Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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1answer
26 views

In A natural minor what are the tonic and sub dominant family chords?

Many songs that I study use the natural minor scale so there is never a raised leading tone. In music written this way, there obviously is no dominant chord so then what do the diatonic chords ...
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1answer
27 views

I chord interpretation and broken chord interpretation blocking broken chords

I'm having trouble interpreting this chord. It is labeled as a I chord, and from seeing that there is no key signature, I'm assuming it's in Cmaj or Amin. But what I'm not getting is, to my knowledge, ...
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3answers
59 views

Does tempo affect use of non-harmony notes?

Writing a four part piece for strings at a very slow tempo (55 bpm). On paper, it seems as though the non-chord notes I have selected should work, but I am finding some of them jarring. I am unsure if ...
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1answer
33 views

Bassline Harmony

Compare guitar 2 and bass in the song tab here- GnR - Nightrain. If you look at the notes played by bass relative to the guitar in verses 1 and 2, you can see instances of Major 6th, Minor 7th, Major ...
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1answer
178 views

What is the Root/Quality chord symbol for this note cluster?

I am just starting to learn the music for Leigh Harline's song : "When You Wish Upon A Star" In measure 5 the LH notes are C, D, and E and the RH notes are G♭, A♭, B♭ and C. The beginning ...
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1answer
43 views

Inversions of diminished 7th chords

I have the following passage in D minor which features two diminished 7th chords: I have labelled most of the chords, but I am at a loss of how to label these two diminished 7th chords. If I could ...
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3answers
351 views

Are “direct 5ths” only a problem if they occur between the same voices?

I am studying part writing and there is an example of what is considered good and bad part writing. One that confuses me a little is this one: The reason cited for this being bad is: "Leading-...
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3answers
190 views

Roman Numeral Analysis - Tonicization of relative major key in minor key

I have a passage that I am trying to analyse with roman numerals: The passage is in B minor, but the section in question briefly tonicizes D major - the relative major key. My question is, how can ...
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1answer
179 views

How to apply Paul Hindemith's harmonic theory

I have been studying Paul Hindemith's "The Craft of Musical Composition, Book 1: Theory", trying to apply Hindemith's principles to my own harmonies and melodies. As you may know, Hindemith'...
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1answer
94 views

Harmonic Analysis of C. M. von Weber Clarinet Concerto No.1

My question is regarding this passage from C. M. von Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 1. The passage is taken from the exposition of the first movement and has so far been established in F minor. Bars 20 ...
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2answers
56 views

Why is it that C7 (or F7 or Eb7) has a minor seventh instead of a major seventh? [duplicate]

Pretty much what the title says, why is it that chords like C7 or F7 have a minor seventh instead of a major one? Is there any particular reason to it?
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1answer
60 views

Unresolved, non-dominant sevenths in SATB chorale harmony

I'm working on taking some chorales and their soprano lines out of Bach, and making my own harmonizations/compositions — somewhat more elaborate ones than the typical, straight quarter note exercise. ...
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3answers
72 views

Harmony behind Guthrie Govan's Wonderful Slippery Thing

The tune can be found here: Main chord progression is: Bm7 - D9 - Gmaj7 - F#7b9 My understanding is that it's actually: i - V/vi - vi - V With D9 being secondary ...
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2answers
99 views

Old school reharmonization of jazz songs

I'm wondering how to reharmonize a jazz song using a traditional jazz style that avoids modern substitutions and extensions. As an example, I've got this score here. You can see the two ...
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2answers
74 views

sharp ii dim 7th: How to use?

Still here and working on part-writing. I have used a sharp ii dim7th chord, straight after iihalfdim7- leading to V. Is this actually the right place to put it in terms of chord sequence/harmonic ...
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2answers
71 views

Harmonizing a modulating melody with ornamentations

I've been self studying Tchaikovsky's harmony textbook and supplementing it with harmonizing melodies from Anton Arensky's "1000 tasks for the practical study of harmony" and I've run into ...
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1answer
403 views

Chord voicings used by backup trios in Motown girl groups?

On songs like Be my baby by the Ronettes or Will you love me tomorrow? by the Shirelles (a Carole King tune), there seems to be a standard style of arrangement where you have the lead vocals sung by ...
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4answers
115 views

Are certain 4 part writing rules contradictory?

I am told that I cannot double the 3rd when constructing a 4 part triad but at the same time I am told that the only note that can be omitted is the 5th. So in a triad, if I omit the 5th, then all I ...
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3answers
132 views

Why is there no full triad as the last chord in 4 part counterpoint?

I read that it is impossible to have a full cadence using all three notes of the final triad in a 4 part counterpoint piece. Here is the exact bit of info: "we can’t easily arrive at a full triad ...
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2answers
67 views

Four part writing: How to voice augmented 6th chords?

I have recently started adding augmented 6th chords to my part writing. As far as I can tell, I have not broken any harmonic rules in the displayed voicing, yet it does not sound right to me. Just ...
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4answers
1k views

How much of a jazz tune should I pre-arrange?

I have been learning jazz piano (mainly solo) for a few months and am trying to incorporate more color and more interesting voicings in my chords. However, I find it very difficult to keep the ...
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1answer
80 views

How do I improve my composing skills [closed]

I've been composing for over a year, since the pandemic has started. I've been composing a lot of simple pieces, most of them are SATB. I want to improve my composing skills because when I listen to ...
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3answers
105 views

Four part writing: How to voice diminished 7th chords?

I am currently doing part writing, and have come into a bit of a conundrum. I want to use a sharp 4 dim 7 (Fsharpdim7), to link up my IV chord (FM) to my V7 chord (G7). I know that 7ths should usually ...
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2answers
246 views

Four part writing problem: tripled root solution. what is best practice here?

I have hit a problem with this chord change in my four part writing. We are in A minor. The VI chord is in first inversion, so A must be in the bass. (I have made a mistake in the figure. the VI ...
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2answers
105 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 ...
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0answers
26 views

Do triply diminished or augmented intervals actually occur in common-practice music? [duplicate]

Doubly diminished or augmented intervals are occasionally to be seen in common-practice music, but I don't recall ever seeing a triply or quadruply dim. or aug. one. Do they actually occur in ...
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3answers
135 views

Why Should I always follow the rules of functional harmony? [closed]

I have used functional harmony many times in my compositions to write chord progressions with success, however there are times when using functional harmony doesn't sound good to me and others when I ...
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2answers
61 views

Naming/understanding this dominant chord with quartal upper structure

I'm trying to understand an interesting non-diatonic chord in the chord progression at 0:30-0:45 of this video; my rough transcription of the chords is as follows. As far as I can tell, the non-...
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8answers
1k views

What do you call a suspension that never resolves?

In "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles, I notice the melody plays a note (E) just before the second chord which looks like a suspension except it never gets resolved as there is no E in Bm. ...
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2answers
392 views

Interpolated chords: How do they work?

Recently, I studied the tune 'Misty' by Eroll Garner. I was slightly confused as to the middle section of the piece, as it involves a passage with some delayed resolutions. I have come across three ...
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2answers
101 views

How do I fix a last chord that has a doubled leading tone?

The chord is "V6 (i.e., first inversion) in Bb major", and has a "2/4" time meter. So far I have been able to set up the four different voice parts as follows: -Soprano: C -Alto: F ...
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2answers
134 views

Why is there no fourth minor scale with a natural 6 and a flat 7?

These scales are considered the minor scales: natural: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 harmonic: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7 melodic: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 (ascending) However, this scale: 4th min: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 ...
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1answer
66 views

How does Modulation in Spirited Away - Name of Life work?

I was wondering if there is any harmonic reasoning and mechanism in play with the modulation from C major to Eb major in measure 103? The only "logic" that I can think of is that in previous ...
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2answers
127 views

How does music theory explain I-VII7-I? [duplicate]

In the tune called Whispering we find C-B7-C (I-VII7-I). The melody descends from C to B in bars 2 and 3. The chords also do this. B7 sounds a bit like a dominant chord to me but it uses non-scale ...
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1answer
65 views

Roman numeral analysis of chord with non-chord tone in bass

We use figured bass notation to help indicate chords in inversion by establishing the interval between the bass note and the other notes of the chord. I have seen figured-bass symbols applied to ...
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4answers
290 views

Harmonizing in fingerstyle with a bass line

I would like to learn some music theory relevant to harmonizing melodies for the fingerstyle guitar. The discussions of harmonization that I have seen focus foremost on the chord progression. This ...
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1answer
56 views

If I play C1, F1, G1 - will F1 and G1 together cause dissonance or sound bad(to most people)?

If i play C1, F1, G1 at the same time: • C1 & F1 = Perfect 4th • C1 & G1 = Perfect 5th ● What about F1 & G1 at the same time? Would these sound bad together? (to most people) What is ...
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2answers
121 views

Do 11th chords change depending on genre?

In my training, I've always learned (and I still teach) that 11th chords don't have the chordal third; the dissonance between the 3rd and 11th (an octave-displaced fourth) seems to weaken the chord, ...
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1answer
95 views

what is the method behind naming jazz chords? [closed]

I have recently become confused about how to name chords in jazz. This is my current understanding: Add chords (without 7th)- chord that contains the root, third, (optional 5th) and one or more ...
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6answers
58 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 ...
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1answer
106 views

Why is this jump allowed in four-division time strict part-writing?

From Tchaikovsky's harmony textbook, "Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony", page 121: Concerning example 323 (image below) in the 9th bar bass voice (red circle): Why is this jump from ...
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4answers
1k views

Where can I learn to write chord progressions like Bob Dylan?

Let me start off by saying that I have no folk background, and I am not aware of the rich tradition of folk or folk-rock. That being said, I understand that, similar to the blues tradition, there are ...
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5answers
411 views

Does melodic minor ever function as a key (or tonality) in of itself?

I am getting into jazz harmony, so have recently started learning chords derived from the modes of the melodic minor scale. As far as I can tell, these modes are primarily used for two main functions: ...
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2answers
115 views

Chromatic Passing notes in Tchaikovsky's Harmony book

From Tchaikovsky's harmony textbook, "Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony", page 98: In the image below, why are the bars contained in the red box of example 258 considered good? The ...
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3answers
84 views

Modal Chord Progressions [duplicate]

I understand how the modes sound different by targeting certain notes. That part is coming together aurally. What I don't understand is how a chord progression can be model. Since chord progressions ...
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0answers
56 views

What is the tonalilty/mode of Sitting on the dock of the bay -Ottis Redding? [closed]

I was wondering what is the tonality of Sitting on the dock of the bay ( ) since no diatonic scales fit the chord progression. Here is the chord progression : G | B7 | ...
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2answers
64 views

2 atypical cadences, are they half cadences?

So, I analyzed the harmony and structure of Grande Valse Brilliante op. 18, and most of the cadences make perfect sense to me, but there are 2 cadences that don't really, one on the tonic, which I can ...
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3answers
65 views

Ascending and descending chord movement and its effect on harmonic function

Is the cadence I to V the same regardless of its position relative to the tonic? E.g In C major C4 E4 G4 --> G4 B4 D5 vs C4 E4 G4 --> G3 B3 D4 The thing that has made me question this is the ...
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1answer
51 views

Is it better for the voice to match the music?

I'm 18 and very new to music theory. I was in band and middle school for a year and took Music Appreciation in my senior year of high school. But one thing I never came to understand was sound keys ...
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7answers
278 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 ...

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