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Song can be played as:

Main Riff: F#m(F#5) A B

Bridge: E Riff E C#7

Chorus: D A E F#7, D A E C#7 -> Main Riff Again

I am struggling on harmonic functions. I am not sure whether the song is in Aeolian or Dorian Mode, so I wondered how the song looks in both A and D key and transcribed (and referred from now on as in A minor) in order to easily spot if its minor or dorian

Am CD, G Riff GE7, -> F C G (Am)E7

Dm F G, C Riff CA7, ->BbF C (Dm)A7

First thing I notice is verse arpeggio is composed by notes A C E G D = Am7add11/G which leads to an ambigüity between Aminor(Ddorian) and Adorian(Dmixo) (indeed, it could be played as a Ddorian=Aminor D7sus2(add6)/G)

The same goes for the voice, it hits all "pentatonic" notes so we really don't know if he is singing in Aminor or Adorian, until he hits "BUT BEFORE TOMORROW LINE", where he is hitting a G# over the E7 chord, which is out both keys ironically, leading to a b3,b6 (Hm) if we are in aeolian and just a b3 if we are in dorian. This is exactly what it shocks me. It would have more sense to consider this E7 chord as the classic temporary move to the Harmonic Minor, but then if we consider the piece in minor, the D chord at the end of the phrase must be some modal interchange or V-of-V, but it does not sound like going out the scale.

Could somebody shed some light? Thanks!

By the way chorus is then in Cmajor (Flydian) on my am trasposition, it could be a clue.

EDIT: I think the key question is wondering what is occuring when C#7 sounds (E7 in the key of A, an A7 in the key of D)

EDIT 2: I realized is pretty close to some harmonic functions of the House of the Raising Sun, this could help: http://www.guitar-music-theory.com/bbpress/topic.php?id=59

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Sooo...what are you asking? Also, try to rephrase your query so that it's more broad than pertaining to a single song. –  jjmusicnotes Jul 14 '13 at 17:51
You seem to be assuming that there was a specific form of music theory strictly adhered to during the composition of this song. Unlikely. –  Matthew Read Jul 14 '13 at 21:31
There is no reason to suspect that one particular scale/key would be used for a song's entirety. Lots move subtly around natural/ harmonic minors with Dorian thrown in for good measure.I tried to listen, but good taste stopped me after just 1 minute - sorry........ –  Tim Jul 15 '13 at 6:25
You could ask a Gallagher brother... and they wouldn't know. –  slim Jul 15 '13 at 12:51
I don't think it's fair to attack this question based on it's scope, or to put it down as a poor song. It was a massive hit in Britain regardless of your opinion on Oasis, and an explanation of how it was likely made would be great information for the site. I'll answer fully once I've had a play through, but on the modulation it's worth exploring Modulation using the circle of 5ths. –  Alexander Troup Jul 15 '13 at 16:24

1 Answer 1

I don't know this song (and having a beer in the sun, so listening is not realy an option, haha) but I think I can help you though.

First of all, I would like to advise you to write in the same key if you want this kind of info, it's much easier to see what is the "odd thing" here (more about the "odd thing" below)

Secondly, you should ask yourself the question why you would like to know this in this context. As we would use it in jazz (or more harmonic based music like the Beatles etc) then you can't really tell from the information provided.

But, if you want to know it for soloing on it and for playing additions then the main question is: what are the used structures. The chorus contains F#, C#, G#, (A#, but dominant) So it would look like that "A" is the main key. No dorian here.

About the main riff, I would guess Dorian, butjust because in this V, bVII, I it most of the time is Dorian because the G would be b9 on the V.

But... If it's for soling it doesn't matter, if you want the b13, b9 sound, then you're there. Listen to Miles' solo on Tutu (same progression)

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I am trying to understand harmonical functions simply. Chorus is the easy part, as it's simply Dlydian in the original key of C, or F lydian trasposed to Am/C as I did. My question is more addressed to the bold chords in the transcripton to Am and Dm, that are coincident to the tricks in House fo Raising Sun –  user1352530 Aug 10 '13 at 11:48

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