#1
Hi,
So I understand if we're in the key of C major we can change from C major to C minor, but C major is the same as A minor so does that mean we can change A minor to A major?
Cause I see a lot of songs that are in say A minor then play a F sharp note
Thanks
🍗🎹🎶🎼🎧🎤🎮👾🎸🎨🎷⚽️🎱🏁🎺🎻🍮🍰🍪📱👻🐔🐣🐥🐤🐽🐷💀👽💩💸🚽👻
Last edited by Guitar137335 at Jul 11, 2016,
#2
Yes, but a lot of the time it is just tonicization (temporally borrow chords from the parallel key). Although I suppose you could just throw in the tonic chord of the parallel major or minor after a V7 if you want to be abrupt (it really depends on your intentions though:

Instead of E7 -> Amaj
You go E7 -> Amin
^ I personally would set up the expectation first before moving to a parallel key. But you should have a play around with it.

In minor keys the 7th degree is often raised so that the v7 becomes a V7. Giving you that sweet classic voice leading you get in major keys.
#3
Quote by Guitar137335
Hi,
So I understand if we're in the key of C major we can change from C major to C minor, but C major is the same as A minor so does that mean we can change A minor to A major?
Yes. Check out 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'
Quote by Guitar137335
Cause I see a lot of songs that are in say A minor then play a F sharp note
That doesn't necessarily mean a move to A major though. F# occurs in A dorian and A melodic minor.

There's two scenarios here, basically. A song can change its tonality from major to parallel minor, or vice versa. Eg have one section in A minor and another in A major. (It's not strictly speaking a "key change", because the keynote is still A. But it sounds like a kind of modulation.)

But also a song can be in A major and borrow chords from A minor (without actually changing to A minor). So you'll often find songs in A major that include chords like G, C or F (or Dm), that come from A minor. But as long as the tonic chord is always A major, the key is major (FWIW...).

Likewise, you can have a song in A minor that borrows chords from A major. The classical minor key does this with its V chord anyway, borrowing E (or E7) from A major. But you might also see D or Bm chords (with their F# notes), which also come from A major - although they'd often be interpreted as A dorian chords.

IOW, there's all kind of possible mixtures between parallel modes. (It's called "mode mixture", surprisingly enough .) You can think of A major (ionian) and A minor (aeolian) as two poles, with A mixolydian and A dorian in between. Plenty of songs in rock combine chords from all four. However, ionian and aeolian contain all the available chords in those 4 modes, hence the common term (in a major key) "borrowing from the parallel minor". Eg, if you have a song in A major which contains a G chord, you could say it comes from A mixolydian, dorian or aeolian; but much simpler to just say it comes from A minor.

Moreover, you can play around with the relative connection too. Songs often change key from C major to A minor and back. They can also change from C major to A major - whether they go via Am or not (George Harrison's 'Something' does this). Likewise, you could go from A minor to F# minor, because of the A major link between them.

The Doors' 'Light My Fire' takes this to an interesting level, using Am and F#m as alternating chords (not just alternating keys!), but then resolving into D major for the chorus, where it also throws in a B chord (parallel of the relative Bm!) and ends on E major to lead back to Am. Impossible to say what "key" the song is in overall, except that the A note is the link between all the chords. It's an advanced case of mode mixture:
Am = A aeolian, dorian or (less likely) phrygian
F#m = A ionian or mixolydian
G = A aeolian or dorian
A = A ionian or mixolydian
D = A dorian, ionian or mixolydian
B = A lydian
E = A ionian (or A harmonic or melodic minor)
The solo, btw, is classic exercise in A dorian mode (alternating Am and Bm chords). And yes, Ray Manzarek did know his modes! (I doubt any other 1960s rockers did, with the possible exception of Zappa.)
#4
^ I don't really like your "modal analysis" of the song. The chorus is clearly in D major. It is not modal mixture, it is a modulation.

The verse does use modal mixture (it's centered around Am but also uses a F#m chord - it mixes minor and major). The F#m works as a pivot chord. It's the VI in the key of A and the III in the key of D.

The B major in the chorus is a secondary dominant for II but it is followed by the IV instead (but ii and IV are basically the same chords - both are sub-dominants so I would say it does function as a secondary dominant). The chorus ends with an E7 that brings us back to A.

And yeah, the solo section is an A dorian vamp.


TS, A minor and C major are not the same thing. The key signatures have the same notes but that's where the similarities end.

Modal mixture is really common. The major 6th scale degree is one of the most common accidentals in a minor key.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
You can do anything you want, if you have a reason. You gotta think about what chords the two keys share. C and F share C F Am Dm. C and Eb don't share any chords, but, they can be linked with a few chords such as G7, which is the 5th scale degree in the key of C, and the 3rd in Eb when you play in C harmonic minor. And F major chord in the key of Eb will make it feel more like Bb, which could link to C. You can't just flat out or sharp out change the key for no reason from Am to A major unless it's like a complete new section of the song, like Californication, Am for verse and A major for solo... Or maybe it's the opposite, either way, you gotta be mindful of what you're actually doing. Try to sing over it.
#6
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ I don't really like your "modal analysis" of the song. The chorus is clearly in D major. It is not modal mixture, it is a modulation.

The verse does use modal mixture (it's centered around Am but also uses a F#m chord - it mixes minor and major). The F#m works as a pivot chord. It's the VI in the key of A and the III in the key of D.

The B major in the chorus is a secondary dominant for II but it is followed by the IV instead (but ii and IV are basically the same chords - both are sub-dominants so I would say it does function as a secondary dominant). The chorus ends with an E7 that brings us back to A.

And yeah, the solo section is an A dorian vamp.
All agreed! I was simply offering another perspective, which I thought was interesting.
Last edited by jongtr at Jul 12, 2016,