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Secondary Dominant Chords - What Are They?

In this article we are going to demystify secondary dominant chords and the confusion that often accompanies this music theory topic. Even if you've never heard the term "secondary dominant chords" before, you've probably encountered them regardless of what kind of music you like to play. That's because secondary dominant chords are present in all […]

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Jazz Theory - The Major Bebop Scale

Jazz theory is not a separate subject area from music theory, although many people think that music theory and jazz theory require separate forms of study. Take it from someone who has attended many music theory and jazz theory classes at the university level - it's all the same stuff. So why, then, is jazz […]

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Harmonic Analysis: A Step-By-Step Approach

Harmonic analysis is an incredibly important key in unlocking the mysteries of music. By understanding and using harmonic analysis we can answer questions such as "what was the composer thinking about (musically) when he/she wrote this music?" Or, "what chords are being used to make this song sound so good?" Or, "what role are each […]

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Diminished Scale Theory

Diminished scale theory is usually seen as a dense and confusing topic that is reserved for advanced theory and harmony classes at the university level. Many advanced masterclasses have featured some of the world's greatest musicians talking about how to apply the diminished scale to improvisation and composition. And while diminished scale theory can be […]

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Natural, Harmonic, and Melodic Minor

In our article "Relative and Parallel Minor," we explained the often confusing terms that are associated with the minor scale. in this article, we will learn the differences, as well as how to construct, the natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales. Many students find it easiest to begin with a major scale and use that […]

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What Are Intervals?

What are intervals? "Interval" is simply the term we use in music when we want to measure the distance between two notes.  There are two components to identifying intervals. The first is the quality, whether the interval is major, minor, perfect, augmented, or diminished. The second is the number, whether the interval is a distance of a […]

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What Does the Term "Enharmonic" Mean?

Have you ever been in a musical environment, perhaps a class, lesson, rehearsal, or jam session, and heard someone use the term "enharmonic"? What does the term "enharmonic" mean? "Enharmonic" is a fancy word that means something quite simple - an alternate musical spelling. We use the term "enharmonic" in music when we want to […]

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Modes and Chord Scales (Part 2)

Now that we have learned to identify the various modes of the major scale, let's turn our attention to how we would use this information in a real-life musical situation. Take a look at the chord progression below: What information can you deduce simply by looking at these two measures of music? A few things, […]

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