Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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3answers
62 views

Do major seventh chord usually put the major seventh above the root?

It's been noted on this forum that dominant ninth chords normally have the ninth above the root. Is that same true for the major seventh of a major seventh chord? I've tried playing lots of ...
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5answers
142 views

Are rootless jazz chords truly rootless?

Comments about roots never being omitted in another question How to distinguish between a minor triad and a maj7 chord with same notes but without the root prompted this one. This question Why ...
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Can a maj7sus4 chord be used like a dominant 7 chord?

I've read that dominant 7 chord drives toward some kind of resolution because the tritone between the 3rd and b7th that creates some form of tension that craves to be resolved one of these two ways : ...
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2answers
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Is there a way to recognize the canonic (or generally imitative) potential in a given harmonic progression?

Suppose given a bass melody with either thoroughbass figuring or Roman numeral analysis. Is there a way to quasi-instantly recognize whether this bass melody admits of a canonic (or more generally, ...
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These two phrases use exactly the same notes, but one sounds major, the other minor. Why is that?

I've been playing around with arpeggios, adding an approach note for each degree of the arpeggio. In the first two-bar phrase below, I approach each note of the C Major arpeggio from the note one ...
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639 views

How does the tonic establish itself in a melody?

Whenever I hear an explanation about what the tonic or root note is, it’s about how it creates some kind of gravitational pull in the music. How does it do that exactly? How does our brain piece ...
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2answers
219 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 ...
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2answers
691 views

Why is the hexatonic scale that can be derived via a chain of perfect fifths so little-known?

When learning about European classical music, it's heptatonic scales. The pentatonic scale is also very well known and widely used in folk music in different parts of the world. However, before I ...
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4answers
370 views

Why do major and minor triads sound different both harmonically and melodically?

Sorry if the wording is odd, but basically my question is, why do the major and minor triads have two distinct sounds, if they share all of the same intervals? Not only when they’re stacked ...
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1answer
46 views

In 4-part harmony, Vii's 5th note (V7's 7th note) should also resolve down?

In 4-part harmony, isn't the Ⅴ7's 7th note supposed to resolve by going a step down? If so, because the ⅶ is the substitute of the Ⅴ, shouldn't the ⅶ's 5th note (Ⅴ7's 7th note) also resolve down? ex: ...
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120 views

Chord progressions

Any tips or strategies that you guys would like to share on how you determine the chord progression in a song or a musical composition ? Though I understand chord progressions and the musical theory ...
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Why weren't Ionian / Aeolian / Locrian modes considered Gregorian modes?

It is said that the Ionian (major), Aeolian (natural minor), and Locrian modes weren't really three of the ancient church (Gregorian) modes. What is the reason?
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Applied Chords notation

I have a chord in the key of F minor. The notes from the bass are A natural , C , F , E flat. From textbook: " Identify the following applied chord . Symbolize the chord using functional and root ...
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1answer
61 views

Chord progression for 1st 4 bars of Bach Prelude from Cello Suite No 1 Cello in G

The harmonic reduction of the first four bars of the Prelude goes like this: B | C | C | B D | E | F#| G G | G | G | G When I hear this and also based on my understanding of tonal harmony, I'd analyse ...
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How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
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1answer
149 views

Dreamy musical phenomenon

It happens mainly when I am relaxed, about to sleep or near to wake up, but it also happens other times but less often, generally on quiet environments, then I start to listen a music on my head, most ...
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4answers
158 views

Why does A minor scale sound the “best” over Dm and C chord progression?

I created a little loop with the following two intervals: D A and C G Listen here: https://tinyurl.com/ybsukagd In looking at what scale to use to solo over that simple progression, I thought D ...
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5answers
180 views

Does VI-VII prepare i in D natural minor?

Why can we say that VI-VII prepares i in D natural minor ? VI is the chord B♭-D-F and VII the chord C-E-G. I am struggling to answer this question...
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2answers
729 views

Is a lydian II - V - I progression common?

I recently learned that there's a harmonic reason why some scales exist. If you have a minor scale but want to have a dominant V chord, sharpen the 7th degree and as a byproduct you get the harmonic ...
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3answers
282 views

Why do I hear a major key lament bass in Bach's Chaconne in D minor?

I noticed as I listen to Bach's Chaconne in D minor, that not only do I hear a lament bass when Bach is in D minor but also when he is in D major. But why? It isn't like the lament bass is normally ...
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3answers
202 views

Diminished seventh spelling but functioning as an Augmented Sixth?

I know that there are many ways to resolve a diminished seventh chord, but only a few ways to resolve an augmented sixth chord. I have done modulations from the minor tonic to the major subtonic using ...
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4answers
85 views

IVm6 or IVm7? (in major)

(Note: using the key of C major as generic instead of roman numerals.) Yesterday I was reading the book "Hearin' the Changes" (by Coker, Knapp and Vincent), which discusses Fm7-B♭7-C as an ...
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iii and V share the same function in D major?

Consider the scale degree D major. Can I say that the iii (F#-A-C#) and the V (A-C#-E) share the same function because F# and A are distant by a minor third ?
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flattened-seventh chord function [duplicate]

I this post, I received some information on the usage of a flattened-seventh chord in progressions, which, along with the flattened-third, seem to be popular choices in the rock world to add flavor. ...
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2answers
269 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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1answer
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Question from Piston Harmony 5th Ed. Chapter 2

I'm confused by the following exercise in the 5th ed. of Piston's Harmony, page 21. "Exercise 7 j: With G# as the soprano note, write in four parts a triad in first inversion, with the subdominant in ...
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1answer
52 views

Is there a particular reason why the progression I - II4/2 - V6/5 - I was such a popular opening progression for Baroque keyboard preludes?

I'm currently reading John Mortensen's wonderful book on keyboard improvisation. (See this link here.) In the chapter on figuration preludes he states that the progression I - II4/2 - V6/5 - I was a ...
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6answers
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Melody using a different scale than the bassline - what is it called?

Since I only know some very rudimentary terms in music theory, I don't know what it's called when one does the following to create a sort-of interesting sound. Suppose I'm playing the piano, using my ...
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2answers
138 views

What is a Diatonic tendency tone?

"In the four-part writing of diatonic seventh chords the fifth may be omitted, in which case the doubled note in a four-part texture should not be a tendency tone. The most common doubling is the root....
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1answer
39 views

How to negatively harmonize a major key into different modes other than Aeolian (minor) mode? (T7i inversion)

The T7i inversion transforms a major key into its parallel minor (Aeolian mode). How do I transform a major key into other modes? Are there inversions other than T7i?
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1answer
81 views

B major to D major modulation ideas

I am new into jazz and I need some advice. I have a simple chord progression (triads) B major to D major. I want to write a nice "solo" over it. I need some harmonic help in order to play some ...
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664 views

Is there a rational method to find out which minor scale sounds best in a given situation?

By rational I mean a method that doesn't entirely depend on one's subjective aesthetics, but rather one that has some kind of system behind it. The obvious rule that you should use the ascending ...
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1answer
3k views

Why does the dominant lead to the tonic?

Going from a dominant to the chord to which it is a dominant always sounds good to the ear. It feels like the chord leads to the next one. And if the composition or movement is written in a specific ...
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3answers
83 views

Question about playing over chord changes, go to next chord

In music theory there is a process for going to the next chord that involves playing a note just before the next chord that resolves to a chord tone of the upcoming chord. However this messes up my ...
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3answers
696 views

Jazz piano: chords and melody in right hand. How?

Aiming for being capable of playing solo and in ensemble, a jazz pianist is exposed to the following: Bass player is playing the root tones, hence the pianist can play rootless When playing alone or ...
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4answers
235 views

Why aren't those consecutive fifth?

Here below is a sequence of chords C-G-C-E -> G-G-B-D in which, following the teacher who wrote it, there is no consecutive fifths. (source) Why aren't C-G -> G-D, respectively present in those ...
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1answer
58 views

Blues harmony: readings to learn more [closed]

Reading from similar posts in this site I understood that the standard harmony tools can't explain the typical blues sound made by dominant 7 -chords progressions. But it's clear that these ...
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1answer
37 views

Rewriting slash chords with chromatic descending bass

I am trying to transcribe a chord progression that appears here (timestamp 0:44). I'm having trouble naming some of the chords below. I think the last two are correct, and function as the ii-V of B ...
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4answers
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Jazz piano: problem remembering harmony, melody is fine

In my quest to become a general jazz pianist I practice jazz standards. Having several years experience with violin, a melody instrument, I have no trouble learning and remembering melodies but the ...
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1answer
512 views

Harmonic Analysis of Chopin's etude op.10 no 5

In the circled part, what is the harmony? Is the E-flat a non-chord tone or is this just some weird chord? (I've only learnt basic harmony.)
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487 views

Is it possible to state whether someone is singing in tune?

I have a recording of a vocalist accompanied by guitar. The vocalist claims not to have a good voice but swears he is "singing in tune". Is there anyway to determine if this is true and, if in this ...
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2answers
60 views

“Maybe tomorrow - Stereophonics”, is my analysis right?

I'm an amateur, self tought, musician whos's struggling to learn music theory without knowing solfège. I'm trying to make harmonic analysis of easy pop tunes to practice and learn. This song in ...
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2answers
127 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 ...
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3answers
109 views

Question about Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond Take Five

I’m trying to decode "Take Five" and so far I have (for my version) it in the key of F with one flat (B-Flat) and the initial phrase (A Section) is based on a D minor which is the natural minor 6th of ...
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2answers
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Chromatic Mediant modulation: Can I use an omnibus progression for this?

So, I am composing a piece representing winter and I am right in the middle of the piece (the piece is in Rondo form and I'm at the C section). I started off in E major, then after being in the ...
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5answers
2k 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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4answers
120 views

Why do you think many people are drawn to a tonal center?

so im trying to answer this question for my music teacher and i'm trying to do research of it, but she hasn't been very specific with the question...any help?
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What makes Beethoven’s False Picardy Third so convincing?

So, there’s one aspect of Beethoven’s style that I personally, haven’t been able to write convincing examples of. That would be the False Picardy Third. To clarify, this is what I mean by False ...
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145 views

Does there exist a way of notating ones own harmonic language?

It's quite clear to most that certain artists have a distinct sound. While a lot of it may be down to production elements and instrument choice, there can really be no denying that their personal ...
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Isn't more comfortable to play Cmaj7 chord's root position 1245 instead of 1235 fingers on piano?

As I saw in Youtube and in various websites that Cmaj7 root fingering should be 1235, but for me it would look like more logical to play 1245. Because when I play on RH 1235, my wrist goes to left. ...

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