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29

As Michael Curtis has pointed out, from the linguistic side, the study of phonetics is all about what speech sounds humans make and how they make them. Phonetics doesn't really approach things from a musical perspective, so I thought I might try to make some correlations between phonetics and musical acoustics. Phonetics divides speech sounds (phonemes) ...


23

This question seems to arise from a “linear” mental model of notes. C♭ C C♯ D♭ D D♯ E♭ E E♯ F♭ F F♯ G♭ G G♯ A♭ A A♯ B♭ B B♯ C♭ C C♯ Like a piano keyboard, but somehow with 31 notes per octave instead of 12. (Building or playing such an instrument is left as an exercise for the reader.) But instead, look at the notes in Circle of Fifths ...


18

As other answers have pointed out, there are advantages to the player in having notes in pitch order, rather than arranged by consonance; it probably makes things easier for instrument builders too! However, the idea of placing consonant notes together isn't crazy at all. In fact there are other instrument layouts that do something like this. One example is ...


15

It is because B and C are closer together than the difference between B and B♯ and the difference between C and C♭. That is, they are all some sort of semitone apart. but this doesn't appear anywhere else in the chromatic series Actually, F♭ is also lower than E♯. By contrast, when the natural notes are a (some sort of) whole step apart, as with C and ...


14

iii is used, I'm not sure where you heard that it wasn't really used much. Sure, you could argue that it's used less than other diatonic chords, (Em in the chart for chords, according to this site), but it's nowhere near the point where people would hear it and go, "Whoa! What's that chord?". In popular music especially, it's often kind of a substitute for ...


13

To answer the question of whether the C chord is "really" V of V, you need to remember one simple fact about music. When you listen to music, you hear it progressing in time. Therefore, analysing any chord in terms of "what comes after it" by looking at the score is just an intellectual exercise, if it has no relationship to what the music actually sounds ...


11

It's common to omit some notes when forming a chord (for various reasons; depends on the instrument and the composer). The aforementioned chord is a Fm7 (no5), which means that you play the notes that form the Fm7 chord (F A♭ C E♭), but you omit the 5th (C), thus getting Fm7 (no 5) or the notes F A♭ E♭. One of the most common chord ...


9

The simple/traditional approach is for the chords to match the scales you're improvising over. You wouldn't improvise with C Lydian in your right hand and simultaneously play a CMaj11 chord--the F in your left hand would clash with the F♯ in your right hand. Similarly, if you improvise over the V7 chord using the G altered scale, you wouldn't simultaneously ...


8

I think you might be best served by linguistics, specifically phonetics. Pitch is sort of an element, but specific pitch isn't the concern. Instead, some vocal sounds are "voiced" meaning the vocal chords vibrate (producing pitches.) For example, the f in 'fan is not voiced, but when voiced it becomes v like 'van.' How vowel and consonant sounds are ...


8

...what the Bb chords function is in the end solo as it alternates with the C chord? If it is just going like C Bb C Bb C Bb... then looking for function doesn't make sense. It's static harmonically. You can just call this kind of two chord alternating a vamp. Function in the traditional sense is about predominant to dominant to tonic harmonic progression ...


8

Two leading music scholars of our generation, Jim Hepokoski and Warren Darcy, formulated what they call Sonata Theory (note the capital S and T!) to better understand the sonata process. They list five types of sonatas. The Type 3 Sonata is the sonata that you describe, with exposition, development, and recapitulation. The Type 1 Sonata, however, is a ...


8

As iii is diatonic in a major key I’m sure it’s used all the time. I flipped open a song book and the first song was “she loves you” by the Beatles. Key of G, verse has two B minor chords. “Got to get you into my life” and “I feel fine” by the Beatles also in G have B minor. “I guess that’s why they call it the blues” - Elton John. In C, has E-7.


8

Kostka/Payne is one source that explains the iii chord is used relatively infrequently. But they don't simply say it isn't used. You can account for iii's use (or any other diatonic chord) through various harmonic sequences. The "falling thirds" harmonic sequence (a.k.a. Pachelbel's Canon) is one good example of iii in classical music: [I V][vi iii]... ...


7

The other answers make the important points about analysis. Not a secondary dominant V/V, because it isn't functioning as a dominant. The upper case II will provide a Roman numeral analysis symbol to show it is a major triad. Some people call I II IV I a Lydian II progression and it's fairly common in pop/rock. But, I want add one other point: notice the ...


7

What are the first 12 harmonic series of a fundamental (Lets say A (440hz)? I assume you mean the first 12 harmonics in the harmonic series. The theoretical 'perfect' harmonic series is simply the multiples of 440 - 440, 880, 1320... and so on. 12 * 440 is 5280. (For fuller detail, please see Michael Karcher's excellent answer!) In real life, the few ...


7

Each piano key is one semi tone up(right) or down(left) in pitch from its adjacent keys. Your example might work if you only ever wanted to play in the key of C major but could you imagine trying to learn to build triads on a keyboard that is laid out in such a way as you suggest? Currently it is perfectly suited for playing in any key very easily.


7

One reason is for ease of play, as mentioned by the other answers. But on a mechanical keyboard instrument, the keys of various pitch correspond to strings of various lengths, and it is way easier to build the the steel frame if the strings are sorted by length like organ pipes, rather than alternating all over the place.


7

This isn't quite an answer, but is also too long for a comment, and I think it will point you in the right direction. The conventions for the spelling of 31TET are related to the conventions of meantone temperaments, and in a sense 31TET can be seen as a special case of a "completed" meantone temperament. And if you pick out a subset of 31TET the intervals ...


7

When I learned at school how to write strict four-part harmony I was taught never to use the iii chord (one of many rules were were given) and it is probably this 'rule' that is behind the notion that the iii chord isn't used. No, there are plenty of places where the iii chord is used. Having said that, it is generally true that it is rather less common ...


6

some people only know Dvorak's 9th. And when they hear a film soundtrack with orchestra sound and timpani they are reminded of this symphony. As my students always said when I was demonstrating how Renaissance music would sound: but this is music for christmas... as they had no other concept of this style. If you want that I don't have to listen the whole ...


6

What are the first 12 harmonic series of a fundamental (Lets say A (440hz)? You probably mean (as other answers indicate) the first 12 harmonics of A. I list the frequencies and the pitch name according to the western music scale in scientific notation. 1st: A4 (440Hz) 2nd: A5 (880Hz) 3rd: E6 (1320Hz) 4th: A6 (1760Hz) 5th: C#7 (2200Hz) 6th: E7 (2640Hz) 7th:...


6

There is a difference in what composers do and what is acceptable in a theory exam. In an exam, usually you don't double the third of a major chord, but you can double it if the chord is minor. Doubling the root or the fifth is the safe choice. To see what note of the chord you'd double, you have to see the preceding as well as the following chord. You'll ...


6

When attempting theory exams... Ask the person who will grade the exam. Whatever rule they want you to follow for the exam will be contradicted by actual practice. You can easily find examples of a root position tonic chord with the third doubled and the fifth omitted. Walter Piston's Harmony has a simple rule: in root position double the root, for ...


5

Basically these are synonymous terms: "leads to" and "resolves." A very important concept in tonal harmony is the strong sense of movement in the half steps of the diatonic scales. In solfege these are the tone pairs TI to DO and FA to MI. Things can get confusing if we discuss the leading tone and resolution_and_ jump between different musical styles. ...


5

When talking about resolutions, most if not all times the smaller the distance is the better resolution. In this case hands down the leading tone wants to resolve step wise up, not down a major 7th. That resolution would be jarring to most. To take a step back, there is no difference from a harmony perspective from any octave equivalence in terms of generic ...


5

It's not uncommon for melodies to include notes that aren't in the chord, especially on weak beats of the bar. The article linked is not really a good way to understand popular music or jazz music (and my common practice music theory isn't really good enough to give an appraisal of it's usefulness to analyse classical music in an explanatory way). The ...


5

Fuzzy answer to a fuzzy question. This question seems to arise from a myth or misconception about what chords and chord progressions "are" i.e. what they do. Chords are building blocks for providing and altering the harmonic context, which exists in the listener's head and is basically a set of expectations against which incoming pitches are evaluated. ...


5

The main point of a V chord is the leading note. That's the main reason the harmonic minor scale notes get used often. There is no key of 'B natural minor', there is a scale, but in a minor key, the first 5 notes in any minor scale are identical, after which the notes from the parallel major or natural minor are game to be used. F♯ chord doesn't exist ...


4

For example, Db7 - C? Since you took the tritone substitute of the V (the dominant), this is still a kind of dominant cadence. Specifically, it's a tritone-substitute dominant cadence.


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