What are Altered Chords?

Altered chords are chords that are modified or "altered" from their basic major or minor triad or seventh chord structure by changing one or more of their notes. 

The alterations usually involve raising or lowering the fifth, ninth, or eleventh notes of the chord, and are used to create a more dissonant, tense, or colorful sound

In jazz and other styles of modern music, altered chords are often used to create tension …

What are Secondary Dominants?

Secondary dominants are chords in music theory that function as temporary dominants to a chord that is not the tonic, or home, chord. 

They are called "secondary" because they are not part of the original key or scale of the piece, but are instead borrowed from a different key or scale. 

A secondary dominant is typically a dominant chord (V or V7) that is applied to a chord other than the tonic …

What is Tritone Substitution?

Tritone substitution is a common harmonic technique used in music, particularly in jazz and other forms of popular music. 

It involves replacing a dominant seventh chord with another dominant seventh chord that is a tritone (three whole steps) away. 

For example, in the key of C major, the dominant seventh chord is G7.  The tritone interval within the G7 chord is between the notes B and F.  By replacing the G7 chord …

Do I need Harmony?

What is harmony? Why is it important? Why a pianist should learn it? 

I like to define harmony as the subject that makes the various reasons of music understood. 

Music is full of rules and these rules are precisely determined by harmony.

If you want to express yourself in an authentic way, be able to play a piece or compose your own songs at your best, you must absolutely learn all these rules …

What is musical phrasing?

As pianists, we are often preoccupied with playing the correct notes dictated within the score, especially as the music we play becomes more and more technical and complicated. 

How we play those notes and the musical decisions we make not only impacts the overall sound of the piece but is also how we express ourselves creatively as pianists. 

These phrasing decisions are not only how we interpret the music but how we …