Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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1answer
236 views

Does a melody (which will be used with chords) need to have the notes in the same scale?

I am trying to play a melody (that I got from a book) from piano to guitar and add chords to fingerstyle. Edit: I'd like to know if I need to play the notes of a melody at the positions from a ...
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2answers
1k views

Is it allowed to move from Perfect Fifth to an Octave between Bass and Tenor?

We're studying Traditional Harmony, I am given with the following exercise: And Iv'e decided to fill it this way, trying to make the sound more interesting. However I do find that between the bass ...
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871 views

Question on the harmony in Sweet Child o'mine

Sweet child o'mine has this progression in the intro: Db (sus4)-Db-Db(sus4)-Db-Ebm11/Cb-Gb (add2)-Db (sus4)-Db-Db(sus4)-Db And this progression in the verse: Db-Cb-Gb-Db How would you explain this ...
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How do you call when the same melody is played over and over with different bass notes

There are a lot of songs that have a melody, usually a simple one or even a two-note pattern, that is played during many bars, but the bass note for each bar changes, implying chord changes? One ...
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4answers
2k views

How to give voice into a chord progression?

Say, I am going to use my vocal into a chrod progression like C Am Dm G (that belongs to C major scale). Since a chord consists of three notes. As I know I can give voice any notes belonging to that ...
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3answers
282 views

Is this a form of cadence?

I had to harmonize a piece in E major with a given melody. The image below shows the end of the piece, with my harmonization. Normally, I would write the first beat of the second-to-last bar as B in ...
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2answers
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How are chord progressions built in a modal context vs traditional major/minor context?

This question is asked from the standpoint of popular music as it is today (2016). Let's confine the question to progressions that are 4 bars long, since that's the most generic pattern in pop music. ...
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3answers
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What are the uses of chromaticism?

I very much feel safe and pleasant in the world of tonality but I would like to learn more about chromatic playing. I do admire a blue note here and there, and I do admire very limited chromatic ...
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1answer
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What is the four tonic system?

What is the four tonic system? What's the theory behind it? How is it used in improvisation, harmonization, reharmonization?
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820 views

Harmony formula [duplicate]

Why the chords coming from an scale (harmonized chords) are made by using the first, third and fifth notes? Is that a convention? It's true that, for instance, in the natural major scale, these ...
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142 views

Identify chord proggression

Hi Im new to the site so please inform me if I am doing anything wrong. So,4 arpeggiated chords all sixteenth notes The arpeggio goes as follows: F-G-G#-C-D#-G-G#-C D-F-G-B -D-F-G-B C#...
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2answers
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Question about Harmonization

I watched a lesson where the teacher said that if we want to harmonize the fourth grade of C Major with 7/11 chord, we should use #11 (i.e. F maj 7 #11). I could not understand the reasons well. Is ...
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4answers
849 views

How can I imagine original melodies, chords, and drum patterns

I've been producing for about a year now since November, granted it's been on and off. I can come up with a few things by improvising (although that hasn't been case lately). What I really want to ...
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2answers
774 views

Chord progression template

Hello I'm searching for a basic chord progression template. So far I found this : I (vi) V, vii° IV, ii IV, iii, vi Where one can go on any level equal or lower than the level it's at and "1." can ...
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1answer
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What (if any) is the difference between m6 and half-diminished chord shapes?

Depending on the inversion, the chord containing the notes C Eb G A could be named A half-diminished or Cm6. How do the two chords differ harmonically? Is there an example of a chord progression ...
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4answers
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How do I practice harmonizing in singing?

I'm not good at singing harmonies. In my mind to harmonize, you can just sing an alternate melody and that usually sounds good with the main melody. I don't think to myself that I have to sing a 5th (...
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3answers
870 views

Music Theory, Circle of Fifth, Chords that fit, Exceptions and example song "Sultans of Swing"

I am playing guitar for some years now, mostly self-taught. I had never studied that much of music theory, but now as I want to improve my improvisation skill and want to get a broader view I started ...
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2answers
92 views

Could a third interval be seen as a step?

In the context of common practice music we study (or at least I studied) that a non-chord tone is said a neighbor tone if it's between two notes with the same pitch and differs from them for a step, ...
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3answers
844 views

Playing Major Scale on a Minor Song - Does It Work?

I've heard throughout several forums online that playing a major scale on a minor song doesn't work, yet playing a minor scale on a major song DOES work. Perhaps I misunderstood but that's as much as ...
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1answer
359 views

What are the V and VII chords of a double harmonic scale?

I'm having trouble figuring the v and vii chords in the double harmonic scale. Is it correct to assume the v is the supertonic half-diminished 7th in its 2nd inversion and the vii is the supertonic ...
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337 views

Need advice for the chords for a composed melody

I composed a melody of 32 bars for the first time and have added chords. I am not sure how well the chords fit, and I need your advice so that I can improve.
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3answers
548 views

Looking for suggestions to harmonize a melody I have

I've had a melody for a while and I've slowly added some chords to it that seem to work with what I hear in my head, but I'm struggling to find a chord or two for it. Part of the problem is that the ...
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3answers
684 views

What chord is FMa?

I'm not sure what FMa is signifying. It appears to have a 2nd and 6th added with the result of "f g c d".
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3answers
816 views

First note of a chord vs bass note of a chord

I am a bit confused as to what the bass note of a chord is. Isn't it the first note of the chord (or any of its inversions)? Or it can be any note that not necessarily belongs to the chord, as long as ...
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4answers
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Why is it called dominant function and not subtonic function?

I recently read the great and free infographics pamphlet over here: http://tobyrush.com/theorypages/ And I was wondering why the dominant and the leading-tone harmonies are having a "dominant ...
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1answer
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How to harmonise sharps or flats key

As I know the pattern to harmonise the key are 1 3 &5 , but how do you harmonise the sharps or flats ? As I tried the 1 3&5 pattern in keyboard and it doesn't sounds good. Thanks
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3answers
661 views

What is the purpose of voice-crossing here?

I'm starting to work through Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. For the two-voice, first-species, Phrygian-mode, lower-voice exercise (p. 36 on the first Google result for "Fux Gradus"), Aloys says that he ...
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1answer
307 views

What harmonic devices approach the tonic's root from a semitone above?

Usually, a dominant will have two voices approaching the tonic's root. Most traditionally, the leading melody comes from a semitone below, while the other (generally the bass) simply jumps between the ...
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1answer
607 views

Chord progression analysis

In the song "If You Have To Ask" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers there is this instrumental funk interlude with a bunch of seventh and ninth chords and I want to understand this progression more by ...
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1answer
854 views

term for when the melody stays the same, but the harmony changes?

Is there a term for when the melody repeats with the exact same notes (pitch and rhythm), but the harmony changes from under it? There are examples throughout music, but I just watched some Doctor ...
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1answer
743 views

Replacing male with female voices in vocal arrangement

If I have a vocal arrangement which was originally written for male voices, what do I do to replace one (or more) of the male voices by a female voice? Do I ask the female singer to sing the exact ...
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3answers
417 views

Can 2 Trumpet players be in a brass band? [closed]

I want to create a brass band with my friends at school. My friend is less experienced than me in playing the trumpet so I am the one who is most likely to do it. But my friend really wants to be part ...
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3answers
733 views

Does a dominant seventh chord always have to function as a secondary dominant/cadence?

Does a dominant seventh chord always have to function as a secondary dominant/cadence? In "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" they play a B7-C and a B7-G instead of resolving to an E. Does this just work as a ...
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2answers
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A triad is 3 notes, but on guitar, we strum more than 3 strings?

In music theory, I see that a triad is a chord built with three notes. Take Emaj in example; it is built with E,G#,B. But why when we strum all the six strings of the guitar does the harmony still ...
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2answers
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Why did they choose the diatonic scale?

I have many questions, but all related to the necessity (if any) of the diatonic scale and the consequences of this choice. First: what are the reasons behind the choice of the Western Music diatonic ...
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Dissonant notes extremely panned - what is that I hear?

I was studying the musical theory and an idea came to me - what happens if I play dissonant chords at the same time, but one of them being panned to the extreme left and the other one - to the extreme ...
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2answers
646 views

What can a dominant seventh over a submediant chord resolve to?

In this song from Family Guy, a barbershop quartet is singing a song in C major, and they end a phrase on a V7/vi (E7) chord, and proceed to drag that chord out for about one minute (until 1:52), at ...
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147 views

Transitive property of harmony feeling

Let a, b, c denote three different musical lines. My question is, would it be true to claim that, If a and b sounds good together and if b and c sounds good together, then a and c sounds good ...
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Why does Fux use F# in his counterpoint to a firmus written in G mixolydian

In the given image below, Fux writes a counterpoint to a cantus firmus given to him as part of his studies by his fictitious teacher Aloysious. A rule that is often emphasised is that one should ...
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5answers
317 views

"The" versus "a" diatonic scale

A diatonic scale is defined as an ordered collection of pitches. However, given the many modes of the diatonic scales, what is meant when someone says "the" diatonic scale? Wikipedia says it's an ...
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552 views

Can 2 single notes be considered as cadence?

I was studying a tutorial about phrases and cadences. I faced following image : Here [I] means first chord of F Major scale so it's F Major Chord. So is the next note (A) also considered as [I] or ...
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1answer
486 views

What is the exact usage of harmony?

I have completely studied music theory (even diatonic chords) and have just started harmony but I don't know what I am studying in harmony!!! I have faced 2 specific questions and 2 general question :...
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992 views

How many (parallel) harmonies can we have in a song without one harmony being an octave apart from another?

I usually can only come up with two separate harmonies for a song, the ones I came up with after that are usually an octave higher or lower than those two harmonies.
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In jazz, what is an upper structure triad?

What is upper structure? How are upper structure triads constructed? How are they used?
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Tonal harmony: 18th century counterpoint vs. Accessible contemporary harmony and composition

I have a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to "rules" regarding music of the bygone days of the traditional prelude & fugue, the motet, and four voice harmony of the Baroque era. Specifically,...
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1answer
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Theory of country music vocal harmonies

This is a question that I have overcome simply by harmonising by ear, however I've recently joined this forum and in the time I have been here, I've been amazed by the clear knowledge and talent of ...
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3answers
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Which notes are bass line, versus melody line, in a rock song?

I'm actually learning piano, and in piano i can play the bass with my left hand and the melody with my right hand. But it doesn't seem to be the case with guitars and i assume that one guitar should ...
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3answers
248 views

Learning to free-form harmonise when singing

Recently I've started trying to harmonise when singing in church, as the only place I regularly sing with a large group of people. I'm finding it really hard and I wondered if anyone can suggest how ...
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1answer
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What is the name of the (I think) Renaissance harmonic device used in choral music that sounds slightly odd today?

I remember in college hearing about people playing minor 'pranks' using this device, however I've forgotten the name and I can't remember the exact details. It has to do with notes (possibly sevenths?...