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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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Melodic Criticism - Exercise 3.16G, Laitz The Complete Musician 2nd Edition

The question asks to find the weaknesses or problems (based on the general guidelines for melody writing presented in the preceding section) in the following melodic contour (tunes without rhythm or ...
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Why is the 'standard chord' on the first step of Dorian b2 (second mode melodic minor) a sus-chord for jazz?

Why is the 'standard chord' for Dorian b9 a sus chord? More specifically, a sus4. Instead of stacking triads, i often see people (most notably Rick Beato on youtube) use a sus chord on the first step ...
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63 views

How to identify voices in piano scores?

I'm confused about what's going on here. Is the descending line from E5 flat to G4 the alto voice? Is the bass the 3rds in the bass clef and the tenor and soprano double at the E flat octave? Another ...
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1answer
33 views

Help with Mozart 6 bar long chord progression?

Can someone please explain what chords progressions are happening in this 6 measures ? My guess is that the first measure is a A chord and the last one is a V going to I . My confusing is regarding ...
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1answer
60 views

Why do certain parts of songs sound so much better than other parts? (With examples)

I have a question that's been on my mind for quite a while now. Now, I'm not extremely knowledgeable about music theory but it is one of my interest that I like to learn about. I can't seem to find ...
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42 views

Chords with different bass and non-diatonic chords inside a progression

I'm studying music by myself and I'm dealing with several doubts: one of these is, are there some criteria for using a chord with a different bass in a chord progression? And how should I use it? Also,...
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Can someone help me figure out this music theory KEY finding question

Messing around Sunday I came up with a song that has the following Chord Progression. I'm just learning music theory and am having trouble on identifying the key. The chord progression is: C7 D7 F7 ...
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Theory of finding the Mode of a key

Finding the notes of G Phrygian. The ‘Phrygian Mode, is the third mode along from the Ionian, Major - of which major scale is G the 3rd note?". The answer is E flat major. So, G Phrygian has the ...
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In Second Species Composition, how do you traverse an octave between downbeats

From what I understand you can have an octave leap from one downbeat to the next in first species as long as it rebounds with a step in the opposite direction. However, in programming second species,...
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526 views

What are all the modes (scales) based on the major scale?

I've heard that there are 7 different scales based on the major scale, like the minor scale, which is made by shifting the major scale pattern 6 to the right. What are the names of the other scales ...
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63 views

What is partimento?

Could not find a good explanation of what partimento is. I would like to know more. I only found you tube compositions. I understand it has something to do with counterpoint? Please help :-)
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Writing E♭ Chromatic Scale in E♭ Major

For theory practice, I am being asked to write the E♭ Chromatic Scale in the key of E♭ Major. I've learned that it is generally advised to use sharps on the way up and flats on the way down. ...
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3answers
102 views

The function of the opening chords of Love is Here to Stay by Gershwin

I was interested to know the function of the opening chords of the standard "(Our) Love is Here to Stay". It opens with a G7, Gm, C7, F. I was intrigued by the surprise of the G7 to Gm. Is this a ...
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4answers
114 views

Mozart scale run with #5 and #1?

Can somebody please explain why Mozart used(or why do they work/what is their purpose/function) this 2 notes : #5 and #1 in this scale run from his Clarinet Concerto in A ??? Thank you very much
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Pieces of music with the same “structure” give the same feeling? Can anybody “learn to create it” by analyzing it? [closed]

I like the type of music which gives me determination and this "I can do it." feeling and I noticed that every one of this type of music has the same "structure" or "pitch movement". I don't talk ...
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Can someone explain the melody that Michael League uses in this bass lick?

I'm trying to understand the theory behind the 'jazzy feel' bass lick used by Michael League on the song Continuum, specifically at the 6:24 of this video: By ear I ...
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3answers
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Are there technical names for accidentals? [duplicate]

Are there technical names for non-natural notes? By technical name, I mean tonic, supertonic, etc. For example in C, would B♭ be just be called flat leading note (or sharp submediant) or is there ...
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Why is the whole note used as reference for “note length”

We have a whole note, and then half note, quarter note, eighth, etc. I am wondering, why is it that way? If we think in term of beat, then the quarter note is the reference: there are 2 eighth note in ...
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40 views

Find the proper sound / instrument for background (layer)?

I'm currently trying to compose some dungeon synth song. I like them and most of the time they use (very) simple melodies, so I thought this would be a perfect way to practice and develop my skills. ...
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34 views

How to rewrite this rhythm from common time to 12/8 time?

How might one go about rewriting the following rhythm into a time signature of 12/8? I initially figured we could just notate each set of beamed eighth-notes with 4:6 above them to indicate that four ...
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2answers
127 views

Question of putting Roman Numerals on a chord sequence I have

I only have a little knowledge of music theory and was unable to work out how to use roman numerals to denote a chord sequence of one of my old tunes which starts in Fm. I have listed the chord ...
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1answer
44 views

Diminished Intervals - does a double diminished interval exist?

I'm doing practise questions for an upcoming test, and I have to name an interval from E to G double flat. Would that be a double diminished third? I'm not sure what to call it. Also if I invert it ...
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Seconds in a chord

Maybe someone knows about what means the “seconds” in a chord. I ask because I hear tha a person suggest to avoid “seconds” when you write music sheets for a guitar, because they are complex for a ...
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3answers
109 views

Does learning too much theory have diminishing returns? [closed]

I've been constantly asking questions here for around two years now, 138 to be exact, roughly 1-2 questions a week, and I really appreciate the help I've received by many of the people here. This ...
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Rewrite binary to shuffle

some years ago I made a pimped version of the christmas song "Tommorrow, Children, We´ll Rejoice" for my daughter (Cello). Now both of us made some progress in learning our instruments (I´m learning ...
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879 views

How is speed change notated

This is a very beginner question as I am a complete beginner. How is change in speed during a song notated in standard notation? Is it done by changing the time signature for each measure that has a ...
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2answers
61 views

I have a musical phrase… so what do I do next?

So a friend of mine gave me a little musical phrase and I'm stumped as to what exactly I should do with it. Here's said phrase: How do I find the implied key signature and the implied chord ...
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1k views

What is the chord containing C, D, F#?

Its inversion "D F# C" appeared in the 10th measure of the Prelude in C Major(BWV 846). Seems like a usual triad, but I just can't fit it into pattern of any triad. Its most possible basic form of ...
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3answers
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Can someone help me understand this chord progression?

I've been jamming around with a chord progression that goes D F#m C(b5) Bm The odd chord out is the C(b5), but my ear likes the tension-resolution is creates to end on the Bm. I know there's no "...
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2answers
32 views

Multiple Bars of Different Additive Rythms

Greetings and Salutations, Potential Saviors. In a piece I write, which is generally notated in 8/8 (3+3+2) time, there is a 3-bar phrase that, if combined, is equal to 16/8. BUT the way this part ...
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4answers
49 views

Does chord type(major or minor) remains the same for common chord progressions irrespective of any mode or scale?

I am very new to even the basic concepts of music theory so there might be something inherently wrong in my question but here it is, There are some common chords progressions which are denoted by the ...
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39 views

Harmonic/Melodic Minor in Keys? [duplicate]

How does one find the key to a scale like harmonic minor, or is out of key?
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128 views

E# note in the D# Major scale. What does it mean?

I've been having this doubt for a quite a while and haven't been able to find a satisfying answer. Is the 'E#' note technically an F? If so, why does it not exist on the chromatic scale like other ...
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53 views

Tips For Modulation Needed

I'm a "beginning" composer (not very good yet, but I know basic theory), and an orchestral song I'm writing will require modulation from Bb minor to a "related" major--in this case, Bb or Eb. I have ...
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How do I use the Omnibus Progression to Modulate from I to iv?

I am composing a piece in which there is a modulation between the keys of Db major and F# minor. Is it possible to use the omnibus progression to smoothly execute this modulation? If it is possible, ...
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28 views

What is the musical form of Kamasi Washington's “Truth”? [closed]

I'm pretty new to music theory, so I have been analyzing songs I enjoy for practice. I thought I was getting decent at it, but the length and complexity of this song has been giving me some trouble. ...
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1k views

Why is this note in C7+9?

I’m reading the jazz piano book and I can’t see how the upper c flat note has a place in the C7+9 chord. The ninth note on the C major scale is a d so +9 would be d# not c flat = b Or am I wrong?
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Is there a term for when a soloist plays a passage, followed by the tutti repeating it?

I was listening to Weber's Turandot Overture. A flute (or piccolo?) plays a theme, and then the entire orchestra plays the same thing. Is there a name for this?
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Modus Vetus in a Semester?

I was wondering if I can do all 18 chapters of modus vetus in 16 weeks. About 6 days per each chapter. Also, what do you think of Elementary Training for Musicians in tandem? It is 11 chapters and ...
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77 views

Notes in an A13 chord

Does an A13 chord include the 11th? Here's why I'm asking... If you google this chord for piano, sometimes the third (C#) is omitted and sometimes the 11th (D) is omitted -- but sometimes they are ...
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How long does ad lib. sim. last

I have a piece of (bass guitar) music with some repeats in it, and a direction "last time ad lib. sim.". For how long should this direction remain active? Until the end of the bar? The end of the ...
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73 views

What are all the chord qualities?

I am working on some chord sorting algorithms right now, I was requested to add an algorithm that is capable to sort chords by chord quality, so afaik there are only major, minor, diminished, or ...
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Why do some instruments play and octave higher/lower than written? [duplicate]

Can someone please explain why some instruments play an octave lower/higher than written? Thank you :)
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2answers
85 views

What's the easiest way to add bass notes to a melody on guitar? [closed]

I want to play a song on guitar, but I can't find its tab, so I'm transcribing the melody from piano notes. Now I want to add bass notes to certain parts of the melody to make it sound better. What's ...
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111 views

F7 -> A7 -> Bb7 -> A7 what kinda progression is it

I am trying to understand the first couple of bars from Hancock's Driftin. How should I interpret it ? If I look at it as a F major then what is the function of A7 there ? Here is a link for the ...
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How should one describe that some solfege notes rhyme?

How should one describe that some solfege notes rhyme or perhaps share the same role? The two examples are do and so (I and V) and mi and ti (III and VII). C D E F G A B (...
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144 views

What’s the voice leading error?

I am looking for a voice leading error or chord construction error in this example but can’t seem to find one. Any pointers would be great!
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4answers
2k views

What is the progression from A minor to F minor called?

I'm a beginner piano player and theorist and played around on the piano and came across this progression from Am to Fm which has a very grim and black metalesque/dungeon synthy sound. I couldn't find ...
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What are Secondary Mediants / Submediants?

I'm learning about secondary dominants and noticed references to secondary mediants and secondary submediants in a resource (Wikipedia). However, I haven't found any other references to them in ...
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Ride Cymbal in notation Sibelius

Hello I have this notation: Notation But someone told me that is wrong notated the ride cymbal and is incorrect. And that must be notated of the G space above the staff. Can someone tell me ...