Ulf Åkerstedt
  • Member for 9 years, 9 months
  • Last seen more than a week ago
  • Stockholm, Sweden
Why does the Dorian mode on C have two flats?
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52 votes

'Dorian mode on C' does not mean "the Dorian scale that you can find among the notes that are available in the major key of C"! 'Dorian mode on C' refers to the Dorian scale, or set of note intervals, ...

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Polymeter vs Polyrhythm
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36 votes

Hopefully these examples of 5/4:4/4 polymeter and 5:4 polyrhythm clears it up. Polymeter Here is a simple example of 5/4 over 4/4 polymeter notated in 4/4 time. Notice how voice A's meter is five ...

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What does "NC" mean?
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29 votes

NC (or N.C.) is short for "No Chord". It means that you should only play the indicated notes or melody, and not try to infer or add a chordal accompaniment. This is as opposed to the chord symbols ...

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Scale modification in sus2 and sus4 chords
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23 votes

The 'sus' is short for 'suspended'. The term comes from traditional music theory, and it refers to that the chord has a note that was suspended, or 'delayed', or 'carried over', from the previous ...

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What instrument is inexpensive and can be self-taught?
21 votes

I suggest you get a ukulele. It's fairly compact and rather easy to get started playing some chords on. With only three chords you can soon play millions of songs! However you should probably be able ...

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How high from the ground should the keyboard from a piano be?
18 votes

In terms of standard height: A Steinway large grand piano I believe is 28 1/8" (71,5 cm) high from the floor to the top of the white keys. You could call that a standard. The hight varies for ...

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What are the greek modes, and how do they differ from modern modes?
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16 votes

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 ...

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Parallel octaves vs doubled octaves
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16 votes

The words denote totally different concepts and the difference lies in the arrangemental intent for the instruments playing tones in parallel octaves: Parallel, or consecutive, octaves If the intent ...

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What does an arranger do?
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16 votes

An arrangement is about which instruments play what, when and how for a specific tune. The core of a tune, or composition, is the melody/-ies1. Using this core an arranger - i.e. the person ...

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How can I teach a student who seems to have no rhythm?
14 votes

Perhaps you could try working on walking in time. That should be simple enough to explain and includes basic physical feedback on the activity. The difference in the pace between walking and running ...

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What is a "D-10" Chord?
11 votes

I believe it is a less common alternate way of writing D7(#9), i.e dominant seventh sharp ninth (as in the Hendrix chord), with the notes D-F#-A-C-F. I've only seen it written as D10, but D-10 (as in ...

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What does "Doubletime feel" mean?
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11 votes

Doubletime feel means that you double the speed of your accompaniment but the time length of the bars (and thus the speed of the melody) stays the same. That is, for a bar in double time you sort of ...

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What are some good/interesting ways to exit a circle of fifths section?
11 votes

Here are some (partly overlapping) suggestions on how you can vary the sound of a iii-vi-ii-V-I progression: Use different additional chord tones (sevenths, extensions, and alterations) for your ...

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What is the difference between swing and shuffle?
11 votes

Let's divide the question into (A) playing with a swing or shuffle feel, and (B) performing music as in swing or shuffle musical genre style. (A) Playing with swing or shuffle feel means to play with ...

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Is it possible to create the illusion of a sub-harmonic?
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11 votes

As leftaroundabout indicated in another answer, you could achieve subharmonics (specifically a difference tone) using two sound sources - such as two strings. See "Combination tone" on wikipedia for ...

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Recognizing downwards intervals by humming corresponding upwards interval - bad practice?
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10 votes

Eventually, if you keep practicing, all intervals will be obvious to you without having to relate to a song. At least by then it will not matter. I was taught (for some really tricky non-tonal sight ...

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Playing trombone with a beard?
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10 votes

Nowadays I always get a close shave before playing the tuba in a gig. I started doing this when I realized that after longer breaks from playing I had trouble getting a distinct attack and tone when I ...

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How do I play (and sing) a chord pattern song?
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10 votes

...from looking at this progression, how I am supposed to know the timing (3/4 or 4/4?), the measure breaks, when to change chords, or even the timing when singing... You don't! The chords merely ...

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How can I find the more comfortable key to sing?
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9 votes

What you want to do is 1. Figure out the required range of the melody (such as for example a sixth, an octave, or an octave and a fifth). That means finding the lowest note and the highest note used ...

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What's this rhythm called?
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9 votes

The pattern you describe is a 2:3 version of the bossa nova pattern (or clave), also called Brazilian clave. Shift the order of the first and second halves and you have the original 3:2 bossa nova ...

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Where is a natural harmonic for the note C on guitar?
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9 votes

There should be a (slightly flat) C as the 7th harmonic on the D string. You should find it at all six places where you would cut the string if you were to cut it into seven equal lenght pieces: for ...

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Is there such a thing as a silent drum set?
9 votes

Yes, there are electronic drums. There will be a tapping sound when playing. This will likely not disturb your neighbors, but your room mate might find it disturbing. I believe that playing with ...

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Understanding V/ii♭9 Chord
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8 votes

V/ii denotes the (secondary) dominant (V) of the supertonic (ii). In the key of C major this would refer to the (secondary) dominant of the supertonic Dm, which is an A major chord. Adding the b9 ...

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Getting a youth band to look up
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8 votes

A suggestion for an exercise: Select a short passage of music of say four bars that involve everyone and has room for some conducting work in terms of dynamic or tempo changes. Go through it until ...

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Are there any great open questions in music theory/psychoacoustics?
8 votes

I guess these are "open questions": Further exploring and utilizing advanced or uncommon temperaments such as non-twelve-tone octaves (equal or non-equal tempered) or temperaments that don't use a 2/...

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Dissonance across different octaves
8 votes

Yes, you are correct! At least there is a physiological explanation. The construction of the human hearing apparatus causes a quality that is called critical bands. A critical band represents a ...

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Is there any way to improve composing?
7 votes

In addition to tptcat's nice answer: Besides just listening to music you could try and copy music for yourself -- record it or write it down. This will force you to observe all the details of the ...

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Finding chords that sound like a single note
7 votes

In order not to mess with the qualities of a single tone, what comes to my mind is to simply add tones that are (likely) already present in the single tone: the tones of the overtone series! So to ...

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Why is the last semiquaver outside the last triplet of the measure?
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6 votes

Why is the last semiquaver outside the last triplet of the measure? Because it should be! You can think of the last quarter beat of the measure as being divided into three voices: a) An eighth rest ...

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What does a number inside a parentheses in a chord name mean? Example: B(7)#9b9
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6 votes

It's normal to write altered chord extensions, and to some degree altered chord notes, in parentheses. The (minor or major) sevenths though, are normally never parenthesized. However James Hober uses ...

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