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Encyclopedia > Modulation (music)

In music, modulation is most commonly the act or process of changing from one key (tonic, or tonal center) to another. This may or may not be accompanied by a change in key signature. Modulations articulate or create the structure or form of many pieces, as well as add interest. Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Music Look up Music in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikisource, as part of the 1911 Encyclopedia Wikiproject, has original text related to this article: Music Meta has a page about this at: Music markup MusicNovatory: the science of music encyclopedia The... In music theory, the key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section. ... The tonic is the first note of a musical scale, and in the tonal method of music composition it is extremely important. ... Tonality is a system of writing music according to certain hierarchical pitch relationships around a center or tonic. ... In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp symbols or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be played one semitone higher or lower unless otherwise noted with an accidental. ... The term musical form is used in two related ways: a generic type of composition such as the symphony or concerto the structure of a particular piece, how its parts are put together to make the whole; this too can be generic, such as binary form or sonata form Musical...


Modulatory space is the pitch space in which modulation is possible. For twelve tone equal temperament, this includes only the twelve pitch classes. In music pitch space is pitch relations, ie nearness or farness, represented through geometric models, most often multidimensional, how near or far pitches are from each other. ... Equal temperament is a scheme of musical tuning in which the octave is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ... In music and music theory a pitch class contains all notes that have the same name; for example, all Es, no matter which octave they are in, are in the same pitch class. ...

Contents


Types of modulation

There are several different types of modulation -- (these) modulations may be prepared or unprepared, smooth or abrupt. It is smoother to modulate to more closely related keys than to keys further away. Closeness is determined by the number of notes in common between keys, which provides more possible pivot chords, and their closeness on the circle of fifths. A modulation is often completed by a cadence in the new key, which helps to establish it. Brief modulations are often considered tonicizations. In music, a closely related key is one sharing many common tones with the original key. ... In music theory, the circle of fifths is a model of pitch space. ... In Western musical theory a cadence (Latin cadentia, a falling) is a particular series of intervals (a caesura) or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music. ... In music theory, the key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section. ... In music, tonicization is the treatment of a pitch other than the overall tonic as a tonic for a part of a composition. ...


Common chord modulation

Common chord modulation moves from the original key to the destination key (usually a closely related key) by way of a chord both keys share. For example, G major and D major share 4 chords in common: GMaj, Bmin, DMaj, Emin. This can be easily determined by a chart similar to the one below, which compares chord qualities. The I chord in G Major—a G major chord—is also the IV chord in D major, so I in G major and IV in D major are aligned on the chart. In music, a closely related key is one sharing many common tones with the original key. ...

GM: I ii iii IV V vi vii°
DM: IV V vi vii° I ii iii

Any chord with the same root note and chord quality can be used as the "pivot chord." However, chords that are not generally found in the style of the piece (for example, major VII chords in a Bach-style chorale) are also not likely to be chosen as the pivot chord. When analyzing a piece that uses this style of modulation, the common chord is labeled with its function in both the original and the destination keys, as it can be seen either way.


Enharmonic modulation

An enharmonic modulation is when one treats a chord as if it were spelled enharmonically as a functional chord in the destination key, and then proceeds in the destination key. There are two main types of enharmonic modulations: dominant seventh/augmented sixth, and diminished seventh -- by respelling the notes, any dominant seventh can be reinterpreted as a German or Italian sixth (depending on whether or not the fifth is present), and any diminished seventh chord can be respelled in multiple other ways to form other diminished seventh chords. In music, an enharmonic is a note which is the equivalent of some other note, but spelled differently. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... An augmented sixth chord is a chord which has the interval of an augmented sixth between its highest and lowest notes and also a major third above the lowest note. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ...


(Examples: C-E-G-Bb, a dominant 7th, becomes C-E-G-A#, a German sixth. C#-E-G-Bb, a C# diminished seventh, can also be spelled as E-G-Bb-Db, an E diminished seventh, G-Bb-Db-Fb, a G diminished seventh, and Bb-Db-Fb-Abb, a Bb diminished seventh.)


This type of modulation is particularly common in Romantic music, in which chromaticism rose to prominence. The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... The chromatic scale is any musical scale that contains more than one consecutive half-step (in other words two adjacent pairs of scale degrees or members which are separated by a semitone). ...


Common-tone modulation

Common-tone modulation uses a sustained or repeated pitch from the old key as a bridge between it and the new key. Usually, this pitch will be held alone before the music continues in the new key. For example, a held F from a section in Bb major could be used to transition to F major.


Chromatic modulation

A chromatic modulation is so named because a secondary dominant or other chromatically altered chord is used to lead one voice chromatically up or down on the way to the new key. (In standard four-part chorale-style writing, this chromatic line will be in one voice.) For example, a chromatic modulation from C major to d minor: Secondary dominants are a kind of chord used in musical harmony. ... In music, an altered chord, an example of alteration, is a chord with one or more diatonic notes replaced by, or altered to, a neighboring pitch in the chromatic scale. ... The chromatic scale is any musical scale that contains more than one consecutive half-step (in other words two adjacent pairs of scale degrees or members which are separated by a semitone). ... A chorale is a hymn of the Lutheran church sung by the entire congregation. ...

CM: IV V/ii ii
Dm: i (...)

In this case, the IV chord, FM, would be spelled F-A-C, V/ii, AM, A-C#-E, and the ii chord, dm, D-F-A. Thus the chromaticism, C-C#-D, along the three chords; this could easily be partwritten so those notes all occurred in one voice.


Phrase (direct, abrupt) modulation

Phrase (also called direct or abrupt) modulation is a modulation in which one phrase ends with a cadence in the original key, and begins the next phrase in the destination key without any transition material linking the two keys. This type of modulation is frequently done to a closely related key -- particularly the dominant or the relative major/minor key. A common device in popular music, the "truck driver's gear change," is an abrupt modulation, usually to the key a semitone above, typically used to provide an "emotionally uplifting" finale. In Western musical theory a cadence (Latin cadentia, a falling) is a particular series of intervals (a caesura) or chords that ends a phrase, section, or piece of music. ... In music, a closely related key is one sharing many common tones with the original key. ... Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and mostly distributed commercially. ...


Abrupt modulation is also common in forms with sharply delineated sections, such as theme and variations and many dance forms. In music, variation is a formal technique where material is altered during repetition; reiteration with changes. ...


Sequential modulation (rosalia)

It is also possible to modulate by way of a sequence. The sequential passage will begin in the home key, and may move either diatonically or chromatically; harmonic function is generally disregarded in a sequence, or, at least, it is far less important than the sequential motion. For this reason, a sequence may end at a point that suggests a different tonality than the home key, and the composition may continue naturally in that key. This is a page about mathematics. ... Tonality is a system of writing music according to certain hierarchical pitch relationships around a center or tonic. ...


A sequence does not have to modulate; a modulating sequence is known as a rosalia.


Common modulations

The most common modulations are to closely related keys. Modulation to the dominant or the subdominant is relatively easy as they are adjacent steps on the circle of fifths. Modulations to the relative major or minor are also easy, as these keys share all pitches in common. Modulation to distantly related keys will often be done smoothly through successive related keys, such as through the circle of fifths, the entirety of which may be used: In music, a closely related key is one sharing many common tones with the original key. ... In music, the dominant is the fifth degree of the scale. ... In music, the subdominant is the technical name for the fourth tonal degree of the diatonic scale. ... In music theory, the circle of fifths is a model of pitch space. ... In music, the relative minor of a particular major key (or the relative major of a minor key) is the key which has the same key signature but a different tonic, as opposed to parallel minor or major, respectively. ...

C - G - D - A - E - B - F# - C# - G# - D# - A# (B flat) - F - C

Significance of modulation

In certain classical music forms, a modulation can have structural significance. In sonata form, for example, a modulation divides the first subject from the second subject. Frequent changes of key characterize the development section of sonatas. Moving to the subdominant is a standard practice in the trio section of a march in a major key, while a minor march will move to the relative major. Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... Sonata form refers to both the standard layout of an entire musical composition and more specifically to the standardized form of the first movement. ... Development has meaning in several contexts: Science and Engineering Biological development of embryos in the context of developmental biology Child development or post-natal human development (pediatrics, etc) Software engineering, the methodology and process of development of computer software Technology development in industry, as in Software development New product development... In music, the subdominant is the technical name for the fourth tonal degree of the diatonic scale. ... Generally speaking, a trio or threesome is a group of three. ... The Stars and Stripes Forever, considered the most famous march in the world // History The true march music era existed from 1850 to 1940s as it slowly became shadowed by the coming of jazz. ...


Changes of key may also represent changes in mood; many composers associate certain keys with specific emotional content, but in general, major keys are cheerful or heroic, while minors are sad and somber. Moving from a lower key to a higher often indicates an increase in energy.


Change of key is not possible in the full chromatic or the twelve tone technique, as the modulatory space is completely filled; i.e., if every pitch is equal and ubiquitous there is nowhere else to go. Thus other differentiating methods are used, most importantly ordering and permutation. However, certain pitch formations may be used as a "tonic" or home area. The chromatic scale is a musical scale that contains all twelve pitches of the Western tempered scale. ... Twelve-tone technique is a system of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. ... Order is the opposite of anarchy and chaos. ... Categories: Wikipedia cleanup | Stub ...


Other types of modulation

Though modulation generally refers to changes of key, any parameter may be modulated, particularly in music of the 20th and 21st century. Metric modulation (known also as tempo modulation) is the most common, while timbral modulation (gradual changes in tone color), and spatial modulation (changing the location from which sound occurs) are also used. In music a metric modulation is a change (modulation) from one time signature/tempo (meter) to another, wherein a note value from the first is made equivalent to a note value in the second, like a pivot. ...


Modulation may also occur from a single tonality to a polytonality, often by beginning with a duplicated tonic chord and modulating the chords in contrary motion until the desired polytonality is reached. The use of more than one key simultaneously is known in music as polytonality. ...


A different, unrelated use of the word modulation in music is found in electronic music, where it can refer to certain methods of altering sounds such as ring modulation (see also modulation). Electronic music is a loose term for music created using electronic equipment. ... Ring modulation is an audio effect performed by multiplying two audio signals, where one is typically a sine-wave or another simple waveform. ... Modulation is the process of varying a carrier signal, typically a sinusoidal signal, in order to use that signal to convey information. ...


Compare with: bitonality, and polytonality. The use of more than two keys simultaneously is known in music as polytonality. ... The use of more than one key simultaneously is known in music as polytonality. ...


References

Vincent Persichetti, Twentieth-Century Harmony. W.W. Norton and Company, 1961. ISBN 0393095398. Vincent Persichetti (June 6, 1915 – August 14, 1987) was a composer and teacher at the Juilliard School whose students included Philip Glass and Thelonious Monk. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Modulation (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1170 words)
An enharmonic modulation is when one treats a chord as if it were spelled enharmonically as a functional chord in the destination key, and then proceeds in the destination key.
Phrase (also called direct or abrupt) modulation is a modulation in which one phrase ends with a cadence in the original key, and begins the next phrase in the destination key without any transition material linking the two keys.
Metric modulation (known also as tempo modulation) is the most common, while timbral modulation (gradual changes in tone color), and spatial modulation (changing the location from which sound occurs) are also used.
modulation: Information from Answers.com (1196 words)
A sequence does not have to modulate; a modulating sequence is known as a rosalia.
Modulation to the dominant or the subdominant is relatively easy as they are adjacent steps on the circle of fifths.
Modulation may also occur from a single tonality to a polytonality, often by beginning with a duplicated tonic chord and modulating the chords in contrary motion until the desired polytonality is reached.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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