Dominant seventh used on notes other than the dominant, such as the subdominant???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Music_for_life, Nov 6, 2012.


  1. Music_for_life

    Music_for_life

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    Is this a common approach for the subdominant (IV not ll)???
    I want to make a modulation using A as a pivot for modulating from Bm to C#m (minor supertonic modulation). Instead of A I use A7... Can a subdominant become dominant???
    A7 is Vll of Bm and Vl of C#m...I am experimenting with the modulation that use a pivot chord that functions as a pre-dominant chord in the goal key....A is a predominant chord of C#m(the goal Key) if I make the A---) A7 it loses its predominant quality??? .
    The best choice of pivot chord is one that functions as a pre-dominant chord in the goal key
     
  2. Sni77

    Sni77

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    Well... does it sound good?
     
  3. Bainbridge

    Bainbridge

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    What are you asking? You want a common chord modulation? A7 is common to both B minor and C# minor. In B minor, it exists as bVII7. In C# minor, A∆ is diatonic, but A7 will sound like a predominant harmony if you go from there to G#7 (think of A7 as an augmented sixth chord, or as a chromatic approach chord). Ultimately, a modulation is established by the movement of dominant to tonic, so you can dick around with whatever until you get to V7, then that V7 is going to want to resolve to I (or i).
     
  4. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

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    There you go... that's that answer to all theory questions.

    What do you want to see posted, that you are not 'allowed' to do what you are suggesting? You can do whatever you want, it's your music, so make it sound good.

    Using minor sevenths on chords is a fine technique. Personally I like the sound of a m7 on the IV chord in blues just as a color note.

    Composers have been troubling these questions for centuries. The only real answer is how you feel about it. If you want to modulate and have your listeners know where you are going.... then go where they have been and they'll easily follow. If you want something surprising... go ahead and shock the poop out of them.

    Check out the music of Geswaldo, a 15th c. composer who axe murdered (for political reasons). Now there's some stuff. Richard Strauss is known for some pretty fine modulations, and you never know what your going to hear in Hector Berlioz.
     
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  6. Groove Doctor

    Groove Doctor

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    Trouble with A7 to C#m is the G natural isn't a part of the next chord.... But C# and E are in the next chord, as long as they have a strong part it could work.

    Amaj7 to C#m is a smoother, more flowing option.... Slip in an 'oh, did we modulate?' change and surprise them. ;)
     
  7. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

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    I play ole time Country. Dominant sevens (b7) are thrown in all the time. For that matter - Blues also will have all dominant seven chords.

    Is it a common approach? IMO depends on the song in question. Back in the 30's, 40's and 50's if the "Hill Billy" songwriter needed something beyond the basic triad the dominant seven came into the picture. I do not think I have ever seen a maj7 chord in any of the published ole time Country fake chord sheet music. Ole time Country is dirt simple, therefore will use dirt simple chords.

    In the case of A7. The A7 is easier to make, on the 6 string guitar, than the A triad. Even today, when playing rhythm guitar I'll use the A7 fingering for an A triad.

    We, 6 string guys, learned the fingering on our seven major triad chords and our seven dominant seven chords and then the ii, and vi triad on the keys we expected to find them in. With those we could hold our own in any Pop, Rock, or Country band. Then when we started writing songs guess what chords we used. I'd have to go look up the maj7 pattern.

    So, IMO, it's because of a lack of understanding more than a modulation thing. Can a sub-dominant become dominant? If you want to add the b7 it can. Most of the time it does sound good, so..........
     
  8. wrench45us

    wrench45us

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    as Malcolm points out, there are conventions that guitar players of blues and all its derivatives have followed, that we've all gotten used to hearing.

    It hardly matters if there's theory to explain it, a lot of progressions have become part of the collective experience.
     
  9. mambo4

    mambo4

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    +1 to "does it sound good? "

    Dominant sevenths are very versatile and show up in the 'wrong' (non-diatonic) place all the time. Nothing to sweat over.
     
  10. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

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    Well to everyone saying "does it sound good?" ... the thing is ... something things doesn't sound good but after hearing a lot it starts to sound good.

    Also ... the OP may be in a quest to expend his musical vocabulary by understanding complex modulation and by doing so ( forcing himself to write music with certain modulation etc ) is to expend and have more "this progression sound good" ... because if your only gauge is if it sounds good ... you will always do the same thing over and over again without having a chance to go outside and do something interesting ...






    As for the question at hand ... like someone else pointed out ... Amaj7 to C#min7 is kind of smoother than with A7. To me anyway. On top of my head I would go from Bmin7 to C#min7 simply with the bass line to make it smooths like on the last beat in Bmin7 to already establish the C#min7
     
  11. mambo4

    mambo4

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    A valid point. It shouldn't be the only gauge.

    Don't ignore theory, nor let it limit you.

    Of course, if you understand the role of theory
    the Idea that it 'limits' you is foolish...
     
  12. sammyp

    sammyp

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    A7 has no characterisics that in typical theory would lead to C#m (standard leading chords would be G#7 or D7)

    .....in the key of D major - an A7 to Bm is called a deceptive cadence if the listener is expecting A7 to D.

    if you really like the idea of using the A7 to get to C#m you will probably end up with what is called "direct modulation".

    at the end of the day, if it sounds good it is good ....the way a melody works over A7 going to C#m could be stellar!
     
  13. sammyp

    sammyp

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    This is really not correct harmony analysis ....

    in B minor the Vii is A# diminished! Chords derived from the Harmonic Minor is what it "really" means to be in a minor key.

    if you are working with A7 and Bminor ...you are really in D major and/ or B natural minor. Aeolian.

    A7 is V

    Bm is Vim

    When you are working in a mode minor such as Bm (natural/ aeolian) ....with chords like A, G, D etc ....it just does not make sense to reorganize the naming by calling A the b7 ....why? because the V chord in B minor would then be F#m ......this is not possible ....a V chord is and always will be a major triad or a dominant 7!


    it's like saying Sweet Home Alabama is in D major ....C is a b7 and G is a iV chord .....not true


    V - Vi - I in G major!
     
  14. Bainbridge

    Bainbridge

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    vii° in B minor is A#°. bVII in B minor is A. The seventh scale degree is highly variable in minor keys, and it is completely feasible that bVII would occur within reasonable proximity to a chord containing a leading tone. Take this progression, for instance: Bm A G F#
    Doesn't get much more minor than that. How many times have we heard that progression? It's old bag. A leading tone is going to be more insistent than a subtonic, but maybe a composer doesn't want that insistence all the time.

    I'm afraid you are sorely mistaken. I can point to innumerable examples of minor dominant chords. I just grabbed the closest music book, The New Eagles Complete, turned to a random page, and found this song, I Can't Tell You Why. Hey, what do you know, it's in B minor.

    The Eagles: I Can't Tell You Why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0oaISkCPQ0

    The chords are Bm7 A/B, Bm7 A/B, Bm7 A/B, Bm7 F#m7... Awwwww sheeeet! Modulates to D major for the verse, modulates to B minor for the prechorus (cadence via F#7 Bm, so we have both the natural and harmonic minor in play now), and there are F#m7's and F#7's distributed in pretty much equal proportion throughout the song at cadence points as well as less critical spots in the progression. I flex and cancel you.

    ----

    Don't forget, too, that the OP is asking about A7 as a chromatic chord, so it does not have to be diatonic to the key of B minor or C# minor. I already left my suggestion for how to go about using A7 to get from B minor to C# minor: do something like Bm A7 G# G#7 C#m

    A7 functions as Ger+6 (or It+6) there.
     
  15. sammyp

    sammyp

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    Your music theory is pretty cloudy friend.... There is no such thing as a minor dominant chord.... Nor is there such a thing as a modulation from Bm to D major.... it's a tonality emphasis shift in the same key .....The key sig is the same.... Modulation means a change in key

    you "flex and cancel me"? good luck with that attitude around here and in the biz in general!

    I can see you know chords and scales very well ....it is the organization and naming system that is funky IMO.

    " I can point to innumerable examples of minor dominant chords."

    this statement is so completely false......the whole nature of a dominant chord is tritone resolution ....you don't get that with a m7 as a V chord ...please familiarize yourself with the sticky about posting wrong #$%t regarding theory!
     
  16. Bainbridge

    Bainbridge

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    I am going to reference a widely-used and well-respected harmony textbook to knock you down a peg.

    "Dominant" refers to a scale degree, not to a particular chord structure (Kostka, 17). Therefore, "dominant triad" is a reference to a triad built on the dominant degree (fifth degree) of a major or minor scale. "Dominant seventh", by extension, refers to a seventh chord built on the dominant scale degree. Because the quality of the dominant seventh chord is so frequently major/minor seventh, the terminology "major/minor seventh" and "dominant seventh" are interchangeable in practice.

    Kostka and Payne point out that "The seventh chord built on 5 without the raised 7 [in minor keys] (v7 instead of V7) is seldom used. It serves only as a passing chord, not as a true dominant, because it lacks the tonic-defining leading tone essential for a chord with a dominant function (Kostka, 211)." This is true, because the appeal of the major/minor seventh chord in Western tonality is the tritone that spans between the third and seventh of said chord. We like to hear the resolution of that tritone, as you pointed out. However, the aforementioned authors are presenting this information for the first time to students that are studying the harmony of the Common Practice Period (roughly 1750-1900). Therefore, they tend to shy away from the numerous examples of non-leading tone dominant triads and seventh chords, even though they may be found in abundance within the music of said period.

    http://imslp.org/wiki/Extase_(Duparc,_Henri)

    ^ Download the file in the original key, for high voice. Go to the second page. The key is D major, correct? Here is my harmonic analysis for the first six measures on that page:

    Am (v), A7 (V7), D (I), Am (v)
    D (I), Am (v)...

    How do you explain the minor chord occurring on the dominant scale degree, then? Another one, this time more modern.

    Coldplay - Violet Hill:

    The chords in this one are all taken from the natural minor. No leading tone here, no V, no vii°. We get v and bVII instead. I ask again, how do you explain the lack of a leading tone? Is this song in the key of E major for you?

    Rush - Subdivisions:

    Dealing with bVII here. Key of B minor. The only chords in the song are F# (V, which stands on its own and never functions in a cadence), G (bVI), A (bVII) and Bm (i). bVII-i is the only cadence we ever get in the song, not vii°-i.

    To say that the V7 chord and the leading tone is some immutable feature of music in general is incorrect. Hell, even in classical music, the stuff all of this leading tone/tonic harmonic theory is based on, there are many, many examples of composers stepping outside of the major/minor tonal system. You won't find much mention of it in the introductory literature, but there is abundant evidence of non-leading tone cadences in classical, popular, and traditional music alike. Take the introduction call from the theme and variations from Dvorak's eighth symphony:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJEBk3zCdSU

    The opening is mixolydian (with b7 instead of 7). Or here's the third movement of Beethoven's fifteenth string quartet:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI4xhQVwzSg

    The tonic key is F, but the fourth degree is B (#4) instead of Bb (4). Lydian mode, eh! (Beethoven even writes "Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an di Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart." at the top of the movement - "A Convalescent's Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Deity, in the Lydian Mode.") That alters the dominant seventh chord, giving us a major/major seventh (V∆) instead of a major/minor seventh (V7) quality. We've been talking about leading tones, but when you have that #4, you lose the tritone in the dominant seventh chord.

    Look, I'm not even going into Debussy and Ravel with all that extended tonality stuff. The rule of leading tone-to-tonic is flexible, at best. True, it happens a lot, and it does reinforce tonality in minor keys, but the world isn't going to end if you use v instead of V.

    Incorrect. B minor and D major are relative keys, meaning that they contain the same pitch content, but different tonal centers. The name of the key is the location of the pitch center: B x has a tonality of B. This could be B major, B minor, B lydian, B phrygian, B locrian, B dorian... B, B, B, B, B. The modality is the difference between all of those examples - the "mood" that is imparted upon that particular tonality. From the book:

    "If a major key and a minor key have the same tonic tone, they are called parallel keys. The parallel minor of C major is C minor. Because parallel keys share the same tonic, we do not use the term modulation when talking about movement from one key to its parallel. The term change of mode, or mode mixture, is used instead.

    If a major key and a minor key share the same key signature, they are called relative keys. The relative minor of C major is A minor. The term modulation is appropriate here because movement from one tonic to another is involved. Modulations between relative keys are common, especially from minor to relative major (Kostka, 305)."

    I will flex and cancel you until you provide something more than speculation and unsubstantiated accusations.

    I would advise you to reexamine that statement.

    I've already addressed this.

    At this point, I have provided credible citations and examples for every one of my claims. It is upon you that the burden of proof now lays.


    Bibliography:

    Kostka, Stefan M., and Dorothy Payne. Tonal Harmony: With an Introduction to Twentieth-century Music, Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.
     
  17. 905

    905

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    "Flex and cancel"
    "Knock you down a peg"

    Congratulations, you both lose.
     
  18. sammyp

    sammyp

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    Brainbridge - you have some good points! I'm really not concerned with a win or loose theory discussion or knocking anyone down in pegs etc.

    I can accept the info you listed from the text, however, i think it's fair to say a large part of the musical world holds my viewpoint - that a dominant is a major triad with a b7.

    This is my overall point and trouble with the way you view theory!

    say you have a simple tune in B minor - Bm, G, A, D, Em etc ....there is no F#7 ....so we know it's a natural minor type thing.

    If i, or anyone else, having complete understanding of the modes/chords/ arps of the major scale - why would i want to reorganize my thinking of the Bm Aeolian mode in terms of


    Bm - i m
    C# minor - ii m7b5
    D - b3
    Em - iv
    F#m - V
    G - b6
    A - b7

    I choose to see it all in terms of D major with the knowledge ofcouse that B minor is the intended tonality.

    D -I
    Em ii
    F#m - iii
    G - iv
    A - 5
    Bm - vi
    C#m7b5 - Vii

    this is alot of work for each mode!


    So, just for interest and comparrison ....a simple tune like sweet home alabama .....do you see it as I - b7 - iv in D major

    or V - iv - I in G?

    If i began this little music geek spat by cutting you or attempting to correct you - my bad! I apologize ...gets us nowhere! Reviewing my posts ...i have been agressive in my language.
     
  19. sammyp

    sammyp

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    Brainbridge - you have some good points! I'm really not concerned with a win or loose theory discussion or knocking anyone down in pegs etc.

    I can accept the info you listed from the text, however, i think it's fair to say a large part of the musical world holds my viewpoint - that a dominant is a major triad with a b7.

    This is my overall point and trouble with the way you view theory!

    say you have a simple tune in B minor - Bm, G, A, D, Em etc ....there is no F#7 ....so we know it's a natural minor type thing.

    If i, or anyone else, having complete understanding of the modes/chords/ arps of the major scale - why would i want to reorganize my thinking of the Bm Aeolian mode in terms of


    Bm - i m
    C# minor - ii m7b5
    D - b3
    Em - iv
    F#m - V
    G - b6
    A - b7

    I choose to see it all in terms of D major

    D -I
    Em ii
    F#m - iii
    G - iv
    A - 5
    Bm - vi
    C#m7b5 - Vii


    So, just for interest and comparrison ....a simple tune like sweet home alabama .....do you see it as I - b7 - iv in D major

    or V - iv - I in G?

    If i began this little music geek spat by cutting you or attempting to correct you - my bad! I apologize ...gets us no where! Reviewing my posts, i have been aggressive in my language.
     
  20. Bainbridge

    Bainbridge

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    You'll have to excuse me for my boorish behavior, too. I'm an elitist who does not hesitate to be mean. Not one of my more admirable qualities. I can actually be quite pleasant and helpful, though.

    I can see why you associate "dominant" with a major/minor seventh chord. It's a very common thing, and I do it myself. However, "dominant" existed as a term before tertian harmony, so it really has no association with a particular chord formula, and I cannot concede due to this fact. The tonic/supertonic/mediant/subdominant/dominant/submediant/subtonic/leading tone terminology comes from medieval European music. This is roughly how it breaks down:

    • The tonic is the most important tone. "Tonus" indicates the reference tone in plainchant. You know, where the hierarchy starts (and hence why the tonic is always the tonic, and not the submediant when you have aeolian minor involved).

    • The dominant is called as such because it is the next most important tone in the hierarchy of pitches. It is a perfect fifth above the tonic.

    • Subdominant literally means "the dominant from below", indicating its intervallic relationship to the tonic: it is a perfect fifth below the tonic.

    • "Mediant" is Latin for "in the middle". If you go halfway between the tonic and the dominant, the note in the middle of those two is the mediant.

    • Similarly, the submediant is halfway between the tonic and subdominant. What applies above applies below.

    • Supertonic means "above the tonic". Easy enough, it's the note directly above the tonus.

    • Subtonic means "below the tonic". We usually call this a leading tone, since the space between this tone and the tonic is a typically a minor second. "Leading tone" refers to the behavior of the degree, whereas "subtonic" refers to the tone's location within the geography of the pitch scheme. However, "subtonic" has come to mean a tone that is a major second below the tonic.

    These are carryovers from the modal music of the Middle Ages. They describe the scale degrees pretty well, and are useful in naming chord functions, so we keep them around. It is only through historical association that "dominant chord" has come to mean a major/minor seventh chord, precisely because of the desire for leading tone and tritone resolution in CPP (Common Practice Period) music. However, when somebody says "tonic chord", do they specifically mean a particular chord quality? No, of course not. A tonic triad can be major or minor. It gets fuzzy with this "dominant chord" thing because people started using "dominant" to refer to the major/minor seventh chord quality, regardless of whether the chord occurs on the dominant scale degree. If you really want to be correct, "dominant triad" refers to whatever diatonic tertian triad may be built upon the dominant (fifth) degree of the scale. In major keys, that triad is major quality. In pure minor, it is minor quality. In harmonic minor, it is major quality. In phrygian, it is diminished. When you extend that to include seventh chords, "dominant seventh chord" will mean "the diatonic seventh chord that may be built on the dominant degree of the scale". Once again, this will be affected by the modality that you are working with. In a major key, the dominant seventh chord will be major/minor seventh. In pure minor, it's minor/minor seventh. In harmonic minor, it's major/minor seventh. In phrygian, it's diminished/minor seventh. In lydian, it's major/major seventh. In mixolydian, it's minor/minor seventh. I know you think that this creates more work and more things to remember, but it really isn't a big concept, and it is infinitely more versatile and truer to the fact than the alternative.

    Tonality is an aural phenomenon, not something that changes definition to conveniently fit whatever we have on paper. If something sounds like it is centered around B, it is centered around B, no matter what the other pitch content is. And, as I stated before, key is named after the tonic, not by what the other notes are. A B C# D E F# G can represent either B minor or D major (or A mixolydian, C# locrian, E dorian, F# phrygian, and G lydian). In all of those cases, "I" (or "i", or "i°") needs to be named after whatever the key is, whatever the perceived pitch center is. If you can't get a handle on how to label keys properly (where i is i and not vi), then you're going to have trouble. Tell me, which of these systems seems more consistent?

    System 1:

    I IV V
    i iv V
    i iv v

    System 2:

    I IV V
    i iv V
    vi ii iii

    Transposability and pattern identification is a huge part of our musical vocabulary and notation. By insisting that the presence of a minor dominant triad (or the absence of a major dominant triad) reverts you back to some relative key, you end up having to reorganize your thinking. By saying, "Oh, it's v instead of V. I'm cool with that," you have much less of a headache to worry about.

    I think you mean "I bVII IV" and "V IV I".

    To be fair, there is no real answer to this. Because of the limited harmonic context (three chords over and over again) and in absence of any strong harmonic function, I would argue that there is no real tonic, or that the tonic is nebulous at best. However, I am more inclined to go with I bVII IV in D. Why? D doesn't sound like a dominant function, and it sounds like there is a plagal relationship between G and D. In fact, C G D (keeping in mind that the cadence is elided) is what we would call a double plagal cadence. I encourage you to seek out the definition of that term.
     
  21. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

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    Come on guys this forum is above all this. Play nice.
     

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