Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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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?
schwarz's user avatar
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75 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 ...
user96762's user avatar
  • 129
2 votes
1 answer
52 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 ...
codeb0i's user avatar
  • 143
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?
Emotion's user avatar
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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 ...
Forivin's user avatar
  • 241
4 votes
2 answers
116 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 ...
Divide1918's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
554 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 ...
lycus's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
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 ...
Theodore's user avatar
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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 ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
AGuyCalledGerald's user avatar
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 ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
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 ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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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, ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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-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 ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
122 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 ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
147 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 ...
Haytham's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
125 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 ...
Chris Benton's user avatar
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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 ...
Boaz's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Asd Fgh's user avatar
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-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
sillysnail417's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
130 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 ...
Evelyn1986's user avatar
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1 answer
82 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: ...
Attila Vajda's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
113 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 ...
Jack Kinsella's user avatar
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 ...
286642's user avatar
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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 ...
Jon's user avatar
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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 ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
3 votes
3 answers
295 views

How does Gm → C9 → Ebm → Ebm/Gb work?

I have a song in Bb major. It begins its verse in G minor like this: Gm → C9 → Ebm → Ebm/Gb Gm → C9 → Ebm → D7 I can relate that Gm and C9 are a ii-V, but it resolved not to F but to Ebm (bVII?). ...
dz902's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
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Does melody come from root progressions?

I’ve noticed that in a melody certain notes stand out and it’s always the root of the current chord or arpeggio. (also, are arpeggios only descending/ascending or can they be in a random order?) In ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
2 votes
1 answer
219 views

What are the main concepts that aid singing in key?

In my previous question I asked about how many notes are needed to establish what key you are in. That kind of dodges around the purpose of me asking so here’s a more direct question. With an ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
274 views

How many notes does it take to state the key? To Have "Tonality"?

I'm referring to "tonal dominant function" as this gentleman is talking about in this video. How many notes in a "melody" do you need to state the ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
139 views

What is the music theory term for the study of the role and rhythm of each voice in multi voice compositions?

I’m looking for the for the study of the role and rhythm of each voice in multi voice composing. For example “lead part/voice/melody or supporting part/voice/melody”. By rhythms what I mean is the ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
3 votes
0 answers
60 views

Why does Schoenberg think of "'semi-contrapuntal treatment' of the accompaniment" as a way of adapting a motive's melody to changes in its harmony?

Schoenberg says that the melody of a motive may be adapted to changes in the harmony "[b]y transposition," "[b]y addition of passing harmonies," or "[b]y 'semi-contrapuntal' ...
Noah J's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Changing the harmony of a motive ''by additions at the end,'' according to Schoenberg

Schoenberg says that the harmony of a motive may be changed ''[b]y additions at the end'' (Fundamentals of musical composition, page 10). He cites examples 25c-i to illustrate what he means (see ...
Noah J's user avatar
  • 215
4 votes
2 answers
607 views

How to analyze/spell this chord progression

I generally feel that I have a good intuition for chord naming, but know very few formal rules that apply to chromatic progressions like this one I wrote: It seems obvious that one should avoid ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
91 views

How would you analyze these chords in Tchaikovsky's Waltz Op39

I'm having trouble figuring out what's happening in the following bars of this piece in Eb major. Bar 4: My best guess is that this spells out an Eb fully diminished 7 -- or idim7. (The F in beat 1 ...
Jack Kinsella's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to analyze this chord in Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement?

In Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata 3rd movement, I'd like to understand the Fx (double sharp) in measure 8. Measure 8 has a bass of A and an arpeggio with the notes C# E Fx C# which sounds like an A7, ...
cbenz's user avatar
  • 151
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 ...
Ridiculable Pupil's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
62 views

How would you analyze this harmony in Mamma by Tchaikovsky

Context: The piece is in G major. What's going on, harmonically, in the 2nd and 3rd bars here? I'm confused by the first chord (c#be'b') of the 2nd bar and the 2nd chord of bar 3 (ec#g'b')? So far I'm ...
Jack Kinsella's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

How can harmony be implied by melody [duplicate]

I'm just curious about allot of compositional techniques, and one of them is the concept of "implying" harmony because it can be useful for determining later harmonic lines for an already ...
amcstomp's user avatar
  • 113
7 votes
5 answers
1k views

Why does a chord sound lower although the individual notes went up?

I was dabbling around on my keyboard and noticed a strange effect that I'd like to learn more about. I'm sure this is a well-known effect that probably has a name, but it's a little hard to google ...
balpha's user avatar
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8 votes
5 answers
554 views

Why are triads considered perfect chords and the basis which all extensions are built off of?

Why are triads considered perfect chords and the basis which all extensions are built off of? I'm sort of posting the question from an ignorant standpoint but I do already have some prior knowledge. I ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can multiple instruments make a chord?

This seems in line with the definition of chord "three or more musical tones sounded simultaneously" But do people commonly refer to a chord coming from multiple instruments? Then any set of ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
413 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, ...
azerbajdzan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
59 views

Progression iii-VI-ii-V-I too short

I'm composing a piece that goes like this for now (mainly a iii-VI-ii-V-I) AbMaj9 - Gm7 (add11) - C9 - Fm11 - Bb13 - EbMaj9- Eb9 and I can loop that. In terms of harmony, the progression goes well and ...
BlueCharlie's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
130 views

How to interpret this awkward runs and base chord? La La Land Mia & Sebastian's Theme runs

In the last section of Mia and Sebastian's Theme from La La Land, there were a lot of quick runs. Upon transcription I found the relationship of the scale and the base chord is rather unusual. First ...
dz902's user avatar
  • 183
1 vote
3 answers
158 views

Why does this song sound sad even though it is uptempo-ish and in a major key?

"Rag Tag Army" by John Edmond The song is uptempo-ish, and in C major without any mode mixture from C minor. There are A minor and E minor chords in it, yet none of them even end a phrase, ...
The Camp that Rolls's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
313 views

Bass line and chord mismatch - Afternoon in Paris

In Lewis and Sacha Distel version of Afternoon in Paris, Distel only played section A and repeat when his solo ends at 4:41, then was the break. After the break, Lewis picked up the rest of the ...
dz902's user avatar
  • 183
1 vote
2 answers
145 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 ...
amcstomp's user avatar
  • 113
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I distinguish between chords going 'up' and chords going 'down' when writing a harmony?

I'm transcribing "Can't help falling in love" in D major. The first chord is D major and the second chord is F#m. I know F# is the third note from the tonic. So harmonized it would be the ...
D B's user avatar
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