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Song Of Myself from Nightwish ends with following words:

And there forever remains the change from G to E minor

Seems that it's reference to the music theory, but I know too little of it to understand it's meaning.

Can somebody please explain the meaning of "change from G to E minor" or maybe describe possible interpretations?

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closed as off-topic by American Luke, Matthew Read Jul 1 '13 at 5:46

  • This question does not appear to be about music practice, performance, composition, technique, theory, or history within the scope defined in the help center.
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the meaning of a song's lyrics. –  American Luke Jun 30 '13 at 16:59
@Luke It may seem so, but song's lyrics actually contains reference to the music theory which has it's meaning per se. –  tenshi Jun 30 '13 at 18:38
I can also just ask "What can 'change from G to E minor' possibly mean?", but it would be probably easier to answer this question with some context information. –  tenshi Jun 30 '13 at 18:49
That was an auto-generated comment. Questions about the meanings of lyrics are off-topic here. If you have specific questions about music theory or other on-topic topics here, feel free to ask. –  American Luke Jun 30 '13 at 19:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

E minor is the relative minor of G, just as Am is the relative minor of C.

One of the ways these chords are related, is that they share 2/3 of their notes - E-G-B vs G-B-D.

The chord shift from a major to its relative minor is a very common one indeed.

We can only speculate as to what deeper meaning the lyricist intended (if any).

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Thanks! This actually a great clue. It probably should be it. Now that I know what to search for, I googled it a little bit and seems, as you said, that the change of progression from major to its relative minor is pretty common and often used to change the emotional tone of the song. (I even swept the dust off my old good guitar in order to experience it myself :) –  tenshi Jun 30 '13 at 20:49
You might add: while the cords share 2/3 of their notes the scales consist of the same notes. –  guntbert Jul 4 '13 at 19:41

This is in similar vein to Cole Porter's 'Every Time We Say Goodbye' where the lyrics are "from major to minor" i.e. happy to sad. Ironically, the chord change is IVm to bVII9. Clever or what? In the above sample, however, it may be a subtle change from happy to sad. The person to ask will be the lyricist; anything else, pure supposition.

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