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Old 10-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #1
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Famous songs despite the fact that they wouldnt be in theory?

Hi, i just wonder, what are some known songs that shuldnt be in theory? By this i mean songs that use wierd note choises (like having both a major and minor 6th/3rd for example), using woerd time sigs and rythms, using wierd chords, s
or wierd chords compared to melody etc...
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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there's no such thing as a stupid question - if you don't ask a question, you never learn, and so therefore asking questions is with the intent to learn new information that will help you progress. is that fair to say?

so if you're asking this type of question, it means:
  • that you don't know enough theory
  • that you don't have the right perception of theory
  • that your mindset and thought process aren't in the right place

work on those things. the fact that you think that something "shouldn't be in theory" means that you don't have the right perception of theory. ANYTHING can be explained using theory. if someone can't explain something using theory, it simply means that their command of it is insufficient. does that make sense?

and even then, using "weird chords", "weird time signatures", or "weird chords compared to melody []" is subjective, and will vary from person to person. to an experienced musician, very little is considered "weird".
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
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Theory is a way of explaining why music sounds the way it does, not a method of writing music, or a set of rules.

So, your question is just all sorts of messed up.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:33 PM   #4
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Alice Cooper's Poison modulates 4 times just within the chorus, which is odd for a pop song but as the posts above elaborate, you're approaching this the wrong way. Nobody ever said that the only way a song is famous is if it goes I - V - vi - IV without ever hitting a funny note.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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Every song is "in theory". So the answer would be "there are none".
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:30 PM   #6
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Oh i think the first post came out a little wrong. I meant:name music that have unusual factors. And btw, i know alot of theory and i go to a music school.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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I think what the TS is trying to ask is whether we can think of songs that were huge hits despite not being obvious hit material on paper. For example, Bohemian Rhapsody and Stairway to Heaven are both three part songs spanning multiple styles without repetition of parts and with no obvious 'hook' lines, but they're still fairly widely known. I think that's what they're looking for, at least that's what it looked like to me.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Usernames sucks
Oh i think the first post came out a little wrong. I meant:name music that have unusual factors. And btw, i know alot of theory and i go to a music school.


the fact that you think that a song can't include both a major and minor sixth, think there are "weird time signatures", and "weird chords" leads me to believe otherwise. and "unusual factors" can mean anything (see: John Cage's 4'33").

on the subject of subjectivity, "a lot" is also subjective. some people think $1,000,000 is a lot. some people think $7,000 is a lot. if you really know "a lot" of theory, try asking your question again in a better fashion and we'll try to answer it. you're unclear about what it is you're looking for, and bringing up things that aren't really relevant, which makes me believe you have a narrow scope. it's on that basis that i'm making these statements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nietsche
I think what the TS is trying to ask is whether we can think of songs that were huge hits despite not being obvious hit material on paper. For example, Bohemian Rhapsody and Stairway to Heaven are both three part songs spanning multiple styles without repetition of parts and with no obvious 'hook' lines, but they're still fairly widely known. I think that's what they're looking for, at least that's what it looked like to me.


so why bring up major/minor 6ths/3rds? TS has said nothing about song structure, and even goes so far to specifically state chords and time signatures. because of that, i'm inclined to disagree.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
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True. I generally think it's good policy to make the most charitable and sensible interpretation of what other say but maybe it doesn't work so well on the internet.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nietsche
True. I generally think it's good policy to make the most charitable and sensible interpretation of what other say but maybe it doesn't work so well on the internet.


if i tell you that the sky is blue, would you interpret that it's red?
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:48 AM   #11
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TS: a lot of Van Halen meanders in and out of the rigid rules....

What people said above is a reasonable point though...

If you want to hear weird to hear what weird sounds like.... there are lots... but try some VH
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nietsche
I think what the TS is trying to ask is whether we can think of songs that were huge hits despite not being obvious hit material on paper. For example, Bohemian Rhapsody and Stairway to Heaven are both three part songs spanning multiple styles without repetition of parts and with no obvious 'hook' lines, but they're still fairly widely known. I think that's what they're looking for, at least that's what it looked like to me.

That what i meant yes!

By alot of theory, i meant alot compared to the average user on this forum.
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:07 AM   #13
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I'll attempt to be constructive with some quirks I've noticed through cover bands:

TGIF - Katy Perry; it resolves to F# but F# is never played.

Wheels - Foo Fighters; resolves to A but neither starts/ends/emphasises A.

Sunday Morning - Maroon 5; has an interesting chromatic bridge thing that fits in perfectly with the song despite chromaticism being largely avoided in pop.

For an Australian example - Gravity - The Superjesus; the timing of the whole thing, verses in particular is a bit left of center.

Respect - Aretha Franklin; Song is in D, bridge in F#m.

Paranoid Android - Radiohead; it's all over the place.


Although not popular or a single, I thought There Was a Time - Guns and Roses was pretty interesting, constantly shifting between A major and A minor in the verses, modulating somewhere else for the chorus.
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Old 10-30-2012, 04:46 AM   #14
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What is deemed unusual is all a matter of context.

The Beatles' early stuff looked at in today's context can be viewed as fairly "by the book" stuff. However some of the musical choices they made in those songs were quite unfamiliar and unexpected in popular rock music of the time. Have a read of Dominic Pedler's book "The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles" It is a brilliantly written and insightful look into the music of the Beatles.
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:09 AM   #15
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People often confuse "convention" with music theory, so when something isn't conventional they think that think it's "breaks the rules."

Take a look at the ending of "Help" by the Beatles. It ends on an A6 chord, which we know isn't as stable a resolution as ending on the A major chord. Theory is what let's us analyze and communicate this easily, but it doesn't "defy" it in any why. What it defys is the convention of ending a song on the tonic chord with no extensions.
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