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Key vs Key Signature

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Jun 18, 2016.


  1. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    But why would someone write in a key that needs to borrow a chord from the parallel minor? If the only distinguishing feature of that D major and G major is the C#, and the C# is changed to a C natural, why not just write the key as G major?
    It's interesting, but I don't know where to read to know the reasoning. Is it so the tonal center will be seen as D?
     
    tbz likes this.
  2. Theory_Expert

    Theory_Expert Banned

    Jun 19, 2016
    It's so that the tonal center will be HEARD as D Major.

    Just listen to the song. If you don't come away with the Key being D (even with the C Chord)... well, I don't know what to tell ya.

     
    joebar and Mushroo like this.
  3. Theory_Expert

    Theory_Expert Banned

    Jun 19, 2016
    This happens often enough.

    An Example from the Beatles' Song Catalog (pre-1973), You're Gonna Lose That Girl:

    Verse: || E (I) | G# (V-of-vi) | F#m (ii) | B (V) | E (I)| C#m (vi) | F#m (ii) |B (V) ||

    The G# is borrowed from the Relative Minor - C# Minor.

    Can't You See borrows from the Parallel Minor.

    Why? Ask the composer.
     
  4. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Hey thanks for explaining that, and it makes sense.
    It makes more sense in the Beatles song to me, because the borrowed chord is of a relative minor, as opposed to the OP's example, which is a bit more arbitrary to me. That borrowed chord is imported from the key of a minor chord which doesn't exist in the songs chord structure. I'm probably not explaining that very well.
    I wonder why. It seems the center of the song would still feel as though D7 is the center. Marshal Tucker is deeper than I thought haha
     
  5. Theory_Expert

    Theory_Expert Banned

    Jun 19, 2016
    Or, the Music Theory analysis is making Marshal Tucker seem so, theoretically speaking.

    :woot:

     
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I personally hear D Major (D, F#, A) as the tonal center, not D7 (D, F#, A, C).

    Not that a tonic dominant 7th chord would be forbidden (example: the blues) but I just don't hear it in this particular song.
     
  7. tbz

    tbz

    Jun 28, 2013
    SoCal
    The guy writing it was just messing around with chords he knew most likely. The chords used on both rhythm guitar parts are all very simple open chords.

    I agree the tonal center is a D Major chord but since the 7th in both the D and G are ambiguous, and the C or C# question seems to not get answered anywhere else, I'd notate written parts as being in the key of G Major, as opposed to the alternative, which would be to notate it in D Major and manually notate the accidental.
     
  8. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Haha! Perhaps
     
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Another perhaps more likely explanation is that Toy Caldwell was a talented songwriter who listened to the radio and therefore had heard the chord progression D, C, G a thousand times.
     
  10. tbz

    tbz

    Jun 28, 2013
    SoCal
    Yup. It's everywhere.

    Guess I wasn't 100% accurate with the intent of my statement.

    "He was messing around with a fairly simple standard chord progression that he'd heard before, based around simple voicings that any 1st year guitarist would know."

    Is more accurate.

    My main point is that he was likely not thinking about parallel minor substitutions. Sorry for any confusion.

    Based on the transcription of the solo I'm seeing he seems to avoid defining the 7th even there, no C#s and the only Cs played are over the C chord.

    Mr. Caldwell was very clearly a talented man. That being said, it seems like this was a song based more around something that sounded good, as opposed to an intentional parallel minor sub.
     
  11. Theory_Expert

    Theory_Expert Banned

    Jun 19, 2016
    Agreed.
     
  12. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    You are correct.
    What's strange, the guitar does NOT play ANY C chord. There are D sus2, Dsus4 over C in the bass,
    and
    there is ONLY C in the melody - NO C#.
     
  13. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    I tend to avoid any unnecessary arguments, but, PLEASE, show me ANY place from the THAT SONG, "Can't you see" where the guitar plays that C chord.
    In addition, please try to play on the piano/keyboard that chord progression D / C and see if it sounds correct for that PARTICULAR song, "Can't you see".
    P.S. I'm not asking about the borrowed chords from any other songs. Just this one.

     
  14. Theory_Expert

    Theory_Expert Banned

    Jun 19, 2016
    It's NOT necessary that the guitar actually play a FULL C-Chord, for the harmony to be a C-Chord..

    If a guitarist strums - on his E, B, G strings - E, B, G, AND the bassist plays a C on his A-string, that's a C Major 7 chord.


    =====

    Who said anything about a D/C?

     
  15. tbz

    tbz

    Jun 28, 2013
    SoCal
    I outlined the chord tones involved in the chord I'm referring to by shorthand earlier in the post, if you'd care to look up.
     
  16. tbz

    tbz

    Jun 28, 2013
    SoCal
    For reference.
     
  17. Theory_Expert

    Theory_Expert Banned

    Jun 19, 2016

    Are those Jazz Chords?
     
  18. tbz

    tbz

    Jun 28, 2013
    SoCal
    Can't tell if you're trolling or not.

    Those are the chord tones they're playing in each of the three chords that comprise the song.

    Those particular voicings are guitar 101 voicings, especially in that era. I wouldn't call them jazz chords.
     
  19. joebar

    joebar

    Jan 10, 2010
    decide on your tonal center.

    it doesn't really matter what notes fit; just that they do.
    the C doesn't necessarily make this mixolydian and the absence of a C# doesn't mean it isn't D major.

    these are the types of things about music that are caught rather than taught it seems. when you get it, you get it.

    bottom line-

    a guy who knows what he is doing will play the right notes during the changes.
     
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    ^^^This. Teaching theory is my day gig, and this is a very simple and common progression. Definitely what's going on in this song IMO.

    Ignore the sock puppet troll. I think we all know who that was. Predictable troll is predictable.
     

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