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Music Theory feature articles

  • Harmonic anticipation and appoggiatura
    learning

    Harmonic anticipation and appoggiatura - Harmony Basics - Part 28

    11/23/17

    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.

  • Harmonic suspension
    learning

    Harmonic suspension - Harmony Basics - Part 27

    11/14/17

    It's sometimes hard to believe the similarities between real-life events and music. You could say that when you are late or early in life, you are not in sync with your environment. Well it's similar in music: when something is delayed or comes early (as you will see in the next article), there's often dissonance. That's why you need to be well pr…

  • Indirect resolutions
    learning

    Indirect resolutions - Harmony Basics - Part 26

    11/06/17

    In the previous article you saw how a resolution can be regular or... irregular. And it's precisely the latter that we will start exploring today. By doing this you will be able to observe, once again, how everything is linked to each other in the world of music harmony. Because we will touch upon some notions we've seen before, like cadence and c…

  • Forced motions and resolutions
    learning

    Forced motions and resolutions - Harmony Basics - Part 25

    10/30/17

    In the previous article you saw how the different voices of a chord evolved to get to another chord, following a very specific voice leading procedure, which is called a "forced" motion. And that's what we will see in detail today.

  • Context and first resolution
    learning

    Context and first resolution - Harmony Basics - Part 24

    10/20/17

    In the last article, we saw consonances and dissonances according to our Western point of view, as well as the alternation that governs their use. In the present article you will see how to lead these dissonances towards consonances, respecting the alternation in question.

  • Consonance and Dissonance
    learning

    Consonance and Dissonance - Harmony Basics - Part 23

    09/30/16

    If you want to start making up melodies and bass lines from chord inversions, as I promised in the last article, we must first address the thorny issue of consonance and its evil twin, dissonance... which, by the way, is crucial to harmony!

  • Melodic and harmonic motion
    learning

    Melodic and harmonic motion - Harmony Basics - Part 22

    09/07/16

    In the previous article we discussed inversions within the frame of enharmonic modulations. I will take this opportunity to explore with you in this and the following article the different ways in which you can take advantage of these inversions.

  • Enharmonic Modulations
    learning

    Enharmonic Modulations - Harmony Basics - Part 21

    08/23/16

    Before I begin I most warn you that this article might seem a bit grueling for some of you. But if you've been following the other articles in the series up to now, you shouldn't have a problem with what is about to come. Otherwise, you can always use the comments section to ask anything you want.

  • Modulating to neighbor, distant and chromatic keys
    learning

    Modulating to neighbor, distant and chromatic keys - Harmony Basics - Part 20

    08/15/16

    In the previous articles we saw how you can modulate towards other keys, mainly using pivot chords to guarantee a smooth transition. So, now that we've seen how to modulate, it would be nice to know where you can modulate to, right?

  • Using II-V-I and pivot chords
    learning

    Using II-V-I and pivot chords - Harmony Basics - Part 19

    07/18/16

    In the previous article we saw how to use cadences to modulate to a different key. However, regardless of whether you use a cadence or not, a seamless modulation relies on the so-called pivot chords.