Music Theory
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Music Theory feature articles

  • Drop voicings
    Getting started

    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
    Getting started

    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
    Getting started

    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
    Getting started

    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.

  • Open position chords
    Getting started

    Open position chords - Harmony Basics – Part 32


    In the previous article you saw how to create an interesting harmonization and, at the same time, develop clear bass and harmonic lines by simply inverting chords. But it isn't enough just to invert the chords, you can also play with their structure to open them!

  • My first voice leading
    Getting started

    My first voice leading - Harmony Basics - Part 31


    In the previous article I introduced you to the concept of voice leading and voicings. Today we'll explore them in detail.

  • Introduction to voice leading and voicings
    Getting started

    Introduction to voice leading and voicings - Harmony Basics - Part 30


    In the previous articles we explored the different harmonic motions which originate from the alternation between dissonance and consonance, and without even noticing it we started to lay the foundations for voice leading. Say what?

  • The pedal point and the sus4 chord
    Getting started

    The pedal point and the sus4 chord - Harmony Basics - Part 29


    In the previous articles we dealt basically with dissonances and consonances and how they alternate following the different harmonic motions.

  • Harmonic anticipation and appoggiatura
    Getting started

    Harmonic anticipation and appoggiatura - Harmony Basics - Part 28


    Welcome to today's article, where we will keep on discussing motion in the harmonic domain. Last time we talked about suspension, so today we'll talk about its flip side: anticipation and its very close relative, the appoggiatura.