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File: 1608525700146.jpg ( 125.15 KB , 600x703 , caddd6db8f8b8f488e62e71902….jpg )


I want to understand how you're supposed to play songs on piano. From what I've seen so far, you play the melody with one hand and with the other hand you play the chords, either as full chords or arpeggios. But how do you know which chords you have to play to fit a certain melody?

I already know a bit of music theory so I tried figuring it out on my own. I looked up Katyusha on piano to see which chords are played.


The song is in D minor, and they play the chords in this order:
Dmin x3
Amaj 2nd inversion x4 (Db E A)
Dmin x 2
Fmaj 1st inv. (C F A)
Gmin 1st inv. (D G Bb)
Dmin, Gmin 1st inv. , Dmin, Amaj inv. , Dmin.

I assume that some chords are inverted so that the transition between them is smoother.

They play the same melody on the right hand side throughout the video, but in the beginning they only play the root notes of the chords with their left hand, after that they play the chords in different ways, and then they play the complete triads. And this is my question, how do you know which chord progression fits over a melody?

I tried to see if the chord degrees had anything to do with it. The chords in the key of D minor should be: Dmin (i), Edim (ii dim), Fmaj (III), Gmin (IV), Amin (v), Bbmaj (VI), Cmaj (VII). I imagined in simpler songs like this one you only needed to play chords from the key, but here they use an Amaj (A Db E) instead of an Amin (A C E), and I listened to the song with both an Amin and an Amaj, and I think it sounds better with the Amaj. I guess because when a G is played in the melody over the Amaj it forms an Amaj7 which creates more tension.

I also tried writing the chord progression:
i - i - i - V
V - V - V - i
i - III - iv - i
iv - i - V - i
but I can't really tell if this has anything to do with the melody.

So if I take another simple melody like Bella Ciao for example, can I figure out what chords to play from just that?
Or do I just try to see which chords sound good over it?

I guess what I want to know is in which way the notes in the melody relate to the notes in the chord progression?

>tldr: how does music work


Not a theory chad but I've advice I've heard is: never play 2 adjacent tones together (eg. C + D or C + Dflat). Could that be the reason for using Amaj insread of Amin?

Do you have a sheet music reference for when this occurs in Katyusha?


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I transcribed the version from the video I sent. You can see for example in the third and fourth measures, the Amaj and the G form an A7.

This time I replaced the Amaj with an Amin


I think this doesn't sound quite right, even if everything is in key. The Amin and the G form an Amin7 and it sounds less tense than the A7. Maybe I'm just used to listening to Katyusha with this chord progression, but I wanna know if there's a reason for why this specific chord progression is played over this melody.

I looked up another arrangement:
This one is in A minor (the first part at least), but it has the same chord prg. as the one in the video. This time instead of Dmin to Amaj, it's Amin to E7 (i to V). So I guess this isn't just preference, it's how the song is supposed to be played.

but why?


hahaha like nibba what is music theory like just make pleasant noise and walk way hahahaha


My guess is the chords are played in d harmonic minor not d natural minor the V chord should be Amaj. As for why people like harmonic minor for harmony, IDK. I vaguely recall that the harmony (left hand) is always played in the harmonic minor because "it sounds better". Answering that question is probably a physics or anthropology question.


Fuck it deleted my response.

Basically theory is not prescriptive, it is descriptive. You need to use your ears to decide what chords to
use over a melody.

The other part of the answer to this is that theory can help you discover what chords and sounds you like and you want to use, it is a tool but not the end goal. This tripped me up too.

What will help you discover what chords to use faster is being able to hear stock chord progressions and where they fit.

I-V is the thesis of all western harmony, you need to know that I is home and V is tension everything between that is telling a story.

Not all music has a V but if you can hear when it’s absent you’ll be better off.

Explore stock chord progressions like I-IV-V, I-V, iiVI and the 12 bar blues form. Lot of rolling stones, zeppelin songs are just the blues form.

It’s not fun or immediately gratifying but it’s a step to take you where you want to go.


Me again, lastly

in minor, A is major because of D harmonic scale. We almost always use that scale as our foundation for minor pieces. The C# comes from D harmonic.


Music is a lot like love, it's all a feeling
And it fills the room, from the floor to the ceiling


Yeah, I figured that my question is kinda pointless. I mean, if it were that easy to find chords that fit a melody well, or write a nice melody over a chord progression, there would be no point in composing music. I don't even play piano, I just wanted to see if there was any logic or formula behind why these chords are chosen. I guess there's no simple answer to that. I'll listen to more chord progressions and I'll try to get used to them. I think it's fun to see how music is created.


I didn't think about the harmonic minor. I didn't know it was used specifically to build chords, though I guess that explains the name. When I wrote down the song to see what chords they used I knew I had to look for I-V progressions but since that V chord wasn't in key that confused me because I didn't know where it was taken from. Anyways, thanks for your answers.



One more tip: Anything you can sing, you can hear (and play to an extent.) Learn about solfege or singing scale degrees by their numbers.

(Maybe go for the second option)


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Glad to help a comrade out in any way I can, and this is my wheelhouse.

>From what I've seen so far, you play the melody with one hand and with the other hand you play the chords, either as full chords or arpeggios.

This is the most common way, but you can simplify it a lot if you're willing to put some thought into it. First off, the sustain pedal means that you don't have to play the chords at the same time as the melody to get both sounds playing at the same time. If you lift your right foot each time there is a chord change, and simply add any missing chord tones to the melody, then you can play both the chords and the melody with one hand. You can then take that and either break it up between both hands which makes whatever you are playing a lot easier on a technical level. Alternatively you can use your other hand to add ornaments, bass notes, or other flourishes.

>And this is my question, how do you know which chord progression fits over a melody?

A chord progression fits with a melody when the timing of the two line up such that the melody hits notes that are at consonant intervals with the notes in the chords. Consonant intervals are the root note itself, and the 3rd, and 5th. If you're playing jazz also the 7th and beyond (upper structure harmony baby). It's a pretty simple question to answer, but it's complicated by the fact that you sort of need to break this rule in order to make interesting music. The way you build tension is by using more dissonant intervals, and a good song will build up to a point of tension before coming back to a resolution.


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The other way to think about this is via scales and scales of chords. If the melody is constructed with notes from a certain scale, and the chord progression comes from that same scale, then the two will fit together nicely. Lots of songs use more than one scale though, and thinking about it in terms of intervals is going to give you a deeper understanding. Might be an unpopular opinion but scales are sort of a short cut tbh.


am i wrong or is music writing uniquely difficult to understand?
all i want to know is where to click down the notes in mario paint composer to make a tune, but every intro to music making guide immediately launches into technical language without taking the time to define it properly (let alone trying to dispense with it and dumb things down to a basic level to get the point across.) while building on the assumption your school was sufficiently un-shit that it would give you music lessons.
every other subject i've ever encountered, i've at least been able to get the gist of from reading around a bit, finding increasingly dumbed down explanations to suit my needs, but not music creation.


Nah it's the opposite. Music theory is really quite simple compared to something like math or physics. If they took the time to define terms then everyone would get it and we can't have that. There's gatekeeping in every field but the fact that music theory is really so easy makes it particularly necessary.

What technical language are you having a hard time undertstanding? Intervals are the concept you really need to know, because everything else is ultimately based on them. Kinda like what f=ma is to Newtonian physics.


> I guess because when a G is played in the melody over the Amaj it forms an Amaj7 which creates more tension.
Yes, in minor keys the minor v chord is often made into a major dominant V so there's a leading tone to the resolving root chord.

There's a dissonant tritone interval between the 3rd and 7th notes in the major dominant7 chord, which sounds good when resolved. The minor 7th chord doesn't have the same quality of sounding like the end of a phrase, you'd use it for a middle section that doesn't move anywhere. Prince actually called it the Chicken Grease chord because of its slippery, unresolving quality, as used in the D'Angelo funk song of the same name


File: 1608526040710.jpg ( 1.35 MB , 2560x2057 , Carnival of the Animals.jpg )

Honestly a good example of musical practise routines being used IRL is Carnival of the Animals, as the entire suit builds up piece by peace with relatively simple patterns that combine into a wonderful cacophony.


Anyone practice Hanon? If not, I highly recommend it for piano players


unironically this, just experiment with different chords/progressions until you find something that sounds good. Applying theory is a decent starting point, but it's not going make music for you.


>From what I've seen so far, you play the melody with one hand and with the other hand you play the chords, either as full chords or arpeggios.
thats called homophony, there is also polyphony when there are multiple melodies present at the same time and its a spectrum
>how do you know which chord progression fits over a melody?
the musical form determines that
you can play any chord under any melodynote and it will sound good in the right context
google: functional harmony, harmonization, jazz reharmonization, chord substitutions, common tone modulation, pedal point
https://www.musictheory.net/lessons decent interactive lessons


>and I think it sounds better with the Amaj. I guess because when a G is played in the melody over the Amaj it forms an Amaj7 which creates more tension.
A7 not maj7
a dominant seventh chord resolving is pretty much the basis of modern western music, if you look at the intervals you will see that a tritone moves in contrary motion and the root is descending by a fifth creating our tonic as stable tonal center (which is a whole different magnitude of stability than the root note/chord in a modal piece)
in order to achieve this in minor composers took the natural minor (aeolian) scale and sharpened the 7th scale degree (leading tone), they also tend to avoid the augmented second interval by sharpening the 6th scale degree
the scales that result in that are more for practicing than for actual composition, i would say that the minor tonality draws from a pool of 9 notes instead of 7 (with both the natural and altered 6th and 7th scale degrees)


insert rick beato video here kek


>Basically theory is not prescriptive, it is descriptive.
its both really, even if the prescriptive norms will differ depending on the kind of music



Can this approach lead anywhere good? I havent studied music theory at all and have been just trying to play what keys go good together lol. So far it has improved my coordination and I can make some decent sounds. I just play different chords with the left and different notes with my right at the same time.

However what Im doing is just playing either all white keys, all black, or a mix of black and white keys ive found go good together. Oh and I hold the sustain the whole time because it sounds better.

I dont know how to transition between the three, I feel like theyre each a distinct "level" (donno the term, key, maybe?) and when I try to transition they sound off. How can I merge the three?



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