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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8
votes
3answers
172 views

Tritone substitution to a major chord?

I'm relatively new to jazz theory and I've been working through the book, Hal Leonard Guitar Method: Jazz Guitar by Jeff Schroedl. In it he describes a tritone substitution as a "V, ii(II), or vi(...
-2
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1answer
81 views

What this is, and how can it be put into Sibelius?

If you look at the bass staff, there is one more 16th note than there should be on a 4/4 time signature. Can someone explain this to me? And what is the number of top of the barline?
5
votes
2answers
564 views

Perfect 4th is dissonant?

Why is the perfect fourth dissonant in some cases when it does not sound dissonant? When I play it in close position, it does not sound dissonant at all. When I play it as a compound interval, I ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

what does "6/6 CI" mean in music sheet for guitar? [duplicate]

I found this music sheet on the internet for my training to play classical guitar and now i'am confused what's "6/6 CI" mean in the music sheet? (Canon in D transposed to C for guitar) ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

How should I play two notes together on lines below the staff?

How should I play two notes together on lines below the staff?
3
votes
3answers
187 views

How to self teach myself sheet music reading (for piano)?

I am a self taught pianist, I play mainly by ear and I look for tutorials or synthesia on YouTube. However, sometimes some pieces do not have a synthesia and are really subtle to play by ear (ex. ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

How many steps in 15-EDO should be used to approximate just perfect fifth?

My question comes from my MUS 204 course, which is the following: How many steps in 15-EDO should be used to approximate just perfect fifth? I do not know how to calculate the number of steps. However,...
1
vote
3answers
487 views

(1) What are the difference tones of these intervals? (2) How do I know which interval they are?

The image above (coming from my MUS 204 course) shows three intervals and three difference tones, the latter being what I must calculate. I am not asking for the answer to each, I only would like to ...
0
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0answers
56 views

Help Me Find Genre of Music [closed]

Does anyone know what genre of (most) music is in the following YouTube video.
4
votes
3answers
365 views

How many cents comprise a quarter-tone in 15-EDO?

My question is from my MUS 204 course, which is the following: How many cents comprise a quarter-tone in 15-EDO? I believe I am missing one piece of knowledge to answering such a seemingly simple ...
6
votes
2answers
429 views

What's going on in measures 11 - 16 of Beethoven's Sonata Appasionata?

I'm studying the Neapolitan Chord and the textbook includes the following excerpt to analyze. Up until measure 10 I understand what's happening, but I have no clue how to interpret measure 11 and ...
1
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2answers
106 views

formal and harmonic analysis : Bortkiewicz op.40 n.4

I am trying to analyze a Bortkiewicz prelude, op. 40 n.4 in F# major, but I have some doubts. I divided the prelude into three parts: part A (bars 1-11) part B (bars 12-20) part A' (bar 21-29) coda (...
19
votes
8answers
5k views

Do piano composers often start out with C major?

I'm wondering if composers write their pieces starting with C major since it's just the white keys, and then later transpose the finished song to the key of their choice? Or will starting with the ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Tonality and Rules

One can find many books on "tonality"during the common practice period. e.g., Piston. Tonality seems to be definable as the way in which composers express the chromatic scale in a organized way ...
7
votes
3answers
843 views

Why does D in the chord progression "Cm Eb F Bb7 C D" sound correct?

I'm writing a song in C Aeolian/Dorian (the verses are in Aeolian and the chorus is in Dorian). And I came up with a weird chord progression for the end of my chorus: Cm Eb F Bb7 C D My question is ...
7
votes
3answers
577 views

Vibration Modes of Drums

I just learned in the context of a PDE course how the various modes of vibration arise as solutions to the 2D Wave Equation. I am curious as to how many of these describe the motion of actual drums. ...
0
votes
3answers
137 views

Note naming system with one unique name per note

Is there any note naming system out there that uses the normal note names for non-accidental notes (A,B,C,D,E,F,G) but has one syllable unique names for the accidental notes? I find it frustrating ...
3
votes
4answers
180 views

Common Time Question

I am composing a second species counterpoint in 4/4. The cantus firmus is on the bottom and consists of all quarter notes. The melody I have to compose will consist of all eighth notes. My question is ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Can V65 or V6 move down to V7 or do they usually resolve to I?

I understand that the bass of V65 or V6 wants to move up to I. My text book does have some double neighbor figures where V65 goes to V43 before resolving to I or I6. However, I am unable to find an ...
30
votes
5answers
7k views

How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?

I need help understanding anacrusis (pickup notes). I'm no musician - I'm more of an anthropologist. I was reading some articles on ethnomusicology, and one of them makes reference to anacrusis in ...
16
votes
7answers
7k views

Why must the final bar complete the anacrusis?

The Wikipedia page for anacrusis states that Western standards for musical notation often include the recommendation that when a piece of written music begins with an anacrusis, the composer, ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Doubts about some harmonic passages in Bortkiewicz's prelude op. 40 n.3

I am trying to analyze the harmony in Bortkiewicz prelude, op. 40 n.3 in E major, but I have some doubts. I put under the arpeggios the romanic numbers of the harmonies. In the first part, even if ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

4 part counterpoint to chordal harmony transition [closed]

In one of my first solo piano pieces(a Rondo)the A theme is stated, ending on a Picardy third to transition to the second, B theme in the parallel major, which starts in a 4 part counterpoint, and ...
22
votes
10answers
3k views

Making Sense of Blues Soloing; differentiating major/minor pentatonics

Quarantine has allowed ample time for musical exploration. I'm a classically trained pianist studying music in college, and I'm using this extra time to be immersed in and learn how to play the blues. ...
9
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3answers
163 views

What is the difference between the terms "tuning system" and "temperament"?

Are both the terms synonyms, or do they have different meanings?
22
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6answers
6k views

Why does G# sound right when my melody is in C major?

I composed the following melody using notes from the C major scale. In the third bar a G# (Ab) seemed a natural choice to complete the loop, but I don’t understand why. G# is not in C major nor its ...
77
votes
12answers
20k views

Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord?

I know that if I played C and B together they would be very dissonant compared to if I played a G or C one octave up. Is there a quantitative way to describe that sort dissonance? Edit: I understand ...
6
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1answer
125 views

Learning music theory with a learning disability

This is a question that not many musicians even want to touch. How do you learn music theory when you have a learning disability that makes it near impossible to remember specifics. I can barley ...
5
votes
1answer
275 views

Doubts about a diminished fourth - op. 40 Bortkiewicz

I have a doubt about a musical analysis that I found on an italian book. The author wrote that in the final part of the Prelude n.2 op. 40 by Sergej Bortkiewicz, there is a repetition of the tonic ...
0
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2answers
71 views

What are scale degrees?

I heard my band teacher talking about "scale degrees" and do not understand what he means.
-1
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0answers
11 views

Is the first 20 seconds of the first song similar to another song that came out during the 1960s? [migrated]

I was recently listening to this album and I feel like I heart a similar tune to that of the first 20 seconds of the first song. Is the first 20 seconds of the first song similar to another song that ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Can I become a good guitarist by just playing other's arrangements?

It's been a whole year since I bought my first acoustic guitar and I've only learned a couple of chords, how to read a simple tab and some easy fingerstyle songs. So I'm just wondering whether it's a ...
0
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3answers
56 views

How to write a 4 part progression going from V to VI in minor keys

Apparently the 3rd of the VI needs to be doubled but in this progression I have written the motion from V to VI with the normal doubling and it sounds great to me. I don't understand why they make ...
5
votes
2answers
389 views

If Take Five is in E-Flat Minor does that mean I use the G-Flat Major Scale as the basic structure for Take Five?

I'm working on playing Take Five in E-Flat minor and "decoded" that E-Flat Minor is the Natural Minor for the key of G-Flat Major - and I wrote out the notes for G-Flat Major and they appear ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Can ii move to V43 over static bass just like IV can move V42?

In my harmony book (by Aldwell and Schachter) the progression from IV to V42 is a common one and gets its own section. But the book makes no mention of using scale degree ^2 in the bass. Is moving to ...
4
votes
2answers
307 views

What is the difference between an augmented and diminished scale?

I understand little music theory, so I do not understand the difference between an augmented and diminished scale.
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the difference between a chord and a triad on a piano -( or any instrument capable of playing multiple notes simultaneously)?

I do not understand the difference between a chord and a triad. Are they the same thing or do they have differences? (i.e. Cmaj. chord v.s. Cmaj. triad)
1
vote
3answers
186 views

What does a suspended chord mean on piano?

My friend tells me a suspended chord means you hold down the sustain pedal but that doesn't sound right... Can someone help?
5
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2answers
103 views

Are augmented-sixth chords ever taught as being "rooted" on the raised fourth scale degree?

In my experience, augmented-sixth chords are given "national" names. In C, for example, A♭–C–F♯ is an Italian augmented sixth. Are there other traditions that teach/view this as being a ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

How should repeated chords be notated in Roman numeral analysis

In bar one, should I write chord I twice or should I write I_________ Also, in bar 3, am I right if I added chord symbols to each of the last three notes or should I add it to only one?
3
votes
3answers
229 views

Rules for naming borrowed chords in Roman numeral analysis

I don't seem to find an extensive resource on how to name out of scale chords in Roman numeral analysis. E.g., let's look at this piece from "All imperfect things" of Michael Nyman: I'm ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the average note distribution in C major?

This is a more mathematical question. Suppose I have a large representative set of Western music in C major. If I count the occurrence of the individual notes, what is distribution of the notes? I ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

Where do Zeitler's scale names come from?

On Ian Ring's music theory website, a massive number of scales (1490) have "Zeitler" names. Some names are common (like Mixolydian) but others (like Dydyllic) I cannot find any reference to. ...
0
votes
4answers
105 views

Swing in eight notes vs triplets

I am trying to learn jazz and still can't find a solid answer to the swing in eighth notes. I understand swing follows the "long-short" pattern (quarter-eighth), but since triplets have a ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

When She Loved Me: Opening Chord progression - replace the 3rd chord from G7/B to Bdim or Bb?

This is the opening chord progression of "When She Loved Me," in Toy Story 2, sung by Sarah McLachlan. See a related question. The chord progression goes like: Dm -> AmC -> G7/B -> ...
-1
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2answers
67 views

When She Loved Me: Decorative Chords alternatives on (Add2)

This is the middle part of "When She Loved Me," in Toy Story 2 sung by Sarah McLachlan. P.S. See this for example for the piano. The chord progression goes twice as: Em7b5 -> A/C# - > ...
5
votes
3answers
631 views

Ranking dominant chord alterations by dissonance

In a jazz chord progression, there are many ways to alter the extensions and notes in a dominant chord. Reasons for altering dominant chords are to add harmonic variety, to construct elegant and ...
1
vote
2answers
60 views

When She Loved Me ToyStory 2 Sarah McLachlan: The two versions of the phrasing and counterpoints of melodies

The two versions of the phrasing and counterpoints of melodies are from "When She Loved Me", ToyStory 2, Sarah McLachlan. See this for example for the piano: ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Minor subdominant in a major key

I was listening to the Raspberries's song "Go All the Way" as covered by The Killers in the movie "Dark Shadows." I sorta figured out the song by ear on my guitar and I was a ...
4
votes
3answers
349 views

Why can't a C#-note be played in this progression: D, Cadd9, G

I started studying music theory on my own but could use someone to confirm if i'm correct I'm assuming that the progression D - Cadd9 - G is in the key of D major. The D major scale contains the ...

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