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Music Theory articles

  • Voicings and cadences

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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?