View Full Version : Modulation

10-08-2003, 10:03 PM
What is modulation and how do I use it????


10-08-2003, 10:16 PM
Its a change of keys in a song.

10-12-2003, 06:45 PM
Modulation is the section of theory which covers the techinques of changing key during a piece. It's impossible to descibe all here so I will just mention the most poplular one: Let's say your song is in C and you want to pass to the G. Then you should do this: Take the dominant seventh chord (fifth chord) of key G (which is D maj7), and play it just before the G maj chord. Once you played D maj7 and G maj, you have "modulated" to the G from C. If you want some more info about that topic, check that link out:

Hope this helps.

10-12-2003, 07:11 PM
The last post should say D7 not Dmaj7.

10-13-2003, 05:38 PM
wanted to make sure that any reader understands that it's D maj, added seventh. Some people doesn't know about seventh chords.

10-13-2003, 07:17 PM
wanted to make sure that any reader understands that it's D maj, added seventh.

Which senenth??? M7 or m7?

I think we should adhere to the notation that's been adopted by the majority of musicians.

Dmaj7 is (d f# a c#), whereas D7 means (d f# a c). So "Dmaj added seventh" adds rather confusion than seventh.

Some people doesn't know about seventh chords.

Hmm, I wouldn't underestimate the IBreathe members/visitors ;)


10-13-2003, 10:57 PM
:p Thanks, guys!!! :p

10-14-2003, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Zatz

Hmm, I wouldn't underestimate the IBreathe members/visitors ;)


Yeah i know some if not all of us have been through Gunis 7th chord article, after that, you KNOW 7th chords. ;D

10-14-2003, 07:36 PM
Sorry guys, I didn't want to underestimate anyone. Actually I was just trying to help.

10-14-2003, 09:13 PM

I was just kidding ;)
Just wanted to point out that both Dmaj7 & D7 contain Dmaj triad. M7 or m7 on top of it is what matters here.

Actually I was just trying to help

Yea! Right! Thanks you've tried to start shedding some light on this topic. As far as I remember we haven't discussed modulation as much as it deserves.

I could find only one thread that is close enought to the subject on our forum (explaination of modulation by Guni):

Modulation thread (http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=70)

Just to add variety I'm posting an abstract from Jazz Reference Book (http://www.thereelscore.com/PortfolioStuff/PDFFiles/QuickJazzTheoryRefFinal.pdf) (page 28) by Michael Morangelli which is available online.


Used to create Harmonic variety. Movement from one Key to another may be smooth and subtle or abrupt.

-General Guide Lines-

May occur quite frequently.
May be temporary and simply pass through a Key area.
May be sustained for the entire Section.
Relative minor to Major and Major to minor quite common.
Generally occur at the beginning/end of a new phrase or section.

-Locating Modulation-

Necessary to note modulations to understand the Functions of chords in context.
Steps for location:
: Convert chords to Roman Numerals and think Diatonically.
: Locate two or more chords with quality or accidentals chromatic to starting Key - dom7 chords particularly - if I/ii/V chord is altered in Major; the ivmin/iiHalfdim/Vdom7/imin in minor Keys.
: If Major quality is found on other than the I/IV of starting Key.
: Identify Pivot Chord which has one function in Key Center it comes from and another in the Key Center it goes to:

Cmi Cmi#7 Cmi7 F7 BbMaj7
Key of Cmin = imin7/iimin7 in Key of Bb

: Allows the complete chord pattern to be interrupted without impairing the overall Forward Motion.

-Deceptive Modulation-

Created by abruptly and briefly moving into an unexpected Key area.
Generally moves to a remote Key Center [more than one #/b away from the original Key].
Both the Deceptive chord and the preceding chord usually contain one or more common tones.
Approached by dom7 chord, which resolves up 1/2 step.

-Deceptive Cadence-

The use of a chord other than Tonic chord after a cadential formula has been used.
Generally used to extend a phrase/section in a composition.

iimin7 Vdom7 IMaj7
Dmin7 G7 Cmaj7
Deceptive Cadence:
Dmin7 G7 AbMaj7

Warm regards,

10-15-2003, 01:01 PM
Im with Zatzon this one, ive never gotten into modulation myself so i find this thread real interesting.

10-15-2003, 07:49 PM
I have some concepts on the subject (As much as classical harmony lets you go) so the jazz refference book will do wonders for me, (or at least it will be an interesting reading).

Thnaks a lot Zatz

10-15-2003, 08:59 PM
The way I see it modulation is the process by which one ke moves to another and there are several ways of doing this.

Firstly its worth noting that the easiest keys to move to are the relative minor or major and whichever key is closest to the starting key in the circle of fifths.

A common method of movid from one key to another is by a 'pivot' chord. For example if you are playing a piece in C major chord V (the chord built off of G ) is G major. This also is the tonic chord (root chord) in G major. So if you are playing in C major and play a G major chord it would sound like the V chord, however if you carry on from that V chord using chords only found in G major and falling back to that Gchord the listner will get the impression that the music has modulated to another key.