Major chords sound solid, happy, and satisfying. A huge number of songs, especially in pop and rock, have been written using only those three chords.
The initial F is a lead in, followed by 3 four-measure phrases, and the final C is part of the next section. The analysis is really interesting so far, keep up the good work http: Definitely agree that the F is a lead in. A perfect example of a song using IV to get to I!
I really enjoyed your point that popular music can be rich and interesting. Coming from a classical background and hanging out with a lot of jazz musicians I was force fed this notion that pop music is inferior and should be scoffed at. Thanks for some inspriation!
What can I do to help? Thank you for the work you are doing on this project.
I will keep rereading this. Came to think of some research on the Beatles which has a similar approach, studies which chords were just most etc. Check it out here: I believe there is a site called moneychords.
Meaning that the same progression can usually be substituted for I — I. So the iii — I should not be seen as a harmonic transition but rather the ending of a chord phrase and the beginning of the next chord phrase. On the other hand, pure chord frequency stats, while a valid exercise, are of low value on their own.
Here are some points to consider to further your research: I have also made a study of this and have analyzed many hundreds of pop songs to look at what common patterns I might find. In their early days, their main melodies were myxolydian and hence the chords were based on 7ths.
I guarantee you will be astonished. The song represents a heavy use of borrow-chords and forced, but not unpleasant, key changes. This means there is a whole body of harmony theory that is just not taught to musicians. Magical Mystery Tour is another, but less extreme version of this type of chord use.
In C it goes like this: Professional composers tell you the correct way to interpret these things is via interval analysis, and while that is true to a certain degree and a good idea, it is not completely a correct way to do things.
This is the 1st, 5th, 2nd, 6th and 3rd. I say it in that order because that is the correct order that arises when you take subsequent fifths or to put it more visually, keep chopping a third of the length of a vibrating string.
If you keep going, for another 2 5ths you get the 7th and the tritone, the flat 5. Why were these not included? In the case of the 7th or more correctly the major 7ththis is just a minor second one semitone off the octave.
Now, a minor second is the most hideously clashing of intervals, and as there was no chord theory and no equitemperament tuning back then, all notes in a melody had to be sounded against root or octave drone notes, as in bagpipes, hurdy gurdies, sitar and all sorts of similar instruments.
The tritone splits the scale exactly in half, so is dissonant to the human ear as it throws the key centre off. However continue the process of taking fifths and you get all the other notes, namely Db the minor second Ab the minor sixth Eb the minor third Bb the flat seventh F the perfect fourth and then back to C, and the cycle repeats.
The sting in the tail as some have pointed out is that the C you get from this process is slightly different from a perfect octave C, and indeed successive 5ths are all slightly out of tune with eachother, a problem fixed with equitemperament tuning.
Now, getting to the point, conventional wisdom says that a minor second is a dissonant interval. However if you play this as a minor added 9th chord, as an arpeggio, it is probably the most beautiful of all chords. In other words, playing C and B was considered dissonant. The other intervals have tempered the effect of the B.
And what about the humble triad? Remember that C to Eb is a minor 3rd and C to E is a major 3rd. Major is happy, minor is sad.A brief, practical guide to writing simple songs that sound good, starting with minimal musical background.
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