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Verse is in G major key

Then it comes bridge: Am B7 Em A7 Am D C

And then a typical C lydian progression (G major again) for the chorus

Id like to understand whhich modulations are occurring in the bridge. I am not sure if they are chromatic or full, and when are they exactly happening, for example, last C sounds itself as changing the key instead of returning home, so I am forgeting something.

Is it two scales or three mixed there?

I mean from Gmajor, for a while, theres an alternating change in basic grades at least twice:

  • D->D# or E->Eb, I think it's the D that is being substituted and
  • C->C# or D->C#, I think it's the C in that case

Which are the scale degrees altered to the new notes? For instance if I substitute B7 for Ebº, should I call it D#º?

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closed as too localized by Matthew Read Jun 13 '13 at 21:41

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question is too specific to be of use to anyone else. I would consider asking a question like "How can I distinguish chromatic and full modulations?" rather than focusing on a specific piece. –  Matthew Read Jun 13 '13 at 21:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Let's see:

Am B7 Em A7 Am D C

The Am-B7-Em is a modulation from G to its relative minor Em. Am-B7-Em is just the IV-V-I cadence in the Em key.

The Em A7 Am is a little deception. We expect to hear something like Em A7 Dm (a II-V-I of the Dm key, but we don't get the Dm).

I'm hearing the Em A7 as a II-V7 which does not resolve, similarly to a hanging V at the end of a turnaround, and then the Am D C is a new idea. I'm also sensing the possibility that the Am A7 D C may be a temporary shift into an A tonality where we have a bluesy parallel A mixolydian/A dorian mood going on. The overlay of the A7 and Am helps to stabilize the idea that the root note is now A. If this was an instrumental break, the soloist might use these modes. Of course Am D and C also belong to G major, of which A dorian is a mode, so it can transition to rest of the tune more or less smoothly.

It all has to be heard in context to confirm these hunches, of course.

Update after hearing audio:

The A7 here is common device used over minor keys: an alteration of IVm to IV7 (in this case still in the key of Em) It brings in the dorian mode over the minor key and is also part of a common device involving the chromatic notes V V# VI above the root. (To hear this, sing the notes B, C, C#, C, B while playing the chords Em, C, A7, C, Em.

My first interpretation was closer that the A7 ends a phrase, and the Am starts something new. It appears that Am D C is just a II-V-IV in the key of G. There seems to be a longing for the plagal cadence IV-I, but the I never sounds. Where the big rest occurs at 0:26, my brain hears a resolution to a G which isn't there.

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I added an audio link to the bridge at the end of my post. It starts with a strummed G and then directly to the bridge. Thank you! –  user1352530 Jun 13 '13 at 19:15
Man you are awesome. Indeed, I cut just beofre the last chord on the end for the chorus, which was C, that is why the resolution to G sounds bad to you at the end, typical lydian IV-V-I-IV on Gmajor. By the way, how would you spell then a possible subtitution for B7, D#º or Ebº? I mean that note isnt there on G major. –  user1352530 Jun 13 '13 at 19:52
@user1352530 B7 has notes from outside G major, but it is entirely within E minor (harmonic or melodic minor!) The D# note is simply the leading tone in E harmonic/melodic minor. The D# rather than Eb spelling seems more appropriate because the E natural minor's D note is raised half a step to create the leading tone. As an accidental, it would be a sharp. –  Kaz Jun 13 '13 at 21:14

Lots of bridges (but not all) are an even number of bars - often 8 (as in middle 8), so there may be a bar missing. However, substituting for the B7, needs to be called D#dim, to keep it all in sharps - simpler. You could also try using F#m7b5 which comes from Gmaj.

There is a certain amount of V-I going on in the bridge. Yes, the C sounds a bit odd. Often (but not always ! ) that section ends on a dominant to take it back to tonic at the start of the next verse.

The D# is the leading note to get into Em, and the C# is the leading note to get into D. These are common tricks to modulate - the A is what I call the 'dominant dominant' of G. A kind of II-V-I movement found in loads of songs.

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Wow! I did not noticed it. But it is 7 chords with a 8 quarters strumming each one. I don't understand "to keep it all in sharps" I suggest is D# because Amajor becomes A(#5) (or F#m mH) somewhat during that stage. So I guess it's the D from the scale becoming D# and not the E becaming Eb. By the way, the C doesn't sound odd but magic, I think it is difficult to imagine it without the melody that gives sense to everything. –  user1352530 Jun 13 '13 at 16:17
Sorry I meant Gmajor becomes G(#5) (or Em mH) –  user1352530 Jun 13 '13 at 16:30
If you keep the B7, it will have D# rather than Eb in it.When you read music, it's easier to use all sharps or all flats where possible.I read a song live some time ago, and it was in Emaj. Someone had written Ab min, and it completely threw me ! G#min would have been good........ –  Tim Jun 13 '13 at 17:52
The problem is that indicated note is not part of the scale of the key, and so, I am not sure which is the enharmonical theotetical convention, I guess it depends on whats the original altered note that makes it a different key (and possibly a non-diatonic key if there is such a thing). But we need to know beforehand this key we are moving to then in order to know what is happening. –  user1352530 Jun 13 '13 at 19:00

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