Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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8
votes
1answer
609 views

On The Origin of Dissonant Chords

Without relying upon French harmonic theory (Rameau for instance), can you explain how the emergence of “freely” (by freely, I refer to such harmonies not being the result non-harmonic tones, or ...
5
votes
4answers
151 views

Analysis of borrowed chords in Lush's “Single Girl”

I am analysing the chords from songs I like, in order to understand why I like them and to reuse the ideas in contexts that suit my voice and playing styles better. I am going through Lush - Single ...
1
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0answers
136 views

Irregular resolution [closed]

What are the primary conditions concerning the IRREGULAR resolutions of the following harmonies in common practice music?: -Dominant chords -Auxiliary Seventh chords (chords of sequence) -...
10
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6answers
1k views

Definition of Functional Harmony

In a recent conversation I had, there was a disagreement regarding the definition of Functional Harmony. As I've understood it, Functional Harmony would be defined by chords having a function and is ...
4
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3answers
386 views

What is the name of the chord in this cadence?

I am working through the Augmented Sixth Chords chapter of Piston's Harmony (5th Edition). The last figured bass exercise, 1g ends with the following cadence. I've worked out what the figured bass ...
1
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1answer
116 views

Is there a name for this cadence - [Tritone Sub of V] - I

Sometimes I've been going through [Tritone Sub of V] - I cadences. Is there a specific name for this?
2
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6answers
736 views

Do chord progressions usually move by fifths?

I'm wondering if chords usually move down by fifths. It seems so by the diagram, so iii to vi, vi to ii, ii to V, V to I. etc. Other chords can also be thought of like that, because IV/ii and V/vii ...
4
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6answers
477 views

Why does VII have dominant function in natural minor

I have noticed with my own compositions that I can take something like B♭ 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
564 views

Augmented triads in classical music

I would like to know of examples of augmented chords of type 5# (I do not refer to 6th) in classical music, I know the theory for the formation of this type of chords (C aug or C+ or C(5#)-> C, 3ª ...
8
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2answers
211 views

When was the dominant ninth chord incorporated in music theory?

The "ninth chord" that Rameau, Kirnberger, Marpurg or Koch (inter alia) discuss during the 18th century is the chord formed by a triad and an added ninth, and its explanation is always through a "...
7
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5answers
972 views

How does modal jazz use chord progressions?

I read that jazz uses the chord progression "ii V I" alot. But another thing I heard is that modal jazz doesn't think in chord functions instead it uses modes. Which made me confused. Does that mean ...
10
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7answers
431 views

How is solfège approached when there is harmony in the background?

Instead of trying to memorize every interval out of context, a more useful ear training goal is the "memorization" of each scale degree in relation to the tonic (Movable-do solfege). Each degree will ...
5
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4answers
243 views

Do 4-part harmony rules also apply to piano arrangements?

Does rules in 4-part harmony also apply to piano arrangements ? Like for example no doubling the 3rd note of the chord, or moving in parallel 5, etc.
4
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2answers
235 views

Perfect 4th is dissonant?

Why is the perfect fourth dissonant in some cases when it does not sound dissonant? When I play it in closed position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
9
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5answers
2k views

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!
5
votes
5answers
134 views

Are there any chords other than the dim7 and Fr. 6 that have two overlapping tritones?

On my question Why does the French sixth sound more dissonant than the others?, I got this answer from Ben I.: It's because the French 6th chord has an extra tritone. If we take an A♭ ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Why do V6/V, V6/5/V, and vii°/V have subdominant (predominant) function?

In chord progressions like I - iii - IV - I64 - V - I, which occurs extremely frequently, the IV chord is sometimes replaced by a V6/V, V65/V, or viio/V chord. Regardless they are secondary dominant /...
1
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2answers
50 views

Does this song use melodic minor or harmonic minor?

The song below was on a past IB Music Diploma Programme listening paper. The markscheme says that it uses melodic minor. I hear a raised 7th, particularly in the vocal, but I don't hear a raised 6th......
5
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3answers
381 views

Resolving to minmaj7

Looking for possible resolutions to a imaj7. Theoretical or not - shoot! Out-of-the-ordinary resolutions are needed (I already know the theory behind it, using possible modes and all ). Looking ...
21
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4answers
58k views

What is a secondary dominant chord?

What is a secondary dominant chord? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in composition?
4
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4answers
752 views

Dominant seventh chord in the major scale contains diminished triad of the seventh?

The seventh chord built on the fifth step of the scale (the dominant seventh) is the only dominant seventh chord available in the major scale: it contains all three notes of the diminished triad of ...
16
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4answers
925 views

How can a perfect fourth interval be considered either consonant or dissonant?

I've been reading Ralph Denyer's book, The Guitar Handbook, and in the section on intervals he states that the perfect fourth can be either consonant or dissonant but it's not explained as how or why. ...
10
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3answers
523 views

Are minor sevenths allowed in baroque counterpoint?

Are minor sevenths allowed in baroque counterpoint? I ask because in the first measure of Bach's Invention No. 1 the upper voice and lower voice have an interval of a minor seventh (the upper voice ...
0
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1answer
154 views

Why is the vi chord so popular? [closed]

In a major scale, I understand why the I IV V are the most popular chords mainly due to their diatonic functions and they also harmonize the entirety of the scale as they are the primary triads. I ...
1
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3answers
98 views

Using Slash Chord in IIIm

Today I am looking at the Ab key and found out the possible chords will be Ab, Bbm, Cm, Db, Eb, Fm and Gdim. However I have tried AbMaj7, Bbm6/G, Bbm6/G then Cm but I feel dissonance with the Bbm6/G....
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1answer
78 views

How to analyze this melody in modal/Jazz theory? [closed]

Update: I've updated this for clarity and with some context regarding how I interpret this passage, but my fundamental question remains the same. I really hope someone could help me parse out this ...
1
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2answers
97 views

Should I raise this chord up an octave?

Okay, I asked somebody else for advice on my orchestration and he went a bit into lower interval limits. He did however give me advice on orchestration for the first chord. Here is what he gave me: ...
10
votes
8answers
949 views

Doubling the third of a root position major chord in four-part harmony

In a manual for four-part harmony that I am reading, it is suggested to avoid doubling the 3rd of a root position major chord, as it sounds harsh. On a minor root position chord however, it is ...
4
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4answers
869 views

The melody+chords pattern in perspective

Most of us who know the basics of music theory and share the "common" musical culture (western mainstream popular songs, mass media, "classical" music from the common practice period), tend to think ...
-1
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1answer
98 views

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?
-3
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3answers
163 views

Are there two types of songs (melody based, harmony based)? [closed]

I noticed two types of songs. A strong chord progression (or a strong bass line) and then the melody follows as an example, Pachelbel's Canon in D. In this case the chord progression remains ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

What Key And Scale Is This? [closed]

In relation to the final statement of the principal theme in Kodaly's Dance Of Galanta below, can anyone tell me? What key is this? The 2 naturals seem to cancel out the previous key signature of D ...
5
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4answers
481 views

Counter-example of counterpoint technique?

I'm trying to fully understand the concept that "Counterpoint" entails... but I can't seem to think any situation in which a counterpoint is not present on a song/piece/whatever. If counterpoint is ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Why weren't Ionian / Aeolian / Locrian modes considered Gregorian modes?

It is said that the Ionian (major), Aeolian (natural minor), and Locrian modes weren't really three of the ancient church (Gregorian) modes. What is the reason?
5
votes
3answers
304 views

Blending or harmonizing

What other kind of chords can a guitarist play as an accompaniment for the keyboardist instead of playing the same progression,that is ensuring they don't get in each others way by playing a ...
2
votes
3answers
239 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 ...
18
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2answers
2k views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have heard the term Neapolitan 6th quite a few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
3
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1answer
68 views

Questions on the harmonic analysis of Pixar's Up Main Theme

First time doing harmonic analysis. This is the piece https://musescore.com/user/1596896/scores/715646 The key signature indicates F major, but I feel like the composer plays around with the ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Is Locrian a minor mode or is it a diminished mode?

I have heard 2 different schools of thought when describing the Locrian mode. The first one that I heard several years ago, when I first heard about modes is that it is a minor mode, despite its ...
1
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3answers
70 views

Are these notes with accidentals chromatic?

I'm having some difficulty deciding which notes with accidentals are considered as chromatic, and was wondering if someone could confirm/deny my assumptions about notes in the attached notation of ...
5
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2answers
108 views

Using standard Roman numeral analysis how should 7th and 9th qualities be determined?

Example: C: V7 or inversions like C: V6/5 are understood to be dominant-seventh chords and C: V9 a dominant ninth chord with a diatonic, major ninth. I think the basic idea is all the Arabic ...
5
votes
3answers
349 views

Different harmonic changes implied by a simple descending scale

This is a question that readers may find confusing. It is a bit confusing to me too, but I'll try to explain and illustrate it as best as I can. What are the harmonic functions (in terms of Roman-...
3
votes
4answers
157 views

Do “augmented-six” chords always have to be bVI?

Suppose we are in the key of C: Ab7 would be the "augmented-six" chord. But doesn't any 7th chord have the same intervals as the bVI7? Why does bVI7 only have the particular name of "augmented six"?...
7
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1answer
308 views

Roman Numeral Treatment of Suspensions

My question today stems from me having difficulty assigning a roman numeral to a chord which either has a suspension (please see below) Or when there is melodic motion in the bass (please see below) ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

Analyzing Tschaikowsky's “Wintermorgen”

At the beginning of the first measure there is a chord with the notes of Eb, G, C#, and G. What is this chord? I suppose that the song is in B minor and I can't find any chords even in Modal ...
16
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4answers
26k views

What is the best way to learn to sing harmony?

I am quite capable of singing the lead vocal but have a difficult time finding the 3rd or 5th harmony in order to harmonize with someone else. Is there a method of learning to hear or find the ...
7
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3answers
121 views

Which notes are skeletal?

I have been told to figure out which notes in Mozart's theme are skeletal and which ones are just embellishments before I develop my Theme and Variations. But I don't know how to tell if a note is ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

How did composers use the technique of “fauxbourdon”?

I've recently learned of a harmonisation technique called fauxbourdon (or faux bourdon, fauxbordon or false drone), used in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, e.g. by Giullaume Dufay; you can ...
1
vote
3answers
284 views

Diatonic Scales and Modes. How do I reconcile information about Modes?

The accepted answer to what a mode is and how they work is posted here: What is the difference between a dominant scale VS a mode? This is what I thought the correct answer was. Basically that the "...
1
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4answers
114 views

The effects of memory on the perception of harmonic function

The opening four bars of Beethoven's fifth symphony are performed in pure octaves, with no other notes to color our perception of what we hear: The notes are G G G E♭, F F F D Taken alone ...