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Questions tagged [chord-theory]

For questions about the theory behind building and naming chords.

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What does the '°' notation signify?

I just saw this comment by Tim, in another question: Do can't have a C. It's spelt D, F, Ab, Cb.Or as a triad, just the 1st 3 notes. Ao/F is F b9, and Ao/F# will just be F#o. Or D b9/F#. If this ...
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3answers
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How would you voice a G2 chord on guitar? Better yet, what even is a G2 chord?

I'm playing guitar in the orchestra for a musical at my high school and I was having trouble voicing a G2 chord. I feel like an open voicing would be overkill so I wanted to use a shape that is ...
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4answers
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C major 6th chord and A minor 7th chord: same notes but different quality, why?

Simple question: many have noticed that the A minor 7th chord is the an inversion of the C major 6th chord. However, the more interesting this is why they have different quality (as minor and major) ...
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4answers
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Is there a name for a chord with a major 3 and b5? When can it be used? [duplicate]

I think most of the 3 notes played at the beginning of Ocarina of Time's Lost Woods theme for reference. In C, these 4 are considered triads: Major: C E G Minor: C Eb G Diminished: C Eb Gb ...
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4answers
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Why is the complete circle of fifth progression more common in minor than major?

In relation to How common is the complete circle of fifths progression? which describes some examples of the complete circle of fifth progression (a consecutive IV-VII-III-VI-II-V-I progression), ...
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2answers
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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
47 views

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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4answers
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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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4answers
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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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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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3answers
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Minor key and its chords [duplicate]

I am trying to learn the scales and its relative chords. I am confused with Minor scale. Lets take A minor key for an example. A minor key has following notes: A B C D E F G and its relative chords ...
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3answers
718 views

Why isn't there a closely related key to C minor that has D as tonic? [closed]

In minor keys there is no closely related key built on the second scale degree. Why? Is it because the second scale degree chord is a diminished chord?
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7answers
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Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
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1answer
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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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3answers
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How do I correctly borrow chords from one key to another?

So how does one decide to borrow chords? Let's say I am in the key of C Major. Can I borrow chords, say, from the G Major key? How does this work?
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6answers
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How do I manage internalizing foundation for chords, scales, hamonies and voicing

My teacher told me when I'm learning a piece I have to understand the underlying harmony, only then I would be able to learn and play it easily, he also told me to never learn the notes itself (...
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1answer
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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
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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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2answers
56 views

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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6answers
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Sharp 5 or flat 13? Sharp 9 or flat 10?

Let's say I'm in C major. I have a dominant altered chord built on G. This very popular voicing has the following tones (I'm including both enharmonic spellings for the accidentals): G B (D# or Eb) F ...
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3answers
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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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9answers
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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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4answers
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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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Notation and construction of 13th chords

Firstly, I would like to ask whether 13th chords by default have a minor, major or diatonic 13th or is it contextual to the 3rd used. E.g. Am13 in the Aeolian mode: Is the 13th F or F# (F being ...
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3answers
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What is A flat to C minor?

I know that Cm is the relative minor of Eb. I noticed the Eb chord is made up of two of the same notes of Cm (beginning on the third degree). Ab is also made up of two of the same notes, but on the ...
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1answer
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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
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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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6answers
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Why do we call the Hendrix chord 7#9 instead of 7b10?

The Hendrix chord is usually mentioned when a harmony contains both the major and the minor third, together with the minor seventh. Were it a major seventh, I'd say we have an augmented 9th and thus ...
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2answers
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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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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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4answers
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How to use bIII in music composition?

From the Borrowed Chords theory, I should be able to use the flat-third major (bIII) in my composition and it should sound good. However, after many trial and errors, I am unable to discover any ...
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4answers
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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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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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2answers
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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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Is there a general rule when to use a 9th, 11th, and 13th chord on piano

My question is mainly related to extended chord. Is there a general rule for using the 9th, 11th and 13th? I have seen in a II,V,I progression in the key of C this progression: Dm9,G13, C.
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3answers
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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
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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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5answers
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Are flat 6ths ever used?

I see that 3 minor 6th intervals can fit into the diatonic scale, but I never see any mention of flat 6th chords in any chord encyclopedia or diagrams etc... So whats with these chords not making an ...
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4answers
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Alternative to capo on 8th fret

I have to use a capo on the 8th fret to be able to sing along to a song. What is an alternative to putting a capo on 8? I only know basic chord fingerings.
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1answer
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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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6answers
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Does the C chord change based on what key it's in?

Typically, the "C" is played like this in the key of C: But when I play another song, in the key of D, is the C chord still played like this? If not, how do I play it on the guitar? Likewise, if the ...
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3answers
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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
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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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2answers
364 views

What is an Italian sixth?

I've done some jazz rehearsals and while other members were discussing chords I overheard them talking about an 'Italian sixth', 'German sixth' and a 'French sixth.' I have no idea what they are ...
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4answers
238 views

Is C minor i in the key of C minor?

If I write in c minor, is c the VI or the I? Also what about Dominant, tonic and that stuff, are they the same as in Eb major? Otherwise I could only write deceptive cadences in minor keys if I end on ...
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3answers
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What does IV/IV signify in a chord progression?

I have a chord progression here: This is the verse of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" I have put a flame emoji over the spot I'm confused by. The chord doesn't belong to the original key. From ...
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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
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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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2answers
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How do guitar notes relate to chords?

I'm a beginner guitar player. I was reading that you can play the same chords down the neck of the guitar, and I figured it might help me to know where the notes are, as it helps when tuning a guitar ...