Trying to learn some theory and one of the things I'll do to help me along the way is analyze some songs. Recently I've been revisiting "Stairway to Heaven." I enjoy playing the song, and I suppose I'm not alone. My question is this (please forgive my ignorance as I'm new to this): Song is in key of Am which is the relative minor to Cmaj. It seems to me that in bars 9-14 the tonic seems to shift from Am to Cmaj am I out to lunch if I say the song modulates to Cmaj during these passages?
Am and Cmaj are basically the same. You can look at a song and either say, it's in Cmaj or say it's in Am. However it doesn't matter which one as far as I know about theory.
Pretty much all my music teachers tell me that the key which it begins in is what you'd say it is if you where taking an exam or something along those lines. So since the song is initially in Am, you'd call it A minor right through, as Cmaj shares notes with Am
Quote by Sashaafm
Am and Cmaj are basically the same. You can look at a song and either say, it's in Cmaj or say it's in Am. However it doesn't matter which one as far as I know about theory.

Almost completely wrong. And the OP's question indicates that he wasn't asking if there's a difference between the two, he was asking if it modulates.
I admit the song is in Am. But my question is does the tonic center shift to Cmaj from Bar 9 for the next 8 bars. If you play it and listen to it it the song seems to shift it's center away from Am. It is quite common for songs to modulate to another key in the middle from some pivot chord shared by both keys. In this case all the chords are the same between Am and Cmaj so I suppose any chord could be used as a pivot point in this case in Bar 8 it goes G,Am, then walks it's way up the A String A,B,C leading into the appregiated Cmaj chord. Once you get to the C chord it the song works it's way back to C through several iterations before going back to the Am intro again.
ok... i didnt want to start a new thread but this kinda ties in a little, is it 100% necessary to know this kinda stuf to advance in guitar playing? cuz i dont know anything about this stuff but i do plan on learning it
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ok... i didnt want to start a new thread but this kinda ties in a little, is it 100% necessary to know this kinda stuf to advance in guitar playing? cuz i dont know anything about this stuff but i do plan on learning it

I reckon you should know. It makes composition a faster/easier process. You can also tell your bass player, or your singer (or other instruments) what is happening in the song, so that you can all play it.
i would say that yes it does modulate to C maj
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