14 votes

Why is this a G7b9?

With a Tritone for the left hand and a major triad for the right… an experienced jazz pianist would immediately recognize this as a rootless upper structure voicing. So without any context, the ...
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13 votes
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Why is this a G7b9?

What jazz pianists mainly do is not write chord symbols for given notes. It's the other way around: what they do is, look at already written chord symbols (or even better, know the changes without ...
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13 votes
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Is it really necessary to learn the Number System in Music?

As a bassist who has played predominantly jazz for decades I can say understanding and being comfortable with the number system is necessary if you want to progress to be an advanced player. Here are ...
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12 votes
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Difference between Edim7 and Gdim7

The chord finder tool is wrong The chord in the Bach in C#dim7. This is because the chord in m. 13 is D minor, and the primary function of C#dim7 is to lead into a D chord (major or minor). This is ...
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12 votes
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How to construct chords in exotic scales?

This is a practical question that is restricted by some definitions, like "what is a scale" and "what is a chord." Part of the problem is that many of the modes listed on that page ...
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  • 7,893
11 votes

Why is this a G7b9?

But by looking at the chord in isolation (without the context of the following C major chord), can we tell that this is a G7b9? We can't. Without context I could call it E7b9 (although 9 in bass is ...
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10 votes

Is this chord from Bach's C major Prelude G+ or Cm?

This measure is called the "Schwencke measure" as it was supposedly inserted by Christian Schwencke. Modern music historians (mostly) believe that the measure was inserted incorrectly. This ...
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  • 23.3k
10 votes

What chord is formed by the notes B, G, B?

More context about where this is found will make the case clearer, but as is we can still make a plausible claim. Regarding comments about chords and 2 tones, 3 tones, etc. Chords are abstract ...
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9 votes
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What is the chord played by 1-6-1?

I would interpret the chord in the second bar as D6. Maybe you could think of it as Bm/D, but the pedal note D in the bass makes me feel like D is the root. In the melody the notes A and F# complete ...
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8 votes

Are diminished chords always minor chords?

Diminished chords are not a variety of minor chord; the two types are entirely separate entities. The types of chords you're practicing are defined as being made up of as combinations of major thirds ...
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8 votes

What is the "stack of thirds" in chord theory?

The most basic chords are triads, which have a root note, another note a 3rd above, and another, a 3rd above that. O.k. that last note is really a 5th above the root, but by considering it the former ...
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  • 176k
8 votes

Explain to a pop pianist: GECE to GC#A#C# alberti bass transition in K.545 2nd movt

This is a case where it's probably helpful to think of the passage melodically rather than harmonically. Consider each note in the Alberti bass as a separate voice in a melodic line. In that case, ...
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8 votes
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What do we call a chord progression that consists of descending by one semitone? Is there any notation for jazz grid?

These are ultimately just passing chords, but one more specific way of understanding this is as a tritone substitution; see What is tritone substitution?. But this understanding uses an expanded view ...
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  • 79.4k
7 votes
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D Mixolydian key: is it possible?

Any mode or scale can be built on any tonic. So, yes, you can have D mixolydian... or D flat mixolydian, C mixolydian, etc. etc. If you have analyzed the song to have a D tonic and is mixolydian in ...
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7 votes

How does the chord progression G-F-Eb-D work?

This is pretty close to the 'Andalusian' or Spanish sequence, except that usually starts with, as would be here, Gm. There's some borrowing going on, but the direction of the harmonies takes us from I ...
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  • 176k
7 votes

How does the chord progression G-F-Eb-D work?

It's a descending scale line in the bass (if the chords are in root position). This is a very common pattern since at least the 1500s. Were the G chord minor, this is sometimes known as the "...
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  • 23.3k
6 votes

What makes 'Drop 2, Drop 3' in chord nomenclature?

Start from an assumption that the 'normal' construction of a chord is to have all the notes as close as possible - basically a 'pile of 3rds'. Take the second-highest note, drop it an octave. That'...
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6 votes

Doubts about a diminished fourth - op. 40 Bortkiewicz

First arrow indicates a repeated B, second arrow indicates an interesting (and quite 'outside') interval of a diminished FIFTH (not fourth) between F♯ and C♮. I can't see what else the book might ...
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6 votes
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What's wrong with my harmonic analysis?

Based on the circled non-chord tones, you should be including the G in beat two of the first full measure in your analysis. Instead of this just being an A diminished triad, the inclusion of the G ...
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  • 79.4k
6 votes

Is this chord from Bach's C major Prelude G+ or Cm?

In the original version by Bach, without this measure: -- We have a very quiet and childlike beginning to this prelude, which touches all the expected bases and reaches a cadence at bat 19. A lesser ...
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6 votes
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What is the "stack of thirds" in chord theory?

'Stack of thirds' (or 'pile of thirds') is a way of looking at triad-based harmony that analyses every note of a chord as a root plus some kind of 3rd (major or minor), some kind of 5th (perfect, ...
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6 votes

What do the ending numbers (e.g., Db 1; Db/F 1/3) written below the chords mean?

This is Nashville chord notation system https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_Number_System The numbers refer to the scale steps on which the chords are built. The song is in the key of Db major. 1 ...
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6 votes

How might this chord, D-F-G-C in D dorian, be named?

Naming chords isn’t always an exact science, especially when they are not just a series of stacked thirds. Also, keys and modes are somewhat irrelevant to chord symbols with the exception of correct ...
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6 votes

How might this chord, D-F-G-C in D dorian, be named?

I would probably go with the original purpose of chord symbols, which is not theoretical analysis but rather to tell the guitarist and bassist what to play, call it G7sus4/D, and not worry about it ...
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  • 14.1k
6 votes
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Analysis of a jazz chord progression

Even in tonal music every chord does not need to have a functional role. Beside the possibility of mixing tonal and non-functional harmony, the obvious case would be a passing chord. | Cm7 | Em7b5 | ...
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6 votes

Is there a name for the interval [1: 5/2]

First of all, you're describing the intervals in their inverse. An octave is usually written (including within the Wikipedia article you linked) as the ratio 2 : 1. It may also be written as the ...
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  • 2,052
6 votes
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Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 1: A mysterious mutated note in the 12th bar?

It's an error in the score. The D should be an E. For example, see the Mikuli edition (IMSLP)
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  • 59.2k
6 votes

Harmonic analysis: Bm7b5 E7 Fmaj7

Something unnecessarily and un-helpfully complicated! Analyse it in relation to the tonal centres it DOES visit. Bm7♭5, E7 are standard approach chords to A minor. But instead of the expected ...
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6 votes

What is my 7 if a chord does not specify the 7th?

Direct answers Guide tones: Major and minor triads generally are not thought of as having guide tones in the way seventh chords are, since they are considered stable within themselves; whereas seventh ...
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  • 59.2k
6 votes

Is it really necessary to learn the Number System in Music?

Necessary, no, but the number system has become the de facto common language for jazz players. It's convenient, because it describes sounds regardless of the key. Naming the chords/notes themselves is ...
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