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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3answers
357 views

A natural minor scale with raised fourth

Good day I am trying to understand what scale/mode is created by raising the fourth of a natural minor. It sounds quite dark. I understand that natural minor is the Aeolian mode of the major scales, ...
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3answers
146 views

Is it mulitple Key change?

Zion. T - Snow Chord progression: Am7 - D7sus4 D7 - Gmaj7 - E7sus4 E7 Am7 - D7sus4 D7 - Gmaj7 - E7sus4 E7 Am7 Bm7 - Cmaj7 D7(9) - Gmaj7 - Fmaj9 Fdim7 (Interlude:) Cm9 ...
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3answers
510 views

What is the optimal (and computationally simplest) way to calculate the “largest common duration”?

Edit: To clarify, I am interested in dealing with multiple simultaneous tempos (polytempo). Pieces where all voices are in the same tempo at any given time (with exceptions to account for polyrhythms) ...
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7answers
5k views

When does the amount of beats not add up to the time signature? (Besides pickup measures)

I read from https://www.boundless.com/users/232513/textbooks/understanding-basic-music-theory/notation-1/time-8/pickup-notes-and-measures-54-13529/ that there are exceptions to the rule that there ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Why do the keys in the circle of fifths have the pattern of accidentals that they do?

I'm attempting to fully understand the circle of fifths, and I noticed that in the clockwise direction, the sharps are added in their own circle of fifths starting at F. I'm wondering why this ...
5
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3answers
128 views

What does a "6——" mean in figured bass?

I can't figure out what a "6——" means in figured bass. The bass notes are C and A.
1
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1answer
66 views

Playing mandolin just strumming [closed]

I don't understand how to play chords on mandolin, the most of the tabs avaiable are with mandolin chords but I know it is possible to play a song just strumming, and I find that way so much easier... ...
7
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1answer
156 views

How does Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah use harmonic "forecasting cells"?

Creative improvising (aka jazz) musician Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's website talks about him “developing the harmonic convention known as the ‘forecasting cell’” but it doesn't go into more depth ...
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3answers
4k views

What symbols on piano sheet music show what hand should play what?

I learned to read music to a certain level as a child and since retiring have started learning piano again. But no matter how many books I read, I can't figure out, when reading sheet music, when you ...
4
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3answers
109 views

About Mode scale and keys [closed]

So if there is a C Mixolydian(or F major scales), is the key considered as F major or C major? Chord progression: C - Bb Do you guys see this as 1 and b7 in c key or 5 and 4 chords in F key?
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2answers
57 views

Can a secondary dominant be a regular major chord rather than a seventh chord? [duplicate]

Song name: Marriage Key of D D - F#M - Bm - A(or A7) Is F#M a secondary dominant to Bm? It is not seventh chord, but can major chords also work as dominant chords for the six chord?
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1answer
92 views

How to study Bach's harmony? [closed]

I'm interested in studying the music of J.S. Bach, but I don't know where to start. The main reason I'm studying it because I'm very interested in Bach's harmony, so that would by my main objective as ...
5
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3answers
120 views

How are pentatonic scale degrees listed? [duplicate]

I'm aware that the origin of the pentatonic scales probably preceded the diatonic scales, so does that mean that the designation of scale degrees for a pentatonic scale would be 1,2,3,4, and 5, or is ...
1
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0answers
38 views

harmony book recommendations [closed]

I'm studying Gradus ad Parnassum, and love its didactic over theoretical manner. Are there similar books to teach how to write for more instruments? I've seen various books recommended: Tchaikovsky's, ...
3
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1answer
68 views

How to recognise chords and chord progressions by ear? [duplicate]

I am pretty comfortable with playing melodies by ear, but when it comes down to the next level, chords and chord progressions, i fumble pretty hard. I tend to pick up the 3rd of a chord and play it as ...
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2answers
437 views

Chord progression for 1st 4 bars of Bach Prelude from Cello Suite No 1 Cello in G

The harmonic reduction of the first four bars of the Prelude goes like this: B | C | C | B D | E | F#| G G | G | G | G When I hear this and also based on my understanding of tonal harmony, I'd analyse ...
17
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4answers
5k views

What is an atonal mode?

I got an album by Ornette Coleman and Pat Metheny, "X", and on the linear notes it talks about atonal experiments within the song structures. Are there scales and chord progressions that go ...
4
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6answers
773 views

How can the intro to the song "If I Fell" be analyzed?

The introduction to this song by The Beatles starts off in the key of Eb minor. I'm trying to figure out how to analyze these chords. The first chord would be i, the D major chord I'm unsure about, ...
3
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2answers
3k views

Meaning of "Battuta" in Counterpoint

What is Battuta and does it only apply to voice leading by contrary motion? For example, in treble clef, if going from "E-G" (major-tenth - that is, the "E" is in the bass and the "G" is in ...
0
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2answers
94 views

Music Practice, jamming and chord changes [closed]

I do like jamming along with some music majorly softrocks and POP on youtube which have chords and lyrics with my accoustic guitar. I comfortably jam do okay in Key of G and still struggling a bit in ...
14
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7answers
2k views

Can any diminished chord be used as V anywhere?

I've been playing with diminished chords as 'V' in ii-V-I progressions. I often use one of the three diminished chords in a ii-V-I progression -- I sharpen the 5th note of the scale and hang a ...
9
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4answers
889 views

Circle of Fifths (Added Sharps and Flats) [duplicate]

I understand that an easy way to determine the 'key' of a piece of music is to either look at the last sharp within the key signature and add a half step (semitone), or look at the second to last flat....
1
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3answers
169 views

Pat Martino's parental forms. Can you go deeper?

I have been studying Pat Martino lessons on the parental forms. It absolutely blew my mind that if you lower any note a halfstep in a augmented triad you get a major chord. And if you raise a note you ...
1
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2answers
145 views

what process do you go through when deciding whether move up or down in a progression? (ue move up a 4th or move down a 5th?)

The question sounds pretty dumb I'd imagine & I'll have a hard time trying to convey my thoughts, but I'll try... Those of you that are experienced in writing, what kind of thoughts go through ...
26
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14answers
11k views

Can one be too old to learn an instrument?

I own a guitar. I've owned it since I was about 13, but never really got into it because I was a spiteful teen who wanted to play the drums, and went out of my way to play the drums instead (to the ...
19
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8answers
6k views

"The intervals considered dissonant have changed since the 'Middle Ages'"; How so?

In reading my new book 'Complete Classical Music Guide', I understand the following: If two notes are separated by a consonant the sound is pleasing to the ears. If they are of a dissonant ...
1
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2answers
163 views

What music theory do I need to play the piano

Hope you had a blessed Christmas. I am 60 and started learning the piano 5 years ago. I have a full time demanding job so have little time, but manage to practice about an hour a day. I always ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Why do these two guitar notes create a warble sound?

On a standard tuned guitar, if you play the 12th fret on the top E string and the 16th fret of the B string at the same time, you get a rather impressive warbling sound. It seems similar to if you "...
5
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2answers
204 views

What do the ending numbers (e.g., Db 1; Db/F 1/3) written below the chords mean?

What do the ending numbers written below the chord in this video really mean? Video link: Db 1, Db/F 1/3, Gb 4, Ab 5, Db 1, Db/F 1/3, Gb 4, Ab 5, Fm7 3m, Bbm7 6m, Gb ...
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3answers
1k views

how does the bluegrass major chord built off of the flat 7 "work"?

It's in almost every bluegrass song, but I've never seen an exposition of the theory behind the major chord (minor may also be used, but I don't think I've seen it) built off of the flat 7th of the ...
3
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4answers
539 views

Confusion with inversion and descending, example with guitar shape

Hi, I'd like to understand why the second shape is considered to be a P5 ? When I play it I hear a descending P4 or reversed P4 if you will. I try to forget about theory, nine rules, calculation but ...
9
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8answers
4k views

Does the bass note in a "slash" chord really have an associated interval?

I have a question about "slash" chords. Look at the chord E/G: E G♯ B G 1 3 5 ? G is the minor 3rd interval (♭3) in the key of E. However, I would have thought by definition chords cannot ...
4
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4answers
767 views

Why Cminmaj7 is used and the purpose of minor and major are together?

I am learning the construction of 7th chords and this Cminmaj7 chord made me really confused when I came across in my studies. Why do both minor and major 7 exist together? Also, is this a consonant ...
3
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4answers
1k views

Connecting multi effects pedal to a tube amp and modeling amp

I started playing the guitar again in the last month and i'm having some trouble with my gear. So, i have a modelling amp from pevey which also has some effects built in. I also have a line 6 POD ...
5
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2answers
183 views

Regarding Resolution, "downwards" is how a dissonance "wants" to resolve, rather than moving UP.... so help me understand B up to C (G7-C)

During a V-I resolution in C Major, the Leading Tone is B. B is the 3rd of the G7 chord. It wants to resolve to the Tonic note of C in C Major (C-E-G) But, I've often read that dissonances want to ...
2
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2answers
108 views

Can someone describe the theory behind this progression? F#m, C#m, D, A, F#, C#, D, A

Can someone describe the theory behind this progression? F#m, C#m, D, A, F#, C#, D, A It feels like it resolves on A. I assume it's in key of A, but my theory is weak and forgotten. I normally loop it,...
10
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1answer
164 views

21st Century Jazz Theory?

I know that the Mark Levine Jazz Theory and Jazz Piano books were widely used theory books in jazz instruction and almost considered the standard. However, they are both over a quarter century old now....
3
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0answers
58 views

What exactly is a "vamp"? [duplicate]

I recently started to read Mick Goodrick's well-known book "The Advancing Guitarist", but I got stuck at the very beginning. The first chapter of the book talks about how playing on one ...
9
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3answers
484 views

Trouble understanding resolution direction and general definition of when someone says to "resolve down to the 3rd"

When creating a chord progression, how do you determine whether the notes that make up the chords should resolve downwards or upwards? For example, a Perfect 4th interval, when it’s formed from the ...
6
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6answers
512 views

Does "minor suspended" exist as a chordal family?

Is "minor suspended" a valid chord type? I noted some ideas for opposing lines of thinking here that I could come up with for both sides: Yes Indicates a minor chord with its minor third ...
5
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7answers
7k views

Finding the corresponding chords from sheet music

I am a beginner in reading sheet music. I can understand what each notes are and one stave has a G clef and the other an F clef. I am trying to solo this on guitar and was wondering if there is a ...
0
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3answers
70 views

What is the name of the chord with the notes G#, B, D#, and E?

I’m working on writing a chord sheet for Switchfoot’s song “Living Is Simple.” One of the chords during the second post-chorus has the notes G#, B, D#, and E. On the guitar, it’s fingered x-6-6-4-0-0 (...
4
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7answers
1k views

Do scales need to be in alphabetical order?

If we take out the sharps and flats, I'm wondering if all scales need to be in alphabetical order in terms of their letters: A,B,C,D,E,F,G where 'A' comes after 'G'. also.. no repeating notes: A,A#,B,...
4
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5answers
374 views

Chord inversions and consonance

So the way I understand chords is based on the interval of the individual notes present in them. This is what gives the chord a consonant or dissonant quality. However, this doesn't seem to sit well ...
8
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3answers
5k views

Why is Mozart's Turkish March considered a rondo?

I read on Wikipedia Mozart's Turkish March has the form A-B-C-D-E-C-A-B-C But I read in my textbook Listening to Music by Craig Wright that a rondo form is supposed to have more "symmetrical ...
7
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2answers
647 views

7th chord notation confusion

I simply cannot understand the notation used in this question: I need to express this chord in 4-part, open or close position; I just can't seem to understand how the notation works. I know that this ...
5
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3answers
553 views

On turkish Makams possible combinations

I am new into turkish music (actually I am new into music theory in general). I opened this post because I wonder why just some few makams from all the possible ones are used. I guess that the main ...
8
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4answers
19k views

Open/Close Position Chords: What I am missing?

Working through Hindemith's harmony I encountered the following diagram of all the valid positions for a C-Major chord in strict four-part writing. I am befuddled as to why the third chord in the ...
2
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1answer
44 views

12 string tuning to DADGAD

For tuning dadgad on my 12 string would it be: D1D2 A1A2 etc up to gad (leaving gad same octave) on my tuner to get the correct octaves? Thanks K
5
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4answers
1k views

Key signatures with Quarter Tones

I know how to write the key signatures for any note within the 12-note chromatic scale. I know this doesn't come up very often, but what are some ways to write out key signatures for passages of music ...

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