Questions tagged [theory]

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

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Do interval ratios consonance apply to a single pitch or a scale?

I have established the order of consonance to dissonance of a pitch as seen below in pitch C.. Unison - C to C - 1/1 Octave - C to C1 - 2/1 Perfect Fifth - C to G - 3/2 Perfect Fourth - C to F - 4/3 ...
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1answer
89 views

What is Pat Martino's Minor Conversion Concept? [closed]

Is the basic principle of Pat Martino's Minor Conversion Concept anything more than simply altering melodic minor scales?
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1answer
156 views

Is there such thing as compound nonharmonic tones?

Like instead of the ordinary passing chords a little info one why they work would be nice too liek how each note in the chord acts as a passing, are there any other non-harmonic tone techniques that ...
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2answers
190 views

Is it possible to start out on a nonharmonic tone then play its resolution?

For an example if I used an escape tone from F major to C major, using a B-flat note to G, once the chord changes from F major to C major. In all examples I've seen on non-harmonic tones it seems you ...
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1answer
68 views

What does Decorated Suspension, a type of nonchord tone, mean in this below explanation?

I'm learning about decorated suspension. But I don't understand the explanation below. Could you guys help me with this? P/s: I type the script of explanation below, so you guys with smartphone ...
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4answers
262 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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4answers
1k views

How to start learning the piano again?

When I was a kid (10 to 14 years old) I was taught how to play the piano. Or that's what I thought until today. I haven't been playing piano for about 10 years so I am of course rusty, but what I ...
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4answers
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Relation of the diminished chord to the circle of fifths?

Within each key there are seven chords. If I understand it correctly the "first" six correspond to the minor and major variants of the current key and its immediate neighbors in the circle of fifths, ...
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2answers
36 views

How do I know if I'm in a Major key or its Relative Minor? [duplicate]

For example, if I compose a chord progression F-G-C-Am. Can I Assume C as the Key? How do I know I'm not in A minor? I've seen songs analysis that says a song is in determined key even when the root ...
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3answers
890 views

Why do the keys in the circle of fifths have the pattern of accidentals that they do?

I'm attempting to fully understand the circle of fifths, and I noticed that in the clockwise direction, the sharps are added in their own circle of fifths starting at F. I'm wondering why this ...
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1answer
199 views

Why does the same classical piece sound like it's in a different key in different recordings?

I've noticed that sometimes a different recording of the same piece will sound like it's being played in a different key. For example, I listened to Concerto No. 6 in B-Flat Major, BWV 1051: III. ...
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1answer
50 views

What is the utility of Schenkerian analysis?

I have seen that Schenkerian analysis is a method of analyzing tonal music distinct from the usual one which employs roman numerals for the degrees, specifies the inversions, the functions, etc. ...
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1answer
37 views

Naming this chord [on hold]

I have a chord with Ab as the first, Eb as the 5th and an A as a flattened 2nd. What should I call this please?
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7answers
282 views

Why does the circle of fifths only show some notes that are enharmonically equivalent?

I was wondering why the circle of fifths only has three keys that are enharmonically equivalent at the bottom of it namely, C#/Db, Gb/F#, B/Cb. Why only those three? Can’t the other notes in the ...
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5answers
1k views
+100

Do different modes have the same cadence structure?

In major and minor keys, the perfect cadence is V to I Will this structure remain the same in a different mode? I.e. E Phrygian Mode in the key of C (E F G A B C D), the tonic chord is the iii of ...
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1answer
224 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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3answers
2k views

Why is bII 7(b5) considered a dominant?

I am using Ear Master for ear training and at the Chord Progression exercises, there is an exercise called "Various dominant-tonic combinations". These are the chord progressions that are being ...
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6answers
117 views

What shortcuts are there to figure out the major and minor scales that contain a set of multiple notes?

What shortcuts are there to figure out the major and minor scales that contain a set of multiple notes? e.g., Which major and minor scales contain: C,F,D ... or perhaps C and G#? ... or perhaps C, G,...
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0answers
33 views

Eighth Slash Notes for a Simile

I know that if you want to make a SIMILE part, you can put as my picture, quarter notes then convert in Sibelius to SLASH NOTATION and enter the text that says SIMILE. Here is the photo: https://ibb....
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2answers
74 views

♭II6-I Cadence: Plagal or Authentic?

Chopin's Etude No. 16 in A minor, Op. 25 No. 4, ends with a cadence like this: B♭/D - A In Roman numerals, we write as: ♭II6 - I Is this cadence viewed as Plagal (N6 - I), or Authentic (tt - ...
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9answers
6k views

Are sharp keys “bright” and flat keys “dark”?

I was reading this book and on the "Circle of Fifths" chapter it claims that keys with sharp key signatures (C, G, D, ...) are "often though by musicians" to be "bright" sounding and those with flat ...
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5answers
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Is there any set of 2-6 notes that doesn't have a chord name?

Is there any combination of up to six notes in the chromatic scale that could not be classified and named as a chord? Can anyone give me an example and explanation if so?
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3answers
100 views

Analysis: How to determine what scale/mode a score uses

I'm learning music theory with the hopes of being able to analyze sheet music. My question is -- What if the piece I am analyzing is in some other mode than major or minor? Or even stranger, like ...
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0answers
77 views

Naming this chord? [closed]

The given image has a chord written (with the Treble clef above and the Bass clef under). The root of the chord is in the bass voice. May not have the 5th of the chord in this. Please help me ...
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1answer
57 views

Is there a standard set of cadences designed for the seven modes?

On Cadences for Modes and Modal Cadence Options, Dom, Richard, and I came up with a group of modal cadences. Specifically (correct order from Ionian to Locrian): Dom: ii-I, VII-i, II-i, II-I, ...
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3answers
3k 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 quite strong progression. In Ionian, obviously ...
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4answers
511 views

How do you write a dominant ninth in fourth inversion?

How do you write in music notation a dominant ninth chord in its fourth inversion? I only know of the ways to write first, second and third inversion. Fourth I have never come across.
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1answer
94 views

What is the role of modulations in popular music?

I know they keep the song interesting (like in I Will Always Love You), but what other purpose do modulations serve?
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1answer
34 views

Ger.6-I cadence - Name?

I was looking at some Romantic era works, and I have found an unusual cadence of: Is there a name for this cadence? I'm tempted to say it is a variant plagal cadence - A plagal cadence is ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the key for “Purple Haze”?

I was looking at the sheet music for purple haze by Jimi Hendrix and I was pretty confused. The first two bars, and all over the song, has a LOT of accidentals. Then the root of the first chord was ...
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3answers
132 views

Why can't an C#-note be played in this progression: D, Cadd9, G

I started studying music theory on my own but could use someone to confirm if i'm correct I'm assuming that the progression D - Cadd9 - G is in the key of D major. The D major scale contains the ...
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2answers
341 views

Is this an example of a Neapolitan chord?

The chord that goes on the fourth and fifth bars of my attachment above looks like a Neapolitan chord. The excerpt is the second movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3: Marcia funebre Adagio assai. (...
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2answers
530 views

Is this an imperfect authentic cadence in a minor key?

In the case where the chords ending a phrase (in B minor) are: | D | A | A#m | Bm | in B minor it would be III V/III(VII) #vii i In my opinion the A#m is a passing chord, which leaves me with D A ...
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1answer
1k views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
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3answers
416 views

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

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 ...
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3answers
292 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 ...
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2answers
263 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 ...
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3answers
969 views

How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the phrygian mode?

My question is: How would you go about writing a a chord progression properly using the circle of fifths in the Phrygian mode? I have seen many discuss the circle of fifths using Majors and minors but ...
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4answers
426 views

Is contrary motion a requirement when approaching a cadence?

Do the upper parts in all cadences move in contrary motion to the bass.if I write it like that, am I wrong? Or is it only for adjacent chords?
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5answers
903 views

How can I make 12 tone and atonal melodies sound interesting?

I have recently started learning about serialism (12 tone melody writing) and atonal music. When I attempted to write a short melody, it didn't sound quite pleasing to the ears. Yes, I know atonal ...
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1answer
54 views

Guidelines for finding tonality/key of a song

I am trying to determinate in which key a song was written. I am not musician nor music student. I knew some clues for finding the key but I am having trouble with a specific song because the criteria ...
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2answers
142 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
1k views

Is it possible to transpose samples (in cents) from minor to major?

I'd like to transpose a sample (in cents) from G Minor to C Major. How do I do that, or is it even possible?
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2answers
564 views

Why does Larry Carlton think Dmajor scale when some plays Gmajor7 chord?

In this video at 5:25 Larry says when someone played a Gmajor7 chord he thinks to play a Dmajor scale as those are the money notes. What is the theory behind that thinking?
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1answer
102 views

Are circle of fifths progressions generally practical for modes?

Earlier today I was working on mode utilizations, and as I was making a circle of fifths, here's what I got: C Ionian mode: C - F - Bdim - Em - Am - Dm - G - C (I - IV - viio - iii - vi - ii - V - I) ...
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5answers
3k views

How to know whether to write accidentals as sharps or flats? [duplicate]

I am writing a bassline for a song in Em and there is a passing note A# or Bb in the approach notes. How do I write this note? Since the key signature has one sharp, is it best to write the accidental ...
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5answers
304 views

Approach to progressing with guitar?

Situation: I can play chords, barre chords, major and minor pentatonic, and diatonic scales. Have been playing for a couple of years but most of that was spent improvising on scales I already know, so ...
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1answer
76 views

Quintuplet over 3/16th

For quintuplets over 4/16th notes I can use 16th note quintuplet. For quintuplets over 2/16th notes I can use 32nd note quintuplet. Is there any notation for quintuplets over 3/16th notes? Imagine ...
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1answer
1k views

Carnatic Vs Western 12 Note system

I was trying to learn the chromatic scale and associate it with carnatic equivalents (I know equal temperment is not the way with indian music, but it interest me to relate and learn it to certain ...
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3answers
341 views

Learning the concept of Serialism from its basics - where should I start from?

I am completely new to the concept of Serialism. A music theory workbook I have only mentions about the concept in short, with an example of Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra. It also mentions ...