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Questions tagged [chords]

For general questions about chords like how to play them, construct them, or what symbols represent them. For more in depth analysis of the ideas behind chords themselves, please use the chord-theory tag.

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Diminished/Half diminished

In jazz notation, the degree sign means a diminished chord, for instance CEbGb. A diminished 7 chord would be CEbGbBb? A half diminished chord, a degree sign with a slash, would be what? How do you ...
1 vote
1 answer
24 views

Why is this image from pianochord.org for A11 labeled as an inversion, when its lowest pitch note is an A?

Backstory: Programmer. Teaching myself piano. Programatically building sheet music that will comprehensively cover a great number of chords, as comprehensive as it is reasonably useful and can be ...
0 votes
1 answer
82 views

piano newbie confused about how this strange (maybe) chord works

i recently started trying to learn the piano with some mediocre background knowledge of notes and their usage, however when tryng to copy a sheet of music into a midi maker, i came across a strange ...
2 votes
3 answers
61 views

Does "falling fifth" pattern follow the bass tone or the chord label in case of inversions?

I encountered this example 31-17 in a book that I am reading, and the author says that the Neapolitan chord follows the "falling fifth pattern". I guess that would be the case if the ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the correct terminology/notation for playing notes in a chord at the same time, and not as an arpeggio?

It is very common for interpreters of sheet music — especially string players — to roll chords. What is the notation to specify that all notes should sound at once? I had thought it was a square ...
2 votes
5 answers
5k views

When Would You Name a Chord B vs Cb?

From what I've learned so far about music, one thing that has always puzzled me has been the spelling of certain chords. For example, I'm pretty sure that the B major chord in: The F major key would ...
2 votes
1 answer
47 views

Why both Ddim and Fdim resolve to Am nicely even though they are not in the same key?

I've been playing some chords and accidentally discovered that Ddim (triad, not dim7) transitions/resolves to Am quite nicely. That I did not expect that because I know they are not in the same key. ...
1 vote
3 answers
61 views

what scale is used for solo over bIIIMaj7 when approaching II-7?

Three ways are available when approaching II-7 via bIII. bIIIMaj7, subV/II, bIII full dim. I blindly thought that Ionian scale is used for solo over bIIIMaj7, but apparently Lydian is used. Can ...
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

Naming some inverted chords

I'm trying to break down an orchestral score (in C-minor) and describe the horn part, but I'm having troubles describing these chords (the second image is identical, but I mapped horns 2-4 onto the ...
0 votes
2 answers
54 views

fully-diminished chord for chromatic modulation

I was reading up on modulation to distantly-related keys. Fully-diminished chord is used for modulation to chromatic keys, because the root is changeable. And then I encountered this picture. If the ...
4 votes
3 answers
557 views

Cannot understand this four-way close voicing example, is there a typo?

While reading up on four-way close voicing (part of Evan Rogers' Big Band Arranging series), I have encountered something I cannot quite understand, so maybe there is a typo in the article? The ...
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Playing a D Major in D minor

So there's this song called "Tell Me What's On Your Mind" by Allah-Las. I'm pretty sure the song is in D minor. At least the lead melody is, and the Internet says so as well. But their main Chord ...
9 votes
1 answer
4k views

What's the difference between a 7 chord and a +7 chord?

I've come across music that has a "G+7(♭9)". At first I thought this was just an odd way of writing G7(♭9), however there IS a G7(♭9) chord in the song as well. I feel that since they're named ...
3 votes
4 answers
233 views

Is there a way to describe this type of non-functional music?

As far as I could tell, this instrumental piece has the static chord vamp Bbmaj9-Am7 that never deviates in any section (let me know if I'm wrong). The main focus that the composer has chosen here is ...
2 votes
2 answers
108 views

How can French A6 and V7b5/b5 be seen as the same?

While I was reading about commonalities between French A6 and tritone substitute, I kept bumping into the similarities between French A6 and V7b5/b5. French A6 is ^b6 ^1 ^2 ^#4 and V7b5/b5 is ^5 ^7 ^...
1 vote
2 answers
68 views

Chopin Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1 chord toward end requiring large left hand

Chopin Op.55 No. 1, m.89~97, the nine measures before the final two measures, left hand chord is A3-C3-F2, how to best do it with small hands unable to cover 10 keys? Should I just hold the C3-F2 and ...
1 vote
3 answers
115 views

How should I see these beamed notes?

the excerpt in the picture is four-part drop 2. I do not know what to make of the beamed notes under Cmaj7? The first stack of notes seems to suggest Cmaj7 alright, but 2nd and 3rd stack of notes seem ...
0 votes
2 answers
140 views

Isn’t the root progression or chord progression of a song meant to anchor in a foundation for rest of the instruments to experiment over?

What I mean is, isn’t the idea of creating and using a root progression or chord progression for it to be the foundation for a composition. With pop music (rap, r&b, latin, pop rock, country) the ...
0 votes
1 answer
113 views

Question about the iii chord found in the major key

Why does the chord progression that is I-vi-iii-V( is apparently not soo common in popular music with hook theory listing only over 50 songs that have this chord progression(think "You Got It&...
2 votes
1 answer
30 views

How do you differentiate approach note from target note?

I am trying to get a grasp on differentiating approach notes from target notes in five-part solis voicing. But definition of target notes seems to include tensions. Then ambiguity is certainly ...
1 vote
4 answers
280 views

Inversion naming conventions

Does the name of the inversions (first, second, etc.) refer to a specific interval (3rd, 5th, etc.) or just the next chord tone? For example, a Cmaj7 chord in first inversion starts with the 3rd, and ...
5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Does the rule regarding consecutive octaves/fifths actually hold any weight?

I have a melody in which I am trying to write a chord progression for. One of the rules of thumb is to finish a chord progression on the tonic if it precedes a chord of a 5th, and especially of a ...
0 votes
3 answers
126 views

How do I read inversions fast?

picture above is D minor in 1st inversion. I usually find inversions by stacking up notes in a closed interval, but it takes too much time. Is there a fast way of discerning inversion chords and ...
2 votes
3 answers
4k views

What chords/scales in guitar to play if I have a key of C harmonica?

I do not have musical theory knowledge but I enjoy playing instruments being self-taught but now I am facing some limitations being non-theory musician. I have a harmonica which is in the key of C, ...
2 votes
2 answers
106 views

what is the proper guideline for choosing a scale over a chord?

When playing solo over a chord, a scale should be chosen. When a musician choose a certain scale, what is the rationale behind? I can come up with a few points but only poorly. such scale has ...
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

How would you label these chords?

The piece is in Ab major. In mm.7-8 a cadence appears and there are several non-chord tones with accidentals. I attempted to label chord symbols on my own, but they are very uncharacteristic of ...
0 votes
1 answer
45 views

The 7th chord as a gateway/bridge to?

Some time ago, I wrote a 12 bar chord loop, based on a strange use of the 7th chord: Question on music.se I noticed you can extend that schema (Bm, D, F#,A) somewhat, but would It loop through all the ...
1 vote
1 answer
484 views

Why in musical notation may one notate the chord as dominant 7th, even though only the major triad of it is played?

In this arrangement of "Moonlight sonata" the author notated most of the triplets with the chords they correspond to. One thing, however, is not clear to me. Why the first triplet in the 4th ...
2 votes
3 answers
932 views

Homophony vs Polyphony

Would I be correct if I were to define homophony vs polyphony as chords vs lines? If homophony is defined as a single melody with chordal accompaniment, and polyphony as several melodies with equal ...
7 votes
3 answers
8k views

proper uses of minor seventh chords

Having used dominant seventh chords extensively,I am now trying to incorporate minor seventh chords into my compositions... Based on my [rudimentary] knowledge, minor seventh chords are usually used ...
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do sus24 chords exist?

I am analyzing the song "There's a World" from Next to Normal and the first chord is confusing me. Here is an image from this source: The first chord is labeled as a Gsus24 chord which I ...
2 votes
1 answer
201 views

how do you read this chord?

The excerpt is in C# minor. C# is present in what is apparently a dominant seventh chord in m.14. How should I interpret presence of tonic in the dominant chord? Is that what's called a pedal tone? (...
4 votes
4 answers
86 views

deciding chord symbols for chords

Deciding chord symbols for chords is always ambiguous and leaves a room of doubt. I attempted to write chord symbols for chords with pitches of mixed duration in m.1 from the second downbeat to the ...
2 votes
2 answers
65 views

Is there chord V4-3 in classical music?

Maybe I am being overly meticulous on naming chords, but like Cadential64, can there be V with only 4-3 in classical music? The excerpt above has the chord F Bb C and named it V/ii considering the ...
1 vote
2 answers
93 views

slash chord inspection

In a chord progression G(add9)/C - E7/A - C-7/F - FMaj7/G. The author says E-7/A functions as VI-7. Slash chord does not have 3, then how does one know it is not dominant 7 but minor 7? Is it ...
8 votes
2 answers
492 views

Can secondary dominant have 2 tritones with addition of b9?

I encountered the example in the picture above today, and I found it interesting because a secondary dominant had 2 tritones with addition of b9. A tritone is an integral part to definition of the ...
2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Help with "Copacabana" chord progression analysis pls!

I'm trying to learn by ear the chord progression of "Copacabana" by Barry Manilow. I'm having some trouble with making sense of the chorus because it feels like so much is changing so fast. ...
2 votes
4 answers
18k views

How do I convert Piano songs for Guitar?

I am learning Guitar on my own so far I have learnt everything basic. Song I want to play was Pusher - Clear ft. Mothica I searched for acoustic guitar chords everywhere but only thing that came up ...
0 votes
1 answer
75 views

why does this descending whole-tone chord progression work?

i've been writing this piece and there is this section that sounds very nice to me but it goes against most of what I've been taught. here is the passage: (sorry for the poor notation- I was in a ...
0 votes
2 answers
78 views

why does V/iii to IV work?

i was writing chords when I came up with this progression: IV-V-I-V/vi-IV-V-I i understand why the V/vi-IV works--because there is only a one note difference between vi (which V/vi usually resolves to)...
1 vote
6 answers
124 views

What is the value in analysing chords as if they were made up of stacked triads?

To my ears chords each have their own quality and how they sound (and what feelings they might evoke) depends on the context. In general plain majors are strong/simple while minors are sad, but add2 ...
1 vote
4 answers
76 views

figured bass question

I have learned figured bass only using well-organized reduced excerpt. Above picture shows a real excerpt with figured bass. Does '8' respond to the red circled 'Eb', and '7' to the 'Db'? What makes ...
1 vote
4 answers
100 views

When chord tones of ii are beamed to IV, is it IV ii or IV with an auxiliary sonority?

In blue-boxed measure, at 1st downbeat the chord seems to be IVMaj7. Beamed notes seem to suggest ii triad. I have read that IV and ii might come together from time to time and collectively they were ...
1 vote
7 answers
151 views

Is a “minor Seventh Chord” basically just a combination of a “minor Triad” and its Relative “Major Triad”?

Is a minor Seventh Chord basically just a combination of a “minor Triad” and its Relative “Major Triad”, (or a combination of a Major Triad and its Relative minor Triad)?
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

Notating augmented chords

When writing an augmented chord, which inversion of the chord should I use? The problem came up while I was composing (piano). I came to an augmented chord and couldn't think of which version to use ...
1 vote
3 answers
120 views

How do you read chords with beams?

I am having a trouble reading chords with four-noted beams. Do they divide up in half as marked in the picture? And also, the score is in non-SATB setting, I assume it is because "Harp" is ...
5 votes
1 answer
116 views

How did tetrachords become whole and half steps?

How did the ancient Greek concept of tetrachords evolve into the whole- and half-step model familiar today?
0 votes
1 answer
120 views

How to convert notes into chords?

My level: beginner. I am learning with the easiest version of song, which consists only of single notes. I thought I convert LH notes into chords, treating the given notes as root notes of the chords ...
0 votes
3 answers
152 views

For chord voicing, why can I not use 5 and b13 at the same time?

above is a picture of chord scales for primary dominant from the book I am reading. Chord scale is just a scalar information of notes acceptable for making a chord. The author says 5 and b13 cannot be ...
4 votes
3 answers
400 views

What does "prevailing harmony" mean?

While I was reading up on passing tones, I encountered this example: Example 15–7 presents an expansion of a C-major chord over two beats: the lower voice leaps down from the third of the chord to ...

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