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MarkThornbury

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Reply with quote  #1 

I'd like to jump-start an idea here...I'm gonna take a tiny kernel, and throw out an analysis a la Ted, & let's see where it goes...

 

Ted's intro to 'Ol Man River uses some cool techniques, starting with a Max Steiner (among many other film composers) concept..."Dixie" as a relevant thematic concept to place you South of the Mason-Dixon line...and through a beautiful deceptive cadence, using a pivot chord for modulation, takes the key center up a major third, resulting in a rather bright, uplifting sound.

 

Ted showed me how to do this, as he loved to modulate up major 3rd key cycles, and I'll share it here for those of us who might not have had the chance to check this out...

 

If you start out in a certain key, at some point just go to the vi chord, and make it a vi6 (meaning a vi minor 6th, not a vi chord with the 3rd in the bass, like Baroque style figured bass, another thread for that...).  Then consider the vi6 to simultaneously be a iv6 of the key a major third higher.


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MarkThornbury

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Reply with quote  #2 

This 'up a major third' pivot chord concept looks like this (example in the key of C)...

 

C: I  vi6

E:     iv6  I   0R   C  Amin6  E.  This works because the Amin 6 introduces an F# note to the C scale, and while this is not diatonic to the key, Ted pointed out that it is actually more natural to the key center in that the overtone series naturally has a raised 4th degree, so it doesn't sound all that weird.  As a sidelight to all of this (as Ted would say), the F# note is only a whole step away from G#, which is the third of E major, and hence sounds rather natural moving up to it.   Now on to the intro of 'Ol Man River:

 

B:    I  vii7 vi7 I/5  IV iii7/5  ii7  vi6/6

Eb:                                          iv6/6  I/3  iv7  iii7  IV  #ivm7b5  IV      

       #ivm7b5 V7/6 vi6 iv6 I....     Does this make sense?  Let's discuss....


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MarkThornbury

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Reply with quote  #3 

I can e-mail either a jpg or pdf file of the chord diagrams if anyone is interested, just e-mail me & I will do so.

 

 If this is a bit much at this time, let me know, as I don't want to annoy anybody with too much "egghead" stuff...


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barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Mark
Your explanation of vi6 is clear & concise to me. This also works as a great modulation tool (as you probably know). I don't play guitar anymore but utilize much of the theory & harmony Ted shared with me for my piano studies. Barbara

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Barbara Franklin
SteveBrodie

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Reply with quote  #5 
I thought I'd throw in my .05 cents on this one.  I studied with Ted way back in the 70's and Ted showed me many methods of modulating...  I lost almost all of my lesson sheets from Ted in a house fire in 93, but my memory is pretty good.  Another approach, other than the anchor chord method, excellently explained by Mark, that I remember, is what I will call the cycle method.  The diatonic sequence of 4th progression,ie I-IV-VIIdim-iiim ect,  but, instead of going to IV, go to #ivm, and treat as iim  of the new key, follow with V7, go to I,  then  start the  pattern again in the new key.  Again, the key changes are in Maj 3rds...

I hope I got that right!!

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barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Steve, Yes, that works and there is also the good old V of V, or V of anything. Ted always knew how to "navigate" the keys - there are so many choices for modulation & there is no key too "distant" .

I have an unrelated question: How did I get the blue "?" instead of the photo I uploaded of J.S. Bach as my avatar?

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Barbara Franklin
MarkThornbury

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Reply with quote  #7 

That sounds right to me...in fact, I remember this is a 'cousin' variation on the same idea, in that Ted liked to go to the #ivm7b5, then consider it to be a iim7b5 to a V of the key of III, which is almost exactly what you have described! 

 

I remember Ted showing me something like going from I to IV to #iv7 (with a natural 5) and proceding as you described...This is great stuff!  I'm gonna look around for my material on modulation...it wasn't an official 'sheet' as such, rather something that Ted spontaneously wrote out in his purple pen (Remember the purple pen????)

 

If anyone wants to see it, I'll PDF it & e-mail it to you!


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SteveBrodie

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Reply with quote  #8 
Yea, yea, that's it alright.  Also, he got me into, same cycle of diatonic 4ths, but, when you get to V, change it to vm, and treat it as iim, then your in a new key, a 4th higher, and you can go on forever that way. 

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barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #9 
J.S. Bach used that one (diatonic 4ths cycle) a lot.
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Barbara Franklin
jacob

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Reply with quote  #10 
Actually, I'd be interested in seeing the chord diagram to this, Mark, since I seem to be more "visual" in my learning and understanding-- so playing the chord voicings would probably help out a lot for me. I think I get the basics of it, it's sort of like how Giant Steps cycles in major thirds, right?

(mjhohams@gmail.com if you do have a chart to send)
Hal9000

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Reply with quote  #11 

great info, sounds kinda like bird changes, are they?

MarkThornbury

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Reply with quote  #12 

I think the sounds are quite similar to "Bird" changes, although the chord "qualities" are diatonic while moving through the cycle, where  "Bird" changes are when you take a normal tune and add a lot of ii V's in them through back cycling.

A good example of this is the tune "Blues for Alice" which takes a normal 12 bar jazz blues and inserts a long series of ii-V's into the progression.

Here are a couple examples of taking a normal progression and adding some cycles:

| Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 |

becomes:
| Ebm7 Ab7 | Dm7 G7 | Cmaj7 |

The above example works whenever you have a ii V over two bars.

Another example:

| F7 | Bb7 | F7 | F7 | Bb7 | (first 5 bars of a blues in F)

becomes:

| F7 | Em7 A7 | Dm7 G7 | Cm7 F7 | Bb7 |


The Bb7 in the above example is the target chord, and a cycle of fifths is simple added before it taking up however many bars desired. This is what is called "back cycling" because you're cycling back from a target chord through the cycle of fifths.


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Hal9000

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Reply with quote  #13 
ok, so it's close.  How about common chord tones.  I went over that with Ted and I thought it was very interesting.  The only problem was that by the time I got home I forgot about 80 per cent of what Ted said.  One of things that interested me (if I remember correctly) was the method of using a common chord tone on a chord that is implied but that you do not play.  On a ii-V-I, you can dump the I and go to any chord that has a common chord tone with that same I that you did not play.  Please do not repeat that last sentence to yourself more than 3 times, it could be harmful to your health.  Anyway, am I remembering it wrong?
MarkThornbury

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Reply with quote  #14 

I missed that lesson, but I was just experimenting with the concept, and it seems to work, especially if you anticipate the target note, then fill in the rest.   For example, I played a Dm11 to  G13b9 to a solitary C note, then play an Ab chord, and it sounds nice.  Voila! instant modulation down a Maj 3rd.  Likewise,  Dm11 to a G7/6( with G on top) to EbMaj add9...very nice. 

 

Thanks for the idea!

 

I have the Robert Ottman harmony textbooks, which was one (of many) of Ted's sources, and there is some info on modulation which  I'll snoop through, and post if I see something.


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Hal9000

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Reply with quote  #15 

I have found that using common chord tones is a nice way to evade the diatonic trap.  It works great with or without implied harmony.  Now I know this is a corn-ball example but I think David Foster did some very nice common chord tone modulations on a piece he did with Amy Grant called "Grown Up Christmas List".  While on the V in the key of G, instead of going to the I, he shifts to the key of E major using the note B natural as the link.  Later in the piece he goes from the V of E major to the V of G# Major using the note D# as the link and that shifts the verse key from G to G#..........nice tension which is later released by a real sweet iii, vi, ii, V, I.  OK, at least I think so.  I hope I didn't screw up that explanation, if so, sorry Ted.

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