#1
I am a beginner and trying to grasp on what modulation really is. For example, say I write a piece of music and I switch from E minor scale to A minor scale in my chorus, then that is modulation.

However, say B Major is related to E Lydian, and when I write my chord progressions with a V in it, does this mean I am using a different scale? What if I play a scale in E Minor but start off with A(iv)?
Last edited by thejoeman at Dec 30, 2009,
#3
Quote by thejoeman
I am a beginner and trying to grasp on what modulation really is. For example, say I write a piece of music and I switch from E minor scale to A minor scale in my chorus, then that is modulation.

However, say B Major is related to E Lydian, and when I write my chord progressions with a V in it, does this mean I am using a different scale? What if I play a scale in E Minor but start off with A(iv)?


If you're in B major and you use the IV chord (E major), this doesn't count as a modulation. You have to do something to establish the key you're in because of the way the ear works. In classical music, this was done with the use of a perfect cadence (V7 - I progression, establishing the I chord as the tonic), but there are lots more ways that you can do this.

You need to emphasise the intervals that make the scale you want. E.g. with a perfect cadence (the example above), it implies the ionian mode (i.e. major scale) because this is the mode with a V7 chord.

If you start a progression on an A minor, but use the E minor scale you are effectivly playing in A dorian, but you've not established that as the key. If you wanted it to sound like dorian you'd need maybe an A minor 6th (major 6th being a feature of the dorian mode) to B minor (first two chords are minor in the dorian mode).

You need to show what key you're in somehow. btw this only applies to composing, not improvising- when you improvise, the key is determined by the chords.

If this is a bit heavy for you, just stick to standard major and minor.
#4
Thank you. I mostly play on acoustic guitar, and I want to get the most out of the sound.