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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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3answers
52 views

Major scale interval quality [duplicate]

C d e F G a b C 2min 3min 4Maj 5Maj 6min 7dim What determines that the intervals 2,3,6 are minor and the intervals 4,5 are major? I would assume the same ...
5
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3answers
139 views

Mikrokosmos, BB 105, Vol. 1: No. 17 Contrary Motion (1) - Can't understand the structure

Can somebody explain how the harmony works in this piece? It seems that the right hand plays on C key and the left hand alternates between G and D. Why when played in opposite direction do the ...
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3answers
997 views

What Scale is This?

I sort of stumbled upon an unusual scale in a black metal song. It goes: E-F-G-A-A#-C-C#-D#-E or HWWHWHWH It is not a scale I recognize, though it resembles a mixture of familiar scales. Would ...
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8answers
10k views

Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). One example is a C♯ ...
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3answers
54 views

Is it necessary to use a dash to indicate a suspension in a figured bass?

In the ABRSM theory exams, a 4-3, 7-6 or 9-8 suspension always has a dash between the two numbers in the figured bass. I have not found this to be the case in analyses that I have looked at. So is the ...
136
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12answers
35k views

Why is the guitar tuned like it is?

Why is there that funny tuning kink between the G and B string on a guitar in standard tuning? I.E. the gap (interval) between the rest of the adjoining strings is 5 frets (or a perfect fourth), but ...
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6answers
3k views

Why does standard notation not preserve intervals (visually)

(Disclaimer: I don't know much about music theory but ...) The notes A, B are a whole step apart, and B, C are a semitone apart, yet their distance in standard notation is the same visually (from a ...
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2answers
102 views

Analyzing Hisaishi Joe's “The Bygone Days”

( Play it from 1:12 to start from the [B] part ) what is that D#m7(11) ? how does that leads to Gmaj7 ?
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1answer
103 views

Is the 7th harmonics used in plainchant and childrens taunting?

In the taunting of children the 7th harmonics is used according to Leonard Bernstein in his Harvard lectures. We sometimes notate this as sol-mi-la-sol-mi but...it is not correct according to ...
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3answers
37 views

How can one use theory/harmony in order to learn BWV anh 114?

How can one use theory/harmony in order to learn BWV anh 114? I am only talking about theory/harmony in order to be able to play and memorize this piece.
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5answers
412 views

Indian light music: Can a light music/film song exceed 7 notes?

I've been practicing to play song 'Har Ghadi Badal Rahi He' from the movie 'Kal Ho Na Ho', I extracted notes/swaras of that music by hearing. I got these notes/...
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7answers
1k views

Using chord iii in a chord progression (major key) [on hold]

I haven't come across music as yet where chord iii is used in a chord progression. I read somewhere that generally chord iii is not used, or very rarely used. Is this correct? If chord iii is used, ...
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3answers
111 views

Is the ♭VII chord still a dominant chord in the natural minor scale? [duplicate]

If I have the progression Cm > Ab > Bb > Cm from the C natural minor scale, does the Bb chord still work as a dominant chord as it would in Eb major? I know that in the minor scale, ...
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1answer
59 views

Modulation or passing through different keys in the following Bach chorale [on hold]

This is Bach's chorale R.80. I want to know if the music has modulated to a particular key in certain, or is it only passing through different keys (and hence not a fixed modulation to only one key)?
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4answers
688 views

Modulation from major key to relative minor - what could be the pivot chord?

I want to modulate from D major to B minor. I have a perfect cadence (A7 - D) in D major, after which I need to use a pivot chord to go into B minor. I was thinking of using the F# chord, but I am not ...
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2answers
51 views

Using passing notes in SATB writing

When writing for SATB, which is the best voice in which you can use passing notes & auxiliary notes? Also, in a music exam where the Soprano part is given to you (and you have to harmonise the ...
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2answers
45 views

Is it ok to practice naming intervals with a guitar or keyboard in hand?

I am not formally trained in music but was wondering if it is better to try and learn intervals without looking at an instrument or if it doesn't matter really? I suppose on written tests you wouldn't ...
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2answers
55 views

Chords between i and an augmented-sixth chord [closed]

I am wondering about chords that can go between i and different augmented-sixth chords. Are there any resources on this? I've googled and searched past questions and didn't find anything... edit: in ...
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0answers
194 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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1answer
47 views

Is it ok to write a note of the same register in two voices (SATB)?

I want to know if this is allowed when writing for SATB. The chord is D/F#. The note D is of the same register, but repeated in the Alto & Tenor voices. Is this allowed in a music theory exam?
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3answers
3k views

Scale, Heptatonic Scale, Diatonic Scale, Major Scale

A scale with 7 notes, in an octave, is called a Heptatonic Scales. Heptatonic scales are further divided based on tone and semitones arrangements. If a Heptatonic scale have five tones and two ...
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3answers
614 views

Are there any sonatas with only two sections?

In a classical sense, the Sonata is a structure composed of three sections: exposition, development, and recapitulation. Are there any examples of a Sonata with only two sections?
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2answers
141 views

Calculating the distance of chords

I was trying to create a chord progression in C major with borrowed chords from C based modes. There aren't too many "in-depth" materials about how to do this, and what I found says: "just try, maybe ...
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0answers
33 views

Writing characteristic chord progressions in inversion, & doubling notes other than the root

There are characteristic chord progressions taught in music theory, for example, the cadential 6-4, which is Ic - V - I. Then there's Ib - ii7b - V - I, & so on. I want to know if these cadences ...
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2answers
60 views

Identifying unusual chord progression & chord [closed]

I have come across this short piece. I am unsure about the key (even though it uses 2 flats as its key signature - so I am assuming it mostly is Bb major). I could not identify one of the chords (...
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2answers
71 views

Chord in Bach's chorale

This is a part of Bach's chorale R.311. I am unsure of the starred chord. It uses a passing note in it as well. According to me, I think this chord is A°/C, with the D as an accented passing note. ...
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4answers
366 views

Are the names for these chords valid?

I came up with these chord names, but I don't know if they are right: 1st chord c d# F# G# B = cmM7add-13b5 --- cmm7 = c d# B... add-13 = g#<< min 6 without 11th.... b5 = actual 5th lowered ...
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3answers
1k views

General procedure for determining the name of an interval given a major key / diatonic collection [duplicate]

I'm attempting to program a library that lets one make use of concepts from Peter Westergaard's tonal theory. The current problem I'm trying to solve is to determine the specific name of an interval ...
6
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3answers
385 views

How to distinguish light vs dark tone?

I have been playing the flute for 2 years and I can't get my head around the concept of tone colors. I'm learning with Trevor Why books, which describe 3 beginner exercises with which to practice 2 ...
5
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1answer
107 views

Tetrachords in medieval music

Are tetrachords used in medieval/renaissance music the same way as modern chords are used in modern music (as a base for the melody)? And if so... how are the applied?
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4answers
127 views

How can I learn thoroughbass?

I've done some reading and I've discovered that our modern system of music theory (I'm looking at you Roman numeral analysis) is not the same system that most of the great composers, including the "...
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4answers
236 views

What are these “advanced or unknown” nonchord tones that I haven't found out on wiki or other sites?

Nonchord tone (Wikpedia) is one of sources I've learned it from. I'm analyzing nonchord tones on Charlie Puth's song, Attention, to get used to them. However, some of them, I call "unknown" nonchord ...
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1answer
53 views

What does the author mean in these examples of chorales & harmony?

This is an example in G major. I am learning about Bach's chorales & how he uses modulation. I came across a page online (choraleguide.com), & in one example given, I couldn't understand what ...
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2answers
198 views

Harmony on measure 21/22 of Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu

On measure 21, Chopin uses a B major-minor chord followed by a D# minor chord. One might think we're in E major and that he's just borrowing the D# minor, but on measure 19, it seems Chopin has ...
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20answers
34k views

Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
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4answers
133 views

when is a perfect fifth interval a diminished 6th and why? [duplicate]

I did a music theory test where I was asked the interval between F# and Db. I called the interval a perfect fifth but I was wrong. It was a diminished 6th. Can someone please can explain why this ...
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1answer
132 views

Naming Intervals — Tactics, Strategies, Tricks

For naming intervals I have two strategies in my head. STRATEGY #1 First identify the generic interval between the two given notes by counting the notes between them (inclusive of those two given ...
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6answers
174 views

How to choose between Cdim and C#dim?

I have noticed that there is a common chord progression that exists in a few variants: C, C#dim, Dm, G7. It's often changed by changing Dm to D to give the progression a little bit more spark. However,...
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5answers
931 views

Can someone explain the theory behind the changes in Superstition by Stevie Wonder?

I'm learning Stevie Wonder's Superstition on guitar (an awesome song) and I'm really curious about the theory behind the changes in the chorus. The intro and verse are just a riff in E minor ...
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3answers
184 views

Does the 7th major scale note resolve more strongly to the lower tonic (note 1) than the higher tonic (note 8)? [closed]

Does the 7 resolve more strongly to the 'lower' tonic (1) than the 'higher' tonic? I used the word resolve as the octave notes are different despite being the same name. My ear says going from B ...
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1answer
71 views

How are the chords in this progression functioning together?

I wrote a song that has a pretty simple verse that's in D minor. I can understand all of the chords in that progression. However, I can't figure out what's going on in the chorus. I'm curious why it ...
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2answers
369 views

Ranking dominant chord alterations by dissonance

In a jazz chord progression, there are many ways to alter the extensions and notes in a dominant chord. Reasons for altering dominant chords are to add harmonic variety, to construct elegant and ...
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2answers
793 views

Are there any thematic similarities between Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony? [closed]

Taking a look at the opening bars of Shostakovichs' Symphony 5th and Beethovens' 7th symphony 4th movement (bar 136 onwards) see below they sound kind of similar. Somebody suggested (Radio 3 I think)...
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3answers
563 views

Are modes in jazz primarily a melody thing?

I was wondering when jazz cats talk about how they'd use a Lydian scale to improvise over a major chord, or a Dorian scale to improvise over a minor chord they're mainly talking about the melody? So ...
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4answers
42k 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-...
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6answers
4k views

How to reference or calculate the percentage pitch change between two notes?

I'm building an arpeggiator software. So to start off I have a note for a piano sample, call it 'piano-base-note.mp3'. and I have a script to increase / decrease the pitch of an mp3 file by some ...
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6answers
1k views

What chord could the notes 'F A♭ E♭' form?

Can someone please help me understand this chord progression that actually takes the listener from E♭ to B♭. There is a chord at the end of the phrase and I can't understand what chord it ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the name of the scale containing A, Bb, C#, D, E, F?

I found that there are six notes that sound curious and inspiring to my ears, namely A, Bb, C#, D, E, F. But I am not aware of any named scales that have these six particular notes. So my question is:...
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7answers
2k views

“slash” chords, e.g. B/F♯ - are these only for inversions, or can any note be the bass note?

I'm trying to work out whether it is technically correct to have a "slash" chord where the bass note is not one of the notes in the chord. I thought the main reason for slash chords is to show which ...
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1answer
66 views

Is Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me) in A minor or F major? [closed]

'A pirate's life for me' sounds like it's in A minor (and that's what multiple websites indicate) yet there's an A#/Bb in it. Where does that Bb come from? Does it modulate between F major and A minor ...