#1
EPIC EDIT: the rest of my post doesn't matter
Okay, my real problem is all my choruses' last chord is "I"... I can't find a way around it...

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Ok I've recently obtained reaper so I've decided to finally develop the some of the song ideas I've had floating around my head, and well, after a few mins of analyzing my songs, I've realized they all ended the same way! They would have some tension and resolve by ending with the note whose scale it was. Like if the song was in F, the last note would be F.

In music appreciation I've learned that music was a dance of tension and release, and what better release is there than coming back to the "home" note... I can't get around this, how else could I end a song! (Like for example, most of my choruses, if in F, would start in F minor, and then switch to F major nearing the end and end with an F major chord)...

I mean like I can make the choruses in different ways, but I always feel like it ending like how I mentioned above is superior to any other method... AAGH help!
Last edited by GiveItAll at Dec 21, 2009,
#2
Modulate somewhere other than the parrallel major? Try going from F minor to C minor or B♭ minor. Or you could just stay in one key the whole time. Just play the F minor, instead of always exploiting that picardy third.
#4
My friend somehow got me in to a Stanford U. lecture on the science of music (with a free dinner too) and I won't go into the boring details.

There was a study on what makes music interesting and the results claim it is a balance between the predictable and the unexpected. When listening we are supposedly following in our minds predicting what we think will happen next. If a song is too predictable, it is not interesting. If it is too much unexpected, it loses coherence and becomes noise.

The trick apparently is finding the exact balance between predictable and unexpected that will hold a listener's attention without losing him with too much randomness.

Music is also about saying the same thing in different ways. You could alter the melody but keep the same theme (say 3 notes) and play them in different keys, Change keys (shift up or down one or two frets), Change into a minor key.

Creep by Radiohead does the major/minor shift from C major to C minor.

There is also a balance between freedom and constraint. Again too much constraint and it becomes too predictable and repetitious, too much freedom turns into noise. Finding the balance is the trick.

There's a lot I just realized I don't remember from that event.

Oh yeah, the keynote speaker defined music as "a drug we use to self-medicate our moods with extreme precision"

Maybe you are doing just fine. Maybe ending that way works. And the unpredictable thing is that one song from a set of several ends different. I sometimes take a half finished other song and stick it on the end for that purpose.
#5
Quote by Myshadow46_2
Maybe you should research Cadence.

:O This actually helped a lot, ironically I think I learned this in MUS101, but forgot >.> . I researched this and came up with:

http://www.musictheory.halifax.ns.ca/22cadences.html

I think I was doing something similar to a perfect authentic cadence every time.

---EDIT----
Actually wth I really don't know what I was doing, I was doing something like going from iii to I ...I don't think cadences take into account key changes, hmmm what does?

Quote by fx303

Maybe you are doing just fine. Maybe ending that way works. And the unpredictable thing is that one song from a set of several ends different. I sometimes take a half finished other song and stick it on the end for that purpose.

Very informative post, yeah that guy kindof put into words stuff I was thinking about but couldn't explain.

About the last part, I don't like songs with a completely random endings, i dunno maybe its cuz I view songs as separate pieces of art, with have their own musical soundscapes, and not 2 soundscapes with a solid line inbetween doesn't sit well w/ me.
Last edited by GiveItAll at Dec 19, 2009,
#6
Quote by isaac_bandits
Modulate somewhere other than the parrallel major? Try going from F minor to C minor or B♭ minor. Or you could just stay in one key the whole time. Just play the F minor, instead of always exploiting that picardy third.

Okay now I got it, I was doing enharmonic modulation, good god wiki'd it and its like 10x more complicated than cadences, time to get reading...
#7
I like false endings, like just when you are about to imply a move to the I go to the IV - and then the V and back to the IV - this can extend out a song and leave it unresolved a bit longer before closing it on the I. Another idea is maybe throw in a vi7, as a I sub for the last chord.
#8
Quote by Sean0913
I like false endings, like just when you are about to imply a move to the I go to the IV - and then the V and back to the IV - this can extend out a song and leave it unresolved a bit longer before closing it on the I. Another idea is maybe throw in a vi7, as a I sub for the last chord.

What I'm doing though is modulating from a minor key to a major key. I looked at the cadences for minor keys and they were all predictably "sad" sounding, I guess what I was doing was aiming for the triumphant sounding major cadences the whole time and accentuating them by starting in minor. Maybe I should just stay in major? Or I could still be in minor except modulate to other less sad sounding places, and where that is is what I need to research...
#9
Minor will sound sad.

Take a look at while My Guitar Gently Weeps by the Beatles - in the verse its Minor, in the Chorus it goes Major. Is this an example of what you are referring to?

In the idea you are referring to, if you give particular melodic emphasis to the major third as you solo when you make the transition from a Minor to a Major key progression, I would guess that it will accomplish what you are referring to.
#10
Quote by Sean0913
I like false endings, like just when you are about to imply a move to the I go to the IV - and then the V and back to the IV - this can extend out a song and leave it unresolved a bit longer before closing it on the I. Another idea is maybe throw in a vi7, as a I sub for the last chord.


You could even just use vi without the seventh as a sub. Or you could use iii. Those are the closest related two, but you could very well just play something completely different, not necessarily in the key. Playing around you'll find cool stuff. One time I found a ♭vi chord worked really well as a sub for a I, in a plagal cadence. It was out of key, and wasn't even from a closely related key (It would have a ♭6, ♭1 and a ♭3 as its chord tones). That just goes to show, that you can do anything if it sounds good.
#11
Quote by isaac_bandits
You could even just use vi without the seventh as a sub. Or you could use iii. Those are the closest related two, but you could very well just play something completely different, not necessarily in the key. Playing around you'll find cool stuff. One time I found a ♭vi chord worked really well as a sub for a I, in a plagal cadence. It was out of key, and wasn't even from a closely related key (It would have a ♭6, ♭1 and a ♭3 as its chord tones). That just goes to show, that you can do anything if it sounds good.

Lol that's a strange find.

Well after brainstorming new songs, I've found the source of my woes; if my song is in F for example, the last CHORD of my chorus will always be F... I mean all cadences need to go back to "I" right, how else can they go back to I if the last harmonization isn't "I" as well? Any tips please?
#12
Quote by GiveItAll
Lol that's a strange find.

Well after brainstorming new songs, I've found the source of my woes; if my song is in F for example, the last CHORD of my chorus will always be F... I mean all cadences need to go back to "I" right, how else can they go back to I if the last harmonization isn't "I" as well? Any tips please?


...yeh, because ending a song on the I chord works best. Why do you want to change it?

If you're bored of ending on an F, write in a different key!
#13
Quote by GiveItAll
Lol that's a strange find.

Well after brainstorming new songs, I've found the source of my woes; if my song is in F for example, the last CHORD of my chorus will always be F... I mean all cadences need to go back to "I" right, how else can they go back to I if the last harmonization isn't "I" as well? Any tips please?


Try ending the chorus on the V, and then letting the harmony resolve to the I when you start the verse (or whatever's coming after the chorus).
#14
Quote by isaac_bandits
Try ending the chorus on the V, and then letting the harmony resolve to the I when you start the verse (or whatever's coming after the chorus).

lol Yeah that happens in lots of my songs too, if you 2 are right, then I guess I wasn't doing anything wrong, other than having the resolution in my chorus, and not leave it off like in a lot of popular songs.

Yeah that's my problem, I have the resolution in my chorus and then always make that the highlight of the chorus. Hmm, so having the resolution happen on a "I" chord is what's supposed to happen. Thank you both!