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

2
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0answers
27 views

What makes a chord have predominant function?

I saw someone make the vague claim that in Debussy you can often identify passages with predominant function, even if they don't represent chords that are typically considered predominant chords. I ...
1
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6answers
56 views

Dominant seventh vs Dominant function

I saw how in the major scale the diatonic functions are: I - tonic IV - subdominant V - dominant and the V7 is called a dominant seventh Also in the natural minor scale the diatonic functions are: ...
1
vote
3answers
77 views

Why does this harmony work?

Here's Soma by The Strokes. If I'm not mistaken, the verse progression moves simply from a G chord to an F chord repeating. If the key is C, then this is just V-IV-V-IV etc. Since the chords are only ...
-5
votes
1answer
83 views

Should I strive to create more complex harmony? [on hold]

I was watching a video with Jacob Collier on how he goes about playing Amazing Grace with a bunch of 7th chords, add chords, slash chords, sus chords, and everything but the kitchen sink. But to me ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

dissonances and non-key chords to build tension in chord progression

This stack exchange has helped me create tension before a chorus by, for example: using a I7 chord to lead into a IV chord (secondary dominant) and even lowering that leading tone by an additional ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Harmonic Analysis of Chopin's etude op.10 no 5

In the circled part, what is the harmony? Is the E-flat a non-chord tone or is this just some weird chord? (I've only learnt basic harmony.)
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Gradus ad parnassum: what does “seven must be set with third” mean?

So I came around this example in Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum (p.98) The purple dot marks bar 6. Joseph considers it an error, as explained here: What does "the seventh must be set with the third" ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I know the chord name and scale degree when I play by ear?

Just to give a bit of context; say I'm playing a song in a certain key, F major. and let's say I'm playing the I IV V chords. I'm playing a song I learned by ear, right now it happens to be bicycle ...
2
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4answers
78 views

Harmony - Non-Chord Tones in Bass?

I am just working on my harmony 9, and I am wondering if you can have non-chord tones in the bass?
5
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4answers
697 views

Diatonic chords

My understanding from the circle of 5ths is that there are 6 diatonic chords for each key, is that because the the 7th chord is diminished?
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Understanding chord prolongations

Harmonically oriented neo-Schenkerian analysis and generative theories have in common the concept that a single chord can be "prolonged" over a given span of music, even if not every (or even any) ...
1
vote
3answers
86 views

V-I harmony question

The V-I cadence, the perfect authentic cadence, is the most final sounding cadence. The tension and release caused by this progression explains why the V chord is so commonly used to lead to the I. I'...
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votes
1answer
53 views

harmony tricks in cool rock chorus [closed]

here's a cool song by the growlers: Can someone help me unpack the chorus? It happens at 1:08. It has this sort of back and forth feeling--tension/release/tension/...
0
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0answers
35 views

Expanding harmonic palette [closed]

I have been playing jazz music for around two years and have become well acquainted with typical jazz harmony (251’s, extending 251’s, substitutions for the 2, 5 and 1, moving chromatically with ...
3
votes
6answers
202 views

What are the uses of inverted chords?

As far as I know, inverted chord can be used to create bass line. I am wondering about the other uses of it. Does it have anything to do with the melody in term of harmony and sound effects? Should we ...
10
votes
1answer
881 views

Chopin Polonaise in Ab major, op 53 change in key

In Chopin's polonaise in A-flat major, op.53, in the second section the key changes from A flat to E major. What type of change is this? Is it from the flattening of the sixth (F-flat major), or was ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What exactly is block harmony?

I heard of block harmony when I was experimenting with the dictionary in my Yamaha PSR 192 Database, and later when I went on Wikipedia. Both of these things told me that blocks are harmonies made up ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Are there any alternatives for the resolution of the leading tone rather than to the tonic?

If we are not making the vii/ leading tone resolving to the tonic, then how can I make the transition of vii chord to iii without being too awkward with the voicing? Do composers make it natural minor ...
8
votes
2answers
316 views

What do we call a chord progression that doesn't have a tonic chord?

I came up with a chord progression the other day: Fm7 Ebmaj7 Abmaj7 G7 It's clearly in C minor. But instead of resolving to Cm, I was looping through it. What catched my attention was that it ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Does the harmony change in this part?

In the circled part, does the harmony change to ii or is the D an échappé (escape note) to the dominant?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Cmaj7 in the C major scale different than the Cmaj7 in the C Dorian scale?

I was told that the 7 in Cmaj7 indicates the 7th scale degree. But here's what's confusing to me: in the C major scale, the 7th scale degree is B. And the interval from the root note of the Cmaj7 ...
2
votes
3answers
141 views

Trouble writing chord progressions in minor

I've been composing in major for some time and decided to work in a minor key for practice. It's not going too well – I'm having trouble using common techniques in major, such as utilizing the ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

What is the use of the minor V chord in this song?

First of all, I would like to say hi since this is the first question I've had on this website. I recently came across Officially missing you by Tamia and when I look up the chord progression on ...
3
votes
1answer
686 views

What's the theory behind Chim Chim Cher-ee?

Chim Chim Cher-ee has a fantastic chord structure: i, IIIaug, III, IV, iv, i, II7, V Most of those transitions make sense to me. However, there are three transitions that I don't quite understand: ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

Other than the Maj7, what other chords can create others by altering only one note?

So I have done this great exercise where you alter one note at a time to create a new chord: Cmaj7 C E G B C7 C E G B♭ Cm7 C E♭ G B♭ Cm7♭5 C E♭ G♭ B♭ ...
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vote
3answers
76 views

How can I tell if I have good relative pitch or if I am just familiar with scales

I have been playing guitar for over 10 years now, and for more than half of those years I have studied under a tutor in order to force myself to learn new techniques and genres of music (everything ...
2
votes
2answers
263 views

Reharmonization of pop songs, chord substitution

I watched the video where the educator showed a (diatonically ?) reharmonized version of the minor key pop song 'Shape of You' where the original harmonies were: Dm | ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the V chord still dominant if it is a major 7 chord?

I just read another question about dominant chords and in reading the answers this question came to mind for me. Can a V chord still be considered dominant if the seventh in that chord is not flatted?
1
vote
1answer
86 views

How to hear the root note of a chord?

Any tips for how to hear the root note of a chord, especially when that chord could be inverted. Context: what I'm trying to do is figure out chord progressions by ear. And my understanding is if I ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Is the diminished chord of the minor scale not used as much as the others?

I'm wondering if the diminished diatonic chord (ii-dim) in the minor scale functions like the major scale, where it's not used as often as the other six diatonic chords?
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Chord Sequence of “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters

"Learn to Fly" of the Foo Fighters is in the key of B The sequence of chords of the B scale harmonized is B - C#m - D#m - E - F# - G#m - A#º - B I - IIm - IIIm - IV - V - VIm - VIIº - I But ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Sources of musical tension

I understand that harmonic tension occurs when you hang on a chord which "wants" to resolve, like a chord with a leading tone or certain dissonant intervals. Are there other sources of harmonic ...
0
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1answer
72 views

What is the real meaning of “dominant” in music? [duplicate]

Please answer with a simple explanation and example. Why is every 5th tone from tonic called "dominant"?
3
votes
1answer
60 views

What is Vincent Persichetti saying about finding primary chords in the modes?

I'm really confused about what Vincent Persichetti wrote in his book Twentieth Century Harmony, where he says speaking of primary chords in modes, "The Primary chords are the tonic, plus two dominant ...
5
votes
3answers
101 views

What is tonality when you're not playing with a diatonic scale?

Is there any definition of tonality which generalizes beyond a diatonic scale? For instance, can you have resolution from a dominant to a tonic if you're only using a pentatonic scale? Clearly you ...
1
vote
4answers
90 views

Are there many alternatives of chord sequence given a progression?

I just started my journey of music, and I am wondering if the possible choices for chord sequence can be many given a progression, according to music theory. I am worried about using the wrong or ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Slash chords and notation for A/C (according to Haunschild Book)

I am currently working on a book on music-theory by Haunschild “Die neue Harmonielehre” (the question is not too specific so it might also have some general value for people not working with this book....
3
votes
4answers
72 views

What are the most common root motions rather than the dominant resolution?

I'm studying harmony. Most things seem to be based on the dominant resolution, but how do I get to the V7? What other root motions can I use that are also effective?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Final chord of Duruflé Requiem

I recently sang, and separately listened to a performance of Duruflé's requiem. While listening, I was struck by the last chord of the in Paradisum, which adds an unexpected note half way through (and ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Why is the third triad dominant?

I'm working through "Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony" by Tchaikovsky and I had a question about this section on triads (he's working with a C Major scale): The whole mass of major and minor ...
0
votes
1answer
132 views

Any studies on ear training, or musicality out there

Are there any established and scientifically backed-up facts about what is possible, and what time it takes for ear training? Any studies out there that look at these questions? Like letting people ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Is a Major Interval the same as a Pure Interval?

I've been making electronic music for the past year but recently decided that I need to sit down and learn some actual theory. So, I picked up a copy of Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony by ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Chord Succession vs. Chord Progression in Douglass Green's “Form in Tonal Music”

Douglass Green defines "chord succession" as a movement of chords that starts in a certain area and reaches the same area (I believe "area" means the classification as tonic, mediant, submediant, etc ....
2
votes
2answers
250 views

How to harmonize a melody without knowing the scale?

I've been doing this thing lately where I randomly pick a note on the piano, and use that as the starting note of whatever melody I'm playing, every time I do this I'm in a different key. I find this ...
5
votes
3answers
184 views

The sudden switch from C major to C minor in Wake me up when September ends and a Solo Acoustic version

I tried to learn Wake me up when September Ends as arranged for Solo guitar by Ulli Bögershausen, and played by Sungha Jung. When I looked up the tabs, I found two different version for a distinctive ...
3
votes
6answers
230 views

How to create harmonic dissonance/tension?

If I'm playing in a major scale, would a harmonic dissonance be caused by going to the minor side of the chords (ii, iii, vi) or would it be created from going outside my scale? And if it's going ...
0
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2answers
71 views

Classification of/Formulas for reinterpretation of harmony

In a previous question, I asked about sources of harmonic ambiguity in tonal music. (Sources of harmonic ambiguity in tonal music) While the question was closed as being too broad, I did receive an ...
3
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2answers
90 views

Low-level harmonic transcription practice

What are some of the best pieces for me to practice transcription, given that I can already easily transcribe melodies, and with some difficulty can recognize simple chords in isolation, but find it ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Can voice overlap in different phrases?

Is it possible for voices in one phrase to overlap with voices in another in SATB chorale style? Ex. Alto sings middle C in one phrase and in the next phrase Tenor sings D. This would be overlapping ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Three ways to harmonize a note with a triad?

For simplicity assume we're in C major. Let's say I'm playing a song, and I want to play a basic triad chord to harmonize whatever current melody note is played. In this example say the melody is a D ...