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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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Why do we start from the bottom note when counting intervals?

Say if I play G to C descending, my intuition tells me to start from the note that came first. But I've been told that's not correct. You start from the bass note and count up no matter what.
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2answers
75 views

Geometric Voice Leading Presentation

I'm coming from a non-academic background and just trying to understand the rules of voice leading for pursuing a future composing career. I've always found difficulties in understanding this topic on ...
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1answer
28 views

Question about the musical technicalities of some songs of the band Colour Haze [on hold]

I'm a layman about music theory, I barely know how to read a sheet properly. Despite of it, I know that most of the songs always have lots of technical constructions concerning the song itself, even ...
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8answers
553 views

Confused about intervals and keys, does the former depends on the latter?

Sorry if my question is too trivial, I'm trying to understand intervals and keys. I've read on Wikipedia that a third "is a musical interval encompassing three staff positions and the major third is a ...
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1answer
51 views

I want to start compose music but I don't know where to start [duplicate]

I play the Double Bass and I've always wanted to compose music for an orchestra. I know that I need to learn more theory, but I don't know where to learn it. I was thinking about learning it in a book,...
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1answer
23 views

is paraphrase and “paraphrasing” the same?

The term paraphrase in music seems quite clearly defined. Right coming from searching another term for the fill-ins, echo-ing, answering in a musical dialog of 2 instruments, a singer and piano or ...
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1answer
43 views

what is a “leitmotif” and by whom has it been introduced into music language?

after debating about Paraphrase in music and whether "paraphrasing" could mind something different I came to the question, that someone has been used the first time the German term of "leitmotif" ...
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3answers
55 views

Did I use the correct key signiture for this 12 bars blues?

QuincyPenolaSheetMusic Any input would be fine. I was wondering if another key signature would have made it more easy, as there is a couple of double flats.
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8answers
123 views

Why diatonic chords and not always major, always minor, etc?

Why is it important to stay within the key, i.e., to use diatonic chords (minus modulation and key changes)? My intuition is that if the song is supposed to be happy, ergo if it's to use major chords,...
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1answer
57 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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2answers
64 views

Is there a name to this piano element from Country Music?

There is a certain piano element I hear in certain classic country songs, where the piano seems to play backup to the vocals for the extent of one verse. It has a feel that the person is sitting ...
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1answer
33 views

What are the exact chords used in the intro of this Song? [on hold]

https://www.guitaa.com/chords/kaavyapur-sessions-episode-1-featuring-tushar-joshi-kyun The Chords are all same and correct. But in Intro, there are two-three additional notes which makes it sound ...
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3answers
74 views

Is a chromatic mediant considered a modulation?

Say I go from a C major chord to an E major chord. I understand that this is a chromatic mediant. Does this change my key from C to E though? said differently, does non-functional harmony change ...
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2answers
63 views

what are the hand-signs in solfege?

I've searched in SE for solfege and names of altered notes or tones. This point seems to be cleared. But I couldn't find a about hand-signs for solfege. What are the solfege hand-signs? In our school ...
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5answers
38k views

Piano music with two treble clefs, and notes between staves

I do not understand why there are two treble cleff staves and why there are music notes in the middle of the two staves. Which hand should I play those notes with and why are there two treble cleff ...
4
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1answer
864 views

Is a pure minor scale the same as natural minor? Do they mean the same thing?

I'm reading a book on music theory and it says The harmonic minor scale is one of three traditional forms of minor scale. They are: "pure minor scale" occurs as the 6th mode of a a major scale. ...
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3answers
560 views

Two people listening to the same song, yet they hear two different guitar chords that sound right played. Why?

So two of my friends are learning a song on guitar: The song begins with an instrumental intro and kick right into the chorus with vocals. The chorus, which is sung ...
2
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4answers
1k views

Why is the complete circle of fifth progression more common in minor than major?

In relation to How common is the complete circle of fifths progression? which describes some examples of the complete circle of fifth progression (a consecutive IV-VII-III-VI-II-V-I progression), ...
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5answers
94 views

What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? [on hold]

What is the ordering of modes (Ionian, Dorian, etc.) from least to most dissonant? Intervals are dissonant/consonant so why wouldn't there be a way to measure the totality (or average?) of modes ...
7
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2answers
557 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?
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4answers
627 views

Why does the chord progression (i-)#IV-i sound acceptable?

The (i-)#IV-i chord progression is somewhat common in heavy metal from my experience--listen to 0:19-0:25 of this, 1:09-1:12 of this, 0:08-0:13 of this, and 0:16-0:24 of this for heavy metal examples ...
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1answer
48 views

Why do some phrygian dominant pieces end on the iv chord?

I was looking at Itzhak Perlman playing Shalom Aleichem It starts (0:14) in E Phrygian Dominant with the i chord, but ends (4:16) in A minor, the iv chord. I've seen the same thing happen with Hava ...
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3answers
589 views

Is it wrong to have two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave?

I had a teacher once tell me that although not forbidden, it is not advisable to have the same two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave (specifically referring to a four-part chorale ...
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2answers
61 views

Is this chord in Für Elise an example of a diminished seventh chord in classical music?

We seem to think that some of those 'far-out' seventh chords are only the remit of jazz music but you can as I understand it add a fourth note to any of the diatonic chords in standard harmony to make ...
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3answers
57 views

Transposing down

When transposing, if its transpose down a Major 6th from C. Do you take the key of Eb and say that a major 6th up is C as that would be a major 6th down. But cause your starting note is C if you took ...
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4answers
949 views

Harmonic and melodic minor chord function

If the natural minor and major chord functions are : Tonic Function: I, i, and vi - The home chord sounds at rest. It usually provides the beginning and ending for most progressions. Sometimes the ...
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1answer
43 views

How does one interpret (or write) scientific pitch notation with accidentals when it crosses octave boundaries?

Given C♭♭4, for example, is that enharmonic with B♭3 (because you start at C4 and flat it twice) or B♭4 (because octave number 4 means octave number 4)? Asked another way, how do you write the note ...
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6answers
11k views

Is it good practice to use Synthesia to figure out songs?

Just wondering what pianists think about synthesia. You can type Synthesia followed by just about any song name you can think of on Youtube. ex "Synthesia bach minuet in g" and you'll get a Synthesia ...
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2answers
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Grade 1 Music Theory

I have 2 questions: I have learned some topics of grade 1 but I think there are a lot of topics in it. Can anyone provide a list of topic which come under the Grade 1 syllabus and which I must go ...
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4answers
279 views

Determining the seventh chords of a key

I know that every key has a set of 7 chords by taking each note of the scale as a root. I also know that the pattern for naming these chords go as follows: Major, minor, minor,major,major,minor and ...
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3answers
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How many types of modulation are there?

I know a few types of modulation off the top of my head like common chord modulation and and chromatic modulation, but I was wondering how many different types of modulation are there and what are ...
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7answers
194 views

How is music theory helpful in fitting notes together?

I'm very new to music; i've played a guitar before but without a real direction in my practice. I'd like to learn to play the guitar properly, but before that can happen I need a clarification ...
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2answers
81 views

Are all modes relative to Ionian (major) in Roman numeral analysis?

I saw in this Wikipedia article that there are a lot of flats and sharps in the modal natural chords. And I was wondering if it's because they all refer to Ionian. So in Aeolian the "bIII" chord is ...
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5answers
87 views

How do you build a blues scale?

Hi I am doing grade 8 theory (Trinity). I need a quick and easy way to remember/ know of how to build blues scales. TIA
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1answer
69 views

Scott Pilgrim's Ramona Analysis

Can anyone well versed in music theory help me comprehend what is going on in Scott Pilgrim's Ramona? From what I can tell, there are 3 sets of 3 chords, each seem to be going to a specific place. ...
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4answers
1k views

How to analyze a chord from Beethoven sonata no 8 (Pathetique)

Looking at a chord towards the end of the development in measure 169, beat 2, spelled C♯-E-A♭ over the G pedal. How would you analyze this in the context of the harmonic progression at ...
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6answers
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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, ...
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1answer
51 views

Grade 8 ABRSM Theory - weaknesses

I have taken the grade 8 ABRSM theory exam twice now and have failed by a couple of marks. My main weakness is question 2: completing the piano extract. Has anyone got any tips on how to complete this ...
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1answer
29 views

What is the difference between accented and unaccented notes?

how can I tell the difference between an accented and unaccented note? (I am doing grade 8 ABRSM & Trinity theory, any tips?)
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2answers
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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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1answer
50 views

Solo Scales to Blue Train (John Coltrane)

Blue Train (John Coltrane) is a blues in Eb. What are the best options for soloing to it (Trombone)? major pentatonic? It feels somehow strange... the F minor pentatonic seems to fit quite well also.
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3answers
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Why isn't there a closely related key to C minor that has D as tonic? [closed]

In minor keys there is no closely related key built on the second scale degree. Why? Is it because the second scale degree chord is a diminished chord?
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3answers
719 views

Musical Harmony: When to use more than three chords

I understand that I, IV, and V chords in both major and minor keys are common chords that make up a good progression. I understand that those 3 chords cover all the notes diatonic to the key that we ...
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5answers
52 views

How can I pick a minor II - V on a Real Book standard?

I'm having trouble understanding when to play minor7♭5 and dominant7♭9 chords. This is definitely because I didn't pay enough attention during my lessons (sorry teachers). I'm currently ...
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7answers
2k views

Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
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1answer
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Identifying chords with multiple extensions

I understand that this may be basic. I have a chorus progression (C major) I am working on, and it originally started as basically the following: I-VII-V-vi-V I wanted to experiment a little by ...
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1answer
58 views

How to properly notate scales that are not heptatonic

As far as I understand Scales are defined on intervals. So, for example, the major scale is defined by the following intervals from the root: C - Root D - Major Second E - Major Third F - Perfect ...
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2answers
89 views

Am I observing subharmonics using this method on guitar?

Are we hearing a subharmonic? Friends and I hear a note that is lower than my lowest unfretted string on my standard acoustic guitar with standard tuning when I use the following very simple, easy ...
2
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1answer
771 views

Are you still playing a scale if you don't include every note in said scale? [duplicate]

For instance, if you're playing C major, and instead of playing C D E F G A B, you play C D E F G A, or C D E F G, would that still be considered playing in that scale or key? Because I doubt that ...
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5answers
2k views

Which are all the musical intervals that are valid?

I have been reading around many sources, but it seems there is not a full standardized way in naming intervals, some sources say that such a thing as a diminished first exist. So I started making an ...