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Questions tagged [tonal]

Music which conforms mostly to the diatonic system of tones.

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How ears identify the center(sofa name “Do”) of a piece of music [duplicate]

As titled, say, When humming along with a piece of music, you will probably sing with sofa names without knowing the key signature of it, like Birthday song: 556517, 556521, 5553176, 443121... My ...
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1answer
49 views

Transposition to kalimba

I have this instrument called a kalimba or mbira, it has 7 tines. Notes from left to right are: e', g, d''', e, c', a, a' but from low pitch to hight it seems to be arranged in this form: E G A C D E ...
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1answer
70 views

What does it mean for a mode to be “tonally effective”?

The web site http://www.tonalcentre.org states that there are only two "tonally effective" modes of the diatonic scale (viz., the Ionian and Aeolian modes) [http://www.tonalcentre.org/Scales.html] and ...
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Melodic Criticism - Exercise 3.16G, Laitz The Complete Musician 2nd Edition

The question asks to find the weaknesses or problems (based on the general guidelines for melody writing presented in the preceding section) in the following melodic contour (tunes without rhythm or ...
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3answers
182 views

What makes a chord have predominant function?

I saw someone make the vague claim that in Debussy you can often identify passages with predominant function, even if they don't represent chords that are typically considered predominant chords. I ...
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1answer
68 views

Break from conventionality in Mahler Symphony no. 1

In the Wikipedia article for Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, in describing its structure, a paragraph ends with The usage of F minor for the last movement was a dramatic break from conventional ...
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3answers
173 views

What is tonality when you're not playing with a diatonic scale?

Is there any definition of tonality which generalizes beyond a diatonic scale? For instance, can you have resolution from a dominant to a tonic if you're only using a pentatonic scale? Clearly you ...
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1answer
94 views

What are the newest innovations in generative theories of music?

I was just reading "A generative theory of tonal music" by Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff, and my impression was that it is a monumental work. However, I haven't found much that has been done by ...
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1answer
102 views

Two modes simultaneously?

In Yes' "Close to the Edge" (the song), there's a fast keyboard riff towards the end with the rest of the band playing accompaniment. But what I find odd is how keyboardist Rick Wakeman persistently ...
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3answers
303 views

The sudden switch from C major to C minor in Wake me up when September ends and a Solo Acoustic version

I tried to learn Wake me up when September Ends as arranged for Solo guitar by Ulli Bögershausen, and played by Sungha Jung. When I looked up the tabs, I found two different version for a distinctive ...
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1answer
241 views

What is the difference between tonality and key in music?

I've heard that tonality and key are not the same thing and I was wondering what the differences are? Would love it if somebody could clarify these terms, thanks!
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592 views

What counts as tonal music?

This question was sparked by comments in Sources of harmonic ambiguity in tonal music: By the user lightning: EDIT: I would consider anything which is based on a pitch-class hierarchy to be tonal, ...
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1answer
169 views

Sources of harmonic ambiguity in tonal music [closed]

What are sources of harmonic ambiguity in tonal music? Some that I know of include diminished seventh chords, passing tones which could be interpreted as chord tones, and open fifth chords. EDIT: I ...
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2answers
313 views

Why is the hexatonic scale that can be derived via a chain of perfect fifths so little-known?

When learning about European classical music, it's heptatonic scales. The pentatonic scale is also very well known and widely used in folk music in different parts of the world. However, before I ...
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1answer
92 views

Tonal hierarchy in non-diatonic music

There are two motivations for this question: I'm trying to distill the essence of what tonality in common-practice music really means, and I'd like as a compositional resource to port some aspects of ...
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1answer
295 views

What is a tonal plan?

What is a tonal plan? As I understand it, it's a set of notes around which the melody is formed. Or does it mean changes of tonality?
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2answers
429 views

“Romantic Harmony” example; Why does it work?

I was reading some of Ted Greene's work and came across this PDF http://www.tedgreene.com/images/lessons/chords/RomanticHarmony.pdf In it, he goes from a vi6 chord (this 6 doesn't mean first ...
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2answers
630 views

“Tonal Tones” and “Modal Tones” - what do they mean?

Robert Rawlins in his Jazzology: The Encyclopedia of Jazz Theory for All Musicians shows this chart, in his discussion about the modes of the major scale: Rawlins doesn't seem to offer a clear ...
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Looking for some harmonic justification of chord progression: F G Bbm --> F?

I have found this pretty melancholic cadence ( F-G-Bbm--> F) in many songs. For example in the beautiful Alan Parsons's "Since the last Goodbye", (in the form Db-Eb-Gbm--> Db). In this song the ...
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2answers
161 views

What could I do to make this part have no tonal centre?

I have an assignment for a composition class in which I have to compose a tonal piece with no tonal centre (in the context of Dmtri Tymoczko's theory and what he underlines as the 5 principles of ...
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2answers
509 views

In which key are cadence of major chords: G D F C?

I like a lot Pink Floyd's "Fat Old Sun" song from Atom Hearth Mother album. Its end is constructed around a quite usual cadence of major chords: "G, D, F, C". I wonder if this cadence is on the key of ...
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Does everybody perceive the same tonic?

Lets say I play a big chromatic chord (Like a tone cluster) - After hearing that chord, I have a tonic (Fact). My question is - will everybody get the same tonic? If there are multiple tonal centers ...
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6answers
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Theoretical Question about “Smoke On The Water”

This popular riff is often one of the first an aspiring guitarist learns, as it is easy to play and distinctive. But when I am trying to understand it in terms of music theory, it makes me wonder. ...
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3answers
205 views

In C-major when hearing a b “resolve” to an f and not a c when singing the b

Currently I am doing some ear training, using a program that first plays a cadence, and then you have to identify a tone up to octave equivalence. Most often when I hear the leading-tone, I anticipate ...
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2answers
481 views

Tonal Serialism

Do any of you know of any examples of tonal serialism? That is, pieces that sound tonal, appear at first glance to be tonal, yet obey the rules of 12-tone serial composition as laid down by the ...
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3answers
154 views

Under what circumstances can a V be followed by a vi6?

My music theory textbook says: A good rule to remember is that V in root position should not be followed by vi6...The V-vi sounds fine—a good example of a deceptive progression—but the ...
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4answers
137 views

What does it mean for a scale to be “complete in terms of tonality”?

The Wikipedia page for "Pentatonic scale" contains the following quote (here's a link). Anhemitonic pentatonic scales can be constructed in many ways. The major pentatonic scale may be thought of ...
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6answers
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Tonal harmony: 18th century counterpoint vs. Accessible contemporary harmony and composition

I have a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to "rules" regarding music of the bygone days of the traditional prelude & fugue, the motet, and four voice harmony of the Baroque era. Specifically,...
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1answer
379 views

Is I-V-vi-IV not tonal compared to passamezzo moderno/antico?

I'm asking this using tonal in the sense it was described in a highly voted best answer I found with search on topic of tonal vs modal. I interpret what is said in it that tonality implies common ...
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1answer
870 views

Difference between Modality, Tonality and Chord-naming conventions in a more practical way?

There is a lot of very valuable information about these terms that I have been reading lately - inline on SE and on other places on the web: What's the difference between "modal music"...
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2answers
1k views

How are keys in the circle of fifths related?

I know this seems like a basic question, and in the traditional sense, I actually know how they are related. Though, while reading a book titled 'Harmony for Computer Musicians', I've come across a ...
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3answers
918 views

How to make C lydian not sound like G ionian?

What are some concrete melodic and harmonic tools to establish the correct tonic center in a lydian melody? The reason for asking about lydian specifically is that there is no minor seventh for the ...
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2answers
449 views

Do non-tonic ear training exercises hurt music students?

I've always had a problem with some of the songs that are used to remember what an interval sounds like. Particularly, the ones whose melodies don't start on the tonic. For example, Here Comes The ...
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1answer
347 views

What are the significant schools of 20th century music theory?

I'm reading the following paper, Lerdahl, F. (1988). Tonal pitch space. Music Perception, 315-349. I'm interested in comparing what is written here with other equivalent theories. Some of these ...
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3answers
1k views

General procedure for determining the name of an interval given a major key / diatonic collection

I'm attempting to program a library that lets one make use of concepts from Peter Westergaard's tonal theory. The current problem I'm trying to solve is to determine the specific name of an interval ...
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1answer
1k views

How do you construct a musical motive?

I was wondering if I could get a second opinion on methods for constructing a musical motive. I have been creating melodies for quite some time, mainly without taking harmonic progression into ...
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5answers
562 views

What are the benefits of determining form before composing?

I've heard time and time again of composers who say "It is better [for beginners] to know your form, and have a general idea of important chord progressions before you begin thinking seriously about ...
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6answers
4k views

How to create Chord progressions that make sense

I've been reading over Walter Piston's Harmony book, and it has been an eye-opener to say the least. I understand concepts like tension and release, voice leading and so forth, but I still don't ...
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2answers
342 views

Why Orlando Gibbons is considered “the end of modality, the beginning of tonality”?

According to Glenn Gould (minute 28:20), Orlando Gibbons represents the end of modality, the beginning of tonality Can anyone deepen the meaning of this? Could you please point to a specific ...