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Questions tagged [harmony]

For questions about the "vertical" aspects of music and how to build and study them.

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Harmony on measure 21/22 of Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu

On measure 21, Chopin uses a B major-minor chord followed by a D# minor chord. One might think we're in E major and that he's just borrowing the D# minor, but on measure 19, it seems Chopin has ...
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1answer
22 views

Why do some phrygian dominant pieces end on the iv chord?

I was looking at Itzhak Perlman playing Shalom Aleichem It starts (0:14) in E Phrygian Dominant with the i chord, but ends (4:16) in A minor, the iv chord. I've seen the same thing happen with Hava ...
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3answers
324 views

Is it wrong to have two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave?

I had a teacher once tell me that although not forbidden, it is not advisable to have the same two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave (specifically referring to a four-part chorale ...
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2answers
43 views

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
42 views

Is a chromatic mediant considered a modulation?

Say I go from a C major chord to an E major chord. I understand that this is a chromatic mediant. Does this change my key from C to E though? said differently, does non-functional harmony change ...
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1answer
39 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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6answers
611 views

Is a secondary dominant always a seventh chord?

I noticed that secondary dominants are usually dominant seventh chords. Can you just make a secondary dominant a triad, or is it "required" to make it a seventh chord? (also I think this chord is ...
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2answers
43 views

How to realize the figured bass of the second movement of BWV 1014?

I am planning a performance of the second movement of Bach's violin sonata BWV 1014 in B Minor. The beginning of second mvt, Allegro is shown below. As you can see there are some figured bass below ...
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2answers
66 views

Are all modes relative to Ionian (major) in Roman numeral analysis?

I saw in this Wikipedia article that there are a lot of flats and sharps in the modal natural chords. And I was wondering if it's because they all refer to Ionian. So in Aeolian the "bIII" chord is ...
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0answers
35 views

How to practice harmonizing / training your ear

how do I practice harmonizing? I tend to follow the melody, sometimes I can harmonize, but other times I go a little flat
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6answers
2k views

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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1answer
57 views

chord voicing to improve overall sound

I have the following phrase: I like the progression and the tension that builds during the VII and V7. I also like the melody in the top staff, but I am happy to change it if necessary. Here's the ...
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1answer
39 views

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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1answer
46 views

Are seventh and extended chords used to create dream-like and fantasy music? [closed]

There's an arpeggio that I've heard in different songs and it usually signifies some kind of transition into a "dream world". Here's an example of it, which happens for the first few seconds of Great ...
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5answers
1k views

Do the notes in a scale have to be played in order?

Beginner here, it seems like a scale just defines a particular set of notes that don't have to be played in any order to me. But if you look at A minor pentatonic scale you have A, C, D, E, G, yet ...
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1answer
78 views

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
58 views

Best sequence to learn about harmony, melody and rhythm? [closed]

I have basic knowledge about these but I want to learn in depth. So what could be the sequence to learn. Also tell where Form, and other elements will come.
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2answers
83 views

What are weak and strong chords?

I'm reading Jazz Theory by Stuart Smith. In the chapter on functional harmony the author introduces the notion of strong and weak chords: I, II, and IV are generally treated as strong chords. V, VI,...
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1answer
33 views

Should the dominant seventh sonority on the subdominant degree in minor get special attention?

In minor - with the raised ^6 and ^7 degrees - we can get a progression like... F7 G7 | Cm IV65 V65 | i or maybe this... F7 G7 | Cm IV7 V42 | i6 or... F7 bo | Cm IV7 viio | i My view ...
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1answer
124 views

Should sensible analysis show secondary functions fulfilling the supposed function?

This question started for me with an analysis using IV/IV. It was analysis in Kostka/Payne for Mozart's K545, mv II, mm. 69-71... G: I | IV6/IV V6/IV | IV Instead of... G: I |C: ...
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1answer
35 views

Are there musical terms like linguistic terms n-gram or uni-gram and bi-gram?

I don't know if there is anything else to add to my question except the context is harmony... V7-I or Gr+6-V etc. would be a bi-grams. I-(IV6)-I could be considered a unigram. I'm not sure if ...
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4answers
102 views

Are the 1,4,5 the primary chords in all modes?

I know in both major (Ionian) and minor (Aeolian) the 1 4 5 chords are the primary chords. as they seem to come up more often than other chords. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_triad In Aeolian ...
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3answers
79 views

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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3answers
119 views

Why are in music theory perfect fifth parallels forbidden?

Why are parallel fifths forbidden? Why should the only known (for hundreds of years!) polyphonie suddenly be not ok???
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3answers
54 views

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
51 views

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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3answers
632 views

How many octaves exist?

How many octaves exist the the human range of hearing? Will the same note through all the octaves harmonize? What is the maximum distinct notes that can be played in a chord?
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3answers
2k views

Can I turn any synthesized instrument into a bass by lowering the frequency?

In terms of electronic music, when I'm picking a "bass" can I choose any instrument, including leads, and just set that instrument to be of lower frequency (lowering the octave) in order to create a ...
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1answer
24 views

How do I tell which mode this extract uses?

In this exercise, the key signature has two flats but it's marked as C minor. There's a footnote that simply says 'modal key signature'. How do I work out which mode to use in my harmonisation?
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2answers
65 views

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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5answers
815 views

Incorrectly labeled chord. Is this a dominant seventh?

I am trying to analyse this but am confused by the chord marked Am7. Am7 shouldn't have a D in it and doesn't make much sense in the context. Could it possibly be a D7 with the G being a suspension of ...
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4answers
129 views

Playing matching chords to melody by ear

I'm a beginner on piano who plays be ear using pentatonic scale and I'm having hard time accompanying the melody with a chord with the left hand. I can easily play the melody to any song but if I want ...
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2answers
100 views

How to make the dominant preparation less boring?

This is one thing that I have always noticed when I compose a sonata. Even if I can get through most of the development section in sonata form, the dominant preparation sort of grinds my gears. I'm ...
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1answer
49 views

Transposition to kalimba

I have this instrument called a kalimba or mbira, it has 7 tines. Notes from left to right are: e', g, d''', e, c', a, a' but from low pitch to hight it seems to be arranged in this form: E G A C D E ...
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2answers
119 views

How a chord is analyzed as a “chromatic mediant of the V”?

In the video How To Analyze Songs from the channel 12 tone, the guy wisely separates the task of labeling from analyzing. There's a comment where he lists some possible analysis options of the label ...
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2answers
176 views

Is there a website that provides song names as real life examples for each scale and mode? [closed]

I have recently started learning music theory on my own. I have had some previous exposure to Western music theory when I was in primary school (now I'm in college). So, I'm not completely new to the ...
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1answer
79 views

Can someone please explain differences between Ionian dorian phrygian (etc) scales [duplicate]

If you have C scale, C, D, E, F, G, A, H, C this is already Ionian. C dorian scale is when you play same tones but start from second tone, in this case D. I am correct?
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1answer
72 views

Do melody notes over chords basically change the underlying harmony and the chord extension?

Lets say you have a bunch of chords you play a melody over. If the melody notes are a part of the underlying chord it sounds more consonant. But if the melody notes over the chord, are not a part of ...
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0answers
55 views

After key change from minor to major, why does the vi chord sound so bad?

After playing the progression: Dm9 Gmadd6(add9) FM7(13) C9 Gmadd6 FM7(13) Going back to the Dm9 right after this sounds pretty bad. I assume because the C9 implying key change from minor to ...
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3answers
88 views

Why does VII have dominant function in natural minor

I have noticed with my own compositions that I can take something like Bb major and use it to prepare for a C minor entrance, even if C minor is in fact the tonic. Also I have noticed that I can use G ...
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7answers
3k views

Can I have two different instruments play the same melody at the same octave?

I am writing an orchestral track and so far I have written the melody of strings (violins and such) and I want to add trumpets and here are 3 things I consider. 1) Have the trumpets play the same ...
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2answers
89 views

Are any keyboard methods or music theory concepts based on keyboard mirror symmetry?

About a year ago I noticed there is a kind of mirror symmetry on the piano keyboard regarding the shape/distance of the black and white keys when starting at C major and then chromatically descending ...
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3answers
95 views

Can someone help me understand this chord progression?

I've been jamming around with a chord progression that goes D F#m C(b5) Bm The odd chord out is the C(b5), but my ear likes the tension-resolution is creates to end on the Bm. I know there's no "...
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4answers
60 views

Does chord type(major or minor) remains the same for common chord progressions irrespective of any mode or scale?

I am very new to even the basic concepts of music theory so there might be something inherently wrong in my question but here it is, There are some common chords progressions which are denoted by the ...
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9answers
4k views

How to modulate very smoothly and stealthily from major to minor?

I would like to modulate from G major to c minor in such a way that it would be almost unnoticeable to the listener. I'm composing a piece in a style that's very Arvo-Pärtesque minimalist-sounding, so ...
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1answer
98 views

Notes in an A13 chord

Does an A13 chord include the 11th? Here's why I'm asking... If you google this chord for piano, sometimes the third (C#) is omitted and sometimes the 11th (D) is omitted -- but sometimes they are ...
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1answer
116 views

What are all the chord qualities?

I am working on some chord sorting algorithms right now, I was requested to add an algorithm that is capable to sort chords by chord quality, so afaik there are only major, minor, diminished, or ...
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3answers
2k views

Am I the only one to hear Cb instead of B here?

This comes from BWV 847 (the C minor fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier). Look at the third beat from measure 28. I can't help but hear an A flat minor chord here, that is Eb, Cb, Ab. Especially ...
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3answers
62 views

How should one describe that some solfege notes rhyme?

How should one describe that some solfege notes rhyme or perhaps share the same role? The two examples are do and so (I and V) and mi and ti (III and VII). C D E F G A B (...
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0answers
36 views

How to go about writing a second countersubject?

I have written a subject and countersubject. Here is how I went about writing the countersubject: 1st iteration: Restricted to D, G, and A(answer is is D major), all quarter notes 2nd iteration: A ...