I seem to have painted myself into a corner with a piece of music I am writing. It is a lovely little melody with an introduction, verse, chorus, and ending already written. Nice as it is, it seems too repetitive doing two verses and a chorus over and over.
I did think I was being clever. From the introduction in A minor I insert a brief E7 chord to then proceed with the verse in A minor. At the end of the first verse I again use this E7 chord to flow right back into a repetition of the verse.
My cleverness continues on with a move to the chorus in F major. The way I arrive at F is to use that same E7 chord which most typically drives back to A minor and instead resolve that E7 chord using a deceptive cadence; so, instead of V going to i, I have V going to VI. It flows wonderfully. The chorus ends with an E7 chord which happily transitions back to the verse. This dominant V chord is like a fork in the road with two easy directions to take.
The height of cleverness comes in where I go to the third section. At the V7 (E7) chord instead of using it the most common way returning to the A minor, and instead of using it the second most common way going to F major as I did employing the deceptive cadence going to the chorus, for the third section I employ the V7 chord as a German Augmented 6th chord (same notes different spelling) and after functionally resolving that land in Ab minor.
This third section really establishes Ab minor, going back and forth between Ab minor and Eb major firmly rooting a repeated V-i relationship. The problem is how to get back to the main theme (verse)? The Eb major chord wonderfully moves to E7 as a refreshing modulation but the music refuses to go back to A minor because of how firmly Ab minor has been established.
So I’ve painted myself into a corner. My ear tells me to go to F fully diminished after the E7, which works smoothly because they have the notes G# and B in common. If I didn’t care about a slight disruption in “The Force” I could go from E7 to F major, having this F function in the same say as the German Augmented 6th chord which would go back to the A minor verse but it won’t quite work. It has to flow.
[Long pause, about an hour]
I don’t have to like it but instead of imposing my will I let the song write itself a bridge back to the verse. What I don’t like is that it very nicely lands on B minor instead of the A minor I wanted. Who am I to argue with a piece of music? It is going to do what it wants no matter what I have to say. Go with the flow.
It would be too much work to make a recording of what I’m talking about. I need to more properly score out this sketch and then let the computer play it so I can objectively listen to the sound flowing into and out of the third section. Tell you what, if you can decipher my writing and notes you can play it for yourself. This is a sketch, not a fancy performance so it is not all that difficult. I even wrote in all the accidentals rather than applying key signatures (yet).