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Old 12-03-2017, 09:52 AM
jessupe jessupe is offline
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Default Free Theory

Hi, I'm posting this site that my dear old friend has created. This is done purely as a labor of love and is free to use, no fees no gimmicks, just an easy to use site that can help people who are interested in gaining more knowledge of theory for applications of their own composition. I hope some people find it helpful, Richard, the guy who put it together is a life long musician trained by the Navy and has had some interesting jobs as a musician including playing trombone for the posthumous Glenn Miller band.

http://activetheory2100.com/
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:13 AM
mattwood mattwood is offline
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Thanks! I can always use more reinforcement when it comes to music theory. For me it's kind of use it or lose it, and most of the time it's the latter.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:14 AM
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It looks like a good reference for a rising composor. It would be good to read and learn after my fingers are too tired to play anymore from practicing. Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:15 AM
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I am sooooo bookmarking this website. THANK YOU!!!!!!!
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:18 AM
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That is so generous of you. I'm sure that many will appreciate it.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:10 PM
jessupe jessupe is offline
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Thanks guys, well Rich is in his 80's and has seen lots come and go over the years. I know that music has always been a passion of his and he's really put quite a bit of time in to doing this, as I said, as a labor of love and so I'll send this link off to him so he can see some folks appreciate his efforts, I'm sure he'd like that....thanks again for checking it out.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:40 PM
steve s steve s is offline
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Well, I'm impressed. I always suspected there was more to this business. There are still a few things I wish someone could explain to me:

Why does a 7th chord make you "want" to do the dominant chord for that key next, for example, hearing G7 makes you want to play C? What is it about hearing that F note that tells your brain, C has to come next?

How come the black keys are spaced in that goofy way?

Why do minor keys evoke that heavy, somber mood?

Thanks for any insight!
Steve
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:03 PM
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Thank you very much, Jessupe and Rich!

I can tell a lot of thought, time and love for music went into this effort.

Very kind of you both to share it
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:14 PM
Lee Callicutt Lee Callicutt is offline
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Copacetic! A big thank you to Richard.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:30 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve s View Post
Well, I'm impressed. I always suspected there was more to this business. There are still a few things I wish someone could explain to me:

Why does a 7th chord make you "want" to do the dominant chord for that key next, for example, hearing G7 makes you want to play C? What is it about hearing that F note that tells your brain, C has to come next?

How come the black keys are spaced in that goofy way?

Why do minor keys evoke that heavy, somber mood?

Thanks for any insight!
Steve
I'm interested in the answers to these as well
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:20 PM
jessupe jessupe is offline
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Originally Posted by tonyo View Post
I'm interested in the answers to these as well
Now I suppose we could do this with answers all day long, but, Rich saw the post and wrote me in a mail his answer....so here it is................................................ .................................................. .....

to address this question ,"why does a G7 want to resolve to C?" :

A fabulous question with no concrete answer-but here is my take:

I say that we are dealing with two distinct domains here; the domain of math and physics and the domain of human sensation....
Because no one has yet come up with an 'Algebra of Sensation' let's start with the math, Physics of Tonality as we know it in terms of Western Music traditions.

A G7 chord is spelled G-B-D-F....note the interval between the B and F. This is called a 'tri-tone' it serves to divide the octave in halves. (B-F-B) and is sometimes called the flatted fifth...flatted fifths were all over the bebop tunes of the 1950's and served to distinguish a revelation in chord progressions...but this interval is unstable and is the defining interval inherent in dominant seventh chords like a G7....but what is unstable?

Because there exists something called 'tonal gravity' in musical passages there is a mathematical relation that produces an imbalance or TENSION that 'demands' that this tension be resolved by movement of the tri-tone elements....the notes B-F produce the 'dissonant' tonality, or 'quality', so are prime candidates for resolution so let them move to their closest scale members in an ordered manner. The B moves up half-step to C and the F moves down half-step to E,, to complete the transition to a new chord...C-E-G (note common tone of G in both chords, there is a major clue there.)

Another way of looking at this in a mathematical sense is to understand the overtone series of tone partials. This is pretty basic but remember that when you strike a note on piano or strum a string guitar many partial frequencies are produced that are consistent in their physics. There is always a well-defined ladder of ever increasing frequencies in play starting with the fundamental then an octave above then a fifth then another octave then a third and so on into the rarefied frequencies where the natural Augmented 4th (b fifth) live.
Some say that because this partial is so far removed from the fundamental it doesn't 'fit' into coherent music....can't buy that,

I have to defer to a feature of the human condition to satisfy myself that we are dealing with an ESP phenomenon...suppose that you happen to be a healthy young straight male who doesn't get out much....you are walking down the street and coming toward you is a hot young lady-Margot Robbie for ex. dressed in a diaphanous summer dress....would you be surprised if you found yourself activated into a sensation of discomfort or TENSION? demanding a resolution or release? bad example but the TENSION-RESOLUTION is what much of music is all about....and life itself.life could be a flatted fifth looking for salvation.....

play a diminished chord. notice the 2 tritones involved..in C the notes are C-Eb-Gb(F#)-A-C..two tritones are C-F# and Eb-A ...this does give the diminished chord the ability to 'work' in various root movements or cadences (Cadence="to Fall") the root G of that G7 FALLS down a fifth to C. Suggest a look at my on-line manual and check out 'Circle of Fifths' and 'Secondary Dominants'...hope this entertained you ; I don;t believe most of it.

So...why are all those black notes where they are on a keyboard?

Imagine a piano with no black keys. All 12 tones represented in a linear fashion or square matrix of white keys, etc.
now think that you are trying to play an interval with your right hand, an interval of C with the lower Bb...you would have to traverse 13 keys down to fit that interval to you hand; so my logic is that the present setup of black-white keys is based on the limitations of human anatomy;
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:22 AM
steve s steve s is offline
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Thanks for the reply. I'm still trying to digest it.

Any thoughts on the minor issue?

Steve
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:46 PM
jessupe jessupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve s View Post
Thanks for the reply. I'm still trying to digest it.

Any thoughts on the minor issue?

Steve
To summarize Rich's thoughts....There is a mathematical/pitch based reason, as well as an undefined "human" element that "we" "humans" "feel" related to what we hear in "Resolution" it can take many forms and leave us "feeling" a certain way..

."Keys" such as major and minor or "happy and sad" again can be explained, as Rich gave examples, in a pitch/mathematical way, but really, both listeners and composers "feel" these things that , well just are there...Much in a way that we know we have emotions and feelings that are happy and sad, and that in time, we named these felling happy and sad, but I suppose we could have reversed them, or we could call the color orange blue, but for what ever human reason we named things the names we did, and we identify these feeling with those names, happy and sad...

so really what it comes down to is that a good composer/ song writter will be able to convey complex feelings and emotions using sound.

adding lyrics can "pinpoint" the meaning , whereas a long symphonic journey can be laid out where many different feelings can be conveyed to the astute listener in one long piece without saying a word...

When we hear the William Tell Overture {the lone ranger} suddenly via association, many of us feel like jummping on a horse and riding full blast, but even if you had never heard it before as the intro to the show, you'd still associate those types of feelings of "exhilaration" or "charging" more so than say, a tranquil walk on the moors...

and so in a way there is no concrete reason as to why we "feel" these emotions about certain combinations of notes/chord progressions as they change through a sequence of rhythmic time where there is a beginning, middle and end, but they do, and thats why we're all here...

So in this hypothetical situation Rich Posed, if you were a male who was attracted to females, and you saw a very very pretty woman walk by, you would get a certain feeling, you could describe it in so many words, but really when it comes down to it, we'll probably never really know exactly why that is other than you like pretty girls and that they make you feel good when they like you and are being nice to you, and they make you feel sad when they are not and who the heck knows why. We could explain it all in a biological way that could represent a mathematical sort of equivalent to pitch in music, make it all "sciency" but of course that only explains the half of it that's not explainable...

So its good to ponder, but its better to understand that your trying to convey emotion and that you can learn to "string feelings together" which is what its all about, telling a story in sound

Last edited by jessupe; 12-07-2017 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:22 AM
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Todd Tipton Todd Tipton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve s View Post
Why does a 7th chord make you "want" to do the dominant chord for that key next, for example, hearing G7 makes you want to play C? What is it about hearing that F note that tells your brain, C has to come next?
There are already great responses. Let's see if I can say it in a very simple way:

Play the following notes from the C major scale : C, D, E, F, G, A, B

Your ear wants to hear the B go to the C. Remember that. My example didn't sound finished. Like, "Where is the last note? Finish!"

Now, play the following notes from the same scale.: C, B, A, G, F

It may be more subtle, but you ear wants to hear the F go to the E. Remember that, too.

So the B wants to go to the C. The F wants to go to the E. When you play a G7 chord and then a C chord, both happen at the same time. In my examples, you heard that one note want to move to another. With both happening at the same time, that feeling is twice as strong.

Think about the notes in the G7: g, b, d, and f. Both B and F are tendency tones that want to go to C and E.

The notes of a C chord: c,e,and g. The B went to a C, and the F went to an E.
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:59 PM
jessupe jessupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Tipton View Post
There are already great responses. Let's see if I can say it in a very simple way:

Play the following notes from the C major scale : C, D, E, F, G, A, B

Your ear wants to hear the B go to the C. Remember that. My example didn't sound finished. Like, "Where is the last note? Finish!"

Now, play the following notes from the same scale.: C, B, A, G, F

It may be more subtle, but you ear wants to hear the F go to the E. Remember that, too.

So the B wants to go to the C. The F wants to go to the E. When you play a G7 chord and then a C chord, both happen at the same time. In my examples, you heard that one note want to move to another. With both happening at the same time, that feeling is twice as strong.

Think about the notes in the G7: g, b, d, and f. Both B and F are tendency tones that want to go to C and E.

The notes of a C chord: c,e,and g. The B went to a C, and the F went to an E.
yes, it wants to, but why?
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