Are Modulation & Transposition The Same?
Good morning. This is Duane and we’ve been doing a series on music theory titled “Good Stuff You Really Ought To Know About Music” and one thing you really ought to know about music is how to module from key to key.
Modulation means the process of getting to one key to another key. Transposing is the process of playing in another key. In other words, if you’re playing for a singer, say, and the music’s written in the key of C but she needs it in the key of E flat or the key of A flat or whatever key, you have to transpose it to that key. In other words, play all the notes in the new key. Modulate is a little different. It’s just the process of getting from one key to another.
Let’s say that you’re just ending a song, let me see, let’s say you’re playing “Auld Lang Syne” and I’m ending in the key of F. Now, if you wanted to play it in another key at the same time, in other words, modulate to another key, the key is to find the V7 chord of the new key. The new key, of course, would be home base. Let’s say you want to play it in the key of G. Well, we’re in the key of F so G is one above that. What’s the V7 chord of the key of G?
Well, G’s the one chord so we count 5 notes and the answer is D. It’s the D7th chord. That’s the chord that moves best, it wants to progress to the key of G. If I’m ending in the key of F, the chord I want to get to is D7th. I can play it in the new key.
Let’s say we wanted to play it, though, I’ll say in A flat. I’m ending in F, how would I get to A flat? Well, what’s the V7 chord in the key of A flat? E flat. E flat 7th, right? That’s the chord you want to get to. I just get to the V7 chord, play that and then move to the new key. That’s the easiest way to do it and the smoothest way to do it.
Now you can make it even smoother if you play the minor V7 of the V7. In other words, if I want to move to A flat, I know I’ve got to get to the E flat 7th chord, but it’s smoother if I move to the V7 chord of E flat 7th which is B flat and make it a minor 7th, and then to E flat. Listen. See it was smoother when I moved to the B flat minor 7th chord before I went to E flat. It makes it a nicer transition.
Just keep those two things in mind but the main point is get to the V7 chord of the new key and that’s the chord you want to modulate to the new key.
Okay, that’s it for today, the subject of modulation. I think tomorrow we’ll do transposition and just compare those side-by-side so to speak. Okay, well if you enjoy these little tips, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our free series of free piano tips because they’re free and you learn a lot that way. Thanks. See you tomorrow. Bye-bye for now.
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Here’s a great little book on chords and chord progressions on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Chords-Chord-Progressions-Exciting-ebook/dp/B0076OUGDE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404158669&sr=1-1&keywords=piano+chords+duane+shinn
Here is the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ONYeqrgpjQ&feature=youtu.be