SYOS

Beginner Which is more common?

RiceBag

Member
Messages
64
Dear forum people,

It seems to me that most of the songs that shift from major to minor mode (or viceversa) do so in the Relative way, where the minor Key is the relative minor of the Major chord, and viceversa. Example a song part is in C Major and a second part shifts to A minor.

We have the "parallel shift" in which the change is from, say, A Major to A minor.

Am I OK to think that most are in the relative shift mode? Specially those that are meant for singing, and of the popular type, like ballads, and so the notes are actually from the same scale, in both modes?

I ask this because I have found quite a few instances of songs in magazines that state "First part is in D minor, second part is in D Major", but that is not correct, where actually should be D Minor and then F Major. I have verified this with the actual recording of songs now.

And, thes incorrect publications (including the web ones), had been throwing me off on progress. Now, realizing this is a release.

So, are most popular songs written to use the Relative shift of Major to minor, and viceversa?

Thanks as usual!
 

cwillsher

Member
Messages
126
Location
Southampton, UK
You're right to think that perhaps most songs modulate in a "relative" or "parallel" fashion (as you describe it) but it would be rather boring if they all did. Don't take anything for granted when transcribing or learning new material - use your ears or the information on the score to see what's going on.
 
OP
R

RiceBag

Member
Messages
64
Hi CW, and thanks for replying.

My question is, rather, if of the two modes, the Relative shift modulation is more common(in most popular songs for singing)?

This is so that when I try to figure out chords of a song to learn, I FIRST approach that type of modulation. If if doesn't seem to work, then I try the other, or something else.

Thanks again!
 

cwillsher

Member
Messages
126
Location
Southampton, UK
A better bet would be to learn to listen for the bass note. If you then work out the melody (top) note the chord will most likely reveal itself, or at least narrow the options down.
 
OP
R

RiceBag

Member
Messages
64
A better bet would be to learn to listen for the bass note. If you then work out the melody (top) note the chord will most likely reveal itself, or at least narrow the options down.
Thanks CW!

I'm sure learning to pay attention to the bass note is most useful and correct advise and will try to figure that out too.

My question, though is still: "Which of the two modes of modulation is more common in popular songs (Relative or Parallel)?".

Thanks again!
 
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Bari251

Member
Messages
71
Location
Norwich
Modulations to the relative minor are discussed in 'Hearin the Changes' by Coker, Knapp and Vincent (page 44). This is a wonderful book if you are interested in chord progressios. They have analysed 500 tunes to try to work out the most common structures.
Malcolm
 
OP
R

RiceBag

Member
Messages
64
Modulations to the relative minor are discussed in 'Hearin the Changes' by Coker, Knapp and Vincent (page 44). This is a wonderful book if you are interested in chord progressios. They have analysed 500 tunes to try to work out the most common structures.
Malcolm
Thanks Bari!

I am indeed interested in chords and how they relate to a tune.

I found out from a website that moving from Major to its minor relative might not even be a "modulation", since it's in the same notes of a shared scale.

That according to this I found yesterday:
////////////////////////////////////////////
Modulation

There are two fundamental forms of modulation - between different tonal centres, and between different tonal types (major and minor tonalities). This means that we can modulate from the major tonality of C to:

* a different tonal centre, but the same tonal type, such as G major;
* the same tonal centre, but a different tonal type, which is c minor;
* a different tonal centre and a different tonal type, such as f minor.
/////////////////////////////////////

So, if playing in the key of C major, using the scale [A minor] is not a modulation, according to the above.

If so, then, that was my confusion, and I apologize for my ignorance.

The web-site for the above is:
http://www.tonalcentre.org/Modulation.html

Thanks everyone!
 
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