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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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2answers
256 views

Can the i, iv, and v chords harmonize any minor scale melody?

I asked a similar question yesterday in regards to the major scale: Can the I IV V chords hamonize any major scale melody? And the general consensus was: YES they can. Now I'd like to ask the same ...
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2answers
666 views

Chords in a pentatonic scale

Alright so I'm very new to music, I got all I know from various internet sources that I think reliable, but of course correct me if i'm wrong in any of the following. I'd like to understand how to ...
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5answers
2k views

Can the I IV V chords harmonize any major scale melody?

Are the primary chords of the major scale (I IV V) enough to make any major scale melody sound good? These chords together seem to encompass all 7 notes of the key. I ask this because as I'm learning ...
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1answer
421 views

Why is the Mirror on a midpoint, rather than the root note, in Negative Harmony theory?

I'm curious about why Negative Harmony music theory relies on finding the midpoint between the Tonic and Dominant Degrees in a scale, and flipping the scale around that point, instead of simply ...
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3answers
155 views

Why is the 7th of e.g. GMAJ7 an octave darker than scale degree 3 and 5?

The chord shape for Major 7 is this(photo only meant to show the shape) Why is the 7th[F#] the second darkest pitch, and not played on the 2nd fret of the 1st string, where it actually would be in a ...
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2answers
640 views

What chord would this most logically be thought as?

(from http://www.sheetmusic1.com/winston/Road.pdf) I have figured that the first chord he plays is a Cm11 but what is the chord in the fifth bar? I know it could be a million things such as Em7#5/C ...
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3answers
864 views

Writing a melody that forms second harmonies with a chord progression

When i write a melody over a chord progression, i notice that some of the notes from the melody, form second interval harmonies with the chord notes. Am i allowed, at least as a beginner, to do this ...
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2answers
381 views

What is back cycling?

The term "back cycling" is used when discussing reharmonization in jazz. What does the term mean, and what are examples of its use (preferably real-world examples taken from jazz songs)? Can it be ...
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2answers
2k views

How do I interpret this chord progression chart?

I stumbled across this and I'm pretty sure it came from some harmony book or textbook as they usually do (and if anyone knows which one, please tell). Could anyone give me any insights on how to ...
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3answers
250 views

I want to use a modal interchange chord but I can't find which mode/scale I'm borrowing it from

I want to use the iim7-5. What's the difference between using it from C Natural minor and C harmonic minor?
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1answer
93 views

Tonal hierarchy in non-diatonic music

There are two motivations for this question: I'm trying to distill the essence of what tonality in common-practice music really means, and I'd like as a compositional resource to port some aspects of ...
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2answers
107 views

Help identifying this chord with many accidentals

Can someone help me identify the chord in the second-to-last measure? For reference, the piece is in the key of C# minor.
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2answers
190 views

What causes consonance in music?

I am trying to understand why certain pitches or notes sound pleasant together and others doesn't. So far my understanding is that simpler ratios between the frequencies of the notes means they are ...
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2answers
588 views

What is the difference between harmony and consonance in music?

I am new to music theory and I was wondering what the difference is between harmony and consonance/dissonance. What are the reasons behind these terms and how can you apply it in practice if, for ...
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1answer
160 views

Tri-Tone Substitution theory and practice [duplicate]

Can someone give me a practical explanation of the theory and practice of tri-tone substitution for jazz piano?
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1answer
134 views

Do scale degrees in modes have the same harmonic function they have in the major scale?

For example, is V the dominant in all modes?
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3answers
93 views

Does the key signature change how I notate a diminished seventh chord?

When notating a piano score, and a C diminished seventh chord must be notated, I do not know what conventions to follow. How does the key signature govern the notation? For example, assume the ...
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1answer
98 views

Neo-Riemannian Theory and Tonal Music

I can't tell if transformational theories are supposed to be generalizations of traditional harmonic theory to apply to all tertian harmonies or an alternative that only works in the case of certain ...
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1answer
66 views

Subtle Bristling Motion

In a book about harmony it talks about creating an effect of bristling motion with regard to arpeggiated notes, what is " bristling motion" and how is it related to arpeggiation?
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2answers
163 views

What key would the progression D♭, E6, E♭7, Dmaj7 and Amaj7, E6, F♯add9 be in?

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, ...
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2answers
71 views

When playing doublestops, can they be inverted?

I've worked on a few fingering patterns for double stops in thirds, but always in the first inversion. Then I realized that I might be able to invert. Is there a reason this won't work?
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2answers
435 views

Other name for D minor on C

How would one call a Dm with a C bass? I was wondering as it consists of the 2nd, a suspended 4 and the 6th so should the name be C 2/6 suspended 4?
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1answer
461 views

Mirror chords theory

I was checking a video about this subject and came across a question: when I have a lower chord like C2 G Bb D and as mirror D F# A E what determines that the mirror chord starts in D when the next ...
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9answers
2k views

How can I learn about reasons for choosing different ways to play a chord?

I was playing a song where E7 was written as 022130 as opposed to 020100 which I'm used to playing. It sounds "stronger" and "rounder" to me, similar to playing G as 320033 as opposed to 320003. I ...
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0answers
72 views

Books on composition as insightful as Goeschius [closed]

I've been a magpie for books on composition/orchestration, and it seems to me that the books written by Percy Goeschius are the best, most insightful and well-written that I've come across. Hia ...
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2answers
121 views

Parallel Fifth in a Symphony Orchestral [closed]

when writing for an orchestra can we use parallel fifth (Power Chord)? for example in game of thrones symphony for some part of string or another song for brass section because it is so powerful and ...
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3answers
194 views

How do I know which tensions are available?

Given a diatonic chord in a scale, what are the rules to find out which tensions among 9, 11#, 13, I can use?
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1answer
245 views

I can hear the melody, but I can't hear the chords (Lift Every Voice example)

I have been charting chords to gospel songs lately. I did fine on a few but I came up short on "Lift Every Voice" by James Weldon Johnson, version in the key of G. The intro lick is a good example: I ...
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1answer
190 views

How does Ravel mix modality with chromatisim?

I'm writing a piece and I have begun exploring modality to be able to use it in my music. Actually I've used it before in a very basic way and I like how it sounds but I always end up using all "white ...
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2answers
108 views

Harmony Question

Cmaj7 to Abmaj7 to Gmaj7. The G seems like a resolution, it feels like the tonal center changes to G when you do such movement. The Abmaj7 almost begs for it. What is the explanation? For example G7 ...
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2answers
69 views

Analyzing Hisaishi Joe's “Village in May” & its chord progression

Here is a part of Hisaishi Joe's "Village in May": This song is in the key of C major. See bar 2, section [E], where the chords are Dm C7. After C7, it goes to Gm7, and I don't get this. How could ...
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4answers
890 views

Inverse / reverse Picardy third

I have seen a few answers to this on the web but none seemed very authoritative. A Picardy third is the use of a major tonic chord at the end of a phrase or section in a minor key. Is there a ...
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1answer
121 views

Release and tension in micro-harmony

I've been getting a lot into microtonality/xenharmony recently. However, I've been struggling when composing, since the theory of functional harmony I usually rely on is now deemed useless. I ...
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2answers
230 views

How tell when chords are separate entities and not parts of one prevailing chord?

I have question about Michael Jackson's song - Another Part Of Me. Considering just first two measures (counting from drums) we have Eb in bass and this vamp playing chords composed of (to my ear) Bb-...
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2answers
84 views

Does vibrato’s or tremolo’s count as rhythm?

I noticed that the song "Somebody I Used to Know" used the wobbly guitar in the refrains. I was wondering if they used it for rhythm on the e’s of the beats ? What’...
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2answers
150 views

Is it possible to find the mode of the borrowed chord?

I came across a piece which uses a dorian progression: i - IV - VII - III - ii7 - v - V V is a borrowed chord, but is it possible to determine from which mode this chord was borrowed? (lydian, ...
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2answers
191 views

How do I analyze this altered dominant chord?

In the key of C, what type of cadence and Roman numeral analysis would G B D# to C E G be? It's in John Thompson, "Hop O' My Thumb" measures 3 and 4.
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3answers
420 views

What are the primary (or most common) chords of the minor scale?

I'm trying to figure out what chords appear most often in minor scales, in major scales it's easy: the I IV and V, it's not even a question. You can harmonize almost any major song with just these ...
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2answers
1k views

Are consecutive 3rds allowed in harmony?

In harmony, is it okay if there are consecutive 3rds in ii-V progression in two different bars?
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1answer
120 views

Are there any pre-20th century examples of an augmented 6th chord with a leading tone?

In a discussion about blues music, a friend described the presence of both minor and major thirds in a dominant-seventh tonality as a blues innovation. I wondered if there were examples of dissonant ...
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3answers
145 views

How can I express Dm using only the notes of C major?

I'm a guitarist duo-ing with a 'harp' player whose strings all are notes in the key of C. In other words, the harp player has the notes C D E F G A B available, and no others. The minor triads ...
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1answer
385 views

Roman Numeral Chords with Slash

This chart has a listing for a chord V/1 and I'm having trouble interpreting this chord, specifically the "/1" part. I think the "/1" part might have one of the following meanings... "the base note ...
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1answer
557 views

How do I harmonize a C major scale in fourths and then apply negative/mirror harmony?

I recently tried using quartal harmony and mirror harmony (also known as "negative harmony") together. I was looking for some music theory that would inspire me to do something more unusual than I ...
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2answers
297 views

Is there a 5-7♭-1-4 chord?

I've encountered such a chord in a progression between a vi and IV and I couldn't quite figure out what it was supposed to be. I suppose it could be a v7 with a doubly diminished fifth or a I7 with an ...
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3answers
2k views

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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1answer
155 views

What is the name of the method when you put three major chords in a row?

Today I was trying to learn the song "Kimbra - Deep for you" by ear. First I came up with a melody (E-F-E D-C-D-C, C-D-Eb-D-Bb), but I had struggles finding the right chords, after some time, I ...
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1answer
575 views

Have John Cage's 'Dream' and 'In a Landscape' (1) Harmony, (2) Melody?

Cage ostensibly shunned harmony, but Dream and In a Landscape (both composed in 1948) sound Impressionist and tonal to me, and obviously not aleatoric. So have they 1. Harmony? 2. Melody? I hazard '...
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1answer
155 views

Optimal harmonic audiation techniques

I am trying to learn to audiate harmonies in order to be able to compose without instruments. I can already audiate melodies, but harmony is a real beast. (Edit: To be clear, I can recognize chords, ...
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2answers
365 views

Diatonic harmonic function of chord inversions

I'm trying to make my way through the classical harmony, and I'm making good progress, but since my last composition lesson there's been something which is not entirely clear to me. So my teacher is ...
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3answers
128 views

Approach notes on bass guitar clashing with vocal

When I write bass lines, I find that they sound better with approach notes but I also find that sometimes the approach notes clash with or clutter certain run-in vocal phrases that start with a few ...