Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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3
votes
1answer
146 views

Thomas Tank Engine theme tune chord sequence - why does it work?

I'm trying to gain some understanding of non-diatonic chord sequences and why they work. I've been listening to the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune which I believe is in the key of C Major and the ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How to understand 20th-century pop music as evolution of classical harmony

With sufficient training, a student of harmony may build forwards from Bach through Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc... understanding music of a period in terms of what has gone before. But it's going ...
5
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3answers
284 views

Is this really better analyzed in G minor than in Bb?

So I have been analysing Rondo a Capriccio by Beethoven and I reached a point where a so called "expert's" opinion and mine differ drastically. It starts at bar 57 and continues to bar 68. After the ...
5
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1answer
85 views
+100

In the partimento tradition, what strategies were used to harmonize non-bass melodies?

In my readings on partimento theory (mainly the books by Sanguinetti and IJzerman) I have so far only encountered rules for harmonizing a bass melody. This is to be expected of course, because ...
5
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3answers
91 views

Resolution in Major and Minor Scales

It is my understanding that subdominant chords, IV and ii, contain the fourth scale degree. The fourth scale degree wants to resolve down to the third scale degree. In the scale of C major (C, D, E, F,...
6
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0answers
85 views

Calculate tonal tension of triads

I'm trying to implement and calculate the tonal tension of a triad (and its harmonics) following the definition given here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f05e/56c9548fa18c64efeed248742e3a6afb0c02....
-2
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3answers
172 views

How to measure the tension or resolution of a chord?

Let me begin.. A chord is fundamentally built off the selection of multiple intervals. Those intervals hold a position in a 12TET interval ranking from most consonant to most dissonant. Depending on ...
2
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4answers
275 views

How do I train my musical ear. (Not sure how to phrase this question.)

I'm singing in a church for fun (I've only had a few lessons). I can sing great when i'm singing along to someone else who is on key and sounds great such as listening to like Beyonce or Sam Smith on ...
10
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2answers
1k views

History of “jazz minor/melodic minor” harmony

I'm curious about the development of modern (post-bop-ish) jazz harmony. In Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book, he shows how modes of the melodic minor scale can be used to form and improvise over chords ...
4
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4answers
2k views

Latin jazz: anticipated chord change on last beat

I'm in the process of using a midi sequencer to provide me with simple background (drums, bass line, bare minimum piano harmony) to practice improvising on Spain (Chick Corea). From listening to a ...
4
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0answers
46 views

Neo-Riemannian Theory, The Minor Plagal Cadence, and Chromatic Voice Leading

In my reading, a criticism that I have heard leveled against Neo-Riemannian theory is that it does not explain the smooth chromatic voice-leading possible in the iv - I instance of the plagal ...
4
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3answers
399 views

Guidelines for writing a chord progression

I am trying to understand how does notes relate to each other when writing a chord progression. I understand that when composing on a Major scale chords acquire a function depending on the degree of ...
2
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2answers
70 views

Why are these two versions of the hymn different?

This is "A mighty fortress is our God". Two versions: The one with lyrics is taken from the 1939 Church of Sweden chorale book, the other from a book on how to play the organ. In the first phrase "...
3
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1answer
42 views

Slonimsky's Harmonization of Pattern 10 with Seven Major Chords

What method of harmonization is Slonimsky using to generate the seven chord progression that belongs to pattern 10? My understanding so far is that the pitches that divide the octave C-F#-C into equal ...
6
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2answers
167 views

Exercise from second chapter of Harmony by Walter Piston

Exercise 7, j. : With G sharp as the soprano note, write in four parts a triad in first inversion, with the subdominant of G sharp minor in the bass. It seemed to me that such a chord does not exist. ...
5
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8answers
2k views

Why are subdominants unstable?

In music theory, the subdominant is unstable and need to be resolved to the mediant. Similar resolution happens to the leading note and other notes that are not in the tonic triad. (Of course, I am ...
1
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1answer
94 views

Personal Taste or Something Else (9th and minor 7th chords) [closed]

Probably this is a matter of personal taste, but I thought I might ask to be sure that there isn't a more in-depth explanation out there. To my ear, 9th chords and minor 7th chords are oddly ...
2
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3answers
147 views

Why did they modulate to C? [closed]

It (212) starts and ends in Dm. The second phrase beginns with F-Bdim/D-C. This is a modulation into the key of C...but the melody doesn't sound like it is in the key of C at all. I don't see how the ...
3
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4answers
1k views

Are fretless stringed instruments used mainly for melody?

Just wondering if fretless stringed instruments like a violin or oud, by fretless does it imply that they are used mainly for melody? In contrast to an instrument like a guitar, that has frets, does ...
1
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2answers
148 views

How to end a song on a chord that isn't the I chord?

I've been trying to finish a song with the following chord progression: C G7/D Am F. I know I'm supposed to end it on a C, but it just doesn't sound right. I tried the other chords in the progression ...
5
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4answers
1k views

How do we explain the E major chord in this progression?

This is from A mighty fortress is our God. How do we explain the E major chord in this progression? The tune is in C major. The melody in this part of tune sounds a bit minor rather than major to me.
2
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3answers
39 views

How do you see it (Gm7/Bb?) and what functions would this chord have?

The four last chord in this hymn ( Hela världen fröjdes Herran) is a 6-2-5-1 progression. I have written that we have Dm-Gm/Bb-C-F. This is wrong. I now see it as Gm7/Bb. How do you see it and what ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Functional Purpose of Flattened 7th Chord

I am wondering how to use the "flattened seventh" chord when used in a major key (i.e. B-flat Major chord in key C Major). I believe this would put a piece in the mixolydian mode. For example . . . ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Transposing the melody in negative harmony

All talk of negative harmony, such as What is the correct process for deriving the 'mirror' or 'negative' harmony of a progression? deals with transposing the chords according to the ...
2
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4answers
51 views

Preparation of Chordal 7ths in Classical Harmony

What is the proper practice for preparing chordal sevenths in dominant, diminished and other chords in classical 4-part harmony? In The Complete Musician (4th ed.) by Stephen Laitz, he states on page ...
7
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1answer
125 views

False modulation for doxology in a modal key

I am barely an organist, but occasionally cover for the real organist at my church. The next time I am doing this is three weeks from now, and because I'm a novice, I already have the hymns for that ...
1
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4answers
171 views

Best method to convert MIDI style data to proper sheet with correct note names? [closed]

What are the best general algorithms to determine the correct notes (with sharp/flat) as they appear on a sheet with only input a MIDI-style data that has only the designation of a white or black key ...
2
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3answers
780 views

Symmetry Instead of Tonality

I have read about a different approach to music, the symmetrical approach of analyzing, that was after I listened to a the jazz standard Giant Steps and heard that the technique that is used in the ...
4
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6answers
847 views

How to make a plagal cadence sound convincing as an ending?

I am nearing the end of composing the first movement of my suite. And I plan to end the movement using a plagal cadence. But I know that a plagal cadence can be hard to make sound convincing. I mean ...
2
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1answer
66 views

What is the harmonic function of this?

What is the harmonic function of the boxed beat in the fourth measure?
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5answers
2k views

What is the technical explanation of the note “A♭” in a F7 chord in the key of C?

I am practicing some blues bass lines and there is a chord progression of C7 | F7 | C7. The notes played during the F7 chord are (the bass plays one per beat): F A A♭ D, followed by the notes G ...
4
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4answers
619 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 ...
0
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1answer
77 views

How do I harmonize my bass, melody, drum line, and chord progression all together? [closed]

I'm aspiring to be a pop music producer. When I create a catchy melody, I then attempted to add a bass line that was also catchy. Unfortunately, they didn't sound well together. And I know if I were ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Diminished chord constructed over the tonic degree?

I have heard in certain songs the usage of a diminished chord in a major tonality which I think is not constructed over the seventh degree nor over the second degree. Moreover, in the two examples ...
1
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7answers
231 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: ...
3
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2answers
129 views

I wrote two alternate fugue expositions for one subject does either follow good harmonic conventions?

The fugue subject comes from a placement test example for the Peabody Institute... First exposition... Audio Second exposition... Audio My question are about the interplay of harmony and ...
9
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7answers
2k views

Using chord iii in a chord progression (major key)

I haven't come across music as yet where chord iii is used in a chord progression. I read somewhere that generally chord iii is not used, or very rarely used. Is this correct? If chord iii is used, ...
4
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2answers
49 views

Use of sharps and flats when writing altered notes to chords in key

A quick question about the conventions of writing music. I have a song I am working on where I am going from a G major to a F#-b9. The song is in G major for most of it before going into a middle ...
0
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1answer
234 views

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

I'm wondering if the diminished diatonic chord (iio) in the minor scale functions as it does in the major scale, where it's not used as often as the other six diatonic chords?
1
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1answer
142 views

♭VII-I Cadence, ♭III-I Cadence: Name?

I've gone through a bunch of ♭VII-I and ♭III-I cadences in rock music. In C major, they are B♭-C and E♭-C. Is there a specific name for the two cadences? So far, I've been calling them authentic ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Analysing harmony in music [closed]

I've read books like Theory of Harmony, Tonal Harmony, The Complete Musician, and just started reading structural functions of harmony. But I still find myself confused on those weird out-of-key ...
0
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0answers
60 views

(Conflict) Kostka/Payne Cadence Chart vs. Authentic Cadence in Natural Minor [duplicate]

According to Is this generic cadence chart from Kostka/Payne generally accepted?, However, the authentic cadence in natural minor, which is v-i, does not meet the definition by Kostka/Payne here. ...
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0answers
41 views

Variant Cadences

I've gone through many unusual cadences so far - conclusive cadences that are not V-I, V-i, v-i (rare), viio-I, #viio-i, IV-I, or iv-i, and progressive cadences that are not V, v (rare), V-vi, V-VI, ...
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6answers
194 views

Is a bass line the same as a bass progression?

In alot of songs there's a chord progression. Say we have a 4 chord progression. Each chord can correspond to a note the bass plays. So now the bass is playing a 4 note progression. Is that called a ...
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2answers
162 views

♭II6-I Cadence: Plagal or Authentic?

Chopin's Etude No. 16 in A minor, Op. 25 No. 4, ends with a cadence like this: B♭/D - A In Roman numerals, we write as: ♭II6 - I Is this cadence viewed as Plagal (N6 - I), or Authentic (tt - ...
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2answers
57 views

Where is F7 in Elevation of Love by E.S.T. coming from?

I was looking at their official songbook. The key of the song is C minor. The progression goes Ab∆ (VI) C-7(I) Fsus4 (IV major???) F7 (IV dominant??) Ab∆. The F in C minor is F-7, and F7 is neither ...
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0answers
34 views

Aural mnemonics: can we compile a list? [duplicate]

When I do ear training, I like to use mnemonics, in the form of a short snippet from a well-known song, to help me memorize certain aural patterns. I can share some of the ones I have so far, but I ...
17
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6answers
2k views

Harmony in Phrygian : What chords are tonic, subdominant, and dominant?

Phrygian is a very distinct sounding mode. I've been trying to better understand the harmony of the mode so I can use it more. Obviously the i chord is a tonic chord and iv is a subdominant chord, but ...
4
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3answers
96 views

Is “stock progression” the common way to write about a set chord progression?

Moreover, would "stock progression" refer to a standard chord progression, say, I – VI – IV – V for a doo-wop song, or does it refer to a set form to write the harmony for a tune, adhering to the ...
1
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2answers
242 views

What is a roman numeral analysis of the chords from Coldplay's “God put a smile upon your face”?

I'm trying to apply Roman numeral analysis to some pop songs and am a little stumped on Coldplay's "God put a smile upon your face". The chords, as I understand them, are: Section A: D♭, E6, E♭7, ...