Category Archives: How to Read Music

Chord Progressions: i-V7-i Theory & Ear Training

Study the i-V7-i Chord Progression (the minor counterpart of the major I-V-I) and you will understand the harmonic tension and release formula that makes an incredible amount of music tick…

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Chord Progressions: I-V7-I Theory & Ear Training

Study the I-V7-I Chord Progression and you will understand the harmonic tension and release formula that makes an incredible amount of music tick…

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Chord Progressions: Secondary Dominants

Commonly-used in classical, pop, jazz, country, and ragtime, Secondary Dominants are a powerful way to expand the harmonic (and melodic) possibilities of music beyond the seven diatonic notes in a major or minor key.

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Chord Progressions: Borrowed Chords

One way to expand the harmonic possibilities of a chord progression beyond diatonic triads is to “borrow” chords from a parallel scale (a scale that has the same key center). The Borrowed Chords substitute (serve a similar harmonic function as) … Continue reading

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Chord Progressions: Roman Numeral Analysis

Harmonic literacy goes beyond knowing the letter name and type of chord being played to understanding how a chord functions in a particulate context. To that end, a common practice for describing chords in functional harmonic terms is to use … Continue reading

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Chords: Seventh Chords You Gotta Know

A Seventh Chord is typically a four-note chord that includes some kind of 7 in its chord structure.  Here is a gallery of the five most commonly-encountered…

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Chords: Triads You Gotta Know

A Triad is a three-note chord.  Here is a gallery of the most commonly-encountered triads: major, minor, diminished, and augmented…

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Chords: Intervals You Gotta Know

An Interval is a two-note chord. Here is a gallery of the most commonly-encountered intervals, each possessing an inherent and unique degree of harmonic consonance or dissonance…

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Chords: Why Study Chords?

Chord study, done right, is essential to understanding how an enormous amount of music works. If you study-practice chords the right way, you will…

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Scales: C Japanese Scale

Compare the Japanese Scale to the C Middle Eastern Scale. Notice the dramatic effect of removing two notes: E (Mi) and B (Ti), creating a whole new flavor that is instantly recognized as Japanese!

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