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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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Question about the musical technicalities of some songs of the band Colour Haze

I'm a layman about music theory, I barely know how to read a sheet properly. Despite of it, I know that most of the songs always have lots of technical constructions concerning the song itself, even ...
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1answer
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Why do B and C resonate sympathetically?

While experimenting with piano acoustics I came across this weird phenomenon. Having an open B string and then hitting the C above will cause the B to resonate! This also works with open C and playing ...
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2answers
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Am I right in that it is a diminished triad without the third?

So I have come across a difficulty in my harmonic analysis having to do with the tritone being by itself. Obviously, this gets across a dissonance that has to resolve but just from the tritone, it isn'...
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Classical harmony [on hold]

Our harmony professor gave us this for homework and since I skipped a few classes because it seemed super easy, now I can't figure which are the chord functions (all chords are either 1, 4 or 5) and I ...
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1answer
56 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
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Is a chromatic mediant considered a modulation?

Say I go from a C major chord to an E major chord. I understand that this is a chromatic mediant. Does this change my key from C to E though? said differently, does non-functional harmony change ...
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3answers
201 views

What makes a chord have predominant function?

I saw someone make the vague claim that in Debussy you can often identify passages with predominant function, even if they don't represent chords that are typically considered predominant chords. I ...
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627 views

Why does the chord progression (i-)#IV-i sound acceptable?

The (i-)#IV-i chord progression is somewhat common in heavy metal from my experience--listen to 0:19-0:25 of this, 1:09-1:12 of this, 0:08-0:13 of this, and 0:16-0:24 of this for heavy metal examples ...
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1answer
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Why do some phrygian dominant pieces end on the iv chord?

I was looking at Itzhak Perlman playing Shalom Aleichem It starts (0:14) in E Phrygian Dominant with the i chord, but ends (4:16) in A minor, the iv chord. I've seen the same thing happen with Hava ...
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3answers
589 views

Is it wrong to have two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave?

I had a teacher once tell me that although not forbidden, it is not advisable to have the same two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave (specifically referring to a four-part chorale ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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Melodic lines are diatonic, harmony doesn't seem to be

Okay so this is something that I came across as I was writing my canons and analyzing the harmony to try to figure out which canon is best for my symphony. There is a section in one of my canons where ...
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6answers
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Is a secondary dominant always a seventh chord?

I noticed that secondary dominants are usually dominant seventh chords. Can you just make a secondary dominant a triad, or is it "required" to make it a seventh chord? (also I think this chord is ...
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2answers
73 views

Do we hear bass/baritone solo melody lines as being implicitly “on top of” the accompaniment, for harmonic purposes

I admit that the title of the question sounds a little strange, but I wanted to posit a more general question based on a specific song I was looked at. I was looking at this arrangement of Chega de ...
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2answers
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Are all modes relative to Ionian (major) in Roman numeral analysis?

I saw in this Wikipedia article that there are a lot of flats and sharps in the modal natural chords. And I was wondering if it's because they all refer to Ionian. So in Aeolian the "bIII" chord is ...
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2answers
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How to realize the figured bass of the second movement of BWV 1014?

I am planning a performance of the second movement of Bach's violin sonata BWV 1014 in B Minor. The beginning of second mvt, Allegro is shown below. As you can see there are some figured bass below ...
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4answers
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How to analyze a chord from Beethoven sonata no 8 (Pathetique)

Looking at a chord towards the end of the development in measure 169, beat 2, spelled C♯-E-A♭ over the G pedal. How would you analyze this in the context of the harmonic progression at ...
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6answers
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What chord does C, E, G♭ , and B♭ make?

You can use whatever note, but we can use C. Unfortunately, I don't know what the root position would be in this case, so I will lay them out as positions. I used intervals, too. Position 1: Root, ...
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1answer
59 views

chord voicing to improve overall sound

I have the following phrase: I like the progression and the tension that builds during the VII and V7. I also like the melody in the top staff, but I am happy to change it if necessary. Here's the ...
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1answer
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Identifying chords with multiple extensions

I understand that this may be basic. I have a chorus progression (C major) I am working on, and it originally started as basically the following: I-VII-V-vi-V I wanted to experiment a little by ...
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2answers
78 views

Audiation: dealing with key changes when you hear in terms of solfege

So, I'm a musician who believes very much in the value of audiation: that is, not only hearing pitches in my head, but also hearing them in terms of both the current harmony and the current tonal ...
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6answers
492 views

How do I manage internalizing foundation for chords, scales, hamonies and voicing

My teacher told me when I'm learning a piece I have to understand the underlying harmony, only then I would be able to learn and play it easily, he also told me to never learn the notes itself (...
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3answers
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How to make C lydian not sound like G ionian?

What are some concrete melodic and harmonic tools to establish the correct tonic center in a lydian melody? The reason for asking about lydian specifically is that there is no minor seventh for the ...
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1answer
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Are seventh and extended chords used to create dream-like and fantasy music? [closed]

There's an arpeggio that I've heard in different songs and it usually signifies some kind of transition into a "dream world". Here's an example of it, which happens for the first few seconds of Great ...
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5answers
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Do the notes in a scale have to be played in order?

Beginner here, it seems like a scale just defines a particular set of notes that don't have to be played in any order to me. But if you look at A minor pentatonic scale you have A, C, D, E, G, yet ...
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1answer
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Parallel chord substitutions

Are parallel chord substitutions common in (classical) music (if so, please share some examples)? And do they have the same function as the original chords? By saying parallel chords I am referring ...
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3answers
6k views

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?
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12answers
12k views

Why do many songs in major keys use a bVII chord?

Based on my understanding of chord theory, the chords used in most modern popular songs are comprised of notes that occur in the scale of the tonic key for that song. So the I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, ...
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3answers
64 views

Best sequence to learn about harmony, melody and rhythm? [closed]

I have basic knowledge about these but I want to learn in depth. So what could be the sequence to learn. Also tell where Form, and other elements will come.
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2answers
86 views

What are weak and strong chords?

I'm reading Jazz Theory by Stuart Smith. In the chapter on functional harmony the author introduces the notion of strong and weak chords: I, II, and IV are generally treated as strong chords. V, VI,...
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3answers
672 views

How many octaves exist?

How many octaves exist the the human range of hearing? Will the same note through all the octaves harmonize? What is the maximum distinct notes that can be played in a chord?
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Is the diminished chord of the minor scale not used as much as the others?

I'm wondering if the diminished diatonic chord (ii-dim) in the minor scale functions like the major scale, where it's not used as often as the other six diatonic chords?
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3answers
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Understanding diatonic chords

Last week in my AP music theory class my teacher set up an exercise before class and asked is to write the following diatonic chords without a key signature G maj triads, Fmin triads, Bb major 7th ...
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1answer
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Should the dominant seventh sonority on the subdominant degree in minor get special attention?

In minor - with the raised ^6 and ^7 degrees - we can get a progression like... F7 G7 | Cm IV65 V65 | i or maybe this... F7 G7 | Cm IV7 V42 | i6 or... F7 bo | Cm IV7 viio | i My view ...
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1answer
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Should sensible analysis show secondary functions fulfilling the supposed function?

This question started for me with an analysis using IV/IV. It was analysis in Kostka/Payne for Mozart's K545, mv II, mm. 69-71... G: I | IV6/IV V6/IV | IV Instead of... G: I |C: ...
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4answers
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Are the 1,4,5 the primary chords in all modes?

I know in both major (Ionian) and minor (Aeolian) the 1 4 5 chords are the primary chords. as they seem to come up more often than other chords. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_triad In Aeolian ...
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1answer
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Are there musical terms like linguistic terms n-gram or uni-gram and bi-gram?

I don't know if there is anything else to add to my question except the context is harmony... V7-I or Gr+6-V etc. would be a bi-grams. I-(IV6)-I could be considered a unigram. I'm not sure if ...
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2answers
354 views

Help with multiple voice harmonization

I recently started composing using software, before that I only used guitar and memory, so this opened up lots of new possibilities with voices, intervals, ranges, etc. I started composing a chorale ...
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3answers
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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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4answers
961 views

I, (II), III major chord progression?

In Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers, the introduction alternates between D and F# chords, with an E in between as a passing chord in some cases. There is also a g# passing note played over ...
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4answers
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How to harmonize a melody for 4 voices

Recently I've started encountering a multitude of questions that ask for me to harmonize a melody. I've never really seen a question like that before, so I've been a bit lost as to where to start. I ...
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3answers
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Abstracting chords for a C++ class [closed]

I am trying to abstract the building blocks for a Musical Chord for a Music Composition Code Library, I am trying to fit this in a way that complex chords can be created and properly named. This is ...
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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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3answers
123 views

Why are in music theory perfect fifth parallels forbidden?

Why are parallel fifths forbidden? Why should the only known (for hundreds of years!) polyphonie suddenly be not ok???
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2answers
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Does this chord function as a 13 chord?

In Debussy's La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin, there is this passage: (Debussy: Préludes Livre I, No. 8, bar 24) The piece is in Gb major. This first chord is probably a I chord. But since it has that ...
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3answers
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Six-Four chord: inversion of tonic or dominant with non-chord tone? [duplicate]

Is the triad G-C-E an inversion of C major or a dominant with a non-chord tone?
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4answers
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Key and possible missing “tonic chord”

I just figured out in this tune the chords F major and e minor fit, and they are repeated all over. Surely its a simple and repetitive piece, but what I am wondering is, the only key where both chords ...
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3answers
2k views

Can I turn any synthesized instrument into a bass by lowering the frequency?

In terms of electronic music, when I'm picking a "bass" can I choose any instrument, including leads, and just set that instrument to be of lower frequency (lowering the octave) in order to create a ...
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5answers
816 views

Incorrectly labeled chord. Is this a dominant seventh?

I am trying to analyse this but am confused by the chord marked Am7. Am7 shouldn't have a D in it and doesn't make much sense in the context. Could it possibly be a D7 with the G being a suspension of ...