Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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2answers
705 views

"Romantic Harmony" example; Why does it work?

I was reading some of Ted Greene's work and came across this PDF http://www.tedgreene.com/images/lessons/chords/RomanticHarmony.pdf In it, he goes from a vi6 chord (this 6 doesn't mean first ...
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2answers
566 views

Modal theory and resolution

Does each mode resolved to their respective roots as modes are to be seen as nothing more than another degree of the same scale/key. Or do they always resolve to the root note of the respective major ...
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2answers
3k views

Are consecutive 3rds allowed in harmony?

In harmony, is it okay if there are consecutive 3rds in ii-V progression in two different bars?
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1answer
263 views

Are there any pre-20th century examples of an augmented 6th chord with a leading tone?

In a discussion about blues music, a friend described the presence of both minor and major thirds in a dominant-seventh tonality as a blues innovation. I wondered if there were examples of dissonant ...
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3answers
241 views

How can I express Dm using only the notes of C major?

I'm a guitarist duo-ing with a 'harp' player whose strings all are notes in the key of C. In other words, the harp player has the notes C D E F G A B available, and no others. The minor triads ...
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2answers
652 views

Is there a 5-7♭-1-4 chord?

I've encountered such a chord in a progression between a vi and IV and I couldn't quite figure out what it was supposed to be. I suppose it could be a v7 with a doubly diminished fifth or a I7 with an ...
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1answer
595 views

What is the name of the method when you put three major chords in a row?

Today I was trying to learn the song "Kimbra - Deep for you" by ear. First I came up with a melody (E-F-E D-C-D-C, C-D-Eb-D-Bb), but I had struggles finding the right chords, after some time, I ...
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2answers
714 views

How do I use quartal chords on guitar on common chord progressions?

I play rhythm guitar and solo in a four piece band that improvises on traditional folk music. I really like the sound of quartal harmony (building chords on fourths instead of thirds) and I've been ...
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2answers
942 views

Diatonic harmonic function of chord inversions

I'm trying to make my way through the classical harmony, and I'm making good progress, but since my last composition lesson there's been something which is not entirely clear to me. So my teacher is ...
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1answer
336 views

Optimal harmonic audiation techniques

I am trying to learn to audiate harmonies in order to be able to compose without instruments. I can already audiate melodies, but harmony is a real beast. (Edit: To be clear, I can recognize chords, ...
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4answers
222 views

Does the dominant chord change its function if you add 11th interval?

If I play a dominant B7 chord on the guitar in open position notes B D# A B F# and release the F# at the top to give me a E note as well, does the chord stay a dominant B7 or does it change? My ...
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7answers
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"The intervals considered dissonant have changed since the 'Middle Ages'"; How so?

In reading my new book 'Complete Classical Music Guide', I understand the following: If two notes are separated by a consonant the sound is pleasing to the ears. If they are of a dissonant ...
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1answer
78 views

How is this bar an example of the rule given in Tonal Counterpoint text?

The rule given in Green and Jones' The Principles and Practice of Tonal Counterpoint is: The seventh may move into another voice before resolving, but when the harmony changes it will almost ...
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1answer
373 views

What scale degrees form the most-used chords in a minor tonality?

We know that for songs written in a major tonality, the I, IV, V chords are the most used. The II chord is used often, the III and VI chords a slightly less often, and you almost never see the VII ...
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3answers
3k views

Why does the chord progression Dmaj -> Emaj -> Bmaj sound good?

I looked up the chord progressions for all major and minor scale keys, but this combination doesn't match any of them. Why does it work well?
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3answers
1k views

Why does the A♭–C–F♯ augmented sixth chord resolve to G?

If I take the augmented sixth chord Ab-C-F#, why is its dominant G? This augmented chord is in the F minor scale, isn't it? But isn't G the dominant in C? Maybe I missed something on how to understand ...
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1answer
665 views

Explaining the harmony of Wagner's Wanderer motif

Recently I listened to the Wanderer leitmotif from Wagner's Ring cycle. I was both impressed and perplexed by the motif's harmony. The picture below tries to explain the possible modulations that this ...
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1answer
338 views

Harmonization of bebop scale

When you harmonize a bebop scale, you get a succession of X6 and X° chords with tight voicings, which can be thought of as tiny I and V chord progressions. I've read that musicians with polyphonic ...
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4answers
748 views

Descending Minor7♭5 Introduction/Motif Questions

Some jazz arrangements that I've heard use a motif(?) where a series of descending minor chords are played, starting on the #iv of the major scale. For example, in the key of D, the progression is as ...
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1answer
563 views

Need Help with Trumpet Lesson and Piano Chords

Not sure how to explain my problem so please bear with me. I'm studying IIm7-V7 Etude from a Trumpet book called "Amazing Phrasing". It's called Idea #11 if anyone happens to have the book. It's a ...
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6answers
7k views

Is a dominante flat 9 chord also a diminished 7 chord?

As the title says, say I had an E7b9, could this not also be a G#dim7? If I understand correctly, the notes would be: E G# B D F = E7b9 - G# B D F = G#dim7 Is this correct? If so: Is this a ...
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1answer
120 views

Playing E Aeolian over B Aeolian progression?

I have this simple Bm G F#m Bm / Bm G F#7 Bm chord progression. AFAIK, that means I'm in B Aeolian (in the key of D major) - plus that F#7 dominant chord that would put me briefly in B harmonic minor? ...
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4answers
1k views

Is there any scientific reason why three notes are seen as required to create an 'unambiguous' harmony?

To me, three-note harmony works brilliantly with the diatonic scale and I can see why it became a common part of musical vocabulary. Nevertheless, taking a step back from that particular tradition, ...
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2answers
169 views

Looking for some harmonic justification of chord progression: F G Bbm --> F?

I have found this pretty melancholic cadence ( F-G-Bbm--> F) in many songs. For example in the beautiful Alan Parsons's "Since the last Goodbye", (in the form Db-Eb-Gbm--> Db). In this song the ...
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2answers
1k views

How to find what chord harmonizes with a given note in a given context?

I was playing pink Floyd's Shine on you crazy diamond. The ending note of Syd's theme (famous 4 note melody) is high E but it harmonizes with C major chord. Also how are the chords relatively higher ...
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2answers
319 views

Why do certain vocal melodies work in context when those same melodies would sound dissonant on instruments?

I've been transcribing more vocal lines lately in songs I like, to go along with the usual instrument transcription I do, and I've noticed something interesting - a lot of my favorite vocal parts ...
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2answers
1k views

What determines if counterpoint is good or bad?

I am currently reading through the Complete Musician and the current subject is second species counterpoint. I've written about 5 or 6 counterpoints so far in first and second species. That said ...
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1answer
155 views

Is it a chord? Same note different pitches [duplicate]

Is playing the keyboard notes on different pitches example c5,c6,c7, simultaneously from the white keys. a chord? Pardon for my English
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5answers
657 views

Question on harmonizing melodies

In the melody to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star there are places with two notes of the same pitch in a row. So far I have only studied harmonizing (four-part harmony) melodies without the same pitch in a ...
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2answers
732 views

Is this a hidden consecutive fifth?

I am working through some beginner counterpoint exercises, and I wrote this harmony above part of a cantus firmus: . By my understanding this should be a 3rd to a 5th, which should be acceptable, ...
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4answers
329 views

Name for major/minor ambiguity in cadence

Is there a name for a cadence which ends on I or i, but with the third intentionally omitted, so as to leave the final chord ambiguous between major and minor? Or a general term for using the tonic ...
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2answers
760 views

Can one build a harmonies over mixolydian, as we build harmonies over major and minor?

I was wondering recently, whether mixolydian, lacking the lead tone but otherwise being very similar to major (ionic), was a scale we could use for writing whole songs in. In Jazz theory, the basic ...
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5answers
325 views

What is the theory behind these minor chords becoming major?

Please tell what the theory is behind A minor chord becoming a major in a major scale, like now I am playing a Bollywood song called Senorita which is in the key of A major, but in the song there are ...
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3answers
791 views

Using SATB arrangements with a SAB choir

I do not have any tenors but I have lots of music arranged for four parts. Can I simply leave out the tenor parts? Will it adversely affect the music?
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3answers
2k views

Should the dominant-seventh chord in just intonation use 9:5 for its seventh, or rather 16:9?

It may be just out of habit, what with the 12-edo temperament all around us, but anyway: I find the dominant-seventh rendition 20:25:30:36 sounds extremely harsh. In particular, the tritone from the ...
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1answer
751 views

Film Scoring non-diatonic chord changes. Any good books?

so I've been reading about film scoring and how the composers typically use non-diatonic chord progressions (M3, m3 and tritone), for example C major to E-major and C major to E-flat major; to evoke ...
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5answers
301 views

How can I harmonize this V-I cadence? It causes parallel octaves between bass and soprano

How can I harmonize this cadence? V-I? It causes parallel octaves between bass and soprano
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3answers
3k views

What distinguishes the melody from the harmony? [duplicate]

What is it about the melody of a song that makes it unique from the harmony? To illustrate, if I hear a men's quartet sing a song I've never heard before in four part harmony where the melody is not ...
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1answer
239 views

Can Camelot Wheel help in modulation?

I almost casually found out about the Camelot Wheel: It is about mixing, but can't the same rules be applied to find nearby keys to modulate to? Of course it would not tell all of the information, ...
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1answer
772 views

When 2 parts are on the same line, how do I know who plays which part?

I have some flute sheet music that has 2 flutes on the same staff. How to I know which flute plays which part, and furthermore, there are 1s and 2s placed above certain notes in strange places. Do ...
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4answers
662 views

Locrian mode and power chords

I'm studying in an online game music course, and I'm experimenting Modes to add unusual sound to the music. I'm a complete newbie in music. So let's have the Locrian mode, the root chord is a dimished ...
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3answers
3k views

What is Debussy's influence on bebop?

It has been said that Claude Debussy invented jazz harmonic theory. But is there any evidence that Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, the inventors of bebop, were aware of Debussy's harmonic ...
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5answers
3k views

what are good chords to follow a V6 chord? good chord progressions, etc

I'm doing harmony and I got stuck when I was doing modulation. what is a good chord to put after a V6 chord that isn't an I?
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1answer
681 views

What did John Cage mean by 'harmony' in his explanation to Arnold Schönberg?

Source: John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings, p. 261 Bottom Left: Five years later, when Schoenberg asked me whether I would devote my life to music, I said, "Of course." After I had ...
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2answers
202 views

"Bad" voiceleading in Czerny Op.599

There seems to be a parallel octave between measure 3 and 4. (Marked with red) The seventh of the dominant seventh chord in measure 3 seems to have a "wrong" resolution. It is supposed to resolve ...
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3answers
1k views

Melody vs harmony and context

When a song is playing, what the bass is doing is called harmony. But what if you mute all the other tracks: would the bass alone be called a melody?
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1answer
97 views

Is it a good idea to create fomulas for chords and secondary dominants?

For example say I'm analyzing the piece and I'm using C major as a reference and I realize that the composer plays a dominant chord 3rd inversion Can I think of the dominant is 5-7-2-4 as well as ...
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2answers
1k views

What are some good classical pieces to start learning analysis for the beginner?

I'm in Piano grade 7 Royal Conservatory of Music and I'm finding Analysis to be quite challenging. I have no problem reading the music but if I really want to be able to learn a piece well I have to ...
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2answers
106 views

What are some sources I could use to get to a decent level to be able to analyze advanced classical pieces?

I love Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, Chopin and I just want to be able to understand even more by analyzing them. Does anyone know of a good source for me to study to be able to get to a level where I ...
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6answers
37k views

Do all chords in a progression usually fit within a scale

I am wondering if when writing a chord progression, all the notes fit within a single scale. If not, what is the logic behind chord progressions?

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