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Music Theory feature articles

  • Voicings and cadences - Follow-up and end
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    Voicings and cadences - Follow-up and end - Harmony Basics - Part 42


    The present article closes the mini-series we started with article 39 focusing on the use of voicings within the most common cadences. And we'll finish studying voicings based on added-tone chords looking at the interrupted cadence and rhythm changes. Let's go!

  • Voicings and cadences - Second-to-last installment
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    Voicings and cadences - Second-to-last installment - Harmony Basics - Part 41


    With this article we close the chapter on voicings within the framework of cadences by seeing how you can add tones to the cadence chords in the previous articles.

  • Voicings and cadences - Follow-up
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    Voicings and cadences - Follow-up - Harmony Basics - Part 40


    In the previous article we discussed some examples for three types of cadences: seventh chord progressions based on the circle of fifths, the perfect cadence and the plagal cadence. And we also looked at examples of voice movements within these different cadences.

  • Voicings and cadences
    Getting started

    Voicings and cadences - Harmony Basics - Part 39


    Today we'll go once again over what we saw in articles 34 and 36 regarding voice-leading according to cadence, exploring in detail voice movements in relation to the most common cadences.

  • Parallel voices
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    Parallel voices - Harmony Basics - Part 38


    The previous article allowed you to get to know chords better, discussing open and drop chords. This week we'll take a look at a case where voices evolve in parallel, with a special focus on octaves and fifths. I know, I know: parallel octaves and fifths are forbidden, right? Indeed, when you want to stick to classic harmony, it is...

  • Drop voicings
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    Drop voicings - Harmony Basics - Part 37


    In the previous article we briefly studied the movements of each voice within the context of voice-leading, based on the motion of the root. Today we'll focus on a particular sort of voicing: drop voicings.

  • Voice movement in voice-leading
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    Voice movement in voice-leading - Harmony Basics - Part 36


    In the previous article you saw the notes that are best suited to create voicings and those which ought to be avoided. In this one we will focus our attention on voice-leading and certain rules you should consider when exploring this technique.

  • Voicings, important notes and notes to avoid
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    Voicings, important notes and notes to avoid - Harmony Basics - Part 35


    Today we'll continue exploring voicings... but going back to the basics! Because it's really nice to talk about open, closed, added-tone and what-not chords but if you don't know which notes you can or cannot use, then you might end up a bit frustrated.

  • Voicings for the II V I pogression
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    Voicings for the II V I pogression - Harmony Basics - Part 34


    Ever since I started this series I have striven to give you a bunch of theoretical tools that allow you to understand as well as possible the mechanisms behind Western harmony, always trying to avoid complicating things too much. At least that was my goal, and I hope I've achieved it. But don't worry I'm not saying goodbye just yet, far from that!

  • Voicings and added-tone chords
    Getting started

    Voicings and added-tone chords - Harmony Basics - Part 33


    In the present article we'll discuss added-tone chords in more detail, but first let me finish the previous installment.