I am wondering if any of you are able to help me with this question regarding modulation. An example would be E Minor to B Major. Does Bach ever use this?



  • 1
    This is an interesting question. I just quickly looked through the first 120 of Bach's 371 chorales in the Riemenschneider edition, and not a single one modulated to the major dominant! I'll keep looking over the next day or so and get back to you.
    – Richard
    Sep 24 '18 at 23:54

I've not seen this described in any texts. Normally in the minor one, modulates to III or v. A modulation to V would not be "closely related" nor is it a chromatic median. It's not discussed in some statistical analyses of Bach. http://www.lukedahn.net/ChoraleIndex.htm

I'd guess that such a modulation would seem like a prolonged dominant. According to Schoenberg's comments, to modulate to E-major from a-minor, one would have to in some sense introduce the notes: F#, C#, G#, and D#. At this point, one has chromaticized more than half the original notes. That may be too abrupt for an immediate goal.

  • In A minor, there exists the notes F# and G# already. Now only half !
    – Tim
    Sep 25 '18 at 7:49
  • Yes exactly it would be a very abrupt and akward modulation. It would probably not sound very musical.
    – Neil Meyer
    Sep 25 '18 at 14:27
  • But in A minor, F# and G# are really part of F and G; all are diatonic to the minor key. (Not really 9 notes but 7 notes with numbers 6 and 7 mutable.)
    – ttw
    Sep 25 '18 at 17:44

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