287 Answered Questions for the topic music theory
Practicing triads/sevenths or both?
For eg, if we are learning the key of C, do we need to Learn all triads ie. ceg, dfa etc or can we just learn 7th chord qualities like CEGB, DFAC etc. and those will indirectly give access to the... more
When we play the C mixolydian mode, are we still in the key of C?
Whenever we discuss the key of a piece, we usually describe it as either a major or minor key. And then, based on the intervals of the major or minor scale and the root note we define, we can... more
To get to jazz do I just add a seventh?
I've been up until now just practicing triads on all major/minor keys. If I wanted to play jazz do I just add sevenths (ie dominant7, major7, minor7) to chords in my chord progressions or is it... more
Tension and Tonic?
It is widely known that music "wants" to be resolved on the tonic. But does it mean that I can end with the tonic, let's say, one/two octaves higher or lower than the whole melody that is being... more
Sharp 5 or flat 13? Sharp 9 or flat 10?
Let's say I'm in C major. I have a dominant altered chord built on G. This very popular voicing has the following tones (I'm including both enharmonic spellings for the accidentals): G B (D# or... more
Speed of playing notes in different octaves?
Is it common for pieces to have lower notes played slower? Do instruments with lower registers typically play slower? I ask because notes in lower octaves are closer together in frequency. For... more
Why do notes have multiple names?
I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an all-fourths guitar tuning?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an all-fourths guitar tuning being E, A, D, G, C, F (the high E and B strings being raised a half-step from standard tuning). One reason to do this is... more
Notation without flats or sharps in equally tempered tuning?
Considering only equally tempered tuning, do full notes such as C, D, E, etc have any special characteristics compared to flats and sharps, so that they 'deserve' a separate letter? If no, would... more
Perfect fourth is dissonant when there's no note below it?
According to Walter Piston's Harmony book, a perfect fourth is dissonant if there's no tone below its lower tone, while it's consonant if there's a third or a perfect fifth below the interval. In... more
Writing E♭ Chromatic Scale in E♭ Major?
For theory practice, I am being asked to write the E♭ Chromatic Scale in the key of E♭ Major. I've learned that it is generally advised to use sharps on the way up and flats on... more
V chord becoming 7th? minor key?
Im analyzing a song that is in the key of e minor. And the chords for the song are: Em B7 Am Now, I'm no expert but from my theory I learnt a while back for a minor key the chords are: Minor-... more
Other than scale-degree 7, do other scale degrees have names for their altered forms?
In a major key, we have names for all seven scale degrees: - Tonic - Supertonic - Mediant - Subdominant - Dominant - Submediant - Leading Tone To this we can add the subtonic, scale-degree... more
Why is the whole note used as reference for "note length"?
We have a whole note, and then half note, quarter note, eighth, etc. I am wondering, why is it that way? If we think in term of beat, then the quarter note is the reference: there are 2 eighth note... more
What are Secondary Mediants / Submediants?
I'm learning about secondary dominants and noticed references to secondary mediants and secondary submediants in a resource (Wikipedia). However, I haven't found any other references to them in... more
Understanding Time Signature: How do I identify the time signature of a song?
I have played music for years and I still don't understand what a time signature actually signifies. I understand it from a superficial sense. If given sheet music I could tell you what time... more
Tonicisation of Secondary Dominant in D Minor?
Okay, so I'm basically just hoping someone can tell me if I'm on the right or wrong track here. I have to implement the technique described in the title in a piece I've written for an... more
Trouble writing chord progressions in minor?
I've been composing in major for some time and decided to work in a minor key for practice. It's not going too well – I'm having trouble using common techniques in major, such as utilizing the... more
Parallel chord substitutions?
Are parallel chord substitutions common in (classical) music (if so, please share some examples)? And do they have the same function as the original chords? By saying parallel chords I am... more
what are some questions I could ask regarding human culture and expression when it come to studying the song Home on the Range?
I am studying the song Home on the Range as an artifact and I need to come up with two questions regarding human culture and expression and I am stuck.
Tempo and Rhythm?
If an eighth note is half the duration of a quarter note, would the duration of an eighth note played at 60bpm be equal to the duration of a quarter note at 120bpm? If yes, why was the concept of... more
On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo positions?
I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is... more
Why is the 11th often sharpened?
A book I'm reading suggests that there are two reasons that the 9#11 chord is more common than the 11th chord, and I don't understand either. > First, the natural 11th interferes with our... more
Notes in an A13 chord?
Does an A13 chord include the 11th? Here's why I'm asking... If you google this chord for piano, sometimes the third (C#) is omitted and sometimes the 11th (D) is omitted -- but sometimes they are... more