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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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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 ...
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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?
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Chord has every note of the harmonic minor scale. Name? [on hold]

I see an extremely strange type of chord in the first bar of the attachment below. This is the beginning of the fourth movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It has all of the notes of the d-harmonic ...
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6answers
244 views

Why does VII have dominant function in natural minor

I have noticed with my own compositions that I can take something like Bb 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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1answer
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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)?
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2answers
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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?
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1answer
156 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
59 views

Is this double stop playable on violin?

I am thinking of ending my trio piece with the violin playing a double stop. I am wondering however, if the double stop I am thinking of using is playable. Here, I will just show the harmony as I am ...
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1answer
190 views

Is there a set of closely related keys in modern popular music? [closed]

In my knowledge, the closely related keys in classical music are: Is there a set of closely related keys in modern popular music? If yes, then what will it be?
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2answers
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Ways to synchronize voice with beat? [on hold]

For example, on the song Drip or Drown by Gunna, I noticed that every last word on of the intro ("I got woodgrain on my Damier Buckle, Cool quarter mill in my Goyard duffle, ...") aligns with the clap ...
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1answer
57 views

Is there a correlation between presence of harmonics and dissonance?

If one were to take a chord or scale or other harmonic structure, and amplify the volume of the overtones of each note relative to the fundamental, would the structure be perceived by audiences as ...
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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: (A comment on this answer) Parallel keys are three sharps / flats away from the tonic, and therefore, they are not closely related. Regardless, they are ...
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2answers
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Why does this modulation sequence work?

Here is the modulation sequence I have been using in my trio with 3 incomplete entries followed by 1 complete entry(I am currently at the third incomplete entry which ends on A before Dm suddenly ...
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8answers
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Understanding minor key harmony

A comment discussion under this question from me, clued me in to the fact that I don't really understand how minor keys work very well. So here is what I think I know The natural minor comes from the ...
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1answer
51 views

How do we go on about harmonizing plainchant on keyboards? [on hold]

We start on sol and use sol-la-si/ti. We have two finalis: sancti ends on sol but amen ends on la. The recitation is la. Hypophrygian, I think, has recitation tone la with mi as finalis. But I cannot ...
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3answers
548 views

What chords count as “diatonic” in minor?

Do triads from all forms of minor count as "diatonic triads"? Triads from A Aeolian / Nat Minor am b˚ C dm em F G Triads from A Harmonic Minor am b˚ C+ dm E F g#˚ Triads from A Melodic Minor am ...
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8answers
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Is F Lydian mode in the “key” of C Major?

In most cases (if not all), a piece of music without sharps or flats in the key signature, would be considered in the key of C major or A minor. This question assumes the context of Western Music ...
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1answer
64 views

What is the standard definition of a distant key?

In my knowledge, a distant key is any key that is not enharmonic, parallel, relative, or closely related to the original key. However, some people claim that distant keys are simply keys that are not ...
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0answers
54 views

How to fill the harmonic gap?

So I have thought of almost the entire progression for my trio that goes from D minor to D major. Here is what I have of it so far: D minor -> C major -> B minor -> ??? -> A major -> D major And ...
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3answers
179 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 ...
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2answers
176 views

Is it true that Bach had no concept of suspended chord?

In an answer to a question in SE I read the sentence with the pretension above. Chord in the Bach d-minor prelude I think this can be easily be counter-proofed by many examples of Bach’s music and ...
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7answers
467 views

Harmonising cadences given the bass line. When and when not to use inversions?

I've been completing practice exams online for Grade 5 theory and I'm struggling with some of the cadence questions. I feel that, without the use of inversions, you reach a dead end. The questions ...
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6answers
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Why is this not a modulation?

Bars three and four look to me like a modulation to the subdominant with an imperfect cadence in Eb (especially with the Ab auxiliary note in bar three). The answers, however, mark bars three and four ...
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4answers
384 views

What key is a piece in if an augmented chord is used as a dominant?

I personally think that augmented chords can be just as consonant as major if used in a certain way. For example, in the first octave of a piano, if I play an augmented chord, yes it will want to ...
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3answers
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Is there a chord containing an augmented and diminished fifth?

What chord is this? There’s a chord progression often used at the beginning of a new phrase (chorus or interlude) leading from I6 to the ii: In C-major this would be: Starting: E-G-(C) ...
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3answers
330 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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3answers
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Analyzing Tschaikowsky's “Wintermorgen 2”

At measure 2 from the [B] section. (starting at 00:18 ) I don't know what chord it is. The notes are B,D,G, E#. Is this G7 ? The same chord also appears on the 4th measure with a different ...
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4answers
71 views

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

If we're at a C key. Ab7 would be the "augmented-six" chord but doesn't and type 7 chords have the same interval as the bVI7 ? Why does bVI7 only has a particular name called "augmented six" ? Is ...
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1answer
517 views

use of 4/2 chord more compelling than root position?

I came across the following chord progression, which I really like: The iii4/2 chord adds a lot to the progression in comparison to the following: I'm sure you could wrap your head around these ...
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1answer
57 views

Is this a V+ or III+6?

I see a weird chord between the iiø6/5 and the i. Is it a pun of V+ or an III+6?
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0answers
135 views

How to practice all chords in a certain key and have it sound musical? [closed]

I'm trying to learn all chords in a given major key. I've been arpeggiating the chords in linear order (I,ii,iii,IV,V,vi,viio) but it's sounds a bit bland so I'm looking to try different ways to make ...
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5answers
551 views

In harmony: key or the flow?

I play ambient music and my approach on creating chord lines is simple, just try to stick on the key and if I want to change the key then make it subtle. But today I tried to create harmony lines ...
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7answers
654 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 ...
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1answer
101 views

What technique was being used in composing this background music for a film?

At around six minutes and 40 seconds of this Youtube video, this gentleman talks about using minor and major thirds and how it was supposed to mimic the sound of a ...
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4answers
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Why do we only build 7th chords on the supertonic and dominant of a major scale?

I am just cracking into a book on basic Harmony (Mark Sarnecki, 2nd edition), and the first section begins with a review of the triads built on each degree of a C major scale, as shown in this picture....
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7answers
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How do you voice extended chords?

If I have a Cmaj13 chord, it uses 7 notes. Basically all the notes of the scale. In a previous question, I was told that you rarely play all 7 notes for a 13th chord. So how do you know which ones to ...
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1answer
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Polyphony vs Monophony

I am taking a basic music class as an elective and was given a chart to compare monophony and polyphony. The elements within the chart are: Melody, Accompaniment, Harmony, Rhythm of Words, Dynamics ...
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2answers
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Analyzing Tchaikovsky's “ Morgengebet ” Pt 2

At the 4th measure from the picture, Starting of the [B] section, there is a question mark. the notes are G, Eb, C, and F# . What is this chord? It also appears in the 3rd measure of the [B] section....
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
62 views

Relationship between extended diatonic chords and modes?

If we have C major, the diatonic chords are: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim, C If we turn each of these chords to diatonic 13th chord versions of themselves: Cmaj13, Dmin13, Emin13, Fmaj13, G13, Amin13, ...
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0answers
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Chord progression conveniency depending on the harmonic rhythm

this is my first post on this site; I apologize in advance if it is out of scope! I am reusing a harmonic progression I wrote a few years ago, in a different context than the original. Here there is ...
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1answer
92 views

Alternative theories of harmony

Do you know of any alternative (to functional) descriptive theories of harmony or attempts at creating them? By that I mean attempts to explain both functional and non-functional harmonies in a ...
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5answers
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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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2answers
386 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 ...
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0answers
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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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3answers
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What chord does the following figured bass represent in this progression?

I am working through a figured bass exercise in the "Ninth, Eleventh and Thirteenth Chords" chapter of Piston's Harmony. The first bar of the figured bass is given as: What is the chord represented ...
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6answers
148 views

How to build chords from a single note? [closed]

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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4answers
31k views

What are some chord substitutions for a I-IV-V blues progression?

I was watching a video of SRV and one of the things that really stood out was the fact that he seemed to have a different iteration of the I-IV-V turnaround - and made it look/sound effortless. Any ...
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5answers
416 views

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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4answers
55k 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?