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Thread: Transposing vs Modulation?

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    TDOT is offline Registered User
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    Transposing vs Modulation?

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    What is the difference between transposing and modulation?

    Can someone explain this and maybe give an example,
    reading these music theory books, I keep seeing transpose and modulate, but they seem similar and I'm trying to distinguish the difference.

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    This might not be exactly correct as my theory is a bit hazy, but I've always thought that transposition is shifting a whole song to a new key (or, as the term implies, "position") while modulation is an in-song key change.

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    Thanks, yea based on what I'm reading I'm pretty sure that's correct.
    I don't know if anyone else can answer this but when you modulate a chord progression to a keys relative minor, how would change the vibe of the song if it's acutally playing the exact some chords? I understand the tonic in the new key is different, but the chords still remain the same.

    In my lessons, they say a good key to modulate to is a Major keys relative minor.

    If for example in the key of C:
    I-IV-V C-F-G

    I modulate to the key of Am (i think this is right)
    III-VI-VII C-F-G

    those are the exact same chords so how that give a sense of change? Despite the fact that the tonal centre changed.

    Correct me if i'm wrong please, I've breaking my head over this.
    My friend the other day played an example of modulation from C to Am and I could hear it, and it sounded great but now on paper looking at it and trying to understand I don't get it.

    maybe my modulation from C to Am was off.

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    AG Beats is offline Registered User
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    the same exact notes in a different scale/key have a totally different feeling. 'C' in c major does not FEEL the same as 'C' does in a minor. Just modulate and youll see how different it feels lol. Its not something you understand on paper, its something you understand with your ears. Bandcoach should be in here any minute to give you a few paragraphs of game


    and dont modulate to a different progression. Play the same progression in A minor play a 1 4 5 in C then play it in A minor. Most of the time thers a few notes that lead up to the modulation. Im not a theory expert or even close and ive actually started revisting and want to master theory lately, so I might not be 100% correct but like i said band coach is on his way believe me lol
    Last edited by AG Beats; 01-14-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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    AG Beats is offline Registered User
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    not sure if this is totally right, but I think it's modulating. And this is what i was saying to do
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    Quote Originally Posted by AG Beats View Post
    the same exact notes in a different scale/key have a totally different feeling. 'C' in c major does not FEEL the same as 'C' does in a minor. Just modulate and youll see how different it feels lol. Its not something you understand on paper, its something you understand with your ears. Bandcoach should be in here any minute to give you a few paragraphs of game


    and dont modulate to a different progression. Play the same progression in A minor play a 1 4 5 in C then play it in A minor. Most of the time thers a few notes that lead up to the modulation. Im not a theory expert or even close and ive actually started revisting and want to master theory lately, so I might not be 100% correct but like i said band coach is on his way believe me lol
    I understand C and Cm don't sound the same when I just play the individual scales, they have different intervals within the scale giving a different sound and feel. As with Ionian and all the scales, I'm pretty sure it's the intervals that give a certain feeling.
    C has the major 3rd and Cm has the minor 3rd etc.

    But C Major in the key of C is the exact same as C in the key of Am
    C,E,G that doesn't change, so when I play my progression in C,F,G
    and I play it in the key of A CFG
    the notes remain the exact same so how would that changing the mood.
    When I play melodies I get it, the tonic is different, the intervals are different so I can hear the difference.

    But I'm looking at the C and Am scales breaking my head over this basic progression, I used C,F,G because it's easy and then I play.
    Even though C is the I in the key of C and the III in the key of Am the notes remain the same.
    If I go I-IV in C so C-F
    or I go III-VI in Am also C-F what's the differrnce?
    Maybe I'm using a bad example and my progression needs to be more complex and last longer to hear the difference.

    AG Beats thanks for the response, gonna try some things out here.

    Hope bandcoach can clear this up, a lot of time I'm just thinking too much,

    lol I'm reading information too so I haven't been able to actually try and apply it yet gonna try later tonight when I touch the piano.

    It's probably easier then I'm making it seem and that's why i'm getting stuck here.

    Any examples?

    ---------- Post added at 06:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:57 PM ----------

    Think I'm doing it wrong if I want to modulate in my song let's say my verse to a bridge or something for example.
    My I-IV-V, when I modulate to my relative minor, is it still I-IV-V in the relaive minor or does it become III-VI-VII?

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    AG Beats is offline Registered User
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    the note C does not have the same feel in the C Major scale as it does in the A minor scale. Or any other scale that contains the note C. It is the same exact note yes, but in context with the other notes of whatever scale your in it has a differnt feel.


    I'll wait for BC to come clarify maybe send him a PM, but did you listen to what I posted?

    In my mind if you want to "modulate" to another key during a song you would still play the same progression only in that scales form. Its the same way that all the major scales are DO RA ME FA SOL LA TI DO and sound similar but have different feels when you play them. Your playing the same thing essentially, its just different notes.

    So in my mind if you want to modulate from C to Am playing a I IV V you would just lead into it by a few notes to sound good then proceed to play I IV V in Am.

    im not good at putting it into words but bc could really clarify
    Last edited by AG Beats; 01-14-2013 at 06:40 PM.
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    Got you bro thanks for the rsponse,
    I totally understand that C in CMajor won't sound the same as C in Am.
    C is C regardless, if you play the note individually it's the same sound.
    What makes C different in Am then in CMaj are the intervals used to reach the note.

    If C is the tonic in one scale and then the mediant in another, it doesn't play the same role and will therefor give a different feeling when you play the scale.


    I was mixing things up before and that's why it didn't work out the way I though,

    What I was doing was say in the key C
    I-IV-V


    instead of playing
    I-IV-V in Am

    I was transposing to the exact same chords which would be
    III-VI-VII Am

    Think I understand better now

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    AG Beats is offline Registered User
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    I know lol thats what I was trying to tell you in my first post. The theory shit is just confusing. Its mainly just to tell other people what youre doing but Im trying to get a better hold on it too so instead of pecking around I can just do what I want. Cause I can hear symphonies in my head lol.


    But yeah man i wasnt tryin say youre wrong or anything like that just show u that shit has diff feels. I was learning that from this theory vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1G506EquzM
    likes this.
    Intergalactic space man trying to find his sound that's lost on planet earth. Once powers are harnessed revolution will spark

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    I know I wasn't taking it that way bro, glad u responded though thanks for that.

    I'm surprised bandcoach hasn't touched this yet lol any time I post something in the theory thread, I'm assuming he'll be the one to answer but no sign of him yet, maybe this has already been posted and that's why...not sure though.

    I'm getting a grip on it though.
    What do you do for your modulations AG?

    I've been practiving moving to the new key by playing it's V7 chord right before entering the new key, but I'm still trying to understand that fully, because if I'm going Major to Minor, then the 5 chord would be Major. :S so there's another road block lol

    Or I was showed to find the pivot chord, which is a common chord in both keys to get you ready to transition to the new key.

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