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What are the Scale Degree Names?
Note: If the scale degree is a minor VIIth above the root (in this instance Bb
), it is called the Subtonic
What is harmony?
The sound that results when two or more pitches are performed simultaneously.
It is the vertical aspect of music produced by the combination of the components of the horizontal aspects.
What is tonal harmony?
Music with a tonal center based on major &/or minor scales and using tertian chords that are related to one another and to the tonal center in various ways.
(Tonal center - a pitch that provides a center of gravity)
Where is C3 located in relation to middle C? C5?
C3 is one octave lower than middle C (also known as C4)
C5 is one octave higher than middle C
What is a tetrachord?
A series of four notes bounded by the interval of a perfect fourth.
In the case of a major scale - it is a whole step/whole step/half step series
What is a Major Scale?
Two tetrachords separated by a whole step
On the Circle of Fifths, which are the enharmonic keys?
- B/Cb (5 sharps/7 flats)
- F#/Gb (6 sharps/6 flats)
- C#/Db(7 sharps/5 flats)
Define the following:
Measurement of distance in pitch between two notes
Melodic occurs when two notes are played successively
Harmonic occurs when two notes are played simultaneously
Simple vs. Compound Interval
Simple intervals are intervals smaller than an octave
Compound intervals are intervals larger than an octave
What is the relation between the ascending melodic minor scale and a major scale?
The ascending melodic minor scale looks like a its parallel major scale but with the 3rd lowered a half step.
- ex. The A major scale is A B C# D E F# G# A
- The a ascending melodic minor scale is A B C D E F# G# A
Traditional Melodic Minor Scale vs. Real Melodic Minor Scale
Traditional - descends with the 6th & 7th scale degrees lowered by a 1/2 step reverting back to the natural minor.
Real - descends just as it ascends with 6th & 7th raised
Solfege syllables for a major vs. natural minor scale.
Major: do re mi fa sol la ti do
Natural minor: do re me fa sol le te do
Whole Tone Scale
A whole tone scale moves up or down by whole steps. It can begin on any note BUT only six different notes appear in the whole tone scale.
- ex. Ascending: C D E F# G# A# C (no B - whole step from A# = Bx i.e. C)
- Descending: C Bb Ab Gb E D C (Fbb = E)
Unison, fourths, fifths, and octaves are the only intervals that are denoted as perfect.
They are perfect when they upper note of the interval is within the major scale built on the lower note.
P is the symbol used to indicate a perfect interval.
Seconds, thirds, sixths, and sevenths are traditionally called Major when the upper not is within the major scale built on the lower note.
Intervals that are 1/2 step smaller than Perfect intervals; 1/2 step smaller than minor intervals, or 1 whole step smaller than Major intervals are Diminished.
- It is denoted by a small o in front of the interval number.
- ex. o4 = diminished 4th = ex. C to Fb
Both major and perfect intervals when made 1/2 step larger are called augmented
- They are annotated with a + in front of the interval number
- ex. +2 is augmented second like C to D#
Doubly diminished vs. doubly augmented intervals
A whole step smaller than a perfect or major interval
A whole step larger than a perfect or major interval
What is a compound 2nd?, compound 3rd?
- Compound 2nd = a ninth
- Compound 3rd = a tenth, etc.
Perfect, Major, minor terminology still applies
What is a chord? an arpeggio?
A set of 3 or more notes sounded simultaneously is a chord
If the notes are played one after the other, it's called an arpeggio
What is a triad?
Three note chords built upwards in thirds from a fundamental note called a root
What is included in a Major Triad?
What are the intervals of a Major Triad?
The major triad includes the tonic (root), third, and fifth notes of the major scale built on the triad's root.
The intervals are a major third and a perfect fifth from the root. It could be viewed as a major third (ex. C to E) below a minor third (E to G).
How is a minor triad formed?
What are the intervals of a minor triad?
Minor triads can be formed by lowering the third of a major triad by a half step.
The intervals are a minor third and a perfect fifth from the root. Or it can be viewed as a minor third (ex. C to Eb) below a major third (Eb to G).
How are augmented triads formed and what are their intervals?
It is formed by raising the fifth of a major triad by 1/2 step.
The intervals are a major third and an augmented fifth from the root. Or one major third below another.
How are diminished triads formed and what are the intervals?
A diminished triad can be formed by lowering the 3rd and 5th of the major triad by a half step.
The intervals are a minor third and a diminished fifth from the root. Or on minor third below another.
A way chords are often expressed usually made up of a letter that indicates the note the chord is built on and other symbols that indicate additional notes in the chord.
- There are many ways to write chord symbols: ex. C Major = C, CM or Cmaj
- C minor = C-, Cm, or Cmi
Name and describe the triad inversions.
Root = 1, 3, 5
1st inversion = root moves to the top - 3, 5, 1
2nd inversion = root and third move to the top - 5, 1, 3
What is complete harmony?
In addition to the three notes of the triad, it includes a bass note which is usually noted in bass clef
The bass note is usually the lowest note of the harmony and is usually the triad's root.
Regardless of the position of the rest of the notes (i.e. inversion) if the bass note is the root of the chord, the chord is considered to be in root position!
Open vs. Close Position
Chord members (excluding the bass) that are spread out over more than one octave are said to be in open position.
Chord members situated within the same octave are said to be in close position
What is Voice Leading?
What is the goal of voice leading?
Refers to the way that individual voices (notes of a chord) move in a series of chords (chord progression).
The goal of voice leading is to have each voice move as little as possible in a melodically interesting way from chord to chord.
What is the first thing to look for when attempting to voice lead a chord progression?
Look for the common tone (a note found in two successive chords).
Common tone voice leading
Keeping common tones in the same voice when doing chord progressions.
ex. a C chord in 1st inversion (E-G-C) to an F chord in root position (F-A-C)
Chords placed with the two higher voices in treble clef and the two lower voices in the bass clef.
To easily distinguish the voices, the stems of the higher voices in each clef go upward and the stems of the lower voices go downward
Contrary vs. Parallel Motion
When successive chords do not have a common tone (ex. F major to G major) traditional voice leading technique dictates that chord voices should move in the opposite direction of the bass. This is called contrary motion.
A more contemporary sound found in pop and jazz is called parallel motion where the voices of the triad move in the same direction of the bass.
Major 7 Chord
Adds the 7th of the scale (i.e. 1/2 step from the octave) to a chord. Ex. Cmaj7 = C E G B
Dominant 7 Chord
Lowers the 7th of the scale a 1/2 step (i.e. a full step lower than the octave). The interval is a minor 7th from the root.
Minor 7 Chord
Formed by lowering the 3rd of a dominant 7 chord a 1/2 step
Also known as the half-diminished can be formed by lowering the fifth of the minor 7 chord by a 1/2 step
Diminished 7 Chord
Annotated as (o7) is formed by lowering the 7th of a min7(b5) chord by a 1/2 step (i.e. 1 1/2 step below the octave).
Enharmonics are often used to avoid double flats.
List and describe 7th Chord Inversions
Root = typical 7 chord ex. C-E-G-B
1st inversion = root on top ex. E-G-B-C
2nd inversion = root and third on top ex. G-B-C-E
3rd inversion = root, third and fifth on top ex. B-C-E-G
What is a Lead Sheet?
Like the Fake Book, it includes a melody and chord symbols - it is not a full score
What is the best range for creating accompaniment voice leading? Why?
D3 to G4 - allows the chords to sound rich and full but it's not so low as to sound muddy
Uses notes of the current chord in any order. The notes may be used more than once and in different octaves
When can creating a chord tone melody when is a step-wise resolution called for?
When the last note of a chord melody is NOT a chord tone of the next chord, a step-wise resolution to the next chord is necessary.
When the last note of the chord is also a common note of the next chord, then a leap into the next note is possible.
What is a melodic sequence?
A series of at least three repeats of melodic phrases.
Commonly the third one is varied in order to add variety and avoid excessive repetition.
The 4th is often completely different to bring things to conclusion.
What is a Tritone?
An augmented 4th or the enharmonic equivalent a diminished 5th
Often makes descending
intervals (especially large ones) easier to spell and identify. Subtract from 9 and change the modifier unless it's perfect (a minor changes to major, major to minor, augmented to diminished and diminished to augmented).
- ex. What note lies a m6 below G3?
- Go up a M3 (9 - 6 = 3/ m6 to M3) which would be B3 then drop an octave.
- So, the answer is B2 is a m6 below G3.
What eventually happens to disonances?
They resolve to consonances that give them meaning.
Which intervals are consonant?
Major and minor 3rds & 6ths, perfect 5ths and octaves are consonant as well as P4 (except when it occurs above the lowest voice).
Which intervals are disonant?
2nds and 7ths are disonant as well as P4 when it occurs above the lowest voice
Music refers to the highness or lowness of a sound
The letters A through G
Any C up to the next B
What is C1?
The lowest C on the piano keyboard
Parallel minor scale
Ex. C Major scale to c minor scale
- The natural minor scale lowers scale degrees 3, 6, and 7 of the major.
- The harmonic minor scale lowers scale degrees 3 and 6
- The melodic minor lowers the 3rd when ascending and the 3, 6, and 7 descending
General term used to refer to the time aspect of music
how sounds are notated so that they will occur at a predictable moment and in a predetermined pattern
8 counts - two whole notes - notated as a Roman numeral two lying on its side; as a rest it is notated as a Roman numeral one in it's correct orientation
What are the English translations of the following Italian terms?
- Grave = SolemnAllegretto = Moderately fast
- Largo = BroadAllegro = Fast
- Lento = SlowVivace = Lively
- Adagio = SlowPresto = Very fast
- Andante = Moderately slow
- Moderato = Moderate
Typically thought of as metronome marking, it actually stands for Maelzel's metronome after Johann Maelzel who widely promoted the device during the early 19th century.
Beats vs. Meter
Beats tend to be grouped into patterns consistent throughout a passage. The pattern of beats is called meter.
What are the metric accent patterns of the following meters?
Duple = Strong - weak
Triple = Strong - weak - weak
Quadruple = Strong - weak - Less strong - weak
Divisions of the beat.
Durations shorter than the beat are called divisions of the beat.
If the beat is divided into 2 equal parts, it is called a simple beat.
If the beat is divided into 3 equal parts, it is called a compound beat.
A symbol that tells the performer how many beats will occur in each measure, what note value will represent the beat and whether the beat is simple or compound.
A compound time signature informs the musician of the number of divisions contained in a measure and what the division duration is. ex. 6/4 equates to a division of the measure into two beats divided into three each (i.e. two dotted half notes).
What is the top number for single vs. compound meters.
Single meters top numbers are 2, 3, and 4
- Compound are 6, 9, and 12
- (note they are multiples of three of the single meters)
What is an example of a compound single meter?
3/4 time taken in 1
What does the bottom number of a time signature indicate in a simple vs. compound time signature?
Simple = beat value
Compound = division value
Rhythmic figures that stress normally weak beats or divisions
Grouplet (or Tuplet)
Refers to the division of an undotted value into some number of equal parts other than two, four, eight, etc. or
the division of a dotted value into some number of equal parts other than 3, 6, 12 etc.
ex. quarter note into triplet eighth notes or a quarter note/eighth note triplet, etc.
- a dotted quarter noted note into a quarter note duple
Define the following:
D.C. - Da Capo - go back to the beginning
D.S. - Dal Segno - go back to the sign
Alla Breve - cut time
What is one of the most popular chord progressions in Major? in minor? combining both Major and minor?
Major: I - IV - V - I
minor: i - iv - V7 - i
Using both: I - vi - ii - V7 - I
What is transposition?
Rewriting music from its original key to another
What is/are the numeric symbol(s) for a triad 1st inversion? 2nd inversion?
What is/are the numerical symbols for a seventh chord in 1st inversion? 2nd inversion? 3rd inversion?
- 5 = 1st inversion 2 = 3rd inversion (or just a large 2)
When was the Baroque Period?
~ 1600 - 1750
What is figured bass or thoroughbass?
From the Baroque system, it consists of numbers representing intervals above the bass.
In this system, an accidental written by itself (no other numbers) always refers to the 3rd above the bass!
How might a half diminished 7th be written on a lead sheet?
What are diatonic chords?
If a chord is not diatonic, what is it called?
Diatonic chord - A chord made up of notes only found in the scale of that passages key.
Chords in which notes other than those found in the key or passage are called altered or chromatic chords.
Diatonic chords and minor scales
The raised sixth of the harmonic minor as well as the raised and lowered 6th and 7th notes of the melodic minor scale are considered diatonic as well as the notes of the natural minor scale.
Guideline for when to raise or lower the 6th &/or 7th in a minor diatonic chord.
Note: This is a guideline not a rule.
Generally, the 6th &/or 7th will be raised the half step when the notes are ascending by steps and will lower down to the the natural minor when descending by steps.
If a leap is involved, there will eventually be a stepwise goal for that scale degree and 6 &/or 7 will likely be altered according to that goal.
Diatonic Triad types in Major
Major = I, IV, & V
Minor = ii, iii, & vi
- Diminished = viio
- Augmented = none
Common Diatonic Triads in Minor
(Note:because of the variable 6 and 7 , there are more diatonic triads possible)
Major = III, V, & VI (uses natural minor (aka lowered) 6th as root of chord)
Minor = i & iv
- Diminished = iio & viio (uses melodic minor (aka raised) 7th as root of chord)
- Augmented = none
Diatonic seventh chords in Major
Major 7 = IM7
Mm 7 = V7
m7 = ii7
7 = viio
How many diatonic seventh chords are possible in minor?
Sixteen due to the variability of 6 and 7
Common Diatonic Seventh Chords
M7 = IIIM7
Mm = V7
- m7 = i7 & iv7
- o7 = iio7
- o7 = viio7
- Note: When using inversions, the number 7 is not used. Rather the inversion numbers are used. They tell you it's a 7 chord. (The M signifying major is still needed otherwise it will be confused with a Mm chord). ex. IVM65