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Questions tagged [theory]

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

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4
votes
5answers
747 views

The Meaning of a Musical Idea

If there are multiple valid interpretations of a piece of music, but the composer of the music states that only one of those interpretations is what they intended, are other interpretations still ...
1
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3answers
92 views

How to smoothly modulate from A# minor to B minor

How could I modulate smoothly from A# minor to B minor?
4
votes
3answers
415 views

What is the difference between marcato and forte?

What is the difference if a note is marked with forte (f) or if it's marked with marcato (^)? Would it sound differently?
5
votes
4answers
641 views

Minor Key with note one half step below the Root?

I'm trying to learn music theory via bass tablature. I started by looking at Muse's Muscle Museum and translating the tablature into notes, and trying to define more music theory information about ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are there notes in my guitar chord book that are not part of the chord's formula?

Q: I see chord formulas (Hal Leonard guitar instruction books) that I use to create chords, but when I see illustrations of chords elsewhere, I see notes that don't appear in the chord formula. Here ...
0
votes
4answers
197 views

A math/beauty question [on hold]

I'm an aspiring philosopher, unskilled in music. There is a question that obsesses me for some time: The musical melody is a structure consisting of a series of two types of entities: tones and ...
3
votes
3answers
42 views

Genesis' bVII-V-I cadence

In the verse part of Genesis' "Behind the Lines", the last line of the chord progression goes: F C Dm Bb G -> C (resolution) What is that cadence? What is the theory for that bVII - V - I? I'...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Why is F sharp the only sharp Major Diatonic Harmonica offered and why is there no G flat harmonica?

I tune my guitar half step flat to make it easier to sing the songs I love to play. I also play harmonica along with guitar on many songs that feature a harmonica solo (Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" ...
9
votes
1answer
883 views

Why is it called a 9-8 suspension instead of 2-1 suspension?

I know that usually suspensions are referred to by simple intervals, and this is the case with almost all suspensions (4-3, 7-6, 2-3, etc). However, we call it 9-8 suspension instead of 2-1 suspension....
5
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3answers
91 views

never ending omnibus progression

When I studied music theory in college (years ago), I remember my theory instructor demonstrating a use of the omnibus progression where it would go on forever, sounding continuous to the untrained ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Why is there a key signature change in Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata (2nd movement)?

I have listened to the Hammerklavier Sonata many times, sometimes while following the score, and I have noticed that, in the second movement, there is a change in the key signature for just a little. ...
4
votes
5answers
205 views

What is the technical term for the note names C, D, E, F, G, A, and H?

I'm trying to find out whether my knowledge of the theory is correct, so this question might look a bit silly. There's the term pitch. Pitch allows objectively tell whether two sounds are equal, and ...
3
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2answers
79 views

How accurately can the ear distinguish frequencies?

Preamble: I know this question is borderline off-topic, but I decided to post it here because the motivation is a fundamentally music-theory one for me. The cochlea contains many bundles of hair ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

Books on music theory that give historical context? [closed]

Can someone recommend 1-2 books that introduce music theory but also give historical context? It is easy to find music theory books but many lack discussions of history. I'm looking for books that ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Basic Accidental Question

Example: You have d major scale but you make a c flat accidental, does it just naturalize c back to its basic form or make it an enharmonic b? Ive tried searching on google but found nothing. It's ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

What's an “add” chord?

The name implies that you are adding a note, but we already notate that explicitly in the chord name and quality. We say Cm7, not Cm add 7. If we want a 9th, we can go Cm9, but is Cm add 9 correct ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Fivefold division of the whole tone - What does it mean?

I am recently reading this article: Jan W. Herlinger. Journal of the American Musicological Society. Vol. 34, No. 2 (Summer, 1981), pp. 193-216 (Title: Marchetto's Division of the Whole Tone). In the ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

What is this exotic sounding scale?

D E♭ F♯ G♯ A B♭ C♯ It's basically a double harmonic major/Byzantine scale with a raised 4th. I don't know what to call it.
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Key signatures with Quarter Tones [duplicate]

I know how to write the key signatures for any note within the 12-note chromatic scale. I know this doesn't come up very often, but what are some ways to write out key signatures for passages of music ...
6
votes
5answers
104 views

Is Alberti bass really a type of arpeggio?

When I hear the term "arpeggio", to me, it is much more specific than just a broken chord. A broken chord, obviously is any chord that isn't played as a block chord. This could mean anything from ...
2
votes
3answers
33 views

Connecting multi effects pedal to a tube amp and modeling amp

I started playing the guitar again in the last month and i'm having some trouble with my gear. So, i have a modelling amp from pevey which also has some effects built in. I also have a line 6 POD ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Difference between appoggiatura, acciaccatura and grace note

I seem to get easily confused between the 3 terms. Is an appoggiatura a grace note? How can I distinguish each of them in a music score?
1
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2answers
70 views

Whats the reason behind the tempo change in 6/8 time signature compared to 3/4 or 4/4?

The lessons that I've learned so far was in 4/4 or 3/4. The tempo that I play lessons in 3/4 and 4/4 were between 62 and 72. The 6/8 lesson's tempo seems to be almost the double of the other ones. ...
6
votes
4answers
430 views

Characteristic scale degrees

Came across an article at openMsicTheory.com about harmonic function. Below excerpt was about finding function of a chord Each of the three harmonic functions — tonic (T), subdominant (S), and ...
2
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5answers
84 views

Question on time signatures relating to compound and simple time with tuplets

I'm currently learning theory for grade 3, but i hit sort of a roadblock. In the image, the question asks to "Add time signatures to these bars". Now, I do know that let's say 3/4 and 6/8 differ in ...
-3
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2answers
99 views

Why don't music sheets uniquely identify, and how could it be done? [closed]

I've been learning (a little bit) about music theory, and I realized that music sheets/scores don't uniquely identify a sound: They don't specify which octave to use They don't specify pitch I'm ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What is the harmonic rhythm in this bar?

Is from Rachmanioff op 33 no 4... Is this simply a chord per beat or is there a mixture. Sometimes it appears as if there is a chord that lasts a dotted quaver followed by a chord that lasts a semi ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

What does this V-Shaped Slur denote?

It looks like a regular slur, but at an obtuse angle. This example is from Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1, where it connects an F natural to an E. I have only seen this a couple of times, so I'm just ...
28
votes
6answers
8k views

Tapping 3 times on one leg and 4 times on another leg in 4 beats. What is it called and how to do it?

I'm new to the "music scene". Well, at least the more technical parts of it. In ninth grade, our music teacher taught us how to do a tapping/drumming thing where we tap 3 times on one leg and 4 times ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

How to play rests above the notes [duplicate]

how to play these weird rests?
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Harmonic/Melodic Modes

I've always thought of harmonic/melodic modes as being modes the fall parallel to harmonic/melodic minor. I don't have any references, but I swear I've seen this corroborated in a few places. ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Sources for analysis of Bach fugues?

I've been working on Bach's Sonata #1 for Solo Violin (BWV 1001) and I have concluded that I would benefit from some sort of analysis of the Fugue. In particular, something that shows every point and ...
2
votes
4answers
84 views

Chord that does not fit in diatonically

I'm in the key of A major. I descend down chromatically from the 5 chord of E to Eb and then to D. Where is the Eb chord from and how would I write this in roman numerals?
-2
votes
1answer
52 views

What's the root of this chord progression

I've encountered a chord progression, but I'm not quite sure to which key it belongs (I discovered it by playing around on a guitar). The chord progression sounds like this: Amadd9 Em/G F#7add11
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Does Key changes of different intervals have different effects?

Condisering Key Changes : Does Key changes of different intervals produce different effects on the Audience similar to intervals? Does Key changes have different quality to them and if so what are ...
-4
votes
2answers
69 views

How many notes from all world music are in an octave? [closed]

Considering all the music from all differents cultures on earth, how many notes do we get in an octave? I'd guess something around 24 instead of the 12 of western music?
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Concertos vs Symphonies

I'm writing a paper to compare Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Mandolins with Haydn's "Surprise" in G Major. And I came across something interesting while researching concertos and symphonies. My question ...
4
votes
2answers
130 views

How can I reproduce this harmony?

In Bury Me by Bayside at about 3:09 (the line that starts with "I want your respect..."), they use a strange dissonant-sounding harmony: time stamped youtube link. It sounds to me like he's using 3 ...
2
votes
4answers
108 views

Understanding Cm7-F7-F#Maj7-G# progression

I recently started studying music theory, and while exploring inverted 7th chords, I put together this chord progression simply because it sounded quite good to me. What I can’t get is how to ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Features of a Coda section

I came across a question in a music theory book, which asked about explaining why bars 30-36 in the following music extract could be considered as a Coda. The extract is from Prelude in C minor by ...
0
votes
5answers
100 views

Difference between pitch and key? [closed]

Say I have a song that I recorded in C major to a wav file. And then I open that file with Audacity (or some other audio program) and I increase the pitch. And as a result now the song is in E major. ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Feeling of a flat major vs. regular major chord?

The simple comparison between major and minor chords seems typically to be between happy (major) and sad (minor). Likewise, is there a feeling/mood that tends to be associated with the flat major ...
-1
votes
1answer
50 views

How long before dissonance appears in contrary motion scales?

Just to make things clear, let's set some limits: The scale is F major and the tonic is F One of the scales has to start and end on F The other note can start from any note in the F major scale up to ...
3
votes
3answers
294 views

When to use 8va in musical notation?

I want to know after how many ledger lines should you start notating music with the 8va symbol. I have read that the flute often has music written on ledger lines. So up to how many ledger lines can a ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Writing a score in C (as it will sound)

I want to learn how to write a score for transposing instruments as it will sound (in C). I have a vague idea of how to do this, like for example, you need to know the transposing intervals of the ...
4
votes
4answers
156 views

What is an altered chord?

A chord can be altered in many ways, but not all alterations make a chord an "altered" chord. Which alterations actually make a chord an altered chord? Do altered chords have special notation?
11
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2answers
2k views

What does /r mean in a score?

Does anyone know what the "/r" in this score might mean? Thank you so much...
7
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7answers
4k views

Why is more music written in sharp keys than flat keys?

According to The Most Popular Keys of All Music on Spotify, an analysis of their song library, sharp keys are more common than flat keys. Why?
6
votes
4answers
365 views

What set of notes can be used as a scale?

There are many different scales. As far as I understand, a scale is defined by intervals between notes. For example, for major scale it should be: tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone I know ...
1
vote
4answers
99 views

How to determine the downbeats of a time signature?

From what I understand of time signatures, the top number indicates the number of beats, except for compound or odd beats. Like 4/4 has 4 crotchet beats, while 6/8 has two groups of 3 quaver beats, so ...