Music Theory – 0029

Office Keyboard

Yup, there’s the keyboard(s) in my office, the one you’ll hear today. Note the tripod with the tiny webcam on top. Not the ideal situation but I just ordered a “real” video camera yesterday. That tripod would seriously be in the way if I were using the upper end of the keyboard. For performing in the future I hope to use my other keyboard stationed in the living room. We can take today’s video as a lesson in why not to use a webcam for motion video.Last time I showed you the A-section of “Finding Diane”. Let’s look for her further by examining the B-section:

The audio starts two measures before what you see in the score below. Those two measures are identical to the two ending measures pictured.


While most of this piece of music seemed to write itself, I did design the end of Section-A and Section-B to end the same, with that E7 chord. When the V goes to I (or i) it is called a Cadence. When that E7 went to A Minor transitioning from the intro to Section-A, that was a cadence. When V instead goes to VI (or vi), it is called a Deceptive Cadence. The deceptive cadence is not nearly as common as the regular cadence. V wants to go to I, but VI is a substitution chord for I because it has the tonic and one other note in common. The tonic is the base of the key, the first note of the scale. You don’t need to know all that for the time being, but since both Section-A and Section B end with the same chord (and the exact same notes), one that can easily transition to either Section-A or Section-B, that leaves the door open to repeat either section, or to move from one to the other. This way, if in the future I wanted there to be two Section-As in a row which is common for a song — 2 verses and 1 chorus, over and over — the piece will be easy to modify with simple copy and paste.

This is a very powerful and flexible design that allows for this to later be something other than a piano solo. A lyricist might want more than one verse in a row — Section-A — or a guitarist might want an extended solo repeating the chorus — Section B — several times. No problem.

Oh! About this Section-B. You can right click on the picture of the score and open it in a separate window or even save it as a graphic file, right? It will be bigger and easier to reference as you read my long-winded explanations.

Section-B follows the same harmonic tempo as Section-A. Section-B has two measures of an F Major chord followed by two measures of a G Major chord, then two more measures of the F Major chord and ends with the E7 exactly as Section-A did. So, like Section-A, we are moving one scale step and using the chord based on that note while staying within the key. Easy movement. Further, to go along with the story, these major chords provide a positive optimism, hoping and rationalizing that everything will be OK. But then we go back to the mix of emotions of the A-Section and the pain there — the dissonance — as if Section-B represents those moments away from the abusive partner and we are not ready or able to break off the relationship so we fool ourselves with positive thoughts and feelings.

We now have two uses for the V or V7 chord, to go to I or to go to VI (or i or vi). Guess what? There’s one more way to use that V7 chord and I have one mess on my hands trying to both perform and explain Section-C next time. I’ll try to get it done for tomorrow but I can’t promise.

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