How to transport melodies without changing the key like in this song?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
KVRist
75 posts since 9 Nov, 2019

Post Sun Jun 20, 2021 10:30 am

It's a common practice in songs, but I have a problem with it. I don't know what it is exactly called in the vocabulary of music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=witzM3YoR0E

In this song Sandra sings the chorus normally but towards the end (exactly from 2:32) she seems to be singing above still holding on to the key.
I would like to transport my own melodies in Trance, EDM track but I have a problem and it doesn't work as it should :hihi: .

KVRAF
2052 posts since 20 Dec, 2002 from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Post Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:09 am

Just do exactly that: transpose the melody without changing the key. Naturals stay natural, sharps stay sharp, flats stay flat. If your sequence is in, say C Major, and it goes c-d-e-g-f-e, transpose it up a step (or whatever interval) and stay in the same key: d-e-f-a-g-f. Note that the f stays natural, not sharp, because the key is still C Major (D Dorian, to be more precise).

Composers do it all the time, especially in the technique called sequencing. You might hear, say, d-e-f, followed by c-d-e, then b-c-d. (Anybody else old enough that they first noticed it in the 1980's Buck Rogers TV show? :hihi:)

Hmm, maybe this will be clearer. One way to look at a key is as a sequence of admissible notes. C Major (and A minor) uses c-d-e-f-g-a-b. D Major uses d-e-f#-g-a-b-c#: every note is a whole step (two semitones, two keys) higher than its counterpart in C Major. If you transpose the melody AND the key, you'd use f# and c#, because they're part of D Major. If you transpose only the melody but NOT the key, you'd stay with f natural and c natural, because it's still the same list of possible notes.

(Theory Geek alert! If you use the same key, but use a different note in that key as your starting or home note, you have a mode. D Dorian uses the same notes as C Major, but you start on d: d-e-f-g-a-b-c. But that's another can of worms: this stuff is infinitely wonderful and deep!)

It's not much harder if you don't know music theory: look at the notes the original melody uses, and use only those notes.
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KVRian
841 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Post Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:55 pm

Just focus on the shape you'd like to have higher and then go for that shape. The actual intervals can be somewhat different, you might even have to make slight adjustments such as adding extra passing notes and/or taking away. But the overall shape would be more or less the same.

However if you don't have a solid understanding in the concept of phrasing (in context of melodies), this can be surprisingly difficulty task. You should pick the actual tone you want to target specifically, and typically build the new phrase with similar shape based on that. And the underlying harmony has to facilitate it too. If you found a nice line where the (presumably) looping progression doesn't fit that well, then it's a good time to consider harmonizing the new line.

KVRist
241 posts since 27 Aug, 2015 from Paris, France

Post Tue Jul 06, 2021 2:28 pm

Jafo wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:09 am
Just do exactly that: transpose the melody without changing the key. Naturals stay natural, sharps stay sharp, flats stay flat.
Late to the party and far from being a music theory expert but in the specific song posted by OP it seems to me that what happens at 2:32 is nothing else than a transposition. The song does NOT stay in the same key, it goes from F minor to G minor.

Thus, hinson, if you want to do the same thing in your songs, just duplicate your sequence, and transpose everything 2 semitones higher.
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KVRAF
22349 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Tue Jul 06, 2021 3:38 pm

Jafo wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:09 am

(Theory Geek alert! If you use the same key, but use a different note in that key as your starting or home note, you have a mode. D Dorian uses the same notes as C Major, but you start on d: d-e-f-g-a-b-c..
BZZZT.
for it to be that mode, D has to be the central note, for lack of a word 'the tonic'.
starting on D in key of C is not more than starting on D through only itself. D Dorian et al is/are_not key of C.

by the same token, key of A minor is its own key, it is not key of C major. Modes are not keys, there would be a confusion, D Dorian and the other six on white keys all have zero sharps or flats, but this is not taken to mean they are key of C major, or of A minor except maybe for Aeolian, a grey area, depending. Seven modes, seven 'tonics'.
(there is music which is Ionian/not major, too, ie. there is no dominant/tonic action at all, eg., its ^7 is not a leading tone; it could be a #4 over IV and its whole move is to say 3 (B to A on IV of C Ionian).)

KVRist
50 posts since 2 Jan, 2021

Post Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:23 pm

Jafo wrote:
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:09 am
Anybody else old enough that they first noticed it in the 1980's Buck Rogers TV show? :hihi:
Anyone old enough to have first noticed it in Bach? 😜

KVRAF
22349 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:06 pm

The term transposition means everything is transposed to the new key.
CF: Wiki's: In music, transposition refers to the process or operation of moving a collection of notes (pitches or pitch classes) up or down in pitch by a constant interval.

The other thing is just change of orientation within the key. C D E F to D E F G is not a transposition.
Sorry to gainsay that, but it could be misleading. Typical convo: 'the singer needs you to transpose it to her key'.
Everything is moved in parallel, from the extant key to new key*. If someone in a work situation instructs 'transpose this' the meaning is solid, it means the one thing.

Certainly to assert that a string of notes on D or any of the other six means a new center, ie., the mode centered on the note is misleading and incorrect. Key of C means there is no doubt about the tonic being C. You can't be in two places at the same time. You may run D to D scales, or from whichever beginning point, on white keys all you like, if it's actually in key of C it's actually in key of C, full stop.

(*: Or we could say "D Dorian transposed to E Dorian" but it's all or nothing for the term to apply.)

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KVRian
500 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:15 pm

Most common transposition of melodies without changing key, given that the starting note is the tonic, is to repeat it a fifth above. Thus, one main principle of the fugue is the exposition of a short theme (a subject), which is answered by imitation of the theme in the dominant or subdominant. When every interval of the theme can be repeated, we have a real answer. When some notes of the theme have to be changed to fit a transposition to a related key, we have a tonal answer. Basically, when making melodies starting on tonic, you can often transpose them to the fifth without changing root (bass note). Experiment yourself.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

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KVRian
500 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:14 pm

jancivil wrote:
Tue Jul 06, 2021 3:38 pm
D Dorian et al is/are_not key of C.
So true, Jan. Keys is a much later term than modes, and modes were originally not meant to be interchanged with or transposed to other modes. Each had their own character. They were closed systems so to speak. Imo, a mode is best defined as an internal diatonic relation between notes, e.g. it can be defined in half-steps from root by which Dorian would be 2-1-2-2-2-1-2. Saying that D Dorian use the same notes as C-major (or that it is the first inversion of C-major) would not make much sense then because it would be like saying that the steps of Ionian and Dorian are the same.

However, it is very typical that people use the (sometimes rather sparse) modern theory they have learned and try to understand preceding systems by the same terms. Sometimes even suggesting functional chord analysis at a time where chords were not used as such (blocks in functional relations) but were rather invoked "bottom up" by harmonizations and counterpoint of melody lines.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

KVRAF
22349 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Sun Jul 18, 2021 5:14 pm

a primary mistake is to consider them properties of major, as though first there was major and these are modes of, like reflections of...
So the rhetorical thing I like to do is point out that Ionian is the seventh mode of Dorian.

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KVRian
500 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:27 pm

Exactly, and that makes them relative, because Dorian is no more a function or inversion of C major than C major is a function or inversion of Dorian. The magic is in the root and how you move it around or not.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

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