for a ...
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3answers
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What is a Bm chord with a G in it?

I am writing a song with G > Bm > Em as the main chord progression but I found a lot of nice fingerings on the guitar for the Bm chord with an added G in it. Does this make the chord a B minor 6 ...
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Is the ♭VII chord still a dominant chord in the natural minor scale? [duplicate]

If I have the progression Cm > Ab > Bb > Cm from the C natural minor scale, does the Bb chord still work as a dominant chord as it would in Eb major? I know that in the minor scale, ...
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Using chord iii in a chord progression (major key) [closed]

I haven't come across music as yet where chord iii is used in a chord progression. I read somewhere that generally chord iii is not used, or very rarely used. Is this correct? If chord iii is used, ...
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1answer
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Is it ok to write a note of the same register in two voices (SATB)?

I want to know if this is allowed when writing for SATB. The chord is D/F#. The note D is of the same register, but repeated in the Alto & Tenor voices. Is this allowed in a music theory exam?
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Writing characteristic chord progressions in inversion, & doubling notes other than the root

There are characteristic chord progressions taught in music theory, for example, the cadential 6-4, which is Ic - V - I. Then there's Ib - ii7b - V - I, & so on. I want to know if these cadences ...
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2answers
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Chord in Bach's chorale

This is a part of Bach's chorale R.311. I am unsure of the starred chord. It uses a passing note in it as well. According to me, I think this chord is A°/C, with the D as an accented passing note. ...
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2answers
62 views

Identifying unusual chord progression & chord [closed]

I have come across this short piece. I am unsure about the key (even though it uses 2 flats as its key signature - so I am assuming it mostly is Bb major). I could not identify one of the chords (...
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1answer
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How are the chords in this progression functioning together?

I wrote a song that has a pretty simple verse that's in D minor. I can understand all of the chords in that progression. However, I can't figure out what's going on in the chorus. I'm curious why it ...
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Why don't diminished 7 passing chords work going downhill?

It seems that one is able to add a passing diminished 7 chord in between most diatonic chords going upwards, but going down, it doesn't always work. For example, G > D > D#dim7 > Em sounds great, ...
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What chord could the notes 'F A♭ E♭' form?

Can someone please help me understand this chord progression that actually takes the listener from E♭ to B♭. There is a chord at the end of the phrase and I can't understand what chord it ...
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3answers
237 views

chromatic descent on minor chord

In popular music I often hear a chromatic descent on some minor chords where the root note of the chord descends downward. So in C major if you take the A minor chord and descend the bass note ...
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5answers
556 views

Should one double the thirds or the fifth in chords?

Generally, theory books mention that one should double the root of the chord. This is followed most of the time, except by some composers who choose to double the 3rd or the 5th of the chord. When ...
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1answer
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Labelling chords in Bach's chorale

The image is a part of Bach's chorale BWV 94.8 or R. 291 (image taken from www.bach-chorales.com). I want to confirm the harmony of the 2 chords marked with a star. Is the chord with a blue star A7/C# ...
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4answers
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Labeling suspension chords

I have an idea of what suspension chords are (in theory). However, I have a problem in labeling the chords correctly. Could anyone explain with an example on how to correctly label suspension chords ...
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3answers
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What is the chord symbol for the marked chord? [closed]

The image is a part of a short piece. It is in D major. I am not sure of the chord symbol for the chord marked with an arrow (4th crotchet beat bar 1). I am confused between the chord being either C#°/...
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1answer
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Goodbye Porkpie Hat - solo harmonic analysis

I have been untangling Goodbye Porkpie Hat, the original on Mingus Ah Um. The solo section has different chords to the head on this version. I have listened to the sax solo, and I am making notes, but ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
102 views

Is there a name for this cadence - [Tritone Sub of V] - I

Sometimes I've been going through [Tritone Sub of V] - I cadences. Is there a specific name for this?
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2answers
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Improvising over quartal voicings

One particular jazz piano technique is to voice chords using quartal voicings. A quartal voicing is a chord built on fourths. For example, one might voice Cmin with the notes (in ascending order) F-B♭-...
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3answers
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Is the circle of fifths the most important symbol in music? [closed]

I'm convinced that the circle of fifths is one of the force behind music and I'm wondering if I'm right or wrong. But jazz, pop, etc. They all seem to make arcs on the circle. The 2-5-1 well-known ...
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1answer
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How can this triad from the song “Believe” be analyzed?

I heard this song "Believe" recently, and the Eb major chord stood out to me. The song is in E major, so I'm wondering how that Eb triad can be looked at. Even if it was spelt as a D# major triad, it ...
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2answers
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How can the intro to the song “If I Fell” be analyzed?

The introduction to this song by The Beatles starts off in the key of Eb minor. I'm trying to figure out how to analyze these chords. The first chord would be i, the D major chord I'm unsure about, ...
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6answers
177 views

How to choose between Cdim and C#dim?

I have noticed that there is a common chord progression that exists in a few variants: C, C#dim, Dm, G7. It's often changed by changing Dm to D to give the progression a little bit more spark. However,...
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5answers
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About chords and intervals

The chord formula is 1-3-5 (for a triad). When played with different notes in different scales, there will be a difference in the no. of semitones b/w the notes of the chord. Which will decide on the ...
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3answers
56 views

Can I borrow chords from Harmonic minor?(Modal Interchange)

I know when using modal interchange I can borrow chords from any of the 7 parallel modes of the major scale. But I'm wondering if it's okay to use chords from scales other than the standard 7 modes. ...
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3answers
381 views

Resolving to minmaj7

Looking for possible resolutions to a imaj7. Theoretical or not - shoot! Out-of-the-ordinary resolutions are needed (I already know the theory behind it, using possible modes and all ). Looking ...
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4answers
609 views

Dominant seventh chord in the major scale contains diminished triad of the seventh?

The seventh chord built on the fifth step of the scale (the dominant seventh) is the only dominant seventh chord available in the major scale: it contains all three notes of the diminished triad of ...
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3answers
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Harmonic succession in the chromatic-minor system

Here are some rules I have encountered regarding typical common common-practice root movement (in order of declining strength): Upward perfect 4th, downward perfect 5th Downward perfect 4th, upward ...
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3answers
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A♭ 13 Chord Notation

A website detailing piano chords uses the following pitch notation for A-flat 13 chords: A♭13 → A♭-C-E♭-G♭-B♭-D♭-F (R, M3, P5, m7, M9, m11, m13) A♭m13 → A♭-B-E♭-G♭-C♭♭-D♭-F (R, m3, P5, m7, M9,...
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5answers
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Are there any chords other than the dim7 and Fr. 6 that have two overlapping tritones?

On my question Why does the French sixth sound more dissonant than the others?, I got this answer from Ben I.: It's because the French 6th chord has an extra tritone. If we take an A♭ ...
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3answers
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Using Slash Chord in IIIm

Today I am looking at the Ab key and found out the possible chords will be Ab, Bbm, Cm, Db, Eb, Fm and Gdim. However I have tried AbMaj7, Bbm6/G, Bbm6/G then Cm but I feel dissonance with the Bbm6/G....
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1answer
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I’m learning Oscar Peterson’s Jazz Exercise #2 in G and would like to know the scales used across the last 12 bars?

What is the theory behind cord and harmony relationship? For the bars at the top of the page?
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2answers
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What is the difference between Cm7 and Eb/C?

The other day I was looking at the song "On Green Dolphin Street". For the first line there have been the following chord-symbols: Cmaj9 - Eb/C - D/C - Db/C As far as I know, the slash-chords are ...
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1answer
146 views

Why is the vi chord so popular? [closed]

In a major scale, I understand why the I IV V are the most popular chords mainly due to their diatonic functions and they also harmonize the entirety of the scale as they are the primary triads. I ...
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1answer
69 views

If a melody is above the octave does that give reason to use extended chords?

I'm wondering if the melody, when you play it above an octave and those notes then become 9ths,11ths,13ths does that then give a reason to use extended chords to harmonize them? Or is there no ...
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1answer
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was the first inversion of triads usual before Renaissance? where there any rules about doubling or not doubling root tone?

We have the music of Palestrina, Gallus, Lassus, Cavalieri, Lechner and others. Most chords are in root position. But some are not. In which period the first inversion of triads came up? Was it right ...
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4answers
718 views

Can this note be analyzed as a non-chord tone?

I know that post-tonal and popular music can't always be analyzed through the same methods as the Common Practice Period, but I still like to see how people would try analyzing things. This is a ...
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4answers
107 views

Is it reasonable or even possible to have a minor, major seventh chord?

To play a major seventh, we play the seventh degree of the scale plus one half step. I've never really understood why it's called a major seventh, so maybe this can be cleared up for me here. My main ...
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4answers
111 views

how to identify the triad on the grand staff?

So basically, I know how to identify triad if there is only one clef, but have troubling identifying the triad when there is a grand staff...Could some you tell me how to do this and possibly give me ...
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2answers
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Perfect 4th is dissonant?

Why is the perfect fourth dissonant in some cases when it does not sound dissonant? When I play it in closed position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
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2answers
318 views

Is this an example of a Neapolitan chord?

The chord that goes on the fourth and fifth bars of my attachment above looks like a Neapolitan chord. The excerpt is the second movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3: Marcia funebre Adagio assai. (...
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Are Secondary Dominants related to Chord-Scales? [closed]

This is in relation to my last question about chord-scales. I was wondering if secondary dominants enable an application of chord-scale theory that would allow me to expand an existing chord ...
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2answers
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Analyzing Tschaikovsky's “Der Puppe Begräbnis”

00:56 starts the measure 9 the Cm/eb , G7/D ..( is the 7th measure from the picture but I called it measure 9 because in the actual song it's measure 9 ) what is this chord progression at measure 13 ...
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1answer
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How would one interpret this simple chord progression? and what scales to use for improvisation?

So, I come across this progression fairly often: e.g: G - A - C I was wondering if this progression has a name since its used often in pop songs. I interpret it as V - VImajor - I. Scales to use ...
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1answer
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Identifying this chord (Fb Db F?)

I'm practicing identifying chords from sight reading for the first time, here is what I have so far (feel free to correct any possible mistakes I might have made). I'm struggling with that last chord ...
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0answers
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Complex chords: does the construction depend on scale degree? [duplicate]

I apologize for a newbie's question. Suppose we're in C major. We'd like to construct a Cmaj13 chord. For that, we take C Ionian and keep stacking thirds: C, E, G, B, D, F, A. At the same time, in C ...
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Piano arpeggio voicing

I'm composing a piano piece and I'm trying to make the accompaniment. I made this arpeggio and I had this thought that the Bb/F might not be a Bb/F. Because it's starting from the Bb. But what if ...