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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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7answers
1k views

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece music (Amazing Grace) to make it pleasant to listen to?

Why do I need to change chords throughout a piece of music? For example, when playing a guitar accompaniment for 'Amazing Grace' it does not sound pleasant when you play only a G chord throughout the ...
0
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3answers
72 views

Chord progression (Em7,Bm7 what next)?

I’m working on my song and need help with chord progression. The verse chord progression is : G, Cadd9, A7sus4 and Dsus4 I made a bridge with Em7 and Bm7 but I don’t know what need to come next (I ...
10
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4answers
51k views

What is the correct process for deriving the 'mirror' or 'negative' harmony of a progression?

I recently stumbled upon the concept of negative harmony in these threads: https://www.talkbass.com/threads/negative-harmony.533862/#post7227335 http://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/theory/30394-negative-...
1
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1answer
33 views

What is this chord in Haydn's Symphony No. 94?

Can anyone tell me what chord is in bar 115 of the attached image, and how it relates to the key of F minor (just edited, accidentally said F# minor at first) (which is also the subsequent chord)? It ...
4
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3answers
1k views

What is the meaning of 'chorus' in terms of a 12 bar blues?

For example, its use in the phrase: to play a total of four choruses on an A minor blues progression
4
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5answers
749 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 ...
4
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3answers
418 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
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4answers
646 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 ...
1
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3answers
94 views

How to smoothly modulate from A# minor to B minor

How could I modulate smoothly from A# minor to B minor?
3
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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
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4answers
199 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 ...
10
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6answers
704 views

How to determine passing chords

How do you determine passing chords from one chord to another, as I've seen how most gospel/jazz pianists do? So far, I am familiar with progressions such as the II-V-I as means to go from one chord ...
3
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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'...
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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" ...
5
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1answer
149 views

Penultimate chord in Messiaen's Regard du Pere seems to break the pattern

I have a question about a particular chord in “Regard du Pere,” the first piece in the Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jesus by Messiaen. I am using the 1947 Editions Durand and don’t know of any other ...
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6answers
9k views

Prokofiev's style

I have a predilection for music from the first half of the 20th century. I can't pinpoint the exact reason why, I suspect it is from absorbing so much music from movies, tv series and computer games ...
9
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1answer
884 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....
4
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3answers
188 views

Clarinet Transposition

I like to play my clarinet to backing tracks. Can all songs be transposed to Bb? I ask this because there are songs I would like to play which I can't find clarinet sheet music for. Thanks
5
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3answers
92 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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

What are these aspects of song structure called?

In songs, we often have very similar melodies and rhythm patterns being repeated over and over again. The following is an approximate melody of one stanza of Willy O' Winsbury as performed by ...
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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. ...
7
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7answers
21k views

How to differentiate between 12/8 vs 6/8 timing (or hemiola)

How would a composer differentiate between a 12/8 and a 6/8 time signature? On 3/4 timing you'd have 3 quarter notes as your rhythm, on 6/8 you'd have 2 dotted quarter notes correct? I wrote a song ...
15
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4answers
5k views

When did the half-step/whole-step modulation in the middle of a song become popular?

Many pop songs in modern times will use a half step or a whole step modulation in the middle of a song in order to increase excitement. I would like to know when this strategy started, and if it is ...
8
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4answers
796 views

Are solfege systems octave-agnostic?

I'm writing a somewhat comprehensive music theory programming library - Both to have the ability to make "intelligent" theory programs, and to refresh all the theory to myself. I've however just met ...
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 ...
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5answers
207 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
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2answers
54 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 ...
6
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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 ...
18
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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 ...
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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 ...
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 ...
5
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1answer
167 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.
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0answers
37 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 ...
2
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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
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2answers
86 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?
6
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4answers
1k views

Theory behind Bach's deviations from the scale

It's very common to see in Bach's work, that he follows a particular scale but then in a special moment, uses a chromatic alteration. What I have observed is that he usually does it when reversing the ...
6
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4answers
431 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 ...
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. ...
4
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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 ...
7
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2answers
513 views

What are the diatonic extended chords of C major?

I saw this question about 9ths, but I'd like to know what the diatonic chords of 11ths and 13ths as well. This isn't strictly for jazz, I just want to know what the basic diatonic chords are. I'm ...
7
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6answers
3k views

What chord does C, E, G♭ , and B♭ make?

You can use whatever note, but we can use C. Unfortunately, I don't know what the root position would be in this case, so I will lay them out as positions. I used intervals, too. Position 1: Root, ...
6
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4answers
186 views

Which instruments (besides piano) are in one to one correspondence with its range of notes? [closed]

We know that for each note in a piano's range, there is only one key pertaining to that note. This is in contrast to, say, a guitar where there are multiple ways to play, say, middle C. Are there ...
28
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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 ...
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10answers
3k views

If equal temperament divides an octave into 12 equal parts, why are the hertz differences not the same but 12ths of two?

Let's take a 440Hz A pitch and the 880Hz A an octave higher. If we divide space between 440Hz and 880Hz into 12 equal parts, we would have: [440Hz, 476.6, 513.2 ... 880Hz.] And this looks ...
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2answers
100 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 ...
1
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1answer
278 views

Does FLow Machine's AI music-generating algorithm rely substantially on current music theory?

An example of Flow Machines artificial intelligence music generator can be found on Soundcloud. Has it been discussed or published to what extent their algorithms were developed with standard music ...
0
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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 ...
33
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8answers
103k views

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature; even if different parts of the song have different time signatures, there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing the ...
4
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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 ...