22

First off, everything is allowed in music. Whether it's appropriate can be another question, but especially in rock most people basically go by “if it sounds good, it's ok”. Even by the rules of classical counterpoint, it's not forbidden for two voices to share a single note, as long as they don't move parallel in unison. In two-voice ...


19

There are acoustical reasons for not wanting close voicing in the lower register; in short, the upper harmonics muddy each other up and fog up the sound. But in my experience, C4 is a really high limit; I can think of tons of scores with thirds below C4. Every musical environment is different, and sometimes you might want that slightly muddy sound. But if ...


17

Anything over a 7th must contain that 7th, be it major 7th or minor (b) seventh. It's been well established that the 5th (perfect) can be dispensed with, as its sound is contained in the root note. For me, 9ths must have 1,3,7 and 9 - although if there's an instrument playing the root, such as a bass, it can be pared down to 3,7 and 9. Often in jazz, a four ...


16

Traditionally, this isn't specified. A single "7" in the figures could be performed either complete (with the chordal fifth) or incomplete (without). Rarely, though, the figures can specify particular doublings above the bass. For instance, in a four-part setting, you might occasionally see "8/7/3" in the figures, suggesting the bass is ...


15

Wheat gave a very good explanation of voice leading and I thought I'd just add a bit about counterpoint. Up until relatively recently (1600s/1700s) the concept of a chord wasn't around - composers may have thrown a C-E-G out there but they didn't refer to it as a 'C Major' chord. However there were certain rules prescribed that told what was legal or ...


13

This vocal style comes from the American traditions of close harmony. As popular music (and the radio) came into being in the 20th century, it took influence from the styles of its times, just as any emerging style of music does. Looking back even further, the roots of this vocal style can be traced back to the 1800s and are likely also traceable to African ...


12

The difference is in the spelling. The tritone (augmented 4th (A4)/ diminish 5th(d5)) is named in the context it is analysed in. The notes of G7 in order are G, B, D, and F. G to B is a Major 3rd (M3), G to D is a Perfect 5th (P5), and G to F is a minor 7th (m7). We analyse the G as the root note everything is based on the distance from G to the other notes....


11

The "rule" about parallel fifths/octaves does not say that they're "bad" or that you can't write them. What it really says is that if you have two independent voices, and those voices have a spot where they move together in a parallel fifth/octave, then we tend to hear those voices as sort of "linking up" and losing their ...


10

@jjmusicnotes already answered the question with yes. The particular example you mention goes like: (2nd half of the first bar). The d occurs in the lower voice in a rising line of steps in between c and an e; It's on a weak count and as it is a short sixteenth it immediately dissolves into an e which is consonant with the c in the uppoer voice. So this ...


10

As Wheat says, voice leading mostly doesn't happen on guitars, but there are a few cases where it does: descending/ascending bass-lines using certain patterns, like Travis-picking, the bass-line may be a more or less distinct part throughout the piece. triad followed by triad+seventh (eg. C / C7 /) restricting chords to fewer strings to free-up melody ...


10

If I understand Pat's answer he seems to be saying that composers of the era were not consciously writing music that obeyed these principles. So am I to take it that at no point was a composer thinking "Ok, so this is the fundamental voice-leading note here, and these other notes are not, and this fundamental note connects to this fundamental note, ...


10

The lack of "richness" — the "tinny" sound — is largely due to the absence of thirds in your harmonies. Also, the parallel octaves, parallel & direct fifths contribute significantly to the weakening of the harmonic motion & voice independence. (I've marked up your extract, highlighting the various parallelisms between parts. Lines of the same colour ...


9

Just to add to Patrx2 answer there are a total of four types of motion in counterpoint. They are: oblique - one note moves while the other doesn't contrary - the notes move in the opposite direction similar - the notes move in the same direction, but different intervals (i.e. one moves a 2nd and the other moves a 3rd) parallel - the notes move in the same ...


9

The rules about parallal octaves only apply when writing Bach chorale-type harmony where the aim is rich harmony with no one part "sticking out" disproportionately. Because this is often the first type of harmony we are taught to write, we can fall into the trap of thinking it's the ONLY way of doing it! Orchestration is all about doubling lines, often in ...


9

The second chord is a chromatic passing chord: the bass line is descending (A -> G#) whereas the top line is ascending (A -> B). It doesn't really have a name which describes it properly (CaugMaj7 is a possibility as is Eaug). The third chord is a true C with G in the bass, so again the bass descends (G# -> G) and the top ascends (B -> C). So, viewing the ...


9

Perhaps this is a non-answer, but I wanted to state that there's very little musical reason, in my opinion, for that rule; it really sounds like a rule that will prevent you from making other errors (like doubling the leading tone, which is the third of a major triad). Furthermore, I wanted to suggest that you treat this as a very bendable rule that can be ...


9

The error is a so-called "hidden fifth", or, "direct fifth". Your outer voices are moving into a perfect consonance by similar motion. Even in strict voice-leading this is often allowed except in cases like this where the soprano voice leaps, rather than steps, into the consonance. This sheet is a pretty good guide for voice-leading if you're in a theory ...


9

Closed vocings aren't bad, but you need to be aware of the register you are in no matter what you compose. In lower registers, having notes close together isn't always what you want. Specifically intervals that are supposed to have color like 3rds and 6ths both will sound "muddied" to most. Perfect internals typically don't observe this problem. This is also ...


9

Conventionally, the most often skipped notes in any remotely extended chord are the 5th and any degrees above the 7th that aren't included in the chord name. For example, V13 chords in classical music almost never contain the 9th or the 11th. One major exception to these conventions is the 11th chord, where the 11th and the 3rd often are assigned notes a ...


9

You're absolutely right! The typical rule is that the leading tone must resolve up to tonic when it is in an outer voice (that is, the soprano or bass). If the leading tone is in an inner voice, it can resolve down a third to the fifth of the tonic chord (a so-called "sprung" or "frustrated" leading tone). Bach occasionally leaps the leading tone up to the ...


9

Root progression by descending third like I vi IV ii is a standard thing in classical and pop music. I think you should not consider it a retrogression. Technically harmonic retrogression means not following the functional flow of pre-dominant, dominant, tonic. The descending thirds progression is all pre-dominant in that sense. If it continues to a dominant,...


9

I agree with the answer and ideas provided by @Tim and would like to add a few of my own. The thing about group accompanying is unless the music is completely arranged you can’t predict what the other person is going to do so how could one play the same notes as the bass player? Held root notes will clash with anything linear the bass might play. The same ...


9

If by "staggering 5ths" you mean alternating between a perfect fifth and another interval to break up their consecutive nature, then composers absolutely do this! One of the most common examples is in an ascending sequence. These sequences often move (for example) I–vi–ii–V, but by placing every second chord in first inversion, we end up staggering ...


9

The current answers have already addressed the issue, but I want to present a way of thinking about it that may be new: The leading tone wants to resolve up, and the chordal seventh resolves down. These opposite tendencies actually work out such that, in order for both the V7 and the tonic to be complete chords, the leading tone must skip down to scale-...


8

My Music Theory professor pretty much distilled it to 3 bullet points of do's and dont's Don't: Ever double tendency tones (notes that must resolve a certain way like the leading tone, notes outside the key, and chordal 7ths) Do: Seek to double the tonic, subdominant, and dominant (1, 4 and 5) Do: If not possible , seek to double the root of the chord. ...


8

Every instrument that can make a pitch has a voice. Voice Leading is the study of how these voices move, resolve, and fit with the harmony. Every melody, every chord, every harmony can be looked at from a voice leading perspective. How the voice moves, what the range of the voice is, it's function in the harmony, how the voice interacts with the voice are ...


8

The point of avoiding certain parallels is not that it would "sound bad". On the contrary, it sounds really good - so good that for centuries, this was the only kind of polyphony anyone ever used. The point is rather that if you want to write a polyphonic piece of music (and that was a radically, heretically new idea at th time), you'd better not lead your ...


8

tl;dr: Yes, there are probably relatively simple underlying principles, but we're still working on what they are. You make a really common and really valid criticism of music theory. Nothing seems to be founded on clear and simple principles, or core truths about human perception of sounds. It's all "this is just how it's done," or at best we're told that ...


8

They don't fully apply, no. But it depends on what you're trying to do. Remember that the voice-leading rules for four-part harmony are to mimic eighteenth-century chorale procedures. Piano arrangements are by default not in the eighteenth-century style, so by that logic there's little need to follow all of the voice-leading rules. With that said, a few ...


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