Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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4
votes
7answers
732 views

Is harmony based on intervals rather than chords?

I understand this to be true: chords are basically just intervals. Our modern way of thinking about harmony is based on thinking about chords rather than intervals. This seems wrong. It seems like we'...
3
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2answers
332 views

Is Twinkle twinkle little star based on a drone/bourdon?

Is Twinkle twinkle little star based on a drone/bourdon? If you say no then what is it based on?
1
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1answer
40 views

Function of Minor sixth chords

What are the precise harmonic functions of the Minor sixth chord? I remember that I read somewhere that they play often the role of the I degree in a chord progression (like the often used 6/9 chord) ...
4
votes
4answers
87 views

Diminished 7th notation, match the key or key signature?

I'm planning on using a diminished 7th to modulate out of Eb minor and into Eb major. I'm thinking of using this diminished 7th or one of its enharmonic equivalents: This chord could then resolve to ...
12
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7answers
2k views

Exactly what does “diatonic” mean?

Is the meaning very context dependent, or can it be defined in general terms? Does the meaning change by author or period? Sometimes it's used to refer to anything that stays within a specific tonal ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

What are the characteristics of Late Romantic Russian Music?

I've been recently listening to some late Romantic Russian music (Lyapunov, Kalinnikov, Tchaikovsky, etc.) and was wondering how best to mimic this style. So far, I've observed a handful of shared ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

When does one omit the fifth in V7 chord in classical harmony?

The textbooks on classical harmony that I have read (Leo Semlek, "Klassikalise harmoonia lühiõpik" ["A Short Textbook on Classical Harmony"] and "Klassikalise harmoonia õpik" ["A Textbook on Classical ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

How do I work out the chords in Rachmaninoff op 23 No7

In this piece Rachmaninoff's writing is very chromatic. It is very hard to distinguish what notes should be considered as part of the functional harmony and what are passing chromatic notes. I have ...
5
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4answers
60 views

Why can't a fugue begin on the mediant?

I've seen in a few places that the subject of a fugue begins on either the tonic (first degree) or dominant (fifth degree). From what I've read, the stated reason is that the answer (a transposed ...
2
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2answers
64 views

What is this chord in Haydn's Symphony No. 94?

Can anyone tell me what chord is in bar 115 of the attached image, and how it relates to the key of F minor (just edited, accidentally said F# minor at first) (which is also the subsequent chord)? It ...
3
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3answers
129 views

What is the harmonic function of a Eb/F in the Dm tonality?

What is the function of the Eb/F chord. How does it relate to the Dm harmonic field? The question comes from 0:30 time at Thank you
0
votes
2answers
66 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?
4
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5answers
560 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
142 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
88 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
3
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2answers
342 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?
2
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4answers
99 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
354 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?
6
votes
4answers
439 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
159 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 ...
2
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3answers
65 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 ...
1
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3answers
81 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 ...
5
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2answers
54 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
4
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3answers
405 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?
4
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2answers
131 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 ...
0
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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
62 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 ...
7
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2answers
699 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
99 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 ...
9
votes
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
54 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?
9
votes
2answers
181 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?
2
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1answer
89 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 (...
4
votes
2answers
89 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
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
13
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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 ...
5
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
712 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?
3
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2answers
97 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 ...
2
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3answers
186 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
64 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
147 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
votes
1answer
105 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
2
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...