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Questions tagged [theory]

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

4
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3answers
51 views

What does Satb theory say about moving octave C into a perfect fiftth?

On a piano you could play octave C moving to G-D. The high C moves up to D and the lower C moves up to G. X:1 L:1/2 M: K:C %%score B V:B clef=bass % 1 [V:B] [C,C] [G,D] What would four-...
2
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1answer
87 views

How to play notes over one and a half octaves/am I reading this music wrong?

I've been trying to play this piece: Focusing on the left hand for the highlighted bar, it looks like it doesn't fit in with the 9/8 time (7 beats in that bar I think). But if I try to play them ...
0
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2answers
184 views

How are Dorian and Aeolian different?

In, e.g. the Drunken Sailor, we start the melody on a Dm chord then go down to a Cmajor chord. Well, it ends the melody on the D note but...we seem to rest a bit on C as well. It's like C is not the ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Is this chord bV° or something else?

I don't know much about music theory so I need some explanation! While playing a tune, I came across this: (in F minor) Bbm / Bdim7 / C7 / Fmin Where is that Bdim7 coming from? Would I call it a bV° ...
2
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3answers
158 views

What key is this piece in? [closed]

I have a question on 538 (the Sanctus in Swedish). It seems to be in G natural minor, but it's not really that simple. The melody moves like this: 3-1-2-7. A minor third followed by a major third. ...
1
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1answer
118 views

How do I write “piano style” cadences?

I'm currently undertaking the AMEB theory grades. I'm up to grade 4 and am working on different types of cadences but I STILL don't understand how "piano style" (the one with the bass note in the bass ...
6
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4answers
766 views

proper use of secondary dominant

I'm writing a song--the photo posted below is the last two measures of the verse and the first measure of the chorus (this is a reduction). I wanted to create some extra tension before playing the A ...
6
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1answer
333 views

Harmonic analysis of arpeggios in Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

I've always liked the arpeggio section in dance of the sugar plum fairy, it sounds so sweet and mysterious. I was trying to figure out the idea behind them. Here's the section in Synthesia. From ...
8
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2answers
740 views

What's the exact difference between modulation, key change and tonicisation?

I've always regarded a key change as the use of a completely different set of notes for the following music - definitely in a different key. Was in C, now is in C#, with no reason to suppose a return. ...
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4answers
230 views

My Favorite Things - Harmony Theory-Modal Question About E-7->F#-7

It's my understanding that the standard My Favorite Things is in the key of E minor and then modulates to E major. Since E-minor is the relative minor key of G major, from the major scale perspective,...
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2answers
69 views

Is there any knowledge or theory used in piano arrangement? [closed]

I always have a hard time arranging for piano. I could compose a song with a main melody and chords like a lead sheet. But its always hard for me to arrange this.. is there any theory or any musical ...
0
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1answer
97 views

What should be the curriculum for an adult piano lesson

I am an adult(37) learning piano with a teacher since 6 months. It is a 30 min lesson a week where each lesson, we go through a couple of pages of Nancy and Randall Faber's adult piano adventures. If ...
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2answers
48 views

is this a part interrupt?

at measure 6 , the soprano starts with the G so shouldn't the alto not go over the G till the next measure ? but you could see the alto is getting higher then the G through the measure.. is this a ...
0
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2answers
139 views

How should I learn Set Theory [closed]

I am having trouble full understanding set theory, I have read many different articles, but I still don't understand most of it. Is their a good way to thoroughly learn set theory? Maybe some books?
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1answer
104 views

What should I learn? What´s next? [closed]

So in 3 days I´ve learned and memorized most of the basics/foundations and like certain rules in music theory: How to spell, build Major/Minor Chords/Scales, What Diatonics Chords they contain, Cycle ...
0
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2answers
68 views

could this be a half step chord progression?

At bar 3 to 4 the "Em7-5" goes to "Dm/F" could this be consider as a half step chord movement ? because the inversion bass F ? even tough "Em7-5" and the actual chord "Dm" without the inversion is not ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Open interval (Does such a term exist?)

In a book on jazz harmony in Russian I have noticed the term 'open interval'. Example 57 says that interval -9 in the right arrangement is 'open interval' (in this case it's bad). The left arrangement ...
2
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5answers
180 views

The number of notes drums have

I'm wondering if there is anything about the number of notes a drum set has. Western music typically has 12 notes, but that is for everything except drums. Wondering if there is a way to classify drum ...
0
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3answers
113 views

If there are any music systems as general as the binary number system [closed]

Traditional Western music has 12 notes. Other music systems have different amounts of notes. However, I'm wondering if there are any really general systems that can account for all the systems, ...
9
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5answers
3k views

Why do these chords from the plastic bag scene in American Beauty work?

I'm trying to figure out the theory behind these three chords and why they work together. At first I thought it was a C major scale since it tends to want to go there. But there's flats in there so ...
2
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3answers
102 views

Do 4-part harmony rules also apply to piano arrangements?

Does rules in 4-part harmony also apply to piano arrangements ? Like for example no doubling the 3rd note of the chord, or moving in parallel 5, etc.
1
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1answer
285 views

4-part Harmony exercise 2

The exercise was to make the tenor alto soprano for the bass note given. is there any rules I violated ? any feedbacks will be welcome thanks !
2
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1answer
69 views

How does one measure the interval between two pitches?

What is the procedure for measuring the interval between two pitches? How do I know if something is a fifth, sixth, or something else? Why, for instance, is C to D a second even though we only go up ...
10
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5answers
987 views

Is there a good way to denote nested repeats?

I'm arranging a song and I have a jam section in it that could be repeated an arbitrary amount of times. The problem is that the jam section itself contains repeats, so I have "nested repeats". What ...
3
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2answers
104 views

Is there any rule I violated in my 4-part harmony exercise?

The exercise was to make the harmony for the bass notes. I'm studying with a book by myself so I'm not sure if I am doing this right.
5
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3answers
598 views

Tension and Tonic

It is widely known that music "wants" to be resolved on the tonic. But does it mean that I can end with the tonic, let's say, one/two octaves higher or lower than the whole melody that is being played?...
3
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4answers
201 views

Music “Theory” of Electronic Music

Technology has recently made it possible to create very unconventional sounds, which has led electronic music to go down very distinct sub-genres that have very distinct noises. As some examples, ...
6
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2answers
639 views

Confusion in naming intervals

If I play C E G on the piano, then G acts as a perfect 5th, but if I play G C E and the lowest note (just below the C) is G, can I still call G a perfect 5th of C maj? Because the interval now between ...
3
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2answers
86 views

Formalizing “surprising, yet inevitable”

My music teacher told me that one property of great music is that it is both surprising and inevitable - you don't expect something, but looking back you see that it has been carefully prepared for. ...
4
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3answers
279 views

What key is a piece in if an augmented chord is used as a dominant?

I personally think that augmented chords can be just as consonant as major if used in a certain way. For example, in the first octave of a piano, if I play an augmented chord, yes it will want to ...
1
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1answer
270 views

When were chords invented?

I'd like to know in what period/year chords were invented and by whom. Did musicians like Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven think in chords to harmonize their melodies or did chords only emerge in the ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Why is the 11th often sharpened?

A book I'm reading suggests that there are two reasons that the 9#11 chord is more common than the 11th chord, and I don't understand either. First, the natural 11th interferes with our ability to ...
3
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6answers
317 views

Is music theory universal?

I'm currently 17 years old and want to dedicate myself to music. I've listened to different styles of music now: jazz, funk,groove also classical (Bob acri>any pop Idol in 2018). 2 weeks ago I bought ...
2
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5answers
138 views

How do I improvise over the V7 chord in minor?

I've been working on a number of traditional jazz tunes in minor keys, and they often resolve V7 > i During the V7 chord when improvising I feel pretty confused as to what notes to use. I end up ...
1
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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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3answers
200 views

Why does C to F# work?

What's the theory behind this? (Or does it NOT 'work'?)
2
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2answers
122 views

Why aren't notes and intervals plain numbers?

Beginner question: If we were to leave the historical context aside and redesign the system of musical notation: would we base this around the 12 steps we've divided octaves in? What strikes me as ...
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3answers
130 views

Songs melody range

I'm writing a vocal song and I'm worried about the range of the melody.. for example in C Major key what is the lowest and highest melody I could go ? I appreciate every answers..but..I don't want ...
3
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3answers
421 views

What exactly is the difference between C Ionian and D Dorian?

Both modes have the same notes. But why do they sound different. How to approach while composing a song in a particular mode as opposed to a key. Is it the harmony or the pivoting root? I read few ...
3
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6answers
422 views

How to modulate from minor to parallel major

I'm trying to find a good modulation from Dm to D. I know that I could use Dm-A7-D but it feels a bit to unsophisticated. I thought that I maybe could do something like Dm-X-C-X-Em-X-D where X is ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Theory: How to tell major, minor, melodi, harmonic, natural apart

I'm currently learning theory and need some help. I can't necessarily tell apart Major and Minor scales (from the key signature and the scales) nor can I tell the harmonic form. I remember my teacher ...
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3answers
134 views

Why does this harmony work?

Here's Soma by The Strokes. If I'm not mistaken, the verse progression moves simply from a G chord to an F chord repeating. If the key is C, then this is just V-IV-V-IV etc. Since the chords are only ...
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1answer
148 views

Should I strive to create more complex harmony? [closed]

I was watching a video with Jacob Collier on how he goes about playing Amazing Grace with a bunch of 7th chords, add chords, slash chords, sus chords, and everything but the kitchen sink. But to me ...
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2answers
77 views

melody starting point on song parts

Hi I'm writing a song in a Bb Major key and the chords goes something like EbM7 , F7 , Gm7 and the first note of the melody starts with G note. (this is the main chorus part) And if the verse part ...
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3answers
115 views

Can an interval have a direction, low to high, high to low?

Is there a word or way to know if an interval is going from a low note to a high note? "Minor second" doesn't tell me if it's going from a low note to a high note for example.
2
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1answer
189 views

Harmonic Analysis of Chopin's etude op.10 no 5

In the circled part, what is the harmony? Is the E-flat a non-chord tone or is this just some weird chord? (I've only learnt basic harmony.)
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2answers
772 views

Why don't we have third notes?

why isn't there a third note It could be use in 3/2 or 3/4,and others that divide the measure with 3,what more of a question it can be formed too. If there was a third not it would work well in 3/2 or ...
2
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1answer
31 views

Asymmetric ease of improvisation during modulation

I've been learning about modes, and one thing I was interested in at first was to change modes while improvising (to get to know them better technically as well as to have a better understanding of ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Gradus ad parnassum: what does “seven must be set with third” mean?

So I came around this example in Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum (p.98) The purple dot marks bar 6. Joseph considers it an error, as explained here: What does "the seventh must be set with the third" ...
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2answers
68 views

Is GbM7 to DbM7/F also a chromatic movement?

I was writing a song in Bbm key. And the chord progression goes something like. Bbm,GbM7, DbM7/F In this situation does the GbM7 going to DbM7/F also consider as chromatic progression ? If it is,why ...