/r/musictheory

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/r/musictheory is a community for the discussion of music theory and related topics.


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/r/musictheory

564,651 Subscribers

1

Guitarists/theorists, can you give me the nitty gritty on Marcy Playground - Memphis? Links in post.

Long story short, I'm deep diving back into guitar and musical theory over the last few months with beginner skill/knowledge I acquired as a teen 20 years ago, and here and there since. I'm all in on the grind. I'm especially focused on fingerstyle/alternate picking acoustic. I know enough theory to guess some attributes of a song like this but I won't detail that because it aint relevant. I don't trust myself yet.

Really want to know what's going on in this tune and why it works. Always loved it and I'm rehooked. Intervals, key, scale, deviation from key, rhythmic structure, song structure, chord progression, anything about the guitar playing style, scale positions/inversions, octave range, vocals, vocal range, etc, etc, etc, what is happening in this song? There's simplicities and complexities in this tune that I haven't fully wrapped my head around yet but I'm gettin' there. What do you notice? I know it's a simple progression, but deeper. DEEPER!!

Marcy Playground - Memphis (music video)

Marcy Playground - Memphis (Acoustic Session)

The tab (can't speak for the accuracy yet but it's damn fun to play and seems reasonable)

3 Comments
2024/04/15
03:05 UTC

2

I can read music very well, but generally just associate it with finger positions on my trumpet. If you give me sheet music i won't be able to sing it. Any tips for learning to associate a note with the sheet music and the sound it makes?

I can kind of eyeball it but if it says G for example, I could't really tell you what that sounds like, I just know how to play it and where it is on the sheetm music

7 Comments
2024/04/15
02:30 UTC

4

How Should I start Writing down my Music?

This may not be the exact right place to ask this, but I've recently started trying to write music. I've been playing Guitar for 15 years now and the band that I'm in recently decided to start writing original music. I'd used musescore a few times in the past but it never really clicked with me, it's the same with writing on paper. It just doesn't get the compositional juices flowing like actually playing my guitar does. I've also tried writing down the ideas that I come up with on my guitar, but constantly stopping and restarting pulls me out of the flow. Is it just a case of practice makes perfect? If so how would you recommend I start writing. (Just as a note I do need written music as all of my band mates prefer it to be written out)

9 Comments
2024/04/15
01:17 UTC

4

Courtesy Clefs???

Background Info: This piece is for marimba, which reads both treble aand bass clef, and will occasionally have two staff lines, similar to a piano.

Playing marimba for a marching ensemble, and I noticed that this section has a change from treble to bass clef. Normally, when we have a clef change, it is notated at the end of the line before (as you would with a meter change)

However, this time it isnt. Would it be necessary to add a "courtesy clef" at the end of the line before it, or is that simply, as the name implies, a courtesy? It was a bit confusing and when learning this section, I accidentally learned it in treble clef, because there wasnt any obvious clef change. Could it also be that the composer entered the music into a two-staff system, meaning the clef change wouldnt be necessary, as the reader would just be switching between the two staves, and the composer just forgot to add the clef change back in?

TLDR; Line 3 into Line 4, changes clefs without courtesy clef, is this incorrect notation?

9 Comments
2024/04/15
00:40 UTC

2

What does the 1. over these measures mean?

14 Comments
2024/04/14
23:49 UTC

1

Music theory games

Are there any music theory games for PC or mobile? I've found a few on mobile that help with identifying notes on guitar but I'm shocked there isn't a whole section of gamafide music learning tools.

1 Comment
2024/04/14
23:37 UTC

5

3-beat phrase repeated across 2 4-beat measures: does this have a name?

Listen/read The Brumley Brae, and hear the 6-note CDAFDD phrase that ends the first measure and starts the second. This pattern is sort of a hook for the tune, repeated elsewhere. Does this kind of pattern have a name?

Another example is the first two measures of the Maple Leaf Rag.

4 Comments
2024/04/14
23:31 UTC

8

How much are modes used in mainstream music?

I understand how important it is for practicing musicians playing any instrument to learn and comprehend the modes, yet it happens that I never actually get to see it in popular music (no necessarily ultra pop music like AJR, T Swift, Ed Sheehan, just music with anything above 600,000 monthly listeners that was released AFTER the 2010s). It might happen that I just really can't tell but also just generally don't see it talked about, there are there exceptions like jazz, classical, and rock, but other than the producer of Phoebe Bridgers I rlly haven't heard about it.

41 Comments
2024/04/14
22:58 UTC

0

Could you analyse what is happening in the following chord progression

Dm | F#m | C#m | D E

F#m | Bbm | Fm | Gb Ab

Bbm | Dm | Am | Bb C -> chorus starts from F chord in the key of D minor

I came up with this yesterday, and it worked well for the song concept. I have not enough theoretical knowledge to analyse it at all other than that it is basically the same chord progression and keeps going up in major thirds until it loops back to D minor. Any help would be appreciated.

If you want to listen to that progression in action it is possible from this link (sorry for shitty demo :D):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkulaxreUYg

Was not sure which flair I should use, this or the songwriting one

1 Comment
2024/04/14
21:19 UTC

0

how do I transpose without changing the key signature?

I'm trying to transpose this music from Eb (baritone sax) to Bb (bass clarinet) for my friend, how does the key signature affect that?

14 Comments
2024/04/14
20:25 UTC

0

What chord functions are these if Dm is the I?

Dm - Am7 - Gm - Gmaj - Bbmaj - C7

My initial thought is i - v7 - iv - IV - vi - vii°7, but i'm not sure if that's quite right. Is Gmaj a secondary dominant or is it a modal interchange, using the major version of the iv? and is C7 even vii°7? sorry, i'm not exactly new to musix theory but functional analysis isn't my strong suit so any help is appreciated deciphering this.

8 Comments
2024/04/14
19:58 UTC

0

what are the rules for using a chord progression

for example in recently been messing around with a[ I iii iv v7]chord progression. now to my question. when writing a song should I stick to following the chord progression throughout the whole song? or can I use the whole progression for the verse and then [ I and iii] of the progression for the chorus. how can progression be used? sorry the question doesn't make much sense I'm new to learning th is stuff.

edit : why did I get down voted? lol

22 Comments
2024/04/14
19:30 UTC

0

How can you tell in a piece of music when a circle of fifths is being used?

Eg. In a piano score how can you recognise it without spelling out each individual chord? Is there even a way of doing so (other than hearing it)

Edit: sorry for the miscommunication, I mean that when it is used as a harmonic progression (I.e when the harmony moves around it) if that clears it up x

27 Comments
2024/04/14
18:34 UTC

1

Name for this style of songs

I find these quite enjoyable, a deep voice telling a folk character to the rhythm of the music. Is it a certain style? Or are they parodied after a certain song?

  • For years this MadTV skit "Honey Dipper Dan" was all I heard. Liked it a lot.

https://youtu.be/s8cVYg7RNx4?t=40

  • Then today I came across "Jimmy Three Balls" which made me ask.

https://youtu.be/UrpDVDK3jTk?t=57

0 Comments
2024/04/14
17:51 UTC

8

Video to show the difference between 12 tone equal tempered dom7 and harmonically tuned dom7

5 Comments
2024/04/14
17:30 UTC

1

From F# minor to G# minor

There's this composition I'm working on that has a section in F# minor (aeolian) and then needs to transition to a G# minor chord for the next section. Using the V chord of G# sounds extremely weird due to it being the VI chord of F# while we're in a minor key. Using the bIII7 of F# (A7) to make it a bI7 - i resolution in G# also sounds out of place. At least, I can't find a way to get to A7.

I have found half of a way to make it happen by using the E major chord that is in both keys. The idea I had in mind was to make a Emaj7 followed by a F# (sus4) to then resolve to G# minor.

However, now I am stuck with the problem of finding a good chord progression in F# minor that resolve to Emaj7 not as the bVII of F# but the bVI of G# (which I can't figure out without it sounding weird to my ears).

Do you have any chord suggestions to make this F#m -> G#m or F#m -> Emaj7 work?

6 Comments
2024/04/14
17:22 UTC

6

Help with counting this Bar please.

11 Comments
2024/04/14
16:38 UTC

2

Two videos on the math of acoustics and consonance

Hi,

Feel free to remove this post if it isn't appropriate, but I thought there might be some interest. I am a mathematician and amateur music enthusiast. About a year ago, I made two videos on the mathematics of how objects vibrate and how this influences acoustics.

https://youtu.be/iD8TIVr0OVM

The first video explains the vibrations of a simple string and how this can be decomposed into a fundamental frequency (the "note" that we hear) as well as a combination of overtones. In particular, this explains why different objects have different acoustic properties, even when they play the same note.

https://youtu.be/KXZDIEGnSSk

In the second video, I tried to explain why we don't tend to hear a bunch of clashing overtones when a single string is plucked. From this, it is natural to ask what happens with more complicated instruments. The music theory description for consonance was definitely over-simplified, but it is based on the historical idea that simple ratios of frequencies are "consonant" whereas more complex ratios are "dissonant." As a disclaimer, the end of the video is extremely math heavy because I'm talking about several unsolved mathematical problems.

PS. My apologies in advance for the poor audio quality. Recording and mixing audio is the bane of my existence, which is pretty embarrassing given the subject of these videos.

0 Comments
2024/04/14
16:05 UTC

1

simple?

hi all, 2 maybe easy questions about the same thing. not finding this answer in here already, but i'm a newb so maybe just missing it. apologies if that's the case.

so...key of E major, F# mixolydian [EDIT: as the reply below corrects me, this is dorian mode, of course].

what would you call a minor chord with no 5th, a major 6th & minor 7th?

notes low to high: A, F#, A, D#, E

m3, M6, m7 no5, over a low m3. seems like basically F#m7/A but that doesn't convey the 1/2 step harmony that really makes the chord sound. and the D# feels like it wants to resolve down to the 5th, which makes me feel like augmented is 'proper'?

is it considered augmented (or half augmented) with a major 6th and no 5th? double sharp 5?

leaving specific key out of it...maybe ii7sus6/3?

argh.

thanks in advance.

6 Comments
2024/04/14
16:02 UTC

31

How is it that music generates so many emotions if...

How is it that music generates so many emotions if... it doesn't say anything?

It is really understandable that art generates emotions. But the vast majority of emotions aroused by art in general, such as the visual art or literary arts, are linked to representation (abstract art can generate emotions, but it seems strange to me to think that they can be as strong as those of the most representative art). .

Literary, in the same way, I read a word and it has a meaning, then there may or may not be a metaphor, but in principle I am in the world of meaning.

But....what the hell does music do? Does anyone have a study or treatise on this topic? Really, how can it be that the movement of certain sounds, their pitch, timbre, etc. can generate such strong emotions, when they seem to mean nothing. How sometimes we listen to a song, and at a certain moment the sound of a particular note that breaks through can make us cry? (I only name crying because it is something so palpable and deep (but I could name any more "complex" emotion).

Does anyone have any knowledge about this that explains this strong attachment of music to man?

I mean, it has no meaning and yet it is so intimate with the human.

Thank you.

(I don't speak English)

51 Comments
2024/04/14
15:49 UTC

5

Melodic Silence

Hi all! First time poster in this reddit.

Is there a term for going generally silent on the melody for a period and letting background ambience/harmony carry a piece forward? Forgive the lack of proper terminology as I'm still in the beginning phase of learning theory and composition.

11 Comments
2024/04/14
15:11 UTC

0

Identify ALL Intervals with these Film Scores!

4 Comments
2024/04/14
13:56 UTC

0

Question for Chinese speakers

Just curious what the modes of the major scale (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian) are called in Chinese.

3 Comments
2024/04/14
13:38 UTC

0

What’s the E F# G Bb B C D scale

I found this scale, it sounds weird but it works hella well sometimes, does it have a name? It works pretty well with some improvising I found. And the Em chord works well with it. (by Bb I meant A#)

28 Comments
2024/04/14
12:19 UTC

1

What makes a piece "nostalgic"

Im trying to create a proposal school song to send to my school.

I was deciding whether I should go between upbeat/happy/fast or more nostalgic and slow. I decided to go nostalgic because it felt better to me.

I was listening to a couple of pieces (example here) and I wanted to know how or what creates the nostalgic feeling felt in this piece.

Im sure its something to do with the melody and chords, but I want to know what about the chords it is. Also does instrumentation create the feeling as well? Im not really too sure

10 Comments
2024/04/14
12:05 UTC

0

Playing over chords

Hello,

i have a simple question, if i m playing in the key of Em the chords are Em C and D
and i want to play a scale over these chords. will the Em scale fit in all the chords?

4 Comments
2024/04/14
12:01 UTC

3

Should there not be a 7 in the figured bass in the first half note in this 7-6 suspension?

1 Comment
2024/04/14
11:24 UTC

1

How to practice vocals and guitar together on my own?

I have been learning guitar for about 2 years. I always wrote poems; however, I soon realized my poems were not very song-like. Now, I want to learn to write songs. What is a good way to practice both?

For reference, if you can survive going through it, here is a song I recently composed: https://on.soundcloud.com/eskHf7TH5vHTRndc9

1 Comment
2024/04/14
10:57 UTC

3

How to get over the mental block against writing chromatically

When I'm writing music, I seem to have a big mental block against moving out of key. I know this holds back a lot of possibilities. So much of the music I love has interesting harmonic movement, so this is something I would like to get better at.

My experience is like this: when I'm songwriting, specifically trying out a new idea, I think my mind is constantly checking for if it sounds "pleasing". I get really used to how the song already is, both with the existing melody and the key, and almost anything diverting from it simply sounds wrong.

I try intentionally to find interesting chromatic variations, but with little success.

Is it me, or is this a common experience for people?
Are there any tips or tricks I could try to break my attachment to sounding overly correct?

9 Comments
2024/04/14
10:26 UTC

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