256 Answered Questions for the topic music theory
Music Theory Theory
Is the Benny Hill Theme inherently comedic?
The question is in the title. I have tried to answer it for myself, using my knowledge of music theory, and have come up with nothing. I thought it might be the V & I bass pattern, the... more
How did Rameau's Treatise on Harmony (1722) influence the mass production of musical instruments?
Rameau's Treatise on Harmony (1722) initiated a revolution in music theory but in what ways did that translate into popularizing music ... particularly the mass production of musical instruments?... more
what are the hand-signs in solfege?
I've searched in SE for solfege and names of altered notes or tones. This point seems to be cleared. But I couldn't find any about hand-signs for solfege. **What are the solfege hand-signs?** In... more
Music Theory Calculus
octave frequencies of the tones
What is the frequency of the tone that is one octave lower than 6080 cycles per second?
Dominant Chord in minor key?
In a minor key, e.g. E minor, if you take the dominant triad, it contains the leading note. Is the leading note of the **natural minor** or the major for the dominant triad? So for E minor... more
How did classical composers write music?
How did classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven write music for instruments they didn't play, such as the timpani or trumpet? Is it all music theory or were they just so genius that they... more
What is a secondary dominant chord?
What is a secondary dominant chord? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in composition?
Classification of 9th, 11th, and 13th intervals by consonance and dissonance?
An interval is classified by its consonance or dissonance: as an open consonance (unison, perfect fifth, octave), a soft consonance (major and minor third and sixth), mild dissonance (major second... more
Is there a name for the progression ♭VI–♭VII–I?
The so-called Andalusian cadence occurs when one harmonizes the descending tetrachord from tonic down to dominant with I–♭VII–♭VI–V. Yet the progression ♭VI–♭VII–I seems just as common. It's... more
What is a key signature for writing in modes other than major and minor?
I have trouble deciding what accidentals to put in the key signature for pieces in Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian or Mixolydian modes. Is there any kind of convention to follow?
How do you properly define diminished 9th, 11th and 13th chords?
I understand that a diminished 7th chord is defined by the intervals 1-b3-b5-bb7 and a half-diminished 7th chord is 1-b3-b5-b7, but how do you determine what intervals diminished (and... more
In harmony: key or the flow?
I play ambient music and my approach on creating chord lines is simple, just try to stick on the key and if I want to change the key then make it subtle. But today I tried to create harmony lines... more
What is this dynamic called?
What is the dynamic called when the song gets louder when there are more instruments being added in when there is no specific dynamic marking.
When did the half-step/whole-step modulation in the middle of a song become popular?
Many pop songs in modern times will use a half step or a whole step modulation in the middle of a song in order to increase excitement. I would like to know when this strategy started, and if it is... more
How to self-teach music theory on guitar?
So I've tried a lot of resources out there( the free ones) on the internet, from YouTube to PDFs. But my progress is not much. The basic stuff like major scale is clear to me only in theory, but I... more
What's the point of chords such as sus and 7th chords?
Every time I play major7th or minor7th it doesn't make me feel any different than the normal major or minor chord, so what's the point of such chords? What do these chord qualities accomplish that... more
Do classical pieces sound different today than the originals due to temperament?
I was reading how classical music used to not be in equal temperament. So each of their keys sounded completely different and that's why they named their pieces after the keys they were playing.... more
E5 Power Chord: The 5 is the 5th note or interval of both the major and Minor Scales? Are there other scales that would work?
Geometric Voice Leading Presentation?
I'm coming from a non-academic background and just trying to understand the rules of voice leading for pursuing a future composing career. I've always found difficulties in understanding this topic... more
What is a "Slovenian Cadence"?
I recently acquired a large collection of music theory review materials. In it, I came across the term "Slovenian cadence." Does anyone know what this might be? Unfortunately, the review materials... more
What other modes/scales can i play over a song in the Key of Eb Minor?
I'm wanting to have two pieces of music flow from one to another, first one will be completely original and performed by me the other one is a song that already exists. I've already discovered that... more
Is there a set of closely related keys in modern popular music?
In my knowledge, the closely related keys in classical music are: In C-major: 1. C-major (Tonic, original) `♮` 2. d-minor (Supertonic, relative of subdominant) `♭` 3. e-minor (Mediant, relative... more
When playing in a minor key, will the chords be minor as well?
I've been jumping into music theory myself and I've been stumbling on creating certain melodies and such. I've played guitar all my teenage life and not once have I ever sat down and said I'm going... more
How do I correctly borrow chords from one key to another?
So how does one decide to borrow chords? Let's say I am in the key of C Major. Can I borrow chords, say, from the G Major key? How does this work?