Music Theory
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Music Theory feature articles

  • Chord Progressions
    Getting started

    Chord Progressions - Harmony Basics - Part 12


    In the last article, we saw how chords have a natural tendency towards other chords depending on their degree in the key of the song where they are currently been employed.

  • Leading the Way
    Getting started

    Leading the Way - Harmony Basics - Part 11


    In the previous articles we looked at how cadences work and how the fifth degree of a scale tends towards the first degree (yes, I know I've been repeating this every article). But, regardless of cadence, chords show a natural tendency to lead to other chords. If you know the different attractions between chords, you can easily and quickly build a…

  • Harmonic Rhythm
    Getting started

    Harmonic Rhythm - Harmony Basics - Part 10


    Today, we will discuss one of the most important aspects in music, namely rhythm.

  • Stable and Unstable Chords
    Getting started

    Stable and Unstable Chords - Harmony Basics - Part 9


    In the previous articles we started discussing the most pertinent way to use chords to harmonize a melody.

  • Chord Tones and Non-Chord Tones
    Getting started

    Chord Tones and Non-Chord Tones - Harmony Basics - Part 8


    In the previous articles we discussed what scales and major and minor modes are, as well as how a scale can be harmonized according to its different modes, thanks to chords. We also started exploring the harmonic movements of music due to cadence, which is based on the functions of the different scale degrees within the song.

  • The Perfect Cadence...and More
    Getting started

    The Perfect Cadence...and More - Harmony Basics - Part 7


    If you think of music as a language, then you could say that it's made up of phrases, with cadences acting like punctuation marks.

  • The Other Degrees of a Major Scale and the Minor Mode
    Getting started

    The Other Degrees of a Major Scale and the Minor Mode - Harmony Basics - Part 6


    As we saw in the previous article, the I, IV and V chords of a major scale are themselves...major!

  • Introduction to Degrees
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    Introduction to Degrees - Harmony Basics - Part 5


    This is one of those situations no composer can escape...and the reason for being of this series.

  • How to Build Chords
    Getting started

    How to Build Chords - Harmony Basics - Part 4


    In the previous articles we talked about major and minor chords, how scales are formed and how you can tell the key of a song from its key signature.

  • How To Tell the Key of a Song
    Getting started

    How To Tell the Key of a Song - Harmony Basics - Part 3


    As we saw previously, the construction of any given scale requires that you respect certain intervals between the notes. To achieve that, and depending on the tonic and whether it's a major or minor scale, you will need to use some sharp or flat notes ─ alterations defined at the beginning of the score, next to the key.