20

In addition to No'am's nice answer, there are two further points I'd like to make: In most (all?) of your instances, note that the chord in question changes from major to minor. This is thus an easy way to make a pretty big change in the harmonic environment. But perhaps more than that, let's think about how easy it is to do this change. Imagine we have a C-...


19

Let's say a song is in the key of C; three semitones below this is the key of Am, which is known as the relative minor key. In the same way, chords which are 'three semitones below' (e.g. F and Dm, G and Em) are the relative minor chords. These chords can often be substituted one for the other, as they have two common notes (F and Dm have in common F and A). ...


14

As topo morto already commented, it doesn't really make sense to consider pop as just an evolution of classical music. It has lots of influences from folk, blues, jazz that don't really make sense from a classical-harmony perspective. To a large degree, you might also just sum pop up as “relax, focus on keeping the melody simple&catchy and then ...


13

This is an issue of what we call hypermeter; specify, we can call it a hypermetrical extension. By hypermeter, I mean a metrical structure not at the level of the beat, but at the level of the entire measure. Try conducting along with "Amarillo"; it's in 4/4 time. After you're used to that, try conducting in 4/4 where every beat is the start of a new ...


12

(Parts of this answer were posted before the OP edited the question to exclude some of it - in particular, e.g. to move up half step and Don't discuss other music such as jazz. were added after this answer was posted.) Has pop music ever modulated at all?! Your terminology is rather imprecise: You seem to be drawing a hard line between Bach/Classical ...


9

I'm in a similar situation. I was classically trained for 13 years, and 6-7 years ago I started playing pop styles. I'm still not excellent at it, but I've come a long way and am generally competent. The biggest difference, as I'm sure you've discovered, is that you can't just play what's on the page (if there even is a page!) and have that be enough, ...


8

Yes, it is helpful It's not obvious, but there is a lot of jazz influence in pop. Learning jazz will give you a lot more experience with chord progressions, chord shapes, modal mixtures, alternate theories of harmony, soloing techniques, etc. Types of music that are not too far away from pop that are heavily jazz influenced include musical theater, hip-hop,...


8

Have pop music ever modulated at all? Yes, of course - an example I like is: ...and there are many more. Why pop music rarely modulates? I've mentioned a slower, more balladic piece, but think of the function of a typical dance-oriented pop piece - people want to be able to dance, to sing along, and to 'know where they ...


7

This is all great advice, but it treats you like a total beginner who doesn't know what to do. You have a huge advantage from your classical training, which is the ability to read. I would look for the most detailed transcriptions of the type of pop music you want to play -- for instance, if you like the Beatles, see the Complete Transcriptions which capture ...


6

Here is a non-comprehensive list of such pieces: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TruckDriversGearChange Under the "Subversions" sections you can find some pieces that modulate down. e.g. Inverted in "Tonight" from West Side Story, which moves down a half-step with each successive chorus so the final one can end calmly and quietly.


6

One point of view is given by Peter van der Merwe in a couple of interesting books. "Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music" and "Roots of the Classical: the Popular Origins of Western Music." Another interesting book is Alec Wilder's "American Popular Song" but it only covers the period up to about 1950. ...


6

I'll bet all of you—whether you know it or not—already like Johann Sebastian Bach! —Glenn Holland You approach the question from the flawed premise that "pop" music rarely modulates (which I'm taking to mean as changes key) much, and that it's abrupt when it does. The answers already posted have hopefully dispelled ...


6

By crikey this is broad. You've basically asked "What's the difference between 'white' music & 'black' music?" Because you could write entire books on the subject & still not arrive at any real definition, especially in this day & age when everybody's borrowed from everybody else to such a degree as it's almost impossible to disentangle any more,...


6

I think it's a beautiful song, but it doesn't seem to stick to a key signature very well. I'm not sure where that happens. Here's some sheet music, and the whole thing stays in a single minor key. a) Would you consider this song atonal? No. It's one of the most tonal uses of a minor key in popular music I've actually seen recently. It's pretty much ...


5

What defines pop music is that it is music that is marketed for mass audiences and therefore will have an industrial influence. That means input from theatre professionals where large performances can be assembled and performed. Therefore, the history with musical theatre will have a large impact on pop of all kinds, including independent pop. With that in ...


5

It's often hard to draw a line between melody and chords. I know, that sounds ridiculous. But sit back and think about the role a keyboard plays. Sure, they can just play a single note melody, or they can just hold some chord tones. But often they do both, at the same time. They voice the chords they play, so that a melody is formed. Sure, it's not the ...


5

I'm not an advanced pianist by any means, but one difference I've noticed is that classical music is more voice-oriented than pop music. That is, it concerns itself largely with horizontal relations between notes to create multiple independent melody lines, each following voice leading. In pop music, these seem to be much less important relative to the ...


5

I don't pretend that this classification is absolute truth and applicable to any modern composition, but still. Majority of the modern songs have: intro verses choruses bridge (1 or more) outro Intro in many senses is like a prologue in a literature. Outro is like an epilogue. Solos usually go into bridges. Maybe this will give you an inspiration. :) And ...


4

Something that makes your question difficult to answer is that you talk of "pop music" as if it's one genre. In fact if you pick two pop keyboard parts at random, you're likely to find that they're using completely different techniques. One pop song might be backed by long chords of synth strings. Another might have a showboating solo on a monophonic synth. ...


4

Welcome to the site! Studying jazz is better and easier through a course - providing it's a good one! You'll be taken a lot deeper into music than you would studying pop-type music, although it depends where one thinks pop starts and ends. Keep studying and do the pop transcription etc., by yourself. It will become easier and easier to sort out pop while ...


4

You may be interested in what pop-music scholars often call the "melodic-harmonic divorce." By "divorce," they mean that the pitches in the melody are often vastly different from from the harmony that accompanies them. As such, the non-chord tones in this repertoire do not always fit the standard designations from the common-practice period like passing ...


4

Originally, carols - simple songs - were sung and often danced as a celebration of something joyous, often in the open air, by 'the common people'. It's said that the first carol was 'sung by angels from the sky', not surprisingly, at the first Christmas. The words still survive, apparently. Logic says that to be a Christmas carol, the words would have to ...


4

It's syncopated, but really there is so much to this topic. One of the earliest practitioner (that we have recorded) of this was, and the most famous, was Louis Armstrong on his many early recordings. It's really one of the main reasons that he was so revolutionary (and he was - in contrast to his later rather cabaret image, he had a reputation in the 30's ...


4

For the same reason every other pop song started using dubstep elements a few years back, why every pop song started sounding like it was being played on a beach in Ibiza in the late '90s/early '00s, why everything started sounding like it was a 'House' (or Portishead) track before that and why every song will use elements of whatever underground style comes ...


4

Short Answer The two systems are intended to describe different things: Roman numerals are interpretive (and designed to describe common-practice period major/minor tonality); Chord notation is intended to be practice, and doesn't necessary reflect the harmonic role of the chord. Addition explanation The Roman numeral system is intended to give the ...


4

You are hearing this incorrectly. You should listen more closely, and possibly to a wider range of their songs. ABBA songs have about the same mixture of solo voices, unison lines and multi-part harmony as other pop songs from multi-singer groups. In comparison with the Bee Gees, since you named them as a contrast, the mix of different textures is very ...


4

It's called a sidestick. It's made by resting the rear end of the sick on one edge of the skin & tapping the rim on the far side. Not to be confused with a rim-shot, which is a full down-stroke, hitting both skin & rim simultaneously. I'd point you to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rimshot except for the fact I disagree with half of what it says [...


3

The "pop" in Pop Music is short for "popular". It can be said that this means that the songs are written to appeal to the largest audience, and this is partly true, but one cannot forget the element of pop music that composes new songs in the style of whatever was last popular. Pop Music is evolutionary in this way. This is why you may fail to find any ...


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