I have been doing practice exams and having trouble with modulation. This was the modulation question.

enter image description here

Am I correct? If not, what did I do wrong and how should I do it? Thank you.

  • Doesn’t it tell you if you’re right or wrong?
    – iMerchant
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 9:57
  • @iMerchant not on practice exams, unfortunately.
    – Bensila
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 9:59
  • I think that E# leads to F#minor on the first line Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:05
  • @Shevliaskovic - it could equally lead to F# or F#m. As E# is the leading note for both.
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:15
  • 2
    The question is based on a very "19th-century" style of music theory. To be honest, I wouldn't consider that the example modulates from B minor at all. There are a couple of secondary dominants, and the final II-V-I cadence changes the II to a Neapolitan chord, but most people wouldn't call those "modulations" any more.
    – user19146
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 15:51

3 Answers 3


I'm afraid I have to give my opinion that you've got them both wrong.

I think it's pretty clear where we get to at the end of the first line. That E# is a strong clue. (And we can remind our 'jazz harmony' collegues that a 'chromatic mediant relationship' is nothing new.) The second line is less clear. I don't think there's a anything worth calling a modulation at all, though both E minor (that D# is the clue) and C major are visited.

I can't see where you got D major from, but if it did occur I suggest you call it the 'relative major' rather than 'relative key'.

Ideally, you would now take my reply and any other constructive replies you get to your teacher and discuss whether he agrees, and why. Is this possible?


Adding to the first answer, the first mod is to either F# or F#m, then, as Laurence states, there is hardly a mod to either C or Am, so I guess those are answers which could do. Seems a bit vague to me. Whether that's the intent, don't know. Some exam questions are either written like that, or just not well written!

  • I've found that the AMEB is a rather obscure examination board, so what you've said makes sense. Unfortunately, I can't change that! Thanks very much anyway!
    – Bensila
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 10:30
  • I love the way you get more upvotes for saying 'I agree with Laurence' than I got for the answer!
    – Laurence
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 16:56
  • Be fair! I gave you a good one a couple of weeks ago! Returned favour?
    – Tim
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 21:47
  1. B minor (F# C# A#)
  2. F# minor (F# C# G# E#), A#(non-chord note)
  3. E minor (F#, C natural, D#)
  4. B minor (F# C# A#)

I am a new learner. As I want to recognize the key and a modulation, I am happy to find this exercise. Thank you.

  • Hi may. Can you please articulate why you have chosen these answers. Otherwise they are not of any value to future visitors, and you are likely to just get more downvotes.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 9:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.