New answers tagged

3

JS Bach seemed to do everything under the Sun in his 371 Harmonized Chorales. This opening phrase caught my eyes several months ago, because it appears to me to end with a plagal cadence... If phrases end with cadences, and the fermatas in chorales mark those phrases, is there any reason to not regard that first passage a phrase with an ending cadence? If ...


3

The nineteenth century is very broad; it had some of Haydn, Wagner, and Debussy! But certainly in the first half of that century, the authentic cadence (V to I, both in root position) was supreme and treated as the "true" "form-defining" cadence. Plagal cadences (or "plagal motions," as some call them, to hint that they're not ...


1

A cadence comes at the end of a musical phrase. A phrase doesn't necessarily end at a barline. Here's three cadences.


2

No. It can go in different places in regard to bar lines. But, as Aaron pointed out, cadences end phrases, so identify phrases and the cadences that demark them. A few terms to be aware of regarding phrase endings (cadences) and bar lines (metrical position) are: masculine ending where the final cadence chord is on beat one after a bar line feminine ending ...


1

Before answering, some clarification of terms. chord progression: Any sequence of two or more chords measure: A set number of musical pulses phrase: A complete musical idea, typically ending with a cadence cadence: A special chord progression creating a sense of pause or ending Chord progressions, measures, and phrases all can act independently of each ...


1

Listening to the recording, I think the analysis on the hook theory site is automated, which means it is good as a guide but it's not the only way to view this progression. What you're hearing is probably the strong ascending bass movement against the static melody note. The melody sits on the root note (B, in B major here) and the bass moves scalewise from ...


1

I don't know what level of writing you consider "hack." One person's hack is another person's craft. Given the Dylan song you mention, that kind of chord progression certainly lends itself to an intuitive melody approach. The harmony is basically diatonic. The melody move just about anyway you like diatonically provided it goes to sensible points ...


4

Circle of 5ths and the 4-chord song mathematically speaking https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/music-theory/four-chords-every-pop-song/ The way you worded your question sort of implies that only the last four chords of the circle of fifths progression would be used for a four chord progression. So, let's first list out that progression... 7 6 5 ...


3

One of the hardest lessons to learn is: what works for you? Your brain is literally unique. There is no other brain exactly the same anywhere and never has been. Obviously some things can be said about all brains. And some other things can be said about some brains but not all. However your brain has a unique way of working. Which means that if you look at ...


4

In a certain sense, "yes." But what you hint at is functional harmony: whose functions are pre-dominant (subdominant) IV, dominant V and tonic I. That leaves the four other diatonic chords ii, viio, vi, and iii. viio gets grouped easily with V as both contain the leading tone and they can be viewed as the two parts that make a dominant seventh ...


4

Movement from one chord to another is often characterized by "strength" and this is taken loosely to mean "how strongly it the first chord attracted to the second" which doesn't really help since that may seem very subjective. Movement among the set {I, IV, V} is in some sense the strongest movement. More specifically the movement V7 --&...


3

It sounds like you are writing a melody in isolation and then trying to find a 4 chord progression that goes under it. Although there is no "bad" way to write music that seems a little limiting. Often when people write using chord progressions (whether they have 4 chords or more or fewer) they have a particular chord loop in mind (or write a new ...


2

As one of my teachers would put it, harmony is a tool for painting the drama. Effective story telling has conflict, tension, mystery, and suspense. You could give us the ending of your story in one line, but what's the fun in that!


4

The premise of your question seems to be that the only chords that have a 'purpose' are those that are closely related to the tonic. But taking that logic to its extreme, we wouldn't use any other chords at all apart from the tonic - after all, the tonic is most closely related to itself, so why use the IV and V? They are purposeless, compared to the I.... ...


3

There are two relevant facts here that often get merged together, but can be separated... In Major tonality, the chords I, IV, V and vi make a strong group. (You can look at reasons why this is from a number of different perspectives). Harmonically simple music often features progressions featuring a small number of chords, which may indeed be 3 or 4. When ...


6

What are you basing your 4 chord theory on? Can you provide a list of songs? I would say that the iii is one of the most common chords used but that may depend on the genre of music. Also, the vii is a substitute for the V7 and is probably just as common as the V7 for this reason. The circle progression is constructed by walking through the diatonic chords ...


6

Strictly speaking, you can use any chord in a 4-chord progression, but you're looking for a spiral of chords that have a strong function that leads from one to the next. All of the chords work mathematically thanks to equal temperament. The iii chord doesn't have a clear function because it shares so many notes with the I and V; however, they're more often ...


4

iii isn't that uncommon. viidim lacks individual identity because it sounds so much like V7. There's more to harmony than the circle of 5ths. Other frequent visitors to pop/rock music are bVII, iv, bIII, III....


1

The simplest answer would be that the iii chord and the vii chord are indeed the farthest away from the I chord in the circle of fifths of a major scale. I suspect this is part of the reason they are uncommon, but there are probably other factors as well.


3

This kind of question is a false dilemma: it assumes one or the other is true. But the fact is that a good composer will often be thinking about both melodic ideas and harmonic motion together. The other problem is that you think this is a conscious, logical process. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. Normally, when I'm composing, I'll improvise ...


2

It is quite hard, in my opinion, to determine which approach is better. One might find it easier to write a melody over a given chord progression, another one the other way around. For me in a Jazz context, it is often more fun to sit at the piano, come up with a chord progression and then write a melody. A friend of mine goes the other way around and first ...


3

you can handle all other notes - that don't fit to the 4 chords you want in your progression - as nonchord notes, as suspensions or nineths or sevenths. You can listen to music such as ostinatos, passacaglias etc. with always the same bass line. (e.g. Last Christmas WHAM) How can I write 4 chord progressions without feeling like a hack? It's not the music ...


1

Basic transcription and analysis questions are supposed to be off topic. But, part of the confusion is the software. The chords are not simply C#m ii V i IV I'm not going to transcribe and analyze the whole thing, the problems can be understood by the first chord alone. First, it is not C#m: ii. If we keep it to just a simple seventh chord label, without ...


-1

Frame challenge: It is not meaningful to codify what a "good" pseudorandom progression because such models are either already explained through music theory or music analysis. Instead of using computers to be creative, why not understand the creativity of existing art made by humans for humans. The premise of your question assumes some idealized ...


2

There are lots of ways to pull off a Bb to C modulation. Much depends on how many measures you want to take and what sound to get. The usual suspects are the direct move: just go Bb then C; this works well for a big change; it's also popular with country or pop music. Another more roundabout is to move to the relative of Bb, Bb->gm then, gm-G (or gm-G7) ...


3

--edited-- I don't like the plagal cadence. That to me looks very strongly like a IV-I-V in F, and I'd really be expecting another F chord next. Your second series looks very nice to me. You have a nice collection of shared chords, and the G major really kicks it away from B♭ or F keys. Rather than saying "this is the answer" like I did in my ...


0

It's more complicated than "given x chord what could come next"? As that implies that in a progression of chords, n is only related to n-1, and not n-2. You are correct to expect that totally random sounding chords will not sound good. And while there are ways to be confident that chord n+1 won't sound out of place after chord n, a function of ...


18

Formal Grammars I have done some research on formal grammars for composition. A formal grammar G = (V, S, P) consists of a vocabulary V, a starting symbol S in V, and replacement rules P. A rule consists of a left-hand side (LHS) that describes what it can replace, and a right-hand side (RHS) that describes the replacement. If you want to model harmonic ...


1

If you're feeling up to the task of labelling a dataset and want to go the AI route, you could try LSTMs. You can choose a musical Key, and then each chord in the key would be a categorical variable (maybe stick with just Major and Minor chords, and then include extensions in later experiments). If C->Db->...->B is 1->2->...->12 for major ...


4

Breaking this down into parts: To sharpen your chord reading skills, I recommend getting a real book (or two) and a metronome. Open the real book to a random page and set the metronome to a challenging tempo. For variety, give yourself a list of genres and choose from those too (e.g. swing, bossa, samba, double time ballad etc). When the metronome starts ...


2

You could try something that works around harmonic sequences. There is a common saying that goes something like "it's not a mistake if you play it twice" or in Adam Neely's words "repetition legitimizes." Harmonic sequence exploits that idea, because you repeat a harmonic pattern. Even if the progression is "odd", sequencing it ...


1

As you are not doing this for "earnest" reasons but just to play around and sharpen your skills, how about this: learn to work with simple AI networks (e.g., Tensorflow). Download as many chord progressions as you can (maybe in the form of free tabulatures which there are plenty available). Write a little parser which extracts just the chord ...


23

There are several "chord maps" on the net which indicate chord successions; these may be a good starting point. The chord maps do not give any relative weights or probabilities to chords. A simple Markov Chain also makes a good model (but very limited.) The idea is to randomly (with indicated probabilities) generate the probability of a chord ...


4

AI and computer-assisted aren't the same thing. True AI is very hard, because the computer has to infer all the patterns from trial and error. But in your case, you could fairly easily program the following: common cadence patterns rules about movement by cycle of fifths or by thirds variants of chords several modulatory patterns, including enharmonic ...


8

One reasonable starting approach is to pick a key, generate a first chord, treating each note as an independent voice, then for subsequent chords, change one or two notes (voices) by one or two semitones each, staying within the key signature. That will give you series of chords with smooth voice-leading, which is a significant element in creating pleasing ...


2

I don't want to give you a fish, I'd like to see you learn how to fish instead. The purpose of analysis is, in my opinion, to get a perspective into the music in order to somehow work with it, relate it to existing pieces, existing patterns, to create variations, orchestration, etc. Dissect, divide the music into its components, building blocks, to get a ...


1

The primary progression, informally, is VI7 V(sus2) V7 I(sus4) || V7sus4 viio7 I The first chords is CM7, with the bass note, C, suspended into the second chord, B, and resolving to B on the third chord. Similarly, the A in the third chord is suspended over the Em chord. Once the "intermediate" chords are added, the functionality changes ...


Top 50 recent answers are included