There's a section of the melody of Kyari Pamyu Pamyu's song ふりそで〜しょん, specifically the part preceding the chorus, where the composition shifts from a relatively straightforward A mixolydian melody to a rather exotic line which travels over the the following chords, 2 measures:

Dmaj -> C♯ min -> C maj -> B min -> Bb maj -> etc

The pattern is quite clear once you identify it (although the song uses a variety of voicings to disguise it) -- moving by half-steps and alternating between major and minor.

I was wondering, with such a simple pattern and it producing quite an interesting sound, does this technique have a name? Are there other usages of it, particularly in pop music?

  • (if the tonal center is A, then that chord's root should be C♯).
    – user45266
    Apr 13 '19 at 6:21

In a branch of music theory called "transformation theory," we call this a SLIDE progression.

A SLIDE takes place between two chords when the outer perfect fifth moves up or down by half step while the chordal third stays the same. In your example, the SLIDE progressions begin on the second chord:

G♯–G♮    F♯–F♮
E====    D====  
C♯–C♮    B––B♭

Notice how the top and bottom pitches both move down by half step. Meanwhile, the middle voice stays the same, keeping that common tone and forcing the switch from a minor triad to a major triad.

As one further example, consider "It's My Life" by Talk Talk. A SLIDE occurs at 0:49 when F minor moves to E major; the A♭ of the first chord is enharmonically reinterpreted to become the G♯ of the second.


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