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What Type Of Modulation Is This?


ansthenia
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Hi everyone

So I have been attempting modulation and I've started putting secondary dominants to good use. I'm reading about things like picardy 3rds and borrowed chords to try and add more harmonic interest, but I'm not very good at using them without them standing out to much. This piece has some sort of modulation at the beginning and I would like to know what's going on. I couldn't even hear there was any sort of modulation happeneing until I played the melody on keyboard. It uses the notes E and F♯, but sometimes there is an F in there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DggH6CReCNA

Melody from 0:07 - 0:35

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It sounds like chords with notes outside of the diatonic key were used, and the melody was modified accordingly. I don't think there's a modulation either. I definitely hear the common progression of three consecutive major triads going up a tone, the last one being the tonic. That would be an example of using chords outside a single diatonic scale.

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Listening to it again, I'm pretty sure the aforementioned progression is it. I think this is in D major because of the notes you mention. So the progression is Bb major, C major, D major. It sort of borrows notes from the parallel minor. When the chord is Bb major, the F# is flattened to F natural to match the chord. If you insist that a key change happens, it would be to D minor, but I would say that it is in D major throughout.

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Yeah it does borrow from the parallel minor - D minor. When you borrow from the parallel minor it is called "simple mixture". So if you are in D major, the chord on the sixth degree would be a B minor chord. But in D minor there exist the possibility of a B flat major chord because of the ascending minor scale. Also, it sounds like you are using a G minor chord that returns to D major (or whatever major key it is in). That is a nice use of "simple mixture" too. Say in D major you want to end a piece but you had this nice minor section and you want to refer to it (plus in game in music and film it always suggests the resolution of some sort of conflict to the very end). Well in D major you could modify the typical IV-I progression. Have D as your root and have d-f-gflat as the notes of one chord go to d-f#-a. The IV becomes minor - again borrowed from D minor where the 6th degree can be flattened.

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  • 1 month later...

Borrowed chords should not be a problem at all if you understand voice leading. I recommend that you study that a bit more, and exercise. Obviously, this will lead you into understanding -which- chord to borrow, which makes for a smooth transition between chords.

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