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Thread: "Key" of E but scale of D ?

  1. #1
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    Question "Key" of E but scale of D ?

    Hello,

    I recently started to try out key identification by ear and I experience the following problem, I would be grateful if you can help me on this.

    On the "Jump" song by Madonna ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx0mYN32Kps ) I clearly feel that the E key on the keyboard is the note that "sounds" the best with the song. Besides, an E major chord gracefully ends (and begins...) the song and many sources on the Internet agree that the song is in the key of E major.

    However, I have identified the notes of the melody sung by Madonna at the beginning of the chorus ("are you ready to jump...?") as E G F# E D E. I have checked the "are you" melody line with the audacity spectrum analyzer. The problem is that some of these notes (for instance the G) do not belong to the E major scale. Do you have an explanation of this apparent contradiction ? Did I miss something ?

    I add that when I "improvise" along with the song using the E scale, I get clashes I don't have with the D major scale (which contains all notes in the riff above).

    Thank you,
    A
    Last edited by xla14fr; 08-21-2012 at 09:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    It appears in that section the chords are going C-D-E, so have left the realm of strictly E major.

    If you want to put music theory terms to it, you could say the C and D are "borrowed from the parallel minor" and the progression goes bVI-bVII-I - more important is to realize that just because the overall song key might be E major, it doesn't mean it MUST stick to only notes and chords from that scale throughout - she (and/or whoever else wrote the song) came up with a melody and chords that sounded good at the time, which is all that matters - analyzing from a theory standpoint comes after the fact.
    Last edited by walternewton; 08-21-2012 at 10:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    The chorus is simply this:

    CMaj7-D-E. If related to key: bVI, bVII, I)

    G-F#-E-D-E (If related to key: bIII, II, I, bVII, I;

    Chord tone relation:

    The G is with CMaj7 (The fifth)

    The F#, E and D are with D (third, second, root)

    And E is with E (root)

    You're talking about playing or singing over chords changes. This is improvisation "ITB" (That type of playing does exist)

    The song is in E Major with the verses in the parallel minor. (E minor) This is a very common occurrence.

    There are seven diatonic and five chromatic tones available over each chord. When you say "in or not in the key", you're referring to Consonance and Dissonance.

    Those notes she's singing are diatonic; they may not be in the key, but they are in the chord.

    Borrowed chords (ie: iv, bVII, bVI, bIII) = these come from the parallel minor.

    Chords in the key of C: iv = Fm, bVII = Bb, bVI = Ab, bIII = Eb (All from C minor)

    Notes in the key of D: F (bIII) Bb (bVI) C (bVII) (These come from the parallel minor - D minor)

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    Thanks to both of you. This makes sense now.

    What does "ITB" mean ?

  5. #5
    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xla14fr View Post
    Thanks to both of you. This makes sense now.

    What does "ITB" mean ?
    Inside the Box.

    And you're welcome.

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