Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Modulation, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
- Modulation is perhaps the most powerful tool in harmony.…It is, by definition, the act of changing from one key,…or tonal center, to another.…It let's us take the listener in…and out of key centers and…play with their sense of the tonic.…Modulation let's the ear contrast…and compare all the harmonic possiblities…within the temperate scale.…It truly is the great innovation of western music.…One of the strongest ways to modulate,…is through the resolution of the cadence.…By utilizing the expectation created by…the condential motion of the dominant to the tonic,…the five to one,…we can shift the listener's sense of the tonic.…
The most common form of modulation,…and what people typically refer to as a modulation,…is when an entire section of a song is repeated…in a new key, usually a half step up.…This really can be done at any point in a song.…Let me demonstrate this type of modulation…with a I-vi-IV-V progression, in C major.…I'll play it through a couple of times,…to establish the key, and when I get to the five chord,…
In this installment, musician Julian Velard digs into more intermediate-level music theory topics. Starting with minor scales, he shows examples of classic songs in minor keys, and then explores the modes of the diatonic scale (e.g., the mixolydian mode). Next, Julian dives into chords with 4 or more notes, covering 7th chords, chord extensions (e.g., 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths), suspended chords, diminished chords, augmented chords, and inversions. Finally, he covers key centers, modulations, pedal points, alternate bass notes, and polychords. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the techniques shown within the context of his own original songs.
- Working in minor scales
- Using Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian modes to write songs
- Extending chords
- Using 7th chords in a song
- Transposing a song
- Building different harmonies from a single melody