#1
Hey all, I'm sure this has been played out, but I'm trying to determine the key of a song. I have been stumped and have gone through each key but can't figure out which it is. The progression is as follows:

Bm, A, Em, Dm

And the notes included from these notes are A B C# D E F G.

There isn't a major scale that those notes fall into, so there must be accidentals? How do I go about figuring out which are accidentals? Or am I not even on the right track?
Quote by mort1
know im in the wrong forum
im not stupid........... duh
if you havent notised there is alot of ignorant people here,,,,,,,
#4
Quote by rkk94
im no expert, but according to guitar pro its D melodic minor


Wow awesome - thanks. I looked it up and those notes are all in the d melodic minor scale. I guess I need to learn more than major scales and how they are used. P.S. How did you use guitar pro to determine that?

And Sean, I'm not sure - I will have to try it out when I get home.

Thanks!
Quote by mort1
know im in the wrong forum
im not stupid........... duh
if you havent notised there is alot of ignorant people here,,,,,,,
#5
Quote by likesilverr
Wow awesome - thanks. I looked it up and those notes are all in the d melodic minor scale. I guess I need to learn more than major scales and how they are used. P.S. How did you use guitar pro to determine that?
First of all, D melodic minor isn't a key. Yes, those notes fit into that scale, but how do you know D is the tonic?

Quote by likesilverr
And Sean, I'm not sure - I will have to try it out when I get home.
This is important.

From the looks of it, it's probably in B minor with a chromatic alteration on the III chord (making it iii).
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Apr 7, 2011,
#6
Quote by food1010
First of all, D melodic minor isn't a key. Yes, those notes fit into that scale, but how do you know D is the tonic?

This is important.

From the looks of it, it's probably in B minor with a chromatic alteration on the III chord (making it iii).


Yep I'm going along with you here, the Dm being borrowed from the parallel major.

Of course if this is true it would mean "drum roll" that the reverse scale finder of "D melodic minor" is a pure fail, again.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#9
Quote by Harmosis
Um, guys, the iii chord in B is D#m, not Dm.

i believe they said Bm not B and i'm with them, Bm with a borrowed chord.
#10
Quote by AlanHB
Yep I'm going along with you here, the Dm being borrowed from the parallel major.


Interesting. So tell me about "borrowing" a chord. If I were to write a song, would I just, try some 'borrowed' chords out, or is there more to it?

Here is the song:

Verse:
E:-----------------------------------
B:-----------------------------------
G:---7-----6-------12------11----9--
D:---x-----x-------x-------7-----5---
A:---5-----4-------10------9-----7---
E:-7-7---5-5---/12-12---10-10----8---

Chorus:
E:---------------------------------
B:---------------------------------
G:-2----5----5----5----2----5---5--
D:-3----3----3----3----3----3---3--
A:-3----4----x----x----3----4---x--
E:-1---------4----6----1--------6--


Here is a version I like:
Video

Now the second part of the question is: What notes does Tim (the other guitarist) know to play with his riffs? And it sounds like natural harmonics?
Quote by mort1
know im in the wrong forum
im not stupid........... duh
if you havent notised there is alot of ignorant people here,,,,,,,
#11
Quote by z4twenny
i believe they said Bm not B and i'm with them, Bm with a borrowed chord.


Doesn't matter. If B is your tonic, you can have D (III), D#m (iii), or D+ (III+). There is no Dm in B major or B minor as the iii chord.
#12
Quote by Harmosis
Doesn't matter. If B is your tonic, you can have D (III), D#m (iii), or D+ (III+). There is no Dm in B major or B minor as the iii chord.

they're borrowing it from the parallel major as was stated above
#13
Quote by z4twenny
they're borrowing it from the parallel major as was stated above



Hmm...Do you know what parallel major means?
#14
Quote by Harmosis
Hmm...Do you know what parallel major means?


Obviously he does, it was a typo, no need to try and make him look like an idiot.
#15
Quote by griffRG7321
Obviously he does, it was a typo, no need to try and make him look like an idiot.


No, it's not obvious that he, or a couple other people, know what it means.
#16
Quote by Harmosis
No, it's not obvious that he, or a couple other people, know what it means.


Hmm, what do YOU think it means?

Edit: And sorry, I made the post when I just woke up. Obviously Dm does not belong in the parallel major.

Quote by TS
Now the second part of the question is: What notes does Tim (the other guitarist) know to play with his riffs? And it sounds like natural harmonics?


Because he knows the key and scale/s which work with the song. If the song is in Bm, the most obvious natural harmonics occur at the 7th fret.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
Quote by AlanHB
Hmm, what do YOU think it means?

Edit: And sorry, I made the post when I just woke up. Obviously Dm does not belong in the parallel major.


Ok, I'll spell it out for you. The parallel major is the major mode of the same tonic in minor. In other words, the parallel major of B minor is B major. Now, maybe you demonstrate how Dm is borrowed from B major as you and others stated above?
#18
Quote by Harmosis
Ok, I'll spell it out for you. The parallel major is the major mode of the same tonic in minor. In other words, the parallel major of B minor is B major. Now, maybe you demonstrate how Dm is borrowed from B major as you and others stated above?


Get over it mate, I've already said I'm incorrect. I just woke up, it was a typo.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#19
Fix'd

*Nevermind*
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
Last edited by rockingamer2 at Apr 7, 2011,
#20
Quote by Harmosis
Ok, I'll spell it out for you. The parallel major is the major mode of the same tonic in minor. In other words, the parallel major of B minor is B major. Now, maybe you demonstrate how Dm is borrowed from B major as you and others stated above?

he just said he made a typo

Quote by rockingamer2
Fix'd



Mode = Major or minor
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Apr 7, 2011,
#22
Quote by griffRG7321

Mode = Major or minor

So when someone just says "the mode of X," it means the relative major or minor?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#23
Apologies to everyone, one shouldn't be allowed to post on UG when he has been out drinking


Quote by rockingamer2
So when someone just says "the mode of X," it means the relative major or minor?


What harmosis says below ...
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Apr 7, 2011,
#24
Quote by rockingamer2
So when someone just says "the mode of X," it means the relative major or minor?


No. In this usage, it goes back to how modality gave rise to tonality. As we all know, there are major-sounding modes and minor-sounding modes. Since tonality took on all the charcteristics of the modes in mixture, eventually, the term "mode" came to mean either major or minor.

Here's a quote from Rameau:

Now here is the difference between mode and key. The mode depends on the third of the note chosen as the tonic. Just as this third may be only major or minor, likewise the mode may be characterized only as one of these two types. This is why the name of the mode is generally included with the name of the key. We simply say major key or minor key.

Jean-Phillipe Rameau
Traite de L'Harmonie, p.219
#25
Quote by Harmosis
Fair enough griff. Thanks for your moderation.


Yes griff is the moderator here, I should have mentioned that.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#26
I love it when we all make the same mistake in a thread.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#27
Quote by Eastwinn
I love it when we all make the same mistake in a thread.

i didn't realize until after the fact either lol
my intention was that he was borrowing the iii from B major and using it in the III position in B minor. i'll try to be more careful next time as to not incur the sharp tongue of whoever it was
#28
Wow, this thread got derailed early, as they usually do. I think I am more confused than before. Are we in agreeance that the key is Bm? Also, does anyone want to take a stab at my other question?

Tell me about "borrowing" a chord. If I were to write a song, would I just, try some 'borrowed' chords out, or is there more to it?

Here is the song:



Verse:
E:-----------------------------------
B:-----------------------------------
G:---7-----6-------12------11----9--
D:---x-----x-------x-------7-----5---
A:---5-----4-------10------9-----7---
E:-7-7---5-5---/12-12---10-10----8---

Chorus:
E:---------------------------------
B:---------------------------------
G:-2----5----5----5----2----5---5--
D:-3----3----3----3----3----3---3--
A:-3----4----x----x----3----4---x--
E:-1---------4----6----1--------6--


Here is a version I like:
Video

Now my second question is: What notes does Tim (the other guitarist) know to play with his riffs? And it sounds like natural harmonics?
Quote by mort1
know im in the wrong forum
im not stupid........... duh
if you havent notised there is alot of ignorant people here,,,,,,,
#29
Quote by Harmosis
Um, guys, the iii chord in B is D#m, not Dm.
You're right that the iii chord in B major is D#m, but the iii chord in B minor is definitely Dm, because your diatonic mediant is a major chord built on the b3 (notated as III). I just made it minor.

And it definitely isn't borrowed from B major. It's a chromatic alteration of the diatonic D major chord, switching the F# (the 5 of the key) to an F natural (the b5 of the key).

For that Dave Matthews song, here are your chords:

Bm A Em D C
F Dbmaj7 Fm/Ab (or maybe Ab6) Bbsus2

The verse is in Em, the A chord is a IV, borrowed from E major.
The chorus is in F, with the Dbmaj7 (bVI) and the Ab6 (bIII) borrowed from F minor.

All of these are pretty common borrowed chords. bVI, bIII, and bVII are the three most common chords to substitute in a major key. As for a minor key, the IV is probably the most common chord borrowed from the parallel major (if you don't count the V, which is usually considered from the harmonic minor scale).
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Apr 8, 2011,
#30
Quote by likesilverr
Tell me about "borrowing" a chord. If I were to write a song, would I just, try some 'borrowed' chords out, or is there more to it?



borrowed chords are just that, chords borrowed from a different key (often a parallel or a consonant relative key)

its hard to give a specific example but they're good for key changes, altering melodies, adding "decoration" to the harmony and lots and lots and lots of other stuff.

try to think of a song, maybe folk or country thats something like E G A D or anything else that uses 4 seperate major chords in a row. one of those chords is borrowed (as any basic major/minor key only has 3 majors, 3 minors and 1 dim'ed chord)
#31
Quote by food1010
...but the iii chord in B minor is definitely Dm, because your diatonic mediant is a major chord built on the b3 (notated as III). I just made it minor.


Nope. The iii chord in the key of B (major or minor) is D#m. That's it. Dm isn't derived from any B major or B minor scale. If Dm occurs in the key of B, it's most likely in a secondary function. If for some reason, Dm is used as an altered III chord (and I would love to see an example from the literature if you can find one), you at least should label it as such (e.g., draw a strike-through a la Schoenberg, or something).


And it definitely isn't borrowed from B major. It's a chromatic alteration of the diatonic D major chord, switching the F# (the 5 of the key) to an F natural (the b5 of the key).


This is why you can't simply call it iii.
#33
Quote by likesilverr
Tell me about "borrowing" a chord. If I were to write a song, would I just, try some 'borrowed' chords out, or is there more to it?


OK, the term, "borrowing," is short for "modal borrowing." Modal borrowing (sometimes called "modal interchange") is simply using chords from a parallel mode (see above for what "mode" means in this case). So if you're in the key of B minor, you also have all the harmonies of B major available for use. For example, in your progression above, if you were to use an Emaj chord instead of Em, that would be a case of "borrowing" from the major mode of B (since Emaj is diatonic to the harmonized B major scale). The IV (or iv) chord is often borrowed in popular music (using iv in major or IV in minor).
#34
Quote by griffRG7321
Using extended roman analysis, iii in B major is D#m, iii in B minor is Dm.


Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I've taken ALL the undergrad theory classes at CSU (I'm a conducting class and orchestration class away from a BM in Composition), and what you just asserted was never the case. I realize that there are different conventions in Roman numeral analysis, so I guess we can leave it at that.
#35
Quote by Harmosis
Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I've taken ALL the undergrad theory classes at CSU (I'm a conducting class and orchestration class away from a BM in Composition), and what you just asserted was never the case. I realize that there are different conventions in Roman numeral analysis, so I guess we can leave it at that.
Yeah I used to use the conventions that you use (as in, roman numerals are relative to the major scale even in minor keys), but I've started using griff's way recently, as it makes more sense to me.

I guess there are different ways of looking at it though, so it would be safe to just specify.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea