Questions tagged [modulation]

For questions about changing key in the middle of a piece of music. Do not tag for the effect of modulation.

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26
votes
9answers
4k views

How to modulate very smoothly and stealthily from major to minor?

I would like to modulate from G major to c minor in such a way that it would be almost unnoticeable to the listener. I'm composing a piece in a style that's very Arvo-Pärtesque minimalist-sounding, so ...
25
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9answers
5k views

With modern electronic technology is temperament unnecessary?

I am a Physics student but also love math and music, and know a little bit about tuning because it is related to mathematics. So as far as I understand, Just Intonation is more consonant than ...
17
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1answer
662 views

Are there any rules of thumb for shifting the key signature within a tone net?

[ ... struggling with giving this a better title ] I'm working out the algorithmic bases for generation of a tone-net (tonnetz) in preparation for programming the presentation layer. The problem is ...
15
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6answers
4k views

modulating from G major to G# major

I was asked to incorporate a modulation that goes one semitone up in a song initially written in G. So at some point it should go from G to G#. I am having a lot of trouble finding a relatively nice ...
15
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3answers
13k views

How many types of modulation are there?

I know a few types of modulation off the top of my head like common chord modulation and and chromatic modulation, but I was wondering how many different types of modulation are there and what are ...
14
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2answers
4k views

When did the half-step/whole-step modulation in the middle of a song become popular?

Many pop songs in modern times will use a half step or a whole step modulation in the middle of a song in order to increase excitement. I would like to know when this strategy started, and if it is ...
13
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2answers
598 views

“Punning chord”

I'd like to know if the following description is accurate: "A composer modulates from one key to another by the use of the “punning” chord, the augmented sixth (punning because it is also a dominant ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Recognizing modulation style / pattern in Steely Dan's “West of Hollywood”

I'm a fan of Steely Dan's music, but I find analysis of their music to be difficult from a tone-, modal-, and chord-theory point of view. But perhaps the complex jazz-influenced M7/M9/M11 chords ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Chopin Polonaise in Ab major, op 53 change in key

In Chopin's polonaise in A-flat major, op.53, in the second section the key changes from A flat to E major. What type of change is this? Is it from the flattening of the sixth (F-flat major), or was ...
9
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6answers
4k views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I have ...
9
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4answers
4k views

modulating by a tritone

I have heard that modulating by diminished fifth/tritone is the hardest of all modulations. Interestingly my non-musician husband has just composed a tune with a smooth tritone modulation (ie. from C ...
9
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6answers
6k views

How to recognize modulations by ear?

I'm surprised this this question hasn't been asked before (or at least I couldn't find it). If you're listening to a piece, and it suddenly modulates, how can you tell? and how can you determine the ...
9
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2answers
620 views

Are there any popular pieces which periodically modulate down?

Many pop tunes will modulate up a semitone near the end of the piece in order to gain energy or excitement. This is known as a Truck Driver's Gear Change, and some tunes will even do it multiple times ...
8
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4answers
2k views

How to determine what key changes are appropriate?

In the month or so until my band get back together I've been working on writing some new material, and want to try and expand how complex my songs are. I apologise if there are a lot of questions - I'...
8
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2answers
1k views

What's the exact difference between modulation, key change and tonicisation?

I've always regarded a key change as the use of a completely different set of notes for the following music - definitely in a different key. Was in C, now is in C#, with no reason to suppose a return. ...
8
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2answers
73 views

Is parallel modulation a thing?

I have heard that going in between 2 parallel keys is just modal interchange and not a modulation because the tonic note is the same. Maybe if the change in key is short and only to add color to a ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Can I use the German sixth chord to modulate to another key?

Can I use the German sixth chord to modulate up a half step? For example, the Ger6/5 chord in C major is: Ab-C-Eb-F#, which is enharmonically equivalent to G#-B#-D#-F#, i.e. the dominant chord of C# ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Common Tone Modulation (CTM)

I'm trying to learn more about Music Theory, and I'm currently looking into modulation, more specifically CTM (Common Tone Modulation). As far as I understand it, the concept is pretty straight ...
7
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1answer
102 views

False modulation for doxology in a modal key

I am barely an organist, but occasionally cover for the real organist at my church. The next time I am doing this is three weeks from now, and because I'm a novice, I already have the hymns for that ...
6
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6answers
1k views

What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
6
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3answers
9k views

How to identify key changes?

I have learned music theory from the internet, but I have this question that how to come to know that where one key starts and other end when I am reading the music sheet. For example, in Minuet In G,...
6
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3answers
1k views

Why isn't there a closely related key to C minor that has D as tonic?

For minor keys, there are no closely related keys built on the second scale degree. Why? Is it because the chord built from the second scale degree is diminished?
6
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2answers
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Harmonic analysis of “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith

I'm trying to do harmonic analysis of "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith. Verses and choruses uses I to IV progression, but I wonder about the riff in the bridge. It seem to be played in the E key. Joe ...
6
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3answers
2k views

How to make a chord progress go from the key of C major to the key of A minor?

How do you chord progress go from the key of C major to the key of A minor? I would do it this way: progress to the III chord (Em), change the III chord to a Dominant 7th form (E7), now the E7 chord ...
6
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2answers
849 views

Can chords found in parallel modes of the relative minor of a key (or relative major when in a minor key) be considered borrowed chords?

In the key of C major, take the following progression: C----Em----A----G7----C I------iii------VI----V7-----I In this progression, can the VI chord be analyzed as a borrowed chord from the major ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Understanding music with multiple key changes within chord progressions

So this has been bothering me for some time now; I've been making beats for maybe 7-8 years now but my earlier work is heavily-sampled. I just started actually picking up piano, but on my own, ...
5
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3answers
381 views

Does anyone have any tips on how to do pseudo modulation?

Does anyone have any tips on how to do pseudo modulation (fake modulation)? https://vimeo.com/1934047 Those two videos and the song "moon river" is the most i seen ...
5
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1answer
114 views

How to map a modulation on a simple key-button in Ableton Live 9

I have modulation of a filter to cut the bass, so the bass is fading in 3 seconds. Can I map this modulation to a keyboard to run that modulation only when I press mapped key, or to turn modulation on/...
4
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5answers
2k views

If parallel keys aren't closely related, then why are they so easy to get to?

I got this comment on an answer of mine: "Parallel major/minor keys are not closely related. They are easy to get to, but not closely related. It's like you might live by a subway that make it ...
4
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3answers
495 views

When to use the term transposed instead of modulation?

I was playing 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' and noticed it modulates from B minor to a fifth above, F-sharp major. I looked on wikipedia and found it says: "...
4
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3answers
399 views

What are some nice/clever ways to introduce the tonic's dominant seventh chord?

I'm in C minor and want to modulate to its subdominant key of F minor. One way to do this is to introduce the tonic flat seventh chord C-E-G-B♭, which is the dominant seventh chord of F minor. ...
4
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4answers
1k views

What intervals are common for sudden key changes?

By "sudden", I mean that there is no dedicated harmonic preparation leading into the new key. The commonly used ones I can think of are: Up a semitone (the classic signal that this is final repeat ...
4
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4answers
751 views

Modulation from major key to relative minor - what could be the pivot chord?

I want to modulate from D major to B minor. I have a perfect cadence (A7 - D) in D major, after which I need to use a pivot chord to go into B minor. I was thinking of using the F# chord, but I am not ...
4
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4answers
256 views

Is modulating from major to relative minor a key change?

I know that C major and A natural minor have the same key signature. Are they considered different keys though? Is modulating from one to the other considered a key change?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Modulating from A-flat major to C major (Beethoven)

The second movement (Andante con moto) of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony begins serenely in A-flat major; then, almost without warning, it switches to a triumphant theme in C major. The modulation is ...
4
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2answers
291 views

Is there a special name for “I - V - i” or “i - V - I” Modulation?

Recently, while listening to contemporary and pop music, I discovered that many song uses an I - V - i or i - V - I modulation. For example, C major to G major to C minor. I want to know whether there ...
4
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2answers
203 views

How do I use the Omnibus Progression to Modulate from I to iv?

I am composing a piece in which there is a modulation between the keys of Db major and F# minor. Is it possible to use the omnibus progression to smoothly execute this modulation? If it is possible, ...
4
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2answers
244 views

Why would a piece start in G♭ Major then modulate to F♯?

I saw a question regarding F# vs. Gb in a given song. The song began in Gb Major then went to F# minor . . . and then it was question as to why the change. Why not just write the song in one Key? I ...
4
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1answer
225 views

Do Bach Chorales in minor keys ever modulate to the dominant major?

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? Thanks, Jack
4
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1answer
101 views

What is a “key cell”?

I have recently heard of the concept of a "key cell" as a short modulation (number of bars) that contains a tonal model progression, which can be analyzed in the context of two closely related keys. ...
3
votes
3answers
90 views

Do I change the key signature or add accidentals for a section in a different key?

I am composing a piano piece that starts out in G# minor (which is the set key) and later on I have a section that goes into E major. For that section, do I simply just change the key signature, or ...
3
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2answers
492 views

How to name the key of a song that modulates?

I'm in the process of learning about keys. I'm looking at the song Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins. The tabs I see online say that the song is in the key of E major. The main riff of the verse ...
3
votes
6answers
988 views

How to modulate from minor to parallel major

I'm trying to find a good modulation from Dm to D. I know that I could use Dm-A7-D but it feels a bit to unsophisticated. I thought that I maybe could do something like Dm-X-C-X-Em-X-D where X is ...
3
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1answer
96 views

What is the role of modulations in popular music?

I know they keep the song interesting (like in I Will Always Love You), but what other purpose do modulations serve?
3
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1answer
111 views

What is the use of the minor V chord in this song?

First of all, I would like to say hi since this is the first question I've had on this website. I recently came across Officially missing you by Tamia and when I look up the chord progression on ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

Explaining the harmony of Wagner's Wanderer motif

Recently I listened to the Wanderer leitmotif from Wagner's Ring cycle. I was both impressed and perplexed by the motif's harmony. The picture below tries to explain the possible modulations that this ...
3
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2answers
101 views

What is the proper use of the term “modulation”?

I've always been taught that a modulation is strictly a change to another key. But I've seen some people use the term to refer to when a song stops using the primary tonic in any form. I.E. You have a ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

What does Schoenberg mean by “intermediary region”?

I read this from Arnold Schoenberg's Preliminary Exersises in Counterpoint. The original part is: Later, intermediary regions are likewise introduced (Simple Counterpoint in Three Voices, Chapter VIII)...
3
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3answers
3k views

Modulating from E Minor to C Minor

I'm struggling to get from E Minor to a Bbsus chord. Once I get there, my modulation to C minor is good but I'm struggling to find something that moves me smoothly to the Bbsus. Any thoughts?
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Why does this use sometimes the E arpeggio and sometimes the Em arpeggio?

The song Tornado of Souls by Megadeth is in the key of Bm. The solo plays over a progression of power chords that goes B5 - G5 - E5 - F#5 - A5. Over the E5, the solo first plays an Em arpeggio but ...