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11 votes

How to tell the beginning and ends of phrases when there is no significant rest in the music?

I'll focus on "written theory" concerns first, before approaching it in a different (but more helpful) way later. In this particular example, I would argue that there are two issues at play: ...
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Definition: Three ascending half steps as a phrase?

I would call it a chromatic run, as it is a portion of the chromatic scale. In the minor blues scale for instance, you have it between degrees 3 and 5, e.g.: E - G - A - A# - B - D - (E) Calling the ...
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Chord Succession vs. Chord Progression in Douglass Green's "Form in Tonal Music"

I don't think you're missing anything! But you might be assuming that "chord succession" and "chord progression" are mutually exclusive, which they aren't. These musical phrases can include both; it's ...
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5 votes

Questions on Fundamentals of Musical Composition by Arnold Schoenberg

The "metrical subdivisions" he's speaking of are whole measures. He's saying that phrases usually cross barlines and end mid-measure.
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5 votes

Motifs in melody writing

Sol Sol Sol Me.... Fa Fa Fa Re.... Those four notes are exceedingly boring. But just have a listen to Beethoven's 5th symphony! The first movement is built almost entirely off of this motif, and it ...
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5 votes

Does every phrase in music end with a cadence?

As with a lot questions on this site, it's a matter of scope: what genre are you talking about? I'll give the perspective from the common-practice period (what most call "classical" music). It was ...
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5 votes

How to tell the beginning and ends of phrases when there is no significant rest in the music?

Just sing the melody to yourself, the phrasing will usually be apparent. Though this particular example is a tricky one, and there may not be an obvious 'right' answer. Brahms dovetails his musical ...
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Does every phrase in music end with a cadence?

In some styles of music, music is always or usually divided up into phrases, and these phrases are marked by cadences In many styles of music, the music can be well conceived of thinking about "...
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4 votes

How to tell the beginning and ends of phrases when there is no significant rest in the music?

As a trumpet player I'd look at the line and if there are no written rests (as in the Haydn example provided) I'd ask myself: When I play this, where can I breathe without spoiling the line? What ...
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4 votes

How to tell the beginning and ends of phrases when there is no significant rest in the music?

This is how I did it before reading any of the other answers and before looking up the actual harmonization. Perhaps some illustration of process will be helpful. First upon playing the melody, ...
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4 votes

Is this phrase ending a half cadence, imperfect authentic cadence, or neither?

There are a lot of problems with the homework question. But first, here's what they're intending: Look only at the final note (sol) and chord (I). Is it an HC? No, because the chord would be E. Is it ...
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3 votes

Avartan in Western music score

I don't know if there is an exact equivalent to the concept of aavartan in Western music, or what it would be called, but in practice, I make use of time signatures in a way that each measure ...
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Can an offbeat note be loudest when playing Bach?

Well, Bach has many exciting rhythm patterns in his music. The accents certainly don't have to be on the first beat, but you will normally still feel the first beat as the most heavy part of the bar. ...
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3 votes

Motifs in melody writing

The first thing you must internalize is there are no rules! You will notice this is widely said in this website. So, answering you last question, it is totally a matter of choice or style. Melodies ...
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3 votes

What is the smallest difference in note lengths that an average listener can still perceive?

This article on auditory time-interval perception suggests that the differences in perceivable time suffer from misestimations depending on the length of the sounds, such that shorter sounds suffer ...
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3 votes

What is the music theory behind the ending to this Chopin Etude?

Harmonically it's an extended final tonic chord. Melodically, the accompaniment figure continues, there's a final echo of one of the melodic cells that's been used throughout the piece. You could ...
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3 votes
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How can I analyze some parts of this excerpt?

As other answers have already stated, the F is in fact a passing down between the E♭ and G. Calling this an E♭2 chord or anything like it would be very seriously misguided, in my opinion. As ...
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3 votes
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How do you "think of" notes in groups which consist of a sequence of repeating notes which are in separate beams?

Beams, generally, indicate beats and metric units, not musical phrasing. Measure 37 The two-note slurs in this case indicate a long-short pattern. So in this case, the beams correspond to the phrasing....
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2 votes

Avartan in Western music score

How about if you compared it to a "12-bar blues"? This is a common form with a fixed pattern [though with a billion variations]. It was the simple building block upon which all "Rock & Roll" was ...
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2 votes

What are the horizontal lines in this renaissance piece?

(This is supposed to be a comment!) Maybe these scores you present are transcriptions of mensural notation, which allowed for a special notation for ligatures in vocal music. Brackets above the notes ...
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2 votes

How can I analyze some parts of this excerpt?

The F is a passing tone and don’t have to be harmonized (and not further analyzed). An anticipation would mean an element of a succeeding chord as the example the do of the tonic when we are still in ...
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2 votes

How can I analyze some parts of this excerpt?

I would say that the F in the first measure is a passing tone to the G. You call also call it an Eb9 chord, which the 9 would be considered a color tone, but I don't know if that would really be ...
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2 votes
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What is the music theory behind the ending to this Chopin Etude?

These bars are similar to the “final group” like the ending of many sonatas, symphonies, solos, quartets (normally there are only final chords of quarter or eighth notes). Consider them as a rhythmic ...
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2 votes

What is the smallest difference in note lengths that an average listener can still perceive?

I would assume that it definitely depends on the tempo. I think if the tempo is 120 bpm, the noticeable time-difference would be somewhat close to 2 times higher than the noticeable time-difference of ...
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2 votes

Motifs in melody writing

Motif and phrase-based melodies will have different qualities, so you need to consider how you want it performed. A phrase-based melody will, by nature, have a more cantabile quality to it, but it is ...
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2 votes

Motifs in melody writing

You don't HAVE to do anything. But if we're thinking 'melody', it's very likely there will be repetitions, inversions, modifications etc. of some melodic element. You could almost say it's what makes ...
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2 votes

Highly irregular beaming in this Liszt piece - is phrasal beaming a no-no or not?

Phrasal beaming is frowned upon nowadays, particularly in ensemble music, but it's still very common in solo music. Obviously Liszt was trying to convey the phrasing, but it does make the music much ...
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2 votes
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Questions on Fundamentals of Musical Composition by Arnold Schoenberg

...Are metrical subdivisions each beat of a measure? That is my understanding of the text. But the wording is really awkward. The only thing crossed would be barlines. I supposed you can say a ...
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