I'm not familiar with the site (Music.SE) or its Meta.

There's a question I'd like to ask but I'm not sure if you'll like it.

I'd like to:

  • Post the first line of a (country) song -- 5 measures -- including the melody and the guitar chords
  • Observe that the chord progression is G, D, Em, C, G (the key is in G)
  • Observe that in every measure except one, all the notes of the melody match one or more notes in the corresponding chord
  • Ask about the exception, for example as follows

"In the penultimate measure, the melody has four notes, of which only one matches one of the notes in the chord (the C chord); the other three notes aren't in the chord. Maybe it sounds a bit dissonant when I play it, less harmonious than other measures (in which all melody notes belong to the chord).

  • The melody itself sounds fine, by itself; but why did the composer pick the C chord, of all possible chords, for this measure (i.e. for these melody notes)?
  • Is there a different chord they could have chosen, and why would that chord be suitable?
  • Is "a bit dissonnant" a feaure rather than a bug, e.g. because "that tension is resolved" in the last measure
  • Is there something, in the the relationship between the notes of the melody and the chord, that ensures it's not very dissonant (apart from their all being in the same key)?

I don't know if this is too theoretical, too broad, too beginner's-level, asked before, or etc.

If it's not suitable, is there a way to revise it to make it more suitable?

If it is suitable, is there a specific way to tag it?

  • 1
    BTW notes melody notes in the chord are often called 'chord tones', while those not in the chord are 'non chord tones'. You might find some relevant info in existing questions by searching for those terms... Apr 29, 2018 at 23:30
  • 2
    That pretty well answered my question, thank you (especially, the last part of it)! I.e. the measure in question is like the "Example of nonchord tones" in Wikipedia's Nonchord tone article. I'm not sure whether another chord would do (I guessed a G would be OK); maybe the C chord is chosen for the chord progression as much as for the melody, or something like that.
    – ChrisW
    Apr 29, 2018 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


The material you have here is fine, but you're asking multiple questions in a single Stack Exchange "question", and that generally is considered "too broad". We would rather you split it up. In this case, asking one question for the first to bullet points and a second for the third and fourth bullets seems reasonable to me.

If you feel like each question leads from one to the next, then you might try asking the first question and seeing what kinds of answers you get, then move on to the other.

  • Thank you. Part of my reluctance to ask was that I guessed this topic might have come up before on this site; but (not knowing the word "nonchord tone"), I didn't know how to search for it.
    – ChrisW
    May 1, 2018 at 12:23

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