Moonage daydream key question

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rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 572
i can't figure this one out. Teenage daydream contains the following chords:

A Bm D E F# G

According to to my basic understanding of theory, 2 major chords next to each other are the IV and V so a D and E would indicate the key might be A major....... But while the Bmin fits with that, the F# should be a minor and the G should be a G# diminished. So that doesn't quite work....

But the wisdom of the Internet suggests the key is D major.

if that's right, the E should be minor, F# minor, G major (ok that's ok) A (OK as well) B min is also ok....and there is no C# to be a diminished.

That I don't get at all. Could anyone kindly explain this?
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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    edited October 12
    Yep. Firstly the thing about two neighbouring major chords indicating the IV and V, is that it’s wrong almost as often as it’s right. Natural minor songs have the major chords as VI and VII (though the V is often majorised as well). Mixolydian songs have them as VII (or bVII as it’s called) and I. It’s really only songs in the pure major & major blues keys that have the IV and V as neighbouring major chords. 

    Secondly, this is not a diatonic song. In other words the chords are not all taken from the diatonic scale. They are not constructed by harmonising the chords in D major (you are right, the song is in D). 

    For example the F# is indeed major - it’s called a secondary dominant. It provides a V chord for the Bm, so the F#->Bm is like a proper V-I resolution. Not that the Bm is a I, but the move from F# to Bm is a “perfect cadence”. (He could have played f#m but it gives a better resolution to allow the F# to have a major 3rd). This is a really common secondary dominant - it happens in That’s Life and many many others. He also plays E major not e minor. That is also very common to have a major II chord. Again, not diatonic, but common nonetheless. 

    Also he modulates temporarily to a section that is in E (well, it is in E, but again not diatonic - it has parallel chords of III, bVII, I, so just parallel major chords of G, D and E. It’s really common in rock just to play parallel major barre chords. Look at all punk. And Smoke on the Water). 

    Anyway the important thing is, one really can’t rely on a mathematical approach to analysing songs. One has to rely on one’s ear first and foremost; it is far more reliable. You’re correct it’s in D major, it has a main opening section which goes I III vi V II IV I. That’s D, F#(major), Bm, A, E(major), G, D.  Only the vi is minor. Then it moves to E, and does that III-bVII-I bit a few times. 
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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 572
    @viz Thanks matey. So I get the definition of diatonic ie harmonising the chords of the D major scale.....and therefore that any song based on any sequence of chords may be based on a diatonic sequence ie stays in that specific major scale. Taking that definition, another given sequence of chords making a song could be any sequence of major, minor etc chords....but on the basis it goes outside the definition of the diatonic, what I now don't get is that you can say the song is in X major.

    Does that make sense?

    putting it differently, the diatonic song in D major can be compared to the non diatonic sequence is also in D major.....so 2 songs, both in D major, with fundamentally different chords. How confusing is that?!
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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    edited October 10
    rsvmark said:
    @viz Thanks matey. So I get the definition of diatonic ie harmonising the chords of the D major scale.....and therefore that any song based on any sequence of chords may be based on a diatonic sequence ie stays in that specific major scale. Taking that definition, another given sequence of chords making a song could be any sequence of major, minor etc chords....but on the basis it goes outside the definition of the diatonic, what I now don't get is that you can say the song is in X major.

    Does that make sense?

    putting it differently, the diatonic song in D major can be compared to the non diatonic sequence is also in D major.....so 2 songs, both in D major, with fundamentally different chords. How confusing is that?!
    I know what you mean. But it is in D major; it’s just that it has certain accidentals, such as the A# instead of the A on the F# chord. 

    If you were a classical pianist, you’d have sheet music that showed a key sig of D major (two sharps, the F# and the C#); and when that F# chord came up, the A would be sharpened to an A#. Just for that bar. Nothing unisual about that, its just a choice to deviate and add some chromatic colour if you’ll pardon the tautology. You just have to get used to knowing what the base case is, and what the exceptions are I guess. 

    I completely understand your dilemma but it’s one I never faced, because I didn’t come to the world of theory in a cerebral way - I was too young. I came at it from how it sounded, from a purely harmonic and melodic perspective not a mathematical or theoretical perspective. So I have a sort of immediate instinct for it, backed up by a pretty basic but quite solid knowledge of theory that I acquired subsequently. And I think that’s the direction everyone should come at it; don’t let the theoretical bit run away with itself too quickly, otherwise it gets divorced from your natural instinctive understanding of how the thing actually sounds. 

    So in this case, firstly know it’s in D. Know it categorically and unquestioningly. D is the home of the song, it simply isn’t anywhere else. You don’t need to read or write anything to know that. Then start hearing that the 5th note of the first D chord (the A) slips up to an A# on the 2nd chord (the F# chord). Wonder why that is. Notice that it’s the same thing that happens on That’s Life, Don’t Look Back in Anger, Georgia on my Mind, and hundreds of others, and then notice that they all resolve to the vi chord, and that III-vi is the same as V-i. So that’s why it’s happening. Then learn that it’s called a secondary dominant. 

    That way you’re coming at it from the viewpoint of how it sounds; not how it’s written. Don’t know if I’ve explained what I mean properly. 
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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 572
    @viz Apologies for being thick and thanks. After 30 years playing by ear I am very new to this theory stuff. So what you are saying is:

    Take a song in D major
    You can add accidentals for flavour (just because you can, there are no rules)
    The fact that the accidental in question is an A# which as the effect of turning the F# from minor to a major
    The sequence resolves to III, IV and V chords which stick to the diatonic (base) set of rules
    The musical term for this is secondary (because it's the second chord in the sequence?) dominant (?not sure why?)

    is is that almost right?ł
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 578
    Very few songwriters think of the theory they should or shouldn't apply when putting them together. If something sounds great but it technically incorrect doesn't make it wrong
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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    edited October 12
    rsvmark said:
    @viz Apologies for being thick and thanks. After 30 years playing by ear I am very new to this theory stuff. So what you are saying is:

    Take a song in D major
    You can add accidentals for flavour (just because you can, there are no rules)
    The fact that the accidental in question is an A# which as the effect of turning the F# from minor to a major
    The sequence resolves to III, IV and V chords which stick to the diatonic (base) set of rules
    The musical term for this is secondary (because it's the second chord in the sequence?) dominant (?not sure why?)

    is is that almost right?ł
    Almost! It’s like this. 

    1) The song is in D.

    2) As part of the move to Bm (the vi chord), he plays a chord with F# at its root. 

    3) Diatonically that would be a iii chord (small letters, ie f#m)

    4) But to make it more effective he plays a III chord, F# major; that is not diatonic, but it sounds good. 


    The reason it sounds good is because it deploys a ‘secondary dominant’. To understand why it’s called that, you need to understand two things: the names of the chords, and the concept of ‘resolutions’. 


    Names of the chords

    Each note in the major scale has a name; this name also applies to that note’s corresponding chord (the chord with that note as its root). 

    The name relates to its position in the scale but also to its role. In the major key, the names are:

    I - tonic because it’s the TONal centre. 
    ii - supertonic because it’s above the tonic. 
    iii - mediant because it’s the middle chord in a triad, halfway between the 1st and 5th note. 
    IV - subdominant because it’s below the dominant
    V - dominant because apart from the tonic it’s the most important chord. It’s not more dominant than the tonic, but it’s the next strongest chord. 
    vi - sub mediant because it’s the same distance from the tonic as the mediant was, but it’s below not above
    vii - leading note because it leads up to the tonic at the top. 

    There is only one chord called the dominant, and it’s the V chord. It is a really really important chord in western music.


    Resolutions

    A resolution happens when a chord resolves to another. Usually it resolves to the tonic but doesn’t have to.

    The most perfect of all resolutions is the V-I or V-i resolution. It’s a dominant -> tonic resolution, and it’s called the ‘perfect cadence’. It works for major and minor tonics. (Other cadences exist, such as plagal or imperfect cadences, and interrupted cadences, but the perfect cadence gives the strongest resolution. It’s just so solid.)

    You can add the 7th note to the V chord (thus making it a dominant 7th chord - now you know why!) like this: V7-I (or V7-i). It’s even more effective than the V-I because of the movements between pairs of the notes over the cadence. In a V-I, the 3rd note of the V is the leading note of the tonic, and slips up to it. The 5th note of the V is the supertonic of the tonic and slips down to the tonic. And in a V7-I, the added 7th note of the V is the 4th note of the tonic and slips down to the 3rd. A bit like a sus4. 

    The perfect cadence is therefore a major triad moving up a 4th (or down a 5th) to the resolved triad, and if the first chord has a 7th then it’s even better. Only two pairings of chords are a 4th apart with the lower chord as a major triad: the V-I and the I-IV. But only one of those has a flat 7: the V7–I. And as there is only one dominant chord, there is only one perfect cadence, UNLESS you construct a secondary dominant:


    Secondary dominants

    Although there is only one dominant note (and therefore chord) in the major scale, especially one with a flat 7, there are many pairings that are a 4th apart which could form perfect cadences if only the first chord were the right type. They are:

    I-IV (or i-IV in the minor key)
    ii-V - as per the ubiquitous ii-V-I
    iii-vi
    V-I (or V-i) - perfect cadence
    vi-ii

    These could all be converted to proper perfect cadences just by changing the first chord to a major (and adding a flat 7 if you like) and treating the second chord as a sort of temporary tonic. The first chord is called a secondary dominant because it’s not the REAL, primary dominant. Thus:

    I7-IV (this happens in blues - when you move to the IV chord you are basically doing a perfect cadence and resolving to the IV as though it were a temporary tonic. 

    II-V. Bach does this a lot. Instead of ii-V-I (or ii-V-i) he does II-V-I (or II-V-i). 

    III-vi. This is the one in the Bowie song we’re talking about). 

    V-I. Well that’s the actual proper one. 

    VI-ii. This is common in jazz. It’s an extension of the 251 and is called a 6251. 



    For all of the above you can add the 7th note, flattening it if it’s not already flattened:

    Ib7-IV (the 7th would normally be a major 7th; it needs to be flattened)

    II7-V (the 7th is already flat)

    III7-vi (the 7th is already flat)

    VI7-ii (the 7th is already flat)





    There you go
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20996
    The key here, and I know this solo well, is to use the accidentals to build tension up to the big feature bends and notes. I’m nowhere near able to articulate this in the way @viz can, but it’s about using the A# to allude to a major scale but then to resolve back to Bmin(D) if that makes sense. Use your ears.

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    edited October 11
    Gassage said:
    I’m nowhere near able to articulate this in the way @viz can, but ... use your ears.
    You said what I tried to say in 4122 words, in 3 words!
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  • All hail @viz ;
    My trading feedback

    is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    All hail @viz ;
    Lol, hope it made sense. I wrote it at 5 this morning. 
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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 572
    All hail @viz music genius 
    Ftfy 

    Seriously, I now understand that. Using an accidental note you modify a chord to provide a temporary condition known as a secondary dominant to provide a stronger resolution to the next chord..... All in the interest of creating an interesting musical impact.

    thanks mate, greatly appreciated- didn't want to get too mathematical about it but simply trying to understand what's going on. I do agree with @pintspiller and @Gassage too- it's about music not maths and aural pleasure!
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20996
    By the way, would anyone else agree the similarity in voicing between Moonage Daydream and Hotel California is remarkable?

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • rsvmarkrsvmark Frets: 572
    Gassage said:
    By the way, would anyone else agree the similarity in voicing between Moonage Daydream and Hotel California is remarkable?
    Ask @viz He is a music genius!
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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    rsvmark said:
    Gassage said:
    By the way, would anyone else agree the similarity in voicing between Moonage Daydream and Hotel California is remarkable?
    Ask @viz He is a music genius!
    That is very far from the truth! Seriously. 

    Anyway I agree with gassage, there is something similar between Moonage and Hotel, and it is somehow in the voicing;

    Hotel is in Bm, and the only non-diatonic chord is the F#, which is a major V, despite the song being minor; this is actually very common for a minor piece, to have a V rather than a v (which would have been diatonic) - in fact this is what the harmonic scale is founded on - but it’s still noticeable as a sort-of deviation from the diatonic. 

    Although that is the only similarity, chord-wise, the whole sound of the song does have a certain similarity to the Bowie song; partly because Mr Gassage probably has a bit of perfect pitch, and partly because Bm is the relative of D. Anyhoo, I know what he means. 
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20996
    @viz Actually a good thread to be had there: solos with similar voicing.

    one of the most obvious to me is Bird of Paradise and Brothers In Arms. (Is that on acct of the accidental being a flattened fifth? Viz, help me out....)

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    Gassage said:
    @viz Actually a good thread to be had there: solos with similar voicing.

    one of the most obvious to me is Bird of Paradise and Brothers In Arms. (Is that on acct of the accidental being a flattened fifth? Viz, help me out....)
    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never actually heard either song :-O 

    Brothers in Arms soloing seems to be all in natural minor, apart from on the v chord where he plays that really distinctive raised 2 (the minor v chord normally has a flat 2 - it’s based on the phrygian scale basically), which gives the solo a sudden Dorian-esque feel (because the raised 2 on the v chord is the same note as the raised 6 on the minor tonic). Is that the note you mean? It really stands out in his noodles. 

    Bird of Paradise seems to be mainly natural minor noodlin’. 

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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20996
    edited October 12
    viz said:
    Gassage said:
    @viz Actually a good thread to be had there: solos with similar voicing.

    one of the most obvious to me is Bird of Paradise and Brothers In Arms. (Is that on acct of the accidental being a flattened fifth? Viz, help me out....)
    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never actually heard either song :-O 

    Brothers in Arms soloing seems to be all in natural minor, apart from on the v chord where he plays that really distinctive raised 2 (the minor v chord normally has a flat 2 - it’s based on the phrygian scale basically), which gives the solo a sudden Dorian-esque feel (because the raised 2 on the v chord is the same note as the raised 6 on the minor tonic). Is that the note you mean? It really stands out in his noodles. 

    Bird of Paradise seems to be mainly natural minor noodlin’. 

    @viz Try this version. Very dodgy copy but Snowy's control is something to behold here. Scroll to about 2.30 for the best bits (and yes, there's a coupole of missed bends I know!)

    Yes re the raised 2nd (I just tried it and understood!)




    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    Gassage said:




    @viz Try this version. Very dodgy copy but Snowy's control is something to behold here. Scroll to about 2.30 for the best bits




    Nice playing. Goodness knows how these guys play without a plectrum - it always looks really odd to me because you can’t do an upstroke. 

    That blues symphony one has loads of b5 notes when passing from the 5 to the 4. 

    Nice tone too
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  • GassageGassage Frets: 20996
    edited October 12
    viz said:
    Gassage said:




    @viz Try this version. Very dodgy copy but Snowy's control is something to behold here. Scroll to about 2.30 for the best bits




    Nice playing. Goodness knows how these guys play without a plectrum - it always looks really odd to me because you can’t do an upstroke. 

    That blues symphony one has loads of b5 notes when passing from the 5 to the 4. 

    Nice tone too
    AC 30 and 2 Rock, I believe. Just saw Phil Palmer on stage with him too in that clip...

    That bend and picked release- OMG, I wish I could play it like that.

    Donald Trump has spoken movingly about 7-Eleven. It reminded him, he said, of the way Americans came together in 1941 after Pearl Necklace.

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  • robertyroberty Frets: 668
    I'm blown away by the analysis and advice here @viz wis' awarded
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  • vizviz Frets: 5106
    edited October 12
    roberty said:
    I'm blown away by the analysis and advice here @viz wis' awarded
    Grade 4 harmony

    Thanks
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