Questions tagged [harmony]

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

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3
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2answers
93 views

Rootless chords in Beethoven sonata?

Okay, I came across a bit of a wrinkle in the paper as I analyzed the third movement of Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique. It has to do with this passage in the C section(which is in Ab major): For those ...
2
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2answers
55 views

Analyzed editions of classic piano sheet music? [closed]

I wonder if there exists such kind of editions: with the chords written down together with their function in roman numerals, the structure of the piece, the analysis, etc. More precisely, I'm looking ...
3
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2answers
153 views

How to realize a figured bass

I am arranging a Bach piece. I know, what the challenge it is to do it. But I have been able to successfully arrange Mozart and later, Beethoven, so I think I'm ready. But here is the challenge I am ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Applying harmonic voice leading rules to non-homophonic music

I would like to figure out how voice leading rules could be applied to non-vertical music (non-homophonic music), and when we are not using four-part harmony. I think that Chopin's study op. 25 #1 ...
3
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1answer
111 views

How are the notes organized on a tongue drum?

Disclaimer: I don't now much about music theory. Anyway, my wife just bought one of those, which I think is called a "tongue drum": What strikes me is that, as bad as I am at playing music, whatever ...
4
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2answers
249 views

Isn't that (two voices leaping to C like this) a breaking of the rules of four-part harmony?

In this arrangement of O God, our help in ages past I have found what looks like a breaking of the rule of harmony. In bar 1 we have I/3-vi. The tenor leaps up to C and the Soprano does the same. Isn'...
5
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1answer
90 views

Hidden fifths between tenor and soprano in Tchaikovsky's “Guide to harmony”

I have been working through Tchaikovsky's "Guide to practical harmony" and found the following example quite early in the book: I am talking about the first measure. To me it seems that soprano and ...
7
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3answers
394 views

Can the leading note resolve down?

Would like to ask if the leading tone in chord V (G) could resolve downwards to Eb (fifth of chord I)? I’ve somehow recall reading that the rule (leading note MUST resolve to tonic) only applies to ...
3
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4answers
363 views

Why does the circle of fifths have to be symmetric

I have studied music theory ever since I studied piano playing. So I know about things like accidentals and how white key accidentals like Cb or E# make sense. But one thing I don't know about is ...
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2answers
188 views

Effective Verse-Chorus Pairs in Rock Songwriting [closed]

Ken Stephenson, in What to Listen for in Rock, holds that harmonic contrasts help delineate form in rock music. "In rock, where repetition of harmonic patterns is so common," he explains, "any break ...
4
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2answers
465 views

Sometimes I hear a top note that isn't there. Is this related to Harmonics?

When I try to copy a tune or watch other people play the piano, I sometimes hear a note that isn't there. Especially top note is the case. My teacher said that it is related to harmonics, told me that ...
3
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3answers
82 views

Would this note from Consolation No. 3 be considered a nonchord tone?

I was playing through Consolation No. 3 by Liszt yesterday, and I had a theory question about something. In the second measure of this picture, the harmony is an E major triad. This section is in A ...
2
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2answers
98 views

Composition software for checking harmony mistakes [closed]

I am not very experienced in the music theory. I constantly get lots of ideas on composing choral (SATB) music and I write them, but I am unsure about their correctness. Until I will finish to learn ...
4
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3answers
141 views

Compelling Use of Non-diatonic Chords in Rolling Stones

"Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones is in C major, but makes forays into E-flat major (based on the preview of the sheet music at least!). My guess is that the inclusion of these chords can be ...
2
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0answers
57 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 ...
6
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5answers
402 views

Thomas Tank Engine theme tune chord sequence - why does it work?

I'm trying to gain some understanding of non-diatonic chord sequences and why they work. I've been listening to the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune which I believe is in the key of C Major and the ...
7
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3answers
332 views

Is this really better analyzed in G minor than in Bb?

So I have been analysing Rondo a Capriccio by Beethoven and I reached a point where a so called "expert's" opinion and mine differ drastically. It starts at bar 57 and continues to bar 68. After the ...
5
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1answer
110 views

In the partimento tradition, what strategies were used to harmonize non-bass melodies?

In my readings on partimento theory (mainly the books by Sanguinetti and IJzerman) I have so far only encountered rules for harmonizing a bass melody. This is to be expected of course, because ...
7
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2answers
193 views

Calculate tonal tension of triads

I'm trying to implement and calculate the tonal tension of a triad (and its harmonics) following the definition given here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f05e/56c9548fa18c64efeed248742e3a6afb0c02....
4
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0answers
74 views

Neo-Riemannian Theory, The Minor Plagal Cadence, and Chromatic Voice Leading

In my reading, a criticism that I have heard leveled against Neo-Riemannian theory is that it does not explain the smooth chromatic voice-leading possible in the iv - I instance of the plagal ...
6
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3answers
190 views

Resolution in Major and Minor Scales

It is my understanding that subdominant chords, IV and ii, contain the fourth scale degree. The fourth scale degree wants to resolve down to the third scale degree. In the scale of C major (C, D, E, F,...
2
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2answers
85 views

Why are these two versions of the hymn different?

This is "A mighty fortress is our God". Two versions: The one with lyrics is taken from the 1939 Church of Sweden chorale book, the other from a book on how to play the organ. In the first phrase "...
5
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3answers
536 views

Guidelines for writing a chord progression

I am trying to understand how does notes relate to each other when writing a chord progression. I understand that when composing on a Major scale chords acquire a function depending on the degree of ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Slonimsky's Harmonization of Pattern 10 with Seven Major Chords

What method of harmonization is Slonimsky using to generate the seven chord progression that belongs to pattern 10? My understanding so far is that the pitches that divide the octave C-F#-C into equal ...
6
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2answers
216 views

Exercise from second chapter of Harmony by Walter Piston

Exercise 7, j. : With G sharp as the soprano note, write in four parts a triad in first inversion, with the subdominant of G sharp minor in the bass. It seemed to me that such a chord does not exist. ...
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8answers
2k views

Why are subdominants unstable?

In music theory, the subdominant is unstable and need to be resolved to the mediant. Similar resolution happens to the leading note and other notes that are not in the tonic triad. (Of course, I am ...
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1answer
101 views

Personal Taste or Something Else (9th and minor 7th chords) [closed]

Probably this is a matter of personal taste, but I thought I might ask to be sure that there isn't a more in-depth explanation out there. To my ear, 9th chords and minor 7th chords are oddly ...
2
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3answers
156 views

Why did they modulate to C? [closed]

It (212) starts and ends in Dm. The second phrase beginns with F-Bdim/D-C. This is a modulation into the key of C...but the melody doesn't sound like it is in the key of C at all. I don't see how the ...
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4answers
2k views

Are fretless stringed instruments used mainly for melody?

Just wondering if fretless stringed instruments like a violin or oud, by fretless does it imply that they are used mainly for melody? In contrast to an instrument like a guitar, that has frets, does ...
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2answers
190 views

How to end a song on a chord that isn't the I chord?

I've been trying to finish a song with the following chord progression: C G7/D Am F. I know I'm supposed to end it on a C, but it just doesn't sound right. I tried the other chords in the progression ...
2
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3answers
47 views

How do you see it (Gm7/Bb?) and what functions would this chord have?

The four last chord in this hymn ( Hela världen fröjdes Herran) is a 6-2-5-1 progression. I have written that we have Dm-Gm/Bb-C-F. This is wrong. I now see it as Gm7/Bb. How do you see it and what ...
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4answers
1k views

How do we explain the E major chord in this progression?

This is from A mighty fortress is our God. How do we explain the E major chord in this progression? The tune is in C major. The melody in this part of tune sounds a bit minor rather than major to me.
2
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1answer
81 views

Functional Purpose of Flattened 7th Chord

I am wondering how to use the "flattened seventh" chord when used in a major key (i.e. B-flat Major chord in key C Major). I believe this would put a piece in the mixolydian mode. For example . . . ...
2
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1answer
110 views

Transposing the melody in negative harmony

All talk of negative harmony, such as What is the correct process for deriving the 'mirror' or 'negative' harmony of a progression? deals with transposing the chords according to the ...
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4answers
71 views

Preparation of Chordal 7ths in Classical Harmony

What is the proper practice for preparing chordal sevenths in dominant, diminished and other chords in classical 4-part harmony? In The Complete Musician (4th ed.) by Stephen Laitz, he states on page ...
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3answers
209 views

How to measure the tension or resolution of a chord?

Let me begin.. A chord is fundamentally built off the selection of multiple intervals. Those intervals hold a position in a 12TET interval ranking from most consonant to most dissonant. Depending on ...
1
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4answers
199 views

Best method to convert MIDI style data to proper sheet with correct note names? [closed]

What are the best general algorithms to determine the correct notes (with sharp/flat) as they appear on a sheet with only input a MIDI-style data that has only the designation of a white or black key ...
2
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1answer
71 views

What is the harmonic function of this?

What is the harmonic function of the boxed beat in the fourth measure?
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6answers
918 views

How to make a plagal cadence sound convincing as an ending?

I am nearing the end of composing the first movement of my suite. And I plan to end the movement using a plagal cadence. But I know that a plagal cadence can be hard to make sound convincing. I mean ...
4
votes
1answer
182 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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5answers
2k views

What is the technical explanation of the note “A♭” in a F7 chord in the key of C?

I am practicing some blues bass lines and there is a chord progression of C7 | F7 | C7. The notes played during the F7 chord are (the bass plays one per beat): F A A♭ D, followed by the notes G ...
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1answer
86 views

How do I harmonize my bass, melody, drum line, and chord progression all together? [closed]

I'm aspiring to be a pop music producer. When I create a catchy melody, I then attempted to add a bass line that was also catchy. Unfortunately, they didn't sound well together. And I know if I were ...
0
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0answers
68 views

(Conflict) Kostka/Payne Cadence Chart vs. Authentic Cadence in Natural Minor [duplicate]

According to Is this generic cadence chart from Kostka/Payne generally accepted?, However, the authentic cadence in natural minor, which is v-i, does not meet the definition by Kostka/Payne here. ...
1
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1answer
71 views

Analysing harmony in music [closed]

I've read books like Theory of Harmony, Tonal Harmony, The Complete Musician, and just started reading structural functions of harmony. But I still find myself confused on those weird out-of-key ...
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0answers
51 views

Variant Cadences

I've gone through many unusual cadences so far - conclusive cadences that are not V-I, V-i, v-i (rare), viio-I, #viio-i, IV-I, or iv-i, and progressive cadences that are not V, v (rare), V-vi, V-VI, ...
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2answers
56 views

Use of sharps and flats when writing altered notes to chords in key

A quick question about the conventions of writing music. I have a song I am working on where I am going from a G major to a F#-b9. The song is in G major for most of it before going into a middle ...
3
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2answers
175 views

I wrote two alternate fugue expositions for one subject does either follow good harmonic conventions?

The fugue subject comes from a placement test example for the Peabody Institute... First exposition... Audio Second exposition... Audio My question are about the interplay of harmony and ...
2
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1answer
310 views

♭VII-I Cadence, ♭III-I Cadence: Name?

I've gone through a bunch of ♭VII-I and ♭III-I cadences in rock music. In C major, they are B♭-C and E♭-C. Is there a specific name for the two cadences? So far, I've been calling them authentic ...
2
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6answers
245 views

Is a bass line the same as a bass progression?

In alot of songs there's a chord progression. Say we have a 4 chord progression. Each chord can correspond to a note the bass plays. So now the bass is playing a 4 note progression. Is that called a ...
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0answers
34 views

Aural mnemonics: can we compile a list? [duplicate]

When I do ear training, I like to use mnemonics, in the form of a short snippet from a well-known song, to help me memorize certain aural patterns. I can share some of the ones I have so far, but I ...