#1
To who read the "help me fitting this chord on a scale" topic, this is sort of a second episode. I'm trying to use the tips you guys gave me on that topic to understand better another "tricky" song. This one is Dire Straits - Skateaway. It goes like this:

--------------------------------------------------------------------
-- Intro--
D G C D
D G C G
-- End of intro --


C G D G
i seen a girl on a one way corridor
C D G C6 G
stealing down a wrong way street
D G C
for all the world like an urban toreador
D G C
she had the wheels on - on her feet
G D C
well the cars do the usual dances
D G C6
same old cruise and the kerbside crawl
G D G C
but the rollergirl she's taking chances
D G C G
they just love to see her take them all

-- Chorus --
A G
no fears alone at night
Em/B G
she's sailing through the crowd
A C
in her ears the phones are so tight
G A D/G A
and the music's playing loud

-- End of chorus --


C G D G
hallelujah
C D G C6 G
here she comes queen rollerball
(...)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, this one is in the key of D, I believe. The intro makes a I - IV - bVII - I - IV - bVII - IV progression. bVII seems to be a common "out of key" rock chord, so it's "ok".

The verse keeps going around the same chords. No real challenge there.

The chorus makes a V - IV - ii - IV - V - bVII - IV - V - I - IV.

On the passage from the chorus to the verse, it's a ...I - IV - bVII. It gives a sense of modulation, the key seems to change. But the way I'm reading it, it doesn't change key.

The question is... am I reading this right?
#2
Quote by Zanman777

On the passage from the chorus to the verse, it's a ...I - IV - bVII. It gives a sense of modulation, the key seems to change. But the way I'm reading it, it doesn't change key.

The question is... am I reading this right?


Well we can't tell you because we have no melody to see. Getting modal requires we have a Melody and an underlying harmony that reflects the mode.
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#4
Quote by Xter
Getting modal requires we have a Melody and an underlying harmony that reflects the mode.


Why exactly are you mentioning modes?
#5
Quote by Xter
Well we can't tell you because we have no melody to see. Getting modal requires we have a Melody and an underlying harmony that reflects the mode.


+1 if there was a modal question..

To answer the rest of your questions, I think you ought to have another look at what your key is.

Keep in mind that the I-IV-V progression and its derivatives are among the most common chord progressions in music history. So when analyzing chord progressions, it is often easy to start out by looking for that I-IV-V.

The verse in this instance consists of a I-IV-V. While it is easy to assume the first note of the piece is going to be your key, this is a situation where that isn't the case. This song starts on the V (D) which means that the C will be our IV and the G, our tonic I.

Another thing that should've told you the piece ISN'T in D is the fact that the 'C' in all of the chords isn't sharped. In the key of D Major, C is always C#. This scenario is an instant give away here as there are not sharp or flat root notes to any of the chords. Remember the notes, make up your scales, which serve as a palate for your chords.

This means that come the chorus, that A major chord is outside of our key because of its major 3rd (C# in the chord). The A Maj is a IIMaj and does make it seem like the key could change, but you're right it does not. A IIMaj is a secondary dominant which will act much like a dominant in that it wants to resolve to the tonic. It is simply good rule breaking when it comes to music theory because of the step motion from A to G (what sounds like a key change) and because of the relationship between Amaj and Cmaj. They both share an E and Amaj's C# moving a halfstep to the C is a powerful motion of resolution.

The only other chord in here is that Em/B which is just the relative minor of our tonic G with a B bass/root note. The relative minor doesn't need much explanation other than it acts as a minor equivalent to the tonic, G.


If you've got any questions on how I got to any of those conclusions, feel free to ask!
Good to see some initiative on here, you'll get it man!


Last edited by Zeppelin Addict at Nov 23, 2011,
#6
Quote by Xter
Well we can't tell you because we have no melody to see. Getting modal requires we have a Melody and an underlying harmony that reflects the mode.

Modulation != modes
#7
Thanks, Zeppelin Addict. It does make sense the way you put it. It actually was my first instinct, but I messed up trying to fit each and every chord on one and only scale. :P As to the C needing a sharp to fit the D key, I mentioned the bVII chord, which seems to be used a lot. The bVII of D is precisely Cmajor.

But you shed light on me big time lol . By the way, is there any kind of book that takes popular/rock songs like this and analyzes them, explaining secondary dominants, cadences, modulations, etc without talking about classical music from six centuries ago? Don't despise that genre at all, it just demotivates me because it becomes boring to learn through that kind of examples :P.