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Questions tagged [theory]

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

7
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2answers
605 views

What constitutes a circle of fifths progression?

Is a circle of fifths that goes backward (eg. D G C F Bb) still considered a circle of fifths progression?
2
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2answers
102 views

Perfect 4th is dissonant?

Why is the perfect fourth dissonant in some cases when it does not sound dissonant? When I play it in closed position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
0
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4answers
96 views

Is A♭ major a closely related key to C♯ major?

I'm trying to list the closely related keys to C♯ major, and here is what I get: C♯ major, the original key D♯ minor (???) F♯ major (???) A♯ minor x (B♯ diminished is not a key!) For the points that ...
2
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5answers
74 views

Perfect 4th as a starting note of a phrase. What does it do?

I was listening to Eric Clapton's guitar playing on All Along the Watchtower. The chord progression is very simple, which is I-VII-VI-VII in a key of C minor. Most of the time, he played based on root ...
-2
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3answers
192 views

What type of cadence is this?

What type of cadence is this at the end of Dvorak's 9th symphony (Dvorak's 9th Symphony, 4th movement, Finale - Allegro con fuoco (Meaning: "Fast and Spirited"))? Is it an imperfect authentic cadence ...
1
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1answer
59 views

Final cadence appears as Em7 - Am (v7 - i in A minor). Name?

I see an unusual cadence in the end of Debussy's Prelude of Pour le Piano. It is v7 - i in A minor. Is there an actual name for this? (Chord Progression: Fmaj7 - Abaug7 - Gaug7 - C9 - Em7 - Am)
1
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1answer
19 views

Is a Cadential 6/4 tonic or dominant function? [duplicate]

A cadential 6/4 would normally occur before a V, and after an IV, ii, V/V, viio/V, It. 6, Fr. 6, or Ger. 6. Does a cadential 6/4 have tonic or dominant function? (Or... maybe... subdominant function....
0
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2answers
76 views

What order should I learn music theory?

i am teaching myself music theory to help get ahead in the AP class im taking next year. what order should i go about learning each concept? i am already familiar with what you would know after 7 ...
1
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1answer
80 views

Identifying this chord (Fb Db F?)

I'm practicing identifying chords from sight reading for the first time, here is what I have so far (feel free to correct any possible mistakes I might have made). I'm struggling with that last chord ...
4
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3answers
973 views

Know when to turn notes upside-down(eighth notes, sixteen notes, etc.)

Suppose I have four of eighth notes(4/4 as time signature), all of them at different pitches, one being very high. An example is show below: How would I know if I need to turn that upside down(...
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5answers
105 views

How do i remember note positons on my guitar? (I learned all the notes already)

I am playing a steel-string classical guitar, but i mostly play acoustic songs on it. I mention this because classical guitars have 12 frets. I learned all the notes, 1st-12th fret, 1st-6th string, ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Technique: How to produce even sound of an octave in Bamboo flute [Bansuri]?

I've been practicing to play Bansuri for 3 months. I practice playing single note for longer duration, and Alankars [patterns]. Starting note Sa [or C in Western notation] is played by closing first ...
1
vote
1answer
14 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 ...
0
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3answers
220 views

Chord has every note of the harmonic minor scale. Name? [on hold]

I see an extremely strange type of chord in the first bar of the attachment below. This is the beginning of the fourth movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It has all of the notes of the d-harmonic ...
18
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2answers
1k views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have heard the term Neapolitan 6th quite a few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
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3answers
2k views

Cadences for Modes

For each of the modes, is there a certain chord that goes before the targeted I or i chord? For instance, it seems in the Phrygian mode that II to i is a fairly strong progression. In Ionian, ...
25
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8answers
42k views

How many (major and minor) keys are there? Why?

I am wondering about how many major and minor keys there are and why. Here are some suggestions: 24 keys One could argue that there should be one major and one relative minor key for each of the 12 ...
2
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2answers
96 views

What's this chord progression (called)? [closed]

I'm substituting for a guitarist and need to learn a whole bunch of songs pretty fast. I'm currently working through them, and everything is very straightforward. But there is this one song with a ...
1
vote
3answers
44 views

Music theory for Bach's Inventions

I just got a piano and want to start working on Bach's Inventions. I have sort of managed to play 2 and 14 some years ago, but my knowledge of music theory pretty much consists of being able to work ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Are there books specifically on the subject of modulation?

Questions concerning smooth modulations, especially how to effect them, keep coming up in my own efforts at composition. Apart from Max Reger's little treatise (which in some ways is and in other ways ...
4
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2answers
116 views

Did Jeff Beck “play the changes” on Goodbye Porkpie Hat?

I have read several different accounts of Charles Mingus' reaction to Jeff Beck's cover of Goodbye Porkpie Hat. One account says he liked it and sent Jeff a note saying this while another says he didn'...
2
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1answer
65 views

What is the key/mode of “you are the government” by bad religion?

I'm trying to make sense of keys and modes, and I'm studying simple songs note by note to reach this goal. One of them is "You are the Government" from Bad Religion. It starts with a riff that goes : ...
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4answers
2k views

Identifying the interval from A♭ to D♯

This is a very theoretical question but it's confusing me a little. So intervals overlap - That's why I can call a major 3rd a diminished 4th, and such. However, from what I understand, a perfect ...
5
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3answers
378 views

What are some nice/clever ways to introduce the tonic's dominant seventh chord?

I'm in C minor and want to modulate to its subdominant key of F minor. One way to do this is to introduce the tonic flat seventh chord C-E-G-B♭, which is the dominant seventh chord of F minor. ...
0
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1answer
190 views

Is there a set of closely related keys in modern popular music? [closed]

In my knowledge, the closely related keys in classical music are: Is there a set of closely related keys in modern popular music? If yes, then what will it be?
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4answers
65 views

Does the dissonance of scale notes, to the tonic, follow a pattern of ascending fifths?

Does the dissonance of scale notes, to the tonic, follow a pattern of ascending fifths? For example start with a C major scale and lets track the position of the C note in ascending keys ... C G D A ...
2
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4answers
424 views

Em9-A-B progression - would you consider that a key change?

From a theory perspective, does a repeated R&B progression like Em9-A-B count as a key change occurring over and over, or a I-IV-V progression with a seriously modified I chord (from major to ...
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2answers
39 views

Analyzing Tschaikovsky's “Der Puppe Begräbnis”

00:56 starts the measure 9 the Cm/eb , G7/D ..( is the 7th measure from the picture but I called it measure 9 because in the actual song it's measure 9 ) what is this chord progression at measure 13 ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Playing ONE triplet (not three)

Has anybody ever seen playing only ONE or TWO triplets instead of three? Can anyone tell me if it's even possible and if anybody tried to do it? I guess it would be hard to count, because: In 4/4 at ...
0
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2answers
29 views

Ornaments in ABRSM theory, start on the note or the note above?

I know that depending on the era you can either start on the note or note above in some ornamentation such as a turn or mordent. For Abrsm grade 8 theory do you start on the note or the note above so ...
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5answers
2k views

If parallel keys aren't closely related, then why are they so easy to get to?

I got this comment on an answer of mine: (A comment on this answer) Parallel keys are three sharps / flats away from the tonic, and therefore, they are not closely related. Regardless, they are ...
2
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3answers
83 views

What key is this?

So I'm listening to a song, and the pitches used are these: C, D♭, E♭, F, G, A♭, B♭ Seems like the key of A♭ major, right? Or perhaps F minor. (Indeed, the song seems to be in a minor key.) But no, ...
6
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3answers
101 views

Is it possible to generate a perfect sawtooth wave?

I was wondering if it is possible to generate a perfect sawtooth wave (Wikipedia). Because in nature everything is continuous and therefore for example a common speaker would be unable to produce such ...
14
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3answers
778 views

Do Neapolitan chords exist in modes with a minor second?

In relation to a question I asked earlier—What is a Neapolitan 6th chord—I have a follow up question. A Neapolitan chord is pretty much a Major chord built on the lowered second scale ...
8
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2answers
358 views

what does the apostrophe mean in this notation?

Found this whilst reading some basic theory on wikipedia, but am trying to figure out what the supposed meaning is. example: b-c' kleine secunde 16:15 source: Wikipedia link with interval table ( ...
27
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8answers
12k views

Understanding minor key harmony

A comment discussion under this question from me, clued me in to the fact that I don't really understand how minor keys work very well. So here is what I think I know The natural minor comes from the ...
1
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1answer
67 views

Composition of Cowell's “rhythmic key changes”

I'm currently reading Henry Cowell's New Musical Resources and On page 98, Section 6,(TEMPO) in part 2 (RHYTHM), is a paragraph of for instances. Directly, I'm grappling with the SECOND FOR INSTANCE ....
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0answers
72 views

What mode is this plainchant melody?

https://gregobase.selapa.net/chant_img.php?id=7376 We start on sol and use sol-la-si/ti. We have two finalis: sancti ends on sol but amen ends on la. The recitation is la. Hypophrygian, I think, has ...
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0answers
77 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 ...
5
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4answers
1k views

Shifting between bemols (flats) and diesis (sharps)in the key signature

I am a beginner in music with little knowledge, but like once in a month spend a little time playing with a digital keyboard. I noticed that if I have some notes of a song which got 4# in the ...
5
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3answers
549 views

What chords count as “diatonic” in minor?

Do triads from all forms of minor count as "diatonic triads"? Triads from A Aeolian / Nat Minor am b˚ C dm em F G Triads from A Harmonic Minor am b˚ C+ dm E F g#˚ Triads from A Melodic Minor am ...
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5answers
272 views

Relative minor key change in chord progression

I'm writing a song in F Major key. I have a chord progression that goes Like 4/4 C7 - C#dim - Dm - Dm ( V7 - V#dim - Vi - Vi ) After this four measures, I wanted to change key to Dm for a moment. ...
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1answer
146 views

“Für Elise” Opening motif [closed]

Beethoven wrote his "Für Elise" for his girlfriend "Elise Röckel". The first three notes of the piece, E-D♯-E, make a little "sense" about it, as the letters of the notes somehow form the name "Elise"...
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5answers
202 views

Can you please explain why 'white' soul means accented on the first and third beat while 'black' soul is on the second and fourth? [closed]

Can you please explain why 'white' soul rhythm means accented on the first and third beat while 'black' soul rhythm is on the second and fourth?
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12answers
6k views

Use of Music Theory in Composition

I've been told by many people that music theory is not normative; it doesn't tell you what to write or do in music to create something beautiful that sounds good. I've been told that it's strictly ...
39
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5answers
3k views

Is there any “research” in music theory?

A researcher in, say, mathematics, conducts research in the form of proving theorems, laying out foundations for new theories, etc. But what do, for example, PhD candidates do in music theory? Split ...
20
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8answers
13k views

Is F Lydian mode in the “key” of C Major?

In most cases (if not all), a piece of music without sharps or flats in the key signature, would be considered in the key of C major or A minor. This question assumes the context of Western Music ...
4
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2answers
535 views

Are E natural minor and B harmonic minor related?

Came across a chord progress Em C Am B under "Em backing track". With mention - Use E minor scale and harmonic minor on B to jam along with it But Em has following chords - Em F# G Am Bm C D ...
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3answers
115 views

How does 'If I were a rich man' work?

I was playing 'If I were a rich man'. I noticed how it makes use of alot of notes outside its scale even though it's in C major. and I was wondering what the term is for what is it doing. Is it ...
8
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2answers
752 views

Why does this progression alternating between major and minor chords sound right?

I'm an intermediate guitar player and I'm trying to improve my music theory. When I'm sweep picking I play a pattern because it sounds right to me. Now that I'm learning how music theory works, I'm ...