So I have finished the A section of my waltz and am wanting to go to another key for the B section. The waltz is in the key of D major. So these chords are diatonic to it:

enter image description here

My melody in the A section ends on an F# as does the bass. This gives a sense that the section is finished but also that the key will change. Now, theoretically, there are 5 options to where to modulate to using that F#. But modulating to E minor I figured would be very unusual for a piece in D major without a previous modulation to G major. So that was out. This left me with 4 options. Those would be:

  • F# minor
  • G major
  • B minor
  • A major

The modulation to A major would be indirect. Modulating to iii I thought would be weird but it would be a common tone modulation because the note of F# is shared between the 2 keys. I have seen a ton of modulations to G major done via an F# rising to G. B minor would not be unusual at all, I would be doing a relative modulation there.

Someone else told me that because it harmonically makes sense, I should modulate to B minor. But why would this make more sense harmonically than say modulating to G major, the subdominant of D major, by raising the F# to G?

Here is my A section and the harmony I have in that section: enter image description here

So which of these 4 keys I listed should I modulate to for my B section?

  • 2
    Try all four and go with the one you like best. We certainly can't answer this question for you; it is subjective. – Todd Wilcox Feb 3 '19 at 5:08
  • Hey, this section A doesn‘t end on F#, as your self have written D for the final chord, so you the root note will be D. On account to the waltz as such I could give you some feedback too, if you desire. You could ask: how far could this piece here considered as waltz? For the moment I would propose to you: listen to some waltzes by Strauss, Shostakovich - even Webern or Schönberg. There is more than just the 3/4 measure that is constituting the rhythm and the style of the waltz. – Albrecht Hügli Feb 3 '19 at 8:37
  • Yes the root is D but when I said that the melody and the bass end on F#, I am talking about a note rather than a chord. – Caters Feb 3 '19 at 15:25

As the final chord of this section A is actually D:

your first section has the form of A-A'

you could continue now with section B in F#7 -> bm (and loop this phrase) and go back on the circle of 5ths (E7 -> A7) to the key of D. So section B would be a bridge leading to section A again.

Thus the whole section would have the schema: A-A-B-A.

This might finally be the section A

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