In music, modulation is the change from one key (tonic, or tonal center) to another. This may or may not be accompanied by a change in key signature. Modulations articulate or create the structure or form of many pieces, as well as add interest. Treatment of a chord as the tonic for less than a phrase is considered tonicization.
Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.
In music theory, the key of a piece is the group of pitches, or scale, that forms the basis of a music composition in classical, Western art, and Western pop music.
In music, the tonic is the first scale degree of a diatonic scale and the tonal center or final resolution tone that is commonly used in the final cadence in tonal classical music, popular music and traditional music. The triad formed on the tonic note, the tonic chord, is thus the most significant chord in these styles of music. More generally, the tonic is the pitch upon which all other pitches of a piece are hierarchically referenced. Scales are named after their tonics, thus the tonic of the scale of C is the note C.
In very much conventionally tonal music, harmonic analysis will reveal a broad prevalence of the primary harmonies: tonic, dominant, and subdominant, and especially the first two of these.
Modulation is the essential part of the art. Without it there is little music, for a piece derives its true beauty not from the large number of fixed modes which it embraces but rather from the subtle fabric of its modulation.
In music, harmony considers the process by which the composition of individual sounds, or superpositions of sounds, is analysed by hearing. Usually, this means simultaneously occurring frequencies, pitches, or chords.
In music, the dominant is the fifth scale degree of the diatonic scale, called "dominant" because it is next in importance to the tonic, and a dominant chord is any chord built upon that pitch, using the notes of the same diatonic scale. The dominant is sung as so in solfege. The dominant function has the role of creating instability that requires the tonic for resolution.
In very much conventionally tonal music, harmonic analysis will reveal a broad prevalence of the primary harmonies: tonic, dominant, and subdominant, and especially the first two of these.
The scheme I-x-V-I symbolizes, though naturally in a very summarizing way, the harmonic course of any composition of the Classical period. This x, usually appearing as a progression of chords, as a whole series, constitutes, as it were, the actual "music" within the scheme, which through the annexed formula V-I, is made into a unit, a group, or even a whole piece.
A melody, also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include successions of other musical elements such as tonal color. It may be considered the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.
The quasi-tonic is the tonic of the new key established by the modulation. The modulating dominant is the dominant of the quasi-tonic. The pivot chord is a predominant to the modulating dominant and a chord common to both the keys of the tonic and the quasi-tonic. For example, in a modulation to the dominant, ii/V–V/V–V could be a pivot chord, modulating dominant, and quasi-tonic.
Common-chord modulation (also known as diatonic-pivot-chord modulation) moves from the original key to the destination key (usually a closely related key) by way of a chord both keys share: "Most modulations are made smoother by using one or more chords that are common to both keys."For example, G major and D major have four chords in common: G major, B minor, D major and E minor. This can be easily determined by a chart similar to the one below, which compares triad qualities. The I chord in G major—a G major chord—is also the IV chord in D major, so I in G major and IV in D major are aligned on the chart.
In music, a closely related key is one sharing many common tones with an original key, as opposed to a distantly related key. In music harmony, there are six of them: five share all, or all except one, pitches with a key with which it is being compared, and is adjacent to it on the circle of fifths and its relative major or minor, and one shares the same tonic.
Any chord with the same root note and chord quality (major, minor, diminished) can be used as the pivot chord. However, chords that are not generally found in the style of the piece (for example, major VII chords in a J. S. Bach-style chorale) are also not likely to be chosen as the pivot chord. The most common pivot chords are the predominant chords (ii and IV) in the new key. In analysis of a piece that uses this style of modulation, the common chord is labeled with its function in both the original and the destination keys, as it can be heard either way.
In music theory, a predominant chord is any chord which normally resolves to a dominant chord. Examples of predominant chords are the subdominant, supertonic, Neapolitan sixth and German sixth. Other examples are the secondary dominant (V/V) and secondary leading tone chord. Predominant chords may lead to secondary dominants. Predominant chords both expand away from the tonic and lead to the dominant, affirming the dominant's pull to the tonic. Thus they lack the stability of the tonic and the drive towards resolution of the dominant. The predominant harmonic function is part of the fundamental harmonic progression of many classical works. The submediant (vi) may be considered a predominant chord or a tonic substitute.
Where an altered chord is used as a pivot chord in either the old or new key (or both), this would be referred to as altered common chord modulation, in order to distinguish the chromaticism that would be introduced from the otherwise, diatonic method.
An altered chord is a chord in which one or more notes from the diatonic scale is replaced with a neighboring pitch from the chromatic scale. According to the broadest definition any chord with a nondiatonic chord tone is an altered chord, while the simplest use of altered chords is the use of borrowed chords, chords borrowed from the parallel key, and the most common is the use of secondary dominants. As Alfred Blatter explains,"An altered chord occurs when one of the standard, functional chords is given another quality by the modification of one or more components of the chord."
Chromaticism is a compositional technique interspersing the primary diatonic pitches and chords with other pitches of the chromatic scale. Chromaticism is in contrast or addition to tonality or diatonicism. Chromatic elements are considered "elaborations of or substitutions for diatonic scale members".
Chromaticism is almost by definition an alteration of, an interpolation in or deviation from this basic diatonic organization.
An enharmonic modulation takes place when one treats a chord as if it were spelled enharmonically as a functional chord in the destination key, and then proceeds in the destination key. There are two main types of enharmonic modulations: dominant seventh/augmented sixth, and (fully) diminished seventh. Any dominant seventh or German sixth can be reinterpreted as the other by respelling the m7 or A6 chord tone (respectively) in order to modulate to a key a half-step away (descending or ascending); if the fifth from root chord tone of a German sixth is omitted, the result is an Italian sixth. A diminished seventh chord meanwhile, can be respelled in multiple other ways to form a diminished seventh chord in a key a minor third (m3 as root), tritone (d5 as root) or major sixth (d7 as root) away.Where the dominant seventh is found in all diatonic scales, the diminished seventh is found only in the harmonic scale naturally; an augmented sixth is itself an altered chord, relying on the raised fourth scale degree.
In modern musical notation and tuning, an enharmonic equivalent is a note, interval, or key signature that is equivalent to some other note, interval, or key signature but "spelled", or named differently. Thus, the enharmonic spelling of a written note, interval, or chord is an alternative way to write that note, interval, or chord. For example, in twelve-tone equal temperament, the notes C♯ and D♭ are enharmonic notes. Namely, they are the same key on a keyboard, and thus they are identical in pitch, although they have different names and different roles in harmony and chord progressions. Arbitrary amounts of accidentals can produce further enharmonic equivalents, such as B
A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chord's root. When not otherwise specified, a "seventh chord" usually means a dominant seventh chord: a major triad together with a minor seventh. However, a variety of sevenths may be added to a variety of triads, resulting in many different types of seventh chords.
In music theory, an augmented sixth chord contains the interval of an augmented sixth, usually above its bass tone. This chord has its origins in the Renaissance, was further developed in the Baroque, and became a distinctive part of the musical style of the Classical and Romantic periods.
By combining the diminished seventh with a dominant seventh and/or augmented sixth, altering only one pivot note (by a half tone), it is possible to modulate quite smoothly from any key to any other in at most three chords, no matter how distant the starting and ending keys (be aware that, only when modulating between key signatures featuring double-sharps/flats, may the need to respell natural notes enharmonically arise); however, this may or may not require the use of altered chords (operating in the harmonic minor without augmented sixth would not) where the effect can be less subtle than other modulations. The following are examples used to describe this in chord progressions starting from the key of D minor (these chords may instead be used in other keys as borrowed chords, such as the parallel major, or other forms of the minor):
Note that in standard voice leading practice, any type of augmented sixth chord favours a resolution to the dominant chord (see: augmented sixth chord), with the exception of the German sixth, where it is difficult to avoid incurring parallel fifths; to prevent this, a cadential six four is commonly introduced before the dominant chord (which would then typically resolve to the tonic to establish tonality in the new key), or an Italian/French sixth is used instead.
In short, lowering any note of a diminished seventh chord a half tone leads to a dominant seventh chord (or German sixth enharmonically), the lowered note being the root of the new chord. Raising any note of a diminished seventh chord a half tone leads to a half-diminished seventh chord, the root of which is a whole step above the raised note. This means that any diminished chord can be modulated to eight different chords by simply lowering or raising any of its notes. If also employing enharmonic respelling of the diminished seventh chord, such as that beginning the modulation in the above examples (allowing for three other possible diminished seventh chords in other keys), it quickly becomes apparent the versatility of this combination technique and the wide range of available options in key modulation.
This type of modulation is particularly common in Romantic music, in which chromaticism rose to prominence.
Other types of enharmonic modulation include the augmented triad (III+) and French sixth (Fr+6). Augmented triad modulation occurs in the same fashion as the diminished seventh, that is, to modulate to another augmented triad in a key: a major third (M3 as root) or minor sixth (A5 as root) away. French augmented sixth (Fr+6) modulation is achieved similarly but by respelling both notes of either the top or bottom major third (i.e. root and major third or diminished fifth and augmented sixth) enharmonically and inverting with the other major third (i.e. diminished fifth and augmented sixth becomes root and major third of the new Fr+6); either choice results in the same chord and key modulation (a tritone away), as the diminished fifth always becomes the new root.
Common-tone modulation uses a sustained or repeated pitch from the old key as a bridge between it and the new key (common tone). Usually, this pitch will be held alone before the music continues in the new key. For example, a held F from a section in B♭ major could be used to transition to F major. This is used, for example, in Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. "If all of the notes in the chord are common to both scales (major or minor), then we call it a common chord modulation. If only one or two of the notes are common, then we call it common tone modulation."
Starting from a major chord, for example G major (G–B–D), there are twelve potential goals using a common-tone modulation: G minor, G♯ minor, B♭ major, B major, B minor, C major, C minor, D minor, D major, E♭ major, E major, E minor. Thus common-tone modulations are convenient for modulation by diatonic or chromatic third.
A chromatic modulation is so named because it occurs at the point of a chromatic progression, one which involves the chromatic inflection of one or more notes whose letter name, thus, remains the same though altered through an accidental.Chromatic modulations are often between keys which are not closely related. A secondary dominant or other chromatically altered chord may be used to lead one voice chromatically up or down on the way to the new key. (In standard four-part chorale-style writing, this chromatic line will most often be in one voice.) For example, a chromatic modulation from C major to D minor:
In this case, the IV chord in C major (F major) would be spelled F–A–C, the V/ii chord in C major (A major) spelled A–C♯–E, and the ii chord in C major (D minor), D–F–A. Thus the chromaticism, C–C♯–D, along the three chords; this could easily be part-written so those notes all occurred in one voice. Despite the common chord (ii in C major or i in D minor), this modulation is chromatic due to this inflection.
In the example pictured, a chromatic modulation from F major to D minor:
In this case, the V chord in F major (C major) would be spelled C–E–G, the V in D minor (A major) would be spelled A–C♯–E. Thus the chromaticism, C–C♯–D, which is here split between voices but may often easily be part-written so that all three notes occur in one voice.
The combination of chromatic modulation with enharmonic modulation in late Romantic music led to extremely complex progressions in the music of such composers as César Franck, in which two or three key shifts may occur in the space of a single bar, each phrase ends in a key harmonically remote from its beginning, and great dramatic tension is built while all sense of underlying tonality is temporarily in abeyance. Good examples are to be found in the opening of his Symphony in D minor, of which he himself said (see Wikiquote) "I dared much, but the next time, you will see, I will dare even more..."; and his Trois Chorals for organ, especially the first and third of these, indeed fulfill that promise.
Phrase (also called direct, static, or abrupt) modulation is a modulation in which one phrase ends with a cadence in the original key, and begins the next phrase in the destination key without any transition material linking the two keys. This type of modulation is frequently done to a closely related key—particularly the dominant or the relative major/minor key.
An unprepared modulation is a modulation "without any harmonic bridge", characteristic of impressionism.
"A passage in a given key ending in a cadence might be followed by the same passage transposed (up or down) to another key," this being known as sequential modulation.Although a sequence does not have to modulate, it is also possible to modulate by way of a sequence. A sequential modulation is also called rosalia. The sequential passage will begin in the home key, and may move either diatonically or chromatically. Harmonic function is generally disregarded in a sequence, or, at least, it is far less important than the sequential motion. For this reason, a sequence may end at a point that suggests a different tonality than the home key, and the composition may continue naturally in that key.
Distant keys may be reached sequentially through closely related keys by chain modulation, for example C to G to D or C to C minor to E♭ major. A common technique is the addition of the minor seventh after each tonic is reached, thus turning it into a dominant seventh chord:
A parallel key modulation is a change of mode, but maintains the same tonal center. For example, one section of a composition may be in the key of E major and then modulate to E minor. This can be done directly or facilitated by the various modulation techniques described above. Depending on the length of the modulation and whether or not it returns to the original key, it may or may not be designated by a change of key signature.
The most common modulations are to closely related keys (I, V, IV, vi, iii, ii).V (dominant) is the most frequent goal and, in minor, III (relative key) is also a common goal. Modulation to the dominant or the subdominant is relatively simple as they are adjacent steps on the circle of fifths. Modulations to the relative major or minor are also simple, as these keys share all pitches in common. Modulation to distantly related keys is often done smoothly through using chords in successive related keys, such as through the circle of fifths, the entirety of which may be used in either direction:
If a given key were G major, the following chart could be used:
From G (which is the given key), a musician would go P5 (a perfect fifth) above G (which is D) and also P5 below G (which is C).
From this, the musician would go to G major's relative minor which is E minor, and potentially to C major and D major's related minor as well (a musician who does not know the related minor for C and D major may also go P5 below or above E minor).
By using the relative minor keys one can find the specific key that the key can modulate into.
Many musicians use the circle of fifths to find these keys and make similar charts to help with the modulation.
In certain classical music forms, a modulation can have structural significance. In sonata form, for example, a modulation separates the first subject from the second subject. Frequent changes of key characterize the development section of sonatas. Moving to the subdominant is a standard practice in the trio section of a march in a major key, while a minor march will typically move to the relative major.
Changes of key may also represent changes in mood. In many genres of music, moving from a lower key to a higher often indicates an increase in energy.
Change of key is not possible in the full chromatic or the twelve tone technique, as the modulatory space is completely filled; i.e., if every pitch is equal and ubiquitous there is nowhere else to go. Thus other differentiating methods are used, most importantly ordering and permutation. However, certain pitch formations may be used as a "tonic" or home area.
Though modulation generally refers to changes of key, any parameter may be modulated, particularly in music of the 20th and 21st century. Metric modulation (known also as tempo modulation) is the most common, while timbral modulation (gradual changes in tone color), and spatial modulation (changing the location from which sound occurs) are also used.
Modulation may also occur from a single tonality to a polytonality, often by beginning with a duplicated tonic chord and modulating the chords in contrary motion until the desired polytonality is reached.
A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of pitches consisting of three or more notes that are heard as if sounding simultaneously.
A secondary chord is an analytical label for a specific harmonic device that is prevalent in the tonal idiom of Western music beginning in the common practice period, the use of diatonic functions for tonicization.
In classical music from Western culture, an augmented fifth is an interval produced by widening a perfect fifth by a chromatic semitone. For instance, the interval from C to G is a perfect fifth, seven semitones wide, and both the intervals from C♭ to G, and from C to G♯ are augmented fifths, spanning eight semitones. Being augmented, it is considered a dissonant interval.
In music, the mediant is the third scale degree of a diatonic scale, being the note halfway between the tonic and the dominant. It is sung as mi in solfege. Similarly, the submediant is halfway between the tonic and subdominant. The fifth note is almost always a perfect fifth, while the third note can equally be a minor or major third.
In music, the supertonic is the second degree or note of a diatonic scale, one step above the tonic. It is sung as re in solfege. In music theory, the supertonic chord may be symbolized by the Roman numeral ii in a major scale, indicating that the chord is a minor chord (for example, D-F-A in C major), or iio in a natural minor scale, indicating that the chord is a diminished chord (for example, D-F-A♭ in C natural minor), if in second inversion a six-four chord (A♭-D-F), and if the third is raised an augmented sixth chord (A♭-F♯). If in major or minor, through the lowering of the second scale degree (also the sixth in major), the chord is major (D♭-F-A♭) then it is a Neapolitan 6th chord, N6 or ♭II6. The supertonic may be raised as part of the common-tone diminished seventh chord, ♯iio7.
In music theory, a dominant seventh chord, or major minor seventh chord, is a seventh chord composed of a root, major third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh. It can be also viewed as a major triad with an additional minor seventh. When using popular-music symbols, it is denoted by adding a superscript "7" after the letter designating the chord root. For example, the dominant seventh chord built on G, written as G7, has pitches G–B–D–F:
In music, tonicization is the treatment of a pitch other than the overall tonic as a temporary tonic in a composition. In Western music that is tonal, the song or piece is heard by the listener as being in a certain key. A tonic chord has a dominant chord; in the key of C major, the tonic chord is C major and the dominant chord is G major or G dominant seventh. The dominant chord, especially if it is a dominant seventh, is heard by Western composers and listeners familiar with music as resolving to the tonic, due to the use of the leading note in the dominant chord. A tonicized chord is a chord other than the tonic chord to which a dominant or dominant seventh chord progresses. When a dominant chord or dominant seventh chord is used before a chord other than the tonic, this dominant or dominant seventh chord is called a secondary dominant. When a chord is tonicized, this makes this non-tonic chord sound temporarily like a tonic chord.
In music theory, a Neapolitan chord is a major chord built on the lowered (flatted) second (supertonic) scale degree. In Schenkerian analysis, it is known as a Phrygian II, since in minor scales the chord is built on the notes of the corresponding Phrygian mode.
The diminished seventh chord is a seventh chord composed of a root note, together with a minor third, a diminished fifth, and a diminished seventh above the root:. Since a diminished seventh is enharmonically equivalent to a major sixth, this is enharmonically equivalent to. For example, the diminished seventh chord built on C, commonly written as Co7, has pitches C–E♭–G♭–B
In music, a minor seventh chord is any seventh chord in which the third is a minor third above the root. Most typically, minor seventh chord refers to a chord in which the third is a minor third above the root and the seventh is a minor seventh above the root. For example, the minor/minor seventh chord built on C, commonly written as C–7, has pitches C–E♭–G–B♭:
The tritone substitution is one of the most common chord substitutions found in jazz and was the precursor to more complex substitution patterns like Coltrane changes. Tritone substitutions are sometimes used in improvisation—often to create tension during a solo. Though examples of the tritone substitution, known in the classical world as an augmented sixth chord, can be found extensively in classical music since the Renaissance period, they were not heard until much later in jazz by musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker in the 1940s, as well as Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and Benny Goodman.
In music theory, the half-diminished seventh chord is a seventh chord composed of a root note, together with a minor third, a diminished fifth, and a minor seventh. For example, the half-diminished seventh chord built on C, commonly written as Cø7, has pitches C–E♭–G♭–B♭:
A synthetic mode is a mode that cannot be derived from the diatonic scale by starting on a different note. Whereas the seven modes are all derived from the same scale and therefore can coincide with each other, synthetic modes work differently.
In music, an irregular resolution is resolution by a dominant seventh chord or diminished seventh chord to a chord other than the tonic. Regarding the dominant seventh, there are many irregular resolutions including to a chord with which it has tones in common or if the parts move only a whole or half step. Consecutive fifths and octaves, augmented intervals, and false relations should still be avoided. Voice leading may cause the seventh to ascend, to be prolonged into the next chord, or to be unresolved.
In music, harmonization is the chordal accompaniment to a line or melody: "Using chords and melodies together, making harmony by stacking scale tones as triads".
In music, the seventh factor of a chord is the note or pitch seven scale degrees above the root or tonal center. When the seventh is the bass note, or lowest note, of the expressed chord, the chord is in third inversion