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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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5answers
144 views

Why is there a preference to odd notes in a scale?

I noticed there's a preference towards the odd numbers when forming chords: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 And chords are usually built with 1-3-5, 1-3-5-7, 1-3-5-7-9 and so on. And they like to talk about 7th ...
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2answers
59 views

how to arrange a song? [closed]

I always start with the piano, writing the melody and the chords of the song. After when I finish all parts, I want to arrange my songs with other instruments. But I don't know how to harmonize ...
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2answers
57 views

Modulation in Pinocchio's I've got no strings?

I was watching this video of I've got no strings. I was wondering if I'm correct in thinking that the song's verse is in G major but then modulates to its relative minor, E minor during the "Hi-ho ...
2
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2answers
67 views

How to indicate things that you should listen for in Musescore?

Some people have complained about my arrangements being hard to understand when only viewing your part sheet. Because of that, I'd like to somehow indicate that a certain part should not be played, ...
1
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2answers
97 views

Transitioning from music theory to composition

I have a good foundation in music theory (ABRSM grade 7 and currently studying grade 8) but don't know how to begin when composing my own works. My main emphasis is Baroque music. Are there any ...
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6answers
1k views

What Constitutes Theory?

There are many questions here concerning theory. Hardly surprising given the site's title! What I'm trying to establish is where theory starts and possibly ends. For example, is just knowing a major ...
3
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2answers
78 views

Do seventh chords and extended chords create more dissonance?

I'm wondering if seventh and extended chords are used to create dissonance/tension where the more you get to the basic triad the more consonant the sound. So C major > C major 7 > C major 9 > C major ...
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1answer
91 views

Voice leading question

In Scarlatti Sonata in D minor K. 141 the piece starts off with a sus4 chord and then voice leads to an A major triad. Normally a suspended 4th resolves to the third of a tonic chord (in this case the ...
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2answers
84 views

Music theory combinatorics trying to find all 'types' of set note combinations? [closed]

(This is copy and pasted from the math part of this website) I have looked into trying to figure what are all the possible types of note set combinations there are and how I would go by listing them ...
19
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7answers
2k views

Speed of playing notes in different octaves

Is it common for pieces to have lower notes played slower? Do instruments with lower registers typically play slower? I ask because notes in lower octaves are closer together in frequency. For ...
19
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10answers
5k views

Etymology of word “Octave”

How come the etymology of the word octave is related to the number eight, when the numbers that you would associate with the meaning of the word are either two – doubling of the frequency – , or ...
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2answers
95 views

What makes a note “high” or “low”?

I've heard people talk about "high C" and "low C". What classifies a note as a "high" or "low" note? Also, what's above the high notes?
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1answer
39 views

Identify a drum in a song [closed]

I need help identifying a drum in YelaWolf's 'Till It's Gone'. Can anyone help me? It's the cracking whip drum in that track, you'll hear it quite often here is a URL
7
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1answer
300 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 ...
4
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5answers
918 views

Why does Cdim7 contain an A instead of a Bb?

CM7 - C, E, G, B C7 - C, E, G, Bb Cm7 - C, Eb, G, Bb Caug7 - C, E, G#, Bb But... Cdim7 - C, Eb, Gb, A. Why Does Cdim7 contain an A and not a Bb?
2
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1answer
78 views

How do I calculate the Forte number from the Prime form?

How do I calculate the Forte number from the prime form of a set? For Example: I have the prime form (0,1,5,8)... How would I determine the Forte number from this set? Or would I use a different form ...
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2answers
83 views

Other than scale-degree 7, do other scale degrees have names for their altered forms?

In a major key, we have names for all seven scale degrees: Tonic Supertonic Mediant Subdominant Dominant Submediant Leading Tone To this we can add the subtonic, scale-degree ♭7 that rests a whole ...
6
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1answer
107 views

When was the dominant ninth chord incorporated in music theory?

The "ninth chord" that Rameau, Kirnberger, Marpurg or Koch (inter alia) discuss during the 18th century is the chord formed by a triad and an added ninth, and its explanation is always through a "...
13
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2answers
3k views

Why is there both a sharp and a natural sign in parentheses before this note?

On Andre Gedalge's Traite de la Fugue book, there are these examples, where before the F note, there is both a natural and a sharp sign, both of which are in different parentheses. Which one do I ...
2
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1answer
74 views

Question on the origins of various scales

When reading/learning about scales, I find that all resources tend to treat the major scale as the foundation for everything that follows i.e. if major is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, then the harmonic minor is 1 2 ...
4
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3answers
97 views

Poco andante: a little medium?

I'm working towards ABRSM grade 5 music theory. In the Music Theory in Practice workbook there is a piece of music marked "Poco andante", with the following question: "Suggest a suitable metronome ...
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1answer
30 views

Transposition for baritone saxophone in EFlat

Is this the correct transposition for a baritone saxophone in eflat pleast? What will the new key be?
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3answers
49 views

Modulation theory exercise for baritone saxophone in E flat

If i have a piece written in the bass clef and I need to transpose it for baritone saxophone in EFlat how can I do it? The first note is an F, would this become an A when trasposed? Does the clef ...
2
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3answers
320 views

Retrograding a melody that ends on a whole note

If I was retrograding a melody that ends on a whole note, should I count it as a first beat quarter during reversing it or should I count it as 3 quarter rests + a quarter? I've attached an example ...
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1answer
59 views

Safest Place For My Oud!

quick question, can i keep my Oud in the basement? i live in Chicago and it gets little cold here in the winter. i was told that the humid will ruin the wood of the Oud, which it makes sense to me, ...
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6answers
1k views

Does borrowing chords from a parallel mode change the key?

I was watching a video how a guy uses chords from different modes. Let's say I'm in C major, my understanding is that I can borrow any chord from any of the 7 parallel modes to make my chord ...
3
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1answer
73 views

What’s going on with the rhythm in the first half of Spiral Staircase by Luke Vibert

I assume this is some sort of polyrhythm but my brain refuses to be able to count it. Can someone shed some light on whats going on? The song in question:
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1answer
31 views

A question regarding transposition and fugal answers

Is it compulsory to introduce the answer of a fugue at +5 or -4 scale degrees relative to the home key? I'm not asking whether it's necessary to transpose the answer; my question is whether ...
4
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3answers
84 views

What's the correct analysis of this harmonic sequence at the end of the first movement of Dvorak's Fourth Symphony?

I've been puzzling over the best way to analyse the chords that occur at the end of the First Movement of Dvorak's Symphony No. 4 in D minor Op. 13. The passage is definitely part of a harmonic ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Imaginary bar line fixed

I attach a picture where someone told me there are problems in some measures with the Imaginary Bar Line. What can be fixed in this example?
2
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1answer
32 views

Analyzing Hisaishi Joe's “The Bygone Days” 2

The song is in D Maj I can't understand how that B Maj at bar 12 came out G maj7(IV), A(V) then B maj (VI) ? How does this work ?
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3answers
357 views

Metric accents in time signature

In my Tonal Harmony book by Kostka and Payne, it says: when rhythms are notated, it is customary to use beams,ties and dots in such a way that the metric accent is emphasized rather than obscured. ...
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2answers
63 views

Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto's “Self Portrait”

Listen From 00:56 The [E] part is in C Major key and I can't understand the C#m7-5 chord at bar 3 what is this chord ? Where did it come from? and what is its function ?
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4answers
174 views

Can the rhythm of any music with a consistent pulse be represented through a time signature?

I tried this with a lot of world music (I myself am an Indian) and majority of it, that followed a consistent pulse or a well timed rhythm, could be expressed neatly using time signatures. Can this ...
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1answer
27 views

Sibelius and Guitar VST problem

I have the latest Sibelius and I have one VST plugin for guitar. Now I have a song that use drums, piano, guitar. Now to activate the VST guitar plugin I need to go to play setup and here say Sibelius ...
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2answers
92 views

Chord A7 in piano

I attach a picture with an A7 chord in piano splitted as shown un the picture. Now I know the regular A7 chord is A,C#,E,G. Why was splitted like that in picture (using in treble cleff B,C# and F and ...
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3answers
250 views

Did Bach ever use melodic minor keys in chorales?

For example, E Melodic Minor would have C#, allowing for a ii7-V-I cadence.
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3answers
99 views

Chords symbol and playing

maybe this is a dumb question but I want to ask when you have in the music sheet for example the symbol of the chord C7 or whatever; to put a symbol instead notes means you can play random the keys ...
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2answers
64 views

Notation without flats or sharps in equally tempered tuning

Considering only equally tempered tuning, do full notes such as C, D, E, etc have any special characteristics compared to flats and sharps, so that they 'deserve' a separate letter? If no, would it ...
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4answers
122 views

4/4 corresponds to 12/8 but 4/4 =/= 12/8

How is it possible that a 4/4 signature corresponds to a 12/8 signature ? 4/4 is equal to 1 and 12/8 is more than 1 . If i try to divide a 1/4 in 3 notes i get 1/12, not 1/8 as the 12/8 should be.
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2answers
83 views

Whenever I attempt to compose, my head contradicts every note I think of

I was listening to music, and I got a sudden burst of inspiration. Normally, I'll just listen to my gut on what to start making, since if I wait too long, or think too hard, I tend to lose that ...
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1answer
55 views

Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto's “Ballet Mécanique” 3

(listen from 2:31) I don't get how from the [D] part's last bar BbM7 (IV) you could go to the [E] part (Ab/C). And if you see the [E] part, you could see that I analyzed it as a modulation to Ab ...
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3answers
109 views

How does G/B get to A/C#?

(Listen from 0:50) The song is in F Major if you see at bar 4 from [B] (Gm7 G/B A/C#) I don't get the G/B, How could G/B get to A/C# ? Is it actually E7/B without the G# ? I don't get it and if ...
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2answers
41 views

Open guitar tunings for 'non-standard' slide keys

My question stems from ZZ Top's 'It's Only Love.' It has a slide riff, tab says the song is in B Major, the slide is Open E. WHY Open E, as opposed to Open B tuning? E shares four of the same sharps ...
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1answer
41 views

Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto's “Ballet Mécanique”

What is that Abadd9/C , Bbm add9/Db on the intro ? is it just a modal interchange chord bIIIM7 and iv from the parallel minor key ? If it is, then whats with that inversion ? does it have any ...
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4answers
773 views

Intervals: Diminished unison?

I am learning level 8 theory. There was an exercise where I had to write each interval below the given note. The interval given was a diminished 1. In general, how would I solve this? Here is a ...
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1answer
115 views

Perfect fourth is dissonant when there's no note below it?

According to Walter Piston's Harmony book, a perfect fourth is dissonant if there's no tone below its lower tone, while it's consonant if there's a third or a perfect fifth below the interval. In that ...
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1answer
66 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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4answers
664 views

Definition of Functional Harmony

In a recent conversation I had, there was a disagreement regarding the definition of Functional Harmony. As I've understood it, Functional Harmony would be defined by chords having a function and is ...
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2answers
202 views

Functional analysis of chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' BWV 244/46

I did some analysis of the chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' (from Matthew Passion BWV 244 no.46), see below. But how would I analyse the first chord in measure 2? Obviously, it's an E ...