Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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What key is this in? [closed]

I'm new in the forum. I have lots of unasked questions about music theory because I'm a self taught musician with no formal training, so I have a lot of confusion between concepts like, for example, ...
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Why does a C Major chord work in the key of D Major [duplicate]

I apologize if this is a dumb question. I don't know a great deal of music theory but I am interested in learning more about it. I've seen that if you harmonize the major scale you get I maj, II min ...
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Why does VII have dominant function in natural minor

I have noticed with my own compositions that I can take something like B♭ major and use it to prepare for a C minor entrance, even if C minor is in fact the tonic. Also I have noticed that I can use G ...
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1answer
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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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What is “Four Part” Harmony?

Can someone explain “four part” harmony and its difference or/and its relation to regular harmony? I’ve been searching the internet and can’t find any information that clearly answers my question ...
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Can you solve these figured bass queries?

Hi guys- I'll try and keep it brief. Working through a figured bass workbook and came across a couple of points of confusion. In bar 5, we seem to have just modulated to G minor, as shown by the A ...
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Is it even possible to to add voices to this 2-part harmony?

Soprano: C-B-A-A-G (descending) Bass: A-B-C (ascending), then down to D and up to G. Can you even add tenor and alto without breaking the rules of harmony? It seems like it is impossible. So are there ...
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What is the relationship between the chords in the bridge of Frank Ocean's Sweet Life?

The chords in the bridge to Frank Ocean's Sweet Life are: ||: C#maj9 | C#m7 | Bmaj7 | A#m7 :|| Here's a link to a tutorial of the song that shows the chords: And a ...
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1answer
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Voice-leading issue - Can you split your chords across instruments?

is thi sa voice leading issue? I'm running into issues when creating my harmony section for pop songs, I can create melodies, chord progressions, basslines and percussion but I'm running into issues ...
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5answers
612 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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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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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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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
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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
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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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