Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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4
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4answers
778 views

Help me hear Am7 as a minor chord

I recognize that Am7 (A-C-E-G) is considered a minor chord because, when stacked as thirds, the A is on the bottom. But I cannot make my ear perceive it as a minor chord out of context. To me it ...
3
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6answers
87 views

Help with note naming in a diminished chord with extensions

I've always considered a diminished chord to be a stack of minor thirds. But when I think about this, it causes me problems when I try to name the notes. For instance in a C# diminished chord, we have ...
2
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2answers
67 views

Does this passage have a lydian sound?

The music sources is Album national russe (Köhler, Louis), and the particular passage is... ...before saying the music is in G major and there isn't any C# to make lydian, hear me out. The basic ...
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2answers
65 views

Can ii move to V43 over static bass just like IV can move V42?

In my harmony book (by Aldwell and Schachter) the progression from IV to V42 is a common one and gets its own section. But the book makes no mention of using scale degree ^2 in the bass. Is moving to ...
2
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1answer
64 views

What are idiomatic ways to harmonize ^5 ^4 ^3?

I have only learned a few chords in my harmony and voice leading book. I, I6, V, V6, ii, ii6, IV and the inversions of V7. I am now trying to harmonize this melody and so far the most idiomatic ...
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6answers
5k views

Why does G# sound right when my melody is in C major?

I composed the following melody using notes from the C major scale. In the third bar a G# (Ab) seemed a natural choice to complete the loop, but I don’t understand why. G# is not in C major nor its ...
5
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2answers
97 views

Are augmented-sixth chords ever taught as being "rooted" on the raised fourth scale degree?

In my experience, augmented-sixth chords are given "national" names. In C, for example, A♭–C–F♯ is an Italian augmented sixth. Are there other traditions that teach/view this as being a ...
2
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1answer
87 views

How to write 4 part chord progressions when the roots are only a step apart

My textbook instructs me to use contrary motion with the upper parts against the bass when writing chords a step apart. But here in this image you can see I have voiced the chords IV - V so that I can ...
4
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1answer
202 views

Note designs on the 10 hole major diatonic harmonica [duplicate]

Here is the typical note design on 10 holes major diatonic harmonica in C major: I have a few questions: Why there is a G key in the 2nd draw and the 3rd blow? But it omits the F key? also omits the ...
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5answers
230 views

Russell Lydian chromatic (again) [duplicate]

One more question about Russell Lydian theory. Russell uses as an example the Lydian C scale: C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C comparing it with C maj scale, then he starts to explain his theory as if they belong to ...
2
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3answers
124 views

What do I call this type of transition?

I'm a complete novice to composing and music theory, but part of what I'd like to do is acquire the vocabulary to describe subtle changes in sound, especially ones that evoke a distinct emotion. For ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Schumann posthumous variation V's choice on descending the semitone or whole tone

Here is the starting part of Schumann posthumous variation V, I am interested in knowing the "logic" or the "reasoning" why and how Schumann chose the descending tones of the ...
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5answers
484 views

Best way to harmonize cadential 3^ 1^ in the soprano

I am trying to harmonize a melody I wrote and am stuck at the end. I like the 3^ over the bass, but what chord should it be? I64? iii? Also, what other improvements could be made?
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1answer
102 views

Music of the Caribbean

How does the West African heritage in Caribbean music compare with the European influence in Caribbean music? I did research on this but couldn't really understand the european influence.
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2answers
75 views

When realizing a basso continuo, should the realization avoid consecutive fifths and octaves with the written parts?

Many continuo manuals (both historical sources and modern treatises) are careful to point out that a continuo realization should be contrapuntally correct, i.e., one ought to avoid parallel fifths and ...
6
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1answer
63 views

What harmonic idea is being used in Measures 9-12 and 17-19 in "Recuerdos De La Alhambra? "

I have done some harmonic analysis on Francisco Tárrega's “Recuerdos De La Alhambra”, as you can see below. Most of it makes sense to me, but there are sections in measures 9-12 and 17-19 that the ...
2
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3answers
171 views

Is a new tonal center established when I play a chord progression of more than two chords in the new key?

If I'm modulating between keys, say between major and its relative minor. Is the main way I establish a new tonal center is if I create a progression longer than two chords that lead to a cadence? So ...
13
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3answers
4k 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 ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Is it ok to move from a dim5 to a p5 when moving from vii6 to I6?

Usually moving from a dim5 to a p5 is not a good idea but in this progression is it ok? You can see the dim5 doesn't resolve in the I6 chord but the voice exchange makes it quite smooth. Is there a ...
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3answers
396 views

Can an I64 CHORD go to a V chord as a cadence?

So in a cadence, is it allowed to use a I64 chord to go to a V chord as a Half Cadence?
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2answers
140 views

A: PS 4: S 1: Q 2: Why does my answer continue to be "Partially Correct"?

It is Question 2 under Section 1 on "Connecting Root Position Tonic and Dominant Chords" from Problem Set 4 of Artusi, which my Music Theory II class uses. The only feedback I get from ...
6
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1answer
126 views

Help me figure out the mode of this Howard Shore piece

I have been trying to harmonically analyse this piece by Howard Shore called “Beyond the Forest”, an Elvish song from the Hobbit. I have included the sheet music below (page two is linked) and you can ...
2
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0answers
56 views

What is Just Intonation in detailed terms, and how can I notate it? [duplicate]

I've recently caught a great interest in the use of microtonal music through Just Intonation because of an artist I'm sure you've heard of recently, Jacob Collier. There a point in one of his songs ...
7
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1answer
257 views

In the common-practice style, did minor dominant chords (v) still function as a dominant?

In the common-practice style, usually dominant chords were always major, even in minor keys. Without the leading tone, how did minor dominant chords (v) function?
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3answers
54 views

how to harmonize 5,4,3 in the soprano using I V I as the harmony?

Is there a way to do this without parallels? I have tried but can't seem to make it work, and in my textbook the example uses parallel 5ths.
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2answers
60 views

Understanding function of some non-diatonic chords in Jack Johnson's "Belle"

Jack Johnson's "Belle" has the following chord progression: Gmaj7 Gmaj6 Gm7 Gm6 Gmaj7 Gmaj6 Bm7 Cm6 Am7 Am6 Am7 Ab7 Gmaj7 Cm6 Am7 Ab7 :|| I'm trying to write down the Roman numerals ...
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7answers
11k views

Will a song written in a key only use chords in that key?

When you figure out a key that a song is written in. Will the entire song use the chords in that key? With maybe an accidental?? I've tried several different methods.
4
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1answer
161 views

Notation of measure 2 in Chopin's Prelude #4 in E minor

The first measure has G-B-E-B, i.e. E minor tonic chord, first inversion. Makes sense so far. Then the next measure is F♯-A-E-B followed by F♯-A-E♭-B , not so clear. According to this page the second ...
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4answers
1k views

Why did it take a millennium to use harmony/polyphony (900 AD) when Pythagoras discovered perfect fourth and fifth around 500 BC?

Considering the fact that Pythagoras formulated the properties of Perfect Fifth and Fourth around 500 BC, why did it take so long to include them in Music?. The first instance of using the Fifth in ...
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4answers
846 views

Minor subdominant as dominant chord?

I notice that IIø7 or IV- is often used instead of II-7 or IV to create extra pull towards the tonic. For example: if you play IIø7 in first inversion to I in second inversion, IIø7 very much sounds ...
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4answers
64 views

Was the picardy 3rd used to avoid the leap in the resolution of the tritone?

If you are in C minor, the tritone between F and B natural would resolve to Eb and C which would be the inverted tonic Cm chord. There is a jump from F to Eb as opposed to in major you would have a ...
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0answers
36 views

What are some useful resources for modal study? [closed]

I'm looking for some useful historical references for modal study. Specifically, great books or texts on how modes evolved, progressed and became the elusive subject they are today. What resources ...
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2answers
149 views

Naming a chord in the first movement of Mozart's K. 331?

How could one name the first chord in measure three in Mozart's A-major piano sonata K.331, first movement? It looks like a F#-minor-7th-chord without the fifth, i.e. something like a substitution of ...
4
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3answers
95 views

On Schumann posthumous variation V's note on a natural G or a flat G

This shows the first two bars of Schumann posthumous variations V. Look at this music note (red-squared), I am curious to know why Schumann chose a natural G instead of the original flat G in this ...
2
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2answers
91 views

Why are scale degrees 1, 4 and 5 normally doubled in 1st inversion chords?

From what I understand, it is the 3rd scale degree along with the 1st and 5th scale degrees that are the most stable tones in a key so why in my textbook does it say that the 4th scale degree is used ...
3
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3answers
98 views

Is partimento a good way to learn how to write a Baroque trio sonata in the style of Corelli?

Who I am: I am 16 years old and I play violin. I am a music student and I consider myself to have a very good ear and understanding of music theory. My piano-playing is however not very good. I really ...
3
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1answer
263 views

Final chord of Duruflé Requiem

I recently sang, and separately listened to a performance of Duruflé's requiem. While listening, I was struck by the last chord of the in Paradisum, which adds an unexpected note half way through (and ...
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6answers
664 views

Why is it common to harmonize a melody by adding chords first, rather than a bass line first?

I have watched at least 6 music theory videos on how to harmonize a melody in 4-part writing and none of them start with the bassline first. All of the teachers seem to look at the notes of the melody ...
6
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2answers
143 views

How to complete a scale harmonization using Quantz' Versuch

In Quantz, Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversiere zu spielen several harmonic/melodic skeletons are presented as the basis of melodic embellishment. Here are four which cover significant ...
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2answers
304 views

What techniques and methods govern how melody can suggest a certain harmony?

In The Art of Strict Musical Composition, Volume 2 chapter 3, by Johann Philip Kirnberger (student of Bach) he writes “Here it must be stated first that every good melody is based on a proper harmony, ...
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1answer
215 views

how do I add voices to compound species lines?

Update, TLDR: given multiple semi-written lines of music, which line should be deemed the cantus firmus before working on the counterpoint of the other lines? Given a "free" (?) soprano ...
6
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3answers
942 views

What's significant about diatonic scales? Are there equivalents to the diatonic scales in smaller divisions of the octave (e.g. 19-EDO, 31-EDO, etc.)?

Wikipedia defines a diatonic scale like so: In music theory, a diatonic scale is a heptatonic scale that includes five whole steps and two half steps in each octave, in which the two half steps ...
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2answers
267 views

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 ...
4
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2answers
91 views

Were Plagal Cadences always used with an Authentic Cadence preceding it?

In typical 19th-century harmony, was a Plagal Cadence always used with an Authentic Cadence preceding it? To put it another way, was it typically ever used out of its "Amen" context?
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8answers
341 views

Alternatives to scale-centric beginning music theory?

I'm a noob music student and I recently asked a question here about the widespread use of a bVII chord in a scale where the seventh scale degree is vii°, and the general consensus in the many helpful ...
2
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2answers
540 views

Why are scale steps in minor not upside-down? [closed]

You can look at a root as the 0th overtone, but in minor do you know some "deductive" reason for the -2nd overtone to be a root of the minor chord? An illustrating explaining what I'm ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Are the rules of voice leading and the rules of counterpoint ever at odds with one another?

I was practicing composing in an SATB setting. I had the chords voiced the way I wanted to, but there was not much rhythmic interest (everything in whole notes). So, I began subdividing the notes ...
2
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2answers
109 views

Four part Writing: When must a perfect fourth be resolved?

A bit confused at the moment regarding when a perfect fourth is classed as a consonance, and when it is classed as a dissonance. I have read here on Stack Exchange, that perfect fourth intervals are ...
1
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1answer
47 views

When does this extract change key? (Roman Numeral Analysis of Greene: 'Ode on St Cecilia's Day')

Quick question regarding bar 3 in this figured bass exercise. We start off in D minor. The introduction of C naturals in bar 3, along with the fact we finish the piece in the relative FM, seems to ...
23
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11answers
7k views

Why does Bach sometimes end with flat 7ths?

I've been studying the Bach inventions, and I see a common patterns in the first 3 inventions: They tend to include the flat 7ths in the very end. Examples: C major: D major: E♭ major: From a ...

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