Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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2 votes
4 answers
211 views

What's it called when harmony moves in the same intervals as the melody?

What's it called when the harmony moves in the exact same intervals as a melody, even if it is chromatic? Here's an example: My apologies, I would do actual notation but I am not currently able to. ...
3 votes
1 answer
73 views

Using iv/x to tonicize a key?

Because V/x is so popular and useful, would iv/x have a good function as well? I’ve found that V and iv have very similar effects in terms of tension toward the tonic. Also, would V+/x be ...
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

Why does it sound so weird? (Beethoven quartet)

Why does the first A# of the tetrachord of fugal development in op. 131, no. 7, m. 114 cello sound so weird? Is it because of the false relation with B?
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

What is the name of this music instrument? [closed]

I want to know which instrument is it for the music of raymans especially this at the beggining, this who do the main melody ... a violin ? A midi synth in a computer ...
6 votes
7 answers
1k views

Term for a harmony that's always above the melody, but just enough to be in chord?

Is there a term for a harmony that always resembles the next-closest note above the melody that is in chord (not just in key)? A friend of mine always does that when improvising a harmony and she ...
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why is the key typically the first and/or last note (or chord) of a song?

Is there a strategical reason when composing for the key to commonly be the first and/or last note (or chord) of a song?
5 votes
3 answers
231 views

Is there another name for a suspension that creates a chord in the given key?

Here's a progression of a German 6th chord to V in C minor: But that creates parallel perfect fifths between the alto and bass(Ab-G, Eb-D). Since I'm lazy, instead of fixing that, I cover it up with ...
6 votes
7 answers
5k views

Why does vocal harmony 3rd interval up sound better than 3rd interval down?

For a given chord, the chord tones are composed via going 3rd, like a C Major is a {Major 3rd, Minor 3rd} or a C Minor is {Minor 3rd, Major 3rd}. The 7th, 9th, 11th, and etc... are also created via ...
4 votes
6 answers
388 views

"The" versus "a" diatonic scale

A diatonic scale is defined as an ordered collection of pitches. However, given the many modes of the diatonic scales, what is meant when someone says "the" diatonic scale? Wikipedia says it's an ...
2 votes
1 answer
295 views

Chord progression convenience depending on the harmonic rhythm

I am reusing a harmonic progression I wrote a few years ago, in a different context than the original. Here there is the new passage: The first two bars are around Dm (dorian). There is a modal ...
3 votes
2 answers
575 views

How do you figure an accented passing note in the bass?

How do you figure an accented passing note in the bass, specifically when the harmony changes? If you have non-chord tones in the bass following a figuring, it's easy to show the same harmony ...
4 votes
2 answers
117 views

The root of augmented triad according to Hindemith

In Hindemith's book The craft of musical composition. Book 1, Theoretical part, he says that (p. 97) The lower tone of a third or a seventh (in the absence of any better interval) is the root of the ...
25 votes
6 answers
9k views

Do capable harmony singers sing in just intonation or tempered tuning?

I understand that the mathematical frequency ratios between certain intervals will correlate with the overtones that are present when a note sounds in a fundamental frequency. Certain predictable ...
3 votes
2 answers
79 views

Three consecutive dissonances in verset fugue

I've been playing from a collection of versets (fugues) by Gottlieb Muffat. https://imslp.org/wiki/72_Versetl_sammt_12_Toccaten_(Muffat%2C_Gottlieb) The versets are arranged by the old Church tones ...
2 votes
3 answers
556 views

Why does Cmaj7 and Emaj7 sound good (or a name to describe this progression)?

I have an extremely limited understanding of theory, and from what I currently understand, chords will sound good together if they share a common key/scale (e.g. for C major scale, the chords that ...
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Chopin Polonaise in Ab major, op 53 change in key

In Chopin's polonaise in A-flat major, op.53, in the second section the key changes from A flat to E major. What type of change is this? Is it from the flattening of the sixth (F-flat major), or was ...
4 votes
7 answers
3k views

With what chords do we modulate from Em to G?

In this version they modulate from Em to G by the chords Em-D-G? Is there a better way of doing it?
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

Was this chord substitution chart part of a larger harmony system?

I recently rediscovered in my files several photocopied sheets of chords similar to the one below. A friend (deceased in 2014) gave them to me many years ago. There are a total of 11, covering keys ...
5 votes
2 answers
181 views

the cadence in 3rd species counterpoint with 3 voices in the Phrygian mode

When the Cantus Firmus is in the 1st or 2nd voice, the bass is suppose to play the 5th note of the mode in the 2nd last bar. In the case of E Phrygian, the 5th degree is B which has however a ...
0 votes
1 answer
142 views

How do voice leading chords work in practice?

I've learned the existence of voice leading chords; passing chords, anticipation chords, and such, but I'm having a hard time understanding them. I know they need to have a so-called "voice ...
2 votes
1 answer
106 views

Is this a melody or harmony?

I was playing four 9th chords in a 4/4 time signature. All whole notes. Then I shortened some of of the notes of each chord by a quarter or half note by playing them late. For example, in a Cmaj9 ...
2 votes
1 answer
70 views

Purpose of interlude in Bach WTK II, Fugue 16

This is an excerpt of Bach WTK II, Fugue 16 (mm. 15-20). The part I have marked red is (in my opinion, hope not be mistaken) an interlude between the last entrance of the theme in the bass and the ...
4 votes
2 answers
126 views

Voice Leading in Göncz’s completion of Contrapunctus 14

My question relates to the attached extract from Zoltan Göncz’s completion of Bach’s Contrapunctus 14 from The Art of Fugue, and specifically the chord marked with the arrow. To my mind, it appears to ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to handle songs whose scales are neither major or minor in harmonic mixing?

Harmonic mixing typically relies on the circle of fifths, often renamed as the "Camelot wheel" in the context of harmonic mixing. However, that circle/wheel only contains two scales: major ...
0 votes
2 answers
123 views

In Organum and Species Counterpoint why is one of the voices always in whole notes?

Edit: It was pointed out to me that counterpoint spawned from the Organum style of music. For more context, here’s information from two sources I just read. “Two styles of Organum existed during this ...
3 votes
1 answer
173 views

In the musical texture “monody”, can the underlying harmony be provided with a single voice?

According to these wiki pages (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monody https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophony), in Monody, ”one solo voice sings a melodic part, usually with considerable ornamentation, ...
-1 votes
1 answer
140 views

What is the proper way to write an accompaniment part without using instruments? (Vocals Only) [closed]

I really want to be able to write songs without the need of using an instrument. At first I was thinking it was as simple as starting with a drone in order to keep the lead voice in tune, but a great ...
3 votes
3 answers
232 views

Is it possible to approach hidden 5ths & 8ves by contrary motion?

is it possible to approach hidden 5ths & 8ves by contrary or oblique motion? In another meaning every time there is contrary or oblique motion between voices, are direct 5ths & 8ves allowed ...
2 votes
1 answer
123 views

What is the difference between background, middle ground, and foreground?

Is the idea of structural levels background, middle ground, and foreground only studied in schenkerian analysis? I’m still viewing the background as the simplest layer of a song, which to me would be ...
5 votes
1 answer
149 views

How to analyze introduction of Rachmaninoff's Paganini variation?

I'm trying to analyze the introduction of Rachmaninoff's Paganini variations (picture below). I'm thinking the whole thing is a sequence and I only have to analyze the first two measures. The F# makes ...
5 votes
1 answer
971 views

How does one resolve the conflict between Renaissance theory of Cadences and the contradictions against it in Bach Chorales?

A level pupil. Made the mistake of learning Renaissance cadence voicing way before starting A-level harmony course. There's a conflict of interest between the cadential progressions of the renaissance ...
0 votes
1 answer
103 views

Babylon Sisters intro . Harmony?

in the Babylon sister intro, What is going on with the F#/E- A7b5-Ebmin7 ? ( my sheet music says Ebmajsus4 ) Just wanted advice on how to label The chord functions. I’ve circled the part in blue on ...
0 votes
1 answer
124 views

how to theoretically understand that chords are compatible? [closed]

how can we theoretically understand that chords are compatible? let's imagine that there is a chord X1 and X2, what rules/conditions must these chords follow in order to be compatible? I have a ...
2 votes
1 answer
156 views

What is this harmony in this pokemon battle theme?

Fair warning: I'm more-or-less a complete neophyte when it comes to music theory. I Bede's theme from Pokemon Sword/Shield, there's a piano riffing in a descending manner in the harmony in a really ...
4 votes
3 answers
5k views

♭VII-I Cadence, ♭III-I Cadence: Name?

I've gone through a bunch of ♭VII-I and ♭III-I cadences in rock music. In C major, they are B♭-C and E♭-C. Is there a specific name for the two cadences? So far, I've been calling them authentic ...
2 votes
3 answers
131 views

How do I analyse these chords in this chorale?

I’m playing some chorales and I can’t figure out how to analyse these highlighted chords. I think these chords share the characteristics of having adjacent notes and I’m having trouble with that. The ...
-3 votes
1 answer
189 views

When given the soprano and bass parts, how do I figure out the alto and tenor?

I missed one class and now I don't understand how to do this assignment plz help
0 votes
1 answer
84 views

What are ways to use permutations to explore harmonic progressions?

Permutations can be very useful for crafting varied and interesting rhythms. It is possible to explore rhythms using Pascal's triangle. Sounds and silences on two beats can be written in binary form: ...
0 votes
3 answers
304 views

What is the internal harmony of this Liszt melody?

This is an exercise taken out of Walter Piston’s Harmony (4th ed). Let me know how you would change my progression.
2 votes
3 answers
175 views

Why does this vi-ii-V-I progression evoke a sense of ii-V-I-vi?

Could someone assist me in analyzing the chord progression found in 'Save My Soul, Not My Ship' by Enjoy? A brief caveat with regard to the title: please note that my analysis of the progressions may ...
4 votes
2 answers
495 views

Do composers arrange an entire score without parallel perfect intervals or is this only when you have few voices and need them to all be independent?

In harmony class one is taught not to use parallel perfect intervals as it undermines the independence of the voices. I have come to completely understand this and see why it is so important but when ...
1 vote
3 answers
130 views

In harmonic syntax (“root progressions”), does only the root matter, or the entire chord?

I’ve read in these threads that Rameau & CPE Bach have a different opinion on wether or not more notes than the root of a chord are relevant in harmonic syntax. Here are some stand out quotes from ...
9 votes
6 answers
6k views

Black keys - what scale are these, how to use them?

I'm a beginning music theory student and often when I'm supposed to be doing exercises I get distracted and start doodling around for fun on the black keys. It's easy to compose simple, satisfying ...
1 vote
2 answers
420 views

Bob Marley - Could You Be Loved - why single note outside mode?

In Bob Marley's song "Could You Be Loved" popcorn picking is used which is a percussive sounding rhythm guitar technique. The song is in B minor key and uses these cords: Bmi, D, Emi, F#mi, ...
1 vote
3 answers
116 views

Harmonic Analysis of Polka, Op. 39, No. 14 by Tchaikovsky

I'm having some trouble identifying what's going on harmonically in this chromatic sections here. i. Bar 2: What function does the chord spelled [C#EGBb] have? All I can say about it is that it's a ...
1 vote
1 answer
32 views

How Do These Decorative Chords Contribute to Diatonic Modulation in Aldwell and Schachter's Example?

I'm studying diatonic modulation via example (e) in Unit 26 of "Harmony & Voice Leading" by Aldwell and Schachter and need some clarification. The progression moves from an F major to an ...
6 votes
4 answers
776 views

A minor scale definition: am I missing something?

I've recently had a discussion with a woman, let's call her Jane, who maintained that the A minor scale features G# rather than a natural G. According to her, the scale goes A, B, C, D, E, F, G#, A. ...
1 vote
2 answers
146 views

Beginner at composing - Harmonising a melody in imitation of Mozart's Klavierstück KV 33B

TL, DR : I don't know how to harmonize this melody (explained below) and need help deblocking (questions at bottom) I have been learning violin for a few years now and I wanted to learn how to compose ...
5 votes
4 answers
814 views

Why are these two versions of the hymn different?

This is "A mighty fortress is our God". Two versions: The one with lyrics is taken from the 1939 Church of Sweden chorale book, the other from a book on how to play the organ. In the first phrase "...
2 votes
3 answers
162 views

The Newton Brothers "I'm the candy Man" chord progression analysis

I've been listening to "I'm the candy man" from The Fall of the House of Usher this morning and am hitting a little roadblock trying to think of the theory behind the chord progression. It ...

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