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  1. #1
    Im interested in modulation, and I want some examples (instrumental jazz).

    Didnt know to post this here or in the theory section, but because this is not a theory question I posted here.

    Thanks in advance for your knowledge.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by man-argentina
    Im interested in modulation, and I want some examples (instrumental jazz).

    Didnt know to post this here or in the theory section, but because this is not a theory question I posted here.

    Thanks in advance for your knowledge.
    Depends what you class as a modulation. Some people seem happy to class anything that moves somewhere with a II V etc as a key change.

    I’m quite strict personally. For example, Just Friends and Stella are all in one key (with some chromatic chords) while Cherokee has an A section in one key and a B section that modulates. Same with Have You Met Miss Jones, Body and Soul, The Way You Look Tonight.

    All the Things You Are and Joyspring have A sections in different keys to each other as well as modulating bridges. ATTYA also modulates within the first two A sections!

    most commonly modulations happen in the B of AABA tunes, but sometimes you get them elsewhere.

    I take it from the melody. If the melody has a clear modulation it counts. Otherwise it’s just chromatic harmony.

    Its not black and white though.

    if that makes any sense?

    When it comes to soloing there are common pathways within the key - moving to IV or VIm and back and so on - that are very common and come up again and again, so you learn to handle them as part of a given key.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Depends what you class as a modulation. Some people seem happy to class anything that moves somewhere with a II V etc as a key change.

    I’m quite strict personally. For example, Just Friends and Stella are all in one key (with some chromatic chords) while Cherokee has an A section in one key and a B section that modulates. Same with Have You Met Miss Jones, Body and Soul, The Way You Look Tonight.

    All the Things You Are and Joyspring have A sections in different keys to each other as well as modulating bridges. ATTYA also modulates within the first two A sections!

    most commonly modulations happen in the B of AABA tunes, but sometimes you get them elsewhere.

    I take it from the melody. If the melody has a clear modulation it counts. Otherwise it’s just chromatic harmony.

    Its not black and white though.

    if that makes any sense?

    When it comes to soloing there are common pathways within the key - moving to IV or VIm and back and so on - that are very common and come up again and again, so you learn to handle them as part of a given key.
    Thanks for the reply, Im gonna search the songs you said and read what you said.

  5. #4

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    When is key change and when is modal interchange?

    and what is a key? This is not an easy question to answer, and I don’t think jazz edu gives you much clue. You cannot say for instance Ionian = Major. This isn’t true of any real tonal music.

    But modern classical theory isn’t very helpful either. my notions of key are being completely battered by 18th century ideas of tonality which are totally different to what we would think today. Which is funny because that’s what we think of as where the idea of tonality came from.

    The basic major scale for instance, would be solfeged (and harmonised) as if in two combined keys.

    so called ‘hard’ melody
    Do Re Mi Fa Sol Re Mi Do (Fa)

    (you could easily also have the #4 here)

    crazy huh? Or the ‘soft’ melody.
    Do Re Mi Fa Re Mi Fa (which gives you b7 in modern understanding.)

    The important thing here is that the semitone gaps were always given by Mi and Fa. In jazz edu terms this mean Lydian and Mixolydian were completely part of the basic Major tonality. Modal interchange has always been built into Western tonality.

    So you have C major and then also a sub key of G major and F major. As you develop your understanding of figured bass your find yourself able to slip effortlessly between near keys.

    As 18th century wore on, use of the b6 became popular, giving rise what we might call Harmonic Major and Borrowed Minor sounds which became more and more popular in the C19th.

    (The minor key is constructed on Re so they almost thought of it as quasi Dorian, which explains some of the original key signatures you get in Bach say.)

    This actually fits in quite nicely with how standards melodies are constructed. Very few are entirely diatonic.

    Anyway here are two 18th century style harmonisations of a scalar bass to show how the Lydian tonality naturally folded into major. Notice the use of D, A and E triads in the chord symbols. These are the primary triads of A major, not D major! But the bass is a D major scale. The second prog is derived from SL Weiss.

    These moves are also obviously popular with Pat Metheny. The 6 #4 2 chord is kind of something he brought back isn’t it?

    Last edited by christianm77; 02-13-2021 at 01:40 PM.

  6. #5

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    Setting aside the history, I think of keys not as a scale but as a collection of likely melodic and harmonic norms.

    It is likely that in the key of C you will find C7 going to F and then to Bb7 and back to C. It is likely you will see brief digressions to G and Am, and likely C minor too.

    it is like the melody will outline chords in the scale such as C, F and Am, and chromatics that are not simply passing tones will lead temporarily into these chords in the manner of secondary dominants.

    So it’s a probability based thing. As a result it’s hard to say when the key ends.

    Practically speaking the advantage of this is you practice what is likely to come up IRL.

    Not every chord succession is equally likely. So you learn lots of tunes (or read the Jerry Coker book.)

    in terms of soloing, you need to be a little more detailed than this... which is why many improvisers seem to think in a way where every II V signifies a ‘key change.’ (Mark Levine and so on) However this has some drawbacks.

    I prefer to think in a hierarchical way. So for example. Just friends is in G, but has detours to areas like C and Em, as well as fruity chromatic chords like Eb7 and A7. And these chords themselves can become temporary tonal centres for extensions, modes etc. (But it is also very likely you will see these chords come up again in G major tunes.)

    so understanding all the sub chords within the key is kind of important. But in general it’s as simple as understanding the one or more important notes on a chord; for instance the C# on A7, the Eb on Cm and so on.

    Another interesting fact is very often these notes do not appear in the melody. They sometimes form a counter melody. In other tunes they are the melody.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by man-argentina
    Im interested in modulation, and I want some examples (instrumental jazz).

    Didnt know to post this here or in the theory section, but because this is not a theory question I posted here.

    Thanks in advance for your knowledge.
    Well yes, it is a theory question. Freshman theory, to be specific.


    The Great American songbook is full of them, as are bop tunes. In many cases it's less a matter of "does it modulate?" and more a question of "how many darned key centers are there in this thing?".

  8. #7

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    It might be a fun exercise to select 5 or so standard tunes and:

    1. do a harmonic analysis,
    2. list the chord scale choices (that would be applied to improvisation - OR - arranging. Let's not forget arranging because one may have to write not only for the rhythm section, but also brass, saxes, strings, and perhaps voices as well.

  9. #8

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    Giant Steps..chord cycles (augmented scale)..backpedaling..strict modulating (ii7-V7)..or abrupt key changes (B-D7-GMA7) ?

    is it just another thing that has several "right" answers.that are all "wrong" ?

    Here is where I see some value in strange" concepts like the "lydian chromatic concept" and other similar approaches..

    In a lesson with Ted Greene..I asked for a breakdown of "Here's That Rainy Day" he basically said it depends how "crunchy" do you want it to sound..

    He played a chord melody of it..with basic "vanilla" chords and it was smooth and the voice leading implied that all the chords belonged to ONE key..

    then he broke down the melody and built it up two notes..then three..then four..

    then he used root notes in all the chords...then Thirds and then Fifths and then Sevenths..then Chromatic movement
    (there is an break down on the TG site of this kind of stuff on HTRD)

    end result he showed how the melody stays in tact..while the harmony goes from silky smooth to "chromatics on steroids"..here the melody was strained to be heard and
    felt like it was being beat up by dissident and altered bullies trying to keep it from making any sense

    while some have argued that there are several key changes in the tune..Ted said he saw it as just one key with altered scale steps (GMA6-Bb7-EbMA7.. I6-bIII7..bVIM7 etc)

    I play it in just "one key" and find it much easier to create a solo that does not collide with the melody..

    Is there a true modulation in the tune..that is..a defined cadence that indicated a new "key" that has a life of its own of several bars and has harmonic movement and not just a one or two beat life span ..

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    It might be a fun exercise to select 5 or so standard tunes and:

    1. do a harmonic analysis,
    2. list the chord scale choices (that would be applied to improvisation - OR - arranging. Let's not forget arranging because one may have to write not only for the rhythm section, but also brass, saxes, strings, and perhaps voices as well.
    I’d be quite up for this.

    But analysis. Hmm. I’m not always sure analysis itself is actually as useful as pattern recognition. And what you need for that is lots and lots of data. Tunes.

    So despite my nerdy interest in tonality itself, I actually think the main thing is learn lots of tunes and learn to deal with that stuff in whatever way seems best to you.

    There’s probably people here who think Cherokee changes key in the A section, and although I’d think them wrong on philosophical grounds it may well not harm their playing!

    In fact being able to track and describe changes in your playing is a lot more important than knowing the answer to a theory question.

    In this sense Giant Steps is no different from Lady be Good or something.

  11. #10

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    That said many of the older horn players - Lester, Chet, Art Pepper, Getz and so on had a generalised view of the changes. Prez is clearly just blowing in G on the A of Lady be Good for example. For them being able to spot a key change was probably the only bit of analysis they did.

    So a lot depends on the way you hear music and improvise.

    obviously this doesn’t work on Giant Steps quite so well (which may have contributed to the death of this melodic tradition along with the rise of the post Coltrane approach in jazz edu.) But it can be a very beautiful approach on some tunes, ‘clams’ included (those players played plenty of harmonically ‘incorrect’ notes.)

    In general I would say jazz students spend too much time worrying about playing the wrong notes myself included. Analysis is the handmaiden of this kind of thing if overdone.

    OTOH you have the tradition of guitarists playing solos straight from the chords, which makes sense given the traditional role of the guitar. In this case playing wrong notes or modulations for that matter is really moot. Doesn’t matter. Just play the chords. Use rules of thumb to sub.

    Ah well life is full of dichotomies.

    you could show me a tune and I could give a bunch of different ways to analyse it. All depends on what you bring with you. Tunes are like a mirror sometimes.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-13-2021 at 04:32 PM.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I’d be quite up for this.

    But analysis. Hmm. I’m not always sure analysis itself is actually as useful as pattern recognition. And what you need for that is lots and lots of data. Tunes.

    So despite my nerdy interest in tonality itself, I actually think the main thing is learn lots of tunes and learn to deal with that stuff in whatever way seems best to you.

    There’s probably people here who think Cherokee changes key in the A section, and although I’d think them wrong on philosophical grounds it may well not harm their playing!

    In fact being able to track and describe changes in your playing is a lot more important than knowing the answer to a theory question.

    In this sense Giant Steps is no different from Lady be Good or something.

    Understood - but - the individual players' pespective on theory/harmony is often different from an arrangers, per the very conversations above. How one chooses to interpret changes as an improviser may often be akin to survival mode, and may not "scale up" very well depending on their choices.

    So, with no further ado - first tune up! Freddie Freeloader


  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Understood - but - the individual players' pespective on theory/harmony is often different from an arrangers, per the very conversations above. How one chooses to interpret changes as an improviser may often be akin to survival mode, and may not "scale up" very well depending on their choices.

    So, with no further ado - first tune up! Freddie Freeloader

    Freddie Freeloader? Seems like an odd choice, but OK.

    It is a good example of a late 50s/60s way of playing a 12 bar with the dominant I chord, V IV I ‘Chicago’ last four.

    Also the use of the bVII7 backdoor for the first time bar. Quite a hip sub for I. very much of its era.

    In terms of soloing, use dominant scale on each chord.

    So you can see my working ‘analysis’ is more categorisation of various familiar things (dominant scale, backdoor, 12-bar etc) rather than an attempt to understand why the tune works. I have learned to deal with these things elsewhere as they are common.

    Backdoor is so common in a given key I think of it as a form of modal interchange or chromatic dominant sub

    This way of thinking is quite traditional. I like the way it allows you to describe the changes pretty tersely. If you do that and can sing/play the melody, you are set. (The melody gives any important upper structure colours in most tunes.)

    All Blues would be more interesting for discussion of the 7#9 chords; took me ages to understand how to play that tune so it sounds right. All Blues, like A Train and a few others is a tune I think that really needs a specific harmonic colour as part of the song.

    But I think the KOB tunes are easier to understand for most people than some of the older functional standards; especially those that aren’t necessarily moving in II V I motion.

    Discussion of what constitutes a modulation really depends on how much you identify keys and mode as the same thing. If you idea of Bb major = Bb Ionian, you might see modulations in FF.

    (You may also lack a coherent theory understanding of how harmonic changes work, but this may not be a problem for your jazz playing, unless you need to compose new changes in a conventional idiom. Many horn players are in this category, actually. OTOH I do think this tendency leads to notey playing on changes used in isolation.)

    if like me you see a key as a matter of convention and probability, frequently linked modes and key areas under one convenient umbrella, you will not see any modulations in FF.

    In other words how localised and chord specific is your sense of harmony?

    Most modern jazz theory is very local (chord on chord - look at Levine’s analysis of Just Friends for an example), but historically it has often been much more global (blowing in Bb on a rhythm changes A for example.)

    For the POV of the thread subject, we might pick a tune that has some obvious functional/structural modulation as well as common chromatic and modal interchange chords, such as Body and Soul.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-14-2021 at 06:14 AM.

  14. #13

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    Sorry this all sounds probably a lot more verbose and convoluted than it needs to. Basically what I am saying is there’s different ways to understand what is going on in a tune, and not all concepts are always that helpful for playing the changes, and that one of the best ways to understand which chord combinations to practice (which is the point for most of us really) is simply to look at a lot of tunes and look out for patterns.

    I would argue that being able to recognise a true modulation from mere chromatic harmony within a key area is a useful skill though. While you can blag Lady Be Good playing in one key, that doesn’t work for all of Body and Soul (or any of Giant Steps.)

    Anyway here’s the classical understanding of keys that most are taught today


    the astronomical metaphor is nice. Playing within a key is like travelling within the solar system; you have rocket ships and wormholes called secondary dominants and passing chords and so on to go from planet to planet.

    Modulation is like engaging the hyperdrive and going to a new solar system. In jazz this is most frequently achieved with a honking great II V I
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-14-2021 at 06:20 AM.

  15. #14

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    Yes Freddie Freeloader was a joke but worthwhile nevertheless, thanks for that.

    So, does it modulate?


    And regarding scale choices you mentioned dominant, does that refer to Mixolydian? Four Mixolydian modes then?

    What other scale choices are there for these Dom7 chords? Minor pentatonic, Blues, Bebop, Altered, and Half-Whole come to mind.

    I agree that All Blues is interesting.

  16. #15

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    when is it a true modulation and when is it just a tonicization?

    Many evergreen standards, including my beloved Body & Soul, eventually return to the "home" key/ tonality. Yes, the bridge moves around--I think the effect is felt most when you relate it back to the "A" sections.

    Chris'77, I will say little on this subject because I really just want to "play music" instead of "talk music" on JGF. Not that one is better than the latter... just that these discussions often get me in trouble in the long run.

    That said, since you are analyzing both sides of the musical pond... what is actually considered a true modulation in classical music? Classical pieces are much longer than the popular song form of jazz, so I would think that a modulation would have to go outside of the key long enough to truly establish another key.

    If you can still hear the home key, in the melody or elsewise, is it a true modulation? Do we have these terms (modulation vs. tonicization) mixed up in jazz pedagogy? If you think about it... a deep conversation about modulation might reveal that jazz "pedagogy" might be in the wrong.

    I think the most important element of jazz practice and theory is cohesion--cohesion of the eyes, mind, and inner ear. Otherwise, one song ends up sounding like multiple different "mini-song" sections. The dissected frog instead of the living whole..ew

    I'd rather the whole frog, the tune, what is a living whole than the dead stasis of the parts. Easier to keep a frog alive then attempt a franken frog... Why all this frog speak? I dunno, seemed apt at the time.

    Just some thoughts. No true right or wrong. But I think the answers go deep into how we learn and teach jazz. From an educator's standpoint, this could be a crucial conversation.
    Last edited by PickingMyEars; 02-14-2021 at 12:36 PM.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Yes Freddie Freeloader was a joke but worthwhile nevertheless, thanks for that.

    So, does it modulate?


    And regarding scale choices you mentioned dominant, does that refer to Mixolydian? Four Mixolydian modes then?

    What other scale choices are there for these Dom7 chords? Minor pentatonic, Blues, Bebop, Altered, and Half-Whole come to mind.

    I agree that All Blues is interesting.
    Dominant scale is the same as the Mixolydian mode. I use the term Dominant out of preference for various reasons that I won’t go into.

    You can use any scales you want for a dominant sound of course. But to play jazz idiomatically, you really have to know how play vanilla dominant bop language (which was the basis Wynton, Cannonball and Trane etc all had.) so it’s good to start there before exploring the spicier options....

    Really it seeks to me like 60-75% or something of 1950s jazz language is based around expressions of the dominant scale. It’s crazy. And here is a tune of only dominant chords. So... yeah. Good starting point.

    And of course there’s blues vocab, but guitarists rarely need encouragement here

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars
    when is it a true modulation and when is it just a tonicization?

    Many evergreen standards, including my beloved Body & Soul, eventually return to the "home" key/ tonality. Yes, the bridge moves around--I think the effect is felt most when you relate it back to the "A" sections.

    Chris'77, I will say little on this subject because I really just want to "play music" instead of "talk music" on JGF. Not that one is better than the latter... just that these discussions often get me in trouble in the long run.

    That said, since you are analyzing both sides of the musical pond... what is actually considered a true modulation in classical music? Classical pieces are much longer than the popular song form of jazz, so I would think that a modulation would have to go outside of the key long enough to truly establish another key.

    If you can still hear the home key, in the melody or elsewise, is it a true modulation? Do we have these terms (modulation vs. tonicization) mixed up in jazz pedagogy? If you think about it... a deep conversation about modulation might reveal that jazz "pedagogy" might be in the wrong.

    I think the most important element of jazz practice and theory is cohesion--cohesion of the eyes, mind, and inner ear. Otherwise, one song ends up sounding like multiple different "mini-song" sections. The dissected frog instead of the living whole..ew

    I'd rather the whole frog, the tune, what is a living whole than the dead stasis of the parts. Easier to keep a frog alive then attempt a franken frog... Why all this frog speak? I dunno, seemed apt at the time.

    Just some thoughts. No true right or wrong. But I think the answers go deep into how we learn and teach jazz. From an educator's standpoint, this could be a crucial conversation.

    Right. I own one book that says one or many II-Vs travelling through a song are not "true modulations", and another book that says they are. In the first book they aren't considered true modulations unless they reach a I chord. Rather, they are "tonicizations" because they "tonicize" a different key. Fair enough.

    From a pragmatic perspective of arranging or playing it doesn't make much of a difference though, because one has to deal with the different "tonicized" key. (I'm no theorist, incidentally. I perform a perpetual cycle of learning and forgetting theory over time, like any other topic).


    So, regarding the Blues and Freddie Freeloader, it's kind of an oddball when viewed through the lense of traditional harmony:

    • I think we can explain the quality of the I7 and IV7 chords by saying that we can change the quality of any diatonic chord - especially to a Dom7.
    • The V7 is diatonic of course.
    • The bVII7 is borrowed for the parallel minor key, so it's a Modal Interchange chord. (Ab7 borrowed from Bb minor)


    How'd I do professor(s)?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Dominant scale is the same as the Mixolydian mode. I use the term Dominant out of preference for various reasons that I won’t go into.

    You can use any scales you want for a dominant sound of course. But to play jazz idiomatically, you really have to know how play vanilla dominant bop language (which was the basis Wynton, Cannonball and Trane etc all had.) so it’s good to start there before exploring the spicier options....

    Really it seeks to me like 60-75% or something of 1950s jazz language is based around expressions of the dominant scale. It’s crazy. And here is a tune of only dominant chords. So... yeah. Good starting point.

    And of course there’s blues vocab, but guitarists rarely need encouragement here

    Agreed, especially on the last point, lol.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars
    when is it a true modulation and when is it just a tonicization?

    Many evergreen standards, including my beloved Body & Soul, eventually return to the "home" key/ tonality. Yes, the bridge moves around--I think the effect is felt most when you relate it back to the "A" sections.

    Chris'77, I will say little on this subject because I really just want to "play music" instead of "talk music" on JGF. Not that one is better than the latter... just that these discussions often get me in trouble in the long run.
    No the playing is definitely better. Are you kidding?

    That said, since you are analyzing both sides of the musical pond... what is actually considered a true modulation in classical music? Classical pieces are much longer than the popular song form of jazz, so I would think that a modulation would have to go outside of the key long enough to truly establish another key.
    Beethoven roars approval with a repeated V-I.

    Schubert laughs in your face and suddenly you are in D flat? How did that happen?

    generally modulations are structurally important in classical music.

    While sonata form is longer it’s not unlike AABA. Modulation mostly happens in the middle in both cases.

    If you can still hear the home key, in the melody or elsewise, is it a true modulation? Do we have these terms (modulation vs. tonicization) mixed up in jazz pedagogy? If you think about it... a deep conversation about modulation might reveal that jazz "pedagogy" might be in the wrong.
    Well jazz pedagogy is more concerned with negotiating changes than being able to write standards. In the post-bop world, a lot of it is applying ii V’s. According to Brad Mehldau that’s how a lot of the second gen boppers learned so it’s a tradition. Bleeding chunks of Charlie Parker applied to a harmonic progression. Later; chord scales.

    In this sense learning what a key or modulation is or is not, is is not that important.

    But, this has shifted the emphasis from melody to harmony. Melodic thinking would probably be more key oriented. (See prez, Getz etc.) which leads onto your point.

    I think the most important element of jazz practice and theory is cohesion--cohesion of the eyes, mind, and inner ear. Otherwise, one song ends up sounding like multiple different "mini-song" sections. The dissected frog instead of the living whole..ew

    I'd rather the whole frog, the tune, what is a living whole than the dead stasis of the parts. Easier to keep a frog alive then attempt a franken frog... Why all this frog speak? I dunno, seemed apt at the time.

    Just some thoughts. No true right or wrong. But I think the answers go deep into how we learn and teach jazz. From an educator's standpoint, this could be a crucial conversation.
    Theres not a right or wrong here.
    but the way players conceptualise music will affect how they play it. As I say, I find players who must think and hear chord by chord and not have some sort of multi level approach tend to sound like, well, recent jazz college grads. Lots of notes!!

    something I was always reprimanded for myself. I’ve found a key centric approach really helps with that.

    as a Banacos disciple you do the whole Giant Steps from one key centre thing? Or is that old news now?

  21. #20

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    Another thing that I find interesting; backcycling chains of dominants were often treated as chromatic chords harmonising a diatonic melody (Nice Work if Can Get It, Yesterdays) but were as often thought of as separate little tonalities. A good example is ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ and any Rhythm Changes bridge you care to name.

    Older improvisers are often likely to treat any given dominant chord as a vanilla dominant/mixolydian tonality regardless of context. Charlie Christian, Cannonball, Miles.... here’s Sarah Vaughan doing it on All of Me



    So the dominant blues tonality has its own life...

    this is not someone does much anymore, myself included.

  22. #21

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    OP: you have my sympathy. So What by Mr Miles Davis "modulates".

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C
    OP: you have my sympathy. So What by Mr Miles Davis "modulates".
    Use of scare quotes... yeah, it doesn’t modulate. It moves abruptly into the new tonality without passing go and without collecting £200

    Thus ‘non functional’ harmony

  24. #23

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    I should apologise to the OP. This is some thinking I’m doing for a video. I have no idea how this will help actual playing.

    Best way to identify a modulation? Experience.

  25. #24

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    or if you just want to be pragmatic,

    if when playing a song you are using chord scales/modes that are diatonic to the key signature, but on some chords MUST change, then you are in a different key center.

    you can call it modulation but might be best advised not to, per the above.

  26. #25

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    In one of my demos below (Every Time), there is a movement from Am to Bb9 to Ebm and I know that conservatory-trained musicos are going to call it and expect it to be called a modulation (of the pivot type, I believe). So be it. I don't think it really matters.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    or if you just want to be pragmatic,

    if when playing a song you are using chord scales/modes that are diatonic to the key signature, but on some chords MUST change, then you are in a different key center.

    you can call it modulation but might be best advised not to, per the above.
    Well yes, mostly I would find that odd, because for example the move C7 F Fm7 Bb7 C is so common in C tunes; but Mark Levine for instance actually name the Fm7 Bb7 as belonging to Eb, so.... he’s pretty widely read, so that’s a thing

    Honestly it doesn’t matter what you call it, but you better have a plan for dealing with it cos it will be on the tests so to speak.
    And of course jazzers have a perfectly good name for it, the Backdoor.

    It is a common feature of tunes in C, one can leave it at that.

    (besides if it was a real key change wouldn’t you expect to it return to F via G7?)

    But the main thing is how people play.... The only problem is when you think the key of Just Friends for example is given by the first chord and you have a train wreck at least with mid level players (great players would pick up on it fast and modulate to the appropriate key.)

    So you have to say that goofy thing at jams ‘first chord x’ because people understand harmony at the local level but don’t see it as a sort of multi level structure within an overall key.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Use of scare quotes... yeah, it doesn’t modulate. It moves abruptly into the new tonality without passing go and without collecting £200

    Thus ‘non functional’ harmony
    other terms for NFH could be 'forced harmony"..

    todays approach to harmony (in all styles of playing) is very expanded..it could be considered modal without being called such..

    diatonic harmony is used as a jumping off point rather than a destination and guide to home..

    using traditional diatonic based tunes as examples of "true modulation" and trying to fit that definition on many of todays compositions seems to only confuse the issue more than solve it

    I have posted this before; the tune 'All Blues" I say its a Blues tune!..I get ALOT of flack about this..to me its Miles having a bit of fun..patching together blues cliches from (major/minor/dominant) blues and
    then tying them together with a 6/8 feel..resulting in a quilt of blues from ALL styles of the form thus All Blues

    I think the term "modulation" might bring forth the same kind of reaction..some logical..some not..does this mean there is no "correct" way to define this..of course not..
    but at the same time it does not permit or prohibit a musicians way to play over the harmony in question

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    as a Banacos disciple you do the whole Giant Steps from one key centre thing? Or is that old news now?
    Still at it, me friend. Wrote out all of the chord tones in solfege related to B major. I think I might still have the sheet.

    It helped a lot at the time, but I have to review it again to make it still. I think the great musicians of yesteryear thought in both axis all the time melody and harmony. They might have expressed one axis more so than the other at times, but harmony and melody were always present.

    That's why I was curious about roman analysis. On one hand, you are relating chords to key centers and a bigger picture. But the next step usually seems to be "how do I get inside this chord?" instead of "how do I get inside the simultaneous melodies that move throughout a key?"

    Maybe that second bit is connected to Barry Harris? Seems as though, if you want to be a great improvisor, you have to the big picture and minutiae in mind at all times. I often find myself getting stuck n the the minutiae

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by PickingMyEars
    Still at it, me friend. Wrote out all of the chord tones in solfege related to B major. I think I might still have the sheet.

    It helped a lot at the time, but I have to review it again to make it still. I think the great musicians of yesteryear thought in both axis all the time melody and harmony. They might have expressed one axis more so than the other at times, but harmony and melody were always present.
    if you want to make you head hurt check out the Guidonian hexachord stuff I posted above. It can be a remarkably intuitive system but it’s like the opposite of that... you have two or three tonalities within a single scale.... and that’s how Bach etc learned apparently.

    That's why I was curious about roman analysis. On one hand, you are relating chords to key centers and a bigger picture. But the next step usually seems to be "how do I get inside this chord?" instead of "how do I get inside the simultaneous melodies that move throughout a key?"
    I’m getting less interested in Roman Numeral analysis - it’s fine I guess? It was invented as a cheat sheet way to teach harmony, analogous to Aebersold’s use of chord scales for beginning jazz improvisers as far as I can see. As we all know counterpoint and bebop language etc take a long time to learn and are often as much about idiom and specific cases as ‘here are some rules.’

    It seems to me advanced musicians sweat the specifics to the point where generalising theories like these aren’t that important.

    Simultaneous melodies through a key seems like my jam. Harmony is a fairy tale told about counterpoint as they say (apparently)

    a good exercise is chord melody and so on, writing out chords or playing chords at a piano because you see how they relate to the top line, bass and any countermelodies you might have. Chord symbols and Roman numeral functional analysis (and the guitar fretboard) doesn’t give you that .

    On the other hand a very loose tonic/dominant sense of functionality is something I’ve heard a lot of jazzers discuss and I think it’s something that is useful as a general organising principle, while the ins and outs of voice leading are handled in a detailed way .

    Maybe that second bit is connected to Barry Harris? Seems as though, if you want to be a great improvisor, you have to the big picture and minutiae in mind at all times. I often find myself getting stuck n the the minutiae
    Barry Harris is very much about that. That’s the point of the scale of chords. But it’s similar to the baroque/classical stuff I’ve been looking into lately (Sanguinetti etc) except the 8 note scale (b6 in the major key) gives you more Romantic richness ala Brahms Chopin etc. That’s where Barry is coming from with his harmony.

  31. #30

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    last point from me on this thread, promise

    Teachers in the past have explained improvised lines and phrases to me as voices in motion--i.e. that these melodies are still comprised of voices (SATB) but that they don't line up vertically as harmony might.

    Interesting concept. The application is to be aware of those voices and trace the "mini-melodies" that they create. The top soprano part of a phrase or line might peak with a high Eb. The next part of that soprano part might descend to a D natural.

    Easier to show visually, but I don't have that type of know how. Basically, you can trace several melodies through one 8 measure phrase of improvisation--if you are transcribing a master bebop musician.

    The way they do this complex maze of melodies, I've been told, is by holding on to notes from a phrase as you create a new line. You hold on to the highest note in your line or the lowest, all in your inner ear.

    ... I think I derailed the OP a bit. Last post on this here thread, best I keep to my playing

  32. #31

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    OK list of common tunes that DEFINITELY change key at some point ;-)

    Body and Soul
    Have You Met Miss Jones
    The Way You Look Tonight
    All the Things You Are
    I'll Remember April
    Cherokee
    Invitation
    Green Dolphin Street
    How About You?
    I'm Old Fashioned
    Joy Spring
    I'll Remember You
    China Boy
    Tea For Two
    26-2/Giant Steps/Countdown/Satellite etc
    Bernie's Tune
    How High The Moon

    Tunes that maybe don't????
    Just Friends
    Rhythm Changes
    12 bar blues
    I Can't Get Started
    Lady Be Good (swing changes not iReal which has a move to relative minor.)
    I'm Beginning to See the Light
    Don't Get Round Much Anymore

    Tunes that modulate only quite briefly to near keys (like subdominant, dominant and relative minor) that are really not unusual so it's kind of hard to tell and YMMV???
    Softly
    Honeysuckle Rose
    Embraceable You
    Stella
    Georgia on My Mind
    They Can't Take That Away
    Out of Nowhere
    Take the A Train
    Limehouse Blues

    However to add to the confusion some tunes that maybe don't modulate have strongly chromatic chords that need to be accommodated with some sort of - quasi key change???

    A good example is the Eb7 chord in Out of Nowhere. Not an unusual chord in G major by any means, but needs an Eb7 type sound here; can't be blagged. (Getz uses the blues! Which sounds GREAT.)
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-17-2021 at 07:04 AM.

  33. #32
    Thank you all for the time to reply my topic.

    Still trying to give me some time to read all in depth.

    I saw some or your words and seems theres lot of information there.

    Thanks for your knowledge and time.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by man-argentina
    Thank you all for the time to reply my topic.

    Still trying to give me some time to read all in depth.

    I saw some or your words and seems theres lot of information there.

    Thanks for your knowledge and time.
    Probably only my last post is strictly relevant....

  35. #34

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    It's fairly simple to me. If I see

    C - C7 - F - Fm
    Em - A7 - Dm - G7

    Only the A7-Dm is a temporary modulation (if I want to use it).


    If I see

    Dm - G7 - C - F
    Bm7b5 - E7b9 - Am - %

    Then that tune has modulated into its relative minor.


    If I see

    Am - Dm - G7 - C
    F - Bbm - Eb7 - Ab

    Then that tune has modulated from C into Ab.


    If I see a modal tune like

    Fm - % - E - Gb
    Bb7 - Db7 - Ab - %

    The concept of modulation doesn't apply.

    Anything else is extremely academic and probably only for authors of clever books.

  36. #35

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    Two other things occurred to me. One is

    Dm7b5 - G7b9 - CM7

    Which I'd call a modal interchange, not a modulation per se.

    The other's a blues form

    E7 - A7 - E7 - %
    A7 - % - E7 - %
    B7 - A7 - E7 - B7

    Which is either several modulations or none. I think I'd say none, personally.