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20 votes

Significance of pop songs with progressions that alternate one chord with one that's three semitones below it

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 ...
Richard's user avatar
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19 votes
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Significance of pop songs with progressions that alternate one chord with one that's three semitones below it

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 ...
No'am Newman's user avatar
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14 votes

How to understand 20th-century pop music as evolution of classical harmony

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 ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
14 votes
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Is there a name for the extra measure that they like to put into country songs?

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 ...
Richard's user avatar
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13 votes
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Accent alignment in Japanese music with English lyrics

Japanese doesn't have "stress" the way English does. The closest thing is "pitch accent," which is non-lexical and varies by region. Every mora in Japanese (represented by a single ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
8 votes

Is it helpful to study jazz when I like pop?

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 ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
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8 votes

What are some common patterns used when playing the piano/keyboard in a pop/rock band setting?

I've been trying to learn to play the keyboard for a few years now and think it would be cool to eventually get to the point where am able to play as part of a group. The problem is that I really have ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes

How to understand 20th-century pop music as evolution of classical harmony

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 ...
ttw's user avatar
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6 votes

You are the sunshine of my life: how is this off-beat singing called?

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 ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
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6 votes
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Would you describe 'Skyfall' by Adele as atonal?

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. ...
Athanasius's user avatar
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6 votes

Is it possible to determine the major/minor key of a song by just looking at the chords?

I'd actually still maintain that yes, it is possible to determine whether a piece is in a major or minor key - or no key at all - just by looking at the chords, but with the major caveat that the ...
Dekkadeci's user avatar
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6 votes

What is this funky "window cleaning" sound referred to as?

The Zelda example seems to be emulating the samba instrument cuica. The first example is less clear, since it’s a series of discrete notes, but it might be inspired by the same source.
Andy Bonner's user avatar
5 votes

What exactly is a Christmas carol?

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 ...
Tim's user avatar
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5 votes

Do Most Pop Songs Have An Instrument Play Chords While The Singer Sings The Melody

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 ...
endorph's user avatar
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5 votes

What are the methods used while writing pop music that make it so recognizably pop

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 ...
Phillip Siebold's user avatar
5 votes
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The ambiguity of certain chord qualities in Roman numeral Analysis

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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
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5 votes

Is it possible to determine the major/minor key of a song by just looking at the chords?

Let's see what the music21 Python library thinks about the example chord progressions. from music21 import stream, harmony def guess_key(chords_string): s = stream.Stream() for d in chords_string....
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
5 votes
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Bb7 chord in C major , function

Despite the chromaticism this song is firmly rooted in the key of C. The F chord you are starting on is actually bar 11 of the song. That is a IV chord. The next chord, Bb7 is a tritone substitution ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
5 votes

Accent alignment in Japanese music with English lyrics

The Japanese language does borrow words from other languages and changes them to fit with their standard rules of pronunciation. So the word satellite becomes a word that is pronounced as Sa-Te-Ra-I-...
molorosh's user avatar
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5 votes

When do you include the bass note of a chord if the bass is the b9?

Dm7/E♭ would be preferable. On the basis that were there a bass player or the bass (slash) note could be played on a different instrument, a guitarist, for example, could simply play Dm7. Dm7(♭9)/E♭ ...
Tim's user avatar
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5 votes

When do you include the bass note of a chord if the bass is the b9?

Dm7/Eb is sufficient in this case. It is better than Dm7b9/Eb, because it better suggests the voicing – normally b9 should be above the root, in a higher octave. Interesting chord... I wonder, is it a ...
user1079505's user avatar
5 votes

When do you include the bass note of a chord if the bass is the b9?

Context is all. But I’d hazard a pretty confident guess that the E♭ isn’t part of the upper structure but purely the bass note. ( Maybe the tonic or dominant? Is there a string of chords all over an ...
Laurence's user avatar
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4 votes

How to put chords (POP-EDM) under a given lead vocal melody (starting from a good knowledge in music theory)

Really, I'd just play around until I found something I like. But for some initial ideas: given a scale and a note, there are three triads from the scale that contain that note; for example, there ...
Bruce Fields's user avatar
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4 votes

Is it helpful to study jazz when I like pop?

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 ...
Tim's user avatar
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4 votes

What are these non-chord tones in the Jackson Five's "Want you Back"?

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 ...
Richard's user avatar
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4 votes

What are the methods used while writing pop music that make it so recognizably pop

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 ...
Brandon Smith's user avatar
4 votes

You are the sunshine of my life: how is this off-beat singing called?

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. ...
danmcb's user avatar
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4 votes
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Why do so many modern pop songs use the trap beat (tu ti ta ti)?

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, ...
Techsplorer's user avatar
4 votes

Did Agnetha and Anni-Frid always sing in unison?

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 ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
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