― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 9 July 2006 16:31 (6 years ago) Permalink
Right, that's what it says in the paragraph I quoted.
I mean both things: the original chromatic descent from Eb minor as tonic down to the VII chord and then using the chromatic passing chord as the new tonic the second time down. What the hell?
The chromatic passing chord, as I briefly alluded to, can be analyzed as a tritone substitution. It's a common re-harmonization technique in jazz, and George Gershwin used it in his songs, which is where I would guess The Beatles got it. I did a presentation on Gershwin in a 20th century music class where I compared his "I've Got a Crush on You" to "If I Fell." Both use that same tritone substitution anyway.
It works by substituting for the V chord the chord with its root a tritone away. So in Db major, a ii V7 I progression would be Ebm Ab7 Db. The chord a tritone away from Ab7 is D(7). The substitution works because Ab7 and D7 share two crucial notes: their third and seventh, C and F# (Gb). The Beatles don't use the seventh in the D chord, but it's the same principle. It also creates that slick chromatic root motion.
― Steve Go1dberg (Steve Schneeberg), Sunday, 9 July 2006 16:57 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 9 July 2006 17:16 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Joe (Joe), Sunday, 9 July 2006 17:56 (6 years ago) Permalink
Simultaneously best and worst key change (between verse and chorus, obviously - i mean, how can you miss a key change like that)
― billstevejim (billstevejim), Sunday, 9 July 2006 23:55 (6 years ago) Permalink
i don't think that this is up for debate
― drich (drich), Monday, 10 July 2006 00:11 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Bryan Moore (Bryan Moore), Monday, 10 July 2006 02:48 (6 years ago) Permalink
I would like to hear the Homer and Jethro parody/fakeout trucker's key change mentioned here.
― Retrato Em Redd E Blecch (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 14 September 2008 04:29 (4 years ago) Permalink
The worst key change ever is in Billy Ocean's "Get Outta My Dreams (Get Into My Car)".
― Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Tuesday, June 20, 2006 4:48 PM Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
I like how he doesn't try to sneak it on to you or anything, though - it gets a regal welcome! "Get out of my...Get out of MY! GET OUT OF MY DREAMS!" I like the gulf between that level of pomp and the topic of the song, which is demanding that a woman get into your car. Based on the spoken-word intro I wonder if this is being done at gunpoint.
― Doctor Casino, Sunday, 14 September 2008 04:44 (4 years ago) Permalink
I can't figure it out, but there's song acoustic singer-songwriter type thing that sounds like that guy from Sublime or a shittier Anthony Keidis, and the thing has about 5 key changes in it. It's short, but it packs a lot of irritation into its length. Ugh. My sister-in-law's iTunes is so annoying when she gets a mind to play it.
Then there was some song my friend Joseph and I were listening to repeatedly last fall with all of these brilliant uses of key changes, but I can't remember what right now.
― bamcquern, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 23:14 (3 years ago) Permalink
"there's song acoustic"
no I did not proofread that.
song - some, I guess
"Man In The Mirror" owns this thread.
for serious. it's so shameless.
― my asian girlfriend (bug), Thursday, 25 June 2009 01:07 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've always liked the way Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite imperceptively drifts up in key and has to loudly reset itself now and again so as to not go up too much.
― ecuador_with_a_c, Thursday, 25 June 2009 02:39 (3 years ago) Permalink
That song with all the great/effective key changes I couldn't remember was Lee Perry's "Soul Fire."
― bamcquern, Thursday, 25 June 2009 15:57 (3 years ago) Permalink
I've always liked the way Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite imperceptively drifts up in key and has to loudly reset itself now and again so as to not go up too much.― ecuador_with_a_c, Thursday, 25 June 2009 02:39 (13 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
― ecuador_with_a_c, Thursday, 25 June 2009 02:39 (13 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
You know, I never noticed that!
― Mark G, Thursday, 25 June 2009 16:00 (3 years ago) Permalink
'heal the world' is so much worse than man in the mirror, at least he does some cool singing after the change in the latter
― is juiceless??? (tremendoid), Thursday, 25 June 2009 21:15 (3 years ago) Permalink
I really like the key changes in Herbert's 'Movers and the Shakers'. None precisely subtle tho.
― Moka, Friday, 26 June 2009 05:11 (3 years ago) Permalink
but in 'man in the mirror' the key changes on the word..."change!" like i said, just shameless.
― my asian girlfriend (bug), Friday, 26 June 2009 06:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
yeah i guess. my last thoughts on mj while he was still breathing :(
― is juiceless??? (tremendoid), Friday, 26 June 2009 08:13 (3 years ago) Permalink
Well, still talking about him right to the end.
― Mark G, Friday, 26 June 2009 09:34 (3 years ago) Permalink
There's a key change in Stevie Wonder's 'If You Really Love Me' to die for
― Dr X O'Skeleton, Friday, 26 June 2009 13:41 (3 years ago) Permalink
Hahaha I thought this was bumped in memory of Will You Be There. That's my favourite song of his.
― davek_00, Friday, 26 June 2009 13:58 (3 years ago) Permalink
― willem, Friday, 26 June 2009 14:19 (3 years ago) Permalink
Sublime - "Pool Shark"
― bamcquern, Friday, 26 June 2009 22:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
heh i welled up listening to 'heal the world' last night btw (i was welling up about every other song for a while but still)
― is juiceless??? (tremendoid), Friday, 26 June 2009 23:52 (3 years ago) Permalink
What happens between the verse and chorus um verse-chorus and bridge uh the two main parts of "Eternal Flame" has some thing that I'm apparently hardwired to be ambushed-by-unexpected-emotion by.
― anatol_merklich, Thursday, 9 July 2009 04:04 (3 years ago) Permalink
It's kind of a doofy song, but I believe the Beach Boys' "California Girls" has some weird stuff going on, key-wise.
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 9 July 2009 12:04 (3 years ago) Permalink
― Morrissey & Clunes: The Severed Alliance (PaulTMA), Monday, 19 March 2012 03:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
"Build me up Buttercup" changes up for the only time in the song, ten seconds from the end. Hardcore!
― Mark G, Monday, 19 March 2012 07:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
Intervention by Arcade Fire has a great key change from C to G that sounds like a bridge at first.
― B-Boy Bualadh Bos (ecuador_with_a_c), Monday, 19 March 2012 10:27 (1 year ago) Permalink
Right, let's have a revive.
At Devon Record Club on Tuesday Tom said something along the lines of "all songs with key changes are horrible and rubbish", which is quite a statement.
After some confused discussion, we came to the conclusion that he specifically meant the type of really noticable, obvious, stadium-pleasing "take the chorus up a notch for euphoria" key changes (like Livin' On A Prayer) rather than the "subtle shift in the song's feel" key changes (like We Can Work It Out).
Which is kind of fair enough, but I'm determined to prove him wrong.
So, more examples please, of both kinds...
― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Thursday, 10 May 2012 12:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
this is good
― owenf, Thursday, 10 May 2012 12:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
i love the key changes in beyonce's 'love on top'!
― 40oz of tears (Jordan), Thursday, 10 May 2012 13:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
Worst - the end-of-bridge, last-verse upward key change, often accompanied by slowing down the last verse for added melodrama, as in the aforementioned "I Will Always Love You". The suspense-building last-verse upward key change is a hackneyed songwriting device used that in the hands of less adroit invariably sounds trite and cliched. Except in the adroit hands of a select few: the Who taking each verse of "My Generation" up a key, until by the end the song is in four different keys.
The Beach Boys were the masters of the unexpected key change. "Pom Pom Play Girl", though s slight song, manages to work every one of the 12 major chords into it, sometimes in major-7th variations, but avoids using even one minor chord.
"Dance, Dance, Dance" has a great modulation to a higher key in the last verse - a common musical feature, except that Brian Wilson starts the verse in the normal key an shifts upwards unexpectedly a few seconds into the verse after starting it in the usual key. But the best use of this technique is in "Girls on the Beach". This song, about how the attractive ladies lining the CA coastline beaches are not unattainable princesses, is set to five-part harmonies promising "one waits there for you" if you are respectful, each of the three verses featuring an unexpected key change smack dab in the middle as the title phrase is sung, only to revert to the original key near the end of each verse. You wouldn't expect any more key changes in a song where every verse changes key twice, but the final verse brings another, incredibly unexpected upward key change not at the conventional place right after the bridge, but rather one-quarter of the way through the last verse (on the crucial word "couples" no less), followed only a few seconds later by another upward key change that was already baked into the middle of every verse at the title phrase, before returning down one key on the last syllable of the phrase "and with their boys tonight" into a vocal/instrumental flourish (which appears nowhere else in the song - but again so skillfully blended in that it can easily go unnoticed unless pointed out) that leads to the outro and fadeout. Last-verse key changes are commonplace, but who else but BW would change the key one-quarter of the way into the third verse, in a song that already has two key changes built into every verse to begin with?
― Lee626, Thursday, 10 May 2012 13:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
So many country songs from the 60s/70s have a modulation. "Coal Miner's Daughter" moves twice, both 1/2 steps.
A minor third step up seems to be more rare, but the Grateful Dead did it in their live version of "Around and Around" when Bob Weir could get up that high.
There's also that weird change in "Right Off" from In A Silent Way, I think it's a tritone change
― Johnny Hotcox, Thursday, 10 May 2012 14:04 (1 year ago) Permalink