marching (musical theory)

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Senior Member
Hello all,

I'm afraid this is going to be a bit technical.

The sentence reads
The study eventually titled No. 1 revolves around marching major triads in two tempos at once, seven-against-four
(emphasis added)

The problem here is that we talk of "melodic or harmonic marches" (litteral translation) in French but, from what I've seen, the English seems to be less specific. I'd like you to confirm this difference in meaning.

For instance a melodic sequence like E D E F E, followed by F E F G F, would be called a "march" in French.

In turn, an harmonic "march" would be something like the famous classical chord progression
Am - Dm(7) - G(7) - C(M7) - F(M7) - (half-dim).B - E(7) and back again.
with the systematic use of an ascending 4th, followed by a descending 5th, which was used a lot by people like Bach or even pop song composers (I will survive)

As a little bit of research showed, it seems the meaning of "marching triads" is more general in English.

Therefore, my question is
Does the concept of "marching triads" (or just "marching" for that matter), in English include the idea of a systematic repetition of intervals? (as opposed to actual notes or chord root-notes).

Any help appreciated
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm no musical expert, JM, but in my limited knowledge "marching triads" suggests a rhythmic pattern with no indication of the chord progression.


    Senior Member
    US English

    The English term for what would be called a "march" in French is "sequence". I've studied music theory at the college level, and have never heard of any other term for this concept. Therefore, I suspect that in the example you quote above, the writer is using the term idiosyncratically, and is probably trying to describe the general sound of the piece - I would guess that marching here refers to rhythmic repetition in general.
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