[thechat] ice cream songs

Martin Burns martin at easyweb.co.uk
Tue Jan 17 12:14:44 CST 2006

On Tue, January 17, 2006 4:18 pm, Canfield, Joel said:
>> Arrr, every cannon-shootin peg-leg knows the IV and ii are
>> interchangeable
>> (both being of sub-dorminant ilk)
> huh?
> yeah, I know what subdominant is. excuse my other deep levels of
> ignorance regarding musical theory but you're saying that, if I'm
> playing in A, I can swap Bm and F#m and it'll sound the same, or just
> that they'll both work?

If you're in A, then you can swap:
F#m for A
Bm for D (Bm7 ideally as then it's nice and dubious, *especially* in 1st inversion ie
with the D as bass).

> okay, so should I take a class to get some of this musical theory stuff
> clarified, or can it be gotten from book learnin' or googlification? do
> they still cover this in the piano lessons I never took?

I have the book larnin at home (I'm working away rn - yay SquirrelMail), and can make
some recommendations. But it's gonna come back to Bach Chorales...

The way to approach it, though, is learn basic cadences (the last 2 chords) and then
work back.

So your classic "end of the tune" cadence is V-I, which in G is D-G. If you imagine each
note as a voice, then the F# *needs* to go up to the G. You can make it a bit richer by
adding the 7th: V7-I: D7-G. In which case, the dissonance of the C natural *needs* to
resolve down to the B.

That dissonance, btw, isn't between the C and the D, but between the C and the F#. This
is the tritone, which the old guys used to call Diabolus in Musica. Play C and F#
together, and you'll see what I mean. It *has* to resolve to the B and G.

So, V-I gives a nice finality. Listen to a lot of Beethoven, and you'll hear him going
V-I, V-I, V-I, V-I, V-I, VVVVVVVV7V7V7V7V7-I. THE END. Dammit.

What goes before V? Well, oftentimes, IV. So you go IV-V-I. C-D-G. There - nice and
solid and rounded, right? Gets a bit dull after a while, so this is where you swap in
the II7b - Am7 1st inversion (ie with a C bass). ii7b-V7-I. (Minor chords are by
convention written lower case)

But you're feeling sneaky, and want to spring a surprise. You've gone II7b-V and
everyone's going like "Yeah, gimme that tonic chord!" So what do you do? Say "hah! I'm
not done yet!" and swap in the alternative for I which is vi. So that's ii7b-V7-vi
(Am7/C D7 Em) and you're off again into another bit.

There's a great moment in Handel's Concerto Grosso Op6/6 where he does this really
strongly - he goes (in Gm, at a Largo) V7-V7 (come on, Georgie, gimme that Gm
resolution!) aaaaaaandddd V7! (you *bastard!). Then later in the movement he does almost
the same, but is even meaner: V7-V7-VI! (D7-D7-Eb!). You can get away with this sort of
thing if the king's paying you, I suppose.

Anyway, thus concludes the lesson. Some more on cadences here:


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