Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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1answer
164 views
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What techniques and methods govern how melody can suggest a certain harmony?

In The Art of Strict Musical Composition, Volume 2 chapter 3, by Johann Philip Kirnberger (student of Bach) he writes “Here it must be stated first that every good melody is based on a proper harmony, ...
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2answers
65 views

Were Plagal Cadences always used with an Authentic Cadence preceding it?

In typical 19th-century harmony, was a Plagal Cadence always used with an Authentic Cadence preceding it? To put it another way, was it typically ever used out of its "Amen" context?
3
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1answer
71 views

Are the rules of voice leading and the rules of counterpoint ever at odds with one another?

I was practicing composing in an SATB setting. I had the chords voiced the way I wanted to, but there was not much rhythmic interest (everything in whole notes). So, I began subdividing the notes ...
2
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2answers
540 views

Why are scale steps in minor not upside-down? [closed]

You can look at a root as the 0th overtone, but in minor do you know some "deductive" reason for the -2nd overtone to be a root of the minor chord? An illustrating explaining what I'm ...
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1answer
42 views

When does this extract change key? (Roman Numeral Analysis of Greene: 'Ode on St Cecilia's Day')

Quick question regarding bar 3 in this figured bass exercise. We start off in D minor. The introduction of C naturals in bar 3, along with the fact we finish the piece in the relative FM, seems to ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Chord identification (dim7)

As you can see I've marked a viiDim7 chord. My question is because of lack of bB on 1st and 2nd beat and by knowing that it is a key note for C#dim7 chord can we consider it as just a dim chord and bB ...
6
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3answers
219 views

Has such an anti-musical tune ever been composed?

The following part from chapter 84 of the Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality fanfic describes a tune that appears to be designed to be unnerving. The humming started as a simple children's ...
2
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2answers
82 views

How to smoothly re-establish original tonality?

In this post, you all helped me modulate from the original tonality of C major to a new tonality of Bb Major. Now, I am trying to find my way back to the original key. This is what the chords are ...
2
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3answers
105 views

Melody harmonisation: How to handle leaps?

I am currently harmonising a melody- the last three bars of the phrase are shown in the picture. The melody is in the alto part, and it finishes the phrase with a large leap down to G. I would like to ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Why did it take a millennium to use harmony/polyphony (900 AD) when Pythagoras discovered perfect fourth and fifth around 500 BC?

Considering the fact that Pythagoras formulated the properties of Perfect Fifth and Fourth around 500 BC, why did it take so long to include them in Music?. The first instance of using the Fifth in ...
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3answers
86 views

What is wrong about this counterpoint?

I am using a counterpoint rules plugin on MuseScore, and I am having trouble understanding the issues with my music. I am wondering if I am doing something wrong or if I am not interpreting the ...
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3answers
91 views

How to use sus2/sus4/add9 in minor key to stay within the key

I understand how to use sus2/sus4 and add9 inn major to keep all notes within the chosen major scale, but how can I use the same chords in a minor key and still stay in key?
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3answers
84 views

Do sus chords exist in Locrian?

I have recently been exploring chords in the Locrian mode. Down to the flattened 5th and 9th degrees, I have come up with some pretty bizarre sus chords. This got me thinking: Are such chords still ...
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1answer
181 views

how do I add voices to compound species lines?

Update, TLDR: given multiple semi-written lines of music, which line should be deemed the cantus firmus before working on the counterpoint of the other lines? Given a "free" (?) soprano ...
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6answers
2k views

Black keys - what scale are these, how to use them?

I'm a beginning music theory student and often when I'm supposed to be doing exercises I get distracted and start doodling around for fun on the black keys. It's easy to compose simple, satisfying ...
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4answers
451 views

Does this modulation make sense?

I am wondering how to assess the following modulation from C major to Bb major according to rules of traditional harmony: I threw the modulation together without thinking about it much, and thought &...
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0answers
43 views

Four part writing: How to treat the 7th over static harmony?

My example: The harmony in bar 28 is C sharp half dim 7. On the off beat of beat 2, I have root C sharp (repeated harmony note- tenor part [alto clef]), sounding at the same time as the 7th B (aux ...
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3answers
860 views

What do you call a very brief change of key

When the key changes for a longer period and a new tonic is firmly established, we call it modulation. However, what do we call a very brief change of at most several measures, when harmony from ...
2
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2answers
93 views

Four part Writing: When must a perfect fourth be resolved?

A bit confused at the moment regarding when a perfect fourth is classed as a consonance, and when it is classed as a dissonance. I have read here on Stack Exchange, that perfect fourth intervals are ...
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4answers
97 views

Theme seems complete enough, but Variations seem to need that extra harmony, what should I do? [closed]

So, I’m composing a Theme and Variations based off of the La Folia progression and I started really basic for the Theme so that I would have some more wiggle room for Variations. I’ve even considered ...
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2answers
70 views

How to interpret this blues-like chord sequence?

How would you interpret a blues-like chord sequence where the I, IV and V chords are e.g.: %5/1.5/1.7/3.5/1.6/2.5/1[I] %3/1.5/3.3/1.4/2.3/1.3/1[IV] %5/1.7/3.5/1.6/2.5/1.5/1[V] Is this simply a major ...
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3answers
130 views

Relative and absolute tones: does this really make the difference?

Often, in improvisation, you think of the notes of the scale not as the actual notes you are playing but as the notes of the C scale. The concept I'm talking about is that of the movable C, or ...
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2answers
521 views

Strict Diatonic Harmony in Minor Keys - is it even a thing?

I realize that minor keys normally add non-diatonic tones, particularly from the harmonic minor scale. Ruling that out, if we stick to the actual diatonic notes of the natural minor scale, and the ...
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5answers
149 views

Blues progression: are those changes of key?

Suppose we have a simple blues in E with the following chord progression E7 A7 B7 E7 and that we have to play Over E7: Em penta scale Over A7: mix of A major and A minor penta scale Over B7: B ...
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2answers
48 views

Four part writing: Does quality and amount of dissonances affect use of non harmony notes?

Still writing four part. I have found that, even if dissonances are prepared and resolved by the book, they can still be quite jarring. So, I was wondering if it is normal to take extra factors into ...
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3answers
101 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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2answers
103 views

Are there two leading tones?

I always took the leading tone to be the 7th degree (the "subtonic") scale degree. According to author David Neumeyer (The Music of Paul Hindemith), there is another? See the following ...
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1answer
82 views

In A natural minor what are the tonic and sub dominant family chords?

Many songs that I study use the natural minor scale so there is never a raised leading tone. In music written this way, there obviously is no dominant chord so then what do the diatonic chords ...
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1answer
34 views

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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3answers
71 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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1answer
38 views

Bassline Harmony

Compare guitar 2 and bass in the song tab here- GnR - Nightrain. If you look at the notes played by bass relative to the guitar in verses 1 and 2, you can see instances of Major 6th, Minor 7th, Major ...
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1answer
191 views

What is the Root/Quality chord symbol for this note cluster?

I am just starting to learn the music for Leigh Harline's song : "When You Wish Upon A Star" In measure 5 the LH notes are C, D, and E and the RH notes are G♭, A♭, B♭ and C. The beginning ...
2
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1answer
44 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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3answers
396 views

Are “direct 5ths” only a problem if they occur between the same voices?

I am studying part writing and there is an example of what is considered good and bad part writing. One that confuses me a little is this one: The reason cited for this being bad is: "Leading-...
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3answers
198 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 ...
8
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1answer
210 views

How to apply Paul Hindemith's harmonic theory

I have been studying Paul Hindemith's "The Craft of Musical Composition, Book 1: Theory", trying to apply Hindemith's principles to my own harmonies and melodies. As you may know, Hindemith'...
3
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1answer
120 views

Harmonic Analysis of C. M. von Weber Clarinet Concerto No.1

My question is regarding this passage from C. M. von Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 1. The passage is taken from the exposition of the first movement and has so far been established in F minor. Bars 20 ...
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2answers
60 views

Why is it that C7 (or F7 or Eb7) has a minor seventh instead of a major seventh? [duplicate]

Pretty much what the title says, why is it that chords like C7 or F7 have a minor seventh instead of a major one? Is there any particular reason to it?
2
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1answer
64 views

Unresolved, non-dominant sevenths in SATB chorale harmony

I'm working on taking some chorales and their soprano lines out of Bach, and making my own harmonizations/compositions — somewhat more elaborate ones than the typical, straight quarter note exercise. ...
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3answers
82 views

Harmony behind Guthrie Govan's Wonderful Slippery Thing

The tune can be found here: Main chord progression is: Bm7 - D9 - Gmaj7 - F#7b9 My understanding is that it's actually: i - V/vi - vi - V With D9 being secondary ...
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2answers
105 views

Old school reharmonization of jazz songs

I'm wondering how to reharmonize a jazz song using a traditional jazz style that avoids modern substitutions and extensions. As an example, I've got this score here. You can see the two ...
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2answers
83 views

sharp ii dim 7th: How to use?

Still here and working on part-writing. I have used a sharp ii dim7th chord, straight after iihalfdim7- leading to V. Is this actually the right place to put it in terms of chord sequence/harmonic ...
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2answers
72 views

Harmonizing a modulating melody with ornamentations

I've been self studying Tchaikovsky's harmony textbook and supplementing it with harmonizing melodies from Anton Arensky's "1000 tasks for the practical study of harmony" and I've run into ...
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1answer
419 views

Chord voicings used by backup trios in Motown girl groups?

On songs like Be my baby by the Ronettes or Will you love me tomorrow? by the Shirelles (a Carole King tune), there seems to be a standard style of arrangement where you have the lead vocals sung by ...
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4answers
119 views

Are certain 4 part writing rules contradictory?

I am told that I cannot double the 3rd when constructing a 4 part triad but at the same time I am told that the only note that can be omitted is the 5th. So in a triad, if I omit the 5th, then all I ...
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3answers
133 views

Why is there no full triad as the last chord in 4 part counterpoint?

I read that it is impossible to have a full cadence using all three notes of the final triad in a 4 part counterpoint piece. Here is the exact bit of info: "we can’t easily arrive at a full triad ...
2
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2answers
70 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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4answers
1k views

How much of a jazz tune should I pre-arrange?

I have been learning jazz piano (mainly solo) for a few months and am trying to incorporate more color and more interesting voicings in my chords. However, I find it very difficult to keep the ...
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1answer
84 views

How do I improve my composing skills [closed]

I've been composing for over a year, since the pandemic has started. I've been composing a lot of simple pieces, most of them are SATB. I want to improve my composing skills because when I listen to ...
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3answers
108 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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