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Thread: Modulating from F-major to a key with E-flat, G, and B-flat-minor

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    Modulating from F-major to a key with E-flat, G, and B-flat-minor

    I've played music of some kind most of my life, but I've never studied music theory in depth. I have been trying to catch up and I'm hoping someone can help me with this question.

    I'm looking at a chord progression that is mostly in F-major, but at a couple of places it seem to modulate to some minor key. At one point it hits an E-flat-major chord and at another point it hits a B-flat-major chord and a G-major chord.

    All the other chords seem to be okay for F-major (Dm, F, Am, C, B-flat, C dom 7). I can't seem to figure out what other key F-major can be modulated to to get to those other keys.

    Can anyone help me out?

    Thanks.

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    well it'd likely be the key of Eb Major or Bb Major with the G chord as a secondary dominant of vi or ii.

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    Registered User jimc8p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acsenray
    I'm looking at a chord progression that is mostly in F-major, but at a couple of places it seem to modulate to some minor key. At one point it hits an E-flat-major chord and at another point it hits a B-flat-major chord and a G-major chord.
    F Major Key:

    F Gm Am Bb C(7) Dm Edim

    Therefore, your Eb = a bVII chord. Bb = a regular IV chord (it's in key). G = a II chord. Both of these 'borrowed' chords are common.

    A bVII chord could be considered in different ways depending on the context. Most probably it will simply be adding a b7 note (Eb) to the key giving it a darker, bluesy element (you could describe this as borrowing from F mixolydian, or more commonly described as borrowing from F minor).

    In a similar way, the II chord (G) could be simply adding a #4 to the key with its major third (B). This adds a certain brightness. However, most often this chord will be used as a 'secondary dominant' and will be hinting at the 'key of V', in this case C major. If you resolve to C from G it results in a pleasant temporary tonicisation (but not a key change). But, if you do go on to use chords from the key of C and can sense the tonic moving from F to C, you may have a key change.

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    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    I never play anything in public that changes keys so I very seldom even run across it in practice, however, I seem to remember there is a trick to it much like using a turn-a-round. This may be off a little, but.....

    End the old key on the viidim chord and the 7th note (melody) then go to the V chord of the new key and let the melody take off from one of the new V chord's tones.

    Is my memory correct? Would make since to have a stock "go to a new key" trick. My turn-a-round revolves around the viidim, iii, vi, ii, V, I most of the time.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 08-06-2009 at 05:14 PM.

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    Thanks for the replies!

    I note an error in my original post --

    The chords that didn't seem to fit into the key of F-major were

    B-flat-minor (not B-flat-major -- I know that's already in the key), E-flat-major, and G-major.

    How does that change things?

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    Registered User jimc8p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acsenray
    Thanks for the replies!

    I note an error in my original post --

    The chords that didn't seem to fit into the key of F-major were

    B-flat-minor (not B-flat-major -- I know that's already in the key), E-flat-major, and G-major.

    How does that change things?
    Bbm - another commonly borrowed chord (iv). This adds the b6 to the key and could be thought of as borrowed from the parallel minor (like the Eb). However, this is not really a bluesy chord in the same way.. it's common in jazz or as a harmony for a b6 chromatic in a melody line. The key of F will be very accommodating to these three chords. (IOW you are not very likely to be departing from the key despite using them.)

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    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    I never play anything in public that changes keys so I very seldom even run across it in practice, however, I seem to remember there is a trick to it much like using a turn-a-round. This may be off a little, but.....

    End the old key on the viidim chord and the 7th note (melody) then go to the V chord of the new key and let the melody take off from one of the new V chord's tones.

    Is my memory correct? Would make since to have a stock "go to a new key" trick. My turn-a-round revolves around the viidim, iii, vi, ii, V, I most of the time.
    Yeah! However, viio and V7 (I take is what you mean by "seventh note in the melody) share the same function; therefore, it is not necessary to go from vii-V - not to mention vii = rootless V7 and viio7 = rootless V7b9.

    Yet, one can use both chords as this is very effective when changing from relative major/minor keys via the V and/or vii.

    Here's the intro to a reharm I did on "Take The A Train." It's Db, but I make use of the relative minor - Bb

    Bbm9-Eb9-Gbm9-F7alt / Bbm9-Eb13-B13-B9 ...

    Now, what could possibly be my next chord? It may be easier to rename the B9 to Cb9. Bbm or Db as the Cb (bVII as noted in above posts) subs for Ab which is the V of Db. IOW, the Cb chord is the common chord in both keys. The V's the strongest pivot and vii (bVII) is a little lax, but you can go to and from each key using either of these. Don't lose sight of the chords that surround it though. vii (bVII) again, is a bit weaker, but it's unexpected and more ambiguous.

    You can even use the V and vii (bVII) to go to the parallel minor. Alterations may have to happen, but it's doable. It's not what the OP asked, but do keep that in mind as V/vii can go to either I or i.
    Last edited by Color of Music; 02-15-2013 at 03:40 AM.

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    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Color - did you realise this was a 3-year-old post, bumped by a spam merchant?

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    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Color - did you realise this was a 3-year-old post, bumped by a spam merchant?
    No, I didn't!! I hope Crossroads took care of it! I am utterly embarassed!

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