43

Anacrusis (pickup) is a bit more rhythmic than melodic. Hearing it seems easy to my musical brain, but I can understand how it would not be easy for others. Most music has a set rhythm, which we can understand in its simplest form by saying there is a fairly low number (most commonly 4), to which one can repeatedly count while listening to a piece of music, ...


24

In the late medieval system there were six normal notes, C D E F G A, and one note that had two forms, soft B (b) which was a semitone above A and hard B (♮) which was a whole tone above A. As written in the earliest sources, hard B looked a bit like an H with an added crossbar which may have been the reason for the change to H (or it was the next letter of ...


22

I think the answer boils down to what you mean by "knowing" the intervals. To do this [sing a tune back] you surely need to be able to know the intervals in the tune you have just heard and then replay it back with your voice. I don't think "knowing" these intervals in order to sing something back means you know if an interval is, e.g., a major or a ...


17

The term you are looking for is "Quality": The quality of a chord (triad) refers to whether it is major, minor, diminished, augmented, etc. I believe it can also be extended to 7th chords. In your specific example "GAB" is neither major nor minor. It might be considered a major-add-9 chord since there is a major third G-B and often the fifth is omitted in a ...


16

The short answer is yes (and I have occasionally written such music myself). Musical styles never really die, they just fall out of general fashion. It should be noted that there are a couple categories of music that might be considered in an answer. First off, and perhaps least authentic, are what might be termed "fusion" styles -- mixtures of baroque (or ...


15

I am really not knowledgable in ancient music theory so the following might be riddled with errors, but here is what I've gathered. What are the original Greek modes? Ancient Greek music scale theory was built upon the concept of the "tetrachord" - literally meaning four strings. A tetrachord consists of a group of four notes with three smaller intervals ...


14

Baroque music was all about expressiveness, and the rhythm was not necessarily meant to be held as strictly as the Renaissance tactus. Wheat Williams has mentioned historically informed performance, and as he says, these things are debated academically. But there is some good indication that Baroque composers did think of slowing down at the end of pieces. ...


13

I would say that music theory spans a range of 'types' of statements, from almost totally objective to quite subjective... You've got elements that are pretty much scientific facts, such as what the harmonic series is, or how the physics of instruments works, or how the mechanics of the ear work. Then you've got a level of stuff that is technically '...


11

I'll try to give you a clearer example of a tune with an anacrusis or pick-up: The Star Spangled Banner. This melody has three beats to a measure. The first full measure contains "Say, can you". The two little notes in the very beginning of the tune, sung to the word "Oh" are the anacrusis. Now you need an example of a tune that doesn't have an ...


11

You can't just transpose a minor key into a major key, because a minor scale has a different structure than a major scale. Natural minor scale in steps: whole, half, whole, whole, half, whole, whole Major scale in steps: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half Because you've talked about cents... 100 cents are equal to one semitone. So you could ...


11

...the leading tone wants to rise to the root... Basic theory says things like... the leading tone is a half step below the tonic in a proper cadence the leading tone moves to the tonic, or if in a inner voice it may move down to the dominant. ...of course that isn't a complete theoretical overview of the leading tone. A claim that theory simply says '...


10

Wheat Williams covered the basics of historically-informed-performance quite well. I want to add that unmeasured preludes (not uncommon in Baroque music) indicate that Baroque composers did have a concept of give-and-take in regards to tempo. (You can look at examples of preludes here or here to see what the music looked like.) So, while the purists may ...


9

According to the note "H" in German musical nomenclature The German nomenclature merely sought to give each pitch-class that ocurred in the system a unique name. Later, when the letter b was employed to effect mutation into other, more distant tetrachords (or hexachords), the German nomenclature was never modified to accomodate it, and its use as a flat ...


9

You could transpose the G minor sample to A minor, which is the relative minor of C Major, which means that it uses the same notes as C Major and the sample won't clash (too much) with other elements in C Major. You'll have to judge whether the combination of A minor and C Major elements in the track sounds good or not on a case by case basis. That would ...


8

I'm not sure where you got spaghetti westerns from, but the examples you've given in your question are generally considered to be on the pop side of things. This dichotomy of "pop vs. classical" or "art music vs. pop music" and the question of what defines those things is truly a complicated one in my mind; in that nearly any definition you can come up with ...


8

Generally speaking, a minority of Bach scholars question the piece's attribution. Christoph Wolf, who is for many the top Bach authority does not question the piece's attribution at all. For what it's worth, the mark's against Bach's authorship can mostly be explained away. There is no direct evidence against his authorship, unlike some other works where ...


8

The definition of an avoid note is independent of the type of scale you use. What you need to define an avoid note is a (chord) scale and its related chord. If you define the basic chord of a scale as the seventh chord constructed in thirds starting from the root then an avoid note is [T]he pitch or pitches of a chord scale which are not used harmonically ...


8

Studying lullabies? That sounds kind of interesting, actually! The lullaby is typically a soothing song, and it's typically used to help someone fall asleep. Indeed, the German word (Schlaflied) is literally "sleep-song." As such, I think it only makes sense that it would be a slow tempo instead of a fast one, don't you? As for the high tessitura, I can't ...


6

There's actually quite a lot of surviving information on how the Greeks tuned their scales. But as far as I know there's only one complete piece of music, the so-called "Seikilos Hymnus", a short epitaph: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seikilos_epitaph It's a very nice little song, and I've used it in concerts. About Greek instruments- aside from pictures,...


6

In general, scales tend to have about seven notes in them, or "seven, plus/minus two". This number is believed to have to do with cognitive limitations; it would be difficult to recall more notes. On the other hand, scales with fewer notes impose more melodic and harmonic limitations. In order to answer whether or not it is a coincidence that Indian and ...


6

How Paleolithic man discovered and shared knowledge about harmonic intervals? Their musical knowledge was discovered through observation and ingenuity, and communicated through their musical instruments and musical traditions, no differently than people and cultures all over the world, since time immemorial - people who knew nothing about the theoretical ...


6

Who is the "somebody" who suggested the connection? Whilst Shostakovitch wrote deliberately, I don't think he wrote it trying to evoke the Beethoven: The rhythmic emphasis is different - the Shostakovitch has a phrase with long notes starting on the beat, with a 32nd note just before the next strong beat. The Beethoven has the motion closer to the start ...


5

You might want to check out David Temperly's work: http://theory.esm.rochester.edu/rock_corpus/ He's been doing corpus studies on reasonably large samples of pop-rock music, and has published on it as well.


5

From a "classical" perspective... I think you can find a lot of material on melody, but it won't be as neatly codified or as conveniently labeled as things are with modern harmony teaching. Maybe historic resources offer better insight into melody but aren't as codified as modern roman numeral analysis or Schenkerian analysis. Personally, I don't think this ...


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