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#16 IBBIAZ

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:11 PM

One really cool thing to do is if you have a fairly boring chord progression, just figure out which chords are dominant, tonic, or subdominant and substitute them with other chords of their type. And try adding sevenths here and there to see if they sound good.


Did you get into anything like Augmented 6th chords or secondary dominants?

holy shit, that sounds awesome. I need to google that.
oh wait, is an augmented 6th chord just an augmented chord, or something else?

I'm exploring the diminished scale recently.



Quick explanations:
Augmented sixth chords are chords like the French, Italian, and German sixths. Some debate an inversion of I think the German one to be English sixths, too. They're used as predominants and built as following:

Italian:
b6, 1, #4
In c: Ab, C, F#

French:
b6, 1, 2, #4
In c: Ab, C, D, F#

German:
b6, 1, b3, #4
In c: Ab, C, Eb, F#

Generally speaking, they're really hard to use and still sound good, I think, but if used correctly, you can do some crazy stuff with them - notonly use tem as predominants, but modulate to wierd keys and things. If you're just going for a variation of a predominant, though, I'd use a neapolitan (a major chord built off the minor second degree).


And secondary dominants are simple. It's basically just going outside of the key for only a few chords...

Say a I IV V I progression...
Adding a secondary dominant looks like this:

I IV viidim/V V I

The vii/V is a secondary dominant. (V and vii are most common in dominant positions)
Say you're in C major - the original progression is C F G C. How you get the secondary dominants is like this: viidim/V - look at the bottom, V of C is G. Now, you take the viidim of G. That gives you fdim. So, your chord progression is now C F fdim G C. That's just an example. And secondary chords aren't always held tom dominants. You can find plenty of stuff that does progressions and cadences in secondary keys.

Anyways, I guess you could've just googled it...
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#17 0073735963

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:18 PM

just to add what IBBIAZ said: the gr6 is an it6 with a 7th added. These chords can be used to modulate by half step and are basically a re-spelling of a V chord. The Fr6 is 2 tritones (i find easy to identify it by thinking of it this way)
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#18 IBBIAZ

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:20 PM

lol nerd
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#19 DiscountBabyJam Mike

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:27 PM

I don't know much about music theory. I took piano lessons for 6 years but I don't remember most of the things I learned, i.e. reading music and playing in/recognizing different keys. We never really went over hard theory too much, mostly just technique and basic classical training. I am taking a Music Theory For Non-Majors course this fall. Its only two credits and is mostly just to pad out my schedule and give me a break from 5 English classes, but I also want to be able to ease into theory. Hopefully I will learn something from the class and it will motivate me to take other classes or do lots of outside studying.
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#20 Paragon

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:37 PM

Is there theory behind melody-writing? Most of this seems to be about chord progressions.
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#21 XMark

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:45 PM

Well, the theory behind chord progressions identifies which tones within the scale match the current progression, and which ones to avoid, so you choose the melody notes accordingly... it's all intertwined.
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#22 IBBIAZ

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:46 PM

It can be based on progressions, but sometimes, progressions are based on melodies. There are some general rules, though used solely for melodies (which, again, can be broken). Some are like... if you're making a jump of more than a third, you don't want to keep going in that direction, unless you're outlining a chord. Like, If you jump a fifth up, you generally want to go back down after that. Melodies should usually stay in the same octave and a half. And you don't want to make a jump of a tritone. Simple things like that to keep in mind.
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#23 Insane_Penguin

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:56 PM

I know just enough theory to be dangerous.

That's all I think I need, too.
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#24 pingosimon

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 02:16 PM

Sup n00bs.

Music theory and ear training are a couple of my very favorite things. I'll jump into this thread more later. And, as always, I'm available via AIM or PMs to talk about theory.
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#25 Norrin_Radd

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 03:00 PM

Whoa, I'll have to take you up on that Pingo!

Music theory was definitely a good thing for me to learn. For those of you who think it's a crutch, I think the exact opposite. I am tired of art house goons using NOT knowing theory as a crutch. Like, if they play some super sour notes because they have no idea what key signature they are in. Another thing I hate is when they get good at whatever scale, and key signature (that they don't know they're in), they just love to tell you they have no training, like they are amazing or something. But they are strictly limited to those notes. Yeah you're pretty awesome, but let see you write it in another key :lol:

I think the Modes were the biggest revelation for me so far. i remember the first time I did the tone test, where you leave a static tone of C playing, and play the box mode shapes one at a time, starting at C. The first time I heard lydian I almost shit my pants. Now it's my favorite! Flying in a blue dream! One thing I still have a little trouble wrapping my head around is how to change between all the modes at once. Normally, I pick a mode and I stay with that mode till I am done playign that song. Can you switch between the modes, but remain in the same key? I wouldn't think so, but I have no idea how to make Dorian sound good otherwise!

I still have yet to break into the heavy duty chord theory. One thing I really have trouble with is determining where some of the fancier chords fit in, and what can be played with them. And I don't mean super fancy, just anything that isn't a Maj or min chord. Sus4 and 6add9 and stuff. if anyone knows any well written tutorials on the net, I'd love to check it out.

Another thing I really want to learn is how to properly change the key signature of a song. Whether it be a flat out harmony change, or by using clever chords like classical and jazz music. How do they do it!?
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#26 XMark

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 03:06 PM

From my experience, changing key signature can usually be done really abruptly and still sound natural, as long as the general speed of the song isn't too wildly different.
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#27 pingosimon

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:12 PM

Hey Norrin, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by changing modes but remaining in the same key. A big part of defining the "key" that you're in is the chord progression. VII-i (for example, G to Am) often implies dorian. Other times, you need to make use of the defining tones in a mode to really get your key center. For example, the flat 2 if you're in phrygian, sharp 4 if you're in lydian.

As for chords, they are generally "functional" or "coloristic." They can be both. For example, a V I progression is considered functional because it uhh...always functions that way...or something. Coloristic chords are used mainly for their sound, and not to act in a functional progression. add9 would be an example of this. Others include chromatic mediants (play C Ab C or C Eb C), common tone diminished chords (cto, play C Co C).

Sus4, if used functionally, is something you just do "When it sounds good." Usually at a cadence, as long as the 4 resolves down to 3.

7 chords (MA7, 7, min7, half dim 7, dim 7) come from the key you're in, just as regular major and minor chords do.

I can talk more about modulating (changing keys) later. Any specific examples you need? I'll write up a few ways to do it later.

um yeah. Theory!
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#28 0073735963

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:34 AM

Hey Norrin, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by changing modes but remaining in the same key. A big part of defining the "key" that you're in is the chord progression. VII-i (for example, G to Am) often implies dorian. Other times, you need to make use of the defining tones in a mode to really get your key center. For example, the flat 2 if you're in phrygian, sharp 4 if you're in lydian.

As for chords, they are generally "functional" or "coloristic." They can be both. For example, a V I progression is considered functional because it uhh...always functions that way...or something. Coloristic chords are used mainly for their sound, and not to act in a functional progression. add9 would be an example of this. Others include chromatic mediants (play C Ab C or C Eb C), common tone diminished chords (cto, play C Co C).

Sus4, if used functionally, is something you just do "When it sounds good." Usually at a cadence, as long as the 4 resolves down to 3.

7 chords (MA7, 7, min7, half dim 7, dim 7) come from the key you're in, just as regular major and minor chords do.

I can talk more about modulating (changing keys) later. Any specific examples you need? I'll write up a few ways to do it later.

um yeah. Theory!


yeah, whoever wants to can always IM me about theory too
as far as key sig changing is concerned...there's a lot of ways to go about it and it all depends on what you're going for. If you've got a good ear, i recommend getting lots of different classical music from the different eras and listening. It can be as simple as a sequence (which is a repeated rhythmic pattern where you're pretty much decending or ascending the same note pattern ex: C-D-E-F-G-D-E-F-G-A-E-F-G-A-B ect...could be used to modulate to a given key, just stop when you're in a key you like) That is used a lot in Baroque music (Bach). The Secondary Dominate works great too. Just go to the V of whatever key you'd like to go to, and resolve it to the I/i of the new key. You can modulate by common tone. Common tone modulation is basically taking a note that is shared by two chords to shift into the new key (Beethoven did this a lot). You can easily modulate by chromatic scale, just stop when you're in a key you're at. You can modulate by common chord. That is like common tone, but you take a chord common between the two keys in question (the one you are currently in and the one you want to go to). For example, in C, say you wanted to modulate to F. If you played a D minor chord, that would be a ii in C, but it could also be considered a vi in F, and depending on the chords that followed, would be analyzed accordingly. You can simply play the dimvii of whatever key you'd like to go to as well, or, if you want to be really dramatic, you can simply keep playing dimvii or dimvii7 and eventually just stop whenever you want to (this is a Liszt/Wagner late romantic technique) Modulation can be as simple as just going to the key you want to go to abruptly too, it all depends on the mood/feeling you're going for. If you like subtle modulating, I reccomend checking out music by Franz Schubert. That guy was genius when it came to that shit. Anyway, yeah, there's a lot of ways to go about modulating. (pingo/kareshi/other theory guys feel free to add/correct anything)
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#29 Norrin_Radd

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:48 AM

Wow, great info dudes! I'll try and work with this stuff tonight!

I am definitely the type of learner that has to hear an example of this stuff to actually file it away in my brain. When I read about this V of X key change stuff, I have a really hard time making an example myself because I can't be sure that what I end up with is accurate (having nothing to compare it to). If you guys have any simple midis, or audio clips of stuff like this, or use of dominant chords, or the vii of what ever key i want to change to ect... I'd love to hear them.

I am totally jealous that you all took music theory. I wanted to take music theory, but all the courses demanded it be in unison with a musical isntrument, and that live performances were required. I just want the theory, I don't want to perform. Was that the way your courses/programs were?

Oh, Pingo, about the modes. I was wondering if you are playing a mode, say C Ionian, and you end up hitting a major chord over the IV or the V. If I start playing Lydian, or Mixolydian one whatever of those major chords, am I still within Ionian? Or have I changed modes? Or, am I making no sense at all. :huh:
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#30 0073735963

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:57 AM

When I took theory, basically anyone who wanted to take it, could take it as long as they knew their shit (basics mostly). I took Theory I and II at a community college which focused more on part-writing to learn all of the rules, and also chord/scale identification along with chord analysis of bach chorales and shit like that. Theory III/IV gets tougher, but its really not that bad. I think people overthink theory too much and give up too easily. At both of the schools i attended, there was a pretty big dropoff for theory II and III. Say you started with 30 people in theory I, you'd have like 25 in Theory II, then like 15 in Theory III, then like 7 in Theory IV (at least at the community college I was at before I transferred). Norrin, as far as midi examples of modulations, I'm pretty sure there are a few websites that list different ways to modulate and have sheet music/audio of an example. I'll look around and see what I can find.
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