Music theory for music production explained

I’m not going to explain everything using ledger lines. I know how that hurts. Definitely, you must know some music theory which will help you while producing music. you will have a better workflow while producing music if you know some important aspects in music theory like the chord progression, cadence, tension chords etc. Here in this post ill explain to you the important aspects which will help while producing music.

Intervals:

Intervals are the very most important aspect of music. yes, not just in theory. Every aspect of music revolves around intervals. That is why I wanted to explain this topic first. So that you could connect all other topics with intervals.

It will help you in creating the exact melody which runs through your mind. How because when you could find the intervals between two notes in your mind you could easily draft it in your instrument or the DAW.

What are intervals in music?

The distance between two notes. Yes, you got it correct. It is the distance between two notes. There are two types of intervals.

  1. Harmonic Interval
  2. Melodic Interval

And there are two ways to identify an interval

  1. Forward Interval
  2. Backward (0r) Inversion of Intervals

Harmonic Interval:

When two notes are played at the same time and finding interval to those notes are called as a Harmonic Interval.

Melodic Interval:

When two notes are played successively and finding intervals to those notes are called as a melodic interval.

To know more about intervals refer to this article.

Cadences:

What is a cadence?

Cadence is how a harmony is landing (ie) How a particular chord or a note ends. In what color they are landing.

Everything in music has a color, A feel. So when a musical phrase is ending, It must have a color knowingly or unknowingly.

There are four types of cadences.

  1. Perfect (or) Authentic Cadence
  2. Plagal Cadence
  3. Imperfect Cadence
  4. Interrupted (or) Deceptive Cadence

Perfect (or) Authentic Cadence

A perfect cadence is where a harmony ( Chord ) ends completely. Let me explain you with an example.

Consider your original is in C major. And there is a chord progression which is for 4 bars. So let us have each chord for each bar.

Bar 1: C Chord ( Root Chord )

Bar 2: F Chord ( Perfect 4th Interval )

Bar 3: G Chord ( Perfect 5th interval)

Bar 4: C Chord ( Root Chord )

Here chord ” G “had moved to Chord ” C”. That gives a completeness to the phrase.

Take a reference of the cadence chart below and for an elaborate content refer to this article about cadence.

Type of chords and inversion :

Don’t just use a major chord or a minor chord in your song. There are many other chords which might suit and elevate the phrase. You might use a major chord for a happy feel and a minor chord for the sad feeling. That might suit, but that sounds usual. That doesn’t elevate your melody.

Use these below chords for a better sounding.

  • Major Seventh

Eg: C-E-G-B

  • Minor Seventh

Eg: C-E-G- B

  • Dominant Seventh

Eg: C-E-G-B

  • Major Sixth

Eg: C-E-G-A

  • Minor Sixth

Eg: C-E-G-A

  • Diminished Seventh

Eg: C-E♭-G♭-A

  • Half-Diminished Seventh

Eg: C-E♭-G♭-B♭

Play and get the feel ( Colour ) of each and every chord. So that you could use it in your composition.

Now let us get into another important topic called the inversion of chords. Why is the inversion of chords important in music production?

Many peoples aren’t aware of the importance of inversion of chords. Inversion of chords might chance the entire color of the phrase. The phrase might sound simple, Very simple. But if you put the correct inversion which the melody demands it will sound very complete and full.

Types of Inversions:

First Inversion:

Consider ” C ” Chord ( ie ) C-E-G.

Since the name indicated ” 1st “, the first note of the chord will be shifted to the last. So the first inversion will be E-G-C.

Second inversion:

yes, you guessed it right. The Second inversion of the C major will be G-C-E

Since we have just 3 notes in a triad we’ll have only two inversions. Consider 4 noted chords, for example, C major seventh chord It is C-E-G-B. This chord will have three inversions.

First inversion: E-G-B-C

Second Inversion: G-B-C-E

Third inversion: B-C-E-G

Likewise, all the four-note chords will have 3 inversions which will sound different comparing with root position chord.

Conclusion:

While composing a song we might get stuck at a different level. We must encounter everything and make our composing session a better time. Intervals are the major part of music which you have to encounter. There are just two types of an interval. Once you are done with intervals you must get to know about cadence. cadence is where how a harmony or a note lands. There are four types of cadence ( Perfect (or) Authentic Cadence, Plagal Cadence, Imperfect Cadence, Interrupted (or) Deceptive Cadence ). And there are other types of chords than major and minor where you could use in your composition ( Major Seventh, Minor seventh, Dominant Seventh, Major Sixth, Minor Sixth, Diminished seventh, Half-Diminished Seventh ). Using these chords will make your melody sound different. And finally the chord inversions. For a triad, there are two inversions ( First inversion & Second Inversion ). For a four-note chord, it has three inversions ( First inversion, Second Inversion & Third inversion ).