Questions tagged [theory]

For questions about how music works, seeking to identify structures and patterns in music. Used to indicate questions about musical concepts and structures, as opposed to techniques and execution.

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4
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2answers
65 views

What is the difference between an augmented and diminished scale?

I understand little music theory, so I do not understand the difference between an augmented and diminished scale.
3
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2answers
56 views

Can ii move to V43 over static bass just like IV can move V42?

In my harmony book (by Aldwell and Schachter) the progression from IV to V42 is a common one and gets its own section. But the book makes no mention of using scale degree ^2 in the bass. Is moving to ...
7
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4answers
926 views

What is the difference between a chord and a triad on a piano -( or any instrument capable of playing multiple notes simultaneously)?

I do not understand the difference between a chord and a triad. Are they the same thing or do they have differences? (i.e. Cmaj. chord v.s. Cmaj. triad)
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3answers
159 views

What does a suspended chord mean on piano?

My friend tells me a suspended chord means you hold down the sustain pedal but that doesn't sound right... Can someone help?
5
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2answers
96 views

Are augmented-sixth chords ever taught as being "rooted" on the raised fourth scale degree?

In my experience, augmented-sixth chords are given "national" names. In C, for example, A♭–C–F♯ is an Italian augmented sixth. Are there other traditions that teach/view this as being a ...
5
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1answer
63 views

Where do Zeitler's scale names come from?

On Ian Ring's music theory website, a massive number of scales (1490) have "Zeitler" names. Some names are common (like Mixolydian) but others (like Dydyllic) I cannot find any reference to. ...
15
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1answer
2k views

What is the average note distribution in C major?

This is a more mathematical question. Suppose I have a large representative set of Western music in C major. If I count the occurrence of the individual notes, what is distribution of the notes? I ...
23
votes
6answers
5k views

Why does G# sound right when my melody is in C major?

I composed the following melody using notes from the C major scale. In the third bar a G# (Ab) seemed a natural choice to complete the loop, but I don’t understand why. G# is not in C major nor its ...
-1
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2answers
62 views

When She Loved Me: Decorative Chords alternatives on (Add2)

This is the middle part of "When She Loved Me," in Toy Story 2 sung by Sarah McLachlan. P.S. See this for example for the piano. The chord progression goes twice as: Em7b5 -> A/C# - > ...
0
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1answer
65 views

When She Loved Me: Opening Chord progression - replace the 3rd chord from G7/B to Bdim or Bb?

This is the opening chord progression of "When She Loved Me," in Toy Story 2, sung by Sarah McLachlan. See a related question. The chord progression goes like: Dm -> AmC -> G7/B -> ...
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2answers
57 views

When She Loved Me ToyStory 2 Sarah McLachlan: The two versions of the phrasing and counterpoints of melodies

The two versions of the phrasing and counterpoints of melodies are from "When She Loved Me", ToyStory 2, Sarah McLachlan. See this for example for the piano: ...
4
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1answer
202 views

Note designs on the 10 hole major diatonic harmonica [duplicate]

Here is the typical note design on 10 holes major diatonic harmonica in C major: I have a few questions: Why there is a G key in the 2nd draw and the 3rd blow? But it omits the F key? also omits the ...
4
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2answers
380 views

For a first-inversion major V in a minor key, is the figured bass just a 6?

In figured bass usually a first inversion chord is just labelled as 6. However, in minor the V in first inversion has a raised note. In my book the V in first inversion is still notated as 6 without ...
1
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0answers
25 views

How to get other chords of same key? [duplicate]

In the key of C major, the C major chord is the first, third and fifth note of the major scale. In the key of D minor, the D minor chord is the first, third and fifth note of the minor scale. As you ...
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4answers
95 views

Swing in eight notes vs triplets

I am trying to learn jazz and still can't find a solid answer to the swing in eighth notes. I understand swing follows the "long-short" pattern (quarter-eighth), but since triplets have a ...
1
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2answers
44 views

Do the inversions of V7 always support the other 3 tones of the chord?

Since you can only use 4 notes in 4 part writing and the inversions of V7 must be complete then is it correct to say that V65 supports ^5 ^2 and ^4 V43 supports ^7 ^4 and ^5 V42 supports ^5 ^7 and ^2 ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

How can I find an equivalent of The Circle of Fifths in different equal temperaments?

I have mathematically figured out how to map the chromatic scale onto the circle of fifths for even temperaments. The equation is to multiply each interval by (n/2)+1 where n is the n TET. For example,...
2
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2answers
150 views

Can an expanded dominant precede a cadential 6/4 chord?

My textbook actually says that you should avoid this because it contradicts what the cadential 4 is supposed to do but using the given melody (which I couldnt change) this is the best harmonization I ...
1
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1answer
30 views

What is the proper way to check for parallels when using multiple ncts and chord tones between two chords in a chord progression?

Let's say I have a two chord progression written in four-part harmony that consists of a I chord and a V6 chord in the scale of C major in 4/4 time. The bottom 3 notes (Alto, Tenor, Bass) of both ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What decides the grouping and emphasis for 6/4?

In every example of 6/4 time I see: the six beats are grouped into two groups of three an emphasis is given to the first beat of each group, so there are effectively two accents per measure. What ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

How could these chords in Debussy's "Reverie" be analyzed?

I am working on a harmonic analysis of "Reverie" by Debussy, and I am trying to find ways to analyze two things. In the first image (mm. 24–35), the first few measures are in the key of B-...
2
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3answers
123 views

What do I call this type of transition?

I'm a complete novice to composing and music theory, but part of what I'd like to do is acquire the vocabulary to describe subtle changes in sound, especially ones that evoke a distinct emotion. For ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

How to self teach myself sheet music reading (for piano)?

I am a self taught pianist, I play mainly by ear and I look for tutorials or synthesia on YouTube. However, sometimes some pieces do not have a synthesia and are really subtle to play by ear (ex. ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Why practice enharmonic equivalent keys as separate keys

In this video Victor Wooten explains that there are 30 keys that people need to practice in as opposed to 24. I found out that the 6 extra keys are actually redundant in the sense that each one of ...
3
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1answer
102 views

Music of the Caribbean

How does the West African heritage in Caribbean music compare with the European influence in Caribbean music? I did research on this but couldn't really understand the european influence.
4
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4answers
250 views

terminology for intervals within scales

Is a minor second half a semitone from the first note, or is it the actual second note played on the scale? For example, in a C minor scale, the starting note is C, and D is the second note one plays; ...
3
votes
3answers
915 views

How do beginners or non-musicians recognize and remember music? [closed]

When a trained/professional musician hears a new song or composition, he recognizes what kind of harmony is being used, what the chord sequence is, what scales are used for the melody, what each ...
2
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5answers
931 views

Are the sharps and flats in key signatures the same as passing tones?

Are key signatures sharps and flats the same as passing tones? Lets say you're playing in the key of C. No flats or sharps. The next key up is G because, harmonically speaking, G is the closest note ...
0
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0answers
50 views

Does a song become sadder when transposed to a minor key from a major key? [duplicate]

I was looking at songs that had exciting rhythms, thick texture, and objectively happy harmony. I decided to transpose these songs into minor keys to see whenever or not the song would be sadder or ...
3
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2answers
322 views

How to differentiate interpretively similar sections in Satie's Gnossienne #1

I’m learning Gnossienne #1 by Erik Satie. Earlier the composer instructs ‘Du bout de la pensée’ which I have no problem performing. The problem occurs when I reach the end of the piece with the ...
2
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0answers
69 views

Name of this rhythm? [duplicate]

Is there a name for this rhythm? I usually hear it used as a rhythmic cadence at the end of a metal song, usually at the end of a chorus. Seen it appear lots of times but have never been able to find ...
7
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0answers
61 views

In the Lydian Chromatic Concept, how are the horizontal scales formed?

In George Russell's The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, he introduces the notion of "horizontal scales": They are horizontal because they include the fourth degree in their ...
3
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0answers
67 views

How to find the right tuning for arranging songs? [duplicate]

I want to know how to find the right tuning to be comfortable and able to combine many different voicings on a single guitar, I also wanted to spice up my arrangement. I saw kent nishimura on YouTube, ...
3
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3answers
395 views

Can an I64 CHORD go to a V chord as a cadence?

So in a cadence, is it allowed to use a I64 chord to go to a V chord as a Half Cadence?
1
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2answers
218 views

The "TADA!" sound effect sounds wrong when I play it

It's obviously very much a beginner's question. While attempting to play this "TADA" sound effect, I noticed that on the website it's written just C. But when I press C twice it does not ...
3
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4answers
195 views

Ab dorian b2 = Bbb as second note, right?

As the title suggests. When playing the Dorian flat 2 mode in Ab, the second note would be called a Bbb right?
8
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4answers
421 views

Are these chords tied (not played again) or is only the top note tied?

In the recording it sounds like the chords are simply tied... I've been playing piano for 20 years and this seemingly simple question is escaping me. Any help would be appreciated! The piece is "...
0
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1answer
80 views

What word the combines both tabs and sheet music?

Wondering what word combines both Tabs and sheet music? I usually say Music Score. Is it correct?
7
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1answer
257 views

In the common-practice style, did minor dominant chords (v) still function as a dominant?

In the common-practice style, usually dominant chords were always major, even in minor keys. Without the leading tone, how did minor dominant chords (v) function?
0
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1answer
94 views

How to orchestrate well? [closed]

I am starting a concerto, and one of the problems is about the orchestration. I have not studied orchestration, do not have an orchestration book, or any orchestral knowledge from a theoretical ...
7
votes
1answer
84 views

Who was the first to teach jazz improvisation with an approach that matches scales to chords?

I'm reading George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept right now, and I'm trying to better understand its place (and his) in the history of jazz theory. Was he the first to posit this improvisational ...
4
votes
2answers
303 views

Can a musical mode have more than one note for a given degree?

I know there's an exception for "melodic minor" (M7 ascending, m7 descending), but does the framework of musical modes support the notion in general? Put another way, are there any modes ...
1
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0answers
86 views

Writing an invention [closed]

I am an amateur piano player without systematic musical education. I love listening to and playing 18th-century contrapuntal music especially written by JS Bach. Recently I decided to deepen my ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

What is the lowest scientific note on a piano (for sampling)?

Why do these audio samples start at a different note on each loudness? Pp starts at Bb0, mf starts at B0, and ff at A0. I'm wondering if the reason is because of some technical reason that I don't ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Confused as to why one scale fits four different chords

I'm learning the bass guitar. I'm looking at a song called "Bling Thing" in the Rockschool Grade 4 book. On YouTube in the bass guitar backing track this part begins at 0:48. ...
7
votes
4answers
846 views

Minor subdominant as dominant chord?

I notice that IIø7 or IV- is often used instead of II-7 or IV to create extra pull towards the tonic. For example: if you play IIø7 in first inversion to I in second inversion, IIø7 very much sounds ...
2
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4answers
137 views

How to modulate decisively and finally between distant keys?

I am sketching out a sonata, the first since the disaster of a sonata I wrote about a year ago, and after sketching the Intro and the Coda of the 2nd movement, the intro is in B-flat major (the key ...
0
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0answers
36 views

How to write chords for a guitar song that resemble the solo first note [duplicate]

I am learning Guitar and trying to write songs. I have tried writing a riff that starts with A# note and has these notes G D C B D# A etc . I was wondering on how to find the chords for the song which ...
4
votes
4answers
313 views

Reversing the resolution of a minor key's tritone

The tritone is between ^2 and ^6 in minor but from what I understand, if resolved inward to scale degreees ^3 and ^5 it will sound like the mediant chord is now the new tonic. But what about if you ...
1
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0answers
36 views

What are some useful resources for modal study? [closed]

I'm looking for some useful historical references for modal study. Specifically, great books or texts on how modes evolved, progressed and became the elusive subject they are today. What resources ...

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