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Thread: question about vivaldi key change

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    Member johnfkingmatrix's Avatar
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    Default question about vivaldi key change



    i find it weird that in the circled measure the tonic /relative major is bumped up a half step.
    is this just a switch to the key of G? whats going on here

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    No, it's a secondary dominant (D major chord) of the G minor chord of the next measure which is the iv chord in d minor.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Member johnfkingmatrix's Avatar
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    thanks for the quick response. I guess im not well enough versed to understand quite what you're saying, though. So we're in the key of D minor, we're raising the 3rd tone (F) a half step. can this just be thought of as modulating to Dmajor?
    Last edited by johnfkingmatrix; Dec-19-2017 at 21:42.

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Yeah, I thought you might not know about secondary dominants.

    Regardless, let's look at your excerpt.

    A D major chord means something is happening. However, if you were to modulate to D major then the next chord would have to be a G major chord (which is the IV chord/subdominant of D major. But the next chord is G minor which is a normal one found in D minor so no key change took place.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Member johnfkingmatrix's Avatar
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    so what's the structural logic thats taken place there? If im composing in a minor key im theoretically able to smoothly switch the tonic from minor to major/visa versa, as long as there's no clashing harmonies? Like... Say im writing a piece in G minor that progresses Gm Dm Cm i can "randomly" switch the Gm to Gmajor by raising the 3rd (Bb) and it sounds ok?
    I guess its just an alien concept to me, i knew with harmonic minor/major you can raise the 6th & 7th tones, now i find out i can be raising the 3rd as well? or am i missing something
    thanks for taking the time to explain it

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Just changing a minor chord into a major chord (or vice verse) does not by itself mean a key change has taken place. To have a key change from G minor to G major you will need to immediately start using the accidentals of the new key. So G minor has two flats (B-flat and E-flat). If you want to be in G major after using a G major chord you must have melody notes/chords that use E-naturals and more B-naturals if you want us to hear G major.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnfkingmatrix View Post
    so what's the structural logic thats taken place there? If im composing in a minor key im theoretically able to smoothly switch the tonic from minor to major/visa versa, as long as there's no clashing harmonies? Like... Say im writing a piece in G minor that progresses Gm Dm Cm i can "randomly" switch the Gm to Gmajor by raising the 3rd (Bb) and it sounds ok?
    In G minor, the D chord would be major. Switching the Gm chord to Gmajor would not be "random" as its purpose would function as the dominant of Cminor, not as the tonic as you are thinking. The secondary dominant can modulate to a new key, or just be a dominant to another chord (usually diatonic (see attachment)). Look at the example I've attached of a few secondary dominants in the key of C. Notes get "bumped up" a half step between chords as you notice; and note that no modulations are occurring.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Torkelburger; Dec-19-2017 at 23:12.

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    Member johnfkingmatrix's Avatar
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    thanks everyone for all of the help.

    from a compositional standpoint, can i just think of this as a common chord modulation, without actually going into the new key?

    thanks for the pdf doc ! im staring at it, is the main takeaway point simply that there are common tones that exist out of "key" that can be used at the artists discretion, which is exactly whats taking place in this song?

    Example, if im in the key of Bb major (BbMAJ Cmin Dmin Ebmaj Fmaj Gmin Adim) i can have a progression Bbmaj -> Ebmaj--> Fmaj->**Cmajor** ->Fmaj --> **CMINOR** simply because the F works as a bridge between two different keys/ chords out of key?

    i tried that on my uncles sitar and it sounded fine. also it sounded okay when i went Bb - > Eb -> F -> B♮dim ->F-->Bb
    Last edited by johnfkingmatrix; Dec-20-2017 at 21:36.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=johnfkingmatrix;1365152]thanks everyone for all of the help.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnfkingmatrix View Post
    from a compositional standpoint, can i just think of this as a common chord modulation, without actually going into the new key?
    No, you should think of it as using secondary (or applied) dominants. Most theory books will have a chapter titled secondary dominants.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnfkingmatrix View Post
    thanks for the pdf doc ! im staring at it, is the main takeaway point simply that there are common tones that exist out of "key" that can be used at the artists discretion, which is exactly whats taking place in this song?
    No. The takeaway is that any major or minor chord in a given key can be preceded by its dominant without effecting a change of key. Hence, secondary dominant.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnfkingmatrix View Post
    Example, if im in the key of Bb major (BbMAJ Cmin Dmin Ebmaj Fmaj Gmin Adim) i can have a progression Bbmaj -> Ebmaj--> Fmaj->**Cmajor** ->Fmaj --> **CMINOR** simply because the F works as a bridge between two different keys/ chords out of key?
    The C major chord is V/V, the most common secondary dominant used in common practice music. The F major is not a bridge between two keys. It is the dominant of the home key.

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