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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1 vote
5 answers
266 views

Do classical musicians sometimes go deliberately out of pitch?

Can anyone explain to me what's going on?: I am not and have never been a professional classical musician, but I don't think you need to be one to see that something ...
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0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Need help analyzing music [closed]

How do I provide an analysis of a musical piece? (I am completely new to music and have no prior experience what so ever). Can someone please let me know/guide me to finding resources on how I can ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
102 views

How does bass music make vibrations?

Please explain to me how bass music from one house makes another house vibrate, they are roughly 10 feet apart. Thanks for answering!
2 votes
0 answers
40 views

What exactly are the different staccatos and are there any examples?

I am pretty new to piano and am starting to work on Moonlight Sonata. (I just finished Alfred's Level 1 book for context). My book (Beethoven Moonlight Sonata Alfred Masterwork Edition) says there are ...
1 vote
4 answers
88 views

What chords are considered acceptable as passing chords in common-practice-period tonal voice leading?

I want to move from an FMaj to an Fmaj(6) chord. Putting a passing chord in between, a CMaj(3/4)(A second inversion dominant 7th) chord seems to work nicely. But these chords, at least in the common-...
1 vote
2 answers
130 views

Can anyone identify what's going on with this rhythm? Is it syncopated, odd time signature or are the instruments out of sync?

I'm currently transcribing the outro section of the song "Even the Gods Must Die" by Nile and I've been trying to figure out how to approach the feel of the rhythm. It seems like the drums ...
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1 vote
1 answer
62 views

How to restart my guitar studies from scratch?

I have being playing the guitar for quiet a while now(12+ years but more dormant years within this). I am able to deduce guitar tabs of a given song on my own(mostly with some minor errors). I have ...
1 vote
0 answers
25 views

am i right with this track's scale? [closed]

hi can you please help me about this track's scale ? i think it might be c# mixolydian as i tried to play the notes along the track am i right about it or it is something else - i'm a beginner by the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
405 views

What is the meaning of the two added time signatures?

If my understanding (just being based on the number of counts in each measure in the given staff) is right then two added time signatures only mean that in one measure, there will be 6 beats and a ...
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why are diminished fifths called tritones?

The word "tritone" basically means three whole tones. In the C major scale, we find this between F and B as F-G-A-B. This interval is also called an augmented fourth. However, a diminished ...
-1 votes
0 answers
46 views

Music theory question [closed]

Based on the notes in this example, what key should you use?
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10 votes
6 answers
1k views

Why can't we spell a diminished 3rd or an augmented 5th using only the notes in a major scale?

This might be a silly question, but why can't we spell a diminished 3rd or an augmented 5th using only the notes in a major scale? I think what I'm really confused is that, for example, A to F has 8 ...
3 votes
2 answers
93 views

What do you call it when two different melodies are combined? [duplicate]

Say that Alice has a theme song with a certain melody. Also, Bob has his own theme with a certain melody. But during a scene where Alice and Bob are together, both melodies are played together at once ...
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1 vote
2 answers
67 views

How do I play these chords? (Parentheses around chord symbols) [duplicate]

How do I play the chords I marked with red dots? First, in measure 4, can I alternatively play C#m7 and F#7? Why does it sound off with the melody then? Second, the chords in measures 8, 9 and 10, how ...
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1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Is there a name for this pattern of piano chord progressions? (Clementi Op. 36 No. 5 & 6)

I noticed in Clementi Op. 36 No. 5 and No. 6 there are these very similar and peculiar chord progressions (see image). Do those three chords often go together like that? Or is it more a Clementi style?...
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8 votes
1 answer
376 views

Open string call out does not match requested music note

I am learning guitar and recently came across a sheet requesting what I understand to be an open B string (red arrow), however the music sheet shows a C (blue arrow) note being played. What is the ...
1 vote
1 answer
69 views

Translating Sheet Music to Guitar Tabs (without any software help (: ) [duplicate]

I have been playing guitar for a few months and have grown to love it. I played sports and participated in 0 fine arts growing up, so this is all very new to me. I was excited to initially learn ...
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2 votes
2 answers
81 views

Tremolo notation for Sixteenth note triplets

I'm wondering if there's a tremolo notation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremolo) for a repeated Sixteenth note triplets like this one for example: I've only seen the notation for regular rhythm ...
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2 votes
1 answer
68 views

Historically, what is the difference between the interval qualities "perfect" and "major"? [duplicate]

So I'm trying to wrap my head around intervals. I know that, for instance, a major chord is made up by the fundamental (I), a perfect third (III) and a perfect fifth (V). So, the "important" ...
0 votes
4 answers
102 views

Why is it common to use slow practice when learning melodies on the piano but less common when learning to sing them?

I have been told by many piano teachers to practice playing melodies slowly, ie using slow practice. I have never really been told by singing teachers to do slow practice. Why is it common to use slow ...
1 vote
1 answer
37 views

What is the difference between singing piano (dynamics) and how most adults sing softly (with lower volume) when singing eg. lullabies?

Many adults who sing lullabies for children use more of a soft voice with low volume. What I have been told is that playing an instrument or singing in piano (dynamics) isn't that easy. My experience ...
2 votes
3 answers
96 views

A#dim7 resolving to Amajor7

I'm working on a Neo-Soul tune that keeps preceding the Amaj7 (I Chord) with an A# dim7 and some variations. The key is really A Lydian. One time the A# dim7 is replaced by an A9(b5)...and another ...
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1 vote
1 answer
36 views

Can you explain why they have (in bar 7) a fifth interval moving in similar motion in this hymn arrangement?

When we study part-writing we often hear about how a two notes making up a fifth should not move in the same direction. I've been told not to do it, but I see professionals hymn arrangements breaking ...
5 votes
6 answers
841 views

Question about beats and their inheritance of accents on the rhythm

I see that I've created a lot of confusion with my original question, so I have decided to send the author of "How to read Music in 30 Days, English 2022 Ed." a detailed question that should ...
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3 votes
5 answers
119 views

Harmony: why does transforming a ii minor chord into II major chord work?

I accidentally composed a song that uses the same harmony "trick" as the song The Odyssey from Symphony X. Both are in the key of Eb (I know it's C minor, but I like to think major for ...
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

cut time vs common time [duplicate]

i understand that 2/2 or cut time has 2 beats as opposed to 4/4 or common time, but how does this actually sound different? if you took a piece and played if it was notated as being 4/4 and then ...
11 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to notate a non-standard hexatonic key

I am writing part of a piano piece in a hexatonic "key" containing these notes: C - D# - E - G - Ab - B (I say "key" instead of scale because I'm treating it like a key, deriving ...
1 vote
1 answer
51 views

What would be the difference between using the laryngeal tilt and vowel modification for higher notes?

I have been told by singing teachers (all "classical") that I should sing down to the higher notes. To that sounds like they wanted me to use the laryngeal tilt. I've been told that by my ...
-1 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is it correct to write C♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯ (twelve sharps) as C?

Let's say there is a song that starts at middle C and the next note is always the previous note raised by a perfect fifth or lowered by a perfect fourth to keep all notes within audible ranges. By ...
2 votes
6 answers
575 views

Is an E augmented triad the same as a C inverted augmented triad?

I know that a C augmented triad is C, E, G♯ and an E augmented triad is E, G♯, B♯. However, I think we can replace the B♯ in the E augmented triad by its enharmonic equivalent, a C. Is it appropriate ...
9 votes
1 answer
178 views

Interesting symbol in a piece of piano music [closed]

A friend sent me this image and asked me to identify the symbol circled in red. I tried using Google Lens but no luck. Thanks for your help!
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2 votes
4 answers
127 views

Is there music that recursively subdivides the beat in odd subdivisions?

For example: 3/4 has 3 quarter notes per beat, and each quarter note subdivides into 2 eighth notes, 4 sixteenth notes etc. which makes the total count an even number (6/8 or 12/16 etc.) Is there any ...
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1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Am I over simplifying what I think I know about keys

I've read a few threads about the same question and seem to have really missed something from music theory 101. My question is around, for example, Cant you See by Marshall Tucker. Very simple ...
-2 votes
0 answers
67 views

What is the difference beetween a polonaise and a polska?

With many polska you can stomp the feet on beat one and three like in this one: https://open.spotify.com/track/6r6FWKSsYNze2Kiu5DAXzE?si=jN0qm8lWSJWKwY5pI-1i3A And you can play a boom-chuch-chuck ...
1 vote
5 answers
122 views

What is the definition of folk music and how does it differ from traditional music?

I've been thinking about the terms folk music and traditional music. Traditional music seems in most cases to mean music without a known author or composer (or sometimes a tune writtten by a person, ...
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

What is it that makes I närvarande parter a polonaise?

Bellman's I närvarande parter is a polonaise. What is it that makes it a polonaise? In this video (at 1:31): it is explained that a polonaise should be based on a ...
1 vote
3 answers
99 views

1564 (I V vi IV) chord progression for Minor

Many of I-V-vi-IV chord progression examples are C major. My question is Minor. For example of Am key signature, the 1564 is Am , Em, F, Dm; however, I-V-vi-IV should mean major-major-minor-major. May ...
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6 votes
2 answers
452 views

Fux Counterpoint

In Fux's study of First Species modal counterpoint, why is it permitted to raise the 7th as he approached the final cadence. I realize that allowing that creates a leading tone which sounds better, ...
1 vote
1 answer
53 views

Question on the definition of a dissonant passing/neighbor tone?

I am currently trying to teach myself counterpoint following Jacob Gran's videos. When I was analyzing my exercises today, I thought of this question. If the first two notes of a dissonant neighbor(or ...
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1 vote
3 answers
88 views

Key for Am-G-F-D [closed]

writing a song, verse in key of F, F Dm Bb C then the chorus is Am-G-F-D... I know Dm is the vi of the F key, but Dmaj sounds like I want. Tried 7ths and other combos but this sounds best for my song....
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0 votes
3 answers
92 views

Time signature vs. Melody [duplicate]

I have a very difficult time understanding the relevance of time signature in music. Does a musician think in terms of time signature when composing a piece, or thinks in terms of melody? When I play ...
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0 votes
2 answers
74 views

Question on the formation of the Harmonic field in general

Given a key note, you can build up any sort of scale, for scales are just patterns of whole and half steps. The minor and major are examples. Now, if the scale is the set of notes, the harmonic field ...
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1 vote
1 answer
97 views

Is Pink Panther Theme ALL in Em key? [closed]

referring to this question, it was determined that Pink Panther theme is actually in Em, but I was wondering if the key could be considered Em even when the theme varies (Consider this video from ...
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5 votes
3 answers
475 views

Greek modes, minor and major scales

By definition, a major scale is: W W H W W W H similarly, a minor scale is: W H W W H W W Now, the standard notion of Greek modes begins with: a major scale, and the construction of the modes with ...
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7 votes
1 answer
126 views

Can't understand meaning behind this sentence in Schoenbergs Theory of Harmony

Hello, the current topic is minor mode. Why can only II degree follow major IV in minor scale? Can't quite figure this one out.
1 vote
4 answers
161 views

Is Fantaisie Impromptu actually in G# Phrygian?

I’m new to music theory and the definition of key I’ve learned seems to contradict established fact. I’ve been told that the tonic of a piece is the key where the melody comes to rest, where it feels ...
1 vote
2 answers
107 views

Are there optimal intervals for major and minor 3rds?

I've been reading an excellent book on the mathematics and history of scales called "The Arithmetic of Listening". Based on what I have read, I am thinking that both the 4th and 5th have an ...
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0 votes
3 answers
121 views

How to make infinitely large chords?

Theoretically, it is possible to have a major 27th chord, a minor 35th chord, etc. I know that to make an infinitely large major chord you just keep stacking thirds on the root, where each new note is ...
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5 votes
7 answers
1k views

How should I learn to read music if I don't play an instrument?

I have several related questions. I'll try to lay out the context because you maybe able to answer the questions I am not asking as well :-) Context I do not know how to read music. I do not play any ...
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2 votes
1 answer
99 views

What chord name is Bb - Eb - Ab [closed]

I'm new to music theory and just finished some basic stuff like scales, arpeggios, etc. I'm learning a song(Ab Maj) but can't figure out what chord name is that has Bb - Eb - Ab in the right hand and ...
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