Friday, November 6, 2015


Alright, let's get right to it. Modulation is a really complicated subject that honestly we shouldn't be covering yet but I think you people are pretty smart so it should be ok. As always, put your answers in the comments below or comment with them on the video, and if you're confused about anything, ASK. Let's get started!

1) Let's start with differentiation. The following examples contain either parallel or direct modulation. Just tell me which one it is, and where the modulation occurs. I added the starting key signatures so you know what key we begin in.

2) Now let's look at pivot chord modulation. For each of the following pairs of keys, see if you can figure out all the available diatonic triad pivot chords between them. See if you can figure out the available seventh chords too. And if you're feeling really adventurous, see if you can write a progression that transitions from one to the other through those pivot chords. Play it if you can, or send it to me and I'll make you a quick recording of it.

  • F major to Bb major
  • E minor to D minor
  • Ab major to G minor
  • And for extra fun let's try modes: F# mixolydian to A lydian
3) There's another type of modulation I didn't mention in the video: Relative modulation. This is where you change the tonic, but you simultaneously change the scale so that all the notes remain the same. For instance, you could move from C major to A minor, of F lydian. What do you think of this type of modulation? Does it make sense to you? When might you use it? Heck, when might you use any type of modulation?

And that's it! See you next week!


  1. Sorry, but you know that for number 2 none of the example pairs of keys you have given contain pivot chords (atleast diatonic ones) right?

    - FM to DM

    . FM: F - Gm - Am - Bb - C - Dm - Eo
    . DM: D - Em - F#m - G - A - Bm - C#o

    - C#m to Em

    . C#m: C#m - D#o - E - F#m - G#m - A - B
    . Em: Em - F#o - G - Am - Bm - C - D

    - AbM to Dm

    . AbM: Ab - Bbm - Cm - Db - Eb - Fm - Go
    . Dm: Dm - Eo - F - Gm - Am - Bb - C

    - F#Mix to BPhr

    . F#Mix: F# - G#m - A#o - B - C#m - D#m - E
    . BPhr: Bm - C - D - Em - F#o - G - Am

    Forgive me if this was intended or anything.

    1. Wow... I really don't know how I made that mistake. Looking through them, I could argue that C#m and Em share B7, since minor tends to retain the dominant fifth, but other than that... Yeah, wow. I did this really late at night, and I guess I just completely forgot to actually check if there was overlap. That's... That's bad. Thanks for letting me know, I'll edit it with some better examples. I'm super embarrassed. Wow.

  2. F major to Bb major:

    | F - C - Dm - Bb | F - C - Dm - Bb | Dm - Gm - Eb - F7 | Bb - F - Bb
    I V vi IV I V vi IV vi ii X
    iii vi IV V7 I V I