Music Theory Made Simple #0: Index (TOC)

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by stevel, Jan 5, 2014.


  1. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,229
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    Steve, I'm sure you covered this somewhere in some of your lengthy posts on this. And is very well done.
    We know that sometimes things just don't conform to major scale theory, where I is major 2 is Minor, 3 is Minor 4 is major and on up.
    There are times especially in gospel and country music where you find a 2 major instead of a minor, and to me more rarely the 6 being a major.
     
  2. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,229
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    correct me I am wrong.
     
  3. Lephty

    Lephty Member

    Messages:
    1,275
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    @griggsterr, normally (especially in gospel and country) those chords are functioning as secondary dominants. Basically, any chord can be followed by its own V chord. So if you're in the key of G, and you would normally expect to see an Am chord, you may instead see an A or A7 chord. Chances are the chord after that is a D, and A7 is the V chord of the D. In the same key, you might see an E7 where you'd expect to see an Em. Most likely the chord after that will be an Am.

    Sometimes songs set up a big string of these secondary dominants. I think this may be true in gospel music (a genre I'm not very familiar with), and it happens a lot in old-timey sounding music too. Something like G > E7 > A7 > D7 > G.
     
  4. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,229
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    So I went and looked at a couple of songs that use a 2 major (instead of minor) and you are correct. the go right to the V chord. And as I listen to them, the best explanation I can think of is secondary dominants.
    I am no music theory expert, but I know enough to get by, and a ton more than most guitar players.
    A song like Yesterday by the Beatles also comes to mind, where it seems to re establish itself a couple of times in a similar manner.
    your thoughts?
     
  5. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,767
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    You are not wrong. Sometimes chords from outside of the key are used in music. Sometimes music changes key. Sometimes music isn't even in a key.

    As for Yesterday, it may be worthwhile to start an independent thread with a title for your question as it will likely get more visibility.

    Best,
    Steve
     
  6. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,229
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    I selected that song because it came up in discussion one day by a teacher that worked for me. He had some interesting comments on that song. He is one of the most well studied teachers I ever knew. I studied with him for a while myself. I would go in to play my lesson. He would be reading something, not even looking at me and say things like. Nope. Try again. or You are searching for it. Just play it. He could play difficult excersizes forward and backward in every key, while carrying on a conversation.
     
  7. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,229
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    Stevel, When you said some music isnt even in a key, you just described an entire section of music called rap/hip hop.
    I often tell people that I have a hard time calling some of music, I'd prefer to call it audio entertainment.
     
  8. Timboguitar

    Timboguitar Member

    Messages:
    1,229
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Simple theory-
    Beat = pulse. Fast/Slow, comes in groups.
    Rhythm: long sounds/short sounds.
    Harmony: follows the harmonic series.
    Chordal moment-all changes are variants of V-I. Which is an expression of inhale/exhale; breathe in---hold it---breathe out. Tension/resolution. Tension/release. Foreplay/you get it .
    Melodic motion: Up and down the staircase, by steps (half steps/whole steps), skips or leaps.

    Advanced theory? Take a deep breath, open your ears, close your eyes, lean back, and let it fly!!!

    You're welcome!
     
  9. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,767
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    To say ALL of "rap" or "hip hop" is not in a key would be a fallacy. Some of it is, some of it isn't. The very same is true of Rock. And many styles.

    All of the music written before about the 1600s (and into the 1600s) is not in any key. But to not call it music would be a little silly.

    Whether or not music is in a key or not has little to do with whether it is "music" or "audio entertainment" or not. I've heard plenty of music that is in a key that is total crap.
     
  10. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    11,481
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    Not exactly.

    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.";)
     
  11. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    11,481
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    What's "music", if not "audio entertainment"?
    Art? Yes, some people are entertained by art. I certainly am, sometimes.
    And what's wrong with "entertainment" anyway? It can be a very profound thing. It certainly involves "artistry". Even simple music works on a very deep level.
     
  12. JonR

    JonR Member

    Messages:
    11,481
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Location:
    London
    Not just "best". The "correct" explanation. :)
    Or rather, I prefer description, since "secondary dominant" is only a label and "explains" very little.
    As steve says, start a separate thread on that. Interesting song!
     
  13. Timboguitar

    Timboguitar Member

    Messages:
    1,229
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Thank you for your reply. Please elaborate.
     
  14. griggsterr

    griggsterr Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,229
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    Very well put
     
  15. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,767
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Probably best to take this to a different thread as well as it's rather off topic to this particular thread and will possibly only confuse readers and make it difficult to find.

    Best,
    Steve
     
  16. Timboguitar

    Timboguitar Member

    Messages:
    1,229
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Thanks. But I respectfully disagree. Theory made simple. And the simplest way to conceptualize harmony is to take into consideration its historical context. And the harmonic series is easy to conceptualize for guitarists, because most are at least familiar with the first 3-4 partials.
     
  17. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,767
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Well, that's the problem, and that's what JonR was getting at - the historical context is quite different than what everyone thinks, has been told, or has allowed themselves to believe, etc.

    The harmony (and keys, etc.) being discussed in the context of "music theory" in these threads, developed in large part in spite of the harmonic series. Sure, there are connections, but it's not the "universal factor" everyone seems to think it is.

    Which is why I didn't want to get into it this thread because it becomes an argument rather than factual discourse.

    Best,
    Steve
     
  18. Alec Murphy

    Alec Murphy Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Whoa. That's a lot of info to get through. Guess I just gotta dive in?
     
  19. stevel

    stevel Member

    Messages:
    12,767
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Location:
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Start at number 1 and work your way through.

    Many have commented that it's helped them, and many have commented that they got stuff that they previously missed.

    It's not something you can simply read through and "get".

    You have to - and I know this sounds a bit odd, but - "practice" music theory too (which is why I included "practical application for guitar" in a lot of the posts).

    It may take a while to digest the information in any one or multiple posts. It may take going over a couple of times without guitar in hand, then with guitar in hand for it to "click".

    But if you do this stuff regularly (in reasonable doses) you'll have knowledge that can be put to good use should the need/desire arise.

    Best,
    Steve
     
    Fretsalot likes this.
  20. Doug G

    Doug G Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    372
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    ^ I agree. The approach stevel outlines has worked for me. I've also looked to other sources to supplement what I'm learning here (and elsewhere).
     

Share This Page