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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2answers
124 views

what is this cord containing C#,F#,D

In the 41st bar of the Toccata of Bach's 6th Partita for keyboard, the first cord is C#,F#,D. This seems rather odd to me so I'd like to know what this cord is. I suspect the C# is a suspension from ...
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2answers
32 views

Building Guitar/piano chord progressions over alto sax scales

I'm trying to play some guitar/piano chord progressions for my daughter to improvise over using the scales she's learning on her alto saxophone and looking for some help. I know that to transpose I ...
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0answers
23 views

Flume - Helix Drop Polyrhythmic or Not

I keep reading online that the drop to Flume’s song helix is polyrhythmic. However on each listen I am unable to hear it, wanted to ask what the pattern was and if it’s there at all (which is my other ...
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0answers
30 views

Slonimsky Double Note Progressions

What method did Slonimsky use to derive his Double Note Progressions? ... Starting on p.196 Double Notes Tritone progressions to p.214 Sesquitone (minor3th) progressions from (Thesaurus of Scale and ...
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4answers
155 views

Can someone explain improvisation

I have naively thought there weren't "rules" for improvisation, but I am starting to understand that there are. The instrument I play typically involves an ostinato and then one or two melodies, with ...
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6answers
70 views

Roman Numerals for minor chord progression E.g. Am F C G [closed]

Quick question, Take the progression Am F C G Would the correct way of writing this in Roman Numerals be i VI III VII Or vi IV I V Thanks
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1answer
57 views

What is the internal harmony of this Liszt melody?

This is an exercise taken out of Walter Piston’s Harmony (4th ed). Let me know how you would change my progression. Thanks!
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1answer
41 views

Available Tensions vs. (Non-)Diatonic Non Chord Tones

In, for example, the C major key, the available tensions for the C major seventh chord are 9, 13, because: Harmony 3 - Berklee, Barrie Nettles, p17: For diatonic chord progressions, available ...
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3answers
78 views

I need to know what piano chords I am singing

I am a songwriter but I do not play piano. I can pick my melody out with one finger, but that’s it. Is there an app or some way to record myself singing a song and have it determine the piano chords ...
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2answers
710 views

How to play a note with different length with both hands?

As you can see I have 2 G notes to play, one in the right hand melody and other in the left hand chord, how am I supposed to play this?
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1answer
96 views

Is there a music theory explanation behind what gives (recent) James Bond theme songs their tense, dramatic, dark mood?

I'm thinking of these examples, which seem to take on the orchestral flavor of the main theme: No Time To Die Skyfall Writing's On the Wall (Spectre) Spectre (Radiohead cut) The World is Not Enough ...
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3answers
108 views

Mapping from 26 alphabets to notes

For instance, the name HAYDN is mapped to the note sequence BADDG in Ravel's "Menuet sur le nom d'Hadyn". And the name CLARA is mapped to CBAA in Schumann's Piano concerto. Why is that the case? Is ...
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1answer
45 views

From a theory perspective, what elements are characteristic of Camille Saint-Saen's style?

I listen to things like Suite Algerienne and his 5th piano concerto, and they sound so unlike anything else I've heard before. From a theory perspective, what do you notice about his style that gives ...
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4answers
69 views

Is the ii V I scale based on the upcoming I scale ? Wouldn't that cause key change?

The key is in E Major. The chord progression goes like E - C#m - B/F#,F# - B I thought the chord progressions were I - Vi - V/V - I But if you see the first bar at the picture, there is A# in ...
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3answers
94 views

Minor Key (and other key?) Roman Numeral Analysis

What is the general standard in RNA for the natural minor key, as well as keys that are neither major nor nat. minor? So in studying RNA, I found the major key pretty straightforward: I ii iii IV V ...
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2answers
107 views

Two types of chromatic chord progressions?

Sometimes chromatic progressions seem to just shift a chord a certain amount of semi-tones with no regards to the scale like chromatic mediants and chromatic planing, chromatic alterations, etc. But ...
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1answer
94 views

Static Pentatonic Scale

Hello everybody I have 2 questions regarding the pentatonic scale. 1st question is.. does the pentatonic scale move according to what chord I am on in the scale? for example lets say i'm on c major ...
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2answers
435 views

Species counterpoint vs jazz

I have many books on theory and I’m wondering if these two certain books can coincide or if they are just not able to work together. All my textbooks with counterpoint only allow intervals 1 3 5 6 on ...
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4answers
88 views

Term for conversion between different tonalities (C major to C minor, etc.)

(Inspired by this recent question:) If we theorists reserve "transposition" for shifting everything by specific intervals, like every note goes down by a minor 3rd, what do we say when someone ...
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2answers
76 views

Is this an acceptable way to resolve a vii° chord?

In a choral-style piece I am writing, someone said that this vii° chord (within a phrase) never resolves properly. I would be grateful if anyone could give me some advice about whether it works or not,...
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2answers
88 views

How can I make an instrument sound with sine wave?

I'm a program developer. I'm interested in sound these days. I know I can synthesize the sound with a synthesizer. I don't have a synthesizer but I can do that with programming code. I made an organ ...
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4answers
389 views

Harmony, lead and backing, notes outside the chord

Okay so perfectly happy with the principle playing of say a straightforward major chord and playing a notes of that chord over the top of it. Also happy with the idea of playing say a more dissonant ...
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1answer
95 views

Do Lydian and Locrian Pentantonic Scales Exist?

As far as I am aware, there are two ways to construct the five modes of the pentatonic scale. The first is to go to the major diatonic, remove the fourth and seventh scale degrees (as these are a ...
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3answers
68 views

What kind of melodic inversion is this?

My understanding of melodic inversion (strict and diatonic) is taking a melody/motif, beginning on the same note and moving in the opposite direction. However, in the IB Music Revision Guide's ...
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5answers
217 views

What's the point of diatonicism if we don't follow it? [closed]

I'm 2 years into music theory. Today, in class, I was part writing in the key of Cm. When I got to the V7 chord, I was corrected because I wrote a Gm7 (Vm7). Now, I'm aware that the V chord in a major/...
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0answers
54 views

what is this called and how do we play it? [duplicate]

Hi i came across to a note in my theory book i was wondering is there any special way to play it? what is it called ?
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1answer
56 views

single staff for percussion

From my past experience, single staff is usually used for one percussion instrument at a time (any percussive instrument). For the transcription in the picture, which percussions do the notes ...
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3answers
86 views

Music Sheet Notes Interpretation

I am learning guitar on my own no i found something written on music sheet which is below My Understanding : From E string strum 8 fret then hammer on 10 (not sure if we need to do pull off please ...
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1answer
59 views

How to convert from one mode to the other? [closed]

I have no idea how modes work atm, I'm pretty competent everywhere else in theory, but I struggle with modes. Is it at all possible to convert modes? like from minor to phrygian? and what would be ...
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2answers
75 views

Question on fingering for piano

http://www.frederickhodges.com/fundamentalsofpianotechniquepart1.html I read that in fingering the major and minor arpeggios, only use the first, second, fourth, and fifth fingers, replacing the ...
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3answers
161 views

How is the ninth a fifth below a fifth?

I am reading Vincent Persichetti's "Twentieth Century Harmony" and in the first chapter he mentions that The most effective support tones are the fifth and the ninth, the fifth because it's a ...
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4answers
179 views

Why is the current scale system so popular?

Sorry if it's some trivial/already answered question, but I could not find a suitable answer online. I am a beginner at music theory, and learning through the chords and scales made me think "Why is ...
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1answer
53 views

Did Elliott Smith use Chromatic Mediants?

Just a quick question. So I'm watching this video about theory on Elliott Smith and the guy that made this says: "I think that the number one most important thing that you'll hear in his songs. Moving ...
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2answers
121 views

Can animated visualizations help to understand music better? [closed]

There are lots of animated visualizations (of a specific kind) of performed music around that I would like to understand better: How accurate are they? Do they help to understand music better? If so: ...
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0answers
63 views

How objective is the structure of a notated piece of music? [closed]

How objective can the analysis of a notated piece of music into a hierarchical structure of some "constituents" be? Consider a given piece of music in notated form and structurally analysed by ...
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0answers
48 views

What does affect the recognition of melodies, rhythms, and chords?

I am looking for studies or meta-studies in which it has been systematically explored how two presented pieces of music (two rhythms, two melodies, two chords) may deviate such that test persons do ...
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4answers
177 views

Hearing a sequence of tones but not a melody

Normal cognitive sciences (neurosciences and psychology) try to explain what goes on when a person hearing a sequence of beats perceives a rhythm hearing a sequence of tones perceives a melody ...
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2answers
1k views

How much is convention when it comes to time signatures?

I know that in 3/4 you group eights by two and in 6/8 you group them by three. My question is simply, is this simply a convention or could I derive this from the time signature itself somehow? Or is ...
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3answers
81 views

Grade 5 ABRSM Music theory: Intervals in transposition

Does it matter whether the interval is diminished, minor, major or augmented in transposing THE KEY SIGNATURE? of course it is crucial in the transposition of notes but is it important in key ...
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1answer
311 views

note cancelling or what is it called?

i came across a sign on my notation where a note is being played that is G after that there is a note in between e that is open but we first play it and then hammer on it... what is it called ?
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2answers
45 views

Trouble with voice leading with the inner voices

i hope this question hasn't been asked too many times. I am working on compositions using species counterpoint. I am okay with the technique when writing up to 2 voices. Then I want to fill in the 2 ...
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6answers
2k views

Is chord scale theory an unhelpful starting point for players?

Do others on here find the chord scale theory approach is detrimental to many guitar players learning jazz? I spent a long time learning all my scales and arpeggios but I could never get the hang of ...
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1answer
79 views

Meaning of “chords” in a bar with eight notes

First of all, LaM means AM and Sim means Bm. In the sheet music you will see below, what does mean AM________? Does it mean all the notes I will find on the _____ part will correspond to the AM chord? ...
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2answers
60 views

6ths by scale degree vs 7ths [closed]

When you look at 7ths off Ionian you get the same major/minor intervals as 3rds except the special dominant 5th. When you look at the 6ths you get quite a different pattern of major/minor. I can see ...
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7answers
3k views

Why is the interval between G and F in C Major a minor 7th?

I am working through a music theory workbook and one interval question is giving me trouble. The question shows a treble clef in C major with a G and F above it. I am asked to name the interval and ...
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1answer
47 views

Theory- grouping notes

In a 4/4 time signature, can I write a half note on the 2nd and 3rd beat Or should I split the half note into quarter notes with a tie to show the middle of the bar? Also, in 7/8 with (4,3)as main ...
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4answers
2k views

What is a B-flat major chord doing in the key of A minor?

The piece is Chopin's waltz in A minor op. 34 no. 2, measure 70: We seem to be in the key of A minor due to the cadences in measures 71 and 73. But B-flat major is not in the key of A minor (right?)...
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4answers
69 views

Is it correct to write a score that repeats a phrase with 1 different bar at the middle like this?

I have a phrase that need to be played twice but there's a bar at the middle is different for second time. Can I write the score like this? Is this correct? Thank you very much.
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4answers
80 views

Extended chords in modes

Im slightly confused E-aeolian, Em9- E G B D F#, Em9/b9- E G B D F If im using E-phrygian the 9th is already flatted does it mean Em9 in phrygian is Em9/#9? Or should the calculation of 9/11/13 ...
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0answers
56 views

How should a composer use Scales/modes as a tool for composition? [closed]

I've been studying music since I was 15 but I must admit there are many gaps in my knowledge. So although I may know some of the answers to this question, I think it'd be a good idea ask, in case ...

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