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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19 views

Would anyone say gypsy airs on violin is Avery difficult piece? How long did it take to master the composition on average [closed]

How long did it take to master gypsy airs on violin and is it a difficult piece?
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1answer
76 views

Do songs in X/32+ time signatures exist?

7 hours ago I asked a question involving a rare time signature (Why does 1/1 time signature exist if you are curious), but then my curiosity had me thinking about X/32, X/64, and absurd time ...
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1answer
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What techniques and methods govern how melody can suggest a certain harmony?

In The Art of Strict Musical Composition, Volume 2 chapter 3, by Johann Philip Kirnberger (student of Bach) he writes “Here it must be stated first that every good melody is based on a proper harmony, ...
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1answer
129 views

Why does 1/1 time signature exist

So I stumbled around a 1/1 song like 3 days ago I still dont whats the use of 1/1, I get 2/2 and 8/8 but why does 1/1 exist?* Like what is its purpose?
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Were Plagal Cadences always used with an Authentic Cadence preceding it?

In typical 19th-century harmony, was a Plagal Cadence always used with an Authentic Cadence preceding it? To put it another way, was it typically ever used out of its "Amen" context?
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2answers
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When a NATURAL sign is used is it only for that single note? [duplicate]

In the key of A there is a natural sign at a G# note in the fifth bar. Is it only for this G# or are the following G's natural as well?
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1answer
71 views

How does one analyze a song that moves primarily between two non-diatonic chords?

The score for 'The Simple Life' by Jerry Martin indicates three flats, which would typically mean either Eb major or C minor. However, almost the entire song just moves back and forth between Bb major ...
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5answers
276 views

How do rhythm and melody compete and cooperate to define the horizontal space of music?

I have some conceptual trouble understanding the differences between rhythm and melody. I get that harmony is the vertical dimension of music (thinking in terms of sheet music or a piano roll view in ...
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1answer
50 views

Is it ok to use irregular key signatures for neutral scales?

So for 24-TET neutral scales is it correct to use irregular key signatures? or do I need to use a minor with accidentals or something?
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What are those letter above Staff/Stave? [duplicate]

As title, What are those letters above Staff/Stave? (below image) What is the term/ keyword / document to know, understand their meaning, their use, and their influence to the sheet music... I saw ...
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6answers
838 views

Dsus4 In A major

Just curious, Because A major has 3 sharps (F#,C#,G#), and The notes of Dsus4 are D-G-A, how can you play Dsus4 in A major? Is Dsus4 not played in the key or A major? Does it get changed to D-G#-A? ...
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1answer
92 views

Curved line that connects treble staff and bass staff [duplicate]

I'm new to piano and have stumbled across a bent line that connects notes on the treble staff and bass staff. What does it mean?
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165 views

Beatles, “She's Leaving Home”, Chord Question

Beatles, "She's Leaving Home", Chord Question In the first line there's an F#m7, but when I was figuring out the chords while listening to the song, it sounds like an Amajor to me. F#m7 - ...
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5answers
882 views

How do you exactly notate in 31-TET?

So I always wanted to compose a song in 31-TET inspired by a song I heard on musescore some months ago, the thing is that I didnt know how to notate in 31-TET, so obviously i want to learn.
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3answers
130 views

Why do some musicians count “un, two, three, four”?

I've seen and heard, in particular jazz musicians, count in using "un" instead of the regular pronunciation of the word "one". It seems unlikely there's a technical or practical ...
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4answers
119 views

What kind of non-chord tone dissonance is this?

What is the correct term for this type of non-chord tone? I really like the sound of it and since I see it a lot I was wondering if an "official" name exists for it. It is not a suspension ...
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3answers
118 views

Is it possible to distinguish if a melody is in C Dorian or in D Phrygian?

(This is my first post in this community, I tried to search an answer about that basic question but it's not easy, so sorry if it is a duplicate) Since the C Dorian scale contains the following notes: ...
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2answers
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In what context(s) is the Nashville Numbering System preferable to Roman numerals?

In his answer to What's the difference between the Nashville Number system and a Roman Numeral System?, Dom states that "Roman Numeral Analysis as stated is used mainly in analysis while the ...
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1answer
148 views

What are these overlapping notes with different rhythms called in Music Theory?

On piano, when playing a long note followed by an overlapping shorter note or vice versa, what is this called? I know this is an extremely common thing in piano music, but I don't know what it's ...
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1answer
143 views

Categorizing modes of scales other than major scale

Modes of major scale are often ordered such that each consecutive scale can be obtained by altering one step of the previous one: lydian 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 ionian 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ...
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1answer
54 views

In the Lydian Chromatic Theory, what does the “H” mean next to scale degrees?

referring to "Chart A" of the Lydian Chromatic Concept Theory - what does the "h" mean next to the Vh, IIh, and Ih scale degrees? I understand that they are Alternate Modal Tonic ...
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2answers
125 views

Note and dotted note on the same line - Lilypond

I have a note here: What do these notes (a quarter note and dotted quarter note on the same line) mean? It's note a, in LilyPond, bottom of the bass clef. How is this coded in LilyPond? Full measure ...
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1answer
58 views

If I am going to dabble in the world of music, what aspect should I train more to build a solid base, and thus obtain better results(?) [closed]

Good morning, I think I summarized it pretty well in the question, however, I mean exactly that "push" that a beginner must have, something that avoids excessive stumbles in their learning, ...
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1answer
60 views

Chord identification (dim7)

As you can see I've marked a viiDim7 chord. My question is because of lack of bB on 1st and 2nd beat and by knowing that it is a key note for C#dim7 chord can we consider it as just a dim chord and bB ...
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3answers
217 views

Has such an anti-musical tune ever been composed?

The following part from chapter 84 of the Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality fanfic describes a tune that appears to be designed to be unnerving. The humming started as a simple children's ...
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3answers
354 views

Meaning of a left bracket at the beginning of a chord

I've come across this notation in the score of Gershwin's second piano prelude: a left bracket at the beginning of a chord. I have also seen it in the score of Rachmaninoff's C-sharp minor prelude, ...
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8answers
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“Wrong” key signature for a score in F dorian?

TL;DR I'm a bit confused on which key signature to use for a score in F dorian: 4 flats or 3 flats? I wrote this arrangement of Mad World by Gary Jules back in 2012 using 3 flats as key signature. ...
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3answers
350 views

Equivalence of intervals with octaves between them

Say we play C4 and G4 on the piano at the same time, stop the notes, then play D4 and A4 simultaneously, then the quality of this sound is the same as the quality of the first. To understand why that ...
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3answers
1k views

Why did it take a millennium to use harmony/polyphony (900 AD) when Pythagoras discovered perfect fourth and fifth around 500 BC?

Considering the fact that Pythagoras formulated the properties of Perfect Fifth and Fourth around 500 BC, why did it take so long to include them in Music?. The first instance of using the Fifth in ...
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1answer
385 views

What is the difference between “primi toni” and “octavi toni”

In XVI century, there was a composer called Girolamo Cavazzoni. He wrote (amongst other pieces) a couple of Magnificats - in primi toni, quarti toni, sexti toni and octavi toni. You can find the sheet ...
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5answers
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B flat major triad - music theory

I'm absolutely new to music theory and really wanna learn piano myself at home without teacher. I've got a new sheet for a song and trying to figure out why B flat major chord can have different notes....
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2answers
124 views

Why do I always hear the Zelda theme in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major?

In the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Op. 35, Violin Concerto in D Major, in the very soft part at the middle of the song (07:19 in this Yehudi Menuhin recording), I've always heard the Zelda theme. ...
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2answers
538 views

Help me understand the chord progression in Tatsuro Yamashita's 'Sparkle'

I'm trying to understand/analyze 'Sparkle' (1982) by Tatsuro Yamashita. Funky stuff begins at 0:50. The song is in Emaj (I think), and here's the chord progression I'm looking at (take it easy with my ...
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2answers
673 views

Are there “left-hand” pianists that keep time with their right hand?

Typically keeping rhythm is a low-end job: bassists in a guitar band, and the left hand in playing the piano. Admittedly I know nearly nothing about playing the piano. But I thought I would ask: Are ...
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3answers
860 views

What do you call a very brief change of key

When the key changes for a longer period and a new tonic is firmly established, we call it modulation. However, what do we call a very brief change of at most several measures, when harmony from ...
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6answers
3k views

Why is The Star-Spangled Banner said to be in key of F instead of C?

Just learning music theory. The Star-Spangled Banner, https://www.musicallthetime.com/printable-pdf/star-spangled/star-spangled-banner-for-recorder-alto.pdf This piece is written in Key of F with one ...
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0answers
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Music notes longer than a maxima [duplicate]

I have been studying music since now, and since, I have been wondering if there was a note longer than a maxima. I know a dotted maxima, but what other note is longer than that? That was the most ...
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2answers
479 views

How would you describe this not-quite-a-triplet rhythm? [duplicate]

Sounds like a triplet but not quite since it's not all even. Is there a name for this?
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2answers
59 views

How to balance my phrase structure? [closed]

I'm trying to compose a verse (with refrain?)-chorus (bridge?) pop song (optional: Instrumental intro, bridge before the final chorus, instrumental solo somewhere) about 3-4 minutes in length. I've ...
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2answers
50 views

What characteristics of a piece contribute to defining its tonal centre?

I have been wondering since a long time that what exactly in a piece defines the scale and the tonal center. Even if we are given a chord progression that is followed through the entirety of the song, ...
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1answer
93 views

how can I study orchestration methods for electric guitar?

In this post, I was given some tips on arranging electric guitars. However, I would like to do further reading on the subject (spreads, range, register, coupling, doubling, unisons, etc), and I can't ...
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1answer
66 views

Transposing to a different key in Guitar [closed]

I am a beginner guitar player. I found a youtube tutorial to play a song. So the chords I was playing for the song were: Dm, Gm, A7, F, E7 . I was asked by someone to transpose the key to C# instead ...
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2answers
143 views

Definition of a step in the (melodic) minor scale? (According to the definition in Kostka - Tonal Harmony and examples therein)

The short version of my question is: Assuming the definition of the minor scale in Kostka's Tonal Harmony textbook (Eighth edition, chapter 4), which is that: there is, in a sense, one minor scale ...
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1answer
47 views

F#m (b6, add9) OR DΔ (#11)/F#? To use b6 chords or not

I have encountered the claim that b6 chords are often a misinterpretation of a Maj7th chord with the third in the bass... It seems fairly reasonable but my head wants to revert to the b6 (or b13 maybe)...
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2answers
168 views

Why does the ii-V-i-IV progression in this video have chords from a different key?

I've been learning about chord progressions and found myself with the one shown in the video embedded at the end of this post. At 2:25, the narrator selects a software-built-in chord progression: ii-V-...
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3answers
130 views

Relative and absolute tones: does this really make the difference?

Often, in improvisation, you think of the notes of the scale not as the actual notes you are playing but as the notes of the C scale. The concept I'm talking about is that of the movable C, or ...
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6answers
896 views

What is the difference between the bIII and III chord in a minor scale?

Wrting a chord as III in conventional notation gives you, as far as I can tell, two pieces of information: The uppercase numerals mean it's a major chord, i.e., built by stacking a major third and a ...
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3answers
156 views

In the context of G Major, is there anything special about a Am-Cm-Bm-Em progression?

It looks like a ii-V-iii-vi going around the circle of fifths but with the V replaced with a iv, but I don't know what the theory behind that replacement is. I'd heard of tonicization before but I'm ...
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2answers
69 views

In Hindemith's terms, how do I classify this melodic gesture?

I am attempting to analyze the G note in the melody pictured below using Paul Hindemith's terminology/framework set out in his Book 2. From what I can gather, the melodic formulae Hindemith is ...
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1answer
140 views

Does it have a name what John Williams is doing in these pieces (and lots of others)?

I noticed a very common thing John Williams does. My knowledge in music theory is pretty limited. The only thing I could name are lots of passing notes and chromaticism? - but maybe there is a special ...

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