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Thirtysilver
06-24-2003, 01:19 AM
I play fully by ear. I know painfully little about music theory. I'd like to know what key one of my songs is in.
The chords are: B A E C#m D F# and G
I think this song is in B, but I have no idea, really.
Thank you for your help!

szulc
06-24-2003, 03:04 AM
B A E C#m D F# and G

Can we assume you mean B Major, A Major, E Major, C# Minor, D Major, F# Major, G Major?

If so you are going to need several keys to explain this.

if the song were in B minor (D Major)
You would have Bm, A, Em, C# Dim, D, Fm, G.
But if you really mean the only no-major chord is C# Minor, you will have to reconcile all the different Major chords to arrive at Key centers in a piecewise fashion.
B A E is V VI I in E Major
C# Minor is vi in E Major
D and G do not belong to E Major.
D could be I in D Major VI in A Major or V in G Major
G could be I in G Major IV in D Major or V in C Major
F# could be I in F# Major IV in C# Major or V in B Major

Thirtysilver
06-24-2003, 05:01 AM
Can we assume you mean B Major, A Major, E Major, C# Minor, D Major, F# Major, G Major?
Yes.

Wow. That's quite concise. Thank you!
I'm guessing that one can't really say "This song is in this key." All I know is that I based the song on B Major -that's the chord I always came back to, and the vocal melody centers around that.

Guni
06-24-2003, 06:41 AM
I'd just like to add that when analyzing a progression the melodic and harmonic rhythm of the progression are immensely important when defining keys.

B A E C#m D F# and G are 7 chords. Now which chords fall on the strong beats and what's their duration?

|B / / / | / / A E | C#m

sounds different to

|B / A / | E / / / | C#m


The first example better fits into B major:

|I / / / | / / bVII IV | IIm


Second one tends more to E major:

|V / VI / | I / / / | VIm


Next question would be what the melody is doing on top of this progression ...

Guni

Thirtysilver
06-24-2003, 01:33 PM
Okay, I'll try to explain without making myself sound dumb.
The song, first of all, is in 4/4.

Verse goes: |BB / / / |BB / / / |AA / C#m C#m / BB|
Prechorus goes: |A (whole note)| BB/ / / / |(x2) then |D | F# |
Chorus goes: |BB / AA / EE / EE|(x3) then |A |E |G |A |B

See how, at the end of the chorus, it makes a kind of circle and comes back around to B?

Over top of all this, the melody is going:
V: |DDD BBABBF# F#F# AA Ab Ab F#|(x2)
Pre: |*BBDB BBDB* F#EF# F# F#F#BF#F#F#| (rep.*) then |DDDD B C#|
Ch: |*DC#C# BBB EBB C#EB* B BEEE E Ab Ab| (rep.*) then |D C#C# BB EBB D C# B|

That's the bare-bones transcription of the vocal melody; so these are, of course, not chords. They're single notes. I wrote this on guitar. Don't know if that helps or what!
I appologize for not knowing any real musical parlance!:rolleyes:

neoncrossingsky
06-24-2003, 07:38 PM
It looks to me (just off the chord layouts you gave) that the song is in two keys: E major and Bm. B being the centerpiece of the song makes sense because B is the 5th of E, and of course the root of Bm (this is of course screwing around with harmonic minor to allow you to use A# in the F# major triad).

So, it'd be E till the second part of the pre chorus, then Bm, then back to E till the second part of the chorus, where it goes back to Bm and then to E for the last two chords.

...Or so I think:o

Thirtysilver
06-25-2003, 02:22 AM
B minor and E. Got it.
So, when I play a B in the key of Bm, what's that called?

neoncrossingsky
06-27-2003, 04:07 AM
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "what it's called" If you're talking about as pertaining to the scale, it's the root of the scale.

Bizarro
06-27-2003, 04:19 AM
Thirtysilver,

I think it would really help you a lot if you read through Guni's articles. They are very good at explaining theory, and it would make discussing music in this forum MUCH easier!

I think you would be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you will pick up the nomenclature.

Good luck!:D

Schooligo
06-27-2003, 09:28 AM
Hi,

before Thirtysilver clarified his chord progression, I analyzed this chord progression and came to the same conclusions as Szulc, :)

"But if you really mean the only no-major chord is C# Minor, you will have to reconcile all the different Major chords to arrive at Key centers in a piecewise fashion.
B A E is V VI I in E Major
C# Minor is vi in E Major
D and G do not belong to E Major.
D could be I in D Major VI in A Major or V in G Major
G could be I in G Major IV in D Major or V in C Major
F# could be I in F# Major IV in C# Major or V in B Major"


then Guni, gives additional advice on chord analysis with 2 examples, & now I don't understand the examples.

Guni states:
"|B / / / | / / A E | C#m

sounds different to

|B / A / | E / / / | C#m"

this 1st part I understand of his example, but then there's this analysis

"The first example better fits into B major:

|I / / / | / / bVII IV | IIm


Second one tends more to E major:

|V / VI / | I / / / | VIm"

I don't understand how B major is the most LIKELY Key of this example

what's the analysis process in order to arrive at the solution that this "better fits" in the Key of B major?

I did consider this to be in the key of E major but even this analysis IMHO for both examples would be that I would call this chord progression to be in the Key of C#m instead of E major.

My analysis:
|B / / / | / / A E | C#m

B is the VII chord,
A is the VI chord,
E is the III chord,
C#m is the i chord

sounds different to

|B / A / | E / / / | C#m

B is the VII chord,
A is the VI chord,
E is the III chord,
C#m is the i chord

Why, because after analyzing Rock, Blues, Country, Folk, Jazz, etc chord progressions I have a strategy method that works 9 times out of ten.

What is it?

All you do is listen to the last note &/or chord of a song, if a C matches it then the tune is being played in the key of C, etc.

This method works especially for Pop music, in fact in the majority of music I've analyzed you could also analyze both the 1st chord & the last chord to determine the key of the song as both are usually the same chord.

BUT in the Jazz tunes I've analyzed this method of finding the last chord as the basis for the Key seems to be more accurate.

I've studied ii V I chord progressions used in Jazz to create varying degress of tension and resolution and typically will change the Key of a song, I've studied "common" chord progressions such as I vi ii V I,
I've also studied secondary dominant theory, chord substitution, etc. I've also studied Guni's excellent Chord Scales articles.

Taking into account that in Music Theory there are always exceptions to the rules, is this a good strategy method or is there a more efficient reliable strategy method I could be using to analyze chord progressions?

Schooligo
07-03-2003, 09:58 AM
Hello, does anyone have an answer for the question I posed in the previous post? :(
(Please see previous post as it's an important reference)

here's a part of the question:

"The first example better fits into B major:

|I / / / | / / bVII IV | IIm


Second one tends more to E major:

|V / VI / | I / / / | VIm"

I don't understand how B major is the most LIKELY Key of this example

what's the analysis process in order to arrive at the solution that this "better fits" in the Key of B major?

abel_serra2002
07-23-2003, 09:09 PM
I think it's on B Mixolydian and D and G are chords borrowed from the aeolian mode, and F#'s borrowed from the Ionian mode, that helps to establish and return to the tone (B) again for the chorus.

The question is that Thirty Silver has done a great song!!!! Hey, don't hurt yourself with the theory, just feel what sounds good to you. ;D. You're doing fine!!!!