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  1. #1

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    In this tune Petites Compositions: Sita starting at 0'47: Cmaj7 / Bbmaj / Bbmaj13 / A7sus(b9)* / A / Dmin7 / G....C

    *Bb6(/A) - see below

    Cheers
    Last edited by Peter C; 02-14-2019 at 07:14 PM.

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  3. #2

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    The only modulation I can see is into Dm from A7. I don't think CM7 to BbM7 is a modulation.

  4. #3
    Well, the initial key centre is C major and it's modulating to A major, then (I suppose) resolving back to C via D min / G.

    Other than that:

    Quatermass:
    Are you sure you know what you’re doing?
    Eccles:
    Yeah, but I’m willing to take a second opinion.
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  5. #4

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    At its most basic, this is classic pivot-chord modulation. But the modulations go by so quickly (and our modern ears are so used to chromatic harmony) that the only one that lasts long enough to really sound like we have arrived at a new key is when we hit the Dm. The theoretical analysis identifies multiple modulations and multiple key centers, but we hear a cadence only at the Dm, and then again at G to C, so we hear temporary key centers rather than full-on modulation. That is, we modulate a lot, but don't hang around long enough in most of the new keys for the listener to get the feeling that a new key center is established.

    Non-functional chromatic chord substitutes make the transitions even smoother and less obvious. C is the key center of the tune. Bb acts as a temporary key center. A acts as another temporary key center. Dm is yet another key center but less temporary because we have at that point transitioned through enough temporary key centers that we are no longer hearing C as the key center. Eventually the Dm begins to sound less like i in Dm and more like ii in C again. It's a nice set of changes.

    Here's a bit more detail about what's happening. Bb, A and D all function in more than one key at a time to act as pivot chords.

    • Cmaj7 to Bbmaj / == Bbma is a non-functional chromatic substitute for C ma. It's similar to a common sub in minor-key functional chromatic harmony. (bVII subs for for iv and iv subs for i, so we bastardize it as subbing bVII for any I chord, whether it's major or minor.) We dont hear this as a departure from C, just as a nice sub for it.
    • Bbma to Bbmaj13 == same chord, different extensions (there's a name for that, can't come up with it right now - series substitution?). I would not actually use 13 here but just call this Bbma7add6 because 13th chords are dominants and this isn't a dominant. I refuse to argue with anyone about this :-) Now we are hanging on the Bb long enough that maybe its starting to sound like I in Bb instead of bVII in C. The chord is actually functioning in both keys: it's a pivot.
    • Bbma13 to A7sus(b9) == Now we have yet another flavor (series sub) of Bb so Bb is really starting to sound like I in Bb. If we think of Bb as the temporary I, we could look at Eb as its IV chord, which would be the typical cycle-of-fourths root movement that one might expect to see here. A7 is the tritone sub for Eb.
    • A7sus(b9) to A == series substitution (same chord Ama with different extensions) and functional resolution of the sus4 and b9, which gives A a strong feeling of being yet another temporary I chord.
    • A to Dmin7 == Classic pivot-chord modulation: A is the V in Dm at the same time it is the I in our previous temporary key center.
    • Dm / G....C == another pivot chord modulation. Dm is both i in Dm and ii in Cmaj; once we hear G we have transitioned fully back to C maj.


    HTH - sorry you asked?

    SJ

    PS: nice tone!
    Last edited by starjasmine; 02-06-2019 at 11:25 PM.

  6. #5

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    What I'm hearing after the C is a modulation to Dm (Bb-Gm-A7-Gm-A7-Dm. Function, disregarding bass notes), then continuing towards F, but stopping that path on the C

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine View Post
    HTH - sorry you asked?

    SJ

    PS: nice tone!
    Not in the slightest. Thank you so much, and I hope you're around for my next one

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C View Post
    Not in the slightest. Thank you so much, and I hope you're around for my next one
    Thanks. BTW I just found a typo (I typed bVI when I meant bVII in a couple places) so I fixed that.

    SJ

  9. #8

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    I'm glad someone understands it. I have to say I've never seen A7 going to A major before. Are you sure that's right?

    Mind you, as it's called A7susb9, and might be played x05786, it doesn't sound a bit like an A7 but more like a Bb chord... which, I presume, is why it sounds perfectly good resolving to the A major.

    But don't ask me, what do I know. And it all sounds very nice :-)
    Last edited by ragman1; 02-07-2019 at 08:20 AM.

  10. #9

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    In the OP, I’d change the name of your Bbmaj13 chord to Emin7b5/Bb. Those are the notes you are playing (plus the 11th on top), and it makes functional sense ahead of the A7.

    I like the recording. There’s a little bit of Debussy in it.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Mind you, as it's called A7susb9, and might be played x05786, it doesn't sound a bit like an A7 but more like a Dm chord... which, I presume, is why it sounds perfectly good resolving to the A major.
    I'm guessing you mean Gm. That's what I'd call that chord, Gm/Bb. And, he's not really resolving to A major...he's still in dominant territory, even though he doesn't play the 7th

  12. #11
    Yes starjasmine, I saw that it was bVII. I will continue to enjoy your analysis of my little tune later - it's quite inspiring to read, actually

    Runepune, what you're hearing looks very "Spanish", which would not be surprising, given the years I've lived here. Interesting.

    Ragman, A(7)sus to A is a common move, n'est-ce pas?

    KirkP, thanks for your insight. I can see the logic in that.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runepune View Post
    I'm guessing you mean Gm. That's what I'd call that chord, Gm/Bb. And, he's not really resolving to A major...he's still in dominant territory, even though he doesn't play the 7th
    My mistake, quite right. Gm - A. Or some sort of Bb - A.

    Flamenco-type sound. Olé! Very nice though.

  14. #13

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    Dm7b5(Fm6) | Cma6 | Bm7b5(Dm6) | Cma7 Am7 | Dm7 G/B | Fadd9 | C ||

    IVm | I | IIm6 | I VIm | IIm V | IV | I ||

    Plays with a few subdominant resolutions and a II V delayed resolution to IV > I

    Cmaj7 / Bbmaj / Bbmaj13 / A7sus(b9) / A / Dmin7 / G....C

    It is a modulation to A but reinforced largely the length of time of the chords spent on getting there,
    creating the sense that A is the arrival point. If the progression read something like this then A major
    would be less significant C Bb | A | Dm G | C ||

    For what it's worth A major is parallel to Am, relative minor of C major.
    A major doesn't stick around but immediately returns to C major.

  15. #14

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    I don't think it matters, it's how it sounds.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I don't think it matters, it's how it sounds.
    What doesn't matter?

    Yes, sound is primal, but there are also relationships that can be observed.
    It is possible that these relationships can lead to further development of a sound.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    What doesn't matter?
    All the gobbledegook round it. Nothing to do with the ear. Most of the greats never did all that, they learnt by doing. But to each their own :-)

    (I'm not dismissing it completely but I do get rather tired of the endless micro-analysis)

  18. #17

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    Why does the "gobbledegook round it" have nothing to do with the ear.
    The best analysis springs from relationship that are heard.
    Second best, concepts played while mindfully listening.
    Anyway, that which makes us tire and where we choose to draw the lines of something
    being too much
    is a personal matter. Your choice, my choice.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako View Post
    Why does the "gobbledegook round it" have nothing to do with the ear.
    It's the same as the difference between gazing at a lovely sunset and what the science textbooks tell you about it. Chalk and cheese.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I have to say I've never seen A7 going to A major before. Are you sure that's right?

    Mind you, as it's called A7susb9, and might be played x05786, it doesn't sound a bit like an A7 but more like a Bb chord... which, I presume, is why it sounds perfectly good resolving to the A major.
    Thank you, @ragman1, for calling this into question. I did my analysis pretty quickly without trying to cop the original voicings, but just taking the OP's chordal notation at face value and giving a quick listen. Your question caused me to go back to the video and take a harder listen and look.

    I think there are some other ways to hear and analyze this, and that minor variations in voicing and performance could emphasize one sound or analysis over another. Voicing an alteration (b9) in the bass note gets into ambiguous territory very quickly.

    Here the chords I hear in the passage in question when I listen for myself without looking at the OP's chart, and actually use the same voicings (and thus the same voice leading)

    Cma7 Bbma7 Bb6 A Bb6 A Dm7 G Dm7 G Csus C

    The argument could be made that what Peter's calling A7susb9 is really just Bb6, with the A in the top voice being a melodic ornament, not a chord tone. It's not that these notes are not in A7susb9, it's that they don't sound like (or work like) a dominant b9 chord when I listen to the OPs performance. As others have pointed out, it's what the listener hears that determines the correct analysis. I hear VI V i in Dm in this spot.

    If you strip away the ornamentation, the passage in question could be summed up as a pivot chord modulation from C ma to dm back to Cmaj.

    Cma Bbma Ami Dmi Gma
    C: I
    d: bVII VI V i
    C: ii V




    I withdraw my original analysis (sheepishly) and will post a video of what a strong A7b9 in that spot sounds like this weekend.

    Thanks for keeping me honest, Rags.

    SJ

    PS - Peter, I actually like your tone with the pick better; the fingerstyle take sounds thinner and brighter. Are both takes done with the same settings? It sounds like there might be a digital delay on the fingerstyle take that is not on the other one.

    UPDATE: Here's the video example of A7b9 resolving to A, along with some examples of why I agree with Ragman1 about the chord in question really being a Bb6

    Last edited by starjasmine; 02-11-2019 at 02:30 AM.

  21. #20
    Thank you, Bako. I have some studying to do here before responding!

    starjasmine, the fingerstyle take was somewhat of an afterthought. I think I bumped up the treble on the Microcube and sort of forgot to kill the delay pedal. The whole thing was quick and dirty

  22. #21
    I just saw your video. What a nice guy you seem

    Ok, so Bb6(/A) it is, and the great thing is that you have helped me to see why! That part of the tune is Andalusian, btw.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C View Post
    What a nice guy you seem
    ^^^^^ Has not been in a rehearsal with me ;-)

  24. #23
    OK, so this little ballad showed up one day on my guitar fretboard at a time when I was just beginning to listen closely to jazz, which would explain the inclusion of chords like Dm7b5 or G13.

    I was actually wondering whether someone with good knowledge of theory (interestingly called solfeo in Spanish = solfeggio) would use the term "pivot-chord modulation", so I was pleasantly surprised to read starjasmine's analysis, which I read with great interest: terms such as "multiple modulations" and "temporary key centers" are both new and old to me, if you see what I mean.

    When rehearsing another, more complex, tune with a conservatory trained percussionist, he said "you modulated", to which I replied, "Yes, I suppose I did". I'm not formally trained and mostly see places and colours on the fretboard, though I'm learning very useful things here.

    Anyway, starjasmine's first post with the blow-by-blow account of what's happening in that progression had me glued to the screen! And I'm still digesting it.

    On reflection, I agree with KirkP's Debussy allusion.

    Runeprune heard the flamenco influence straight away.

    "It is a modulation to A but reinforced largely the length of time of the chords spent on getting there, creating the sense that A is the arrival point" - thanks Bako, very clear.

    "Voicing an alteration (b9) in the bass note gets into ambiguous territory very quickly" - this ambiguity is a defining characteristic of flamenco music, don't you think, starjasmine?

    Ok, so you're now hearing a modulation to Dm, not so much to A, which is interesting.

    Watching you play in the video, it dawned on me that we're looking at a classic(al) Andalusian cadence in Dm here except that, instead of starting out on Dm, the tune is modulating *to* it. Cool. The way you're later fretting a "real" A7b9 takes us into completely different territory. Again, very interesting to watch.

    Thanks everyone, I'm very grateful for your comments and wisdom!
    Last edited by Peter C; 02-13-2019 at 07:11 PM.

  25. #24

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    The OP's example is too out of context to analyze, need more changes and a form, ... it's pointless, imo.
    Epiphone Casino Coupe (Antiquity P90s) Telecaster (Vintage Stack neck, Fender ‘62 bridge) Stratocaster (3X Little '59 ). Monoprice Chinese "Champ" amp clone (Weber alnico 8", Genalex Gold Lion tubes)

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter C View Post
    In this tune Petites Compositions: Sita starting at 0'47: Cmaj7 / Bbmaj / Bbmaj13 / A7sus(b9) / A / Dmin7 / G....C


    Cheers
    .

    There are only two key centres in my view.

    "Cmaj7" (This first chord establishes the key of C major)

    "Bbmaj / Bbmaj13 / A7sus(b9) / A / Dmin7" (This section is in the key of D natural/harmonic minor).

    But, the Dmin7 chord has a dual function as the I chord in the key of D minor and as a II chord leading back to the C major key via a II, V, I where D min also acts as the II of the C.

  27. #26
    Thanks Roberoo. I'm continuing to study all the analysis, because it helps me to explain what I'm doing to other musicians. I'm beginning to think that A could easily be seen as a (temporary) key centre within the context of the Andalusian cadence, but early days