|PD: Modulation Types||07 Nov 2002 07:02|
I'm going to expand it time to time. Of course any contribution is wellcomed, preferably well known songs.
Note: some of the examples are pivot modulations, a few of them are abrupt ones. The pivot modulations are trickier. Also note that many example songs could be featured in the opposite-direction modulation group.
I-i-I = PARALLEL KEY MODULATION. This is probably the most easily recognisable of all types. Note that the majority of these examples start in minor mode and switch to Major mode.
Queen: Teo Torriate, I Want It All, Dont Try So Hard (?)
Freddie Mercury: My Love Is Dangerous, Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow,
Elton John: I'm Still Standing
Beatles: Fool On The Hill, Things We Said Today, Norwegian Wood, While My Guitar...
GnR: November Rain (Coda)
Metallica: Low Man's Lyric
Roxette: Sleeping In My Car
Michael Jackson: Black Or White
Village People: In The Navy
Romeo And Juliette, french musical, main theme
The Cardigans: Lovefool
Ace Of Base: The Sign
Boney M: We Kill The World, Bahama Mama
J.C. Superstar soundtrack: Everything All Right
Adriano Celentano: Azzurro
Lou Reed: Perfect Day
Herman's Hermits: No Milk Today
Joe Cocker: Night Calls
Sailors: Girls, Girls, Girls
Del Shannon: Runaway (1961)
The Platters: My Prayer (1956)
Hank Williams: Kaw-liga (1952) (Del Shannon also covered this song in 1965)
Raul Ferrao: April In Portugal (1947)
(Carlos Velazquez: Besame Mucho (1941) just a momentary change, like in Michelle)
W. A. Mozart: Rondo Alla Turka
Wanted: recent examples, preferably well known tunes. Well known classical examples are also welcomed.
"change of mode" types:
Rednex: Cotton Eye Joe
Beatles: Come Together
Pet Shop Boys: Suburbia
U2: Mysterious Ways
Juanes: La Camisa Negra
I-vi-I = RELATIVE KEY MODULATION. This is one of the most usual types of modulation, and it does not change the number of sharped/flatted notes (except the raised 7th in the minor scale).
Queen: inside the band Brian May used this type of modulation with the starkest contrast.
All Dead All Dead
Sail Away Sweet Sister
Is This The World We Created
there are other songs where the transition is hardly recognisable, and executed as a shift of "gravity center" toward the relative key: "Spread Your Wings", "You Are My Best Friend", "You Take My Breath Away" or "And I Love Her" (Beatles).
Bobby Vinton: Trouble Is My Middle Name 1963
George Gershvin: I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
Grease soundtrack: You Are The One That I Want
Bob Marley: You Could Be Loved
Celine Dion: That's The Way It Is
Metallica: One (not perfect example because the Major key (D) is mixolydian)
Roxette: Fading Like A Flower
REM: Everybody Hurts (> Bridge)
Fool's Garden: Yellow Lemontree
Freddie Mercury: Living On My Own
Johann Krieger: Minuett
NEIGHBOUR KEY MODULATIONS
I-IV-I, I-V-I: frequent (not as frequent as I used to expect) destination of modulations are the "neighbour" keys (neighbour in context of the circle of fifths). Only one sharp/flat is the differnce between the pitch-set.
Queen: Who Needs You, Play The Game, Save Me,
Beatles: From Me To You
Abba: Honey Honey
Carl Carlton: Everlasting Love
Bill Haley And The Comets: Calling All Comets: This is halfway between pivot and abrupt modulation.
i-iv: near key modulation in minor mode:
No Doubt: Don't Speak
Madonna: La Isla Bonita
Queen: Who Wants To Live Forever
i > v
Queen: The Prophet's Song
I-ii: A "relative" variant of the neighbour key modulation. (vi/IV)
George Michael: Praying For Time
Beatles: For No One
i > VII the opposite direction of the above type
Level 42: Running In The Family
Bonnie Tyler: Total Eclipse Of The Heart (not a perfect example because before changing from A minor to G Major the chord progression takes a deep flat-side excursion. The return to A minor (Verse start) is a nice I > ii type pivot modulation.
I-iii: this is also neighbour key modulation, similar to the I-ii, but this time the destination key is vi-of-V instead of vi-of-IV
Freddie Mercury: Living On My Own (Bridge)
Elvis Presley: I Cant Help Fallin In Love (?)
i-VI the minor to major version of the "near key" modulation
L. v. Beethoven: Für Elise (a > F > C > a)
combinations of parallel and relative modulations:
I-VI = modulation to the parallel major key of the relative minor key (eg. C > A).
Mamas And The Papas (also Bring Crosby, Louis Armstrong): Dream A Little Dream Of Me
The Communards: Don't Leave Me This Way
Bay City Rollers: Bye Bye Baby (original: Four Seasons, 1965)
Soulsisters: The Way To Your Heart
I-bIII the opposite direction
Hammer To Fall
Limahl: Neverending Story
Gerry And The Pacemakers: Walk Hand In Hand With Me
Simon And Garfunkel: Mrs Robinson (?)
i-iii: Tony Braxton: Unbreak My Heart.
The Chorus modulates to the parallel minor key (d minor) of the relative Major key(D), of the Verse's homekey (b minor).
i-vi (or should I write #vi?): the opposite direction
Boney M: Kalimba De Luna
Modulations that move to steps along the circle of fiths.
I-bVII = modulation to IV-of-IV.
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody (ending)
Mott The Hopple: All The Young Dudes
Bon Jovi: Always (Chorus > Bridge) Note it's an abrupt modulation, not pivot.
Beatles: Penny Lane
Queen: No One But You, Dont Stop Me Now (Live Killers ending)
Rod Stewart: Every Beat Of My Heart
Belinda Carlisle: Leave A Light On For Me
Beach Boys: Dont Worry Baby
Bee Gees: Secret Love
Shania Twain: That Don't Impress Me Much
i > IV this type also takes two steps of keys.
Lovin Spoonful: Summer In The City. This "two keys down" modulation is executed in two quick steps: a "modulation" (just one chord: i > I) to the parallel key (three keys down) and a neighbour modulation (one step back: I = V) similarly as in We Are The Champions (Chorus to Verse: F > f > c#). In the latter it is done in the opposite direction and much slower.
i > ii
Metallica: Call Of Ktulu (outro: d > e > d, abrupt modulations)
i > bII This jump too takes two keys.
i > bii
Enrique Iglesias & Whithney Houston: Could I Have Kissed Forever
I-bII: Beatles: If I Fell
i - bii: that's very unusual done not as key shift.
Eric Clapton: Layla (c# E d)
Queen: Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The March Of The Black Queen (outro)
Billy Joel: Uptown Girl
Frank Sinatra: Love And Marriage
Roy Orbison: Pretty Woman
Probably the simplest way of changing the key. Most of the examples take a half or whole step upwards.
Abba: I Do I Do I Do,
Beatles: And I Love Her,
Madness: House Of Fun,
Celine Dion: My Heart Goes On
Communards: Dont Leave Me This Way
Michael Jackson: Heal The World
Keep Yourself Alive,
(Lazing on A Sunday Afternoon),
Pain Is So Close To Pleasure,
The Show Must Go On
I'm Going Slightly Mad,
Made In Heaven
There's a type of key-shift that I'm not sure one can interpret as proper modulation.
Funny How Love Is, partly Mustapha, Action This Day,
Kinks: You Really Got Me
Led Zeppelin: Heartbreaker
A more subtle way of the key-shifts where it is done with modulation with intervening section.
The Riddle, Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow, Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Monday Monday.
Frankie Valli - Can't take my eyes off you
two useful links:
according to the latter, Beethoven's "Waldstein Sonata" modulates I to III, (C > E)
and his "Hammerklavier Sonata" modulates from I to VI. (Bb > G). Beethoven tended to avoid to modulate to II.
|1.||PD||28 Feb 2004 16:21|
modulation types and song examples (mostly oldies and Beatles examples) mentioned in this article:
Relative Minor/Major Switch
- Girl, Wild World, The Man I Love, And I Love Her,
Parallel Minor/Major Switch
Besame Mucho, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Things We Said Today, Norwegian Wood, I'll Be Back, Runaway, April In Portugal,
Truck Driver's Modulation
"Shifting up a half-step in key from I to #I (C to C#) is referred to as truck driver's modulation because the song seems to change gears."
Glad All Over, Woman,
Whole Step Shift
My Girl, Tune Up, Baby, I Need Your Loving, Penny Lane, Band On The Run, Just Like Starting Over
Blue Moon, Get Ready, Lady Madonna,
I Want To Hold Your Hand, I'll Cry Instead, From Me To You, Octopus's Garden, Raining In My Heart,
This one is about the Truck Driver's Modulation:
This one mentions "We Are The Champions"
|2.||Sebastian||09 May 2004 18:07|
|3.||PD||31 Aug 2004 21:21|
Without permission I can't quote it, but he talked about modulation types (at last).
As everybody knows :) No One But You opens in C Major the Chorus modulates to D Major. It takes two keys upwards. Brian admitted he did this under the influence of Freddie Mercury, mentioning We Are The Champions as an example. He also pointed out the rarity of this type of modulation before Freddie. While it is rare indeed, two examples are:
"All The Young Dudes", "Penny Lane"
Note that the I > VI modulation takes three step up, but more frequently used because its approached as the parallel key of relative key.
|4.||PD||26 Oct 2004 16:32|
|5.||Sebastian||28 Nov 2004 08:25|
|6.||PD||02 Dec 2004 16:14|
I still have not made a run through on modulation types in Queen songs.
In Show Must Go On there is a two-keys-up modulation (a to b) and it sounds very daring.
I've just found a nice parallel-key modulation in Dont Try So Hard.
|7.||Sebastian||02 Dec 2004 23:55|
About Don`t Try, I`ve noticed Freddie just ocassionally did "direct" parallel modulations (e.g. G > Gm), but he did put a lot of "equivalents" (e.g. E to G). Brian was more fond of using the "direct" ones (Why Don`t We Try Again) although he also tried the other way (e.g. Father To Son). A run through his solo work may give us a better perspective of his particular style (and similitudes/differences with the others).
|8.||PD||03 Dec 2004 14:26|
|9.||Sebastian||03 Dec 2004 23:06|
|10.||Sebastian||01 Jan 2005 19:01|
1 - We Are The Champions (Eb to Bb)
2 - My Life Has Been Saved (C to D)
3 - Father To Son (G to E)
4 - Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy (D# to B)
5 - The Millionaire Waltz (B to C)
6 - Bo Rhap (Eb to A)
Interestingly, during the medley in Opera tours, they double-did the three-step modulation back and forth. Good way to surprise the audience
|11.||Sebastian||03 Jan 2005 23:31|
|12.||PD||10 Jan 2005 14:50|
((plus a double plagal cadence))
The modulation types you have listed:
1) to V
2) to II
3) to VI
4) to bVI
5) to bII
6) to bV
Im afraid this is not enough example for demonstrating "all kinds of modulation considering only the distance between the keys"
|13.||Sebastian||10 Jan 2005 21:15|
|14.||PD||11 Jan 2005 16:03|
I suppose some people hear the first phrase of the Bridge as being in A Major key ( V > IV > I > V ).
|15.||PD||26 Jan 2005 09:55|
For my ears "Walk Like An Egyptian" does not modulate to bIII. Similarly as "Crazy Little Thing" does not modulate to bVI for the solo-Bridge.
|16.||Sebastian||26 Jan 2005 10:54|
|17.||PD||26 Jan 2005 11:32|
It starts in F and modulates to Bb with a nice V-v change (C-Cm)
From there: ii > V > I (see also From Me To You).
Then this trick seems to be repeated: with F-Fm and we modulate from Bb to Eb again with ii > V > I progression. Even the lead melody is a shifted up variant of the preceding phrase. If I remember correctly.
SOS modulates from d minor to F Major. A nice relative key modulation.
Sebastian: be careful, the first chord in a given phrase/section is frequently not the tonic!
|18.||Sebastian||27 Jan 2005 03:20|
Not always of course. There are some Pistols songs which clearly start "somewhere else". I remember making a sketch of Wet Wet Wet`s cover of Love Is All Around Me in F Mixolydian or Dorian as well (confused by the same first chord trick). Then I realised how wrong I was: it`s a simple Bb. It begins in F because it`s the dominant.
Now that you mention it I`ve discovered my own songwriting works that way as well. That`s the first clear annoying cliche I`ve found: they all start in the tonic. Even my grand finale begins in A Major then the harmony gets a little complicated, some chords here and there, minors, dimminished, augmented ... but at the end of the intro there`s an E major acting as dominant and then non-surprisingly the verse begins ... in A Major. The only one I don`t have that way, from the top off my head, is the one I open my mini-gigs with, which starts in the B chord but the key is G.
|19.||PD||27 Jan 2005 09:20|
There's a song on the Barcelona album that begins with a diatonic ascending scale. When I first hear it, my ears always interpret it as an "exotic" modal scale. Only retrospectively can I realize that it's merely a major scale that doesn't start on the first degree.
|20.||Sebastian||27 Jan 2005 10:45|
Nirvana`s Rape Me is a nice example of parallel modulation
|21.||PD||27 Jan 2005 11:46|
REM: Shiny Happy People: G > B mixolydian > f#
Celine Dion: That's The Way It Is: c# > E > G
|22.||Sebastian||27 Jan 2005 14:17|
Bridge begins introducing the unexpected C#m, then A, and then G and F quickly. I interpret that part as a modulation to A Major (using iii then I, then a reversed chord stream). The fourth repetition ends with F > G and then unexpectedly C is played as to return to the original key.
|23.||PD||27 Jan 2005 15:32|
|24.||Sebastian||28 Jan 2005 02:03|
|25.||PD||03 Feb 2005 12:43|
Freddie's early interest in key changes was partly inspired by the Beatles.
Approximately 30% of the Beatles songs change the key. The most frequently used types are:
near key (eg. C > G and back), the relative key (eg. C > a and back), parallel ( A > a and back), parallel of the relative (C > A), step up shift (eg. A > Bb).
Beatles song with key change in alphabetical order:
(source: Pollack's notes on Beatles songs)
A Day In The Life: G Major / e minor > E Major : relative key, parallel key
And I Love Her: E Major / c# minor > F Major / d minor (key shift): relative key, key shift
Another Girl: A Major > C Major > a minor Parallel key of relative key, relative key
Because: * : vague tonal center.
Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite: d and c minor, (e minor?) iv of iv
Birthday: A Major / C Major: to bIII (relative of parallel)
Cant Buy Me Love: modal switch
Carry That Weight: C Major, a minor (You NGMY Money): relative key
Come Together: modal switch
Cry Baby Cry: G Major (e minor): relative key
Do You Want To Know A Secret: e minor, E Major / f# minor : parallel key, relative key
Doctor Robert: *
Drive My Car: D Major, G Major near key
Fixing A Hole: f > F parallel key (modal swith)
For No One: B > c# I to ii, relative key of IV
Free As A Bird: A > C to bIII (relative of parallel)
From Me To You: C > F near key
Girl: c/Eb > f, relative, near key
Golden Slumbers: a > C relative key
Good Day Sunshine A (> D) >> Bb (to IV so-so) key shift
Good Night G (> D) (near key)
Happiness Is A Warm Gun: a > C relative key
Here There And Everywhere: G/e > Bb/g relative key, parallel key
Hey Bulldog: C > c parallel key (modal swich)
I Should Have Known Better: G/e > E relative key, parallel key
I Want To Hold Your Hand: G > C near key
I Want You: a > d near key
I'll Be back Again: a > A/f# parallel key, relative key
I'll Cry Instead: G > (D) (near key)
I'm Happy Just To Dance With You: c# > E relative key
I'm Only Sleeping: e > a near key
If I Fell: Db > D to bII clever!
If I Needed Anyone: A > b I to ii, relative of IV
Julia: D > f# relative
Lady Madonna: A > C/a parallel of relative, relative, parallel,
Lucy In The Sky: A > Bb > G strange
Magical Mystery Tour: E > D to bVII
Martha My Dear: Eb > F to II
Michelle (F) / f Sounds for my ears as a minor key song with Pickardy third start
Norwegian Wood: E/e parallel key
Octopus's Garden: E > A near key
Old Brown Shoe: C/a relative key
Penny Lane: B > A to bVII (IV of IV)
Run For Your Life: D/b relative key
Savoy Truffle: E > e/G parallel key, relative key,
Sgt. Pepper's LHB: G > C, (F?)
Sgt. Pepper's LHB Reprise: F > G key shift
She Came In Through TBW: A > C parallel key of relative key
She Said She Said: Bb > Eb near key
Something: C > A parallel key of relative key
Sun King: E > C to bVI
The Continuing Story Of BB: C > A > a Parallel key of relative key, relative key
The End: A > C parallel key of relative key
The Fool On The Hill: F/f parallel
Things We Said Today: A/a parallel
Think For Yourself: modal swith (?)
Tomorrow Never Knows: modal switch
Two Of Us: G/g parallel key
Wait: f#/A relative key
We Can Work It Out: D/b relative key
When I Get Home: A > C parallel key of relative key
When Im 64: Db / bb, relative key
While My Guitar GW: a/A parallel key
Yes It Is: E > A near key
You Can't Do That: e/G relative key
You Never Give Me YM: a > C > A, relative key, parallel key of relative key
You're Going To LTG: E > G, relative key of parallel key
Your Mother Should Know: a/C relative key
Many of the unusual ones were applied by Lennon:
Lucy, Sun King, Because, If I Fell
Alan Pollack writes in his notes on "The Fool On The Hill":
"The verse is in D Major; the refrain in d minor. This alternation between parallel Major and minor keys is a venerable "cliché" of the Early Romantic school of composers. The Beatles, too, had always liked it. Look back for early parallels in the likes of "Things We Said Today" and "I'll Be Back".
The early two examples differ from our current song in that they transition from minor to Major, rather than the other way around. This is a significant variation, "historically" speaking. The classical models for this home key gambit are so heavily weighted toward the minor-to-Major strategy, that the rare examples of the opposite tack (Major-to-minor) elicit comment.
For examples of the former, look at Beethoven's Fifth and Ninth Symphonies where the shift to the Major mode for the final movements provides an aesthetic paradigm for expressing ultimate victory over monumentally tragic suffering. For an example of the latter, see Mendelsohn's "Italian" symphony where the shift to the minor mode for the final movement, a breakneck-paced Saltarello, no less, in relentlessly fast triplets, provides an enigmatically demonic ending to a piece that had opened up with equally relentless fast triplets in the Major mode, connoting a kind of unbridleable youthful energy and optimism.
Perhaps, for McCartney, the difference between these two harmonic strategies reflects the same difference between the conscious bitter-sweetness of unrequited love (in the earlier songs) and the questionable paradise of oblivious, lonesome foolishness (in the latter)."
|26.||Bruno||26 Feb 2005 13:54|
|27.||PD||28 Feb 2005 16:33|
|28.||Sebastian||17 Jun 2005 16:16|
|29.||Daniel||20 Jun 2005 02:19|
|30.||PD||20 Jun 2005 12:39|
In a truly modal tune the b7 and b3 degrees sound much more natural. (Dorian: Drunken Sailor).
Many songs use "modal" chords just for giving a modal touch (eg: "Sugar, Sugar")
No One But You:
Octopus: it was reportedly (If I remember correctly) George who helped Ringo to write the Bridge.
The "Michelle" point: "White Queen" bridge (starting with A chord) is also this case IMO.
|31.||Sebastian||07 Sep 2005 21:51|
Don't Stand So Close To Me (Police) has got an interesting modulation from Gm to A and then back. It's abrupt though.
Another list I'd love to do is one about unusual modes used in popular music. Simpson's theme uses Lydian Dominant, LSD is (imo) Phrygian, Bungalow Bill sounds like Harmonic Major in the chorus (with 6th diminished).
|32.||PD||09 Sep 2005 12:01|
the second one is a i > II, unusual class, no wonder its not pivot modulation. Unfortunately it was not in the aforementioned chord archive.
|33.||PD||06 Jan 2006 14:26|
|34.||PD||08 Feb 2006 15:53|
|35.||PD||03 Dec 2007 06:41|
George Michael: Freedom - parallel type, similar in style to "Black Or White".
Natalie Cole: "Miss You Like Crazy". Neighbour-type (to IV).
|36.||Sebastian||21 Jun 2008 14:40|
I've found some examples of I > bVII (or I > v, i > vii, i > bII) and back in a couple of operatic works (Verdi and Wagner). Love them!
|37.||angel||21 Jun 2008 17:59|
Seb, could you be more specific, please? I would really appreciate it. It´s something which I am really looking for to my diploma project :-)
|38.||Sebastian||22 Jun 2008 18:17|
I remember it was somewhere in Traviatta (Second Act). I love the modulations in that opera, for instance F > Db as transition for soprano and baritone arie.
Nice I > v and I > bVII key-changes can be found in some keyboard works by CPE Bach, for instance the Organ Sonata H 84.
Beethoven was more into double-step things, which Mercury & Co. rarely applied (e.g. Lover Boy, Black Queen)