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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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1answer
96 views

what does “strict part writing(strenger satz)” means?

Suspensions, passing-notes and changing-notes greatly enhance the melodiousness of the voices; the simplest chord--succession can, by means of these three attributes of voice-leading, be exalted to a ...
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1answer
48 views

How is this bar an example of the rule given in Tonal Counterpoint text?

The rule given in Green and Jones' The Principles and Practice of Tonal Counterpoint is: The seventh may move into another voice before resolving, but when the harmony changes it will almost ...
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1answer
245 views

What scale degrees form the most-used chords in a minor tonality?

We know that for songs written in a major tonality, the I, IV, V chords are the most used. The II chord is used often, the III and VI chords a slightly less often, and you almost never see the VII ...
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7answers
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“The intervals considered dissonant have changed since the 'Middle Ages'”; How so?

In reading my new book 'Complete Classical Music Guide', I understand the following: If two notes are separated by a consonant the sound is pleasing to the ears. If they are of a dissonant ...
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2answers
261 views

Tritone substitution chord as an altered dominant ninth chord

I have learned that the dominant seventh chord can be written with a flatted fifth, for example G-B-Db-F in C major. Recently, I heard the term tritone substitution and I looked it up on Wikipedia and ...
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1answer
186 views

Looking for Jazz recordings to practice transcribing bass lines [closed]

I don't play bass but I've read before that it's a very good excercise to transcribe walking bass lines from jazz recordings while figuring out the changes. The problem with doing this, I find, is ...
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4answers
130 views

Does the dominant chord change its function if you add 11th interval?

If I play a dominant B7 chord on the guitar in open position notes B D# A B F# and release the F# at the top to give me a E note as well, does the chord stay a dominant B7 or does it change? My ...
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5answers
1k views

Can I use the German sixth chord to modulate to another key?

Can I use the German sixth chord to modulate up a half step? For example, the Ger6/5 chord in C major is: Ab-C-Eb-F#, which is enharmonically equivalent to G#-B#-D#-F#, i.e. the dominant chord of C# ...
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4answers
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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3answers
202 views

harmony - singing F note on D major chord

I am writing a piece of music where the song is in d melodic minor and there is a place where I play a D Major chord on bass F# (D/F#) and I sing for a brief moment an F note and guitar also play f ...
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4answers
287 views

Descending Minor7♭5 Introduction/Motif Questions

Some jazz arrangements that I've heard use a motif(?) where a series of descending minor chords are played, starting on the #iv of the major scale. For example, in the key of D, the progression is as ...
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2answers
431 views

“Romantic Harmony” example; Why does it work?

I was reading some of Ted Greene's work and came across this PDF http://www.tedgreene.com/images/lessons/chords/RomanticHarmony.pdf In it, he goes from a vi6 chord (this 6 doesn't mean first ...
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1answer
197 views

Need Help with Trumpet Lesson and Piano Chords

Not sure how to explain my problem so please bear with me. I'm studying IIm7-V7 Etude from a Trumpet book called "Amazing Phrasing". It's called Idea #11 if anyone happens to have the book. It's a ...
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4answers
307 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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1answer
160 views

Harmonization of bebop scale

When you harmonize a bebop scale, you get a succession of X6 and X° chords with tight voicings, which can be thought of as tiny I and V chord progressions. I've read that musicians with polyphonic ...
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1answer
217 views

Explaining the harmony of Wagner's Wanderer motif

Recently I listened to the Wanderer leitmotif from Wagner's Ring cycle. I was both impressed and perplexed by the motif's harmony. The picture below tries to explain the possible modulations that this ...
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4answers
408 views

#V or bVI borrowed chord?

I'm trying to analyze a pop punk song that sounds pretty interesting. The song starts on an E chord, with a very major sounding riff that, to my ear, immediately puts the song in the key of E major. ...
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1answer
82 views

Playing E Aeolian over B Aeolian progression?

I have this simple Bm G F#m Bm / Bm G F#7 Bm chord progression. AFAIK, that means I'm in B Aeolian (in the key of D major) - plus that F#7 dominant chord that would put me briefly in B harmonic minor? ...
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2answers
111 views

Looking for some harmonic justification of chord progression: F G Bbm --> F?

I have found this pretty melancholic cadence ( F-G-Bbm--> F) in many songs. For example in the beautiful Alan Parsons's "Since the last Goodbye", (in the form Db-Eb-Gbm--> Db). In this song the ...
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2answers
156 views

Why do certain vocal melodies work in context when those same melodies would sound dissonant on instruments?

I've been transcribing more vocal lines lately in songs I like, to go along with the usual instrument transcription I do, and I've noticed something interesting - a lot of my favorite vocal parts ...
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2answers
318 views

What determines if counterpoint is good or bad?

I am currently reading through the Complete Musician and the current subject is second species counterpoint. I've written about 5 or 6 counterpoints so far in first and second species. That said ...
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1answer
114 views

Is it a chord? Same note different pitches [duplicate]

Is playing the keyboard notes on different pitches example c5,c6,c7, simultaneously from the white keys. a chord? Pardon for my English
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2answers
318 views

Is this a hidden consecutive fifth?

I am working through some beginner counterpoint exercises, and I wrote this harmony above part of a cantus firmus: . By my understanding this should be a 3rd to a 5th, which should be acceptable, ...
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2answers
314 views

Can one build a harmonies over mixolydian, as we build harmonies over major and minor?

I was wondering recently, whether mixolydian, lacking the lead tone but otherwise being very similar to major (ionic), was a scale we could use for writing whole songs in. In Jazz theory, the basic ...
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0answers
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Theory and Compositional Analysis

I know this is going to sound so lame, but I need your help!! I am taking a music course as an elective for school and I am so not a musically inclined person!!! I do the work, I got to class, but I ...
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3answers
267 views

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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4answers
149 views

Name for major/minor ambiguity in cadence

Is there a name for a cadence which ends on I or i, but with the third intentionally omitted, so as to leave the final chord ambiguous between major and minor? Or a general term for using the tonic ...
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2answers
346 views

Harmony - four part vocal style and pianoforte style

I've been preparing for my Grade 5 AMEB (the Australian music board) music theory test and the harmony section really stumps me. I understand how it works, but not really all the rules. I'd just like ...
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5answers
158 views

How can I harmonize this V-I cadence? It causes parallel octaves between bass and soprano

How can I harmonize this cadence? V-I? It causes parallel octaves between bass and soprano
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3answers
1k views

What distinguishes the melody from the harmony? [duplicate]

What is it about the melody of a song that makes it unique from the harmony? To illustrate, if I hear a men's quartet sing a song I've never heard before in four part harmony where the melody is not ...
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2answers
415 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 ...
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5answers
238 views

What is the theory behind these minor chords becoming major?

Please tell what the theory is behind A minor chord becoming a major in a major scale, like now I am playing a Bollywood song called Senorita which is in the key of A major, but in the song there are ...
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1answer
218 views

When 2 parts are on the same line, how do I know who plays which part?

I have some flute sheet music that has 2 flutes on the same staff. How to I know which flute plays which part, and furthermore, there are 1s and 2s placed above certain notes in strange places. Do ...
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1answer
147 views

Can Camelot Wheel help in modulation?

I almost casually found out about the Camelot Wheel: It is about mixing, but can't the same rules be applied to find nearby keys to modulate to? Of course it would not tell all of the information, ...
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2answers
234 views

How do I go about naming/understanding the second chord in corcovado

I'm in the habit of writing lead sheets down for songs I learn, and the second chord of this stumped me. The notes are, starting at the bottom, G#, F, B E. The context is | Am6 | % | ...
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4answers
375 views

Locrian mode and power chords

I'm studying in an online game music course, and I'm experimenting Modes to add unusual sound to the music. I'm a complete newbie in music. So let's have the Locrian mode, the root chord is a dimished ...
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3answers
397 views

Melody vs harmony and context

When a song is playing, what the bass is doing is called harmony. But what if you mute all the other tracks: would the bass alone be called a melody?
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1k views

Dm6 Chord, why is it B and not Bb?

I'm a folkie guitar player, I have only a very basic knowledge of music theory. As I understand it a Dm scale would contain D E F G A Bb C And indeed I play songs us Dm, F, Bb and C chords and ...
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2answers
128 views

“Bad” voiceleading in Czerny Op.599

There seems to be a parallel octave between measure 3 and 4. (Marked with red) The seventh of the dominant seventh chord in measure 3 seems to have a "wrong" resolution. It is supposed to resolve ...
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1answer
310 views

What did John Cage mean by 'harmony' in his explanation to Arnold Schönberg?

Source: John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings, p. 261 Bottom Left: Five years later, when Schoenberg asked me whether I would devote my life to music, I said, "Of course." After I had ...
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3answers
2k views

Unusual chord progression

I'm beginning my harmony studies, and I'm using some pop music to practice. I started to analyse a tune from Spice Girls: "Say You'll Be There". Its tone is D major, so the verses feature this chord ...
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2answers
570 views

What are some good classical pieces to start learning analysis for the beginner?

I'm in Piano grade 7 Royal Conservatory of Music and I'm finding Analysis to be quite challenging. I have no problem reading the music but if I really want to be able to learn a piece well I have to ...
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3answers
225 views

Transcribing piano from recording when available recordings are poor

I do a fairly large amount of transcribing of various jazz material. Usually, I do transcriptions of solos with only vague concern for what the accompaniment is doing (since usually the harmony is a ...
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5answers
561 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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3answers
198 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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7answers
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Does a chord just sound like its root note? [closed]

I think I'm onto something big here... A chord sounds just like its root note. the 3rd and the 5th are inconsequential. They just add harmony to the root note. I have an app I use on my phone called ...
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3answers
796 views

Possible to learn harmony by ear?

I was wondering if there's any people that approach harmony by ear. I've noticed the majority of instructors teach harmonizing by knowing: 1. the scale pattern. 2. figuring the diatonic chords from ...
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2answers
260 views

How to get rid of voice crossing in Harmony?

I am currently working on Harmony 9 in the new Royal Conservatory of Music Celebrate Theory curriculum, and I keep getting overlaps for SATB voicing (voice crossing) when I try to harmonize a melody. ...
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1answer
84 views

Is it a good idea to create fomulas for chords and secondary dominants?

For example say I'm analyzing the piece and I'm using C major as a reference and I realize that the composer plays a dominant chord 3rd inversion Can I think of the dominant is 5-7-2-4 as well as ...
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2answers
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What are some sources I could use to get to a decent level to be able to analyze advanced classical pieces?

I love Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, Chopin and I just want to be able to understand even more by analyzing them. Does anyone know of a good source for me to study to be able to get to a level where I ...