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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how are scales of the same class (e.g. major scales) musically different? [duplicate]

I have recently learned the principles of the standard twelve-tone octave applied to major and minor scales. I understand each scale is defined by its main note, and the pattern of intervals, of half ...
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Is there any theory of harmony that can explain all chord progressions? [closed]

Is there any comprehensive theory of why some chord progressions sound good? There should be some kind of underlying explanation for every chord progression, some principles to cite about why one ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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M / M7+ / M7 / M6 or m / m7+ / m7 / m6. How do you call these kind of progressions, what is it?

Several songs have this kind of progression: M, M7+, M7, M6 or m, m7+, m7, m6, for instance: First verse of Sinatra's "My way": And n[D]ow the end is n[D7M]ear and so I f[D7]ace the final ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 1: A mysterious mutated note in the 12th bar?

In Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 1 (C major) has a particularly mysterious mutated note in the 12th bar shown in the red box (this note does not repeat the voice of the previous blue box): Question Is ...
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1 vote
3 answers
110 views

How to choose the major, minor, diminished chords, etc. along the chord progression

This is a typical circle of fifths chord progression. My question is how do we choose the chord to be major, minor, or diminished along with the progression: A -> D -> G -> C -> F -> ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Can you identify this scale? C Db Eb G Ab C [closed]

Can you identify this scale? C Db Eb G Ab C
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9 votes
3 answers
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Piano and Guitar playing different Tonic chord in a song

Please bear with me as my music theory knowledge is scrappy! After listening and watching live performances of this song by Maltese band "The Travellers", I've deduced that the piano and ...
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2 votes
3 answers
121 views

Is this passage from the development of K 545 another instance of the Circle of Fifths Progression?

So, I've been writing a book on music theory and I'm getting ever closer to the place where I will go in depth on the common chord progressions of Classical Music including: Circle of Fifths(here, I ...
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Why does V7 resolve so well to VI∆7?

One progression I come across often (in tonicizations or modulations) is V7 to VI∆7. For example: G7 to A∆7. In playing with it, I notice that the V chord can be in many different forms, including ...
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3 votes
1 answer
144 views

What's the interval that I need to transpose from C minor to E minor?

Would this be a minor third of a major third? Sorry if this is a simple question, it's been a while since I studied music theory. For an example, suppose there was an Fmaj chord within the C minor ...
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131 views

How do i calculate the duration of a segment of music with a changing tempo?

I'm writing some music software that allows you to dynamically set the tempo. I'm having trouble calculating the duration of a section if the tempo is gradually increasing or decreasing. For example, ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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In music how much Research and Theories are Independent from Trends and Traditions? [closed]

What i belief that in music research and theories can't be certain unlike Mathematics, Science or somewhat Engineering discipline. I think that first any composition with/without song came first ...
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-3 votes
3 answers
131 views

Given a four note combination under the span of a fourth, does this chart correctly show the number of times it will appear in a scale?

I have made this chart that shows how many times will a four note combination under the span of a fourth whether perfect or augmented appear in a scale and some observations, so I wanted to ask you if ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
143 views

Given a pair of pitches, does this chart correctly show the number of scales containing that pair?

I posted this chart on my page. I created it based on exercise 6 of chapter 1 of Harmony by Piston, to be a kind of help, but as I'm not sure if it's correct or not (if it's not I will take it down to ...
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9 votes
3 answers
617 views

With modes, is 'tonic' still the appropriate term for naming the first note of the scale?

Or is it better to just call it 'first note' (eg: In D Dorian, is 'D' the tonic or just 'first note'). And I suppose same question for the the rest of the scale degrees too (super tonic, mediant etc.)....
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4 votes
2 answers
157 views

What is an altered diminished chord?

I was playing today exploring some new chords in G minor and accidentally found a really beautiful chord, and when I searched it on google I found that it is called: F#dim6(b13,no5). This confused me ...
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VImaj7-V7-i What is the role of the VIth?

I'm analyzing the first movement of "Suite del Plata Nº1" by Máximo Diego Pujol called "Preludio" that it's on D minor, I have encountered the following progression i-VImaj7-V7, I'...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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... ...
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5 votes
3 answers
153 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.
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7 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
47 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, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
120 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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2 votes
3 answers
153 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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3 votes
1 answer
90 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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5 votes
3 answers
127 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
101 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 ...
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9 votes
4 answers
932 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....
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1 vote
2 answers
146 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
247 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
222 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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5 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
115 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,...
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3 votes
0 answers
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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
174 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 ...
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9 votes
3 answers
500 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 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
113 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 (...
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2 votes
1 answer
56 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
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-1 votes
1 answer
95 views

How to extract music parts from songs?

How can I extract things like these from songs? I did the research. These parts don't exist on the internet by themselves. So the ...
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3 votes
3 answers
68 views

Inverted Interval Frequency Relationship

I’ve been recently interested in the idea of ‘pull’ in music. I’m almost certain this this set of ideas is not new in any way, but I’ve found it hard to find good material for this. I’m interested in ...
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4 votes
6 answers
2k views

What music theory parts do I have to know by heart to be able to name notes in a given chord?

I'm preparing for a music institute audition. Say, the task is to name notes in B Maj 7. For doing this, I have to learn by heart: The circle of fifths (to know how many sharps/flats are in B major) ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Music Theory and Lead Guitar [closed]

Why do the same intervals sound less resolved on different areas of the fretboard? Do consonant intervals mean the note resolves? Why then if a major or minor 2nd sounds like the note resolves, ...
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10 votes
2 answers
227 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....
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4 votes
2 answers
357 views

Is this an example of musica ficta?

I'm looking at the score of Carlo Gesualdo's "Io parto" e non più dissi from one of his madrigals. I listened to a few performances online (for example - ). I ...
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2 votes
3 answers
151 views

Does this type of chord progression have a name?

I listen to a lot of pop punk/emo type music. I’ve noticed theres a specific change in chords that I hear a lot and really like, but I don’t know much about music theory. Here are some examples: g em ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
71 views

Add bar lines with the beats below each measure

Hello, I need to complete these exercises. I need to add bar lines and label the beats.
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5 votes
2 answers
285 views

Can the Eb alto clarinet and the Eb soprano clarinet be substituted?

I am putting together a band to play the piece Variations on a Korean Folk Song by John Barnes Chance. I Was wondering if I could substitute both clarinets parts with a Alto sax seeing as they are ...
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2 votes
1 answer
93 views

What does it mean to have numbers under the music in music analysis?

So, I recently saw a practice problem that said "analysis". It was in FM, 4/4 time. In the bass clef were the notes F, D, A, Bb, and then two half notes; C and F. Respectively, they had the ...
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16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why do I hear higher harmonics, when the strings aren't free to vibrate?

For example, I try to press the G1 key down without it producing a sound, and when I abruptly play the C1 beneath it, the G, an octave above, is clearly audible, although the string isn't free to ...
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