Questions tagged [chord-theory]

For questions about the theory behind building and naming chords.

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4answers
57 views

How should this half-diminished seventh chord from “Christmas Time Is Here” be analyzed in terms of its harmonic function?

Hi everyone. I'm working on an analysis of Christmas Time Is Here, which is in F major. I'm trying to determine the best way to analyze the Bm7(♭5) chord circled in the image. I have 3 explanations ...
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1answer
17 views

Extended chord types for all major scale degrees

I am trying to chart the types of extended chords for all scale degree of the major scale. I have come up with the chart below. A few questions on this: Have I got the chord types correct? In a chord ...
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9answers
12k views

Why are the chords C-E-G and G-C-E both considered C Maj?

Can someone explain to me in layman's terms why that is the case?
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2answers
89 views

What would you call it when you play the same chord but with notes in different octaves

I'm looking for the right word to figure out what I'm doing, I'm sure this is a normal music theory question but I don't know what to call it. I can play the D major chord with the basic D shape, ...
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5answers
159 views

Chord progressions that cover every scale degree? [closed]

Could anyone recommend some progressions that go through every scale degree in the major/minor scales? I’m trying to get more acquainted with chords on the piano, and would love something that sounds ...
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1answer
51 views

Can we understand subdominant/dominant chord functions in terms of them being tonics of other keys?

Does anyone know a textbook or some music theorist explaining subdominant/dominant chord functions in terms of the two chords being the tonics in subdominant/dominant keys? Background: I was thinking ...
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2answers
70 views

can someone help me make sense of guitar inversions

so I've been practicing caged system and I can play arpeggios the the chord tone position, scale and pentatonic in all 5 positions. but something that I've still having trouble. sure I can rip thru it ...
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2answers
63 views

How to characterize voicings of “cowboy chords” on guitar?

As set forth in the title, how might might one characterize voicings of "cowboy chords" on guitar? And is there a systematic way to characterize the voicing of these and other chords? In the ...
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2answers
610 views

What does the chord notation X/Y (“slash chord”) mean?

Questions about slash chords are frequent enough that this question was created to answer the general concerns as well as link to related or more specific questions on the topic. Chords notated like ...
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5answers
1k views

Can a chord B C F with B as a root note exist?

In the key of C: C E G is the tonic and can be denoted as just C C D G is Csus2, meaning the third degree of a chord is removed and a second is added. It also follows the sus2 chord formula, which is ...
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3answers
1k views

Before the advent of Roman-numeral analysis, did musicians conceptualize applied/secondary chords as somehow moving towards their temporary tonics?

As discussed in Origin of Roman Numeral Analysis, Roman numerals weren't a widespread analytical tool until at least the 19th century. With this in mind, imagine that you're a musician in 1770; you're ...
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5answers
14k views

What are the chords in the harmonic and melodic minor scales?

I want to know what the chords are in the harmonic and the melodic minor scales. Like if we take C major scale, then the chords are C Dm Em F G Am Bm(♭5) C If we take C natural minor scale, then ...
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3answers
180 views

Beginner question - chords in the Japanese InSen scale

I'm a beginner but I've been learning music theory and practicing on a MIDI keyboard and FL Studio DAW. Just as I was learning basic chords and chord progressions in western music I was introduced ...
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8answers
1k views

Why do diminished chords have 3rd minor?

Why do diminished chords have 3rd minor , not 3rd diminished ? and what is the name of this chord : root + 3rd diminished + 5th diminished?
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2answers
83 views

Understanding How the Guitar Capo Changes Chords

I recently found a song transcribed where the user plays all the chords on with a capo on the second fret this would move up the open string chords to the following: EADGBe=F#BEAC#F# He then ...
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5answers
2k views

Am I going to be handicapped for attempting to study theory with a monophonic instrument?

The instrument that I intend to learn is the bass. The bass is what gets me excited to study theory in the first place. I've done a bit of reading on theory and I find it's fun to practice it on the ...
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11answers
19k views

Theory behind the change from a major chord to the same in minor

In many songs I hear the change from a major chord to the same, but minor. For example F A Bb Bbm. It sounds really nice to me and I'm wondering if there is a theory behind it. Is there a genre ...
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2answers
252 views

Unclassifiable second-inversion

how is everything? I have a question and I hope to find an answer. As you already know, there are four types of second-inversion chords: cadential, passing, auxiliary, and bass arpeggiation. My ...
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6answers
810 views

Did Jeff Beck “play the changes” on Goodbye Porkpie Hat?

I have read several different accounts of Charles Mingus' reaction to Jeff Beck's cover of Goodbye Porkpie Hat. One account says he liked it and sent Jeff a note saying this while another says he didn'...
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1answer
335 views

What should one keep in mind when writing the Neapolitan 6th chord in a chord progression?

So I have just started reading about the Neapolitan 6th, & I'm new to this topic. I know that it is generally used in its first inversion, & is often followed by chord V. Thus it is used in ...
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3answers
123 views

What is this lead-sheet chord?

So, I have recently been studying for a theory test (blecch!), and as part of that I have been learning lead sheet notation. In one of the review questions I have come across this chord which I can't ...
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2answers
288 views

Trouble Defining a Triad's Name

This triad chord shape is B, I'm almost sure of that. But how come there are no accidentals? Both B minor and major have accidentals, so why haven't they printed them onto the stave? If it's a ...
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1answer
1k views

Function of C# chord in the key of Dm

I came across a chord progression in the bridge of a song called "Sweet Tooth" by Intervals. The progress goes Gm - A# - Dm - C# in the key of Dm. Afaik, the first three chords would be iv - ...
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3answers
1k views

How to interpret non-diatonic note?

This might look like is just curiosity to know something about one particular song, but is not. I'm hoping it'll help me understand better when I'm doing song analysis. I keep struggling when ...
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4answers
249 views

How do pianists think about chords?

Coming from guitar I have memorised many chord variations, and I felt this was acceptable as the shapes are the same along the neck (for most jazz chords). However, now that I’m learning piano I’m ...
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5answers
676 views

Question about IV chord in minor key

Key of A minor: Am - Em/G - F - D - Dm - Am/C - B - E How would you describe the D chord? I'm not sure. Is it from a melodic minor? Is there any specific reason why this progression works well? ...
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6answers
558 views

Please help me name this chord

I'm harmonising a tune I've written, in C major, and one chord which resolves to C major consists of B, Db(or C#), F and A. It seems to be a sort of tritone substitution, but I am struggling to come ...
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5answers
2k views

What function does an E major chord serve in the key of C major?

E or E7 chords seem to work very well in the key of C, particularly at the end of a line/verse before a powerful chorus for instance. As one example I end a verse on Am - E... hang on the E then jump ...
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4answers
141 views

Core tones in chords

Hi hopefully someone can clarify this concept for me. When studying music I was introduced to the concept of 'core tones' within chords. These being the 3rd and 7th as they separately define the ...
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4answers
107 views

Under what arithmetic conditions do collections of vibrations sound “nice”

I can't recall where but I had read somewhere (different places and different times) the following two pieces of advice: when playing an interval of two notes one after the other at A-hertz and B-...
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2answers
127 views

What's the Reason for Naming Major Second a Diminished Third? [duplicate]

I know that interval between those is identical, but very often I see that instead of typing CM2, people use Cd3 to indicate the interval. Isn't simpler to simply use fewer accidentals and make the ...
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8answers
625 views

Finding a scale from power chords

I'm sorry if this question was asked thousands of times. I'm learning basic music theory and how chords are constructed from intervals etc. and I'm trying to apply this knowledge to the music I'm ...
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5answers
208 views

Why does an Fmaj7 chord sound good in the context of a progression in D major?

I was fooling around in D major earlier and discovered something odd. I was playing this progression: Dmaj7 (I) -> Gmaj7 (IV) -> F#min7 (iii) Something led me to then play an Fmaj7, and it ...
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4answers
120 views

Specify Whether the Chord Is Within the Scale

I've learned that to get a diatonic scale I take WW H WWW H pattern (w-whole, h-half step). And for the C key I get: And another pattern I ii iii IV V vi viio (I) tells me the quality of triad ...
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7answers
1k views

Can the same song be written in a minor key and major key with the progression written differently?

quick question that's been bugging me lately. When it comes to a songs key specifically major and minor relatives- is it correct to say it can be written in two different keys with the same ...
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2answers
100 views

Naming and analyzing chords : problem with a stack of fourths (and 2 other slash chords)

I am writing a piece from little licks I have from years, and I found what seems to me a really moody intro consisting of 3 "exotic" chords. for context, I have no education in music theory,...
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6answers
758 views

What's the difference between a 13th chord and a full heptatonic scale?

Suppose I have a C major scale in front of me, and I label them by scale degree. C D E F G A B C D E F G A B 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 If my understanding is correct, then C Major is 1, ...
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3answers
86 views

How does this Bdim7 resolves to F/C?

( The song, the score I posted starts at 2:39 ) At the 4th measure, Bdim7 appears. It resolves to F/C. But I can't understand how this works. Can someone explain what is going on ?
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4answers
7k views

Why are thirds used to construct chords?

I am (slowly) learning music theory on the guitar. I've begun learning about scales and chords, and it seems that all chords are built using some combination of thirds. For example, a minor triad is ...
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6answers
197 views

Why do parallel keys matter?

I am learning about borrowed chords and all explanations state it's done in conjunction with a parallel key. Why? Wikipedia says: "In the early nineteenth century, composers began to experiment ...
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3answers
191 views

The 2nd flat in a minor chord progression

If I have the following chord progression in a song in key of Bm: Bm G A Bm and then in the bridge a C major chord jumps in the progression, as below: ... D G A (C) Bm.... (C introduces the ...
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3answers
457 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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4answers
99 views

iv7 and m7-5 function

I couldn't quite understand the movement of this progression and the function of both Abm7 and Am7-5 chord in this progression. Fm || Abm7 || Cm | Bb | Am7-5 Do they move to minor scale momentarily ...
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2answers
136 views

How do I describe this chord (A in bass with F# upper structure triad)?

I'm trying to expand my harmony (past the 7ths/9ths/sus4 which have served me fine for pop), and I constructed something funky. I never really got into chord vocab, so I don't know how to describe it ...
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2answers
772 views

How to name quarter tone chords

Studying the flamenco mode I found that the third note of the scale is tonic when tonic is played, so it would be a major chord, yet minor in all the other cases. Eg. in the key of E the scale would ...
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7answers
7k views

Why does most “Country” Music use mostly major and minor plain simple chords?

Rock and Roll features power chords. Funk features 9th and 13th chords. Blues features 7th chords. Jazz features all kinds of strange diminished and augmented and suspended and flat 5th and other ...
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4answers
487 views

What scale is used with this descending bassline progression?

I am trying to find which scale this chord progression (Cmin - G\B - B♭ - Fmin\A♭ - A♭ - E♭\B♭ - Bdim) is borrowed from. I think it doesn’t fit on any scale because this progression uses modal ...
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5answers
382 views

Is there a physical explanation of why the dominant chord tends to the tonic in a major scale?

All the music theory books that I've read until now shows that the dominant chord " tends" to the tonic. I mean, the dominant chord is resolved by the going to the tonic but there's no ...
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2answers
247 views

Exhaustive list of chord (at least triad and dom7) functions for a software ear training tool

TL;DR: Does music theory have a name for all possible chord functions for every key chord combination possible (beyond the 7 diatonic functions, including those that seemingly make no sense)? If not ...
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5answers
540 views

Specific Roman Numeral naming for chords F and G in key Am

We know that in minor keys the 6th and 7th notes can be 'basic' or a semitone higher. By 'basic', I mean they obey the key signature. So, in key Am, would chords F and G be better portrayed as VI and ...

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