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For questions about of how music works, seeking to identify structures and patterns in music.

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Resources about harmonisation

I found nice video on youtube about harmonisation: That explains harmony on different levels from child to Herbie Hancock. My question: where I can found more deep ...
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Scott Pilgrim's Ramona Analysis

Can anyone well versed in music theory help me comprehend what is going on in Scott Pilgrim's Ramona? From what I can tell, there are 3 sets of 3 chords, each seem to be going to a specific place. ...
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3answers
132 views

Why does C to F# work?

What's the theory behind this? (Or does it NOT 'work'?)
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2answers
104 views

Why aren't notes and intervals plain numbers?

Beginner question: If we were to leave the historical context aside and redesign the system of musical notation: would we base this around the 12 steps we've divided octaves in? What strikes me as ...
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3answers
50 views

Songs melody range

I'm writing a vocal song and I'm worried about the range of the melody.. for example in C Major key what is the lowest and highest melody I could go ? I appreciate every answers..but..I don't want ...
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3answers
98 views

What exactly is the difference between C Ionian and D Dorian?

Both modes have the same notes. But why do they sound different. How to approach while composing a song in a particular mode as opposed to a key. Is it the harmony or the pivoting root? I read few ...
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6answers
114 views

How to modulate from minor to parallel major

I'm trying to find a good modulation from Dm to D. I know that I could use Dm-A7-D but it feels a bit to unsophisticated. I thought that I maybe could do something like Dm-X-C-X-Em-X-D where X is ...
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1answer
59 views

Theory: How to tell major, minor, melodi, harmonic, natural apart

I'm currently learning theory and need some help. I can't necessarily tell apart Major and Minor scales (from the key signature and the scales) nor can I tell the harmonic form. I remember my teacher ...
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3answers
82 views

Why does this harmony work?

Here's Soma by The Strokes. If I'm not mistaken, the verse progression moves simply from a G chord to an F chord repeating. If the key is C, then this is just V-IV-V-IV etc. Since the chords are only ...
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1answer
86 views

Should I strive to create more complex harmony? [closed]

I was watching a video with Jacob Collier on how he goes about playing Amazing Grace with a bunch of 7th chords, add chords, slash chords, sus chords, and everything but the kitchen sink. But to me ...
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0answers
34 views

melody starting point on song parts

Hi I'm writing a song in a Bb Major key and the chords goes something like EbM7 , F7 , Gm7 and the first note of the melody starts with G note. (this is the main chorus part) And if the verse part ...
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3answers
94 views

Can an interval have a direction, low to high, high to low?

Is there a word or way to know if an interval is going from a low note to a high note? "Minor second" doesn't tell me if it's going from a low note to a high note for example.
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1answer
41 views

Harmonic Analysis of Chopin's etude op.10 no 5

In the circled part, what is the harmony? Is the E-flat a non-chord tone or is this just some weird chord? (I've only learnt basic harmony.)
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2answers
718 views

Why don't we have third notes?

why isn't there a third note It could be use in 3/2 or 3/4,and others that divide the measure with 3,what more of a question it can be formed too. If there was a third not it would work well in 3/2 or ...
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1answer
27 views

Asymmetric ease of improvisation during modulation

I've been learning about modes, and one thing I was interested in at first was to change modes while improvising (to get to know them better technically as well as to have a better understanding of ...
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1answer
51 views

Gradus ad parnassum: what does “seven must be set with third” mean?

So I came around this example in Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum (p.98) The purple dot marks bar 6. Joseph considers it an error, as explained here: What does "the seventh must be set with the third" ...
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2answers
58 views

Is GbM7 to DbM7/F also a chromatic movement?

I was writing a song in Bbm key. And the chord progression goes something like. Bbm,GbM7, DbM7/F In this situation does the GbM7 going to DbM7/F also consider as chromatic progression ? If it is,why ...
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4answers
147 views

Why do we care about the interval between a pair of notes and not the product of a pair of notes?

As a computer scientist, I think of each element of musical analysis as a computation we have chosen to do on the music for some reason. I'm not saying I understand how humans decide what the meter ...
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1answer
95 views

What are the elementary skills of composition?

I'm interested in learning music composition, but in spite of music being as old as time itself the majority of resources I've come across so far seem to suggest that a beginner learn sections of ...
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1answer
62 views

Make Songs from Major Scale sound like Romany/Balkan/Hindi

We are trying to make songs sound "gypsy". We tried using double harmonic scale, but we're not sure how are we gonna make the chords fit the scale. Most of the songs we play are on major scale. ...
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4answers
103 views

4/4 vs 3/4 time signatures

I'm new to music theory so I'm sorry if my question is trivial. Is it correct to say that, in practice, the only difference between 4/4 vs. 3/4 time signatures is where the accents are located? To me,...
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2answers
917 views

Meaning of dots below note heads

I’m learning music theory and I found a music sheet that I attach one part in a picture. If you see in the Treble Cleff, there are 8 eighth dotted notes and is a 4/4 signature. Like is a 4/4 is not ...
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1answer
57 views

Understanding chord prolongations

Harmonically oriented neo-Schenkerian analysis and generative theories have in common the concept that a single chord can be "prolonged" over a given span of music, even if not every (or even any) ...
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0answers
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Is there a visual arts analogue of music theory? [closed]

Apologies if this is not in the right stack exchange website... Moderators, feel free to migrate! While one can think very philosophically about music without ever mentioning the concept of "note", ...
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1answer
59 views

How to use Jim Fleser's chord wheel for minor progressions?

I'm using the chord wheel by Jim Fleser to try figure out some chords that would go well with a baseline I played. But, I don't understand how minor progressions work with this chord wheel. Where ...
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0answers
64 views

Unifying/Formalizing the ideas of cross-rhythm, polyrhythm and hypermeter

I am interested in the notions of polyrhythm, cross-rhythm and hypermeter, including acquiring more mathematically based concepts that can aid in quality music production. I have done extensive ...
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5answers
114 views

Is interval always related to a scale?

Is music interval always a concept in terms of scales and do we always have to take the first note as tonic? What would be the interval between D note and E note in C major scale?
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2answers
99 views

How are chords named?

I'm trying to understand this but I've not been very successful. For instance, this is a chord I took from something online to demonstrate: This is in the Bass clef, no key signature, and called F (...
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4answers
72 views

Pentatonic Scale and Chord Qualities

I am trying to play the pentatonic in the Key of G-Major. But like in Major scales we have the sequence Maj-min-min-Maj-Maj-min-dim, is there something for Pentatonic as well.?
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1answer
23 views

MusES musical representation system — questions on the “algebra of pitch-classes” and some conventions

This may be pretty niche... For a project I'm working on I've been reading this paper on MusES; my goal is to find a simple musical representation system (or build my own) for a program I'm working on....
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1answer
881 views

Chopin Polonaise in Ab major, op 53 change in key

In Chopin's polonaise in A-flat major, op.53, in the second section the key changes from A flat to E major. What type of change is this? Is it from the flattening of the sixth (F-flat major), or was ...
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2answers
84 views

How do train yourself to transcribe in real time?

One of the things I have done is scale degree training where you play a cadence and play any note to see if you can identify that note. I can probably be as accurate as 98%. 90% if you add chromatic. ...
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3answers
55 views

“Re-Learning” Theory and Technique [piano] [closed]

I play the piano casually in my spare time, and was given lessons from when I was 7 up until about 17. When I stopped lessons, I was playing at around RCM grade level 9, but due to school time ...
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2answers
320 views

What do we call a chord progression that doesn't have a tonic chord?

I came up with a chord progression the other day: Fm7 Ebmaj7 Abmaj7 G7 It's clearly in C minor. But instead of resolving to Cm, I was looping through it. What catched my attention was that it ...
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4answers
673 views

What are the interval patterns for the modes?

I came across this on this site: C Ionian is C D E F G A B, whereas C Dorian is C D E♭ F G A B♭ The WWHWWWH is for Ionian. What is the equivalent for the other modes?
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3answers
138 views

Which chords belong to a mode?

My guitar teacher - in my short student days - told me that each mode, in order to be expressed, have to be played over a certain chord. That chord can either come from a second guitar, or from one ...
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3answers
2k views

Is Cmaj7 in the C major scale different than the Cmaj7 in the C Dorian scale?

I was told that the 7 in Cmaj7 indicates the 7th scale degree. But here's what's confusing to me: in the C major scale, the 7th scale degree is B. And the interval from the root note of the Cmaj7 ...
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2answers
74 views

Can't seem to figure out the key of a chord progression?

Ab min7 - Db min - Eb min7 - Gb7 I looked it up and it said it was in the key of B and Ab min? Not very good with theory so I don't know how it could be a major and minor key at the same time. ...
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3answers
142 views

Trouble writing chord progressions in minor

I've been composing in major for some time and decided to work in a minor key for practice. It's not going too well – I'm having trouble using common techniques in major, such as utilizing the ...
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3answers
74 views

Practicing triads/sevenths or both?

For eg, if we are learning the key of C, do we need to Learn all triads ie. ceg, dfa etc or can we just learn 7th chord qualities like CEGB, DFAC etc. and those will indirectly give access to the ...
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1answer
53 views

Circled numbers on guitar sheet

What are these circled numbers? The finger numbers are next to the notes on the left for sure. I assumed it to be repeat section markings but there is not repeat.
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3answers
80 views

How to use chords and chord websites?

I just started learning how to play piano and only know how to play it note after note. So when I play a song I just play it by memorizing the notes, but not knowing what the chord is or understand ...
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1answer
686 views

What's the theory behind Chim Chim Cher-ee?

Chim Chim Cher-ee has a fantastic chord structure: i, IIIaug, III, IV, iv, i, II7, V Most of those transitions make sense to me. However, there are three transitions that I don't quite understand: ...
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3answers
76 views

How can I tell if I have good relative pitch or if I am just familiar with scales

I have been playing guitar for over 10 years now, and for more than half of those years I have studied under a tutor in order to force myself to learn new techniques and genres of music (everything ...
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1answer
59 views

Terminology - note or tone?

For the 2,000th theory question! The leading note is often called the leading tone, albeit being one semitone below the root note. Why has it been called thus? It can't be right!
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1answer
57 views

Terms for 4, 8 and 16 bar sections?

Are there specific musical terms describing time structure like 4 bar sections, 8 bar sections, 16 etc.?
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11answers
11k views

I'm learning music theory, but none of the songs I'm trying it on are playing by the rules

So, I've been playing guitar for about a year, and I want to learn some chord theory. I crack open a book, I learn about I ii iii IV V vi viio and why it works and how to construct it, then I learn ...
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3answers
92 views

A Dominant 7 in F major?

I'm relatively new to music theory. I'm really racking my brain trying to justify this Chord progression from Sam Smiths "I'm not the only one" It goes F major to A7 to D minor. I'm confused ...
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6answers
93 views

theory - D major in F major chord progression?

I am taking a music theory online course and there is an example I don't understand. The chord progression is: F Bb C F D Gm C7 FMaj7 The first 4 bar is just I-IV-V-I and the last three bar is II-V-...
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1answer
61 views

What is the difference between legato and portamento?

On Wikipedia Legato means: [...] the player makes a transition from note to note with no intervening silence. [...] Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legato On Wikipedia Portamento means: [...]...