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Only you Expansion Chassis
Old 7th August 2014
  #1
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Only you


sorry my scoring was all messed up and detuned, trying to figure out the chords and progression of this tune. ande why does it have all major chords in it except one minor i dont unnderstand.
Old 7th August 2014
  #2
Gear Addict
uh... with those chords you are obviously in key of Eb
Old 8th August 2014
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanmatty View Post
uh... with those chords you are obviously in key of Eb
.....i'd like someone to explain what key this is in, and how this song was written
Old 8th August 2014
  #4
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by inversound View Post
ok...but it has Fmajor, Cmajor, Gmajor, Emajor, G#major, A#major, D#major....the only minor chord is C#minor...what song has 7 major chords and one minor chord lol.........
lots of jazz standards but the Majors are usually major 7ths in those songs also though this is kind of a jazzy song even when Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out did it


Quote:
Originally Posted by inversound View Post
plus Eb key does not have Fmajor, Cmajor, Gmajor, Emajor in it.............................................................
chords no, but notes yes the Eb major scale is Eb (D#) F G Ab (G#) Bb (A#) C D Eb (D#) the F, G, and C chords all should be minor but I can think of plenty of songs in major keys that have a major II, III or VI chord.


Quote:
Originally Posted by inversound View Post
Cmajor key has F C and G, but not E.......................this doesnt make sense. but its a really nice song.....i'd like someone to explain what key this is in, and how this song was written

No major key has 7 major chords as a standard they all 3 majors (I, IV, V chords) 3 minors ( II, III, VI Chords) and one diminished (flat 3rd and 5th) (VII Chord) Like I said most likely key of Eb major since you en on a Eb major chord. What note do you end on in that chord?
Old 8th August 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
i mean....you can tell that the song resolves on Eb..... i can solo the whole way through in Eb and it sounds correct...so how can that be when you dont have the right chords for Eb, you have all those majors...what formula are they using to pick their chords....
Old 8th August 2014
  #6
Gear Head
 

Hi guys - first post here after months (years?) soaking up wonderful information from the big brains on this board, so hopefully this will be useful...

I had a quick listen and put together the following chord structure:

Eb Eb G G7

Cm Cm Eb Eb7

Ab Bb Eb/G Cm

F F Bb Bb

(Each chord above is major unless specified (Cm for example is C minor) and lasts for one 4/4 bar, except the Eb / G in bar 13 which is split half a bar each.)

With jazz (and classical music) it's important to get away from the notion that the entire song is in one key throughout. Yes, in many cases there'll be a fundamental key that the song starts and ends in, but many change key on the way through - a technique known as modulation.

So, for example in this song, the fundamental key is Eb major - the song starts and ends in this key, and every chord in the track starts on a note from the scale of Eb major.

However - you're right in thinking that the G major doesn't fit exactly because it contains a B natural, which isn't from the scale of Eb major. This is the points where the song modulates - the G7 provides a stepping stone on the way to the next chord - C minor. At this point the song is now in C minor and not Eb major! (If you know your minor scales, you'll know that C minor harmonic contains a B natural)

The same thing happens two bars later when the song moves to an Eb7 which forms the V7 before it modulates yet again into Ab major.

There is a "standard" classical / jazz composition technique at work here - use of perfect cadence (V7-I) to modulate into new keys - which appears frequently in pop music from the 50s, 60s and 70s, but which is rarely used in modern (particularly electronic) pop music which mostly revolves around chords from the tonic.

In fairness, it's a bit of a mind**** to get your head around at first unless you've spent any time studying music theory...
Old 8th August 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
ok thats really helpful. yea i usualy can figure out a song easily and the key or if it changes, but it's mostly rock songs. and I just started tabbing out a bunch of my fav 50s tunes and most of them are so easy, just I IV V, but then I got caught on this one, i;ve never been just stumped on figuring out a key but this is like jazz like your saying, and jazz is too advanced for me....like i can solo over this song in Eb the whole way, yet it uses multiple chords that arent in the diatonic Eb scale. what you said here is a bnit too confusing i have to say. i want to learn what the technique is but it seems a bit too advanced. like i get the switch from Eb to Cm its the relative minor but then you say it goes to Ab, with a transition, how does that work, it has something to do with perfect 5ths right? borrowed chords maybe ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtmusic View Post
Hi guys - first post here after months (years?) soaking up wonderful information from the big brains on this board, so hopefully this will be useful...

I had a quick listen and put together the following chord structure:

Eb Eb G G7

Cm Cm Eb Eb7

Ab Bb Eb/G Cm

F F Bb Bb

(Each chord above is major unless specified (Cm for example is C minor) and lasts for one 4/4 bar, except the Eb / G in bar 13 which is split half a bar each.)

With jazz (and classical music) it's important to get away from the notion that the entire song is in one key throughout. Yes, in many cases there'll be a fundamental key that the song starts and ends in, but many change key on the way through - a technique known as modulation.

So, for example in this song, the fundamental key is Eb major - the song starts and ends in this key, and every chord in the track starts on a note from the scale of Eb major.

However - you're right in thinking that the G major doesn't fit exactly because it contains a B natural, which isn't from the scale of Eb major. This is the points where the song modulates - the G7 provides a stepping stone on the way to the next chord - C minor. At this point the song is now in C minor and not Eb major! (If you know your minor scales, you'll know that C minor harmonic contains a B natural)

The same thing happens two bars later when the song moves to an Eb7 which forms the V7 before it modulates yet again into Ab major.

There is a "standard" classical / jazz composition technique at work here - use of perfect cadence (V7-I) to modulate into new keys - which appears frequently in pop music from the 50s, 60s and 70s, but which is rarely used in modern (particularly electronic) pop music which mostly revolves around chords from the tonic.

In fairness, it's a bit of a mind**** to get your head around at first unless you've spent any time studying music theory...
Old 8th August 2014
  #8
Gear Head
 

Cool - I'm glad some of it was helpful at least!

Jazz is very complex in its approach to chords and harmonies - mostly way too advanced for me! In all honesty, when I listened to Only You I followed the bassline which is playing extremely useful slow arpeggios all the way through and which if you follow them, quickly show you which chord is major and which is minor!

Where music theory helps a lot is a) understanding why things work, so you can replicate them later, and b) training your ear to hear specific musical devices so you can identify them more quickly. Learning intervals, scales, chord progressions, all help you write songs more quickly, but not necessarily to write better songs!!

The complicated thing about explaining music theory is it builds up in layers so it's difficult to take a specific thing in isolation and talk about it without first going into loads of background info, but I'll see if I can explain things a bit better...

If you think about Eb (or any) diatonic major, you can create a chord for each note of the scale using the notes from the scale. Every major scale will follow the same identical pattern (this link might be easier to see : http://www.musictheory.net/lessons/43):

I - Eb
IIm - Fm
IIIm - Gm
IV - Ab
V - Bb
VIm - Cm
VIIdim5 - D diminished 5th (D F Ab)

A song in a single key will only use these chords.

Often, in classical music, jazz music, pop music, any music, performers or songwriters will use the V chord into V-I progression. This is known in classical music as a perfect cadence - it sounds like a musical "full stop" and is frequently used to end pieces of music.

(Jazz musicians like to complicate things and will usually use a V7 because it sounds nice - also because it gives them more options when substituting chords and improvising...)

So, in Only You we have a G major chord right? Where does this fit in the pattern above? Nowhere. What about if we look at the equivalent chord pattern for the C minor harmonic scale:

Im - Cm
IIdim5 - D dim
IIIaug5 - Eb aug (Eb G B)
IVm - Fm
V - G
VI - Ab
VIIdim5 - B dim

Here we can see that G major is the V chord for Cm harmonic - this gives us a V-Im movement which suggests that the track has changed key to Cm.

The most likely question at this point is how do you KNOW it's V-I from the harmonic minor and not another interval from another scale? Two reasons:

1) We're talking about pop music, not jazz, where the concept of root keys and tonality gets a lot more complex, so we can be fairly sure that we're most likely talking about the "standard" scales (major, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor) that people are familiar with.

2) Within these four scales, I'm pretty sure I'm right in saying that there's only one place where you can find a 5 step drop from a major chord to a minor one, and that's the V-Im progression in the harmonic minor. All other 5 step drops from minor keys end on dim, aug or other minor chords. Once you know this, you can quickly tell by ear which is the V and which is the I!

That hopefully explains the "easy" one to spot - I'll have to regroup and think about how to demonstrate the others............!!
Old 8th August 2014
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtmusic View Post
Hi guys - first post here after months (years?) soaking up wonderful information from the big brains on this board, so hopefully this will be useful...

I had a quick listen and put together the following chord structure:

Eb Eb G G7

Cm Cm Eb Eb7

Ab Bb Eb/G Cm

F F Bb Bb

(Each chord above is major unless specified (Cm for example is C minor) and lasts for one 4/4 bar, except the Eb / G in bar 13 which is split half a bar each.)

With jazz (and classical music) it's important to get away from the notion that the entire song is in one key throughout. Yes, in many cases there'll be a fundamental key that the song starts and ends in, but many change key on the way through - a technique known as modulation.

So, for example in this song, the fundamental key is Eb major - the song starts and ends in this key, and every chord in the track starts on a note from the scale of Eb major.

However - you're right in thinking that the G major doesn't fit exactly because it contains a B natural, which isn't from the scale of Eb major. This is the points where the song modulates - the G7 provides a stepping stone on the way to the next chord - C minor. At this point the song is now in C minor and not Eb major! (If you know your minor scales, you'll know that C minor harmonic contains a B natural)

The same thing happens two bars later when the song moves to an Eb7 which forms the V7 before it modulates yet again into Ab major.

There is a "standard" classical / jazz composition technique at work here - use of perfect cadence (V7-I) to modulate into new keys - which appears frequently in pop music from the 50s, 60s and 70s, but which is rarely used in modern (particularly electronic) pop music which mostly revolves around chords from the tonic.

In fairness, it's a bit of a mind**** to get your head around at first unless you've spent any time studying music theory...
I think you're mostly right, and you clearly have knowledge here, but I'd argue against the notion that this song changes key. That G7 is really just a V7/vi, it's a transition chord, and you land back on the vi of the key. The Eb7 is just a V7/IV, another transition, to Ab, which is the IV, and which immediately goes to the V. We never modulate to A b major. And that ending, going from C7 to F7 to Bb7 is an extended dominant pattern pointing back to Eb, the I.

For the OP, who probably didn't understand that paragraph, the ideas I'm describing aren't terribly complicated. Dominant chords (shown with a 7 to indicate the b7 interval. A C7 would contain C, E, G, Bb) most often resolve down a perfect 5th. So if you're going from Eb (I, in this key) to Cm (vi) you can put a G7 (V7 of vi, because it's a fifth above the Cm) in the middle to lead the ear along.
The same thing happens with the Eb7; Eb is a fifth above Ab. It's V7/IV (Ab is the IV chord). The ending is just an extension of this idea. C7 is a fifth above F7, which is a fifth above Bb7, which is a fifth above Eb, our root chord.
The progression never modulates to a different key, but it does 'borrow' chords from just outside it.

EDIT:
Clarification for the OP: I'm using roman numerals for the chords. So 'I' is the first, major chord in the scale, ii, is the second, minor, etc. The scale of chords looks like: I ii iii IV V vi viidim
Old 9th August 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
Wow, i'm learning alot from this song, and your help...thanks a ton brother. now that I understand what youre saying about the harmonic minor...it makes sense, perfect tonal sense...all that's happening is the song starts in Eb, then goes to Cm harmonic, then just back to Eb.....the song is in Eb except for when it plays a G chord....so they are creating this massive tonal tension with that one G chord..and it's because of the harmonic minor....and the fact that the G is the perfect 5th of the Cm harmonic...that gives it extra tonal power...and it's Gmajor which is tonally so different than Gminor....it's really cool.....yea? I'm right right?

so this is how i have it tabbed now....i think it's correct...

Only Eb youuu, can make this G world, seem right
Only Cm youuu, can make the Eb darkness bright
Only Ab youuu, and you a---Bb--looone, can Eb thrill me Gm like you Cm do
And Fm fill my heart with love for only Bb youuuuu

Only Eb you, can make this G change in me
For it's Cm true, you are my Eb destiny
When you Ab hold my hand
I under--Cm--stand, the Eb magic Gm that you Cm do
You're my Fm dream come true
My Bb one and only Eb Eb>Ab Ab>Eb you

Only Eb you, can make this G change in me
For it's Cm true, you are my Eb destiny
When you Ab hold my hand
I under--Cm--stand, the Eb magic Gm that you Cm do
You're my Fm dream come true
My Bb one and only Eb you...>>Bb One Ab and Bb on--Ab---lyyyyy Eb youuuu



Quote:
Originally Posted by jtmusic View Post
Cool - I'm glad some of it was helpful at least!

Jazz is very complex in its approach to chords and harmonies - mostly way too advanced for me! In all honesty, when I listened to Only You I followed the bassline which is playing extremely useful slow arpeggios all the way through and which if you follow them, quickly show you which chord is major and which is minor!

Where music theory helps a lot is a) understanding why things work, so you can replicate them later, and b) training your ear to hear specific musical devices so you can identify them more quickly. Learning intervals, scales, chord progressions, all help you write songs more quickly, but not necessarily to write better songs!!

The complicated thing about explaining music theory is it builds up in layers so it's difficult to take a specific thing in isolation and talk about it without first going into loads of background info, but I'll see if I can explain things a bit better...

If you think about Eb (or any) diatonic major, you can create a chord for each note of the scale using the notes from the scale. Every major scale will follow the same identical pattern (this link might be easier to see : http://www.musictheory.net/lessons/43):

I - Eb
IIm - Fm
IIIm - Gm
IV - Ab
V - Bb
VIm - Cm
VIIdim5 - D diminished 5th (D F Ab)

A song in a single key will only use these chords.

Often, in classical music, jazz music, pop music, any music, performers or songwriters will use the V chord into V-I progression. This is known in classical music as a perfect cadence - it sounds like a musical "full stop" and is frequently used to end pieces of music.

(Jazz musicians like to complicate things and will usually use a V7 because it sounds nice - also because it gives them more options when substituting chords and improvising...)

So, in Only You we have a G major chord right? Where does this fit in the pattern above? Nowhere. What about if we look at the equivalent chord pattern for the C minor harmonic scale:

Im - Cm
IIdim5 - D dim
IIIaug5 - Eb aug (Eb G B)
IVm - Fm
V - G
VI - Ab
VIIdim5 - B dim

Here we can see that G major is the V chord for Cm harmonic - this gives us a V-Im movement which suggests that the track has changed key to Cm.

The most likely question at this point is how do you KNOW it's V-I from the harmonic minor and not another interval from another scale? Two reasons:

1) We're talking about pop music, not jazz, where the concept of root keys and tonality gets a lot more complex, so we can be fairly sure that we're most likely talking about the "standard" scales (major, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor) that people are familiar with.

2) Within these four scales, I'm pretty sure I'm right in saying that there's only one place where you can find a 5 step drop from a major chord to a minor one, and that's the V-Im progression in the harmonic minor. All other 5 step drops from minor keys end on dim, aug or other minor chords. Once you know this, you can quickly tell by ear which is the V and which is the I!

That hopefully explains the "easy" one to spot - I'll have to regroup and think about how to demonstrate the others............!!
Old 9th August 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 

People refer to the V chord in a scale as the dominant chord, and it wants to resolve to I. Secondary dominants are the chords that are dominants to chords other than I in the scale; the dominant of the ii, or the vi, for instance. G7 is the dominant of the vi in this case. Dominant chords contain a tritone between the 3rd and the 7th intervals of the chord. The B and the F create a tritone in the G7. That tritone is incredible unstable, and wants to collapse down to C and E, creating a C major chord, or to C and Eb, for a C minor.
While you can sort of think of this as modulating to C harmonic minor for a moment, that seems like a round-about way of thinking about things. In a way you are 'tonicizing' the chord that you're resolving to with a secondary dominant, but really it's all about that tritone movement, not borrowing from a particular scale.

Your tab is close, but it's mistaking a few juicy bits. Eb in the second line turns into E7, creating another secondary dominant, the V7/IV. Then the Cm in the third line turns into C7, creating V7/II. This would normally resolve to Fm, but here it actually deceptively resolves to F7, which we call V7/V. V7/V resolves to Bb7, as you have written.
In the second verse, the Ab in the third line turns into an Abm, not a Cm. The iv- chord (instead of the IV chord) is a common way to resolve back to I. That is an example of borrowing from another scale, the Cm scale, a phenomenon we call modal interchange.
Old 10th August 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
ok ok it took me a bit to get my head on it.....thanks so much for taking the time to help me understand Alden...I really appreciate it.....you said this: G7 is the dominant of the vi in this case...from what ive been studying up the last couple hours, there is 3 different types of G7, dominant, major and minor....so how do you know which one.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
People refer to the V chord in a scale as the dominant chord, and it wants to resolve to I. Secondary dominants are the chords that are dominants to chords other than I in the scale; the dominant of the ii, or the vi, for instance. G7 is the dominant of the vi in this case. Dominant chords contain a tritone between the 3rd and the 7th intervals of the chord. The B and the F create a tritone in the G7. That tritone is incredible unstable, and wants to collapse down to C and E, creating a C major chord, or to C and Eb, for a C minor.
While you can sort of think of this as modulating to C harmonic minor for a moment, that seems like a round-about way of thinking about things. In a way you are 'tonicizing' the chord that you're resolving to with a secondary dominant, but really it's all about that tritone movement, not borrowing from a particular scale.

Your tab is close, but it's mistaking a few juicy bits. Eb in the second line turns into E7, creating another secondary dominant, the V7/IV. Then the Cm in the third line turns into C7, creating V7/II. This would normally resolve to Fm, but here it actually deceptively resolves to F7, which we call V7/V. V7/V resolves to Bb7, as you have written.
In the second verse, the Ab in the third line turns into an Abm, not a Cm. The iv- chord (instead of the IV chord) is a common way to resolve back to I. That is an example of borrowing from another scale, the Cm scale, a phenomenon we call modal interchange.
Old 10th August 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inversound View Post
ok ok it took me a bit to get my head on it.....thanks so much for taking the time to help me understand Alden...I really appreciate it.....you said this: G7 is the dominant of the vi in this case...from what ive been studying up the last couple hours, there is 3 different types of G7, dominant, major and minor....so how do you know which one.....
Happy to help.

As you probably know, a 4-note chord is made up of the 1, 3, 5, and 7. The quality of these intervals determines what kind of chord.
G B D F# is called Gmaj7, because the 3 and the 7 are major.
G Bb D F is called Gm7, because the 3 and the 7 are minor.
G B D F is called G7, because the 3 is major and the 7 is minor.

Any time someone refers to a chord with just a 7, such as a G7 or a B7, it describes a dominant chord. A secondary dominant will always be that, because it needs that tritone to create tension.

Now, as far as 4-note chords go, there are a lot more options than those three. You can combine the major and minor intervals in any fashion. There's Gm(maj7) (can you figure out the notes on that one?), and then you can start augmenting or diminishing the 5th, creating stuff like Gm7(b5) (G Bb Db F). Or diminishing the 7 to create a G6 (a diminished 7 interval is the same note as a 6, so G B D E).
Old 11th August 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
Happy to help.
Or diminishing the 7 to create a G6 (a diminished 7 interval is the same note as a 6, so G B D E).
Another thing is...is the reason a dominant chord good for transitioning because its a tritone? because since all the notes are full tone apart it takes away the cadence towards any other notes of the key you want to switch out of? Its kind of like playing a neutral pivot chord...

So lets say I'm in.......Fm key....my normal chords are Fm Gdim Ab Bbm Cm Db Eb......I can just play a G7....which is G B D F.......and then because that is a neutral chord i can play the next chord...say a Cmajor.....now I'm offically out Fm key into 'any key' with Cmajor in it.....and then to get back to Fm it would be smart to use the dominant of Fm key which is Cm....so i could play C7 and then any Fm and i'm back in Fm......! yea?
Old 11th August 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Mmmmm I'm not really sure what you're saying. The dominant chord is good for transitioning because it is very much not neutral. It strongly suggests movement down a 5th (It can also resolve down a half-step, but this is less common and more of a jazzy thing). The tritone gives it tension that resolves as I described.
Your example works. When you play that G7 your listener is going to expect a C in the root of the next chord. That makes this chord good for transitioning to the v- chord, or the V7 chord, or modulating to Cmajor, or a number of other options. C7 would take you back to F.

A couple of points of clarification: one, which is a little pedantic, is that Cm is not called the dominant chord of Fm just because it's on the 5th note. A dominant chord needs to contain a tritone, so C7 would be the dominant.
More important is to instill the notion that there is no 'officially' in or out of a key; this is all based on context and what the listener's ear says. If you're playing a song in Fm, and then play G7 followed by C, you could land back on Fm directly after without ever modulating. It's more useful to think of the key as a spectrum than an 'in or out' kind of thing. G7, like other secondary dominants, is a little bit outside Fm, but not too terribly far, and it often nudges you right back in. There are a lot of fun little intermediary chords, like passing diminished chords (worth looking up), that can spice up a chord progression without really taking you away from the key.
Old 11th August 2014
  #16
Gear Head
 

Alden - thanks for explaining secondary dominants, I hadn't been aware of these until now! They're a much neater way of explaining what happens in a short piece.

Interestingly, doing a bit of research it seems as though they're a "relatively" new invention (20th century - positively cutting edge as far as classical music is concerned ) as up until this point people still just considered it a very short term modulation which is what I was clunkily trying to explain...

Secondary dominants allow you to keep the same root key (overall context) while explaining why a V7 can be used to transition to an apparently new I, but while actually staying in the same underlying key.

Interesting that you can apply two different explanations to the same device, and fascinating (to me at least...) to see how the theory develops to adopt new ideas to make explaining things simpler.

Not sure this makes it any easier for anyone else to understand but it certainly helped me!
Old 11th August 2014
  #17
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It makes sense; my music theory education was all taught from a modern/jazz standpoint. It's always fun chatting with my classically-trained friends and seeing how differently they've been taught to interpret the same sounds! My piano playing buddy has no patience for modes... haha
Glad you found this useful too!
Old 12th August 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
The dominant chord is good for transitioning because it is very much not neutral. It strongly suggests movement down a 5th (It can also resolve down a half-step, but this is less common and more of a jazzy thing). The tritone gives it tension that resolves as I described.
So I could play this prog....
start off in Bbm key

Bbm, Ebm, Db7(Db7= Db F Ab B)....

(now i'm in Gb key cause Gb is a perfect 5th down from Db)(and the Gb has a notable Abminor now as opposed to Bbm key which has Abmajor)

next phrase:
Abm B Gb.....so i finish in Gb key....but Gb key shares Db and Ebm with Bbm key......so I could play this instead of Abm B Gb; Abm B Bbm.......when i play this instead, it sounds fine, but it still wants to resolve to the new key Gb...even though we brought back a Bbm chord (which has a flat B note) from the old Bbm key....it sounds actually ok.....this sounded ok, so is this right? like I get the whole concept now...?
_________________________________________________
and another question: can i play any 7chord in a given key (any of the 7 7chords), and resolve down a perfect 5th from that 7chord....so if I'm in Bbm, I can play a Ebm7 (notes Eb Gb Bb Db) (which is the iv degree/subdominant) will it resolve down a perfect 5th to Ab major? or no because its Ebminor7.....because Ebmajor is the perfect 5th of Ab not Ebminor.....

______________________________________________
I thought tritone was a neutral chord like you could transition to any new key out of the old key....so you say it's only for transitioning into a perfect fifth below the 7chord...

why exactly is it that the tritone makes it able to resolve to a perfect 5th down (and into a new key if you want)?
Old 12th August 2014
  #19
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I was trying to figure out why that Db7 sounded strange, and then I remembered: secondary dominants want to occur on weak beats/measures.

In a 4 bar phrase, you have either
Strong | Strong | Weak | Weak
or
Strong | Weak | Strong | Weak
Depending on the speed of the chord changes.
If you go have 2 chords/measure, you might have
Strong Weak | Strong Weak | etc..

Do you get the pattern? It's just like drums with the snare on the 2 and the 4 to emphasize weak beats. A secondary dominant on a strong beat won't sound like a secondary dominant, because it's a transitionary chord.

Alright, with that aside:
Secondary dominants make your ears expect a particular chord, not a key (necessarily). So if you're in some random key and you play Db7 into Abm, people won't hear 'oh, Gb'. It will sound like a 'deceptive resolution', as in, their ears were expecting one thing and got another (there is no right and wrong in music; theory only describes what you're doing). Note that it's very rare to be in a key without playing the root chord at some point; you're probably in a different key if you think you're doing so.
If you go Db7 to Gb, the resolution is strong enough that it makes for an effective modulation.

In the case of your chord progression, to my ears there is no modulation, or secondary dominant. My ear doesn't come to rest until I reach Gb. You're in Gb the whole time.
Being in a key isn't about what chord you open on, or a set of rules. It's about what your ear hears and expects. To my ear, your chord progression starts on the iii-, the ear just doesn't know for sure until you hit that G (though it gets a pretty darn good clue with the Db7). When I hear that Db7 I expect you to go to the Gb, but you delay that resolution by goes to the ii- and the IV first.
Again, it's hard to be in a key without playing the root: how do you make a chord feel like 'home' without ever hitting it?

---

Movement down a 5th or up a 4th is often pleasing to the ear, but only the dominant (or various dominant substitutions you can use) will create that sense of tension.
i- iv-7 bVII is of course a valid, and pleasant sounding progression. It's not a secondary dominant however; hear how it sounds different when you replace the iv-7 with a V7/bVII (Eb7, in this case).

---

I sort of explained this earlier:
"Dominant chords contain a tritone between the 3rd and the 7th intervals of the chord. The notes B and the F create a tritone in the G7. That tritone is incredible unstable, and wants to collapse down to the notes C and E, creating a C major chord, or to C and Eb, for a C minor."
Now, again, this is just what the ear expects. You can do lots of other things; in the key of C, G7 creates the expectation of Cmajor, but could easily resolve deceptively to Am. Or you could go Dm7 to G7 to Em7 to A7, then back to Dm7 G7 and C. Or that A7 could take you away into a key change to Dmajor. Secondary dominants do lots of things, but they suggest root movement down a perf 5th.
Old 13th August 2014
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
I was trying to figure out why that Db7 sounded strange, and then I remembered: secondary dominants want to occur on weak beats/measures.

In a 4 bar phrase, you have either
Strong | Strong | Weak | Weak
or
Strong | Weak | Strong | Weak
Depending on the speed of the chord changes.
If you go have 2 chords/measure, you might have
Strong Weak | Strong Weak | etc..

Do you get the pattern? It's just like drums with the snare on the 2 and the 4 to emphasize weak beats. A secondary dominant on a strong beat won't sound like a secondary dominant, because it's a transitionary chord.

Alright, with that aside:
Secondary dominants make your ears expect a particular chord, not a key (necessarily). So if you're in some random key and you play Db7 into Abm, people won't hear 'oh, Gb'. It will sound like a 'deceptive resolution', as in, their ears were expecting one thing and got another (there is no right and wrong in music; theory only describes what you're doing). Note that it's very rare to be in a key without playing the root chord at some point; you're probably in a different key if you think you're doing so.
If you go Db7 to Gb, the resolution is strong enough that it makes for an effective modulation.

In the case of your chord progression, to my ears there is no modulation, or secondary dominant. My ear doesn't come to rest until I reach Gb. You're in Gb the whole time.
Being in a key isn't about what chord you open on, or a set of rules. It's about what your ear hears and expects. To my ear, your chord progression starts on the iii-, the ear just doesn't know for sure until you hit that G (though it gets a pretty darn good clue with the Db7). When I hear that Db7 I expect you to go to the Gb, but you delay that resolution by goes to the ii- and the IV first.
Again, it's hard to be in a key without playing the root: how do you make a chord feel like 'home' without ever hitting it?

---

Movement down a 5th or up a 4th is often pleasing to the ear, but only the dominant (or various dominant substitutions you can use) will create that sense of tension.
i- iv-7 bVII is of course a valid, and pleasant sounding progression. It's not a secondary dominant however; hear how it sounds different when you replace the iv-7 with a V7/bVII (Eb7, in this case).

---

I sort of explained this earlier:
"Dominant chords contain a tritone between the 3rd and the 7th intervals of the chord. The notes B and the F create a tritone in the G7. That tritone is incredible unstable, and wants to collapse down to the notes C and E, creating a C major chord, or to C and Eb, for a C minor."
Now, again, this is just what the ear expects. You can do lots of other things; in the key of C, G7 creates the expectation of Cmajor, but could easily resolve deceptively to Am. Or you could go Dm7 to G7 to Em7 to A7, then back to Dm7 G7 and C. Or that A7 could take you away into a key change to Dmajor. Secondary dominants do lots of things, but they suggest root movement down a perf 5th.
What about if you had G7 and the next chord as Am, substituting for C maj? Would you still call this a perfect cadence, or a resolution of some other variety? I have a song where G7 leads to the Am, Am being the first chord of the chorus...
Old 13th August 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
 

That's called a deceptive resolution. You're ear is expecting the C, but you get an Am. That's one of the more common deceptive resolutions as well, and you still have that lovely tritone resolution, so it's still going to be very comfortable to the ear.
Old 13th August 2014
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks Alden.
Old 13th August 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
That's called a deceptive resolution. You're ear is expecting the C, but you get an Am. That's one of the more common deceptive resolutions as well, and you still have that lovely tritone resolution, so it's still going to be very comfortable to the ear.
Ok, I think I'm getting my head around it now......this is totally opening up a whole new realm of musical possiblities brother, thanks so much for taking the time to teach.
Old 13th August 2014
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Sure thing! It's good practice for me to explain this stuff.
There're a whole lot of fun chords and colors out there to play with!
Old 13th August 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
Without regard to any music theory - I love the ascending note in the recurring verse progression Eb G Cm Eb7 (I don't know if they play the 7th in the last chord, but the melody makes it). Starting on the 5th of the Eb, it steps up half notes to the 7th, creating an uplifting effect.
Old 17th August 2014
  #26
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenW View Post
Happy to help.

As you probably know, a 4-note chord is made up of the 1, 3, 5, and 7. The quality of these intervals determines what kind of chord.
G B D F# is called Gmaj7, because the 3 and the 7 are major.
G Bb D F is called Gm7, because the 3 and the 7 are minor.
G B D F is called G7, because the 3 is major and the 7 is minor.

Any time someone refers to a chord with just a 7, such as a G7 or a B7, it describes a dominant chord. A secondary dominant will always be that, because it needs that tritone to create tension.

Now, as far as 4-note chords go, there are a lot more options than those three. You can combine the major and minor intervals in any fashion. There's Gm(maj7) (can you figure out the notes on that one?), and then you can start augmenting or diminishing the 5th, creating stuff like Gm7(b5) (G Bb Db F). Or diminishing the 7 to create a G6 (a diminished 7 interval is the same note as a 6, so G B D E).
Good post But one question why is a does a minor 6th contain the 6th of the major scale and not minor?

why is an Am6

ACEF# and NOT ACEF
Old 17th August 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanmatty View Post
Good post But one question why is a does a minor 6th contain the 6th of the major scale and not minor?

why is an Am6

ACEF# and NOT ACEF
Good question. I'll answer as best as I can.
Am6 means an Am chord with an added 6, as opposed to a b6, which you'd find in a minor scale. Am6 can also be notated Am(maj6) or Am(add6). If you added the 7th, it would be an Am13 (as opposed to 'F', which would make an Amb13).
It's also a matter of common practice: a b6 is a half step from the 5, and therefore dissonant. This is avoided in most contexts. Without the 5, it's probably best notated as an Am+5 (Am with an augmented 5th).
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