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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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71 views

How do you get better at sight reading? [duplicate]

This is really confusing. Sight reading basically is recognizing the notes. How do you actually “improve” on something like that? Can someone please give me advice on how to improve? I have a MTAC (...
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1answer
57 views

How can I construct the E7 only with theory?

I have a hard time with the following description of what a E7 consists of: What does the intervall relate to here? I try to apply it to the Notes (Töne) above it (E B d gis b e`) but that can't fit....
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2answers
112 views

Difference between new-age classical and traditional classical as far as theory?

I'm wondering what the differences between new-age classical (Yiruma, Dustin O'Halloran, etc) versus classical (Bach, Beethoven, etc) are as far as theory goes. Traditional classical always seems ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Why do Coda and Segno has symbols, while the jumps to them is always spelled with letters?

Segno has the symbol 𝄋 and Coda has the symbol 𝄌. Ok, barely visible, but I thought it was funny that unicode symbols for these actually exist. But as far as I know, there are no symbols for D.C., ...
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 ...
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2answers
35 views

Analyzing Tschaikowsky's “Wintermorgen” 3

Starts at 00:29 At the second line's first measure. I can't figure out what chord it is.. and at after two measures there is a G7/F going to Bm I can't understand how does this work. In my ...
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5answers
2k views

Notes in a lick that don't fit in the scale associated with the chord

Hello! Could someone please give me an explanation about why in the above lick they use G flat (yellow square) instead of G and an E (red circle) instead of E flat, as the Gm dictates? Thank you in ...
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3answers
68 views

How to denote a volta that should only be used after jump back to Segno?

I have an arrangement which looks a bit like this: It describes the idea. First is an intro, and then we play bar 2-5 twice and then jumps to bar 9. When we reach DS. al Coda, we jump back to Segno ...
2
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4answers
72 views

Do “augmented-six” chords always have to be bVI?

If we're at a C key. Ab7 would be the "augmented-six" chord but doesn't and type 7 chords have the same interval as the bVI7 ? Why does bVI7 only has a particular name called "augmented six" ? Is ...
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1answer
61 views

Is this a V+ or III+6?

I see a weird chord between the iiø6/5 and the i. Is it a pun of V+ or an III+6?
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3answers
63 views

Analyzing Tschaikowsky's “Wintermorgen 2”

At measure 2 from the [B] section. (starting at 00:18 ) I don't know what chord it is. The notes are B,D,G, E#. Is this G7 ? The same chord also appears on the 4th measure with a different ...
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2answers
185 views

Which scales have a major chord built on second note? Which scales have a minor chord built on the seventh note?

Which base scales (base scale meaning not modes) have a major chord built on the second note? (In which scales is the II chord a major? Is this the proper nomenclature?) Which scales have a minor ...
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5answers
554 views

In harmony: key or the flow?

I play ambient music and my approach on creating chord lines is simple, just try to stick on the key and if I want to change the key then make it subtle. But today I tried to create harmony lines ...
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1answer
41 views

Polyphony vs Monophony

I am taking a basic music class as an elective and was given a chart to compare monophony and polyphony. The elements within the chart are: Melody, Accompaniment, Harmony, Rhythm of Words, Dynamics ...
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2answers
33 views

Analyzing Tchaikovsky's “ Morgengebet ” Pt 2

At the 4th measure from the picture, Starting of the [B] section, there is a question mark. the notes are G, Eb, C, and F# . What is this chord? It also appears in the 3rd measure of the [B] section....
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2answers
35 views

Analyzing Tschaikowsky's “Wintermorgen”

At the beginning of the first measure there is a chord with the notes of Eb, G, C#, and G. What is this chord? I suppose that the song is in B minor and I can't find any chords even in Modal ...
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3answers
87 views

Why is there two notes in a row with more beats than the measure?

I'm relatively new to the piano and learning Pure Imagination. Here a part from early into the piece: In the 4th bar, there are 2 Ab's in a row and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do at this point -...
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2answers
200 views

Are there historical references that show that “diatonic” is a version of 'di-tonic' meaning 'two tonics'?

Wikipedia says that "diatonic" refers to a whole note scale or a scale with seven pitched per octave. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatonic_and_chromatic But my take is that the major and minor ...
5
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1answer
106 views

Is there a name for the progression ♭VI–♭VII–I?

The so-called Andalusian cadence occurs when one harmonizes the descending tetrachord from tonic down to dominant with I–♭VII–♭VI–V. Yet the progression ♭VI–♭VII–I seems just as common. It's ...
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2answers
70 views

How did Rameau's Treatise on Harmony (1722) influence the mass production of musical instruments?

Rameau's Treatise on Harmony (1722) initiated a revolution in music theory but in what ways did that translate into popularizing music ... particularly the mass production of musical instruments? ...
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2answers
30 views

Analyzing Tschaikowsky's Morgengebet

if you see at the 5th measure from the photo, there is a question mark. How did that F#7/A# came out all of a sudden ? Was it possible because at the measure before there is a bass movement moving ...
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1answer
93 views

Alternative theories of harmony

Do you know of any alternative (to functional) descriptive theories of harmony or attempts at creating them? By that I mean attempts to explain both functional and non-functional harmonies in a ...
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1answer
84 views

What is a “Slovenian Cadence”?

I recently acquired a large collection of music theory review materials. In it, I came across the term "Slovenian cadence." Does anyone know what this might be? Unfortunately, the review materials ...
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3answers
104 views

How to self-teach music theory on guitar? [closed]

So I've tried a lot of resources out there( the free ones) on the internet, from YouTube to PDFs. But my progress is not much. The basic stuff like major scale is clear to me only in theory, but I ...
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1answer
41 views

Figured bass 52?

This is from the ABRSM Grade 8 figured basses. What does the 5/2 mean? I have not come across this before.
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1answer
150 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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1answer
107 views

Is the Benny Hill Theme inherently comedic?

The question is in the title. I have tried to answer it for myself, using my knowledge of music theory, and have come up with nothing. I thought it might be the V & I bass pattern, the percussion, ...
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3answers
67 views

What other modes/scales can i play over a song in the Key of Eb Minor

I'm wanting to have two pieces of music flow from one to another, first one will be completely original and performed by me the other one is a song that already exists. I've already discovered that ...
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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
417 views

Is the secondary dominant the same if my target chord is a major or minor of the same root?

Say my target chord is D major or D minor in two separate keys. For example let's say D major is in the key of G major (the V chord) and let's say the D minor is in the key of F major (the vi chord). ...
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2answers
68 views

How to identify modes in Medieval counterpoint?

I am reading through Alfred Mann's Translation of Gradus Ad Parnassum (The Study of Counterpoint), but one thing confuses me. In the first species, this counterpoint is shown to be correct: But this ...
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10answers
871 views

Does the ability of reading and writing music on staff help with learning music fundamentals?

As I see it, notation on sheet music is a tool for translating musical ideas into something that can be read/interpreted by others and played back, given they understand the same set of rules. I ...
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4answers
867 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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2answers
31 views

Is a doubly augmented seventh a compound interval?

I'm reading about the theory behind intervals, and Wikipedia says: A compound interval is an interval spanning more than one octave. Does "spanning" in this case refer to the number of staff ...
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3answers
60 views

Term for distinguishing dim/perfect/aug intervals from dim/min/maj/aug ones

There are two types of intervals, distinguished by their possible qualities: Unisons, fourths, fifths, and octaves (and their compound variants) may be of perfect or (multiply) diminished/augmented ...
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2answers
135 views

Borrowed Chords [closed]

Currently, Wikipedia states some examples of borrowed chords in major keys that are shown below: The thing is, the vii°7, IV♭7, and the V♭9 look too worrisome to me. Although I definitely agree with ...
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1answer
52 views

What are ways to use the palindromic property of a palindromic scale?

A palindromic scale, as I've seen it described on a number of music theory websites, is defined as one whose sequence of intervals is the same when ascending and descending. For instance: D Dorian (D ...
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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 ...
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2answers
120 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'...
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2answers
63 views

Are chord resolutions objective?

Im looking into chord resolution at the moment and i wonder from then way people in online tutorials talk about them if a certain chord always resolves to the same chord. Or does it depend on its role ...
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3answers
116 views

When was the Ionian scale invented?

The Ionian scale is the major scale, which is one of the two most commonly used scales. (As the remaining five are rare compared to) It is far the most commonly known, and it is being even used in ...
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0answers
64 views

Leading-tone IAC?

Why did Beethoven write a leading-tone IAC here? It appears as viio 6/5 - I. Also, why does the leading tone IAC exist?
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1answer
57 views

Who did introduce the mediant keys in to music harmony progression?

Which composer(s) introduced as the first time mediant chords and mediant keys in their compositions - or in which period the use of this kind of modulation was coming up?
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4answers
1k views

How to know key of a melody

How can you tell what key a melody is in if it uses notes found in multiple scales? And if a note is introduced from a different scale than the one it was in, does that change the key? What if it only ...
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3answers
82 views

How to name more than seven scale tones?

When a scale has more than seven tones, is there any standard way to name the scale tones vis-a-vis the major scale tones? For instance, this applies to the two variations of the diminished scale -- ...
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6answers
3k views

Is it possible to understand and enjoy classical music just by listening, without music theory knowledge? [closed]

Pretty much every book out there which claims to teach the readers to appreciate classical music, has significant amount of theory in it. Ex: What to listen for in Music by Aaron Copland. Is it not ...
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4answers
121 views

How can you tell the chords of a piece of music if you can only hear bass and melody? [closed]

How can you tell the chords of a piece of music if you can only hear bass and melody? There are a lot of possibility that it can be more than a single chord..Also, would be better like this.. To have ...
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6answers
174 views

What's the point of chords such as sus and 7th chords? [closed]

Every time I play major7th or minor7th it doesn't make me feel any different than the normal major or minor chord, so what's the point of such chords? What do these chord qualities accomplish that ...
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3answers
106 views

problem with dorian scale

i have a problem with minor dorian scale. you see, the natrual minor scale for the key A is abcdefg and dorian minor scale for the key of A is abcd f sharp g . but E natural minor scale have the ...
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3answers
120 views

“D.S., D.S. Al Coda, To Coda” Confusion

I'm having a difficult time grasping "D.S., D.S. Al Coda, To Coda" based on the online explanations I've come across. Below is the specific example that I'm attempting to play. Does the Dal Segno ...