Official Music Theory Thread

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AWA Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:15 pm



noname wrote:We're doing progressions now. So....yes? I'm not really too sure. For example, today in class we were given a melody, and told to list the possible chords that could contain that note. We were then supposed to pick the chord we wanted (I, IV, or vi for example) on that beat. We had to do that for every part of the melody, and be careful about which chords we picked so that A) things moved in a good progression and B) we avoided objectionable parallels, spacing errors ect...We were doing this with just triads. What textbook does your school use? I could get more specific if we use the same one.
Yeah, harmonic analysis. It's really annoying and tedious, but it gives you an incredible grasp on harmonic function.

We don't use a textbook; our band director/theory teacher is just a bamf when if comes to theory and composition.
baerds wrote:
AWA wrote:As for learning music theory, take a class. Seriously. I'm currently halfway through the AP Music Theory course in my high school. While you're taking this class, supplement yourself with independent research (Wikipedia has a lot of music theory articles, and there are endless resources online).
*gulp*
Well, consider this: An AP Music Theory class is the equivalent of three semesters of college music theory courses. I just happen to be taking it in high school.
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:07 pm



Three semesters of college in one high school class? :/ don't know about that...
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AWA Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:35 pm



KBoe5 wrote:Three semesters of college in one high school class? :/ don't know about that...
Well, the high school class meets every day for a whole school year. A college class would meet maybe once or twice a week for half a year. And we move extremely quickly.
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Randall112 Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:00 pm



Yep, my high school also has an AP music course, but ours is a 2 year deal. It is a 2 year, intense course, lol. I'm in my first year of it, and it is awesome, and I feel that when I'm done, I'll be well prepared for music school.
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:19 pm



Randall112 wrote:Yep, my high school also has an AP music course, but ours is a 2 year deal. It is a 2 year, intense course, lol. I'm in my first year of it, and it is awesome, and I feel that when I'm done, I'll be well prepared for music school.
How far are you in the course?
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Randall112 Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:31 pm



Well, I'm in the first year of it, there are 18 chapters in the first year, and we are on chapter 7, which is melodies, and identifying melodies by listening to them, writing them out, and then singing them, and stuff like that. There is a huge focus on sight singing, and matching pitches in my course, so we do a lot of singing melodies, etc.
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:50 am



Randall112 wrote:Well, I'm in the first year of it, there are 18 chapters in the first year, and we are on chapter 7, which is melodies, and identifying melodies by listening to them, writing them out, and then singing them, and stuff like that. There is a huge focus on sight singing, and matching pitches in my course, so we do a lot of singing melodies, etc.
Bleh... I hate learning from books. Our band director is enough of a bamf at theory to not need to work out a of a book (well, he uses an AP Theory test guide to know what we need for the test, but that's about it).

Have you gotten into harmonic function and analysis yet?
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Randall112 Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:08 am



We don't learn from a book, it is a specially made website for my district and surrounding districts. No, harmonic function and analysis is chapter 17 of the first year. The first year goes really slow, but the second year picks up and gets harder and harder, and at the end, we have an AP music night, where we make a final, epic project, then perform it.
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:27 pm



Randall112 wrote:We don't learn from a book, it is a specially made website for my district and surrounding districts. No, harmonic function and analysis is chapter 17 of the first year. The first year goes really slow, but the second year picks up and gets harder and harder, and at the end, we have an AP music night, where we make a final, epic project, then perform it.
I don't get how you can learn melodic composition without first understanding harmonic function... but whatever. We have to compose a final piece as well, and it will be performed by members of the band/choir. We've already written 4-part chorales for the band to play (they did, and they (the chorales) sounded pretty bad :o )
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2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
2014: Bluecoats (Vibraphone)

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Randall112 Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:17 am



It's not necessarily melodic composition, it's like ear training, and listening to the melodies and then writing down what we hear. But, I have learned harmonic functions, last year when I took theory 2, because it was a prerequisite for AP Music. We actually have 4 different theory courses, but 3 and 4 are jazz studies and things like that.
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:02 pm



Yeah, our director decided to make our course one half harmonic/melodic composition and theory, and one half ear training.
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Randall112 Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:17 pm



Ear training is a drag.. I do have a hard time, sometimes with identifying melodies and intervals, lol.
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:34 pm



Randall112 wrote:Ear training is a drag.. I do have a hard time, sometimes with identifying melodies and intervals, lol.
Not sure if your teacher did this, but our director gave us a list of the "9 Most Common melodic Intervals" (in solfege syllables):

D-M-S-M-D
F-M
L-S
T-D
R-D
D-L-S
S-T-D
F-R-D
F-T-D

And their (usual) harmonic functions. This has helped a TON with melodic dictation/transcription/singing.
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2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:44 pm



AWA wrote:
Randall112 wrote:Ear training is a drag.. I do have a hard time, sometimes with identifying melodies and intervals, lol.
Not sure if your teacher did this, but our director gave us a list of the "9 Most Common melodic Intervals" (in solfege syllables):

D-M-S-M-D
F-M
L-S
T-D
R-D
D-L-S
S-T-D
F-R-D
F-T-D

And their (usual) harmonic functions. This has helped a TON with melodic dictation/transcription/singing.
What do these stand for?


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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:22 pm



noname wrote:
AWA wrote:
Randall112 wrote:Ear training is a drag.. I do have a hard time, sometimes with identifying melodies and intervals, lol.
Not sure if your teacher did this, but our director gave us a list of the "9 Most Common melodic Intervals" (in solfege syllables):

D-M-S-M-D
F-M
L-S
T-D
R-D
D-L-S
S-T-D
F-R-D
F-T-D

And their (usual) harmonic functions. This has helped a TON with melodic dictation/transcription/singing.
What do these stand for?
I assume (I've yet to take theory besides personal studying) do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do
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Randall112 Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:22 pm



Very true, I didn't get this, this could be very helpful, thank you!
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:45 pm



Oh. Duh. Facepalm


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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:01 am



thanks glen, for the people that dont understand solfege:

1-3-5-3-1
4-3
6-5
2-1
8-6-5
5-7-8
4-2-1
4-7-8

8 being the octave, assuming we are going down the scale or up to the octave.
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:19 pm



AWA wrote:
Randall112 wrote:We don't learn from a book, it is a specially made website for my district and surrounding districts. No, harmonic function and analysis is chapter 17 of the first year. The first year goes really slow, but the second year picks up and gets harder and harder, and at the end, we have an AP music night, where we make a final, epic project, then perform it.
I don't get how you can learn melodic composition without first understanding harmonic function... but whatever. We have to compose a final piece as well, and it will be performed by members of the band/choir. We've already written 4-part chorales for the band to play (they did, and they (the chorales) sounded pretty bad :o )
So you've always fit melodies to the harmonic progressions you've written out?
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AWA Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:02 pm



KBoe5 wrote:
AWA wrote:
Randall112 wrote:We don't learn from a book, it is a specially made website for my district and surrounding districts. No, harmonic function and analysis is chapter 17 of the first year. The first year goes really slow, but the second year picks up and gets harder and harder, and at the end, we have an AP music night, where we make a final, epic project, then perform it.
I don't get how you can learn melodic composition without first understanding harmonic function... but whatever. We have to compose a final piece as well, and it will be performed by members of the band/choir. We've already written 4-part chorales for the band to play (they did, and they (the chorales) sounded pretty bad :o )
So you've always fit melodies to the harmonic progressions you've written out?
Well, I haven't ever serious written a melody before. But yeah, in general, now that I sort of know what I'm doing, I outline the harmonic progression, and then create the melody from that.
2007 - 2010: West Deptford High School (07-08 FE, 09-10 quads)
2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
2014: Bluecoats (Vibraphone)

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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:16 am



AWA wrote:
KBoe5 wrote:
AWA wrote:
I don't get how you can learn melodic composition without first understanding harmonic function... but whatever. We have to compose a final piece as well, and it will be performed by members of the band/choir. We've already written 4-part chorales for the band to play (they did, and they (the chorales) sounded pretty bad :o )
So you've always fit melodies to the harmonic progressions you've written out?
Well, I haven't ever serious written a melody before. But yeah, in general, now that I sort of know what I'm doing, I outline the harmonic progression, and then create the melody from that.
Try it the other way sometime. Write a melody, then create harmonic progressions from that.
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Randall112 Offline
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:30 pm



Figured bass...
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:15 pm



How does the Circle of Fifths work?
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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:01 pm



Randall112 wrote:Figured bass...
Figured bass is dumb; if you're going through the trouble to write out the inversions, just write out the whole chord.
DrummerOf2012 wrote:How does the Circle of Fifths work?
The Circle of Fifths is, at its most basic level, a mnemonic device for remembering key signatures.

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As you go around the circle, you add a sharp (or a flat depending on which direction you go, clockwise or counterclockwise).
Notice that once you've gone halfway around the circle in either direction, you arrive at F#/Gb; these are identical. The reason for this is grounded in music theory: the notes F# and Gb are enharmonically equivalent, so their respective scales, while using different written notes, will sound aurally identical. For this reason, once this halfway point is reached, while it is theoretically possible to continue thinking in terms of C#, G#, D#, etc., it is much easier to use enharmonics to transform the keys into more manageable forms (Db, Ab, and Eb, respectively; notice that these continue the path clockwise around the circle).
However, the circle has more intricate implications, outside of simple mnemonics. The reason that the circle even works as a mnemonic is that by going around the circle counterclockwise (that is, C, F, Bb, etc.), you are moving by an interval of a perfect fourth (think of the first few notes of "Taps"). This relationship is known as a "dominant-tonic" relationship; each step you move around the circle is a movement from V to I in each respective key. Take, for example, the movement from Ab to Db: In the key of Db, the dominant V chord is the Ab major chord. By moving from Ab to Db, you create the dominant-tonic relationship; the strongest functional relationship. In cadential terms, this is an authentic cadence.
The process can also be inverted; moving clockwise around the circle gives a tonic-dominant relationship. In the key of G, the dominant V chord is D. By moving from G to D, you create the tonic-dominant relationship, setting up the corresponding dominant-tonic relationship. Cadentially, this is a half cadence.
There are even more applications of the circle of fifths, though most of them derive from the above dominant-tonic relationship inherent in its design. This relationship is the most common and most important of its functions.
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2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
2014: Bluecoats (Vibraphone)

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Re: Official Music Theory Thread

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:00 pm



baerds wrote:
AWA wrote:
noname wrote:This question could probably go in the composition thread, but this thread needs posts. In another thread, AWA said the following when talking about writing melodies in a minor key.

"In summary: Always raise the seventh scale degree. Do not raise the sixth scale degree unless the melodic line is followed by a raised seventh."


My question is this....Lets assume I have a melody that goes 4565. Would I raise the sixth scale degree then? I'm thinking the answer is no, but I'm not positive. If I'm correct in my assumption, why is this? What makes the sixth being followed by the seventh so special?
No, you would not. The melodic line does not have a 6-7 interval.

The reason that the sixth scale degree is raised is because the seventh scale degree is raised (remember, the seventh must be raised for harmonic purposes, to create proper dominant chords). When the seventh scale degree is raised, the interval between the sixth (flatted in minor tonality) and the seventh (raised in the minor tonality out of having been flatted) becomes an augmented second. This melodic movement is forbidden (there are varying reasons, from aural inelegance, to difficulty in vocal performance, to the fact that an augmented second is neither a half step nor a whole step, and thus cannot be included in a scale). To avoid this, the sixth scale degree is raised (to make the movement from six to seven more conducive).

The reason that "melodic minor" exists only upward is that when moving upward, the seventh scale degree acts as a dominant, leading to the tonic. The sixth is raised for the reasons above. When moving downward, it no longer leads to the tonic, so it does not have to be raised. Consequently, the sixth does not need to be raised, either.

A good rule of thumb is to always stay diatonic unless otherwise required. In the melodic line "4-5-6-5", the sixth is not required to be raised, so don't raise it.
Man, I understood NONE of that. Hey AWA, how would go about learning music theory at its basic level?


you could take a music theory class in school/college but ive had a few freinds who are soley drummers who took it and flunked. i suggest learning an instrument like guitar or piano (or even mallets) to help you learn


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