Why does this sound so good?

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This might be just in my head...so apologies if you’re not hearing this......the track is “Secret World” from Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live, album. All is good and pretty much as you would expect in terms of chord changes etc....however if we start at just before 4m 58s on the iTunes track....the lyrics are “breaking it up”.....”shaking it up”.....”Making it up”.....there is a chord/bass change just before each of these lines...but it’s the last one at 5m 06s/5m 07s....just before the “making it up” where something is happening which is just other worldly to my ears...it’s only one note with a bit of a keyboard trail but it’s  hairs on my neck job....why is that? What’s happening here? @viz perhaps? Again, maybe it’s just me? 
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  • vizviz Frets: 6500
    Can you post a link? I don’t have iTunes (or know what it is even!)
    Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewarding those who accept it. - Guitartango
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  • digitalkettledigitalkettle Frets: 508
    The tune is mostly in D major but the funky sections are centred on D mixolydian.

    The part you're asking about brings a funky section to a close with the following:
    C/D G/D C/D G/D C G D
    So I think you're hearing the tension of holding the D underneath the C and G chords before the final line of plain old C and G chords which then resolve to D...you're in the key of G at this point and the tonal centre is D (hence D mixolydian).
    Because of what the guitar plays, I'm hearing the C as a Csus2 (another D note!). Nothing crazy happening...just brilliant orchestration (expect nothing less from PG).
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  • Thanks @digitalkettle I’ve been mucking about trying to recreate that passage....close but haven’t managed it just yet.

    @viz here’s a link....https://youtu.be/Up6f7j8seFU if you go to 1hr 16.07 that’s where the passage starts but the precise bit/note I’m referrring to is at 1hr 16.14 just before he says “making it up”

    Thanks very much
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1165
    edited April 20
    At that point I'm hearing a very low C in the bass, which is below the range of a standard 4 string bass guitar.

    It's a C1 according to the keyboard display when I play it using IK Modobass, as I haven't got a real 5 string bass so I can't go that low on my actual bass.

    It's not a competition.
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  • vizviz Frets: 6500
    edited April 20
    Yep to Kettle and Stratman. And just to embellish, what’s happening is that the first 2 times, instead of being C - G, the chords are actually Gsus4 - G, which is almost the same thing, AND the bottom note of the chords in the accompaniment is the D so in fact the two chords are 

    Gsus4 (2nd inv), G (2nd inv). 

    Ie something along the lines of x555xx - x554xx. 

    Or if you like more notes, x5555x - x5543x. 


    Then on the 3rd one, the bass guitar kicks in with that very low C, then to the G. So it really emphasises the C chord, rather than the Gsus4, which functionally performs like a C but isn’t quite one. And then of course it goes onto the D chord, so instead of you being tricked into thinking these are IV-I cadences in G, it’s suddenly clear that they’re bVII-IV progressions in readiness for the proper bVII-IV-I progression to land on the D. Immensely satisfying when the full progression finally plays out, and reinforced with the bass notes C-G-D. Awesome. 

    If you don’t have a bassist to hand you could, just for fun, tune your low E to a low C and play 

    x555xx
    x554xx 

    x555xx
    x554xx 

    0355xx
    7554xx
    2042xx
    Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewarding those who accept it. - Guitartango
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  • @viz thanks, that’s an amazing explanation. Looking forward to trying that all out shortly. I’m glad you said “awesome” and it’s not just me! 
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  • jackiojackio Frets: 99
    1 hr 26 mins is one of the best musical moments in my memory. I can't believe his execution of such beautiful singing.

    Thanks for posting this, albeit for a different reason
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 18583
    Same question for @Viz regarding this song:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9RIHOnGGsg

    I haven't got an instrument in front of me to check but is it just a key change at 00:37 ("except the ones who are dead"), or is there something else to it ?

    Likewise, I'm assuming it's just a return to the original key at 00:53 ("still alive") ?

    Is there something significant about the key intervals that make it slot in much nicer than other key change types ?
    WITH AN OWL!!
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  • vizviz Frets: 6500
    edited July 8
    Yes. What’s nice about it is this:

    It’s in D major.

    Then it goes to a borrowed chord, Bb major, the “flat 6” (or bVI) chord, which is borrowed from D minor. 

    This is called modal interchange, and you’d be forgiven for expecting her to progress back to the I chord via the "flat 7" too: bVI - bVII - I .

    (See 4:00 below:)


    https://www.coursera.org/lecture/musicianship-harmony/key-of-d-major-and-the-bvi-bvii-i-progression-vccBS


    BUT! Then, instead of going to the D, we suddenly realise the Bb chord is treated as the IV in the brand new key of F.

    So the song has modulated to a new key through a device called “common chord modulation”, for obvious reasons (even though the Bb isn’t exactly common to both keys).


    The return journey is similar - the chords are progressing nicely in F - with the ii chord (G minor), the IV chord (Bb major - the one we just had), etc.

    BUT then when she moves to the iii chord, which should be A minor, it's suddenly an A7, which is the dominant of D major, so it's a V-I cadence, back to D.

    I would play that A7 as an altered chord to make it even more slippery into the D, so 5 x 5 6 6 x. It still has the dominant 7th and the major 3rd, but it also has a minor 6th (which most people write as an augmented 5th). That minor 6th has an uncanny knack of wanting to slide up a semitone and make the chord want to resolve up a perfect 4th to D major!

    Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewarding those who accept it. - Guitartango
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 18583
    Again, I’m embarrassed that 90% of your reply is beyond me, but I love reading it all the same!
    WITH AN OWL!!
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  • AdiAdi Frets: 170
    Wow @viz , your knowledge is really astounding , how did you get such a good grasp of the theory?
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  • DrCorneliusDrCornelius Frets: 2211
    Emp_Fab said:
    Again, I’m embarrassed that 90% of your reply is beyond me, but I love reading it all the same!
    I’m in the same boat for most of Viz’s posts but I always feel more positive around theory after reading them 
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  • vizviz Frets: 6500
    edited July 8
    Aw guys, though if it's coming across as advanced / tricky / opaque / gobbledy gook, that's my fault for explaining it poorly - though this stuff is notoriously difficult to explain on a forum and notoriously easy sitting together with a piano in front of us! But thanks. 

    I went through the theory grades when I was doing my grades for piano, violin and singing as a child. I really do heartily recommend doing music theory in the order that the ABRSM suggests - it starts simple and you build and build as you go, so all this sort of stuff becomes completely second nature and you can hear it instantly. You do need to develop your instrument or voice as you go though, otherwise it's meaningless. They work together. That’s why you have to pass grade 5 theory before you can do grade 6 piano or violin. The theory is there 99% for the purpose of describing what's going on in actual music.

    Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewarding those who accept it. - Guitartango
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 18583
    @viz - The song I posted is the from the end of the video game 'Portal'.  There is a song at the end of the sequel, 'Portal 2'.  Could you tell me if it employs the same methods as the first please ?


    WITH AN OWL!!
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  • vizviz Frets: 6500
    edited July 9
    Emp_Fab said:
    @viz - The song I posted is the from the end of the video game 'Portal'.  There is a song at the end of the sequel, 'Portal 2'.  Could you tell me if it employs the same methods as the first please ?



    Yep it’s the same as the return in the previous song. 

    This one’s in A. 

    In terms of chords, on “shock”, the harmony goes to the III chord - the C# (instead of a iii chord which would have been C# minor, which is within the key of A. C# major isn’t). That C# is then treated as a V chord in a V-I cadence into the new key of F# major on “nice”. 

    This is called a secondary dominant by the way, because it’s “a” V chord, not “the” V chord.

    Interestingly, F# major is an unusual key - it has 6 sharps, which is a lot. It’s right at the bottom of the circle of 5ths. People are often torn between using F# major or Gb major because one has 6 sharps and the other has 6 flats - they’re both as “bad” as each other.

    In this case though it’s F# because it’s arrived at via the C# chord, which is definitely not a Db, which it would have to be, were the target key a Gb. And the reason it’s not a Db is because the chord goes up a major 3rd from A, not up a diminished 4th - if that makes sense.

    The reason I’m saying this is because there’s an interesting thing in the melody, the tune. 

    On “been” she goes up a 6th to an F#, then slips down a semitone on “shock” to an F. But it’s not an F. It’s an E#. It has the same frequency as an F (it’s “enharmonic”) but it’s an E#, because it’s in the C# chord. It’s the major 3rd of the C#, and if you count up from C# to its major 3rd, you find it’s an E#.

    This stuff to do with keys and their notes is really interesting, once you’ve got to grips with the key-agnostic concepts of I, IV, V etc. You start bringing keys into it and find out what’s actually happening with the note names.

    But it’s always best, in my opinion, to understand what’s happening with the chords regardless of keys, first. 
    Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewarding those who accept it. - Guitartango
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  • vizviz Frets: 6500
    edited July 9
    Oh and in the modulation from F# major back to D major, it’s done like this:

    They go from I to IV (F# - B )

    Then a lovely deployment of the old major-to-minor on the 4 chord, (IV - iv) which is really common. Oasis does it beautifully in Don’t Look Back in Anger. 

    So B - Bm

    Then that Bm is suddenly used in a ii-V-I, which is a very common musical device in all forms of music. It’s like a IV-V-I but softer.

    So it goes Bm - E - A. 

    That was a “common chord modulation” because the Bm changes role from being a iv chord to being a ii chord in a new key. It’s not strictly speaking a common chord but I’m bending the rules a bit. 


    In summary then:

    Modulation from A to F# using a secondary dominant:

    (I -  III)
    A - C# - F#. 
           (V  -  I)

    Modulation back from F# to A using a common chord:
    ( I -  IV - iv)
    F# - B - Bm - E - A. 
                    ( ii   -  V -  I)
    Misogyny ... enforces sexism by punishing those who reject an inferior status for women and rewarding those who accept it. - Guitartango
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1165
    edited July 9
    Adding a chevron to the 'v' in viz results in wiz, which seems so apt. Has that been mentioned before?

    It's not a competition.
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