What is a Picardy Third in Music?

If you’ve listened to enough classical music or old choral hymns, chances are you’ve likely come across what’s known as the Picardy Third. It is less common in music nowadays, but it’s something foundational in music that is often taught in school.  This post will cover everything we need to know about a Picardy Third, …

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A Guide to Contemporary Classical Music

Contemporary classical music refers to music within the Western art music tradition that was written close to the present day, at least relatively speaking. Whilst the term’s exact meaning is somewhat vague, it generally includes post-tonal music (meaning music that lies outside of the tonal system that was in place for the Baroque, Classical and …

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What is Figured Bass? A Quick Guide

Music can be written down, or notated, in many ways. Different countries and different eras – Classical, Romantic, Baroque, etc. – all have different rules for how to notate a piece of music, and all of the performance markings and articulations that go with it. In this post, we’ll look at one specific notation style, …

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10 Important Composers of the Medieval Period

The history of Western classical music can be divided into six major eras, and the Medieval period is the first of these. It is also the longest, spanning an incredible 900 years, from 500 to 1400AD. Religious music dominated the era, with Gregorian chant perhaps its best-known exponent. And while a relatively small amount of …

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What is a Tritone Substitution?

Music theory as a whole is a very large topic, and it can be used to create some really interesting sounds and colors in a piece of music. It has a lot of rules, but the main rule above all is that any rule can be broken in service of the music. Once you’ve learned …

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What is a Tritone in Music?

If you’ve studied music theory, you have most likely heard the term tritone. It is usually connected with super scary music, like horror film scores or Halloween sounds, or music with a lot of tension that wants to resolve or move away.  In this post we’ll be answering the question: what is a tritone? How …

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What is a Tetrachord In Music?

In music, chords are the main building blocks of harmony and songs in general. There are many different kinds of chords, and each has a different harmonic function and reason why they work in the music. In post we will be defining what a tetrachord is, how it’s used in music and how to create …

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What Is AABA Form In Music?

Like writing or spoken language, all music has a form and structure to it. For example, you shouldn’t just end a verse or a song halfway through a melody line, and certain chord progressions are better for ending songs than others. There are many different types of musical form.  This post will specifically look at …

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An Overview Of The 20th Century Music Era

All the Western classical music periods up until the turn of the 20th century had dominating styles and conventions. Composers tended to stick to these and lots of the music composed during that time had a similar ‘sound‘. But, the 20th century saw composers start to escape from these broad traditions of the era and …

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What is Articulation in Music?

Music is a lot like a spoken language. It has grammar and structural rules that we can use to create phrases and longer passages like movements and symphonies. And just like language, there are specific parameters that can tell us how to play a specific note or chord In this post we’ll focus on what …

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