What is the name or concept that explains or refers to when chords become other chords if you move them one step up or down? For example, B♭ Major becomes A Major once it's moved a step down, and vice versa (A major becomes B♭ Major when it's moved a step up). Is this the same as key modulations as well?


The concept you refer to is called Transposition, which is moving one or more notes up or down by a given amount. You can transpose individual chords, or phrases, or entire pieces.

For example, if you have a piece in C major, and transpose it up a whole step, the resulting piece will be in D major. If the piece modulates partway through, for example, from C to G (up a fifth), then the transposed piece will modulate from D to A (also up a fifth).

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  • thank you very much for your answer, also how could i incorporate transposition into a key modulation is it possible? – Janice Cee Jul 31 '16 at 0:13
  • I already answered what happens when you transpose a piece that has a modulation. – Caleb Hines Jul 31 '16 at 0:52
  • thank you also is there anyway you can give more of an example of the modulations from one key to another, and part way modulations in more of a simpler form, im really new to the theory. much appreciated . – Janice Cee Jul 31 '16 at 1:07
  • Modulation is not the same as transposition, and works entirely differently. Transposition is playing an entire piece of music in a different key. Modulation is moving from one key to another inside a piece of music. Don't think of them as different aspects of the same thing. The simplest way to modulate is to play a chord which is common to the key you are leaving and the key you want to go to, and follow it with more chords from the target key. For example C F C G (common chord) D7 G, and now you can go on in G. Or a (lower case=minor) E7 a F G7 C will move you from a to C. – BobRodes Jul 31 '16 at 7:56

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