Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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1answer
45 views

Should we end phrygian and hypo phrygian on a major chord?

I saw an organ accompaniment in phrygian (or hypophrygian) (E as finalis). The last chord was C major. Should we end phrygian and hypoohrygian on a major chord?
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5answers
483 views

Jazz Chords: How can a Bbmaj9 be explained in the key of A major?

I'm looking at the sheet music for the song Sometimes in Winter: https://www.noteflight.com/marketplace/4V9yWpCsl2ktvMaaOd0Tgh/sometimes-in-winter It appears this tune is in A Major. In the 3rd bar, ...
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3answers
127 views

How to determine the degree to which diminished seventh chords and half-diminished seventh chords belong in major scales?

I would like to know how to determine to which degree belongs diminished seventh chords and half-diminished seventh chords in major scales, and which function do they exert. As the fully diminished ...
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3answers
83 views

Measuring key-relatedness of chords on the circle of fifths

Is there an easy way to visualise scale-degree triads for a given key, based on the circle of fifths? And to also use the circle to 'measure' how distant a given out-of-key chord is to our home key? I ...
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5answers
3k views

What's an “add” chord?

The name implies that you are adding a note, but we already notate that explicitly in the chord name and quality. We say Cm7, not Cm add 7. If we want a 9th, we can go Cm9, but is Cm add 9 correct ...
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2answers
329 views

What is the difference between diminished fifth and augmented fourth? [duplicate]

Are diminished fifth and augmented fourth the same intervals? They both consist of six semi-tones but why do they have different names?
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4answers
93 views

What is this chord in Grande Valse Brilliante?

The chord circled in red is what I am asking about. I know that in the measure before, there is a diminished seventh chord. I'm certain that this is a dominant function chord(or at least, locally to ...
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1answer
344 views

How would you explain the A natural in bar 11?

How would you explain the A natural in bar 11? How would you explain that the phrase ends in bar 11 and not bar 12?
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4answers
427 views

Characteristic scale degrees

Came across an article at openMsicTheory.com about harmonic function. Below excerpt was about finding function of a chord Each of the three harmonic functions — tonic (T), subdominant (S), and ...
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3answers
148 views

How would this chord from “I'll See You In My Dreams” best be analyzed?

In the song "I'll See You In My Dreams", there is a chord progression that I really love. I'm wondering if there is a "best" way to analyze one of the chords. The song is in the key of F Major, and ...
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3answers
58 views

Arranging K 545 for a string quartet, how to write the harmony part

So, I am trying a second time to arrange K 545 for a string quartet. I think my second draft is better harmonically speaking than my previous attempt to arrange the same sonata. But there is a whole ...
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3answers
78 views

Shell voices - what does it mean?

I’ve tried to answer a question about voicings in Jazz. I was not sure if it was concerning a 4 part or unlimited part voicing. Now I’ve seen that I’ve overlooked in the title of the question the ...
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2answers
51 views

Hindemith's Traditional harmony Book 1, Chapter II, rule 1

I recently started working my way through Hindemith's Traditional harmony Book 1 on my own. The instructions are short and simple, but sometimes too much so for a self-learner. I have reached ...
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1answer
74 views

How to use “synthetic modes”

Im having trouble understanding a concept in Persichetti’s book 20th century harmony (Page 43) where he introduces new scales he calls synthetic scales. Just before that he talks about the church ...
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3answers
390 views

Secondary dominants

I saw this progression as an example on an article about secondary dominants: C Am B7 C Is the idea here to have B7 as the dominant of E which is the dominant of Am?
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2answers
129 views

How can I reproduce this harmony?

In Bury Me by Bayside at about 3:09 (the line that starts with "I want your respect..."), they use a strange dissonant-sounding harmony: time stamped youtube link. It sounds to me like he's using 3 ...
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3answers
80 views

How do I play Gmaj7-Bm7(b5)-E7(b9)-Am9 with jazz shell voicings?

In classical harmony. V7-I has the 7th leading to the 3rd of the next chord and the 3rd leading to the 1. In certain jazz harmony the third stays on the 3rd and becomes a 7 of the next chord. In ...
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2answers
47 views

Augmented triad in Pathetique Sonata? How does it function?

I analyzed the harmony of the Pathetique Sonata as you already know, but one thing about the harmony in the first movement made me curious. No, not unconfirmed modulation or anything like that. No, it ...
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2answers
694 views

“Push chord”. What's that?

I came across this post the other day that referenced a "push chord". What does "push chord" mean in that context? Is that a term specific to Bossa Nova (a latin jazz genre), or is it just a term I ...
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2answers
82 views

Modulation from D major to D minor, should I go sudden or gradual?

I am composing a Scherzo in the key of D major and I have the first section of my Scherzo already written down. Now I'm into the second section of the Scherzo that precedes the Trio. And in this ...
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10answers
3k views

If equal temperament divides an octave into 12 equal parts, why are the hertz differences not the same but 12ths of two?

Let's take a 440Hz A pitch and the 880Hz A an octave higher. If we divide space between 440Hz and 880Hz into 12 equal parts, we would have: [440Hz, 476.6, 513.2 ... 880Hz.] And this looks ...
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2answers
47 views

What books do keyboard students use when learning figured bass? [closed]

What books do keyboard students use when learning figured bass? Are there any standard books ttat is being used by students?
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2answers
176 views

Where is the circle of fifths mentioned for the first time?

How and when was the Circle of Fifths invented, and who is responsible for the discovery of this musical godsend?
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1answer
85 views

Examples of composers and pieces heavily using four-part harmony [closed]

As I am currently deeply involved in studying four-part harmony, I am interested to know some examples of composers and pieces, which heavily use the rules of four-part harmony and not wildly (...
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2answers
84 views

Doubling in dominant seventh

In four-part harmony only the root tone can be doubled in dominant seventh chord ("Guide to harmony" - Tchaikovsky). Why, what is the reasoning behind it? I am interested only from classical harmony ...
3
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1answer
55 views

Preparation of dominant ninth chord

Tchaikovsky in his "Guide to Harmony" states the following about the dominant ninth chord (G-B-D-F-A) (translating from the original language): "Being strongly dissonant, the dominant ninth chord ...
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1answer
60 views

How can we play a Bach chorale in different ways? [closed]

Reconstructing Chorales: How can Bach Chorales be arranged or played differently? Are there typical kinds of harmonization named by criteria? What would be the effects? Some styles will be better ...
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2answers
3k views

I wish you a merry Christmas: what is this chord progression called?

Is there a special term for this chain of secondary dominants V/IV, V/V, V/vi ? (or in C major: C,F,D,G,E,Am) It’s a frequent chord pattern in the era of Baroque and has also been used in the ...
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1answer
141 views

Intro of A Whiter Shade of Pale: is my analysis of chords correct?

I wonder about 2 points in this intro (I can ask them in to different questions if desired) I'm not sure whether I hear this progression correct ... The beginning ...
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3answers
34 views

Constraints for doubling upper voices in 4-part harmony

What are some guidelines for doubling the same tone in the upper voices (tenor, alto, soprano) on the same pitch, as well as in different octaves? I am specifically talking about doubling in upper ...
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2answers
709 views

Why does the leading tone (G#) go to E rather than A in this example?

Why does the leading tone (G#) go to E rather than A in this example?
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2answers
94 views

Suspensions in 'The Long and Winding Road'?

Ian MacDonald (music critic/author) writes of the "heartbreaking suspensions" that characterize the harmony of "The Long and Winding Road". I was curious about this, so I printed the first page of ...
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3answers
162 views

Non-cadential use of 6/4 chord

I guess the 6-4 chord in common practice music is typically seen as a "cadential" 6-4, used to embellish the chords around it by means of bass arpeggiation. In rock music, however, a I chord in ...
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0answers
77 views

Arpeggio difficulty [closed]

The same arpeggio pattern (see scale degrees below staff) sounds worse accompanying the IV chord than the I chord in C major here. It is the same relative pattern (scale degrees are consistent) so ...
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2answers
62 views

Ballades (Chopin) Harmony Question

I don't listen to much classical; however, I recently found this beautiful work by Chopin. I am wondering if you could help me explain a particularly amazing moment in the piece. Please refer to ...
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3answers
123 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 ...
2
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1answer
91 views

Are there songs written using non-functional harmony

I have been trying to write music that does not resolve to a tonic. Would this be non-functional harmony? CMaj7 / Dbdim7 / BMaj7 / Eb7b5
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1answer
52 views

Dissonances with bass versus in upper voices. 4-part harmony

Working through "Guide to practical harmony" of Tchaikovsky in chapter 9 about the inversions of diminished and augmented triads, we read that the first inversion of the diminished triad is consonant ...
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2answers
90 views

Rootless chords in Beethoven sonata?

Okay, I came across a bit of a wrinkle in the paper as I analyzed the third movement of Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique. It has to do with this passage in the C section(which is in Ab major): For those ...
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2answers
54 views

Analyzed editions of classic piano sheet music? [closed]

I wonder if there exists such kind of editions: with the chords written down together with their function in roman numerals, the structure of the piece, the analysis, etc. More precisely, I'm looking ...
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2answers
108 views

How to realize a figured bass

I am arranging a Bach piece. I know, what the challenge it is to do it. But I have been able to successfully arrange Mozart and later, Beethoven, so I think I'm ready. But here is the challenge I am ...
2
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1answer
57 views

Applying harmonic voice leading rules to non-homophonic music

I would like to figure out how voice leading rules could be applied to non-vertical music (non-homophonic music), and when we are not using four-part harmony. I think that Chopin's study op. 25 #1 ...
3
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1answer
95 views

How are the notes organized on a tongue drum?

Disclaimer: I don't now much about music theory. Anyway, my wife just bought one of those, which I think is called a "tongue drum": What strikes me is that, as bad as I am at playing music, whatever ...
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2answers
245 views

Isn't that (two voices leaping to C like this) a breaking of the rules of four-part harmony?

In this arrangement of O God, our help in ages past I have found what looks like a breaking of the rule of harmony. In bar 1 we have I/3-vi. The tenor leaps up to C and the Soprano does the same. Isn'...
5
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1answer
86 views

Hidden fifths between tenor and soprano in Tchaikovsky's “Guide to harmony”

I have been working through Tchaikovsky's "Guide to practical harmony" and found the following example quite early in the book: I am talking about the first measure. To me it seems that soprano and ...
7
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3answers
373 views

Can the leading note resolve down?

Would like to ask if the leading tone in chord V (G) could resolve downwards to Eb (fifth of chord I)? I’ve somehow recall reading that the rule (leading note MUST resolve to tonic) only applies to ...
3
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4answers
200 views

Why does the circle of fifths have to be symmetric

I have studied music theory ever since I studied piano playing. So I know about things like accidentals and how white key accidentals like Cb or E# make sense. But one thing I don't know about is ...
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2answers
147 views

Effective Verse-Chorus Pairs in Rock Songwriting [closed]

Ken Stephenson, in What to Listen for in Rock, holds that harmonic contrasts help delineate form in rock music. "In rock, where repetition of harmonic patterns is so common," he explains, "any break ...
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2answers
411 views

Sometimes I hear a top note that isn't there. Is this related to Harmonics?

When I try to copy a tune or watch other people play the piano, I sometimes hear a note that isn't there. Especially top note is the case. My teacher said that it is related to harmonics, told me that ...
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3answers
81 views

Would this note from Consolation No. 3 be considered a nonchord tone?

I was playing through Consolation No. 3 by Liszt yesterday, and I had a theory question about something. In the second measure of this picture, the harmony is an E major triad. This section is in A ...