#1
If a song is said to be in the key of "A minor" does that mean that the chord structure and riffs must resolve on an A note in the intro, verses, choruses, bridge etc. So in other words you can start or end wherever you want in the scale but must always make the main chords and riffs and main themes of the song resolve on Am or A notes?

But if this is the case... wouldn't it sound boring if everything kept resolving on the same thing?
Last edited by iidunno at Feb 19, 2012,
#2
A "key" is just a broad concept defining the harmonic tendencies in a piece of music. Whether it's major or minor depends on what the tonic chord tends to be - or most heavily implies.

There is no "must" in this. It's just an analytical tool to help describe and analyse. A song can change keys (modulate) during a song, it can introduce and use chromatic harmony that isn't diatonic to the scale of the key...a plethora of options.

But, yes, when somebody says "This song is in Am" it most simply means that the song's harmony is derived from and resolves to...Am. But that doesn't mean much beyond being able to readily identify what notes/chords are most likely to be used.

Most music is in a major or minor key, but how many of them sound identical or extremely similar to you?
Last edited by chronowarp at Feb 19, 2012,
#4
It doesn't have to begin or end always on the root, it's just a guide and a common thing to do in harmony, but you can use others chords on the chord progression itself to start and end the song, cheers.
#5
Quote by iidunno
If a song is said to be in the key of "A minor" does that mean that the chord structure and riffs must resolve on an A note in the intro, verses, choruses, bridge etc. So in other words you can start or end wherever you want in the scale but must always make the main chords and riffs and main themes of the song resolve on Am or A notes?

But if this is the case... wouldn't it sound boring if everything kept resolving on the same thing?


No, it doesn't.

First of all you can modulate to a new key to add variety. Modulating can give you a sense of the song "going somewhere" which is nice. Many songs modulate for the bridge and then come back for the verse and chorus, but many other options are possible. "Penny Lane," for example, has verses and choruses in different keys, and the final chorus is in a third key.

However, not all songs modulate. In the context of a 3-to-5 minute song, you absolutely positively do not have to modulate.

It's also worth pointing out that the melody doesn't have to end on the resolution. Many songs end in an ambiguous places. Listen to the end of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" - the melody stops one note short of resolution at the end of the song. It leads you right up to the resolution ... and hangs there. Sing those last couple of notes and notice how it just wants to drop down a 4th to land on C ... but doesn't.

You get to decide where the resolutions in your music go. You could have a song in a key that never included the tonic note of your key, if you wanted.
#6
Quote by iidunno
But if this is the case... wouldn't it sound boring if everything kept resolving on the same thing?


No. Most songs do exactly that.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
Never will it sound boring. Shit, half of popular music nowadays uses the same chord progression (the I IV V).