#1
Why is it common to hear a II chord in pop music rather than a ii? For example in "Keasbey Nights" by catch 22 the progression is A-E-B-D. This is not the only example but the first one to come to my head. But why does this sound good and completely normal when as we all know diatonically the II chord should be minor? How can this be used in songwriting?
#2
Pop music is the pinnacle for modulations.

It's 1 of the most used things (these days) to spice up a song, or make it sound "slightly different".


Most of the music theory is based on the conventions of the era of classical music and later on jazz.

They are not rules, and music has advanced, in that people recognise the difference and like it's change.

The only reason why they aren't being placed in music theory, is because noone is gonna change it, or they don't find it "special" enough to put it in.

Jazz for example, just made an embellishment on theory on why stuff works (like chord subs and altered chords, as well as the use of chromatics in a more "workable" sense.

This being said, in prestige music schools and stuff, they do analyse stuff that is not part of the "basic" theory.

In reality, often chord stuff like this works because of the melody "helping" to make the chord "Work".

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#4
chord scales are not a set of rules for songwriting, they are a set of guidelines to keep the song "flowing". it often makes the song sound more interesting to throw in a few off key notes to keep the audience on their toes. generally it adds more intensity to the piece
#5
Generally, pop music composers either don't know or don't follow the conventional rules.

CT
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#6
That's completely untrue.

Study some songs by the likes of Abba, The Carpenters, The Beach Boys etc.
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#7
Quote by axemanchris
Generally, pop music composers either don't know or don't follow the conventional rules.

CT


Somehow I doubt that. I'm sure the composers hired by Disney know enough to theory to bring Disney-pop to a simple algorithm.
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#8
It's quite common to "borrow" chords from the parallel major or minor, from the nearest diatonic keys and from the melodic minor. 20Tigers recently made a fantastic post about how McCartney very commonly uses a borrowed chord to make the minor/major feel of a piece more ambiguous and flowing.
#9
To everyone saying "THEORY IS NOT A SET OF RULES," you're just stating the obvious in this case. I think he knows that. He's asking why the II works in this particular situation.

Usually II chords are used as secondary dominants. They have a leading tone to the V chord. For example, in the progression C - Am - D - G, the F# in the D chord leads to the G in the G chord.

I'm not sure about the II - IV movement. Maybe it's just a deceptive cadence within the progression or maybe it has something to do with the descending voice leading to the third in the tonic.

A C# E
E G# B
B D# F#
D F# A
A C# E

I'm interested in hearing the real answer myself.
#10
Quote by werty22
To everyone saying "THEORY IS NOT A SET OF RULES," you're just stating the obvious in this case. I think he knows that. He's asking why the II works in this particular situation.

Usually II chords are used as secondary dominants. They have a leading tone to the V chord. For example, in the progression C - Am - D - G, the F# in the D chord leads to the G in the G chord.

I'm not sure about the II - IV movement. Maybe it's just a deceptive cadence within the progression or maybe it has something to do with the descending voice leading to the third in the tonic.

A C# E
E G# B
B D# F#
D F# A
A C# E

I'm interested in hearing the real answer myself.


This ^^^. Took a page full of posts for someone to give the guy the right answer.

I've often wondered about a II in a major key leading to anything other than V. I guess that would be a deceptive progression, like you said, although really the only ones they emphaize in theory class is V going to vi (or anything other than I).
#11
Alright, I will do a "good" analysis;

The chords are in fact; A - E - B - D

The melody is like this + where the chords are;

e|------------------------|
B|-2---2-0-----------3-2--|
G|---------2-1-2----------|
D|------------------------|
A|------------------------|
E|------------------------|
   A     E     B     D



As you can see, the melody when hitting the B chord, hits the m7th of a B7 chord, which is the A note.

Imo a B7 chord sounds nicer, but a normal B with an A note over it isn't odd at all.

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#12
Quote by steven seagull
That's completely untrue.

Study some songs by the likes of Abba, The Carpenters, The Beach Boys etc.


Of course, there are always exceptions. Professional 'hit writers' hired by the likes of Disney, etc., are surely excellent examples, along with people like Quincy Jones, etc.

However, note that I used the word 'generally.' I'm thinking of your Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Bon Scott, Angus Young, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, etc.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
Quote by axemanchris
Of course, there are always exceptions. Professional 'hit writers' hired by the likes of Disney, etc., are surely excellent examples, along with people like Quincy Jones, etc.

However, note that I used the word 'generally.' I'm thinking of your Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant, Bon Scott, Angus Young, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, etc.

CT


We just weren't thinking of the same "pop" that you were

Now that we're clear on that, I totally agree with you.
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#14


Yeah, my personal definition of 'pop' is quite broad. I consider 'pop' anything that is created and marketed with the intention of making money. Or in other words, anything outside of the 'this is widely perceived to be art' realm. So, anything from Shania Twain to Metallica, and from Van Morrison and Sarah McLaughlin to SOAD. Roughly speaking.

In the very strict definition of mainstream top-40 teen pop stuff... yeah. Those hit writers know their stuff. They know the rules, and when they break them, they do so knowingly and with purpose.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Jul 20, 2009,
#15
Quote by werty22
To everyone saying "THEORY IS NOT A SET OF RULES," you're just stating the obvious in this case. I think he knows that. He's asking why the II works in this particular situation.

Usually II chords are used as secondary dominants. They have a leading tone to the V chord. For example, in the progression C - Am - D - G, the F# in the D chord leads to the G in the G chord.

I'm not sure about the II - IV movement. Maybe it's just a deceptive cadence within the progression or maybe it has something to do with the descending voice leading to the third in the tonic.

A C# E
E G# B
B D# F#
D F# A
A C# E

I'm interested in hearing the real answer myself.

thank you