Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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Harmonic Voices Alongside Counterpoint

I'm writing a piece for a rather large ensemble: full string section SATB choir plus soloists 2 of oboe, bassoon, and trombone c-g timpani In one of the sections, the chorus sings a fugato while the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
96 views

Chopin - Waltz in C Sharp Minor (Op. 64 No. 2) analysis

This is the piece I want to discuss: Waltz in C♯ minor. You can listen to it on YouTube here (played by Arthur Rubinstein) with added music score, or on musescore.com here (played as MIDI) also with ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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What is the function of the last chord in Final Fantasy VIII's "Liberi fatali"?

For over twenty years now I've been confused by the final chord in one of the most famous video-game openings of all time. For a piece that bounces around between A and D with a bit of E♭ and D♭ ...
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5 votes
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Is there an alternative notation for polychords that won't be confused with slash notation?

We have a terrific guide on slash notation, a notational practice in which, for example, Gm/D means a G-minor triad with a D in the bass (i.e., in second inversion). A polychord, though, is indicated ...
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8 votes
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Seemingly unsolvable SATB harmonization

Was working on the following exercise in RCM Harmony 9 - it seems like there's no solution if you follow all the SATB rules. It's in F# minor, so looking at the second note, we see that it's tonic (...
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2 votes
2 answers
597 views

Why does this progression with a G# instead of a G in the bass make sense?

In the C, Ami, F, & G7 progression (or I, vi, IV, V7 and back to I) a standard for the 1950's but used in 1938 for "Blue Moon." There is a progression I use Cmaj7, C#dim6, Fmaj7, G/b9, ...
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How to write a bass line in classical style?

Folks: I am trying to add bass to this melody. A good style of doing bass is the following link - Ennio Morricone’s Once Upon A Time In The West. The first 60 seconds should give a clear demonstration ...
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Why does this intro chord progression work?

I use this sequence of chords, Dmaj7, C#mi7, Emi7, E7, Eaug, Amaj7(A C# G# E), A#5#3 (A F A D), Amaj7 as an introduction for songs "Try a Little Tenderness" and "No, You Don't Know Me.&...
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what is the oldest use of 9th chords in western music and when did they become popular

From page 752, of Laitz's The Complete Musician 4th edit. ''(...) By continuing the process of stacking thirds, these composers added another third above the seventh, creating a ninth chord; by adding ...
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2 votes
1 answer
406 views

How are the Imperial March intro harmonies best interpreted on piano?

I'm wondering how the below is most effectively performed on piano. I've solved the 'rhythm problem' (i.e., the very rapid triplet repetitions) by using both hands via piano 'split' feature — each ...
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5 votes
3 answers
256 views

Harmonizing Melodies a 3rd or 4th Below

When writing second parts for melodies, I've read that a good starting point can be to write something basically parallel either a 3rd above or a 3rd below. In both major and minor keys, the 3rd below ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to determine if a song is in F#Aeolian or D Lydian or Ab Locrian

Hello how are you? :) delighted to be here in my first post, I am a graduate of Sound Engineering and I am currently studying modern harmony in a self-taught way, I have been able to understand the ...
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0 answers
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Composing romantic pieces

I am a fan of the organist Wolfgang Seifen. Recently, he played a piece which fascinated me: An arabesque in the style of German romanticism. (Hear it) Being myself interested in improvisation, I did ...
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3 votes
4 answers
173 views

Non Diatonic Harmonization?

First of all, I'm a self taught musician. I have a basic understanding of music, and I can play piano too. I understand the theory behind diatonic scales and how the harmony works. I have learned ...
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2 votes
5 answers
172 views

Should I continue my classical study (avoiding parallel 5ths and octaves)

I just want to make pop tunes but I do take my hobbie seriously. Do the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Stevie wonder avoid parallel 5ths/octaves? Have any of you studied their sheet music and ...
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Avoid Notes while playing chords over chords [closed]

im just wondering how people work with avoid notes when playing chords over a drone chord. If you watch this video of this song i really enjoy I noticed this composer uses a bunch of avoid notes over ...
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Can the final cadence of Dvorak 9 Finale (D7/A - E) be viewed as a plagal cadence?

The finale of Dvorak 9 in E minor cadences D7/A - E. I heard from somewhere that it can be viewed as one kind of a plagal cadence and I'm wondering if that's true.
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Harmony Lines for Pentatonic Melodies

I found this great video on harmonizing pentatonic melodies. By harmonize in the case I mean creating second lines to go with a melody, rather than finding a suitable chord progression. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
181 views

Harmonic analysis of J.S. Bach's Prelude in Cm (BWV 847)

I sometimes try to analyze the harmony of a Bach prelude to understand how chords change, and how he manages to shift from one key to another. Here is the prelude in Cm BWV 847 (source image, MP3 here)...
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An accented or a non-accented passing tone?

Okay, this might seem like a silly question, but I didn't find a quick answer through Google, so here it goes. I was just sketching a little pastiche in the style of Bach in the key of B minor. I ...
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1 answer
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Why is this augmented 4th bad ? 16th century counterpoint

I'm studying 16th century counterpoint. My book says, when writing a melody for second species, augmented 4th or augmented 5th shouldn't occur between strong beat and a strong beat. But this is not ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is this untreated major seventh acceptable because of the tonic pedal? (recapitulation of the 1st mov. of Mozart's Piano Sonata nº 7, K.309)

I am referring to the G-F# in m. 123. We are in G major, as I understand, heading to a PAC (m. 126) that will be reinterpreted as a half-cadence when the subordinate theme starts at m. 127. I am ...
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5 votes
2 answers
443 views

what's the role of Ebmaj7 on this Ebmaj7 D7#9 Gm9 progression?

I'm trying to understand this chord progression: Ebmaj7 D7#9 Gm9 Ebmaj7 F#dim7 Gm9 Bb13 I know from D7#9 to Gm9, that's a V-i. But where's the Ebmaj7 coming from? Does it come from the relative major ...
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Is consecutive 8’s on resolving the 7s in the weak beat against the rules ? 16th century counterpoint 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion

This is my exercise on 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion 16 century counterpoint. Is consecutive 8’s on resolving the 7s in the weak beat against the rules ? (At measure 5,6 between the soprano and ...
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5 votes
3 answers
145 views

Can a Round Modulate?

I've been messing around with simple 2-part rounds recently, and also with modulation. The question occurred to me, can a round modulate? Initially I though not, since it would involve having parts in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
220 views

Seems to fit all 3 PAC criteria and yet I'm told it's a root position IAC?

So, as I have been looking for examples of the 3 different types of IAC(Imperfect Authentic Cadence), I run into this: A cadence that looks like a PAC(Perfect Authentic Cadence) on paper, but which I'...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Difference between bVII and vii (diminished 7th) triad

I came across a chord progression called the Mixolydian Vamp denoted as : I bVII IV I, but I don’t recognize bVII. What is its relation to the diminished 7th diatonic triad (vii degree)?
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Harmonisation when ascending with melodic minor

I've just learned that baroque music often uses the melodic minor when ascending but the natural minor when descending. But what I don't understand is how the harmonisation is since I assume ascending/...
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Does moving from V to vii°7/ii count as a Deceptive Resolution?

I'm curious about this because I saw exactly this kind of thing in a Mozart piece I analyzed a while back when looking for Deceptive Resolution examples. The first cadence evasion was undoubtably a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
357 views

What is the theoretical explanation of D/F# chord in this turnaround?

Here is the sequence in harmonic Am. What is the function of D/F# in terms of tonal harmony. Borrowed chord from parallel major? Chromatic inflection? Am-D/F#-F-E-A
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5 answers
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To add chords to a song, is playing the chord that carries the melody equivalent to playing the melodic note as note 1, 3 or 5 of the chord?

When I was learning how to play songs on piano by ear, I didn't know how to add chords to a song melody. What I found on videos and on the Web was that you select a chord that carries the melodic ...
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4 votes
1 answer
250 views

Harmonic Analysis: How would you interpret these 4 bars? Var. 18 Rhapsody by Rach

Great community I've stumbled upon. It's been some time since I've done harmonic analysis and I'd appreciate some thoughts about these four bars towards the end of the 18th Variation.
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6 votes
1 answer
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Clarification on Schoenberg's "pivot tones" in minor from Theory of Harmony

While going through chapter 5 I have multiple times had to amend my understanding of the four instructions Schoenberg gives on the usage of the sixth and seventh degrees of the minor scale. My ...
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4 votes
4 answers
613 views

C7 to Bb in "I'll See You in my Dreams" [closed]

"I'll See You in my Dreams" verse to chorus seems awkward. It’s shown as C7 To Bb but seems to need to go through F which is not shown on lead sheets. I’m a relative novice and grappling ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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How to estimate a tempo by looking at a melody

There is an exercise in a Harmony book by Aldwell & Schacter, where you are asked to figure out the correct meter and to estimate a "suitable tempo" for a snippet of melody, in other ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Ascending bass and chord progression in harmonic minor (example)

Hello again! Here is another simple harmonic minor progression with ascending bass. Questions: Is bar4 viio in second inversion? In bar6 there seems to be VI (Fmaj7) but at downbeat there is b and d. ...
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Does vi6 exist?

My textbook "Harmony and voice leading 4th edition" (by Aldwell/Schachter) says that vi6 chords do not exist and that any such chord should be seen as a tonic chord with a non chord tone. ...
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1 vote
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Is there any theory of harmony that can explain all chord progressions? [closed]

Is there any comprehensive theory of why some chord progressions sound good? There should be some kind of underlying explanation for every chord progression, some principles to cite about why one ...
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5 votes
1 answer
393 views

Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 1: A mysterious mutated note in the 12th bar?

In Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 1 (C major) has a particularly mysterious mutated note in the 12th bar shown in the red box (this note does not repeat the voice of the previous blue box): Question Is ...
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What is the function of this diminished 7th chord in KV 332? [duplicate]

Consider the following cadence from the 3rd movement of Mozart's piano sonata KV 332: What is the function of the diminished 7th chord B D F Ab?
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2 votes
3 answers
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Is this passage from the development of K 545 another instance of the Circle of Fifths Progression?

So, I've been writing a book on music theory and I'm getting ever closer to the place where I will go in depth on the common chord progressions of Classical Music including: Circle of Fifths(here, I ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Why does V7 resolve so well to VI∆7?

One progression I come across often (in tonicizations or modulations) is V7 to VI∆7. For example: G7 to A∆7. In playing with it, I notice that the V chord can be in many different forms, including ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to write a chord analysis when tonicizing vi

I wanted to write a short harmony exercise in 4 parts where there is a brief tonicization or modulation to the relative minor and then back to the original major key. I am not sure if I have labelled ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Questions on Chord progression in "Cocaine Blues"

In the song "Cocaine Blues" (in the style of Townes Van Zandt) the opening chord progression (transposed to C) is C - E7 - F. That is a I - III7 - IV or a V - VII7 - I, depending on what ...
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3 answers
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Given a four note combination under the span of a fourth, does this chart correctly show the number of times it will appear in a scale?

I have made this chart that shows how many times will a four note combination under the span of a fourth whether perfect or augmented appear in a scale and some observations, so I wanted to ask you if ...
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1 vote
2 answers
184 views

Understanding dissonance in Mozart's String Quartet No. 19

I perfectly understand how the dissonance is built as explained by Wikipedia : The first movement opens with ominous quiet Cs in the cello, joined successively by the viola (on A♭ moving to a G), the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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VImaj7-V7-i What is the role of the VIth?

I'm analyzing the first movement of "Suite del Plata Nº1" by Máximo Diego Pujol called "Preludio" that it's on D minor, I have encountered the following progression i-VImaj7-V7, I'...
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1 vote
1 answer
121 views

What does a 7 - 6 mean in figured bass?

Here in this voice leading exercise I am doing I have 73 going to 63 in the figured bass but I am not sure what this means for the voice leading. I understand the 7-6 means that the 7th above the ...
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13 votes
5 answers
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Why does "just intonation" make it so different keys have different characteristics?

Introduction So, the "just intonation" system introduces a scale where every note is aimed to be a more harmonious low-integer ratio (harmonic) relative to the fundamental. In the case of C,...
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