Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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1answer
50 views

Rising the song's key one semitone in the reexposition

I have frequently heard in pop music to use the technique described above: to start a song with a melody in a certain key and, after a while, to play again that melody raising the key one semitone. ...
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2answers
273 views

How to use solfège for chords?

I'm just wondering how one would use solfège for chords/harmony. For example to sing C major does one say "do mi so"? If so wouldn't that in practice mean that one would have to say alot of words when ...
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3answers
316 views

What is a Bm chord with a G in it?

I am writing a song with G > Bm > Em as the main chord progression but I found a lot of nice fingerings on the guitar for the Bm chord with an added G in it. Does this make the chord a B minor 6 ...
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3answers
129 views

Is there a rule in SATB writing regarding the Soprano & Bass moving in contrary motion?

While writing a melody over a bass line, it is generally advised to have the melody & the bass line moving in contrary motion to each other. I want to know if such a rule also exists when you ...
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3answers
470 views

Maximum interval between Alto & Tenor, & intervals when writing for SATB

What is the maximum interval permitted between the Alto & Tenor when writing for SATB? I have read it should not be more than a 10th, whereas another source said it should not be more than an 8th. ...
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0answers
175 views

What is the best book on Jazz Harmony? [closed]

I would like suggestions for good books on Jazz Harmony that are easy to understand, thorough and have readily applicable principles for compositions. Thanks.
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3answers
48 views

How can one use theory/harmony in order to learn BWV anh 114?

How can one use theory/harmony in order to learn BWV anh 114? I am only talking about theory/harmony in order to be able to play and memorize this piece.
4
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1answer
110 views

What to improvise over “fake” ii V I and succession of dominant chords

I frequently see "incomplete" ii V I sequences in standards (like Satin Doll for example) where only the ii and the V are played and I'm always wondering what I can play there, since I find most of ...
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3answers
174 views

Is the ♭VII chord still a dominant chord in the natural minor scale? [duplicate]

If I have the progression Cm > Ab > Bb > Cm from the C natural minor scale, does the Bb chord still work as a dominant chord as it would in Eb major? I know that in the minor scale, ...
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1answer
118 views

Modulation or passing through different keys in the following Bach chorale [closed]

This is Bach's chorale R.80. I want to know if the music has modulated to a particular key in certain, or is it only passing through different keys (and hence not a fixed modulation to only one key)?
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4answers
990 views

Modulation from major key to relative minor - what could be the pivot chord?

I want to modulate from D major to B minor. I have a perfect cadence (A7 - D) in D major, after which I need to use a pivot chord to go into B minor. I was thinking of using the F# chord, but I am not ...
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2answers
83 views

Using passing notes in SATB writing

When writing for SATB, which is the best voice in which you can use passing notes & auxiliary notes? Also, in a music exam where the Soprano part is given to you (and you have to harmonise the ...
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2answers
63 views

Chords between i and an augmented-sixth chord [closed]

I am wondering about chords that can go between i and different augmented-sixth chords. Are there any resources on this? I've googled and searched past questions and didn't find anything... edit: in ...
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0answers
59 views

Writing characteristic chord progressions in inversion, & doubling notes other than the root

There are characteristic chord progressions taught in music theory, for example, the cadential 6-4, which is Ic - V - I. Then there's Ib - ii7b - V - I, & so on. I want to know if these cadences ...
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4answers
326 views

How can I learn thoroughbass?

I've done some reading and I've discovered that our modern system of music theory (I'm looking at you Roman numeral analysis) is not the same system that most of the great composers, including the "...
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2answers
344 views

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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3answers
306 views

How are 13th chords with alterations “shorthand” written?

My question is a general curiosity because on StackExchange and other sites I haven't found a complete answer that I can get my head around. I've read through the existing 13th discussions and am ...
4
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6answers
226 views

How to choose between Cdim and C#dim?

I have noticed that there is a common chord progression that exists in a few variants: C, C#dim, Dm, G7. It's often changed by changing Dm to D to give the progression a little bit more spark. However,...
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2answers
812 views

Are there any thematic similarities between Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony? [closed]

Taking a look at the opening bars of Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony 4th movement (bar 136 onwards) see below they sound kind of similar. Somebody suggested (Radio 3 I think)...
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6answers
2k views

What chord could the notes 'F A♭ E♭' form?

Can someone please help me understand this chord progression that actually takes the listener from E♭ to B♭. There is a chord at the end of the phrase and I can't understand what chord it ...
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3answers
2k views

What usually follows an Augmented major seventh chord?

I don't have a clear understanding of the notation used in the following sentence from the article on Augmented major seventh chord from Wikipedia: As with dominant seventh chords, non-dominant ...
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3answers
2k views

Why isn't there a closely related key to C minor that has D as tonic?

For minor keys, there are no closely related keys built on the second scale degree. Why? Is it because the chord built from the second scale degree is diminished?
4
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1answer
128 views

Goodbye Porkpie Hat - solo harmonic analysis

I have been untangling Goodbye Porkpie Hat, the original on Mingus Ah Um. The solo section has different chords to the head on this version. I have listened to the sax solo, and I am making notes, but ...
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5answers
732 views

Should one double the thirds or the fifth in chords?

Generally, theory books mention that one should double the root of the chord. This is followed most of the time, except by some composers who choose to double the 3rd or the 5th of the chord. When ...
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1answer
156 views

Labelling chords in Bach's chorale

The image is a part of Bach's chorale BWV 94.8 or R. 291 (image taken from www.bach-chorales.com). I want to confirm the harmony of the 2 chords marked with a star. Is the chord with a blue star A7/C# ...
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2answers
154 views

How should six-four chords be resolved?

In the point deduction section of the AP Music Theory exam guidelines, it says: The 6th or 4th of a 6 4 chord is unresolved or resolved incorrectly. What exactly does this entail?
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1answer
427 views

Is E7 diatonic to A minor or not?

Based on my knowledge, here are the diatonic seventh chords in A minor: In natural minor: Am7, Bm7♭5, Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7, G7 In harmonic minor: Am(maj7), Bm7♭5, Caug(maj7), Dm7, E7, Fmaj7, G♯...
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1answer
138 views

Final cadence appears as Em7 - Am (v7 - i in A minor). Name?

I see an unusual cadence in the end of Debussy's Prelude of Pour le Piano. It is v7 - i in A minor. Is there an actual name for this? (Chord Progression: Fmaj7 - Abaug7 - Gaug7 - C9 - Em7 - Am)
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6answers
869 views

How do I approach music theory practically?

I am an amateur bass guitar player. At some point I decided to do something about my lack of theory knowledge. Now I know a few basic scales and can read sheet music in simple keys (from zero to one ...
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1answer
617 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 ...
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4answers
163 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 ...
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0answers
166 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) -...
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6answers
2k 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 ...
5
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3answers
419 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 ...
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1answer
142 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?
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6answers
959 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
825 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 ...
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2answers
257 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 "...
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5answers
1k 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 ...
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7answers
536 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 ...
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4answers
355 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.
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2answers
313 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
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5answers
147 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♭ ...
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1answer
86 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 /...
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2answers
69 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......
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3answers
394 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 ...
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4answers
63k 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?
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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. ...