6

http://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/view/danny-elfman/the-simpsons-main-title-theme

how did the theme go from C lydian to B lydian to E lydian to C lydian to Db lyian?

how did they (modulate) transit , how did those transititions "work" and sound good, etc.?

any tips?

10

You might almost say they didn't "work" in terms of sounding good as much as those transitions help make the music sound whimsical. It's not like they fit inside some sacred rules of harmony as much as they broke the rules in a certain way that makes that theme effective in setting the tone for the show.

Also the main motive is repeated (more or less) in each "key" so that keeps things connected as opposed to just randomly jumping all over the place.

  • you have any tips on how they modulated modes? – Izu Izzy Apr 10 '15 at 18:00
  • 2
    Seems to be a lot of what a music theory professor I once had called, "crash and go". – Todd Wilcox Apr 10 '15 at 18:19
3

I agree to @ToddWilcox: The simpson theme broke all "sacred" rules, plus, it seems that the composer WANTED to create a LYDIAN theme.

Since the lydian mode is rather unusual for untrained ears, he repeated the theme in multiple keys in order to fix the lydian sound.

And by the way: If you see Db as the subV of G (Db is a tritonus below G), then in fact you have two descending fifths: B->E and G->C !

However, in contrast to traditional harmonics, everything is lydian here. So in fact, you have a sort of traditional harmonics, but it is made "weird" by using the lydian mode all over.

  • thank you so much . what chords where the chords used to help modulate between the scales? like the pivot chord? or is this similar to how to modulate in a fugue ? like a modulating sequence descending 5ths sequence with a lydian chord progression? im still a little confused – Izu Izzy Apr 20 '15 at 3:48

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