Questions tagged [theory]

For questions about how music works, seeking to identify structures and patterns in music. Used to indicate questions about musical concepts and structures, as opposed to techniques and execution.

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0 votes
2 answers
26 views

How is 2nd and 3rd species in 4 part supposed to look like? How do I do it?

If second species is the 1st pic (the one with half notes) and 3rd species is the 2nd pic, how do i do that in 4 part writing? Like both...combined? "2nd and 3rd species in 4 parts". Im not ...
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

What's "species counterpoint"? Are there any other types of counterpoint?

I believe the title says it all. On Wikipedia it shows the five species but I have the idea that there is another type of counterpoint not based on those species. Is that vague idea of mine correct? I ...
2 votes
2 answers
139 views

How to score study for composition

Could somebody tell, step by step, what is the most effective way to study a score, if my goal is to copy a composer's "language" as an exercise: to create a similar piece and to learn from ...
1 vote
2 answers
50 views

Descending mode vs. Mixolydian

I looked through my notes and I saw the formula for descending mode. I had written that the formula was "WWHWWHW". I'm confused because I'm sure that is also the formula for the Mixolydian ...
12 votes
3 answers
6k views

How would one create music based on the principles of Cubism?

How would one create music based on the principles of Cubism? (e.g., 20th century painters: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger) The basic definition of Cubism calls for the use ...
-3 votes
0 answers
75 views

The truth behind the music [closed]

Look there’s no way around not having a similar sounding song you only have roughly 60 note’s you can use and most are semitones you would never use for a normal chord progression
1 vote
1 answer
50 views

Hearing the difference between a I6 vs iii?

In the opening of this song, I hear an Ab to to Eb/G but then in the verses I hear a Gm after the Ab for the most part. I know the difference between the chords in theory and that they both can ...
31 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is there a Relative Pitch Clef?

To start out: I am more-or-less familiar with all the standard musical clef notations, including F, C, and G clefs; as well as the fact that clefs can be movable (tenor clef, french violin clef...) ...
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

Why does this IV-iii-i6-ii chord progression work?

I've been listening to a lot of jpop and I've heard a lot of this chord progression, which is basically IV-iii-i6-ii. In the song that I've linked below, I think it's in G, so the progression is ...
2 votes
9 answers
3k views

Should I practice minor scales by knowing relative major?

Just doing some practice on minor scales. When I play minor scales, should I just know off the top of my head what the relative major scale is and then play the notes, or should I see the minor scale ...
2 votes
1 answer
57 views

schenkerian analysis archive [closed]

I would like to know if there is something like an Archive of Schenkerian Analysis of most pieces of music, or, at least, some kind of analysis. If you want to analyse an important piece of music, I ...
21 votes
15 answers
9k views

Use of Music Theory in Composition

I've been told by many people that music theory is not normative; it doesn't tell you what to write or do in music to create something beautiful that sounds good. I've been told that it's strictly ...
0 votes
1 answer
71 views

In an arrangement, what rules/heuristics do you use to determine when it's okay for notes to stack on one another?

For example, say you have a piano playing chords whose top notes are between middle C and the C above - in what situations would you say it's okay for some melody line to cross over those top notes? ...
4 votes
4 answers
686 views

At what speed should notes be played?

I'm in the very early stages of reading music. There are great resources on the internet but I'm struggling to find a suitable explanation for a 'Time Signature' that I completely understand. I think ...
5 votes
4 answers
653 views

How to construct chords in exotic scales?

Till now i've been learning to construct chord's by stacking / altering notes in the MAJOR scale and its modes. What about other types of exotic scales ? I can see lot of exotic scales here -> ...
1 vote
2 answers
115 views

Music theory question about finding keys

If I have chords Dm, F Maj, Am and no other melodic context is provided, I just have these three chords as an information, how do I know what key is it? From my understanding , it can be either Am or ...
6 votes
1 answer
116 views

How did we move from using syllables (ut, re, etc) to refer to intervals to using syllables to refer to notes?

My understanding of syllables used in solmization is when Guido d'Arezzo created syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, it was a mean to refer to intervals in any hexachord built on :2:2:1:2:2: intervals ...
0 votes
4 answers
762 views

How is rock founded from blues if they have different scales?

I heard that rock was created from blues. But most of the scales in rock are either major or minor. But blues scales are created from adding chromatic notes to a pentatonic scale. Isn't rock more ...
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

Noob Chord Progression Question

I make music in FL Studio and I have this chord progression which goes: VI - i - VII - i - iv - i - VII - i I guess my question is what is the decision behind putting the tonic (i) in the 2nd, 4th and ...
7 votes
5 answers
10k views

Analysis of Scarborough Fair

I'm attempting to figure out what is going on in terms of harmony with this song. This is the best I have managed so far (supposing a tonal center of A): Chords are: Am Em G ...
6 votes
2 answers
785 views

What are modes added with sharps and flats to make them sound better called?

I'm watching this video about modes and right here he mentions something that sounds like 'musica fikta' which he explains as sharps and flats added to modes to make them sound better (right when ...
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the politically correct term for a feminine cadence?

I have known the below cadence for some time as a feminine cadence. My (old) books state feminine cadence. I'm totally fine with a new politically correct term but the wikipedia article on cadences ...
26 votes
7 answers
26k views

Why is the aeolian mode the minor scale?

I've studied music theory for many years now, and one thing has always confused me about the naming methodology for the minor scale. A major scale is based off the Ionian mode and consist of only ...
0 votes
2 answers
64 views

Keyboard with black and white keys all the same size and in-line? [closed]

I want to know if anyone makes a chromatic keyboard on which sharps/flats are black, but the same size as the other keys and in line with them (see sketch below). There needs to be no distinction ...
6 votes
4 answers
459 views

Which is more comprehensible for a player after writing fortissimo: forte or meno forte?

So after writing ff when you want musicians to play very loud, would you rather write f alone or meno f if you want them to go a bit softer but still loud enough?
6 votes
5 answers
878 views

Is this progression considered to be in A mixolydian?

I have a chord progression that goes: A Bm D A G Other areas of the song also have an A, G, D, A progression. Would this song considered to be in A mixolydian vs A major or D major since the root ...
4 votes
5 answers
258 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
102 views

Is this a Passacaglia?

This piece is in triple-meter and has a clear cadential-formula. Is it fair to call it a passacaglia despite no bass-ostinato? Or is it a Chaconne? I am not clear on the difference except one is from ...
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

DS or DC al coda how to tell go to 3 and 4 verses

I have a song in this format: Verse 1 Verse 2 Chorus has a 1st and 2nd ending Verse 3 Verse 4 Chorus I use repeat for V1 and V2 and then I go to Chorus easy enough. Now I want to go to Verse 3 and ...
6 votes
2 answers
482 views

Neo-Riemannian Theory, The Minor Plagal Cadence, and Chromatic Voice Leading

In my reading, a criticism that I have heard leveled against Neo-Riemannian theory is that it does not explain the smooth chromatic voice-leading possible in the iv - I instance of the plagal ...
4 votes
4 answers
524 views

Is there a rule in SATB writing regarding the Soprano & Bass moving in contrary motion?

While writing a melody over a bass line, it is generally advised to have the melody & the bass line moving in contrary motion to each other. I want to know if such a rule also exists when you ...
40 votes
12 answers
20k views

Is it possible to write a song without a key?

"This song is in F Major", "That song is in A Minor", "This song is in D Minor, but modulates to F Major in the middle", etc. Can we say "This song has no key"? Are there songs that have/follow no ...
4 votes
2 answers
489 views

what is the oldest use of 9th chords in western music and when did they become popular

From page 752, of Laitz's The Complete Musician 4th edit. ''(...) By continuing the process of stacking thirds, these composers added another third above the seventh, creating a ninth chord; by adding ...
7 votes
7 answers
1k views

Is it wrong to alter bar numbers after repeat endings so they reflect the performance progression rather than the last repeated measure +1?

I'm part of a small group and we have our own pieces, which I'm not allowed to share. But I'll describe the situation and hopefully get the point across. In nearly all the songs in my group's ...
4 votes
1 answer
285 views

Why do Coda and Segno have 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 votes
0 answers
84 views

Researching Music [closed]

I have recently started researching music in the area of music and learning instruments. While my university has given me access to a number of resources such as JSTOR and EBSCO in addition to their ...
2 votes
1 answer
406 views

How are the Imperial March intro harmonies best interpreted on piano?

I'm wondering how the below is most effectively performed on piano. I've solved the 'rhythm problem' (i.e., the very rapid triplet repetitions) by using both hands via piano 'split' feature — each ...
9 votes
6 answers
15k views

What is a good guitar solo to learn in the minor scale?

I am starting to play and improvise in the minor scale, and I would like to learn some guitar solos that are good examples of this scale so that I see how other people use it. What are some famous ...
2 votes
2 answers
73 views

How to determine if a song is in F#Aeolian or D Lydian or Ab Locrian

Hello how are you? :) delighted to be here in my first post, I am a graduate of Sound Engineering and I am currently studying modern harmony in a self-taught way, I have been able to understand the ...
2 votes
1 answer
78 views

katapayadi sutra - some melakarta raagas' numberings that I can't understand

The KaTapayadi system hinges upon the table below: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 ka Ka ga Ga ~ga ca Ca ja Ja ~ja Ta Tha Da Dha Na ta tha da dha na pa Pa ba Ba ma ya ra la va sha Sha sa ha I have come to ...
13 votes
6 answers
13k views

Super Ultra Hyper Mega Meta Scales

If you are as obsessed with Jacob Collier as I am, you probably know what I'm talking about. If not, it is essentially a scale that continually modulates, taking you through multiple keys. Jacob ...
1 vote
1 answer
49 views

Help identify the chords in bar 1,5,6 of schubert waltz op9 no31 [closed]

Please help identity the chords. I couldn’t form a chord! I
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

how do you teach the difference between swing and the dotted eighth-sixteenth rhythm pattern

how do you teach the difference between swing and the dotted eighth-sixteenth rhythm pattern
24 votes
4 answers
8k views

Why are thirds used to construct chords?

I am (slowly) learning music theory on the guitar. I've begun learning about scales and chords, and it seems that all chords are built using some combination of thirds. For example, a minor triad is ...
1 vote
2 answers
309 views

Skipping ABRSM grades to grade 5 theory?

TL;DR I have decent experience in playing a number of instruments and am wondering if I can take grade 5 theory without having taken any theory exam before. Basically I've been on and off about music ...
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

Jazz Harmonic Analysis of "The Way You Look Tonight" [closed]

So I was asked to do an analysis of The Way You Look Tonight, but we didn't need to include the roman numerals. Just the symbols. Apparently it still isn't right, so is there anything I'm missing? In ...
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the Hanson system used for?

Recently I've been learning about alternate analysis techniques used for modern compositions and one that I've recently learned about the Hanson system partiality described below: Now as shown in the ...
0 votes
2 answers
143 views

Is there a name for the guitar-based scale E-G-A-C-D-E?

If you use only the open chords on a guitar, you can walk a bass line using these notes: E G A C D E This line tends to be expressed with chords that mix modes. So for example the A chord may contain ...
9 votes
7 answers
1k views

Is it really necessary to learn the Number System in Music?

I've been playing the bass for several years now and want to learn how to play jazz. I started out learning classical music because before the bass, I played the violin, so it just came easier for me. ...
5 votes
1 answer
65 views

Does a broken chord, alternating up and down intervals, have a name?

It's like an arpeggio but doesn't go straight up or straight down. I want to call it a non-linear arpeggio but I completely made that up. So is there a name for the pattern?

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