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Not another "What's the key" thread....well, not really.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BAG, Sep 17, 2019.


  1. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Hi All,

    I like to post these as I always learn something from all of you so this isn't "what's the key" as it's pretty obvious it is in A, however I have been wondering how you would explain what the bridge is doing if you were explaining to someone what the progression is or if you were charting it out.

    I would chart the verse as;
    I, V (three times)
    I, II, vii, V
    I, II, V
    (yes, there are a few other little things happening in there as well but this appears to be the basic progression)

    The chorus is
    I, II, vi
    I, II, V
    I, II, iii, V
    I, II, V

    Now, here is how I see the bridge (highlighted section).
    It is approached by I, vii, II and then goes through
    IIIb, VIIb, IIIb, VIIb, IV.
    Would this be correct or would you say it goes through a key change to G and is then
    I, IV, I, IV, V before changing back to the key of A when it hits the E?

    Chart and mp3 are attached.

    Thanks in advance.
     

    Attached Files:

    Bioflava likes this.
  2. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    I think it makes more sense in E.
    I'd view the bridge as a bief modulation to C
     
    BAG likes this.
  3. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    I vote for, 'the tune is in E and the highlighted section is a brief modulation to G'.

    So, the highlighted section would be: IV iii II (in E) then, in G: IV I IV I V VI (which becomes VII as you go back to E)
     
    MonetBass and BAG like this.
  4. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Wow.. OK, so I was wrong about it being in A. To me it felt like it kept wanting to go back to the A hence my assumption that it was in A despite the B not being a minor.

    Being a D should that not be a flat VII in E?
     
  5. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    Right you are!

    (I'd fix my original post, but it looks like the permissible edit time has elapsed.)
     
    BAG likes this.
  6. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    To be fair, E chords do want to go to A chords, V to I, just a B chords want to go to E chords. But when you see 2 maj chords a whole step apart, they are very often IV and V.
     
    onosson and JimmyM like this.
  7. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks for that. It does make sense.
     
  8. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    About those borrowed chords of C, G, D with E major.

    From here:

    Borrowed chords - How to use | Simplifying Theory

    "Borrowed Chord is a chord that is borrowed from another mode. It can be from a Greek Mode or from a Parallel Mode.

    Most of the time, Borrowed Chords come from the parallel mode. For this reason, many authors classify the Borrowed Chord as just a chord borrowed from the parallel mode. Our definition here will be broader.

    Before going on, we will give you an example of borrowed chord: let’s say that the song is in C major tonality. If, in some moment of the song appears the chord Eb7M, we quickly identify that it doesn’t belong to the harmonic field of C major, but from the harmonic field of C minor. As C minor is the parallel of C major, we conclude that this Eb7M is a borrowed chord from the parallel mode. These borrowed chords are passing chords; they suddenly appear in the song and soon the song returns to its tonal harmony again. It is rare appearing a borrowed chord followed by a cadence, because, in this case, we would be characterizing a modulation.

    Notice the difference: modulations are little transitions of tonality. Borrowed chords don’t change tonality, they are just borrowed and passing chords."

    Here is the E natural minor scale.

    basicmusictheory.com: E natural minor scale

    emin.PNG

    If we harmonize the E natural minor scale, we'll get the following chords:

    E minor, F♯ diminished, G Major, A minor, B minor, C Major, and D Major.

    Chords in the key of E minor.

    eminchords.PNG

    Now.
    I have a question that relates to (only) this particular example.
    Could we say that in the bridge section of the song, we have a modulation or modal interchange?

    Let's read again about the difference between modal interchange and modulation to G (a brief one).
    Modal Interchange & Borrowed Chords - The Jazz Piano Site

    "It’s useful to make a similar differentiation between Modulation and Modal Interchange:

    Modulation = Changing key for a long period of time
    Modal Interchange = Changing key (using chords from a different key) for a short period of time while retaining the same ‘tonal center’ (root note).
    What ‘a long period of time’ compared to ‘a short period of time’ means is subjective."
     
    Bioflava and BAG like this.
  9. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    So looking at those definitions we could say that the bridge is a Modal Interchange using the chords of Em?
     
  10. Whousedtoplay

    Whousedtoplay

    May 18, 2013
    TEXAS
    I would say, YES, it's a Modal Interchange.
    It's like sometimes we need to take a slightly different route but to arrive at the same destination.
     
    BAG likes this.
  11. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks for that WUTP. As I said, I always end up learning something from these threads.
     
  12. foal30

    foal30

    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    The writers of the track believe it to be a key change

    Emaj moves to Cmaj

    Never got into Cold Chisel but always liked that tune. Fretless Bass on the original version.
     

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