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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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Is harmonic minor the “standard” minor scale? [duplicate]

Is harmonic minor the "standard" minor scale, as it is used the most often (especially when using dominants), or is the natural minor, as it has no accidentals?
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What's the relationship between the chords Cmaj Dmaj Emaj?

If I play the chords: C major, D major, then E major. I'm wondering what their relationship is called. It almost sounds like chromatic mediants but I can't call it that since it doesn't move by a ...
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Is E7 diatonic to a-minor or not?

I got this comment on one of my posts: C Major/ A minor are diatonic and do not have any accidentals. If you are suggesting chord with accidental they are not diatonic. For example, while E7 is use ...
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5answers
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Is the secondary dominant the same if my target chord is a major or minor of the same root?

Say my target chord is D major or D minor in two separate keys. For example let's say D major is in the key of G major (the V chord) and let's say the D minor is in the key of F major (the vi chord). ...
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Are there any cases where the mediant chord has dominant function? [duplicate]

In my knowledge, each diatonic chord has diatonic functions: I, iii, vi - Tonic function ii, IV - Subdominant function V, viio - Dominant function The question is, are there any cases where iii has ...
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6answers
131 views

How to build chords from a single note?

I'm working on a simple theory to apply both in real life and in a computer program I'm writing. Basically, I realized that we can create (or add) any chord above a melody (vocal track, e.g.), as ...
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What is this chord progression called?

During the intro (0:00 ~ 0:04), The chord progression is: I maj7 -> IV maj7 -> b VII maj7-> b III maj7 -> b VI maj7 -> II7-> b II maj7 -> V What is this called? Is this an example of an extended "II-...
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Were the seven different modes intend to create different moods?

Here how each mode sound to me: Ionian, Major: Bright, happy, triumphant Dorian: Sadistic Phrygian: Scared, terrifying Lydian: Bright, exotic Mixolydian: Cool, powered Aeolian, Minor: Dark, sad, ...
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Why does the French sixth sound more dissonant than the others?

The French sixth chord sounds more dissonant than the Italian and German sixth chords. What is the reason?
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Analysis of blues chords

I have doubts about some chords in this sequence: ||: Eb7 | Ab7 | Eb7 | Eb7 | | Ab7 | Ab7/A6 | Eb7 | C7 | | F7 | Bb7 | Eb7/C7 | F7/Bb7 ...
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Why were parallel fifths used in this Rachmaninoff Prelude? [duplicate]

For instance, recently I have seen the use of parallel fifths in Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C♯ minor, The Bells of Moscow: I thought they were completely forbidden. Then, under certain conditions, are ...
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Why are thirds used with chromatic mediants and not other intervals?

I was watching this video about chromatic mediants (the video calls them chromatic thirds for some reason). And it made me wonder what is it about thirds that makes them popular. So we talk about ...
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1answer
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How to overcome emotional tension with this Beethoven rondo

I never thought this would happen but it just did. The Beethoven rondo I am referring to is the one in G major, widely known as "Rage over a Lost Penny". There is a 20 measure section starting at ...
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2answers
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Is a new tonal center established when I play a chord progression of more than two chords in the new key?

If I'm modulating between keys, say between major and its relative minor. Is the main way I establish a new tonal center is if I create a progression longer than two chords that lead to a cadence? So ...
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1answer
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Do I have to prepare and resolve non-chord tones in certain ways?

I keep getting feedback from certain people on a classical music forum that I prepare and resolve my dissonances wrongly and that my counterpoint is off. And this is regardless of what type of ...
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1answer
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Which key to modulate to? [closed]

So I have finished the A section of my waltz and am wanting to go to another key for the B section. The waltz is in the key of D major. So these chords are diatonic to it: My melody in the A section ...
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1answer
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Harmony: Melodic Fragments

Could someone please explain what melodic fragments are? I’ve been told that if you see scale degrees 123 or 321 in the melody or bass it calls for an idiom. I’ve also heard that there are other ...
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Is there a set of closely related keys in modern popular music? [closed]

In my knowledge, the closely related keys in classical music are: In C-major: C-major (Tonic, original) ♮ d-minor (Supertonic, relative of subdominant) ♭ e-minor (Mediant, relative of dominant) ♯ F-...
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2answers
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How does Rainbow's End by Peter Weniger work?

This is Rainbow's End, composed by German saxophonist Peter Weniger. It first sounds like a straightforward 12-bar Blues in F, The melody sounds pretty normal, but as soon as it comes to the solos, ...
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5answers
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If there are no diminished keys, then why does Locrian mode exist?

A diminished chord can't work as a tonic due to its dissonance. If then, why does Locrian mode even exist? It's confusing!
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5answers
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If parallel keys aren't closely related, then why are they so easy to get to?

I got this comment on an answer of mine: Parallel major/minor keys are not closely related. They are easy to get to, but not closely related. It's like you might live by a subway that make it ...
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1answer
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Is it okay to end a period with an IAC? [closed]

So I started writing a waltz. I have been mainly focusing on the bass line because I got advice from someone that if I focus on the bass progression, the basic melody will just come to me. And once I ...
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are there piano pieces where the hands play in different keys?

Do you know music for piano where the two hands don't have to play in the same key?
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Why do B and C resonate sympathetically?

While experimenting with piano acoustics I came across this weird phenomenon. Having an open B string and then hitting the C above will cause the B to resonate! This also works with open C and playing ...
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Classical harmony [closed]

Our harmony professor gave us this for homework and since I skipped a few classes because it seemed super easy, now I can't figure which are the chord functions (all chords are either 1, 4 or 5) and I ...
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2answers
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Am I right in that it is a diminished triad without the third?

So I have come across a difficulty in my harmonic analysis having to do with the tritone being by itself. Obviously, this gets across a dissonance that has to resolve but just from the tritone, it isn'...
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2answers
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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
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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
608 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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3answers
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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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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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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
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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
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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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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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How to practice harmonizing / training your ear [closed]

how do I practice harmonizing for singing?
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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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1answer
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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
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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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1answer
51 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
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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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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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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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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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53 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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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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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
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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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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
159 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?