Beyond the Veil: Behold the Xenharmonic, or, Understanding Microtonal Music

Microtonal music is a subject seldom tackled. First, it’s complex and pretty much endless, and then it’s also quite obscure, being only rarely used in day-to-day context. Therefore, it’s often never even encountered to begin with. With this article, I will try to demystify the theory behind microtonal music so you can understand it, and hopefully appreciate it. I will also hop between the terms microtonal and xenharmonic, as they are interchangeable.

Beyond the Veil: Seventh Chord of a Seventh Chord, or How Major Seventh Chords Work

Welcome to “Beyond the Veil“! In this feature, its name (partially) taken from the Gods of Eden track, we’re going to delve into some theoretical aspect of the music we love in an effort to elucidate the behind-the-scenes workings at play, but in a largely jargon-free manner intended to be accessible to those who don’t necessarily have a music theory background. After covering quite a few different scales here on Beyond the Veil, we’re going to shift gears a tad into the world of chord theory. Today’s topic, the major seventh chord, is something that is absolutely littered across all sorts of music, with its unique tonality making it a particularly effective tool for a musician.

Beyond the Veil: Twelve-Tone Technique

For this week’s Beyond the Veil, I’ll be your substitute teacher. We’re going to look into twelve-tone technique, also called dodecaphony and twelve-tone serialism. It’s a technique used in some of today’s more “intellectual” metal writing. It’s a useful knowledge to possess, as it can add colour to your compositional palette and help you grow as a musician and as a listener as well. So, let’s lift the veil of obscurity on twelve-tone serialism, and let me introduce you to this technique, listeners and musicians alike!

Beyond the Veil: C’est La Voice, or How Melisma Works

Welcome back to Beyond the Veil! In today’s rather short instalment, we’re actually going to shift gears a tad and traverse grounds that have otherwise remained unexplored in this column. So far, we’ve mostly focused on guitar related concepts, particularly within the realm of prog metal and tech death, but this time around we’re going to talk about a concept that pertains more to vocals — namely, a technique called melisma.