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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16 votes
2 answers
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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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  • 193
4 votes
1 answer
214 views

Can you have a no3 chord with upper extensions?

C(no3) is just the notes C and G. C7(no3) is the notes C, G and Bb. Is it valid to have a C11(no3) chord? Or would this just be referred to as some kind of sus chord (like C9sus4 or something)? Which ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
117 views

What is the method you use to know which keys contain a certain chord or notes? [closed]

What is the method you use to know what keys (major or minor) contain a certain note or chord? Memorization? Circle of Fifths? Other? For exs: What is the method you use to figure out which keys ...
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4 votes
1 answer
68 views

Are big inner voice leaps permissible in the vi - V progression?

I am harmonizing a melody and that ^1 in m. 2 is supposed to be harmonized with a chord other than a tonic so I figured it must be a vi chord. The ^1 ^2 ^3 in the soprano usually works well with vi V ...
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  • 7,871
6 votes
1 answer
76 views

Beams broken/unbroken with rests - meaning and usage

Shown in the circled parts of the image, are two different ways of representing a beam that spans a sixteenth note - a sixteenth rest - a sixteenth note In one of them, the beam is broken at the rest,...
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  • 461
1 vote
1 answer
48 views

Difference between the Persian and Double harmonic scales

By looking at Wikipedia, both Persian and Double harmonic scales seem pretty different. However, I have a book about scales for guitar where I found this Persian scale which, to me, sounds exactly ...
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5 votes
1 answer
106 views

How to represent beams broken with rests in lilypond

I'm trying to write the following in Lilypond notation: As shown in the circled parts of the image, there are two different ways of representing a beam that spans a sixteenth note - a sixteenth rest -...
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  • 461
8 votes
2 answers
442 views

How to annotate staff with beat numbers in Lilypond?

I would like to annotate a RhythmicStaff with Beat Numbers - as in the following picture: Perhaps, one could use the '_' character after a note to add numbers connected to a note at the beginning of ...
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  • 461
9 votes
2 answers
879 views

Treble Clef with optional 8 va bassa?

What is a treble clef with 8 in parentheses used for? My software (MuseScore 3.x) ignores it (as if it were a treble without any 8). What is the point of this clef? Is it for transposing instruments? ...
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  • 195
1 vote
1 answer
69 views

What happens when this passage is repeated in just intonation?

What happens when this passage is repeated in just intonation? My answer to this question is the pitch drifts up by a syntonic comma because of the F# being close to the E. I am not sure how to ...
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  • 119
3 votes
1 answer
88 views

What is considered a wide third?

I have a question mentioned in my music theory class. It is as follows: In this temperament, we have eight pure thirds and four wide thirds. The four wide thirds are C#-F, G#-C, F#-Bb, and [my answer]...
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  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
676 views

At what BPM (Beats per Minute; quarter note = beat) will we hear the top note as F4?

My question comes from MUS 204: At what BPM (Beats per Minute; quarter note = beat) will we hear the top note as F4? Now, I understand this polyrhythm would generate a perfect fourth when sped up to ...
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  • 119
2 votes
3 answers
202 views

What do you call it when the chord progression from I to the VI but major?

I think there's a similar question to this. But I couldn't pick up the exact answer that i can fully hold on to. I became more curious after listening to 'Circle of Life' where the Chord progression ...
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  • 21
3 votes
4 answers
157 views

How do you know what chords to use for a song/melodies you don't know?

I was given this exercise but unlike the other questions, this didn't have the title of the song in it. I thought it was just something I had to analyze and try to put chords that fit with the melody. ...
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  • 83
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is a I♭ chord?

I was watching Music Matters' video on counterpoint when I came across this chord progression: | I V | I V IV | II♭ V I VI I♭ | II♭ V I || My question is what is a I♭ chord. Is this chord common? Is ...
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12 votes
8 answers
3k views

Is knowing music theory really necessary for those who just want to play songs they hear?

I'm kinda new to music theory. I am always told that to play songs on, for example, a piano I should: know which key is responsible for which note. adapt my ears to notes, so that I know which note I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
61 views

What is the roman numeral of the subtonic chord in a minor scale, VII or V/III?

What should we call a subtonic chord in minor scale, VII or the secondary function of III (V/III)? I think, especially in the case of subtonic seventh chord, V7/III- III progression makes more sense ...
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1 vote
1 answer
41 views

How to harmonize ^1 ^2 ^3 with VI V i in minor

I tried my best to harmonize this in minor and the best I could come up with was a VI without a 5th and a doubled 3rd. I am not sure if this is right. And did I write the doubled F correctly in the VI ...
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  • 7,871
1 vote
1 answer
71 views

How did the ancient greek Ionic dialect become the name of the first mode of the diatonic major scale?

How did the ancient greek Ionic dialect become the name of the first mode of the diatonic major scale?...being Ionic. Similarly, how did the ancient greek Aeolic dialect become the name of the first ...
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5 votes
2 answers
405 views

Homework question on identifying a key from a V triad

I am working through the ABRSM Discovering Music Theory Grade 4 book. I appear to have found an unanswerable question, unless I have misunderstood something. It's Section 7, Exercise 3, question k, ...
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  • 1,417
9 votes
1 answer
646 views

Meaning of some symbols in classical guitar tablature

I am trying to learn classical guitar by myself. In the tablature of Romanza, I came across a few symbols whose meaning I couldn't find. I have learned basic music theory, and I can understand the ...
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  • 193
0 votes
2 answers
174 views

What's wrong with my harmonic analysis?

Similar to my last post, I'm having trouble looking for my mistakes here. The big red 2 means I have 2 mistakes apparently but I don't know which ones are wrong. Or maybe I have more mistakes? Please ...
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  • 83
1 vote
2 answers
59 views

Help me correct/understand the harmonic analysis of this

Am I missing something here? (Note: the circled notes aren't included so we just ignore that. I'm only trying to analyze the rest.) In measure 8 (the second measure in the below excerpt), after Em, I ...
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  • 83
2 votes
3 answers
133 views

D major in F major progression?

So i've started new in music theory and i'm guessing the chords to this neo oriental song and i've noticed that the chord progression goes like: Gm - F - Bb - D(hammer on G note (Dsus4)) and it seemed ...
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2 votes
2 answers
420 views

Can someone explain what an imperfect authentic cadence is? What are the requirements to make this?

I don't really fully understand what an imperfect authentic cadence is. I was told that if the chords are inverted, then it's considered an IAC. Or maybe the melody can be 4–3, etc. I just need an ...
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0 votes
2 answers
82 views

How to figure out time signature of complex type

Here according to me the left side time signature is 9/8 and the right side is 4/4. Am I going down the right path or are my thoughts wrong ?
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1 vote
2 answers
115 views

Identifying complex time signature [closed]

Here from the given notes, I think this is a 6/4 time signature. But I am very confused due to the rest and the note placement. Any suggestions or directions would be appreciated. QUESTION EDIT So ...
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  • 61
1 vote
3 answers
304 views

Triads derived from the different types of minor scales

"The type of triad on each degree of a minor scale is the same for every harmonic and melodic minor scale" in TCL grade 6 theory. What is meant by this? I guess the types of chords are major,...
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-1 votes
1 answer
83 views

Completing s 3/8 time signature [closed]

I am trying to figure out the incomplete rests. I think for the first bar line there will be the eighth rest. I am not too sure about the next one but I think it will be 2 * eighth rest. Any hints or ...
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  • 61
0 votes
2 answers
98 views

Adding missing rests to 9/8 meter

I am trying to figure out the missing rests in the time signature. I think for the first bar there will be a dotted quarter rest. I am not too sure about the next one. Any hints or directions ...
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  • 61
1 vote
2 answers
117 views

How to learn from other composers? [closed]

For a while now, I have been trying to think of ways of learning musical ideas through composers I admire. Just like in visual arts, an artist would copy someone’s style or idea and then create their ...
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  • 23
2 votes
3 answers
459 views

Why do some extended chords have three added notes?

As I understand it, a basic chord is built of three notes, which can be harmonized in different octaves. It's always the first, third, and fifth to make up a basic chord. An extended chord then adds a ...
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  • 87
3 votes
2 answers
139 views

For a better understanding of scale harmonization

I'm pretty much a newbie in music, and I wanted to ear train a little, to be able to improvize with my guitar. So I learned what I thought to be the minimum before that : major scales, minor scales (...
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0 votes
1 answer
61 views

How is a part consisting of 4 repeating chords called?

E.g. in the INXS number Near Tear Us Apart there are 4 measures (in the intro/verse) that are repeated continuously (Am7 Fadd9 Dm F). However, in many songs verses/choruses are build up of a repeat of ...
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1 vote
5 answers
207 views

How do I sing/count these notes?

What are the beats in the underlined notes? How can I count them?
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2 votes
4 answers
157 views

How can I notate this better in 12/8 time?

Can I write tied notes instead of half notes? tied dotted quarter + an eighth note? If not how can I write this better?
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  • 83
4 votes
2 answers
269 views

Rewriting a measure in 6/8

How can I rewrite this? What I did wasn't right, so I was wondering if there was another way to rewrite it. It's in 6/8.
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1 vote
1 answer
58 views

How to resolve a vii°6 when there is a D5 in the upper parts

According to what I have learned, the dissonant interval of an A4 can resolve to a P4 when going from vii°6 to I but if there is a D5 it must resolve properly (a D5 can go to P5 under certain ...
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  • 7,871
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

Why aren't all single key piano pieces written in C/Am? [duplicate]

I've been playing the piano for about a year and a half, learning bits of music theory along the way. I think I understand keys and modes, modulation etc. but there's something I just can't wrap my ...
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  • 111
7 votes
1 answer
824 views

Numbers above the notes on a music sheet

I am wondering what the numbers above the notes (1 up to 16) on the second line seen in the picture mean ? In other words, how should one play these notes? It is an excerpt from Sympthony No 9 from ...
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  • 319
2 votes
2 answers
271 views

How to write a double sharp in a figured bass symbol

Here is an image of the exercise I am doing. I'm supposed to write the figured bass symbol underneath the chord label but I am not sure if this is right. I just put a double sharp next to the 3. Can ...
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  • 7,871
6 votes
3 answers
474 views

How to calculate notes beats and properly draw notes beams?

I am fairly new to music theory and i find these 2 topics related but not explained in depth in...pretty much every resource i have found. How are beats normally calculated? I went through the ...
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  • 143
1 vote
1 answer
123 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) ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
134 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?
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9 votes
3 answers
289 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(...
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1 vote
3 answers
522 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 ...
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  • 119
1 vote
1 answer
87 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,...
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  • 119
4 votes
3 answers
408 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 ...
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  • 119
7 votes
3 answers
687 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. ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
149 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 ...
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