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Thread: South Sound Theory

  1. #1
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    Jun 2009
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    South Sound Theory

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    I would like to think that I know music theory, but still i can't come up with any of the melodies that I like to hear.

    What i usually do is pick a scale, lets say b minor. and then build my song from there via circle of fifth. I either try to come up with a melody or some chord progressions WITHIN that scale (which is where i feel i'm doing somewhat wrong?)

    When i try for practice to replicate a melody I hear on a beat or song it feels like they are playing out of scale or moving away from the scale to some degree (i am especially talking bout the south sounding stuff)

    A few examples of stuff i don't understand:

    This beat for instance, is A, F, A#, D, A, F, A#, D (thanks chuck GREAR)

    So when i try to study this it looks to me like he starts in A minor and uses the circle of fifth to get to where he gets ? (A# = Bb)

    How would one build up on top of this for instance ? what key is the song in now, can i use all white keys since we are in a minor or how would i go about to build a counter melody on top of this
    Last edited by bandcoach; 11-11-2014 at 01:03 PM. Reason: fixed video link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sydney Australia
    Thanked 638 Times in 435 Posts
    Firstly it sounds to me like it is in Fmajor/Dminor and so that A# must be a Bb - i.e. even if we accept that A minor is the tonic chord it is the tonic chord of A Phrygian minor - A-Bb-C-D-E-F-G-A

    then taking the A/F\Bb/D\ line and the line before it A\F/Bb\F/ etc (/ = moves up from, \ = moves down to) we can further assert some different interpretations of the underlying harmony

    1) the start moves from F-Bb and back again if we take the pairs of notes used: A\F is part of an F major chord, Bb\F is part of a Bb major chord
    2) an alternative harmonisation is that it is Am-F-Bb-F, i.e. each note is harmonised
    3) a 3rd alternative is Am-Dm-Bb-Dm, each note is harmonised again but now we use the F as the 3rd of the Dm chord
    4) a 4th alternative could be Am-Am#5-Bb-Am#5
    5) the next line (the one you quoted) can then be considered in the same terms
    a) F-Bb
    b) Am-F-Bb-Dm
    c) Am-Dm-Bb-Dm
    d) Am-Am#5-Bb-Dm

    the last interpretation is the one that seems to be in play

    so going from that to a counter melody you would need to consider each chord in turn and use notes that are either dissonant or consonant to each chord:

    Chord Chord Tones Consonant tones Dissonant tones
    Am A-C-E F, G Bb, B, D
    F F-A-C D, E G, Bb, B
    Bb Bb-D-F G, A C, E
    Dm D-F-A Bb, B, C E, G

    I have included B natural as it can be useful in providing additional tension through its dissonant combination with each chord

    chord spellings
    F ~ F-A-C
    Bb ~ Bb-D-F
    Am ~ A-C-E
    Dm ~ D-F-A
    Am#5 ~ A-C-E# (this could be an F major chord but the intent seems to be to follow the Russian cadence - Am-Am#5-Am6-Am#5 (Am6 = A-C-F#))

    Last edited by bandcoach; 11-11-2014 at 01:31 PM.
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