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So, this question should be fairly simple. If I were to play a D to C chord what key would I be in, and how did you determine this? Thanks!
"I have a large fridge at home and I've been eating alot of pork chops"
D major
Last edited by Hhhhhb at Jan 8, 2010,
G Maj

edit: to determine this I use the puzzle system.

I-Major, ii-minor, iii-minor, IV-Major, V-Major, vi-minor, vii-diminished

W-W-H-W-W-W-H

C and D are a whole step apart and Major so you would put them in IV and V then fill in the rest of the table which is...

G-Am-Bm-C-D-Em-F# diminished
No means maybe
Last edited by pilgrimevan at Jan 8, 2010,
Quote by pilgrimevan
G Maj
This.

You basically just have to know that the IV and V of G are C and D, respectively.

You can also take the notes (C D E F# G A) and you see that there is one sharp (F#), and the key of G (and Em) has one sharp.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jan 8, 2010,
It's not g major
Quote by food1010
This.

You basically just have to know that the IV and V of G are C and D, respectively.

You can also take the notes (C D E F# G A) and you see that there is one sharp (F#), and the key of G (and Em) has one sharp.

Lol there isn't even a g mAjor. What if it's d major with flat 7 chord
D mixolydian, which is the same as G major, except you're starting on D and not G.
Quote by GeekInThePink
D mixolydian, which is the same as G major, except you're starting on D and not G.

Mixolydian isn't a key
Quote by Hhhhhb
Lol there isn't even a g mAjor. What if it's d major with flat 7 chord

A dominant seventh? D (I) F# (III) A (IV) C (bVII).

Both C and D fit primarily into G major and C major

Somebody's ignorant Mixolydian is a mode; another starting point for a key. Using D as the tonic in G major would place these chords in the D mixolydian mode, the fifth mode of G major. It's a matter of voicing and suitability.

EDIT: Bummer, massive blank moment Fixed up some errors, sorry for the mistakes earlier.
Last edited by juckfush at Jan 8, 2010,
Quote by food1010
This.

You basically just have to know that the IV and V of G are C and D, respectively.

Ya, if you have two major chords a whole step apart you can almost guarantee they're the IV and V.

You can also take the notes (C D E F# G A) and you see that there is one sharp (F#), and the key of G (and Em) has one sharp.

The thing is, he didn't even know what key he was in, let alone be able to identify all the notes and accidentals.

Quote by Hhhhhb
Lol there isn't even a g mAjor. What if it's d major with flat 7 chord

No, you don't have to play the root for it to be a certain key, besides, the D is major not minor.

Quote by juckfush
C major

Chords in C Major: C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-B diminished
No means maybe
Last edited by pilgrimevan at Jan 8, 2010,
Quote by juckfush
A dominant seventh? D (I) F# (III) A (IV) C (bVII).

Both C and D fit primarily into G major, C major, and F major.

EDIT: Somebody's ignorant Mixolydian is a mode; another starting point for a key. Using G as the tonic in D major would place these chords in the G mixolydian mode G Mixolydian mode, the fourth mode of D major. It's a matter of voicing and suitability.

Sorry I meant flat 7 major chord as in major on the 7th degree
Quote by Hhhhhb
Mixolydian isn't a key

I'm pretty sure a piece of music can be considered to be in a mixolydian key.

Quote by Hhhhhb
D major

A C-major chord does not fit into the key of D major.
^Although you can't say, "I'm playing in the key of D mixolydian", you can have a mixolydian progression and you should approach it as such.
Quote by GeekInThePink

A C-major chord does not fit into the key of D major.

it can
^If you are strictly using the notes of D major, it can't.
Quote by Hhhhhb
it can

Chords in D Major: D-Em-F#m-G-A-Bm-C# diminished
No means maybe
^If you are strictly using the notes of D major, it can't.

No, but a ♭VII is very common in a major key.

TS needs to give us more information. Those two chords alone would typically imply C lydian, but in most tonal contexts they'd usually be in G, Em, or D.
Quote by isaac_bandits
No, but a ♭VII is very common in a major key.

the smackdown
Quote by isaac_bandits
No, but a ♭VII is very common in a major key.

TS needs to give us more information. Those two chords alone would typically imply C lydian, but in most tonal contexts they'd usually be in G, Em, or D.

It may be common, but it still can't exist if you stricly use the notes derived from the D major scale.

Furthermore, Hhhhhb, farewell.
It may be common, but it still can't exist if you stricly use the notes derived from the D major scale.

Furthermore, Hhhhhb, farewell.

But tonal music is very flexible, and you can use any of the 12 notes. It can be in D major and still have that chord, without any problems. Since its probably in the context of a larger song, with more chords, that is somewhat likely.

I sure hope a mod hides that photo. That's fucking disgusting.
Quote by pilgrimevan
Chords in C Major: C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-B diminished

Gah, sorry champ. =[ I've been neglecting the F# in D major a lot lately. Sorry for passing on the wrong information, and thanks for correcting me.

EDIT: He's posted it in a few other bigger threads, too, the jerk.
Last edited by juckfush at Jan 8, 2010,
For isaac_bandits

^I am all too aware of the flexibility of tonal music and I for one, practice it's elasticity in pretty much every composition I write, so I am aware of what your saying. I'm just being completely anal in the matter and should stop posting
Last edited by MapOfYourHead at Jan 8, 2010,
Jesus H. Christ people, you can't really figure out the key with 2 chords and no other context. It's likely that C and D are the IV and V, but without more info you really can't say for certain. OP, give more info about the context of what you're looking at if you want a solid answer.
Terrible even.
Yup G Major because C and D are a whole tone apart and the only major chords in a diatonic progression that are a whole tone apart are the IV and V. In this case, the IV and V are C and D so dropping down a fourth from C, the key must be G Major.
Last edited by tenfold at Jan 9, 2010,
Quote by Hhhhhb
the smackdown

yes!

Modality/tonality is subjective. One man's V-IV progression (e.g. key of G) is another man's I-bVII mixolydian progression (e.g. key of D).

The people who insist on only the first option are people who would insist "Whole Lotta Love" (D - E) is key of A.

(having said that, GuitarMunkey you are right (as usual, always appreciate hearing your perspective!), technically it is in key of G, but nonetheless consider above -- modality is subjective, no?)
C, but only slightly.

Tonality is defined by resolution. If you resolve on C major, it wouldn't matter what other chords you use or what other notes you use, you'll still be in C major. Similarly, if you don't resolve at all, if you write your song without any sort of tonal pull, you will not be in key. People should stop thinking that the notes used form the tonality, it doesn't.
For instance, the progression F-Em-Dm-C only uses notes found in the scale of C major, yet it is not in C major. The C to F movement causes an authentic cadence and thus establishes F tonality. That progression is in F.

Fortunately for you, the only music that has no tonal pull whatsoever is atonal music (as written by schoenberg). This means that in your D to C progression, there is still a little bit of tonal pull and that pull, as interpreted by me, is to C. The tonal pull here is weak and the song is only barely in C major tonality.

Modality/tonality is subjective. One man's V-IV progression (e.g. key of G) is another man's I-bVII mixolydian progression (e.g. key of D).
No... it's not.

Resolution is found by analysis. Analysis will almost always be linear, unless a mistake is made. It's not up to argument if something resolves or not, it's a definable fact. Resolution is found when 2 or more voices move stepwise, preferably to the same note and preferably either 2 semitones downwards (IE, D to C) or 1 semitone upwards (B to C). This is why G to C sounds finished and D to C only sounds slight finished (D to C and A to G in the progression D major to C major causes a slight resolution).

In theory, there are things that are clearly right and clearly wrong. It's not subjective.
``````        ,
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[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
*-|-*    (_)     `-’
|
L.``````
Last edited by demonofthenight at Jan 9, 2010,
Contradicting yourself in an argument is always good.

Quote by demonofthenight
C, but only slightly.

Tonality is defined by resolution. If you resolve on C major, it wouldn't matter what other chords you use or what other notes you use, you'll still be in C major. Similarly, if you don't resolve at all, if you write your song without any sort of tonal pull, you will not be in key. People should stop thinking that the notes used form the tonality, it doesn't.

The thing is that landing on C doesn't mean it's "resolved" pick up your guitar and play a D chord, then a C chord, then a G chord, thank you.

For instance, the progression F-Em-Dm-C only uses notes found in the scale of C major, yet it is not in C major. The C to F movement causes an authentic cadence and thus establishes F tonality. That progression is in F.

It IS in C, if it was in F the E would be diminished, and the C sounds resolved when I play it on guitar.

Fortunately for you, the only music that has no tonal pull whatsoever is atonal music (as written by schoenberg). This means that in your D to C progression, there is still a little bit of tonal pull and that pull, as interpreted by me, is to C. The tonal pull here is weak and the song is only barely in C major tonality.

Once again, pick up your guitar, play D-C-G, thank you.

Resolution is found by analysis. Analysis will almost always be linear, unless a mistake is made. It's not up to argument if something resolves or not, it's a definable fact. Resolution is found when 2 or more voices move stepwise, preferably to the same note and preferably either 2 semitones downwards (IE, D to C) or 1 semitone upwards (B to C). This is why G to C sounds finished and D to C only sounds slight finished (D to C and A to G in the progression D major to C major causes a slight resolution).

In theory, there are things that are clearly right and clearly wrong. It's not subjective.

Just because it's a certain distance away doesn't mean it's automatically resolved, you have to take in to account the 3 and 5,(what makes a chord Major, Minor, Diminished, or Augmented) and think about the distance between those notes as well. If you're playing the root alone, I see what you MIGHT be talking about but then again I go back to landing on the G and wondering why you're preaching that C
No means maybe
There's absolutely no way you can call a key based on two chords - and there's no way in hell it can be G anything if there isn't even a bloody G chord there. Likewise modes aren't keys, you're either using one or the other, but again it's not going to be a mode of G because there's no G to resolve to.

As it stands it's not really a progression, it's just two chords - do whatever sounds right over them.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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There's absolutely no way you can call a key based on two chords - and there's no way in hell it can be G anything if there isn't even a bloody G chord there. Likewise modes aren't keys, you're either using one or the other, but again it's not going to be a mode of G because there's no G to resolve to.

As it stands it's not really a progression, it's just two chords - do whatever sounds right over them.

It appears in G Major. He asked for a key. The internet gave him one and it's a valid response -- D to C has been shown to appear in G major.

Are there other options? Yes.

Is D to C in itself a progression? Yes and no. It's more of a vamp but we're going to pretend it's part of a bigger picture.

Last but not least -- is musical subjective? Yes, yes, and yes.
Quote by pilgrimevan
stuff

I don't think you understood what I meant by the terms resolve, stepwise, voice, cadence and tonal pull. It's nice that you're contributing , but I think you should take a step back.

``````        ,
|\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
*-|-*    (_)     `-’
|
L.``````
Quote by freakstylez
It appears in G Major. He asked for a key. The internet gave him one and it's a valid response -- D to C has been shown to appear in G major.

Are there other options? Yes.

Is D to C in itself a progression? Yes and no. It's more of a vamp but we're going to pretend it's part of a bigger picture.

Last but not least -- is musical subjective? Yes, yes, and yes.

no, no and no actually.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Quote by steven seagull
no, no and no actually.

Sorry, but you're wrong. Just because he didn't name a G chord doesn't mean D to C doesn't fall within the key of G major. There IS a theoretical G major chord to resolve to and you could play the G major scale over those chords.

Hell, you could even say it's E minor. An odd progression, if so, but still within the realm of musical.

We're giving him more than your myopic answer of "play whatever sounds right." That could be said of anything and everything, because that's what music is. That is music's function. To sound "right." Theory provides the foundation for that.

Let's also consider that the TC doesn't seem to know much about theory, meaning he probably didn't know enough to formulate a complete question. He wanted to know what key he'd be playing in if he played a D to C "progression", and while there are many choices possible, G major is one such possibility.

Give him room to grow man. Don't just tell him to "play what sounds right." Playing what sounds right should be the absolute pursuit of any and every guitarist out there, new and old. What everyone else has tried to do is give him direction as to what actually sounds "right."

In all reality, D to C is so vague it provides almost infinite opportunity. That's a lot to take in as a newbie. Sounding right is daunting when you don't have the right footing -- which is what everyone tried to give him.

And now I'm done.
demonofthenight's post is spot on. First off, there actually needs to be a G Major chord for it to be in the key of G Major. If that doesn't sit right with you then you need to review. Second, there are different intensities of resolution. V7-I is the strongest, bII7-I is almost as strong, vii*-I is really strong and so on. II-I isn't very strong at all, but there is still some sort of resolution. Just because slapping a G Major on the end would make it G Major, that doesn't mean it was in G Major all along. If you ignore that fact, then you basically throw all hopes of modality out of the window. D Major - C Major could be a Lydian progression depending on the melody, but I'd rather say it's just C Major.

To TS: Hopefully at least you've gathered from these posts that key is defined by resolution, and so your original question doesn't have a great answer.
i don't know why i feel so dry
Quote by Eastwinn
demonofthenight's post is spot on. First off, there actually needs to be a G Major chord for it to be in the key of G Major. If that doesn't sit right with you then you need to review. Second, there are different intensities of resolution. V7-I is the strongest, bII7-I is almost as strong, vii*-I is really strong and so on. II-I isn't very strong at all, but there is still some sort of resolution. Just because slapping a G Major on the end would make it G Major, that doesn't mean it was in G Major all along. If you ignore that fact, then you basically throw all hopes of modality out of the window. D Major - C Major could be a Lydian progression depending on the melody, but I'd rather say it's just C Major.

To TS: Hopefully at least you've gathered from these posts that key is defined by resolution, and so your original question doesn't have a great answer.

I tend to disagree that it must resolve on G major to be in G major. Yes, it makes sense and it's traditional, but at the same time, if a musician were to compose a song in G major and never actually resolve on the G major chord, would you argue against his own creative intentions and say he wasn't in G major at all?

You might, but the point being that music is highly subjective. Just because resolving on G in the key of G major is traditionally accepted and generally correct doesn't mean it is an absolute necessity. You can flex the rules of English to create new words and/or phrases -- and you can do the same with music. Whether it sounds good or "right" is entirely subject to opinion.

Sorry, I'm just a man who wholeheartedly believes that anything is possible. Any respectful "purist" should consider me a heretic, but I can be expected to always question the norm and stretch beyond the accepted.

If I wrote a song using primarily D to C, and then resolved on... say, A min... but drew from the key of G major to compose melodic lines and/or harmony, I would argue that I wrote the song in G major and as such, the song is in G major.

PS: I just made a simple D/C/D/C/D/A progression in FL studio and while it doesn't sound "resolved" in the sense you would expect, it wouldn't be a stretch to compose -- using all available elements of music -- a song using it and make it sound good and "complete." Adding a G major at the end easily ties it all together, but my point still stands: it is not a 100% absolute necessity. It is simply... "highly encouraged", both theoretically and musically. My ear expects it, but I wouldn't think less of a well-written song that didn't resolve to the G. In fact, experimental music and game/film soundtracks dictate that the music fit the situation, not the other way around. Not every track needs to be resolved. Sometimes, it is part of their appeal and function to be unresolved.

Anyway, sorry for my tangent. It's Saturday, I've been drinking, and the rebellious gene courses in my veins. I challenge the norm any and everywhere I can.
Quote by freakstylez
I tend to disagree that it must resolve on G major to be in G major. Yes, it makes sense and it's traditional, but at the same time, if a musician were to compose a song in G major and never actually resolve on the G major chord, would you argue against his own creative intentions and say he wasn't in G major at all?
Good point, it could end unresolved.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
The point of music theory is that it isn't subjective. Creative intentions have nothing to do with theory -- saying that a song is in G Major because you intended it to completely misses the point of having keys in the first place. If the song had no G Major in it at all, as much as the writer and the listener would want it to resolve it to G Major, it wouldn't actually resolve to it because it's. not. there.
i don't know why i feel so dry
Quote by Eastwinn
The point of music theory is that it isn't subjective. Creative intentions have nothing to do with theory -- saying that a song is in G Major because you intended it to completely misses the point of having keys in the first place. If the song had no G Major in it at all, as much as the writer and the listener would want it to resolve it to G Major, it wouldn't actually resolve to it because it's. not. there.

Exactly. It remains unresolved. It doesn't mean it isn't in key.
Quote by Eastwinn
The point of music theory is that it isn't subjective. Creative intentions have nothing to do with theory -- saying that a song is in G Major because you intended it to completely misses the point of having keys in the first place. If the song had no G Major in it at all, as much as the writer and the listener would want it to resolve it to G Major, it wouldn't actually resolve to it because it's. not. there.
So you're saying a song must end resolved?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Quote by freakstylez
Exactly. It remains unresolved. It doesn't mean it isn't in key.

Mkay, well here things would get a bit fuzzy. If you crafted the song so that it always felt like you should be hitting a G Major then I'd agree it's in G Major. But that's really quite a strange example that is incredibly impractical. So I mistakenly acted like there were no exceptions.
i don't know why i feel so dry
Quote by food1010
So you're saying a song must end resolved?

The point isn't that it needs to end on the I chord. The I chord just has to be somewhere in the song.

In a C - D there is no G chord, and not enough context to be able to assume that the song is in G. Tack an Em at the end and you've got a very common ♭VI - ♭VII - i progression in E minor. Tack an A at the end and you've got a ♭VII - I - V progression in D. Put a Gm at the end and it will be in Gm. That brings up the point that there is no type of B note present at all in the progression, so you can't really say it would go to a G over a Gm.

It really just needs more context.
Last edited by isaac_bandits at Jan 9, 2010,