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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Simplify chords

I'm currently working on a website and I would like to find a way to simplify chords by removing the non essential parts (to make it easier for beginners). For example: Am7/C => Am. Removing the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
225 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
51 views

difficulty with chord spelling and voicing in Neumeyer's Hindemith analysis

This post is in reference to David Neumeyer's The Music of Paul Hindemith. Please refer to the third chord of m.1 in example 3.12 (below). I see this chord spelled as C E E Bb. Having said that, I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
73 views

Not following Hindemith-type analysis

I am having trouble following the analytical methods applied in David Neumeyer's The Music of Paul Hindemith. Please refer to example 3.12: I would like to use one of the chord changes to put my ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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I chord interpretation and broken chord interpretation blocking broken chords

I'm having trouble interpreting this chord. It is labeled as a I chord, and from seeing that there is no key signature, I'm assuming it's in Cmaj or Amin. But what I'm not getting is, to my knowledge, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
120 views

Does tempo affect use of non-harmony notes?

Writing a four part piece for strings at a very slow tempo (55 bpm). On paper, it seems as though the non-chord notes I have selected should work, but I am finding some of them jarring. I am unsure if ...
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9 votes
2 answers
143 views

When was the concept of a "triad chord" first introduced?

Chiara Bertoglio, “A Perfect Chord: Trinity in Music, Music in the Trinity,” Religions 4, no. 4 (December 2013): 485–501, §6. A “Harmonious” God, p. 493, claims: It was not before the 16th century, ...
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  • 597
8 votes
5 answers
1k views

E7 chord at 5th fret missing a B note

the E7 chord includes E G# B D. If we play E7 on the 5th fret, it is missing a B note. Could anyone please explain that?
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7 votes
2 answers
731 views

Creating chord-melody from The Real Book (or other fake book)

I practice songs from The Real Book, and I am quite new to the chord-melody concept. I have knowledge of scales and chords, and I can play melodically these standards. Now I want to play them as chord-...
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  • 159
3 votes
4 answers
359 views

Chord progression versions and categories

I'm having trouble interpreting this chord progression. For example, the three different iv chords shown: does the bass note not affect the right hand? I can see that they are only using "A-E-C&...
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2 votes
4 answers
235 views

Do I understand correctly this relationship between m6, m7, and m7b5 chords?

While reading the Jazz Guitar Chord Mastery book by Joseph Alexander, I've encountered a passage that is not 100% clear to me. I would be very thankful if you might help. Playing a m7b5 chord on the ...
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4 votes
6 answers
133 views

In major keys, since the 7th scale degree resolves up to the 8th, does descending through the scale degrees 8-7-6 violate the leading tone rule?

I need to understand how the leading tone (7th scale degree) functions in major keys. I see that the 7th scale degree (leading tone) resolves up to the 8th (the tonic) because the leading tone is a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
105 views

Inversions of diminished 7th chords

I have the following passage in D minor which features two diminished 7th chords: I have labelled most of the chords, but I am at a loss of how to label these two diminished 7th chords. If I could ...
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2 votes
2 answers
112 views

Can dominant chords be specified independently of a tonic (of a key)? [duplicate]

The dominant chord is defined in relation to the (5th) scale degree on which it is built. This definition can often be found alongside other chord types, such as the major triad, whose definition ...
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5 votes
3 answers
256 views

Roman Numeral Analysis - Tonicization of relative major key in minor key

I have a passage that I am trying to analyse with roman numerals: The passage is in B minor, but the section in question briefly tonicizes D major - the relative major key. My question is, how can ...
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3 votes
1 answer
121 views

How is this C chord constructed on guitar?

I am following a tutorial on Black Magic Woman from Justin Guitar and at 6:18 he plays the C Chord in the following way. Since the C Chord consists of notes C, E, and G I notice that his index finger ...
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3 votes
6 answers
157 views

If you add a 9th to a subdominant IV chord does it make it a dominant chord?

For example, if you have a progression in D major that ends on G, would adding an A to the G chord and losing the 3rd make the chord dominant? You would have the notes G A and D. It certainly sounds ...
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0 votes
1 answer
117 views

Does this song use chromatic mediant in G major? and what other music theory concepts this song's verse utilize

I'm currently learning basic music theory and along the way I review old songs on my playlist then analyze what key, chord progression and somehow discover the composer's way of creating music. The ...
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2 votes
2 answers
123 views

How to identify notes in a key that sound better while improvising?

I learned all the chords and their inversions. I'm pretty slow with inversions yet but I'm trying as hard as I can! Now I started to improvise with my right hand a little bit (omg this is so fun!). So ...
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4 votes
2 answers
199 views

What is it called when the melody note is held, but the chord changes to resolve to the final harmony?

I noticed a pattern that I would love to have a name for: The second to last note in the melody of a phrase occurs together with a chord. The melody note is held, but the chord changes. Now the melody'...
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does Eb connect musically to C major chord progression like in this song?

Im learning basic music theory and chord progression then I stumbled upon this song (You are my song by Martin Nievera) : From my understanding, the first 2 lines are simply C major chord ...
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1 vote
3 answers
220 views

Doubling notes in orchestration - inversions and extensions

Just a very quick question, because I've found similar answers about doubling notes (for instance, when arranging for four- or five-part harmony), but nothing specifically involving inversions. So, ...
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who decides chord details in published songs?

I like to make lead sheets of songs like this to learn to improvise from, condensing the published sheet music down to a single page with no turns. In working from my two copies of It's Only A Paper ...
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6 votes
3 answers
327 views

Does the chord-symbol spelling of a polychord have musical meaning?

The chord C Eb G Bb D F A would typically be notated Cm13. However, it makes a convenient example for this question. Suppose I want to write that same Cm13 chord as a polychord. I have two choices: ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Notes in C13#11

I'm playing an Jazz improv for the song Summertime and I'm seeing chords that say A-11, Ab13#11, and I just want to make sure I understand the 13#11 chord. So, In the key of C, a C13#11 chord would be:...
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1 vote
3 answers
168 views

When using Functional Chord symbols, how can we distinguish between a Dominant 7th chord and a Major 7th chord? [duplicate]

In the key of F major (for example), we can have the chords C7 and Cmaj7. C7 = C-E-G-Bb and Cmaj7 = C-E-G-B Using Functional Chord symbols, the basic tonic chord is "I", and the basic ...
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  • 600
4 votes
1 answer
219 views

What is the function of this chord progression in Schubert's "Winterreise"?

I'm having a hard time figuring out how the chord progression from Schubert's Winterreise (D911), No. 11 "Frühlingstraum", measures 15–26 works (from the section marked "Schnell" ...
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  • 69
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it a G flat or a G natural?

I've got a doubt here. Do I play G flat or G natural?? The accidental doesn't come in till the 3rd beat while the key signature does not have G flat, while the lyric has an accidental but at the ...
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  • 340
1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Find a chord progression [closed]

I am looking for the chord progression that appears in this audio file. There should be : G/D - Bm/F# - F#m, but I am missing one. Thanks in advance !
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5 votes
7 answers
1k views

Cb/B problem while creating lead sheet

I'm making a lead sheet of the song "One" by Esperanza Spalding. I chose the key of Bb because the song feels the most "at home" when the progression lands there at the guitar solo ...
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  • 795
2 votes
2 answers
107 views

Four part writing: How to voice augmented 6th chords?

I have recently started adding augmented 6th chords to my part writing. As far as I can tell, I have not broken any harmonic rules in the displayed voicing, yet it does not sound right to me. Just ...
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  • 681
1 vote
2 answers
160 views

Lowering the key of the song Drive by Incubus

I don't have a lot of knowledge of music theory and I am trying to learn all by myself online. I am trying to play and sing the song Drive by Incubus on my guitar. The original song seems to be in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
544 views

Display chord chart (just symbols) like lyrics for music files (mp3 etc)?

Summary: Is there a way to display chord symbols in music players (software apps) ? Like .srt files for movie subtitles or .lrc for music lyrics, isn't there a format or alternative for chords ? ...
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3 votes
3 answers
175 views

Four part writing: How to voice diminished 7th chords?

I am currently doing part writing, and have come into a bit of a conundrum. I want to use a sharp 4 dim 7 (Fsharpdim7), to link up my IV chord (FM) to my V7 chord (G7). I know that 7ths should usually ...
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  • 681
6 votes
2 answers
331 views

Four part writing problem: tripled root solution. what is best practice here?

I have hit a problem with this chord change in my four part writing. We are in A minor. The VI chord is in first inversion, so A must be in the bass. (I have made a mistake in the figure. the VI ...
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2 votes
2 answers
254 views

A: PS 4: S 1: Q 2: Why does my answer continue to be "Partially Correct"?

It is Question 2 under Section 1 on "Connecting Root Position Tonic and Dominant Chords" from Problem Set 4 of Artusi, which my Music Theory II class uses. The only feedback I get from ...
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1 vote
3 answers
205 views

Why Should I always follow the rules of functional harmony? [closed]

I have used functional harmony many times in my compositions to write chord progressions with success, however there are times when using functional harmony doesn't sound good to me and others when I ...
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7 votes
4 answers
946 views

What is a name of a major scale with raised 2nd degree?

Assuming a major scale that has a raised 2nd degree and no other alterations: 1 ♯2 3 4 5 6 7 (8) (for example, in C it will be C D♯ E F G A B (C)). This is a bit unusual due to 2 consecutive semitones ...
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2 votes
2 answers
150 views

Naming/understanding this dominant chord with quartal upper structure

I'm trying to understand an interesting non-diatonic chord in the chord progression at 0:30-0:45 of this video; my rough transcription of the chords is as follows. As far as I can tell, the non-...
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5 votes
2 answers
816 views

Notes in a Chord

I'm trying to work my way through the Mark Levine Jazz Theory book but I'm scratching my head at the start of chapter 2 (Pg15). Maybe this book is too advanced for me and I need to pick something less ...
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3 votes
1 answer
213 views

Chord-Scale Theory: Determine chord qualities

I started to learn about the chord-scale theory lately which i find quite interesting. I came across this table of modes (scales) and their corresponding chords: Chord-Scales of the Major Modes: ...
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3 votes
2 answers
590 views

Interpolated chords: How do they work?

Recently, I studied the tune 'Misty' by Eroll Garner. I was slightly confused as to the middle section of the piece, as it involves a passage with some delayed resolutions. I have come across three ...
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6 votes
3 answers
548 views

The ambiguity of certain chord qualities in Roman numeral Analysis

Roman numeral analysis uses capitalization to disambiguate Major from minor, so the paradigm is not entirely based on inference. There seems to be a double standard as to what is explicit and what isn'...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do I have to use exact chord when playing a song

Sometimes it's easy for me to find out the chords in a song (by ear and try), but if the songs is complicated, I can't figure out the chords. Existing software and platforms also cannot find the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
119 views

What does it mean to have a 'slash chord' with more than one note after the slash? [duplicate]

I'm used to slash chords like D/F# or Am/G where the second part after the slash informs you of the bass note. I just saw a video with someone talking about chords like C+/Db+. I didn't even know ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
205 views

What are the formulas for chord qualities relative to natural minor?

Every chord formula chart I've found (over three dozen so far through Google search or Google images) gives chord formulas relative to a major scale. For example the major formula is 1-3-5 and the ...
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0 votes
3 answers
98 views

Chord naming conventions: When is a 6 a 13? [duplicate]

I have seen/ heard people say that you only write a 6 when there are no other upper extensions used (meaning no inclusion of 7 and above). I have also heard people say that you only write a 6 when ...
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1 vote
3 answers
302 views

In the Key of C minor what would a D major chord be?

In the Key of C minor what would a D major chord be? The D major is part of a three chord progression. It's preceded by C minor and followed by G major (2nd inversion).
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2 votes
2 answers
296 views

Is there such a thing as a stable or unstable tone in scales?

I'm writing a song in 4/4 in A major, and my melody ends first on the 7th degree leading tone (G#) and then the second time on the 6th degree (F#). These are supposed to be unstable tones, yet if I ...
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  • 7,809
4 votes
7 answers
651 views

Why do some composers/songwriters choose inverted chords over root position chords?

I know that if you want to go from one chord to another, using an inverted chord might make the bassline smoother and more melodic without big jumps but are there other reasons why root position ...
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