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A modulation is any change of tonic note or root pitch, so yes you can modulate without actually changing the key signature. Interestingly, changing from C major to C minor is not by this definition a modulation in the strictest sense. But it is common that people will also call this dramatic change a "modulation" as well. I don't believe this is strictly ...


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Like Bob,from the title, I thought you meant C to Cm, the tonic or parallel minor. But, yes, it's a modulation, if a 'minor' one. Forgive the pun.The key signature won't change, although when reading the dots, there is usually the clue of the G# (in Am), as that note is not diatonic to C, but often is used in Am. You could say that the C maj. is Ionian, ...


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@BobBroadley is right, but there's also a point of view in which this particular phenomenon is described by the term "mutation." I don't think the "mutation" people would disagree that it's a modulation, but they find "mutation" more specific and therefore more helpful. (I learned "mutation" myself, but I haven't studied this stuff for a long time so I ...


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Yes, this is a modulation to the relative minor, which shares the same key signature. In classical music, although sometimes in popular music too, accidentals would be used to create strong cadences within the minor key. For instance, the leading note of A minor would be raised to G#, particularly when used as part of chord V, to create a major V chord, and ...


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Some writers, e.g. the User Manual for Finale, are perfectly happy talking about "key signature accidentals."


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I would like to suggest that there are three sources of this so-called "key symbolism": The actual differences in pitch, e.g. take the rich D-flat major triad that ends a Romantic piano piece such as Chopin's "Fantaisie-Impromptu" and transpose it up or down a major third, noting how "muddy" it is in A and how "shallow" it is in F. Conventions and ...


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When someone uses one note from another scale for a small part of a song, that's called an accidental. D# in the key of A minor indicates a few other scales (Hungarian minor, Ukrainian Dorian, etc.) but he probably only cared about the effect of the D#, since it leads very nicely to the E. The most common scale with a D# or # fourth is Lydian, but that's ...


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It is common to use notes that are not in the scale to add color. It's called chromaticism, from the ancient Greek word for color. Think how composers use a G# instead of a G in A minor, for example as a part of an E chord. A semitone creates more tension and the tendency of G# to resolve to (go to) A is more powerful. This is called a chromatic approach ...


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Yes, Ludwig started the Blues. Only kidding, but that note may be considered as part of a secondary dominant. The dominant of A minor is E, maj. or min. The dominant of that is B, with a D#. That's one way to look at it. Another is to say one is not just restricted to writing the notes that are only found in the original key. That's actually quite ...


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The D# could have been a D as well, but a half-step difference creates stronger tension, which is exactly what the composer was (presumably) going for. The same thing often appears in chord schemes, as explained in Tim's answer to a question that I asked a while ago. As to your second question: indeed, E and D# are easier to tell apart (and easier to note ...



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