The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis – In previous articles, we mentioned how specific chord progressions for each genre of music are common. One of the ways composers make small changes and spice things up is by adding more complex chords than the standard major and minor. They also mix it up by changing the tone of the music. Your musical clef is based on the key, and musical modulation is the process of changing that key!

When you look at the score, you immediately see the key signature. It tells you if you’re using a treble or bass clef and shows potential sharps or flats. Look back at the circle of fifths to remind yourself which notes and flats belong to which keys.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

When a composer or pop songwriter writes a song, they usually stick to a certain sound. Then they stick to most of the main notes of that scale. However, in blues, jazz and rock genres, they add a flat 3

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Comments. Although blue notes are sometimes added, most popular songs stick to the center, or key, and maintain chords that belong to a progression like this:

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

In fact, most songs maintain a similar chord progression, and many successful compositions consist of a simple major scale. However, much of the best music is written using musical modulation. Changing the key of your music can create amazing soundscapes, especially if you try one of the changes below.

Modulation allows you to make the music seem more alive; you can go from happy major keys to sad minor keys and back. Being able to shape successfully allows composers to control the atmosphere and mood of their songs. But before you dive into the genres, here’s a quick listen to some examples of well-known musical trends:

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

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This is the easiest modulation to do and explain (also known as diatonic modulation), you just have to look at the dominant chord that the key shares. If you look at the graphic above, if you play in C, the best pivot key is the key of G. The circle of fifths is a quick and good way to quickly see which notes are close to each other and have similar notes and chords. This Queen song has the verse in the key of G and the chorus in the key of D, which is an easy and great transition. It matches the G musically, but provides an ascending feeling by switching to D.

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There are several variations of this modulation, but they must all share a common note in the scale and thus sound similar. A great way to learn tonality and jazz playing is to practice modulation while warming up with rotating chords. Of course, it is also possible to transpose with a normal single tone, which has a similar name and is called common pitch modulation. Whether you call it a common chord, key, diatonic scale, or relative minor, they all mean tones that share similar notes and chords.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

Chromatic modulation is done by moving a note or chord up or down a semitone to a new note. It’s easy because your movement is limited every time, but that doesn’t always mean it’s an easy way to shape.

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Take this video as an example, it looks pretty complicated so don’t let it get overwhelming. But notice the natural transition from F# to F around the 2:30 minute mark. This simple tonal change led to a whole new key change in the music!

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

Again, learning these video and music formats can get complicated very quickly. This is normal and the picture will become clearer as you discover new musical puzzles. The point of modulation is that we are changing keys and we can use a variety of techniques to sound good while changing.

Remember that enharmonic notes mean they are the same note, just marked by pitch, e.g. the notes F#/Gb. Remember that major chords start on 1

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

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Notes on the scale (and minor 1, b3, 5). If we add a seventh note to the chord, we can make a diminished seventh note (1, b3, b5, bb7) or a dominant seventh note (1, 3, 5, b7).

This can seem a bit confusing, as enharmonic modulation requires a fairly solid grasp of music theory. That’s fine though, you just have to worry about knowing why we use this formulation. By changing the notes in these seventh chords, we can easily move to other chords.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

In the video below, the Ab is changed to the enharmonic notation G#, which is then used as the base note of the new chord. Musically, it’s a great way to slip into another chord in a song.

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This form of modulation is very simple, you keep the center but change the mode. You basically go from major to minor or vice versa. If your key starts on A, you can parallel shape to Am very smoothly. From there you can move another minor key to a diminished chord. Like the color movement, this is very basic.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

In the following songs, the key is the same, but the verse is in minor and the chorus is in major.

Phrase changes are sudden and immediate changes in pitch, with no similarity or transition leading up to the change. So far we’ve used common notes, chromatic jumps, and split seventh chords to shift our tonal center. Mainly because these common tones often work well together. Because the phrase has been so quick, it is done with at least one closely related key.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

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If you need to jump to a key that jumps too far, you can use a series of closely related keystrokes to get there. This is called chain formation. When trying to move to other keys, you can use the various methods above to get there!

Or you can do a sudden key jump like in this song, going from Fm to Gm around 2:50.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

Also in this famous song there is a verse in C and then a chorus in D, now that you are aware of the change, you can see how the mood changes, it’s almost like another song!

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This is why knowing your modulation is so important when you write, because you need to have a solid understanding of where you are in your key and where you want to go next!

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

The real answer to when to model is when the composer wants it! You’ve seen the rules, a few different methods, and it works. Probably a little too much music theory at this point, but that’s okay! Change your pitch when you feel the need! Or most importantly, try molding. Play these chords on your piano;

Now, if we’re writing a bridge for the popular piece C F G C, it’s logical to use Am-Em because it matches the key of C, and we get the song;

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The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

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This bridge sounds good, not scary. But we should set our songwriting goals higher! We adjust the key of the bridge and turn to G, so Am-Em becomes Em-Bm;

It’s not a crazy difference, but the beginning of how to make a really great song. The second bridge has more emotion due to the fast pitch swing. If you find that going from Bm back to C doesn’t work, add a G to even out the modulation.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

As you work on chord progressions, use the chart above to experiment with musical modulation. Use the main methods we discussed above and even try other variations. The rules of music are barely there, just learn to follow, once you understand modulation you can break all the rules you want! How do you play electric guitar? If you’re trying to learn to play electric guitar, you probably know it’s a daunting prospect. There are many factors to consider, so we’ve brought you the ultimate beginner’s guide to playing the electric guitar.

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There’s nothing cooler than swinging an electric guitar, but it’s not as easy as it seems. All masters have gone through the process of picking out a guitar, amp and some pedals and sitting down to practice.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

Before you make a costly mistake or develop bad habits, it’s important to follow expert guidance. If you’re wondering what it takes to play an electric guitar, you’ve come to the right place.

When it comes to playing the electric guitar, there are many things involved. Unsurprisingly, there are many divisive issues in the electric guitar world, with guitarists constantly bickering. Whether it’s the Telecaster vs Les Paul debate or the Ibanez vs Gibson debate.

The Musician's Guide To Theory And Analysis

Music Theory And Composition: A Practical Approach: Stone, Stephen C.: 9781538101230: Books

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