Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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2
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5answers
563 views

Bass notes relation to harmony?

I posted a question some time ago asking for tips And suggestions hearing chord progression. Many of the answers I received back told me to “listen to the bass note”. Anyone care to explain or ...
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2answers
175 views

Why weren't Ionian / Aeolian / Locrian modes considered Gregorian modes?

It is said that the Ionian (major), Aeolian (natural minor), and Locrian modes weren't really three of the ancient church (Gregorian) modes. What is the reason?
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1answer
48 views

Confused on marking figured bass for modulating sequence

I started writing down the figured bass of an anime theme, and for a particular passage, I am confused on how to accurately write the figured bass progression. I have recreated the bare progressions ...
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0answers
35 views

How is a song built [closed]

On what genres does this song build? im trying to think in the reference to the musical features such as rhythm, harmony, melody, instrument choices, and/or lyrics
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4answers
181 views

Tone Clusters Explained?

Can someone elaborate on tone-clusters and what exactly makes a set of notes be considered a tone-cluster? How are they similar and how do they differ from chords? To the users that are thinking of ...
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1answer
278 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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1answer
53 views

How polytonal is Stravinsky's music?

Stravinsky is known to have used polytonality in some specific cases. Wikipedia, for instance, lists in its page of polytonal pieces: Petrushka, opening fanfare Symphony of Psalms, 3rd Movement ...
4
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3answers
336 views

is '4 minor' sub-dominant?

Of the 3 'functions' - Tonic / Sub-dominant / Dominant, which is '4 minor'? Is '4 minor', like 4, sub-dominant, or is it dominant? (Obviously, it's not a 'proper' dominant - but then, neither is iii, ...
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5answers
200 views

How do you determine the Chord progression of a song?

Any tips or strategies that you guys would like to share on how you determine the chord progression in a song or a musical composition ? Though I understand chord progressions and the musical theory ...
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9answers
6k 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 ...
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3answers
104 views

Harmony third above

If your singing a third above the melody and the last note in a phrase is the highest note in the chord, e.g. chord is A and melody note is E, what should you sing as harmony?
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1answer
134 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 ...
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6answers
143 views

How to make chords and melody work together to sound good?

I write melodies. Now, I am trying to put harmony to them. I learned the chord basics. Today, I have two questions to ask, hoping to get answers by your kindness. I put a chord under every accented ...
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1answer
82 views

How to figure out a tone center in an ambiguous/chromatic situations?

This question bugs me since I started writing music. I'm asking in general, but I'll show an example so it would be more clear. Keep in mind the notation is arbitrary, as I don't quite know what I'm ...
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3answers
87 views

Consonance vs Stability [duplicate]

In this source, the guitar teacher claims that the m6 chord is more dissonant but also more stable than the m7 chord. He also says that consonance is not always correlated with stability. I can feel ...
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3answers
106 views

Writing characteristic chord progressions in inversion, & doubling notes other than the root

There are characteristic chord progressions taught in music theory, for example, the cadential 6-4, which is Ic - V - I. Then there's Ib - ii7b - V - I, & so on. I want to know if these cadences ...
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2answers
95 views

Triad improvisation, Key centers

Below is a paragraph that attempts to explain what happens when non-diatonic tones are introduced into a melody. I'm copying it word for word: While the key signature does establish the rules we must ...
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1answer
91 views

What is the best way to teach a friend to sing? (Improving hearing ability)

In the past, I thought that singing (I mean hearing the notes and being able to produce the same note) was given at birth and couldn't be improved. But in a year, a friend of mine improved himself so ...
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2answers
128 views

How does a symphony orchestra play in such perfect harmony?

I'm talking about live performances. I respect all musicians who allow us to enjoy beautiful art of music. The number of musicians in a modern symphony orchestra may be up to 100 and each person has a ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the internal harmony of this Liszt melody?

This is an exercise taken out of Walter Piston’s Harmony (4th ed). Let me know how you would change my progression. Thanks!
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3answers
60 views

Does tonality require consonance?

It seems like tonality and consonance go hand in hand, but I’m still unsure if consonance is necessary to establish a tonal center, or if consonance is just the preferred sound against a tonal center. ...
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5answers
222 views

Are rootless jazz chords truly rootless?

Comments about roots never being omitted in another question How to distinguish between a minor triad and a maj7 chord with same notes but without the root prompted this one. This question Why ...
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2answers
60 views

Within acoustic blues guitar, why triads and inversions?

Within acoustic blues guitar how important are triads and their inversions? I have read and studied, they are mostly used on the E1st. B2nd. and G3rd. strings, I do not quite understand them, I don’t ...
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2answers
2k views

Harmonic analysis of “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith

I'm trying to do harmonic analysis of "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith. Verses and choruses uses I to IV progression, but I wonder about the riff in the bridge. It seem to be played in the E key. Joe ...
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3answers
75 views

Do major seventh chord usually put the major seventh above the root?

It's been noted on this forum that dominant ninth chords normally have the ninth above the root. Is that same true for the major seventh of a major seventh chord? I've tried playing lots of ...
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3answers
80 views

Can a maj7sus4 chord be used like a dominant 7 chord?

I've read that dominant 7 chord drives toward some kind of resolution because the tritone between the 3rd and b7th that creates some form of tension that craves to be resolved one of these two ways : ...
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2answers
47 views

Is there a way to recognize the canonic (or generally imitative) potential in a given harmonic progression?

Suppose given a bass melody with either thoroughbass figuring or Roman numeral analysis. Is there a way to quasi-instantly recognize whether this bass melody admits of a canonic (or more generally, ...
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5answers
2k views

These two phrases use exactly the same notes, but one sounds major, the other minor. Why is that?

I've been playing around with arpeggios, adding an approach note for each degree of the arpeggio. In the first two-bar phrase below, I approach each note of the C Major arpeggio from the note one ...
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6answers
667 views

How does the tonic establish itself in a melody?

Whenever I hear an explanation about what the tonic or root note is, it’s about how it creates some kind of gravitational pull in the music. How does it do that exactly? How does our brain piece ...
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2answers
219 views

Diminished chord constructed over the tonic degree?

I have heard in certain songs the usage of a diminished chord in a major tonality which I think is not constructed over the seventh degree nor over the second degree. Moreover, in the two examples ...
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2answers
697 views

Why is the hexatonic scale that can be derived via a chain of perfect fifths so little-known?

When learning about European classical music, it's heptatonic scales. The pentatonic scale is also very well known and widely used in folk music in different parts of the world. However, before I ...
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4answers
385 views

Why do major and minor triads sound different both harmonically and melodically?

Sorry if the wording is odd, but basically my question is, why do the major and minor triads have two distinct sounds, if they share all of the same intervals? Not only when they’re stacked ...
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1answer
48 views

In 4-part harmony, Vii's 5th note (V7's 7th note) should also resolve down?

In 4-part harmony, isn't the Ⅴ7's 7th note supposed to resolve by going a step down? If so, because the ⅶ is the substitute of the Ⅴ, shouldn't the ⅶ's 5th note (Ⅴ7's 7th note) also resolve down? ex: ...
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2answers
67 views

Applied Chords notation

I have a chord in the key of F minor. The notes from the bass are A natural , C , F , E flat. From textbook: " Identify the following applied chord . Symbolize the chord using functional and root ...
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1answer
69 views

Chord progression for 1st 4 bars of Bach Prelude from Cello Suite No 1 Cello in G

The harmonic reduction of the first four bars of the Prelude goes like this: B | C | C | B D | E | F#| G G | G | G | G When I hear this and also based on my understanding of tonal harmony, I'd analyse ...
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3answers
1k views

How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
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1answer
151 views

Dreamy musical phenomenon

It happens mainly when I am relaxed, about to sleep or near to wake up, but it also happens other times but less often, generally on quiet environments, then I start to listen a music on my head, most ...
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4answers
165 views

Why does A minor scale sound the “best” over Dm and C chord progression?

I created a little loop with the following two intervals: D A and C G Listen here: https://tinyurl.com/ybsukagd In looking at what scale to use to solo over that simple progression, I thought D ...
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5answers
185 views

Does VI-VII prepare i in D natural minor?

Why can we say that VI-VII prepares i in D natural minor ? VI is the chord B♭-D-F and VII the chord C-E-G. I am struggling to answer this question...
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2answers
745 views

Is a lydian II - V - I progression common?

I recently learned that there's a harmonic reason why some scales exist. If you have a minor scale but want to have a dominant V chord, sharpen the 7th degree and as a byproduct you get the harmonic ...
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3answers
295 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 ...
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3answers
206 views

Diminished seventh spelling but functioning as an Augmented Sixth?

I know that there are many ways to resolve a diminished seventh chord, but only a few ways to resolve an augmented sixth chord. I have done modulations from the minor tonic to the major subtonic using ...
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4answers
88 views

IVm6 or IVm7? (in major)

(Note: using the key of C major as generic instead of roman numerals.) Yesterday I was reading the book "Hearin' the Changes" (by Coker, Knapp and Vincent), which discusses Fm7-B♭7-C as an ...
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2answers
61 views

iii and V share the same function in D major?

Consider the scale degree D major. Can I say that the iii (F#-A-C#) and the V (A-C#-E) share the same function because F# and A are distant by a minor third ?
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6answers
414 views

flattened-seventh chord function [duplicate]

I this post, I received some information on the usage of a flattened-seventh chord in progressions, which, along with the flattened-third, seem to be popular choices in the rock world to add flavor. ...
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2answers
272 views

Do we hear bass/baritone solo melody lines as being implicitly “on top of” the accompaniment, for harmonic purposes

I admit that the title of the question sounds a little strange, but I wanted to posit a more general question based on a specific song I was looked at. I was looking at this arrangement of Chega de ...
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1answer
55 views

Question from Piston Harmony 5th Ed. Chapter 2

I'm confused by the following exercise in the 5th ed. of Piston's Harmony, page 21. "Exercise 7 j: With G# as the soprano note, write in four parts a triad in first inversion, with the subdominant in ...
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1answer
56 views

Is there a particular reason why the progression I - II4/2 - V6/5 - I was such a popular opening progression for Baroque keyboard preludes?

I'm currently reading John Mortensen's wonderful book on keyboard improvisation. (See this link here.) In the chapter on figuration preludes he states that the progression I - II4/2 - V6/5 - I was a ...
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6answers
2k views

Melody using a different scale than the bassline - what is it called?

Since I only know some very rudimentary terms in music theory, I don't know what it's called when one does the following to create a sort-of interesting sound. Suppose I'm playing the piano, using my ...
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2answers
151 views

What is a Diatonic tendency tone?

"In the four-part writing of diatonic seventh chords the fifth may be omitted, in which case the doubled note in a four-part texture should not be a tendency tone. The most common doubling is the root....

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