Music Theory – 0030

This is the C-Section which even Diane herself has not yet heard, not until this posting anyway. This whole thing gave me fits. I knew what I wanted to do and the song knew what it wanted to do. Guess who won?

The song won, of course. If you don’t let the song have its way it has a tantrum and refuses to cooperate and you end up with writer’s block. And I had writer’s block with this section big time. It let me treat the E7 chord, that you will hear going into Section-C on the video, as a German Augmented Sixth Chord and then as I tried to be brilliant in my own way afterwards the song flatly refused to cooperate. I can’t explain any better than that.

After I had given up I sat at the piano for two full days with pencil in hand and about once an hour the song would tell me the next bit, the next measure, and I would write it down. That is particularly true once I started to transition out of this middle section and back to Section-A. That was painfully slow to get out all those heroic chords. It is a fantastic progression except it leads out into the wrong key. I wanted it to drive back to the original key of A Minor and the song forced me to go to B Minor instead. All I can say is that I was wrong and the song was right. Let’s give this a listen — I really nailed the audio recording aspect this time — and then I’ll attempt to explain it. I should make the damned song explain it to you!

I just analyzed the score and truly figured it out for the first time. I do get it but I’m not going to explain away a chord by chromatic movement of the bass to a chord which does not fit either the key it is coming from or the key it is going to. Just trust me, it is fucking brilliant, that progression of chords that builds up toward returning to Section-A. I will say this of that modulation (changing from one key to another): It goes from:

  • G# Minor – the minor i
  • D# Major – the dominant V
  • E Major – the Major VI – a deceptive cadence
  • F Diminished – chromatic movement of the note E to F
  • (this is the transition point with the next chord)
  • B Minor – second inversion – chromatic movement from F to F#
  • (the above magically skips a step, it should go to the F# Major dominant)
  • (then below, after the skipped chord it is the deceptive cadence (implied (totally awesome (but also chromatic movement once again from F# to G))))
  • G Major – the VI of B minor (also arguably a substitution chord for the B Minor chord)
  • B Minor – second inversion – by chromatic movement, F# to G
  • F# Major – dominant of B, where we’ve been “avoiding”

And back to the Section-A, now in B Minor instead of A Minor as in the beginning of the piece.

That was exhausting figuring that out. That should be on my test, not yours. I’m not posting the score because there are “spelling” errors in it. I never changed the key signature, and there are a lot of G notes that should instead be F double-sharps. I had to analyze it to see how I should have scored it properly. I’ll fix it in my spare time. That song writes a mean chord progression, let me tell you. I’m sorry I brought it up. It is awesome to listen to though.

From the perspective of the novel there is a really bad incident and then the protagonist is thrown into turmoil. This is a very delicate and introspective passage full of dismay. Coming out of this roiling process of thoughts and feelings comes the heroic reemergence and very gently comes out triumphant, out of the abusive relationship, but into what?

We return to Section-A, but in a different key. Our heroine is changed, scarred from the experience. The memory lingers even though the relationship is truly over. One bears scars after being hurt badly enough. In turn comes Section-B with its optimism of getting over it and putting the whole thing behind. And then one final Section-A establishes that major life events fundamentally changes one, and not always for the better. You wonder sometimes why an older person gets pissed off at you for no apparent reason? Maybe they’ve been where you are going and don’t want to see you get hurt like they did.

Next time we look at the ending, which will be easy to explain.

7 thoughts on “Music Theory – 0030

  1. I love it! I had to play it a few times. Why do I like this version so much?! Brilliant! I know nothing about music. Don’t get me wrong but I am awe struck by what you have done.

    • I’m really happy with this new part. I’ve been holding it back from you because I couldn’t decide how it should all fit together. Now I know, but my muscle memory wants to do it the way I initially showed you which is A-A-B over and over again instead of A-B-A-C-A-B-A. It might take me a few days to be able to play it in that form because of the way the old form is burned into my memory.

      So glad you like this!

      The moral of the story here is that if you are stuck writing, stop trying to impose your will and let the thing go where it wants to. It’s hard letting go but there are rewards in doing so.

  2. Your connection with the story … and the fact that you truly have taken the time to be there in it…. leaves me with no words… well the saying “Be still my heart” comes to mind as I continue to play your melody over and over again and realize it came from my story is incredible to me. Thank you seems soooo not enough!

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