The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [theory]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
3answers
674 views

Is it necessary to learn a new scale to improvise over it?

I'm a beginning guitar theory learner and I'm confused about certain things when improvising/soloing/figuring songs out. I've just started learning, and certain things seem hard to imagine. Let's say ...
23
votes
4answers
15k views

Why is music for strings more likely to be in keys with sharps?

One thing I've noticed is that music written for strings, such as violin concertos, are a lot more likely to written in a key like D or A major than something like F or Bb major. I recently saw a ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to interpret notes outside of the key signature?

Lets make this question a bit clear. If you're playing Bach's music, it shows you that its' key is E minor, or A major or anything. But, when you play something like: He add sharp in his notes. ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you construct a musical motive?

I was wondering if I could get a second opinion on methods for constructing a musical motive. I have been creating melodies for quite some time, mainly without taking harmonic progression into ...
12
votes
5answers
609 views

What are the benefits of determining form before composing?

I've heard time and time again of composers who say "It is better [for beginners] to know your form, and have a general idea of important chord progressions before you begin thinking seriously about ...
29
votes
6answers
4k views

How to create Chord progressions that make sense

I've been reading over Walter Piston's Harmony book, and it has been an eye-opener to say the least. I understand concepts like tension and release, voice leading and so forth, but I still don't ...
7
votes
1answer
574 views

Pattern Identification: Rit. followed by a tempo

I've found what seems to me to be a common musical pattern in several different pieces, and I'm wondering if this pattern has a name. Here's the pattern: the metaphorical musical train is chugging ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How to analyze chord progressions in tonal music?

I've been told that you have to analyze progressions according to the key at the end, despite how many keys/tonality that precede it. Is this true? If a composition contains one key in long duration,...
0
votes
3answers
270 views

What is this jazz scale?

I was jamming on a music piece and found that this scale fits the harmony. I have found the scale by using my ear, I see it is very similar to diminished F scale but can't find what scale it is. ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between minor and major chords?

Can you please simply explain the definitions? And then explain it in terms of triad, root notes, and inversions.
0
votes
1answer
829 views

What content do the charts from the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization contain?

I recently purchased George Russell's seminal work, the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, however my used copy is missing its fold-out charts. The text refers these charts extensively. ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

How to identify a pop tune that has vocal harmonization that does not move in parallel motion

I was trying to find an example of a pop tune that had vocal harmonization AND that it also does not move in parallel motion. I need help on what to look for to identify such patterns. I thought of ...
1
vote
2answers
336 views

Which key mode is funk saxophone played in?

I am analysing the musical style of playing saxophone on dance beats, or dubstep, like in this song. Would you characterise this as funk? And what is the key they use. My closest guess is a minor or ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Do the different Modes have different scale degrees?

For example, C Ionian has the same notes as D Dorian. But when looking at the scale degrees, I think they have to be different. Here's what I mean: C Ionian: C Db D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B C 1 ...
12
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the secret of jazz phrases?

I'm diving into Jazz, both with guitar and trumpet, and I'm looking for that typical jazzy sound when traveling from lows to highs (and opposite). How were Miles and friends achieving it? What ...
7
votes
1answer
650 views

Why isn't the second whole note's accidental natural?

Above is a staff. After the third bar, why isn't the second C either sharp or natural?
2
votes
5answers
377 views

How can I increase my note reading and finger strength?

I'm playing piano and I have problem going through pieces quickly, I keep pressing wrong keys and it takes me a lot of concentration and practice to get the piece sounding like it should and even ...
19
votes
12answers
3k views

Looking for a high level Music Programming language

I'm looking for a high-level programming language. I did some googling and found a number of examples (some summarized here http://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~sasha/proj/musicpaper.pdf) but haven't found ...
7
votes
2answers
743 views

What is the name of the symbol like a combination of a mordent and f?

The Photo attached has a quaver marked with a red rectangle. Τhere is a symbol on that quaver that I do not recognize. It looks like a mordent but it's clearly different from one. Can anyone tell me ...
4
votes
3answers
242 views

Book about development of music

I'm not new to the musical world, and for quite a bit of time I've been wondering on all the reasons that are behind our usual way of understanding music (7-note diatonic scale, 12-note chromatic ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between the classical and contemporary method of teaching instruments?

Ever since I learned that you could learn to play instruments through a classical or contemporary method, and that musical teachers are taught classically or contemporarily, I've been asking myself ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Can a passage resolve a problem of not being in sync in band?

A friend told me that when the time signature is 4/4, if your playing is not in sync with the other band members, then you can solve the problem by a passage. But this cannot happen if the time ...
3
votes
4answers
571 views

Drums: Playing consecutive beats with the same hand compared to alternating hands

I am currently learning the Seven Stroke Roll , Drum tune : Right , Right , Left Left .... Will playing the above tune : Right , Left , Right , Left instead of Right , Right , Left , Left ...
1
vote
1answer
213 views

what is the difference between writing and pronouncing of notes?

what is the difference between note letters and pronouncing of them? we write C D E F G A B but pronouncing them DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI respectively , I've heard that in many videos people call notes ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

C#m in Am chord progression

I was listening this song; Chord progression is something like this; Am, E, F, C, Dm .(BTW His guitar is tuned half step down) And almost all solos are in A minor/...
52
votes
4answers
12k views

(1/√π)/√⅔ as a time signature?

I recently found this article on wikipedia about lists of musical works in unusual time signatures and the first unusual time signature is (1/√π)/√⅔. I looked up the piece that was listed as having ...
14
votes
3answers
856 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
14k 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
vote
2answers
641 views

Chord alteration references? (“inside” vs. “outside”)

Originally, I asked the question immediately below and it created some confusion. My revision appears below the original. # What books or references do you recommend which teach about altered chords ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a formula/theory for writing country licks/riffs?

Is there a formula/theory for writing country licks/riffs, and where can I find it?
5
votes
4answers
508 views

What is theory of music about?

What kind of questions does theory of music try to answer? I wonder whether there are formal theories of music which define axioms and rules of inference. There must be plenty possible small ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Can music theory help hobbyist instrumentalist get better at playing?

For hobbyists who don't plan to write songs, is it worth to invest their time to study music theory rather than get better at playing? I sometimes wonder how given piece is it structured, especially ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

I-IV-V blues progression

I'm currently learning a 12 bar blues rhythm and am getting confused by it. The solo is played over the A minor pentatonic scale. And the underlying chord progression is A - D - E. But isn't this ...
1
vote
2answers
269 views

Difference between These Two Styles of Playing Guitar

I see some people playing every note in a song on the guitar such as: And some people only play the key notes: When should you ...
5
votes
1answer
813 views

How is the mordent played in the given piece from Petzold

Here is an excerpt of Petzold's Menuett in G major and I stumbled upon a mordent which I don't know how to play. The fun fact is: The excerpt is from a beginner book where there is an explanation of ...
21
votes
17answers
7k views

X or Y guitarist doesn't know music theory - how true is this statement?

We've all heard a statement similar to the following: X didn't / doesn't know any music theory and is one of the all time greats replacing X with a famous guitarist. Being a novice, I am trying ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How to know what scale or what is the key of the composition(lyrics and singing) is this song?

I always have trouble finding the key of the song, actually when ever I write a song just lyrics and I know how I sing it I mean I know the composition, but I don’t get to know what should be what ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Differentiating between II and II7 (secondary dominant V of V)

I'm studying harmony and start to make roman numeral analysis on Bach pieces. I often mistake a II (second degree) for a secondary dominant on the 2nd degree(V7 of V). I guess there are some notes ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Equal Interval Usage

So I was thinking, similar to sharps and flat notes, interval usage is contextual. In the same way that Bb is the same as A#, a diminished fifth is the same as an augmented forth etc. I understand ...
1
vote
3answers
837 views

Chord compatibility or something else?

Say you have a scale and you've found a chord that is rooted at degree 1 of the scale and such that every tone of the chord is in the scale as well. The chord is then said to be compatible with the ...
10
votes
4answers
19k views

How to use diminished scale over I IV V changes in blues

I want to spice up my solos over a Blues progression. I already can play a variety of scales but the Diminished scale is something I would like to add because of the particular sounds it creates. In ...
1
vote
2answers
485 views

Understanding the key concept

I'm trying to understand the concept of key. After googling for a while I found that key is the same as tonality, and it consists of the set of notes that form a scale (major, minor, ...). But which ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What can I do on the ukulele beside plucking just melody line?

I can already figure out the melody of a song by 'trial and error' along the C major scale just because it is easier on that scale and eventually become okay at guessing melody. This is fun enough on ...
11
votes
16answers
40k views

Why can some people play music well who don't “know music”?

I have seen people who can play instruments well, but can't: Read sheet music. Do not know anything about music theory. Do not know the structures or rhythms of sound, acoustics, or the such. I have,...
3
votes
5answers
940 views

What is the best way to organize chords/keys in a database (details below)?

I am working on a project that involves putting together a database of chords/keys, and I'm wondering what you guys think is the best way to categorize each chord/key. For example, if I want users to ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is the basis of Jazz harmony tetrads (7th chords)?

Triads are the basic building blocks of classic harmony, but in Jazz the basic building blocks of harmony are tetrads (7th chords). Why does Jazz use 7th chords as the basis of their harmony instead ...
4
votes
3answers
935 views

Should my air be cold when singing?

I am a beginner singer, and during some singing classes I took the teacher showed me that when the air is coming from the diaphragm, it is a little cold. She showed me some exercises and I learned how ...
4
votes
6answers
417 views

What is this common left-hand arpeggiated pattern?

I really commonly find that contemporary songs use an arpeggiated up-and-down progression over notes that are in this shape, here are some examples: C1, G1, C2 C#1, G#, C#2 E1, B, E2 A1, E, A2 Is ...
29
votes
8answers
11k views

Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). One example is a C♯ ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Which has more overtones: vowels or consonants?

When comparing frequency patterns(e.g. using an FFTSCOPE) for spoken vowel sounds and that of consonants, some of us found vowel sounds to have more overtones(i.e., a larger number of peaks in the ...