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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2
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4answers
138 views

What kind of non-chord tone dissonance is this?

What is the correct term for this type of non-chord tone? I really like the sound of it and since I see it a lot I was wondering if an "official" name exists for it. It is not a suspension ...
3
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3answers
135 views

Is it possible to distinguish if a melody is in C Dorian or in D Phrygian?

(This is my first post in this community, I tried to search an answer about that basic question but it's not easy, so sorry if it is a duplicate) Since the C Dorian scale contains the following notes: ...
4
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2answers
108 views

In what context(s) is the Nashville Numbering System preferable to Roman numerals?

In his answer to What's the difference between the Nashville Number system and a Roman Numeral System?, Dom states that "Roman Numeral Analysis as stated is used mainly in analysis while the ...
5
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1answer
165 views

What are these overlapping notes with different rhythms called in Music Theory?

On piano, when playing a long note followed by an overlapping shorter note or vice versa, what is this called? I know this is an extremely common thing in piano music, but I don't know what it's ...
4
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1answer
174 views

Categorizing modes of scales other than major scale

Modes of major scale are often ordered such that each consecutive scale can be obtained by altering one step of the previous one: lydian 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 ionian 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ...
3
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1answer
75 views

In the Lydian Chromatic Theory, what does the "H" mean next to scale degrees?

referring to "Chart A" of the Lydian Chromatic Concept Theory - what does the "h" mean next to the Vh, IIh, and Ih scale degrees? I understand that they are Alternate Modal Tonic ...
4
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2answers
148 views

Note and dotted note on the same line - Lilypond

I have a note here: What do these notes (a quarter note and dotted quarter note on the same line) mean? It's note a, in LilyPond, bottom of the bass clef. How is this coded in LilyPond? Full measure ...
0
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1answer
61 views

If I am going to dabble in the world of music, what aspect should I train more to build a solid base, and thus obtain better results(?) [closed]

Good morning, I think I summarized it pretty well in the question, however, I mean exactly that "push" that a beginner must have, something that avoids excessive stumbles in their learning, ...
2
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1answer
61 views

Chord identification (dim7)

As you can see I've marked a viiDim7 chord. My question is because of lack of bB on 1st and 2nd beat and by knowing that it is a key note for C#dim7 chord can we consider it as just a dim chord and bB ...
6
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3answers
227 views

Has such an anti-musical tune ever been composed?

The following part from chapter 84 of the Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality fanfic describes a tune that appears to be designed to be unnerving. The humming started as a simple children's ...
9
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3answers
410 views

Meaning of a left bracket at the beginning of a chord

I've come across this notation in the score of Gershwin's second piano prelude: a left bracket at the beginning of a chord. I have also seen it in the score of Rachmaninoff's C-sharp minor prelude, ...
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8answers
2k views

"Wrong" key signature for a score in F dorian?

TL;DR I'm a bit confused on which key signature to use for a score in F dorian: 4 flats or 3 flats? I wrote this arrangement of Mad World by Gary Jules back in 2012 using 3 flats as key signature. ...
6
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3answers
373 views

Equivalence of intervals with octaves between them

Say we play C4 and G4 on the piano at the same time, stop the notes, then play D4 and A4 simultaneously, then the quality of this sound is the same as the quality of the first. To understand why that ...
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4answers
1k views

Why did it take a millennium to use harmony/polyphony (900 AD) when Pythagoras discovered perfect fourth and fifth around 500 BC?

Considering the fact that Pythagoras formulated the properties of Perfect Fifth and Fourth around 500 BC, why did it take so long to include them in Music?. The first instance of using the Fifth in ...
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1answer
439 views

What is the difference between "primi toni" and "octavi toni"

In XVI century, there was a composer called Girolamo Cavazzoni. He wrote (amongst other pieces) a couple of Magnificats - in primi toni, quarti toni, sexti toni and octavi toni. You can find the sheet ...
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5answers
1k views

B flat major triad - music theory

I'm absolutely new to music theory and really wanna learn piano myself at home without teacher. I've got a new sheet for a song and trying to figure out why B flat major chord can have different notes....
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2answers
132 views

Why do I always hear the Zelda theme in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major?

In the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Op. 35, Violin Concerto in D Major, in the very soft part at the middle of the song (07:19 in this Yehudi Menuhin recording), I've always heard the Zelda theme. ...
5
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2answers
604 views

Help me understand the chord progression in Tatsuro Yamashita's 'Sparkle'

I'm trying to understand/analyze 'Sparkle' (1982) by Tatsuro Yamashita. Funky stuff begins at 0:50. The song is in Emaj (I think), and here's the chord progression I'm looking at (take it easy with my ...
3
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2answers
682 views

Are there "left-hand" pianists that keep time with their right hand?

Typically keeping rhythm is a low-end job: bassists in a guitar band, and the left hand in playing the piano. Admittedly I know nearly nothing about playing the piano. But I thought I would ask: Are ...
9
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3answers
881 views

What do you call a very brief change of key

When the key changes for a longer period and a new tonic is firmly established, we call it modulation. However, what do we call a very brief change of at most several measures, when harmony from ...
13
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6answers
3k views

Why is The Star-Spangled Banner said to be in key of F instead of C?

Just learning music theory. The Star-Spangled Banner, https://www.musicallthetime.com/printable-pdf/star-spangled/star-spangled-banner-for-recorder-alto.pdf This piece is written in Key of F with one ...
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0answers
32 views

Music notes longer than a maxima [duplicate]

I have been studying music since now, and since, I have been wondering if there was a note longer than a maxima. I know a dotted maxima, but what other note is longer than that? That was the most ...
5
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2answers
488 views

How would you describe this not-quite-a-triplet rhythm? [duplicate]

Sounds like a triplet but not quite since it's not all even. Is there a name for this?
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2answers
66 views

How to balance my phrase structure? [closed]

I'm trying to compose a verse (with refrain?)-chorus (bridge?) pop song (optional: Instrumental intro, bridge before the final chorus, instrumental solo somewhere) about 3-4 minutes in length. I've ...
1
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2answers
76 views

What characteristics of a piece contribute to defining its tonal centre?

I have been wondering since a long time that what exactly in a piece defines the scale and the tonal center. Even if we are given a chord progression that is followed through the entirety of the song, ...
2
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1answer
102 views

how can I study orchestration methods for electric guitar?

In this post, I was given some tips on arranging electric guitars. However, I would like to do further reading on the subject (spreads, range, register, coupling, doubling, unisons, etc), and I can't ...
0
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1answer
73 views

Transposing to a different key in Guitar [closed]

I am a beginner guitar player. I found a youtube tutorial to play a song. So the chords I was playing for the song were: Dm, Gm, A7, F, E7 . I was asked by someone to transpose the key to C# instead ...
2
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2answers
147 views

Definition of a step in the (melodic) minor scale? (According to the definition in Kostka - Tonal Harmony and examples therein)

The short version of my question is: Assuming the definition of the minor scale in Kostka's Tonal Harmony textbook (Eighth edition, chapter 4), which is that: there is, in a sense, one minor scale ...
3
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1answer
56 views

F#m (b6, add9) OR DΔ (#11)/F#? To use b6 chords or not

I have encountered the claim that b6 chords are often a misinterpretation of a Maj7th chord with the third in the bass... It seems fairly reasonable but my head wants to revert to the b6 (or b13 maybe)...
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2answers
283 views

Why does the ii-V-i-IV progression in this video have chords from a different key?

I've been learning about chord progressions and found myself with the one shown in the video embedded at the end of this post. At 2:25, the narrator selects a software-built-in chord progression: ii-V-...
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3answers
141 views

Relative and absolute tones: does this really make the difference?

Often, in improvisation, you think of the notes of the scale not as the actual notes you are playing but as the notes of the C scale. The concept I'm talking about is that of the movable C, or ...
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6answers
1k views

What is the difference between the bIII and III chord in a minor scale?

Wrting a chord as III in conventional notation gives you, as far as I can tell, two pieces of information: The uppercase numerals mean it's a major chord, i.e., built by stacking a major third and a ...
4
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3answers
174 views

In the context of G Major, is there anything special about a Am-Cm-Bm-Em progression?

It looks like a ii-V-iii-vi going around the circle of fifths but with the V replaced with a iv, but I don't know what the theory behind that replacement is. I'd heard of tonicization before but I'm ...
2
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2answers
74 views

In Hindemith's terms, how do I classify this melodic gesture?

I am attempting to analyze the G note in the melody pictured below using Paul Hindemith's terminology/framework set out in his Book 2. From what I can gather, the melodic formulae Hindemith is ...
3
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1answer
149 views

Does it have a name what John Williams is doing in these pieces (and lots of others)?

I noticed a very common thing John Williams does. My knowledge in music theory is pretty limited. The only thing I could name are lots of passing notes and chromaticism? - but maybe there is a special ...
2
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3answers
286 views

I'm making a good chord progression, but I'm stuck [closed]

It goes Dm, then C#Aug, and then something with the note B as the root. Can someone help me understand where this is going? I don't have a lot of music theory experience, so I'm sorry that I'm asking ...
3
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2answers
223 views

What is the relation of proportional schemes and the "golden section" to melody?

...And how is this reduction meant to be read? Taken from p. 66 of David Neumeyer's The Music of Paul Hindemith This is the beginning of the section on analyzing melodies, and it totally blindsided ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Not following Hindemith-type analysis

I am having trouble following the analytical methods applied in David Neumeyer's The Music of Paul Hindemith. Please refer to example 3.12: I would like to use one of the chord changes to put my ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Why are there 8/4 notes in a 4/4 time signature?

I fought also link so you can see in proper quality This is the sheet! I posted above photo of first page only https://musescore.com/user/24625996/scores/4544086 The time signature is 4/4, but if I ...
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8answers
4k views

Can music be arrhythmic?

The question is in the subject. Can music be arrhythmic(metrically) by the meaning of classical music theory?
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3answers
157 views

Three dotted notes in 6/8 time signature

How many seconds will each note take in this 6/8 time signature, if tempo is 120 bpm? My analysis : Rest in the beginning will take three 1/8 beats - 0.75 seconds in total. The three A note will take ...
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1answer
56 views

which pair of notes can't be parallel in Counterpoint

Lets say i have a 4 voice texture. The first chord has a 5th between the soprano and bass but then in the second chord there is a 5th between bass and tenor. That would be parallel 5ths or no? do I ...
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2answers
558 views

When should the last ending bracket(volta) be closed and when should it be open?

I have a question about the last volta(ultima volta, last ending bracket). When should it be closed and when should it be open? I have found a document about that topic, which can be found here on ...
2
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2answers
55 views

sharp symbol on sharp line [duplicate]

I'm trying to learn how the music staff works. I want to know what note is actually played for a sharpened note on a sharped line, like this image here: Am I suppose to play a note that sounds like ...
3
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3answers
514 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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2answers
126 views

When was the concept of a "triad chord" first introduced?

Chiara Bertoglio, “A Perfect Chord: Trinity in Music, Music in the Trinity,” Religions 4, no. 4 (December 2013): 485–501, §6. A “Harmonious” God, p. 493, claims: It was not before the 16th century, ...
2
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1answer
40 views

What is the difference between "32 bar form", "song form", and "ternary" with a repeated first section?

There are separate wikipedia articles for 32 bar form, but song form and ternary are in one article. From my understanding, repeats do not change the form in terms of classification, which is ...
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4answers
574 views

Improvising with modes and over "advanced" chords

Say I'm playing along to a jam track in C major. From my understanding, this means that C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian etc. would work. My question is: How do I bring out the flavor/characteristic of ...
5
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5answers
203 views

Why does Hindemith say to avoid augmented and diminished intervals?

Rule 12 of Paul Hindemith's Craft of Musical Composition - Book 2 states the following: Avoid augmented and diminished intervals. If, after an augmented or a diminished interval, the third tone is ...
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8answers
5k views

Singing hit the pitch, but it still sounds terrible. What is my problem? How I can solve it?

I have always wanted to learn to sing. I have been playing the guitar for six months, and I started doing exercises to sing in tune. The problem, for example using Yousician: I can hit the pitch (the ...

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