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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What is the difference between a bass clef and a question mark? [closed]

I am currently in 9th grade learning chords in music theory, but I have trouble distinguishing between a bass clef and a question mark, because a bass clef and a question mark look the exact same.
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1 vote
2 answers
73 views

I’ve been playing guitar for about a year, and learning music production and attempting keyboard and violin [closed]

How do I jump in to the deep end? I’ve taken glances at music theory, and I’ve tried learning sheet music (still am), but the most I’ve learned in the past few years of learning music on my own is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
67 views

Is there any book that summarize the chords progression and how it make you feel? [closed]

I am making some Hip Hop beats, but I found difficult to bring some catching chord progressions that represents the feeling that I want them to have. Is there any books that summarize the chords ...
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7 votes
7 answers
942 views

How can I avoid a C Ionian theme when I am playing in Aeolian?

I am a beginner in music theory and want to compose something in A Aeolian, but I just noticed that the same notes are used for C Ionian. A Aeolian is supposed to be melancholic while C Ionian is ...
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8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why are there pairs of wind instruments in a symphonic orchestra?

Why is it so that there are often two identical oboes, two identical clarinets, two identical bassoons and two identical trombones in a symphonic orchestra? Is it just because one instrument is not ...
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2 answers
71 views

A melodic 2nd above a simple minor triad has a unique feel, and a required duration. Explanations?

Examples “Long” (first sung note) in Carpenters ‘Superstar’. B mel above A minor “Far” in ‘Yesterday’ (McCartney). E mel above D minor The effect is lost over a min7 (why?). Or without extended ...
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1 vote
2 answers
79 views

What should I know before stepping into orchestral/ fantasy music composition? [closed]

I have completed grade 7 in music theory (Trinity College London syllabus). Due to certain unavoidable circumstances, I have to self-study music hereafter. My passion is to become an independent music ...
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2 votes
2 answers
55 views

An accented or a non-accented passing tone?

Okay, this might seem like a silly question, but I didn't find a quick answer through Google, so here it goes. I was just sketching a little pastiche in the style of Bach in the key of B minor. I ...
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0 votes
1 answer
53 views

Why is this augmented 4th bad ? 16th century counterpoint

I'm studying 16th century counterpoint. My book says, when writing a melody for second species, augmented 4th or augmented 5th shouldn't occur between strong beat and a strong beat. But this is not ...
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2 votes
0 answers
44 views

Examples of melodic augmentation/diminuition [closed]

I am looking for interesting musical examples of what might be called melodic augmentation/diminution. As contrasted with rhythmic augmentation/diminution, which can be thought of as a uniform scaling ...
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3 votes
2 answers
267 views

How do I Modulate a scale that doesn’t exist?

So I’m composing a song with “3” scales, G harmonic minor, A#/Bb Major and a set of notes that I can’t seem to find a scale for. C-D-D#-F#-G-A#-B I love how it sounds but don’t know much about music ...
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2 answers
121 views

How to analyze a composition? [closed]

How does one analyze a composition? I am trying to work through Czerny 599 (The "Czerny Czallenge") but I think if I knew "why" the pieces were structured the way they are, it ...
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0 answers
12 views

Does the needed accompany notes on 3 part 4th species rule also apply on 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion?

At the 2nd measure, is the sustained note 4,7 resolving to 5,3 ok ? while doing 3 part 4 species there was explanation that when using 7-8 resolution the the 5th note needs to accompany but I don't ...
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1 vote
1 answer
51 views

Is consecutive 8’s on resolving the 7s in the weak beat against the rules ? 16th century counterpoint 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion

This is my exercise on 3part 2nd and 4th species fusion 16 century counterpoint. Is consecutive 8’s on resolving the 7s in the weak beat against the rules ? (At measure 5,6 between the soprano and ...
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6 votes
5 answers
226 views

Notes not adding up to time signature How to play this?

Hi, any idea how to play this piece? The note on the last beats are not adding up to 6/8.
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1 answer
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What is the scale of this song? It only uses I, II, III, IV and V of the minor scale [closed]

The key note is C#. It looks like a minor scale but lacks VI and VII (only contains 5 tones). What is its scale? Thank you!
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5 votes
3 answers
408 views

Trying to work out how to play this segment

I’m trying to work out how to play a segment on Saxophone. The piece is Gerry Rafferty’s famous solo but I can’t remember what one detail is. It’s like a slur but only on one note. Trying to work out ...
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2 votes
4 answers
214 views

Songwriting and music theory questions

In a 4/4 instrumental for example: If I have to put stressed syllables on the strong beats of the instrumental, What happens to the other beats that might get stressed acedentally since it's ...
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1 vote
0 answers
100 views

Did percussion instruments communicate spoken words in click languages?

There are a number of click languages in Africa where 'clicks' function as part of their language. It seems like it would be possible to communicate some words with percussion instruments (maybe a ...
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  • 403
3 votes
1 answer
57 views

Computational Technique to Predict Two-Note Dissonance? [duplicate]

Many of us are taught that the "complexity" of the ratio between two frequencies predicts its dissonant qualities. Is there a way to find a numerical value for dissonance? I have created a ...
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10 votes
1 answer
375 views

Why do notes have stems?

How is it that stems became a part of standard music notation? I was genuinely unable to find an answer to this anywhere on the internet - I couldn't even find an instance of anyone asking the ...
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1 answer
120 views

If The Beatles didn't know music theory, how did they construct whole songs flawlessly? [duplicate]

It is said that the 4 beatle never learned music theory, and is proven by many interviews from them. They are known for writing rock hits that had always hit the charts and the songs they had written ...
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3 votes
2 answers
347 views

Harmonic analysis: Bm7b5 E7 Fmaj7 [closed]

Bm7b5, E7, Fmaj7 are of course the 2nd, 5th and 6th degree of A harmonic minor, but if I'm in Fmaj what are they?
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4 votes
1 answer
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How would I write 5 eighth notes (as one note, and ties are ok) in 6/4 time signature?

I'm not sure if i should write it as an eight note tied to a dotted eight note, or maybe a half note tied to a 16th note or what I don't know.
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1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Resources to get started on music theory and arrangement [closed]

Sorry if this is a bad title. I have been playing the piano for years, mostly classical music, but I would like to focus on other genres now. I am satisfied with my level of skill if we talk about my ...
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4 votes
1 answer
213 views

Seems to fit all 3 PAC criteria and yet I'm told it's a root position IAC?

So, as I have been looking for examples of the 3 different types of IAC(Imperfect Authentic Cadence), I run into this: A cadence that looks like a PAC(Perfect Authentic Cadence) on paper, but which I'...
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4 votes
6 answers
1k views

One note of chord not part of scale

I am currently analyzing a track by Deadmau5, and am almost positive that it is written in F# minor. The melody notes are all within that scale, and pretty much all of the chords are too. However, ...
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1 vote
2 answers
76 views

What chord is G-C#-E in a D minor context?

I’m looking at a score notated in D minor. The first measures are evidently in D minor, followed by a F-A-D (Ic - second inversion). But the next measure has a G-C#-E. I know that D harmonic minor has ...
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2 votes
3 answers
63 views

What intervals does the "consecutive interval" comprehend?

I'm studying 16th century counterpoint. I'm reading 3part counterpoint with 2 species and 3 species mixed chapter. I read that consecutive intervals must be avoided in certain situations. Ok I get ...
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2 votes
3 answers
114 views

Difference between bVII and vii (diminished 7th) triad

I came across a chord progression called the Mixolydian Vamp denoted as : I bVII IV I, but I don’t recognize bVII. What is its relation to the diminished 7th diatonic triad (vii degree)?
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5 votes
1 answer
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In a 4/4 instrumental, do I have to write stressed syllables to land on the beats of the bar so that my lyrics can be "in time"?

In a 4/4 instrumental, do I have to write stressed syllables to land on the beats of the bar so that my lyrics can be "in time"? If not, how can I make my lyrics be "in time"? ...
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  • 145
7 votes
1 answer
141 views

Two Time Signatures: Bach Prelude in D Major BWV 874 [duplicate]

I'm currently learning Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D Major, No. 5 WTC 2, BWV 874. At the beginning of the prelude, there are two time signatures given - cut time (2/2) and a 12/8 time signature. I ...
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5 votes
5 answers
2k views

How does the chord progression G-F-Eb-D work?

So, I've been this arpeggio sequence of G major to F major to Eb major to D major and can't really seem to figure out the theory behind it. All of the root notes fit into G Mixolydian flat 6 & G ...
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8 votes
10 answers
4k views

Can we play any song in any key on the piano and by what principle is that?

This is a newbie question: I have seen some songs being played in F major or E major or C or D on the piano, and they correspond to different levels of difficulties. For example, E major could be the ...
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6 votes
4 answers
1k views

What does this portion of the score mean where the treble and bass clefs intersect?

This is from a piano score. I would appreciate it if someone could explain what it means -- which notes I am supposed to play, and on which hand.
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2 votes
2 answers
71 views

If I put accented syllables(these syllables have higher pitch and higher volume) on each beat of music does it count as syncopation?

If I put accented syllables(these syllables have higher pitch and higher volume) on each beat of music does it count as syncopation since I’m also accentuating beats 2 and 4?All of this is in 4/4 time....
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  • 145
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

Can a rest create an agogic accent by having a long duration? [duplicate]

Can a rest create an agogic accent by having a long duration? Or does it not make an accent.
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  • 145
3 votes
3 answers
238 views

Goldberg variations - chord progression changes between variations

The Wikipedia article on the Goldberg variations sets out the chord progression which all variations follow. In some bars, different options are separated by commas and it says there are different ...
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3 votes
3 answers
143 views

Can a rest count as a musical accent?

I remember reading somewhere(i dont know where) that a rest counts as a musical accent, Is this true? If so then when can I rest on a 4/4 instrumental for example?
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  • 145
5 votes
1 answer
69 views

Clarification on Schoenberg's "pivot tones" in minor from Theory of Harmony

While going through chapter 5 I have multiple times had to amend my understanding of the four instructions Schoenberg gives on the usage of the sixth and seventh degrees of the minor scale. My ...
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4 votes
1 answer
390 views

Ic V I - can somebody explain?

Could somebody explain what this is? Where does the 'c' come from, and what does it mean? Thanks!
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2 votes
2 answers
123 views

How to score study for composition

Could somebody tell, step by step, what is the most effective way to study a score, if my goal is to copy a composer's "language" as an exercise: to create a similar piece and to learn from ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
66 views

Grouping and Beaming rules for specific time signatures

The question asks to rewrite the notes according to the grouping and beaming rules of the given time signature. The first picture is the question and the second picture is my answer to it. Am I ...
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2 votes
5 answers
146 views

what are Major triads with an added minor 6th called?

Im researching types of 6th chords & have not come across any site referencing such a chord. Does a Major triad with an added m6/b6 not exist?
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  • 179
4 votes
3 answers
120 views

How to estimate a tempo by looking at a melody

There is an exercise in a Harmony book by Aldwell & Schacter, where you are asked to figure out the correct meter and to estimate a "suitable tempo" for a snippet of melody, in other ...
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2 votes
1 answer
77 views

From a D7(#9) to E6

I am trying to identify the resolution between the D7#9 to an E6. In roman numeral would I consider the resolve as: bVII7 to I? Also, does the #9(F) of D and 6(C#) affect the kind of resolution this ...
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3 votes
3 answers
412 views

Should I always use right hand for notes in Treble clef?

I'm trying to figure out which hand(especially which finger) I should use for notes in some measure in sheet music that I'm currently practicing. I attached a screenshot below. As you can see, There ...
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  • 211
1 vote
3 answers
166 views

what is a "rhythmic gesture"?

Per Wikipedia, taken originally from Winold, 1975, chapter 3, among the general characteristics of music from the common practice period is "rhythmic gestures of a limited number of rhythmic ...
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  • 127
4 votes
5 answers
648 views

C Major with F# transpose to D major

I have C major with F# in it. If I want to transpose it to D major, do I just raise F# two steps up? So G#? I am a little confused about transposing with accidentals involved.... Should I follow the ...
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  • 49
3 votes
2 answers
86 views

I would like more information about the chord progression ivm7, IV, VIIM7, II, I, III

I've written a song with a chord progression in E major (I think) using borrowed chords from the parallel minor key. The progression is: C#m7, A, D#M7, F#, E, G#. I translate this Roman numerically: ...
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