Get­ting tech­ni­cal

Computer Music - - Make Music Now / Music Theory Made Easy -

There are a few more ‘tra­di­tional’ mu­sic the­ory tech­niques you can use to make a key change more in­ter­est­ing and less clunky. The first is to use a tran­si­tional chord that’s the ‘dom­i­nant’ of the des­ti­na­tion key. Put sim­ply, that means the chord with its root note on the fifth de­gree of the des­ti­na­tion scale. In our C ma­jor to D ma­jor tran­si­tion, the fifth note of the D ma­jor scale is A, C#- mak­ing our tran­si­tion chord A ma­jor – A- E. This chord doesn’t fit into the C ma­jor scale, but the­ory-wise, it’s still a valid one to use for the switch.

There’s also a note choice that can help when pro­gram­ming a melody for the key-change tran­si­tion. The ‘lead­ing note’ is the top note of the des­ti­na­tion scale, just be­fore it re­turns to the tonic. So in C ma­jor (C D E F G A B C) it’s the B note. In D ma­jor, as

C#. with our ex­am­ple, you’d be look­ing at The idea is to get the lead­ing note to, er, lead into the des­ti­na­tion scale by in­volv­ing it in the fi­nal phrase of melody be­fore the key change, and play­ing as the last note, right be­fore the key­change hap­pens.

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