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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2answers
119 views

How to (decently) harmonize the modes of the “darkest scale ever”?

I was hearing this very interesting video by Rick Beato and Nahre Sol about the 7 modes of the "darkest scale ever" (the double harmonic major scale): The 7 ...
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2answers
163 views

Why do open voicings of chords sound less dissonant/more harmonious?

I have been thinking about why open voicings of chords are considered to sound better then closed voicings. It is just because the frequencies are farther apart and thus we have a more harmonic sound, ...
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6answers
878 views

Why does vocal harmony 3rd interval up sound better than 3rd interval down?

For a given chord, the chord tones are composed via going 3rd, like a C Major is a {Major 3rd, Minor 3rd} or a C Minor is {Minor 3rd, Major 3rd}. The 7th, 9th, 11th, and etc... are also created via ...
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2answers
719 views

How does this lick work harmonically?

Here is the lick (3:38 - 3:39). He is playing it over a F minor chord. The key of the song is Ab. It looks like he just playing extentions of the F minor chord. What is a better way to explain this?
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1answer
52 views

Cmajor11(#13) same as C(dominant)11?

I was learning about extension chords where I stumbled upon a question: if we play Cmajor11(sharp 13), wouldn't that have the note B flat which is supposed to be there in dominant chord? Shouldn't ...
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3answers
65 views

Is analyzing this passage as an expansion of a sequential phrase reasonable?

The passage is the opening of a Bach chorale... I was looking for a passage of the upper tetrachord in major. That seems relatively rare, and this was the best example I could find in the 371 ...
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3answers
377 views

How to write a string quartet

I have major problems with writing for the string quartet. I have studied 4-part-writing for some time now, but I still have very little clue about how to expand from the basic chorale texture, where ...
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4answers
142 views

Is there a term for the combination of melody and harmony, excluding percussion?

I am working with a simple sound generator, which can simultaneously produce multiple sine waves plus white noise. The sine waves can have their frequency and volume modified over time, and the white ...
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3answers
57 views

Can you use Diatonic chords for vocal harmonies on a vocoder?

If each note sung triggers that notes diatonic chord (on a vocoder) - and the notes are all in key- then will those chords ever clash with the chords of the instrumental or will they always be in ...
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3answers
85 views

Jazz walking bass for C to E7 (I to V7/vi)

I'm learning walking bass on the piano. All the walking bass guides I have say to play some approach tone on the last beat before a chord change. If the progression were C to G you might play F# or Ab ...
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1answer
71 views

The theory of song by deadmau5 ft. Rob Swire - Ghosts 'n' Stuff

I've wondered about the theory concerning a number of specific songs containing octave harmony - but one song in particular raises an interesting question. What exactly is happening in the chorus of ...
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2answers
168 views

What harmonic resources underlie on Pink Floyd's “Brain Damage” song which make it so beautiful?

Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage" is in the key of DMaj (I) , but the second arpegio chord (and perhaps the one that gives to the song his special sound) is G7 (IV7), whose 7th is a note that ...
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1answer
170 views

“Consecutive/parallel 5ths are bad” - does this rule apply to vocals? Or just piano, etc.? [closed]

If I use a vocoder to play the same note as a vocal + a perfect 5th above each note, is that a consecutive 5th? Is this "bad"? Also, if I play C1 and program the vocoder to play a perfect ...
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1answer
43 views

How can I borrow diminished chords with Modal Interchange?

I once heard a song that had two diminished chords in it, which probably has something to do with Modal Interchange, it's just I've never encountered it before. When I heard this song it sounded ...
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5answers
143 views

Are there any Neutral sounding harmonies?

I bought a vocoder to use as a layer for backing vocals but now I realize it sounds terrible when only used with one note. So I need to use it with chords or harmonies. But I only know very basic ...
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2answers
99 views

Which harmonies can't be used together? [closed]

For example in the E minor scale Can I stack all these harmonies? Or will it sound "out of tune". • 3rd • 4th • 5th • Minor triad • octave
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3answers
512 views

Name it Dm6 or Bdim?

I was trying to figure out what chord some melody is based on , and the problem is I can't name it. It is like Dm6 without 5th. And also it could be Bdim. It consists of D,B,F And the note D is on ...
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1answer
49 views

Music theory - secondary dominants

Do i still have to use 1st inversion when using secondary diminished triads or sevenths? I've been watching some videos but it didn't go over this.
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2answers
437 views

How do you explain this Db7 (functional harmony) in “There will never be another you”?

I'm analysing this Jazz Standard. And it's quite straightforward with some major and minor II-V cadences here and there yet there is a chord I don't know how to explain, and it is that Db7 indicated ...
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3answers
95 views

Fitting chords to the opening phrase of the Toccata (and Fugue) in D Minor BWV 565?

What are some of the acceptable ways to harmonize the first one and a half bars of BWV 565? In particular, what are some of the chords that would fit on the the opening A? Neither i nor V seems to fit ...
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3answers
604 views

What tone to play for an upper neighbor in jazz?

My question is about playing upper neighbors to embellish basic chord tone motion. Lower neighbors like this... ...seem to pose no problems. Just use half steps below and the neighbor sounds like a ...
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6answers
131 views

How is D7 functioning here? Applied chord both kind of does and doesn't fit

I am composing this Adagio piece in E Minor and there’s one chord in the starting chord progression that I can’t seem to figure out the function of, that being D7. It seems on listening to be an ...
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4answers
331 views

How to choose chords for chromatic melody?

I've been listening to a lot of impressionistic and avant-garde jazz music lately. When choosing chords in a tonal, diatonic concept, the formula is somewhat clear to me. If it's a note in the scale, ...
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5answers
560 views

How to compose better chromatic harmony

I've been composing for a couple of years and I have a pretty good understanding of how to choose chords for melody in a diatonic context. However, when I try to introduce some quirky elements to my ...
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2answers
970 views

Is it called a double stop if you play the same note on two different strings?

As the title says. If you play a note simultaneously on two strings in the same octave, is it still considered a double stop?
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4answers
85 views

How do church musicians learn to play hymns by ear if music lessons never really focus on playing by ear?

How do church musicians learn to play hymns by ear if music lessons never really focus on playing by ear? I have met many organists who play hymns by ear but I never understood how they learned it. ...
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2answers
218 views

How can this chord from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini be analyzed?

I'm working on an analysis of Variation XVIII of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. This famous variation is in D♭-major. I'm trying to analyze that first chord in measure 660. This chord ...
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3answers
274 views

How would you analyze (harmonically) the intro of Preludio de Adiós?

I'm learning from books about harmonic analysis in order to improve my interpretative skills. So, I am studying this piece by Venezuelan composer Alfonso Montes, called "Preludio de Adiós". ...
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2answers
145 views

Is the “Charlie Parker Cycle” described in this document a “traditional” method?

Cochrane, Arpeggio and Scale Resources - a guitar encyclopedia. Charter 3, pages 30-2 give the description. In it Cochrane says: As far as I’m aware, Charlie Parker never knowingly used ‘the Charlie ...
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5answers
81 views

Chromatic approaching dominant

I'm having a little trouble analyzing this blues-y cadence. I've called the dominant chord a G9 even though there is no third (B) at the end of the bar. I think this makes sense, since it is ...
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2answers
41 views

RCM Harmony 9 - Neighbour 6/4 with an incomplete triad?

I am not sure what to do here - resolving the V7 chord results in the next I chord being incomplete, so I can’t write the 5-6-5 neighbour motion since there’s no fifth. I can’t write an incomplete V7 ...
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2answers
440 views

Harmonizing the bebop major (diminished sixth) scale - Barry Harris

@JohnBelzaguy shared this link with me https://cochranemusic.com/barry-harris-6th-dim-scale-diminished. It's about Barry Harris and the "diminished sixth" - Bebop major - scale. But I'm ...
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7answers
118 views

Which minor scale/mode do you use to harmonize the chords, when improvising in minor key?

When improvising in minor key (let's say classical harmony, non-modal), I guess the minor melodic scales (asc. and desc.) are used to play, well, the melody (hence the name melodic?). Or is the ...
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2answers
98 views

Can you help me understand what I am doing with these arpeggios?

I have a song with a part that I am wanting to play arpeggios over with the guitar. But just using the actual chord tones sounds boring to me. So I have started with an arpeggio pattern on the first ...
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2answers
281 views

Block chord style and appoggiaturas

I'm practicing block chord style using drop 2 voicing. I'm following the scale patterns in Mark Levine Jazz Piano Book, figure 19-8. I'm using the tune All of Me for practical application. In a ...
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4answers
103 views

Incomplete spelling of vii dim7 and vii half dim7

For the two chords above, diminished 7th (viio7) and half diminished 7th (viiø7), are they usually spelled complete or incomplete? Or both?
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2answers
102 views

Is my SATB harmonisation correct in this example?

I am so paranoid about SATB harmonisation, because there are so many rules, and I feel overwhelmed. I literally feel like I have a hundred hidden mistakes in this question.
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2answers
85 views

Distortion of intervals

I'm wondering if this is a common phenomenon and if so how does it actually affect music: When I play harmonic min2nd's the actual pitches I hear are not completely the individual pitches of the two ...
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4answers
408 views

How should this half-diminished seventh chord from “Christmas Time Is Here” be analyzed in terms of its harmonic function? [duplicate]

Hi everyone. I'm working on an analysis of Christmas Time Is Here, which is in F major. I'm trying to determine the best way to analyze the Bm7(♭5) chord circled in the image. I have 3 explanations ...
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2answers
95 views

Harmony and melody system for a 8 x 8 grid

I am in the process of creating a computer game, where a character moves in a grid sized 8 x 8 squares, i.e. 8 squares horizontally and 8 squares vertically. When the character is moving on the ...
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1answer
40 views

Analysis of Sonata form [duplicate]

I’m about to take my level 10 Harmony exam and I’m still kind of unsure about Sonata Form. Could someone give a (brief?) explanation of it? The textbook that I use does have a good explanation, but I’...
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1answer
151 views

Redundant entry of a Fugal Exposition

When analyzing a fugue, I get confused at times about where to put the redundant entry. Is it the 5th or more entry of the subject and/or answer? I’m not sure.
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3answers
433 views

Understanding function of diminished chord in Paganini's 4th caprice

I'm trying to understand this simple progression in the middle of Paganini's 4th caprice. This seems like I-?-I-V7-I in Eb major, but I am unable to figure out what the function of the second chord is....
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3answers
117 views

Characteristics of a Coda

I’m doing Level 10 Harmony right now and I’m being asked to identify a Coda in a Rondo. Any specific characteristics that I should look out for to make it easier to identify?
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3answers
1k views

Before the advent of Roman-numeral analysis, did musicians conceptualize applied/secondary chords as somehow moving towards their temporary tonics?

As discussed in Origin of Roman Numeral Analysis, Roman numerals weren't a widespread analytical tool until at least the 19th century. With this in mind, imagine that you're a musician in 1770; you're ...
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2answers
248 views

What makes Dm/E sound Phrygian?

I was told by a jazz pianist that you can play Dm/E if you play in E Phrygian. What makes Dm/E sound Phrygian? To me Am or Am7 would be a better chord for Phrygian but then I probably think of ...
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2answers
74 views

How would these nonchord tones from Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata best be analyzed?

Hi everyone. I'm working on an analysis of Movement II from Beethoven's Pathétique Sonata. In the measures shown in the image, I am trying to analyze the nonchord tones that occur in the chromatic ...
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4answers
459 views

How do I use augmented chords in my progressions? [duplicate]

Structurally speaking, an augmented chord is the product of stacked major 3rds. So the chord G Aug (G+) uses the notes G-B-D#. I'm well aware that this chord might occur naturally in a minor (key) ...
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2answers
74 views

Why does the V-I cadence sound tonal rather than modal?

I have heard that the I-V cadence is to be avoided when playing chant accompaniment, eg Gregorian chant. It seems to me that the leading tone going to the tonic makes it sound like a tonal cadence ...
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4answers
2k views

Do people with perfect pitch distinguish between equal temperament and just temperament?

Do people with perfect pitch distinguish between equal temperament and just temperament? Suppose someone with perfect pitch is singing a duet and wants to harmonise in thirds above the main melody. ...

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