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Old 12-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #21
Artemis Entreri
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Unless there are other instruments playing. And still if you played a chord progression with power chords only (without any other instruments), for example C5, A5, F5, G5, you would hear it as C major, A minor, F major, G major. Even if you played them as single notes, you would hear the same. Of course they could all be majors or minors. But at first you will hear the most usual progression. The chords can have a function even if they were power chords. In this case the power chords use notes C, G; A, E; F, C; G, D - that's C major scale without B. So you hear the notes in the chords before the chord and after the chord and that way you can hear the other chord tones. Also you can hear which chord is the tonic (resolution) and the other chord functions. When the power chords have a context, you can pretty much figure whether they are major or minor.


But this is due to conditioning, not the inherent quality of the chord. We've been so spoon fed I IV V progressions and diatonic contexts that our ears fill those sounds in even when they aren't present. Take a piece which shifts quickly through contexts but remove the thirds, anyone who isn't conditioned to that music would have no way of knowing major or minor implications.

An interval of a 5th so overwhelmingly reinforces the root that we hear it as "perfect."
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:58 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Unless there are other instruments playing. And still if you played a chord progression with power chords only (without any other instruments), for example C5, A5, F5, G5, you would hear it as C major, A minor, F major, G major. Even if you played them as single notes, you would hear the same. Of course they could all be majors or minors. But at first you will hear the most usual progression. The chords can have a function even if they were power chords. In this case the power chords use notes C, G; A, E; F, C; G, D - that's C major scale without B. So you hear the notes in the chords before the chord and after the chord and that way you can hear the other chord tones. Also you can hear which chord is the tonic (resolution) and the other chord functions. When the power chords have a context, you can pretty much figure whether they are major or minor.


Indeed sir, but (to my understanding at least) we are discussing whether they themselves are chords. I agree that in a song you can tell whether the song is major or minor, but power chords themselves (no other instrument playing, no vocals, etc.) are not chords and are neither major nor minor.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:59 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Artemis Entreri
But this is due to conditioning, not the inherent quality of the chord. We've been so spoon fed I IV V progressions and diatonic contexts that our ears fill those sounds in even when they aren't present. Take a piece which shifts quickly through contexts but remove the thirds, anyone who isn't conditioned to that music would have no way of knowing major or minor implications.

An interval of a 5th so overwhelmingly reinforces the root that we hear it as "perfect."


Agreed
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
Unless there are other instruments playing. And still if you played a chord progression with power chords only (without any other instruments), for example C5, A5, F5, G5, you would hear it as C major, A minor, F major, G major. Even if you played them as single notes, you would hear the same. Of course they could all be majors or minors. But at first you will hear the most usual progression. The chords can have a function even if they were power chords. In this case the power chords use notes C, G; A, E; F, C; G, D - that's C major scale without B. So you hear the notes in the chords before the chord and after the chord and that way you can hear the other chord tones. Also you can hear which chord is the tonic (resolution) and the other chord functions. When the power chords have a context, you can pretty much figure whether they are major or minor.

No, you don't hear them as the minor or major without the 3rd, you just here the power chord. You're mind just doesn't create notes to fill in the spaces based on music theory. What happens in the situations where borrowed chords are used? For example n Stairway, the key is A minor but the D chord is major, using a non-diatonic F# as a third because it sounds better in context. This is a common theme in a lot of music, particularly in minor keys, the IV and/or V is often major, borrowed from the parallel major scale.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:35 PM   #25
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^ and what I mean by that is there would be plenty of situations where a power chord is used, and if there were a 3rd to be used, the non-diatonic option may be more suitable, so to claim that our ears would simply create what is diatonic is rather absurd.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Wiegenlied
^ and what I mean by that is there would be plenty of situations where a power chord is used, and if there were a 3rd to be used, the non-diatonic option may be more suitable, so to claim that our ears would simply create what is diatonic is rather absurd.

I didn't talk about non diatonic or diatonic chords. For example let's take Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses. The outro progression is E5-G5-A5-C5-D5. The way I hear it is E minor, G major, A major, C major, D major. So A major is a non diatonic chord but there's no third played and I can still hear it as A major (even though I have heard versions that have an A minor chord). The A major just fits it better. And power chords do have a function. Not always though. But if I play E5-G5-A5-C5-D5, they do have a function. You can hear the chord changing, even though they aren't necessarily major or minor. And I would hear the A5 as major (non diatonic chord).
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:44 PM   #27
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you can infer what it is based on context
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:44 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
I didn't talk about non diatonic or diatonic chords. For example let's take Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses. The outro progression is E5-G5-A5-C5-D5. The way I hear it is E minor, G major, A major, C major, D major. So A major is a non diatonic chord but there's no third played and I can still hear it as A major (even though I have heard versions that have an A minor chord). The A major just fits it better. And power chords do have a function. Not always though. But if I play E5-G5-A5-C5-D5, they do have a function. You can hear the chord changing, even though they aren't necessarily major or minor. And I would hear the A5 as major (non diatonic chord).


Son, a V/V is hardly a complex function. Your ears are conditioned to hear that. Am would be diatonic and A major would be a secondary dominant function which is a spicier, more "out there" way of doing the same thing. You've done nothing but prove my point that it's conditioned. Power chords hardly have a function on their own but they certainy IMPLY one which is not to be taken for granted. You hear the V to I motion of the D to G and your brain fills in the scale degree movement of 7 to 1 since we're so used to the dominant effect. Everything you listen to is based on tonic to sub dominant to dominant back to tonic movement, it's natural.

I'm studying a masters in composition and I've taken a healthy dosage of 6 years of theory classes. No one can deny what YOU hear but I can tell you it's a result of conditioning and not acoustic science.
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