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FFBk00Preface.fm. 2014-09-13, 14:51


Why this book?

It was in 2005 or 2006 that Franco Fabbri asked me to produce a book based on some encyclopedia articles I’d written between 1998 and 2000. I was slow to respond because I didn’t then see how repackaging that work could have much positive impact on music studies. Two things made me change my mind.

The first was when Franco showed me an Italian music theory textbook. ‘Look’, he said, ‘this is all my students have to go by’. Skimming through its pages I realised that, like equivalents in other languages, it dealt only with certain tonal elements of euroclassical music and that it paid particular attention to conventional notions of harmony within that tradition. Glancing through that textbook, I was reminded of a problem I’d often had to confront when writing the original encyclopedia articles: how to talk about common tonal practices that don’t conform to the sort of tonal theory taught in many seats of musical learning. Explaining something as common and as ostensibly simple as the La Bamba chord loop (as in La Bamba, Guantanamera, Wild Thing, Pata Pata, Twist & Shout etc.) in terms of tonic, subdominant and dominant had for some time struck me as about as productive as using theories of combustion to explain electricity. And yet some music scholars still try to apply Schenkerian notions of harmonic directionality to tonal configurations in which notions like ‘dominant’ and ‘perfect cadence’ are at best questionable, if not altogether irrelevant.

If restricted notions of tonality were the only problem with institutionalised traditions of musical learning in the West, things would not be so bad. Unfortunately the problems go much deeper because that same tradition has focussed almost exclusively on tonal issues and tended to steer clear of parameters like metricity, periodicity, timbre, groove and sonic staging, which some scholars still earnestly believe to be of secondary importance. There’s no room here to explore conventional European music theory’s predilection for harmonic, melodic and thematic parameters that can, at least to some extent, be graphically represented on the page as blobs, lines and squiggles, except to say that Western staff notation developed to scribally encode aspects of music in the euroclassical tradition that were difficult to memorise, rather than to record the specifics of other music cultures. This tonal fixation has promoted a mindset according to which monometric music, whose pitches can be arranged in octaves consisting of twelve equal intervals each, is analysable because it is notatable; other types of music are, so to speak, neither. Indeed, even the downbeat anticipations and ‘neutral’ thirds often heard in English-language popular music from the twentieth century look incongruous in Western notation, while aspects of sound treatment essential to the expressive qualities of music we hear on a daily basis —echo, delay, reverb, saturation, phasing, etc.— are conspicuous by their absence. Conventional approaches to music analysis in the West may serve some use in helping us appreciate how a sense of narrative works in sonata form (‘diataxis’, the ‘extensional’ aesthetic), but they have done very little to help us understand other equally important aspects of form that exist inside the extended present (‘syncrisis’, ‘intensional’ aesthetics).

The first edition of this book was published in 2009 since when I mainly worked on Music’s Meanings: a modern musicology for non-musos (Tagg, 2013). In that book I also tried to right a few of the graphocentric wrongs just mentioned, but I regret that so much more needs to be done. It’s a task that would involve several lifetimes of research and result in several books of this size. Still, at least one thing became clear when working on Music’s Meanings: I would have to rewrite and expand Everyday Tonality.

Why ‘Everyday Tonality II’?

There are at least seven answers to that question.

[1] Half the first edition of Everyday Tonality consisted of reworked encyclopedia entries that were too short to allow for substantial treatment of several of the book’s topics. That is certainly the case with the exposé about quartal harmony which has increased in size from a dozen pages in the 2009 edition to a sixty-page chapter in this one. Quartal harmony is simply a much more widespread and multi-faceted phenomenon of everyday tonality than could reasonably fit into just a few pages.

[2] Some common aspects of everyday tonality were not covered at all in the first edition, for example bass lines and hexatonic modes. While bass lines aren’t the focus of much attention in this edition either —it’s the topic of another book— hexatonic modes are. I wanted to understand why terms of structural designation existed for pentatonic and heptatonic but not for hexatonic modes. I never found out why, but at least I’m able in this edition to propose a system for understanding the mechanics of some commonly used hexatonic modes.

[3] The modes discussed in the previous edition were mainly diatonic and heptatonic —the ‘church’ modes, including the ionian— while others were absent. I felt I had lapsed into a tonally ethnocentric default mode (pun intended) that needed correction if my critique of conventional music theory’s ethnocentrism were to have any credibility. That’s why this edition addresses some ‘non-European’ modes, particularly those containing flat twos and/or augmented seconds, in order to explain how they work, including their role as tonal embodiment of an exotic ‘Other’. Due to the correction of this omission, to the theorisation of hexatonic modes and to the improved theorisation of penta- and heptatonic modes, the size of the chapters on (melodic) mode has increased from one twelve-page chapter to two chapters covering more than ninety pages.

[4] The 2009 edition contained a few factual errors and lacunae that have been put to right in this edition.

[5] Due to restrictions of space, time and copyright legislation, the original encyclopedia entries included very few music examples. Even though there were more examples in the 2009 edition than in the encyclopedia articles, I still felt there was insufficient musical meat on the theoretical bone. That’s why I’ve radically increased the number of music examples and reset them using better notation and image-processing software. This expansion of space devoted to ‘actual music’ will, I hope, make the book more convincing and more fun to read. I’ve also tried to include, wherever permissible, links to online recordings of the music cited as notation (see ‘Musical source references’, p. 28).

[6] The 2009 edition contained a few passages where I fell into the trap of terminological inertia and inexactitude. Particularly embarrassing was the occasional use of ‘mode’ in the absurdly restricted sense of any heptatonic mode except the ionian (whoops!), and the occasional confusion of ‘tonical’ (having a tonal centre) with ‘tonal’ (having a tone or tones). Such terminological lapses have been rigorously expunged from this edition.

[7] Most importantly, the concepts of tonality circulating in Western academies of music, whatever their canonic repertoire, are still all too often inadequate, illogical and ethnocentric. They simply don’t do much to help music students living in a multicultural, internet-linked, ‘global’ world to get to grips with the tonal nuts and bolts of all those musics that don’t fit the conceptual grid of categories developed to explain certain aspects of the euroclassical or classical jazz traditions.

Reason number 7 is also why I try in this book to bring some order into terms denoting important general aspects of tonal structuration. To do that I have to explain widely used concepts like tone, melody, accompaniment and harmony in ways that relate those phenomena, not just to the music of certain minorities living in certain parts of a certain continent during a certain short period of its history (the euroclassical tradition from c. 1730 to c. 1910;), but to a much wider range of musics and people. Of course, that tradition is, along with the jazz canon, an essential ingredient in the everyday tonality of millions, and its unique characteristics need clear explanation in a book devoted to the ‘everyday’. But such explanation is also impossible if the specific dynamic of those canonic traditions cannot be understood in relation to the panoply of other tonalities in everyday circulation. The difficulty is that the vast majority of those other musics is under-theorised, in the sense that existing music theory often seems to have either misleading terms or no terms at all to designate their specific tonal dynamics.

The reform and de-ethnocentrification of music theory is an uphill battle in the context of institutions whose existence relies on musical traditions that have to be socially dead, or at least moribund, in order for them to become fixed as canons —for example, the euroclassical canon, the jazz canon, the ‘academic safari’ canon and, more recently, the rock canon. Such fixation of repertoire, of its aesthetics and structural theory, is more often than not understood as a necessity in institutions that repeat course content from one year to the next in the name of consistency or cost cutting, and that are subjected to ‘league tables’ of ‘excellence’ that have to be concocted on the basis of a consensus about ‘what everybody does’ or ‘always has done’ to function at all. If excel means to surpass, to stand out, etc., excellence based on league tables is a blatant contradictio in terminis. I hope this book can contribute, at least in a small way, to exposing ‘excellence’ as the destructive oxymoron of mediocrity it really is.

Basic terms

Before going any further I’d better explain what I mean by certain terms that recur throughout the book, right from the start, one even in its title. The following list gives no more than terse, temporary definitions of terms explained in greater detail at various points in the book or in the Glossary (p. 479, ff.).

• note: single discrete sound of finite duration in music;

• tone: note with discernible fundamental pitch;

• tonal: having the properties of a tone;

• tonality: system according to which tones are configured;

• tonic: musical keynote or reference tone;

• tonical: having a tonic or keynote.

• mode: abstraction of tonal vocabulary reduced to single occurrences of its constituent tones.

• modal: having the characteristics of a mode;

• polyphony: music in which at least two sounds of differing pitch or timbre are heard at the same time;

• polyphonic: having the characteristics of polyphony;

• chord: simultaneous sounding of at least two differently named tones;

• triad: chord consisting of three differently named tones;

• third: pitch interval of three or four semitones (minor/major);

• fourth: pitch interval of five semitones (‘perfect’);

• tertial (of chords): based on the stacking of thirds;

• quartal (of chords): based on the stacking of fourths;

• shuttle: repeated to-and-fro movement between two chords;

• loop: short repeated sequence of typically three or four different chords.

Other recurrent terms requiring initial explanation are euroclassical and key-clock.

I use euroclassical when referring to the European classical music tradition because not all classical music is European (e.g. Tunisian nouba, the rāga traditions of India, Cambodian court music, the yăyuè —雅乐— of imperial China, etc; see also Glossary, p. 488). I avoid art music labels because these tend to imply that musics without the label involve no art.

I tend to use the expression key clock more often than circle of fifths because (a) it’s shorter; (b) it’s easier to use adjectivally, e.g. ‘key-clock distance’ rather than ‘circle-of-fifths distance’ or ‘distance round the circle of fifths’ (see Glossary, p. 493).

Words and expressions like homophony, heterophony, counterpoint, counterpoise, ré-pentatonic, la-hexatonic, Hijaz, majorised phrygian are all defined in the Glossary.

Basic conventions for the abbreviated indication of scale degrees and chords are presented under ‘Tonal denotation’ (pp. 30-37).

Who’s the book for?

This book contains many short music examples, so it’s really for anyone who can decipher Western staff notation in the G and F clefs. Although not totally essential, some acquaintance with the rudiments of music theory, including conventional euroclassical or jazz harmony, is probably an advantage. In fact, when writing this book, I’ve mainly had in mind the music students I’ve met since 1971, and the conceptual problems they’ve seemed to encounter when they’ve met me for the subjects I’ve taught (chiefly related to ‘popular’ music, including music and the moving image). However, this book should also interest anyone who, with some notational literacy, wants to understand the tonal mechanisms of several widely disseminated types of music.

Caveats about the title and contents

The repertoire I draw on for illustration and generalisation must invariably be music that I’m in some way familiar with because there’s no point in writing about things of which I have little or no knowledge. That means, just as invariably, that the ‘everyday tonality’ in the book’s title can never be everyone’s everyday everywhere at all times. The problem is that Some tonal elements in widely heard music diffused in mainly, but by no means exclusively, English-language cultures in the late twentieth century, i.e. music that Philip Tagg has played, sung or heard is not a very catchy book title. I therefore apologise to readers who feel I have shortened the book’s title in an untoward manner. However, that abbreviation is, I think for several reasons, not entirely misleading. [1] Significant amounts of the everyday musical fare of individuals in many parts of the world in the late twentieth century was of Anglo-US origin. [2] My notion of everyday music is not stylistically restricted: I refer not only to The Beatles but also to Bach and to popular music from the Balkans, Latin America, etc. [3] With substantial experience of non-anglophone cultures, I’m probably able to refer to more non-anglophone music than many other native speakers of my mother tongue.

Here I have to include another caveat about this book’s content. It concerns the everyone’s an expert at something syndrome. I mention this because students who are devotees of a particular artist, composer or musical style have sometimes been outraged by the fact that I didn’t include their area of expertise or objects of enthusiasm in my teaching, or that their musical interests were under-represented. Confronted like that in teaching situations, I would normally apologise and explain my choices while encouraging their enthusiasm and learning from their expertise. Since that sort of interaction is not viable in the author-reader relationship, I have to apologise in advance if you find my choice of material unsatisfactory. I can only suggest that you write me a short email suggesting improvements that come to mind. My only excuse for the omissions that may outrage you is that I’ve had to cover an extensive range of music and musicians in order to avoid the ethnocentric trap; and that meant investigating music about which I was previously less familiar. Indeed, I should clarify that before rewriting this book I knew precious little about, for example, Arab maqamat, Greek dromoi, Copland’s film music, flamenco, klezmer, the banjo, alternate guitar tunings or extreme metal, and that I needed to improve on that ignorance to write anything at all coherent about, say, the phrygian mode or quartal harmony. Besides that, I felt obliged to try and transcribe relevant excerpts by artists like Sokratis Málamas, Ermálak, King Crimson, The Bothy Band and Joni Mitchell. The sounds I transcribed were always interesting (sometimes also moving) but the process of investigation and transcription was time-consuming. It’s in this light that I ask readers outraged by my omission of their favourite music to understand that I’ve done what I could to widen the repertoire I’ve qualified as ‘everyday’. Besides, I’m only one person and I haven’t had any Superman illusions since some time around 1962!

Basic structure and contents

Rationale and reservations

Apart from this preface and the various appendices, which I’ll explain shortly, this book consists of fifteen chapters, many of which deal with issues of harmony. That focus might seem odd, given that so many euroclassical scholars have already written so much about harmony. The trouble is that ‘harmony’ as an institutionalised body of learning in the West was often unable to help with the hands-on music analysis I had to do to make sense of my own ‘everyday tonality’: I just couldn’t apply its theoretical grids and taxonomies to a significant part of what I’ve played and heard in my life. I had to grapple with preconceived notions about harmonic impoverishment, with assumptions about unitonicality (that you can only have one keynote at a time), unidirectionality (that harmonic motion ‘normally’ proceeds anti-clockwise round the key clock), and with several value-laden and often misleading terms like ‘tonality’, ‘modality’, ‘dominant’, ‘subdominant’, ‘suspension’ and ‘perfect cadence’. Of course, those notions can work well if you want to examine the tonality of Mozart quartets, parlour song, Schlager or jazz standards, but they can be serious epistemic obstacles when dealing with La Bamba, Sweet Home Alabama, blues-based rock, folk rock, post-bop jazz, news jingles, Huayno, rebetiki, son, or a twelve-bar blues.

New terms and compromise

I’ve tried to include as much as possible of useful pre-existing ideas when addressing the problems just mentioned, for example Carlos Vega’s concept of bimodality (1944), Allan Moore’s useful lists of harmonic departures in rock and pop (1992), Esa Lilja’s theory of power chords (2009), etc. Even so, I’ve had to introduce home-grown terms and ideas in efforts to make some theoretical sense of my ‘everyday tonality’. Those efforts inevitably led to neologisms like tertial (as opposed to quartal), counterpoise (tonal counterweight to a given tonic) and bimodal reversibility (tonal sequences in one mode which, when reversed, become sequences in another mode). All such terms, including those covered in Music’s Meanings (e.g. anaphone, genre synecdoche, episodic marker, diataxis, syncrisis, extensional, intensional and the extended present; see Tagg, 2013) are explained at relevant points in this book and/or given a short definition in its Glossary.

Despite valiant attempts to fuse useful pre-existing ideas with my own observations, I regret that much remains to be done before a comprehensive theory of ‘everyday tonality’ can be produced. Readers are therefore asked to take this book as ‘work in progress’ that I hope others, reacting to its probable inconsistencies and definite lacunae, will be able to improve on.

Restriction of subject area

I’ve also had to restrict, for reasons of space and clarity, the tonal areas I deal with, especially concerning questions of harmony. I chose to omit discussion of medium- and long-term tonal narrative (diataxis) and to concentrate on harmonic processes containable within the extended present (syncrisis), more particularly on ‘one-chord changes’, chord shuttles (two chords) and chord loops (three or four). There are three other reasons for this focus on ‘now sound’. [1] Since these phenomena are, thanks to their alleged harmonic simplicity, unlikely to provoke much interest among conventionally trained musos, they’re in greater need of theorisation. [2] Since the same phenomena are widely diffused, their popularity may become less puzzling if they are viewed from a less conventional musicological angle. [3] Since shuttles and loops are phenomena relating to the extended present, they highlight short-term tonal processes less commonly studied in conventional music scholarship. Theorising these issues of intensional structuration (Chester 1970; Glossary p. 492) brings to light structural detail of importance in the understanding of ‘groove’ and in the identification of units of musical meaning (museme stacks; Glossary, p. 496).

Now, this sort of attention to intensional detail is, I believe, necessary but it does mean that I’ve not been able to pursue my main musicological interest (semiotic music analysis) because —and it’s a vicious circle— I think that better structural theory relevant to the issue needs to be developed. I admit lapsing into semiotic mode on several occasions but I’ve exercised some restraint and tried to focus otherwise on structural theory.

This focus means that I’ve been unable to consider in any detail longer durational units (matrices; see Glossary, p. 494) like the 12-bar blues, the 32-bar jazz standard, or even the 8- and 16-bar tonal units so common in popular music. I also had to abandon my original rash idea to include an overview of what is probably the most widely heard source of everyday tonality: film, TV and games music. Finally, I’ve not been able to include discussion of the conjunct-line tropes (Glossary, p. 483) at the basis of many popular chord sequences; I’m afraid I have to postpone that topic for another publication.

All these omissions are in my view regrettable and unsatisfactory but I hope readers will agree with 10cc (1975) that ‘4% of something’s better than 10% of nothing’.

Surprising discoveries

When rewriting this book I came across a lot of music I’d either never heard before or which I’d forgotten from way back when. Most of this music never made it into the book but it kept me busy and was always interesting. Here are some more personal surprises that may (or may not) be of interest.

• I found next to no systematic theory of hexatonic modes, even though the basically doh-hexatonic tune It’s Not Unusual (Tom Jones, 1965) is itself decidedly not unusual.

• Since Bartók is one of my favourite composers, I was delighted to find out how many celebrated jazz and prog musicians were also fans of his work.

• I was surprised to discover and saddened to realise how conservative jazz theory can be in its terminology, and how much it seems stuck in the time warp of bebop and II-V-I thinking.

• I was gobsmacked to discover how conservative, ethnocentric and notation-fixated music theory teaching can still be.

Overview of chapters

Chapter 1 (pp. 45-64). There is much confusion about very basic terms in music theory. Note, pitch and tone are three of them. This chapter discusses and defines those terms. Extra attention is paid to cleaning up the conceptual chaos of the words tonal and tonality as they are used in conventional Western music theory.

Chapter 2 (pp. 65-84) continues with notions of pitch, focussing on questions of tuning and the octave. This chapter is the most acoustic-physics-orientated of them all and provides a theoretical basis for understanding how tones (as in ‘tonality’) work.

Chapter 3 —Heptatonic modes (pp. 85-149)— is the first of two about the mainly melodic aspect of modes. It starts with a definition of mode, raises the issue of ionianisation, critiques conventional notions of modality and explains why 7 is such a ‘magic number’ in modal theory. The first half of the chapter is then entirely devoted to the heptatonic ‘church’ modes and includes numerous music examples, as well as a critique of the major-minor ‘happy-sad’ dualism. The second half deals with non-diatonic heptatonic modes, in particular those containing flat two and/or an augmented second. Some rudiments of maqam theory, including the theoretical centrality of tetrachords, are presented as useful tools in the understanding of modal richness outside the euroclassical, jazz and related repertoires. There is particular focus on the phrygian and Hijaz modes in flamenco and Balkan music, as well as on ‘Bartók’ modes, including the lydian flat seven and its similarity to blues modes. The chapter concludes with a 14-point summary and a short ‘what-if?’ thought experiment.

Chapter 4 (pp. 151-178) is about Non-heptatonic modes. After a short section on tri- and tetratonic melody, the widespread practice of pentatonicism, especially its anhemitonic variants, is discussed in some detail. This section also explains the workings of the doh- and la-pentatonic blues modes. A systematic theory of tonical hexatonic modes comes next, followed by an overview of non-tonical hexatonic modes (whole-tone and octatonic). The chapter ends with reflexions on the perception of modes.

Chapter 5 (pp. 179-203) is on melody. After an exposition of its defining characteristics, melody is presented according to two typologies, one based on contour (patterns of up and down), the other on connotation. Melodic identity is discussed in terms of tonal vocabulary, bodily movement, spoken language, varying patterns of repetition and, using concepts from rhetoric, its varying modes of presentation. The chapter ends with brief section on melisma.

Chapter 6 (pp. 205-217) is a short chapter on Polyphony. It starts by trying to clear up the conceptual mess in conventional Western music theory about what polyphony actually means. After that, various categories of polyphony are defined and explained, including drone-accompanied music, heterophony, homophony and counterpoint.

Chapter 7 (pp. 219-244) is called ‘Chords’. After the customary definition section, this chapter enumerates, describes and explains how a wide variety of tertial chords can be referred to in two complementary and useful ways: roman numeral designation and lead-sheet chord shorthand. The chapter includes several extensive tables, including: [1] a table of all roman-numeral triads in all ‘church’ modes; [2] a chord recognition chart and a key to over fifty lead-sheet chords, all with the same root note. The principles of both roman-numeral and lead-sheet chord designation are explained in detail, complete with anomalies and exceptions.

Chapter 8 (pp. 245-271) is the first of several on harmony. A brief definition and history of the concept is followed by a presentation of (European) ‘classical harmony’. After tidying up another conceptual mess relating to notions like ‘functional’ and ‘triadic’, the essential term tertial is introduced. The basic rules and mechanisms of classical harmony, central to many popular styles, are also presented. Furthermore, the chapter addresses notions of harmonic directionality, as well as the principles of the circle of fifths or ‘key clock’.

Chapter 9 (pp. 273-292) is about non-classical tertial harmony, i.e. third-based harmony that does not follow the euroclassical harmony rule book. After a discussion of non-classical ionian harmony, it explains things like the importance of major common triads in establishing the identity of the ‘church modes’, the option of permanent Picardy thirds in the tonic triad of minor-key modes, and the link between la-pentatonics and dorian rock harmony. There’s also a useful chart of typical progressions in each mode and of some well-known recordings in which they occur.

Chapter 10 (pp. 293-351) is devoted entirely to quartal harmony. After initial definitions it sets out the basics of quartal triads, how they can be designated and how they differ from tertial triads. The notion of tonical neighbourhood is introduced as a way of understanding the fluid tonal centrality of quartal harmony and how that fluidity can be used to generate harmonic movement. The blurring of borders between quartal and tertial harmony as more fourths are added to quartal chords is used as a way of understanding chords of the eleventh and their importance in North American music. Distinction is made between quartal harmony and the quartal voicings of postwar jazz. Numerous examples illustrate instances of quartal everyday tonality, from Bartók to banjo tuning, from Debussy to Stravinsky to corporate jingles, from McCoy Tyner to Joni Mitchell and King Crimson, etc. The chapter ends with demonstrations of the link between droned accompaniment patterns and quartal harmony, plus an 18-point summary of the chapter’s main ideas.

Chapter 11 (pp. 353-369) is called One-chord changes because it shows how one single chord is, in many types of popular music, rarely just one chord. After refuting prejudices about harmonic impoverishment in popular music and describing the theoretical rudiments of the extended present, one single common chord —G major— is examined in sixteen different popular recordings and found to consist of between two and four chords on each occasion. I argue that the tonal elaboration of ‘single’ chords is an intrinsic part of the musician’s aural work and essential to the ‘groove’ identifying both a particular piece and a particular style.

Chapter 12 —‘Chord shuttles’ (pp. 371-400)— increases the number of chords from one to two. Drawing mainly on English-language popular song, a typology of chord shuttles is presented (supertonic, dorian, plagal, quintal, submediantal, aeolian and subtonic). Examination of shuttles in several songs, including a track from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and the Human League hit Don’t You Want Me Baby (1981), shows that chord shuttles often involve ambiguous tonics and that no overriding keynotes can be established. I argue that chord shuttles are dynamic ongoing tonal states, not narrative processes. They are by definition non-transitional and constitute building blocks in the harmonic construction of diataxis in many types of popular song.

Chapter 13 — Chord loops 1 (pp. 401-420)— expands the number of chords from two to three and four. After defining loop, the vamp, one of the most famous loops in anglophone popular song, is examined. Distinction is made between loop and turnaround. The chapter ends with an explanation of the gradual but radical historical shift from the vamp’s V-I directionality to other, less ionian, types of harmony in rock-, soul- and folk-influenced styles.

Chapter 14 — Chord loops and bimodality (pp. 421-450)— attacks the problem of understanding how non-classical tertial harmony works, with how the same chord sequence can be heard in two different modes, etc. Starting with distinction and confusion between ionian and mixolydian, this chapter sets out ways of establishing, where relevant, a single tonic for particular sequences, the role of individual chords within loops, etc. It then examines aeolian and phrygian loops, and proposes a model of bimodal reversibility in efforts to conceptualise harmonic practices quite foreign to what is generally taught to music theory students. The chapter’s final section distinguishes between various mediantal loops like the ‘rock dorian’, the ‘folk dorian’, the ‘narrative ionian mediantal’.

Chapter 15 —The Yes We Can chords (pp. 451-478)— focuses on the chord loop used in the online video supporting Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. It discusses the connotative value of the loop and its contribution to creating the sort of cross-cultural unity that the Obama campaign wanted to forge. The main point is that analysing music’s tonal parameters should not be an arcane technical exercise foisted on music students but instead a contribution to answering the basic question of music semiotics: ‘why and how does who communicate what to whom and with what effect?’.



The Glossary (pp. 479-504) includes explanations of abbreviations and definitions of terms whose meaning may need clarification. The definitions often refer to pages in the main text for a more detailed explanation. It also contains a few substantial entries that should have been footnotes but did not fit on the relevant page.

Reference appendix

To save space and to avoid confusion about which appendix to consult when checking source references, this book has only one reference appendix (p. 505, ff). Reasons for including ‘everything’ in one appendix are given in Guidelines for Producing a Reference Appendix for Studies of Music in the 21st Century (G tagg.org/xpdfs/RefAppxs.pdf). That document also explains the referencing system used in this book.

Internet references

To save space in the Reference Appendix and footnotes, URLs are shortened by replacing the internet address prefixes http://, https://, http://www. etc. with the download icon G. Dates of access to internet sites are six-digit strings inside square brackets. Thus, ‘G tagg.org [140704]’ means a visit to http://www.tagg.org on the 4th of July, 2014.

YouTube references are reduced in length from 42 to 13 characters by using the 11-character code appearing in their absolute URL addresses, preceded by the YouTube icon E. For example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch-v=msM28q6MyfY (42 chars.)

becomes just ‘ E msM28q6MyfY’.

Index section

The index section consists of: [1] an alphabetical index (p. 561); [2] numerical indexes listing: [a] scale-degree sequences (‘$Ê Â’, ‘î $ê $â Û’, etc., p. 595); [b] chord abbreviations (e.g. ‘Á’, ‘m7L5’, p. 598); [c] chord sequences (‘I-vi-ii/IV-V’, ‘$VII-IV-I’, etc., p. 599). The alphabetical index gives page references to all proper names appearing in the book, and to titles of musical works, songs, tracks, albums, films, TV productions, etc. It also includes page references to all major topics and concepts covered in the book’s preface, chapters and glossary. Footnote text is also included in the indexes. Symbols used in the indexes are explained on page 561.

Formal and practical

Cross-referencing and order of topics

Some parts of this book are based on encyclopedia articles. This means that insights readers might gain from some parts of this book are more likely to derive from conceptual rather than perceptual learning. That in its turn requires quick access to the meaning of terms other than those under current discussion. That’s one reason why this book includes many cross-references.

Another reason is that it’s impossible to introduce all terms and ideas in the right order for all readers. For example, although roman-numeral chord shorthand makes a short appearance on pages 36 and 72, it isn’t fully explained until page 220, in the chapter on chords. That will cause no problems for familiar with the rudiments of conventional harmony but others may want to read pages 220-225 and to consult Table 14 (p. 222) before they go on. Similarly, readers with no knowledge of lead-sheet chord shorthand (E7, F#m7L5 etc.) should perhaps read the relevant section (pp. 229-244) if they have trouble following those symbols earlier in the book.

Musical source references

Reference system

Musical source references follow the same basic system as bibliographical source references. For example, ‘Beatles (1967b)’ refers uniquely to publishing details, located on page 510 in the Reference Appendix, for the Sergeant Pepper album.

Sometimes it’s necessary to refer to a whole string of tunes in the text. For example, instead of writing ‘in tunes like Jingle Bells (Pierpoint, 1857), La Marseillaise (Rouget de Lisle, n.d.) and Satisfaction (Rolling Stones, 1965)’, I would tend to lighten up the text by just writing ‘in tunes like Jingle Bells, the Marseillaise and Satisfaction’. In such cases the title of each tune will be found, listed in alphabetical order, in the Reference Appendix, either complete or with at least cross-reference to the complete publishing details elsewhere in the appendix. Complete publishing details are provided so that readers will know, in cases where more than one recording exists of the same work, to which version I am referring. Such information is important when I provide timings pinpointing musical events within recorded works.

Accessing and using musical sources

Online recordings

The majority of musical works referred to have at one time or another been published as recordings. In the early 1990s it would have been absurd to expect readers to have access to more than a very small proportion of those recordings. In 2014, however, it is usually a simple matter. Fearing prosecution for inducement to illegal acts, I can’t be more precise here than to say that you can hear online recordings of the majority of music I refer to in this book. For example, using Google to search for |Police "Don’t Stand So Close To Me"| (with the inverted commas) produced 3,180,000 hyperlinks [2014-08-05], several of which took me to actual online recordings of the original issue of Don’t Stand So Close To Me (Police, 1980). Using the on-screen digital timer provided by the site hosting the recording, I was able to pinpoint the song’s change from the E$\Gm to the D\A shuttle at 1:48. The whole process of checking a precise musical event in just one of innumerable songs took me a few seconds. Of course, it should be remembered that while it is not illegal to listen to music posted on the internet, downloading copyrighted music without payment or permission may well be.

I’ve checked many of the recordings referred to in the book to see if they could be heard online. Some I didn’t check at all because I’m certain they’d be easy to find but others I had to put online myself. These ‘others’ include: [1] short extracts from recordings under copyright that seemed to be unavailable on line; [2] rudimentary audio recordings I produced using my own equipment to illustrate particular points discussed in the text. All these ‘other examples’ can be accessed via my website at G |tagg.org|. Click Audio, bottom right under ‘Audiovisual’, then Music examples in “Everyday Tonality”. Then you’ll see a list of the relevant audio examples on my site. Click on the relevant title to hear the example you need (mostly in mp3 format, a few as midi files). If you object to any posting on grounds of copyright ownership, please contact me and I will remove the offending item or contact my lawyer for advice.

Online notation

In order to minimise hard-copy production costs, music examples appear in pocket-score size on the page. The image resolution of notation images is mostly 300 d.p.i and the maximum width of the printed page is 10.3 cm, allowing for an image width of 1220 pixels. Some readers may find the miniature-score format problematic. If so, almost every music example in this book can be viewed at, or downloaded full-size from, G tagg.org/pix/MusExx/MusExxIdx.htm. If you’re reading this electronically you can of course just use your device’s zoom function to make the notation larger.

‘Cit. mem.’

Some notated music examples are marked ‘cit. mem.’, meaning that they are cited from (my) memory. I use cit. mem. if no single definitive, authoritative or original recording of the piece exists, and if my own memory does not diverge too radically from the essence of how others hear it.

Tonal denotation

As mentioned briefly on page 16, the ‘everyday tonality’ of this book covers a much wider range of tonal practices than those normally considered in standard Western music theory. The problem is that terms and concepts developed to denote and explain the tonal workings of the euroclassical repertoire cannot realistically be expected to do the same for all other types of tonality. To claim otherwise would be like insisting that concepts developed to explain rules of the English language automatically apply to, say, Chinese or Finnish. The obvious consequence for this book is that conventions of tonal denotation cannot only be those of standard Western music theory. It means that some of that theory’s terminology needs adaptation or redefinition, while some is best avoided altogether. It also means that I have to introduce terms and abbreviations unfamiliar to those raised on Schenker or Riemann. This section of the Preface does little more than summarise, with minimal discussion, the basic conventions of tonal denotation and abbreviation in this book.

Note names

To distinguish between, for example, E as the note E, E as lead-sheet chord shorthand for a tertial major triad with the note E as its root, and E as the key or mode in which the note E is tonic, the following typographical conventions are used. For extra clarity a natural sign (@) is sometimes added after a note name, e.g. ‘a@, f@, b@’ instead of just ‘a, f, b’.

Table 1. Basic typographical conventions for pitch-specific note and chord names

Denotation type Symbol Typography Example

note e lower-case sans-serif e is a major third above c

lead-sheet chord E upper-case sans-serif … from B7 to E…

key (Tonart) E upper-case serif …is a V-I cadence in E.

Names of open strings are given according to instrumental convention, e.g. EADGBE for standard guitar tuning and DADGAD for DADGAD, g'dgbd' for banjo open G tuning, etc.

Please note that tonic sol-fa note names (doh ré mi fa sol la ti) are, according to anglophone convention, always relative or movable, e.g. ‘Doh=B$’, ‘Doh=E’, ‘ré-pentatonic mode in G’. Roman-letter note names (e.g. a b$ b@ c# d e f# g) designate pitch in absolute (fixed) terms. For further explanation see p. 45, ff.

Scale degrees, scale steps and intervals

When dealing with tonality inside and outside the euroclassical sphere of tertial-ionian, major-minor music, comparison of tonal vocabulary is an absolute necessity. Such comparison involves reasoning based on the placement of scale degrees within the octave, which, in its turn, requires a concise way of referring relatively to notes and chords. (See also Intervals, p. 34 and Table 5, p. 70).

As shown in the left column of Table 2 (p. 33), the heptatonic scale degrees of individual notes can be expressed as simple arabic numerals topped with a circumflex accent —Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê [î=Â]. Scale-degree numbering requires the identification of a tonic (keynote) as scale degree 1 (Â). Since pitch differences between  and the other six scale degrees (Ê Î Ô Û â ê) are variable (see Table 2, p. 33; Fig. 16, p. 97), scale degree numbering follows the following conventions (§§ 1-9).

[1] To save space and to avoid confusing readers reared on an ionian diet, circumflexed numerals without prefix will principally designate scale degrees peculiar to the ionian mode. In this way Ê, Î, â and ê designate the ionian mode’s major second, third, sixth and seventh respectively, Ô and Û the perfect fourth and fifth; e.g. Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê in C = c d e f g a b, in A = a b c# d e f# g# (both ionian). Divergence from this default ionian-mode principle is indicated by the appropriate accidental prefix —$, W, #, K (§§ 2-4; see also §5, p. 33).

[2] ‘$’ precedes scale degrees pitched a semitone lower than their ionian default value (§1). $Ê (‘flat two’), $Î (‘flat three’), $â (‘flat six’) and $ê (‘flat seven’) designate a minor second, third, sixth and seventh respectively, e.g. Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê in C = c d e$ f g a$ b$, in A = a b c d e f g (both aeolian). ‘$Û’ (‘flat five’) designates a diminished fifth, e.g. $Û Ô $Î Â = g$ f e$ c in C (blues pentatonic (pp. 161-163)).

[3] ‘W’ indicates that the designated scale degree is pitched one quarter tone below the default ionian value, as in ‘neutral’ renderings of the blues third (§Î), or as in maqam Rast (ascends Â Ê §Î Ô Û §â §ê).

[4] ‘#’ qualifies only augmented-interval scale-degree numbers, for example, in C, #Ê = d#, #Ô = f#, #Û = g#.

Table 2. Scale degree abbreviations with c and e[@] as tonic (Â).


nº Â=c Â=e Â=c Â=e Â=c Â=e ñ as spoken ñ


note name nº MAJOR nº MINOR

Ê (= ^Ê)

#Ê d$


d# f@


f! $II



F# $ii

ii C#m

Dm Fm

F#m ‘flat two’

‘[major] two’

‘sharp two’

Î (= ^Î) e$

e@ g@

g# $III



G $iii

iii E$m

Em Gm

G#m ‘flat three’

‘[major] three’


#Ô f

f# a

a# IV


F# A

B$ iv

#iv Fm

F#m Am

B$m ‘four’

‘sharp four’

Û (= ^Û)

#5 g$


g# b$


b# $V

V G$

G B$

B $iv

v F#m

Gm B$m

Bm ‘flat five’


´sharp five’

â (= ^â) a$

a@ c@

c# $VI



C# $vi

vi A$m

Am Cm

C#m ‘flat six’

‘[major] six’

ê (= ^ê) b$

b@ d@

d# $VII



D# $vii

vii B$m

Bm Dm

D#m ‘flat seven’

‘major seven’

[5] The simple circumflexed numeral without prefix (e.g. ‘Î’) occasionally refers not to a specifically ionian scale degree but to a generic heptatonic scale degree; e.g. a ‘Î’ that could be Î, $Î, WÎ or #Î. To avoid confusion in such instances, specifically ionian-mode scale degrees (§1) are preceded by the facultative major-interval prefix ‘K’. In these cases ^Ê, ^Î, ^â and ^ê are clarificatory alternative shorthand for ionian Ê, Î, â and ê (e.g. d@ e@ a@ b@ in C).

[6] If preceded by the expression ‘scale degree’, or if the context is otherwise unambiguous, the scale degree[s] in question may lack the circumflex. ‘Scale degrees 1 $2 ^3’ (e.g. c d$ e@ in Hijaz C) is in other words the same as just ‘Â $Ê ^Î’. The latter is simply shorter.

[7] Since scale degrees 1, 2, 4 and 5 (Â Ê Ô Û: the tonic, the major second, perfect fourth and perfect fifth) are those least prone to alteration in the tonal traditions covered in this book, they are, as a rule, preceded by an accidental only if the relevant scale degree diverges from those default values, for example $Ê (‘flat two’) for the Hijaz minor second, #Ô (‘sharp four’) for the lydian augmented fourth, $Û (‘flat five’) for the diminished fifth occurring in the otherwise basically la-pentatonic (‘minor’) blues mode.

[8] The properties of scale degrees 3, 6 and 7 vary much more frequently than those of Ê, Ô and Û. That’s why Î, â and ê are more likely to be prefixed by an accidental ($Î, $â and $ê are very common) and why you are more likely to see ^ specifying Î, â and ê as clarificatory ionian major-interval scale degrees ^Î, ^â and ^ê.

[9] Like ‘#Û’, the augmented fifth, the rare augmented third and sixth are preceded by ‘#’. For example, an a# (not b$) in F would be ‘#Î’, thus allowing for distinction between Â Ê #3 #Ô Û (f g a# b@ c in F) and Â Ê Î #Ô Û (f g a@ b@ c in lydian F).

Scale steps, the intervals between adjacent scalar notes in a mode, are expressed in tones: ‘¼’ means a quarter-tone, ‘½’ a semitone, ‘¾’ three quarters of a tone, ‘1’ a whole tone (literally 1 tone), and either ‘1½’ —one-and-a-half tones— or ‘¥’ —three semitones—, i.e. an augmented second or minor third.

Intervals (differences of pitch), are mainly designated as ordinals, qualified where necessary, for example second, third, minor third, augmented fourth, diminished fifth, octave. Intervals and scale degrees specific to the euroclassical and related tonal idioms are sometimes referred to using the vocabulary of conventional Western music theory (supertonic, mediant, etc.). Those labels and their equivalents as numeric scale degrees are set out in Table 5 on page 70.

Octave designation and register

When referring to register it is sometimes necessary to indicate in which octave notes are pitched. In such cases I’ve used the MIDI convention of numbering octaves from a0 at the bottom of an 88-note piano keyboard (27.5 Hz) to cw (4186 Hz) (see p. 68, ff.). Octave numerals are subscripted to avoid confusion with the superscripted characters used in chord shorthand, footnote flags, etc.).

Scale degree chord shorthand

Scale degree chord shorthand (roman numerals) follows principles similar to those used for scale degrees (p. 32, ff.). As will become evident, concepts like ‘dominant’, ‘subdominant’, ‘perfect cadence’, ‘functional harmony’, etc. are irrelevant to much of what most people hear on a daily basis. That’s why Salzer’s euroclassically focussed Structural Hearing (1952) is absent from this book. Nor are readers forced to endure hieroglyphics like ‘Sp’, ‘Dp’ or ‘DDY9’. Nevertheless, the roman-numeral denotation of chords is used extensively (see Table 2, p. 33 and §3, below).


Three systems are used for the concise denotation of chords: [1] lead-sheet shorthand, [2] quartal chord designation and [3] the roman numeral system.

1. Lead-sheet chord shorthand

A lead sheet is a piece of paper displaying the basic information necessary for performance of a piece of popular music (see pp. 229-230). Lead-sheet chord shorthand is the system of chord symbols used on lead sheets. Lead-sheet chord shorthand for tertial harmony (A, Bm7$5, E$m^9, etc.) is explained in detail in Chapter 7 (pp. 229-244) and presented in tabular form on pages 232-233.

All chord symbol root names are in sans-serif capitals while names of keys (tonalité, Tonart) are, as shown in Table 1 (p. 31), in upper-case serif, for example, [1] ‘Mozart’s Symphony nº 41 is in C: its final chord is C’; [2] ‘the vocal line of Steeleye Span’s 1970 recording of The Lowlands Of Holland (ex. 84, p. 157) is in la-hexatonic C#: its final chord is C#2’.

2. Quartal chord designation symbols

Quartal chord designation symbols (CÁ, F4, B$2, etc.) are explained separately in Chapter 10 (p. 294, ff; p. 302, ff.).

3. Roman-numeral chord shorthand

The roman-numeral chord shorthand system is explained in Chapter 7 (pp. 220-225) and set out in Table 14 (p. 223). A ‘HEWN-IN-STONE’ font is used to make these chord symbols easier to spot in the text, even if there’s not much difference between ‘I’ (me) and ‘I’ (roman nº 1).

Unlike lead-sheet chord shorthand, but like scale-degree abbreviations, roman-numeral chord designation is relative, in that each roman number designates, in any key or mode, the scale degree on which the chord is built (see Table 2, p. 33). The superscripted arabic numerals indicate alterations to the basic tertial triad built on that scale degree, e.g. I, iiéíÚ, $III5, IVå, Vä, V7, $VI.

• Lower-case roman numbers indicate a minor common triad. For example, ii in C, as a minor triad based on the second degree (on Ê), is a D minor triad (‘Dm’, containing d-f-a).

• Upper-case roman numerals indicate either a major common triad or a power chord. For example, V in C, as a major triad on Û, is a simple ‘G’, containing g-b@-d, while, still with C as tonic, $III5, as a chord based on the flat third scale degree ($Î), is the dyad E$5, containing e$ and b$.

• I, ii, iii, etc. designate chords on the scale-degree positions of Western music theory’s default mode —the ionian.

• Chords based on any scale degree other than those intrinsic to the ionian mode must be preceded by the requisite accidental, most commonly ‘$’, for example $VI-$VII-I/i (aeolian cadence) or $II-I/i (or $vii-I/i) (phrygian cadence).

An aside about the ionian as default mode

Euroclassical music theory’s preoccupation with the ionian is historically explicable but hardly logical. Taking the seven white notes of a piano keyboard octave —c d e f g a b— and re-arranging them in clockwise order round the circle of fifths —f c g d a e b—, it’s clear that the two extremes are separated inside the octave by a tritone (f@-b@) and, more importantly, that c is situated next to the left-hand extreme (f c g d a e b), not in the central position occupied by d (f c g d a e b). With the dorian D-mode as default for the scale-degree and roman-numeral shorthand systems, there would have been three modes sharpwards (aeolian, phrygian, locrian) and three flatwards (mixolydian, ionian, lydian); and the assignment of apposite accidentals would have been more equitable.

Music examples (notated)

This book contains hundreds of notated music examples and figures containing musical notation. As explained earlier, many music examples cited as notation in this book can also be both heard as audio and viewed in better resolution on line (see p. 29).

I’m not a guitarist. Sometimes I transcribe as a typical keyboard player. I apologise if my voicings of guitar chords are wrong. However, guitarists Diego García Peinazo, Jacopo Conti and Franco Fabbri have helped with the transcription of several guitar-based examples.

8va and 15ma bassa

The tenor clef, familiar to guitarists, is a G clef (Ç) with an ‘8’ underneath. It’s used frequently in music examples covering the mid register. The idea is to save space, cut down on leger lines, and to avoid switching between G and F clefs. Please look for the little ‘8’ (8va bassa = octave below): the two notes shown in Figure 1 sound at exactly the same pitch. On a few occasions ‘15ma bassa’ is used to indicate notes sounded two octaves lower.

Progressions and sections

Note names or chord designations occurring in sequence are usually separated by hyphens or by a simple space (e.g. ‘d g f# a’ or ‘d-g-f#-a’; ‘C Am F G’ or ‘D-Bm-G-A’; ‘I vi ii V’ or ‘I-vi-IV-V’).

To highlight the unidirectional aspect of tonal progressions, a right-pointing arrow is sometimes used, e.g. ‘ii?V?I’, ‘Gm7?C7?F’. A chord shuttle (oscillation between two chords) is indicated by a double-headed arrow, e.g. ‘i\IV’, ‘Gm7\C’. Chord loops —short repeated sequences of usually three or four chords— are delimited by arrows turning through 180° before and after the relevant sequence, e.g. ‘{I-vi-IV-V}’, ‘{F-Dm-B$-C}’.

Diagonal arrows are used to indicate pitch direction, e.g. the descending character of an Andalusian cadence iv>$III>$II>I. They are also used to distinguish between intervallic leaps like c@>e (a falling minor sixth) and c-e (a rising major third).

Confusion can arise between capital letters indicating key (Tonart) and those acting as label for a section in the music under discussion; for example, ‘A is in B and B in A in this AABA tune by Abba’. As a general rule I put musical section letters in italics between single quotes (e.g. “the ‘A’ section in [the key of] A” [roman, no quotes]), or refer to it as ‘V’ (for verse), or ‘R’ for refrain, etc.

Language and typography


A phonetic font is occasionally used to suggest the UK pronunciation of words according to the symbols shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Phonetic symbols for ‘BBC English’

A: ah!, harp, bath, laugh, half O hot, what, want, Australia

Q hat, cat, map, Africa o: or, oar, awe, war, all, taught, ought

aI eye, I, my, fine, high, hi-fi OI boy, coil, Deutschland

aU down, about, Bauhaus, cow, now (not know [n9U]),

plough (cf. o: and 9U) ( about, killer, tutor, nation, currant, current, colour, fuel, little, liar, lyre, future, India, confer, persist, adapt

D the, that, breathe, clothes, although, weather (cf. T) (: circumspect, fern, fir, fur, learn,

dZ jazz, John, gin, footage, bridge, Fiji, Django (cf. Z) (U no, know, toe, toad, cold, low, although, (cf. aU, o:)

E help, better, measure, leisure S shirt, station, Sean, champagne, Niš

E:0 air, bear, bare, there, they’re tS church, cello, future, Czech, háček

EI date, day, wait, station, email, patient, hey! T think, throw, nothing, cloth (cf. D)

I it, fit, minute, pretend Y but, luck, won, colour

i: sees, seas, seize, Fiji, email u: food, cool, rule, rude, through, threw

I:0 hear, here, beer, pier U foot, look, bush, put

j yes, use, Europe, Göteborg, [jPtE!bOrj], Jaroslav[!jarOslAv] ju: use, few, future, new music, tune, queue [kju:]

N singing, synchronise, think, gong, incredible, Z genre [!ZA:nr0], vision, measure, João, montage, Rózsa, Zhivago, Žižek

! = start of stressed syllable ù = long vowel

Spelling and punctuation

Spelling generally follows the in-house style of the Cambridge University Press journal Popular Music, for example realise, advertisement, organisation, colour, travelled, focussing, centre, programme, etc. (not realize, color, traveler, center, etc.).

Default quotes are single ‘like this’, while quotes within quotes are double, ‘I mean “like this” inside this’.

Capitals and italics

CAPITALS are in general used according to the norms set out in section 6.9 of Assignment and Dissertation Tips (Tagg, 2001).

Mode names

In written English, distinction is made between Roman, which means relating to Rome or its inhabitants, and roman, which does not, as in ‘roman font’ or ‘roman letters’. It also applies to the difference between Lydian, meaning relative to the province or people of Lydia, and lydian, as in the ‘lydian mode’, as well as to the distinction between Phrygian and phrygian, Dorian and dorian, etc. Since those cultures and ethnic identities are long gone, the modes named after them have for many centuries been a mere convention bearing no relation to the peoples whose names they once bore. That’s why ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian and locrian start with a lower-case letter when qualifying modes. Other mode names like Gypsy, Kurd and Hijaz do relate to existing places, peoples or cultures and are spelt with an initial capital.

Small capitals

Small capitals are used for four purposes, the first three of which occur in the main body of text, the first of those deriving from their usage in Lakoff and Johnson (1979).

[1] To save space and to avoid having to insert hyphens and inverted commas when introducing a short string of words, often used adjectivally, to denote an integral concept, for example: The music is music myth lives on in the jazz conservatoire.

[2] To highlight an important term, especially when it’s introduced for the first time.

[3] To save page space with frequently recurring capital-letter abbreviations, e.g. dvd and midi instead of DVD and MIDI.

[4] To facilitate quicker identification of alphabetically ordered entries in the Reference Appendix.


Italics are in general used according to the norms set out in section 6.10 of Assignment and Dissertation Tips (Tagg, 2001).

Other practicalities


Abbreviations are explained in the Glossary (p. 479, ff.).

Timings and durations

Most recordings exist in digital form and digital playback equipment includes real-time display. That’s why the exact indication of musical events is mainly presented in terms of timecode location. With ‘0:00’ indicating the start of the recording in question, ‘0:56’ means at a point 56 seconds after 0:00. Durations are expressed in the same form, e.g. ‘4:33’ meaning 4 minutes and 33 seconds.


The software used to produce this book, Adobe FrameMaker v8.0, has one irritating bug: if there isn’t enough room at the bottom of the page for the complete text of a footnote, the software puts the entire footnote text at the bottom of the following page, rather than starting the footnote text at the bottom of the correct page and continuing it on the next one. Therefore, if there is no text at the bottom of the page on which a footnote flag number occurs in the main body of text, do not be alarmed. The complete footnote text will appear at the bottom of the next page.

Occasionally the same footnote number occurs twice in succession, like this.31 That is intentional. Both refer to the same footnote.


I have been asked about the fonts I use in my writings. I compile them from various sources. They can be downloaded for free. Go to G tagg.org/zmisc/FontKeys.html and look under ‘Four useful home-compiled fonts’. The fonts include such characters as ! @ # $ & ¡ ¢ £ W ¼ ½ , etc., V s h l v z x i j k K I _ ; Z X L , etc., Ò Ó {} [ ] - > ? \ - > - - Ñ ñ ÀàÆæ Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê î ô, etc., % ^ M * J S U T O P Y y 1 ¹ o 2 É p È 3 Í q Ì L l H h N n, etc., Á Ã Ö þ ÿ À Ä q w r ß ä å Y Q ç æ ë õ ö Ë Õ Ü ã etc., 0 E D V G R r P p F f g H h l C c v b m > Y iy ● ▪ etc. You’ll also find a phonetic font [f9U!nEtIk] (used in 3, p. 39), as well as both a Cyrillic (Кириллица) and a Greek polytonic keyboard (ὁ ῥυθμός, ἡ ἁρμονἰα, ἡ ᾠδή, ἡ μελογρᾰφία) plus instructions for producing simplified Chinese characters, e.g.中国音乐通. You can also type Dvořák (real Czech name) rather than ‘Dvorak’ (anglocentric), leçon (decent) rather than ‘lecon’ (obscene), Ångström (real Swedish name) instead of ‘Angstrom’ (anglocentric), etc.


I’d like to thank Franco Fabbri (Milano) for having persuaded me to start on this book and for encouraging me in my struggle with it. He has helped on several occasions in preparing this edition with his guitar-playing skills, his knowledge of Richard Thompson’s œuvre and with general advice about what and what not to include. He and Bob Davis (Leeds) have been my main ‘go-to’ people whenever I got stuck or felt unsure if I was on the right track. I’m also indebted to Kaire Maimets-Volt (Tartu) for her critical reading of this edition, for her corrections and constructive suggestions, as well as for encouragement and moral support.

Next I would also like to thank people in Montréal who took time to discuss ideas for the first edition — Simon Bertrand, Dylan Kell-Kirkman, François de Médicis, Alison Notkin, Nic Thompson and Danick Trottier, not to mention my neighbour Mme Ouellet. Thanks also to Bob Clarida (New York) for musicological input and free legal advice; to Allan Moore (Guildford) for his Patterns of Harmony (1992), Esa Lilja (Helsinki) for his Theory and Analysis of Classic Heavy Metal Harmony (2009) and for his input about chord and scale-degree designation; to Fernando Barrera (Granada), Jacopo Conti (Torino) and Diego García Peinazo (Córdoba & Oviedo) for their constructive suggestions and help with some of the guitar transcriptions; to all my popular music analysis students in Göteborg, Liverpool and Montréal who over the years asked the sort of questions that provoked attempts to explain many of the issues addressed in this book; and, posthumously, to my two Swedish mentors, Jan Ling and Margit Kronberg without whose encouragement and guidance I doubt I would ever have dared undertake a project like this. Thanks for input and feedback in preparing this second edition go also to Markus Heuger (Cologne), Laura Jordán (Montréal & Valparaíso), Aris Lanaridis (London), Chris McDonald (Cape Breton), David McGuinness (Glasgow), Simon McKerrell (Newcastle), Sue Miller (Cambridge), Sarha Moore (Sheffield), Greg Simon (Phoenix), and to others (not too many, I hope) who I’ve inexcusably omitted to mention…


FFBk01Tone.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:32

1. Note, pitch, tone

Many languages have no direct equivalent to the word music but no culture is without what we call ‘music’. In several European languages music, or its equivalent, seems to mean a form of interhuman communication based on non-verbal sound, a symbolic system often associated with other forms of communication like language, dance and drama. Since this book is about the tonal elements of everyday music and since tones are a particular subset of musical sounds, I’ll obviously need first to define tone and tonal but it’s difficult to do that without using two very basic musical terms: note and pitch.


When talking about music, note can mean three different things:

1. any single, minimal, discrete sound of finite duration in a piece of music;

2. such a sound with discernible fundamental pitch ( p. 61, ff.);

3. the duration, relative to the music’s underlying pulse (tempo), of any such sound, pitched or unpitched.

According to the third meaning, and as evidenced by German and North American nomenclature, note can be used to refer solely to the relative duration of a minimal musical sound event, for example ganze Note or ‘whole note’ (w , semibreve, ronde, etc.), Viertel or ‘quarter note’ (q, crotchet, noire, etc.). This use of note in the sense of ‘note value’ —and with value in this sense relating only to duration— is of marginal interest to the definition of tone, so let’s concentrate on the first two meanings of note.

Note in its musical sense originally referred to the scribal marking of a minimal element of articulation on the page, but the word has in English come to denote any discrete minimal sonic event in music without reference to lines, blobs or squiggles on paper. It is this meaning that is used in, for example, midi sequencing where a note is identified by such factors as: [i] the points at which a given sound event will start and end in a piece of music; [ii] the type of sound (timbre, volume, attack, envelope, decay) that will occur at that point in time; [iii] (if the note is pitched) the frequency at which the sound will be articulated.

Fig. 2. Sweet Home Alabama (intro extract): partial MIDI piano roll view

(Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974)

The horizontal aspect of Figure 1 shows some variation of note length in all parts except for the drumkit with its regular hi-hat, snare and kick drum hits. Little dots indicate not only those very brief events but also the very short anacrustic notes in the bass and piano parts. Small horizontal bars show the relative duration of normal-length notes. The pitch of each note is visualised vertically for all instruments except for the drumkit, each of whose constituent parts (hi-hat, snare, etc.) is assigned its own ‘pitch’ line with the bass drum at the bottom and cymbals plus hi-hat on top. Other encoded note information —volume, timbre, attack, envelope, decay, etc.— is not shown in MIDI piano roll screens.

According to this, the first and most important meaning of the term, a note is, as stated above, any single, discrete sound of finite duration within a musical continuum. It can have any timbre and it can be long, short, high, low, loud, soft, etc. However, although a note may theoretically have any duration, it is difficult to perceive as such if it sounds for less than about thirty milliseconds (y at q =120) or for more than about ten seconds (r s\s\s\s\s at q =120). This seems to be why certain types of ornamentation, which from a technical viewpoint involve more than one ‘note’, are generally perceived as single notes of a particular type (e.g. drum rolls, tremolandi, vibrati, fast trills), while extremely long notes are heard as pedals or drones. Similarly, every note played on a mandolin or twelve-string guitar consists strictly speaking of two ‘notes’ because each string pitch is doubled and because those two strings can never be in total unison. The same goes for several other instruments, including the French accordéon musette whose every note consists of two pitches very slightly out of tune with each other to create the instrument’s characteristic sound. In all these cases the strictly speaking two (or more) pitches to each note phenomenon is intrinsic to the identity of the sound as a single entity and should in general be regarded as just one note. In any case that’s how musicians tend to treat those sounds and that’s how listeners identify them. Still, it’s really the second meaning of note that relates most directly to the subject of this book: —a discrete sound of finite duration… with easily discernible fundamental pitch.


In acoustic terms, pitch is that aspect of a sound which is determined by the rate of vibrations producing it and which can be denoted in acoustic terms as a frequency, for example ‘440 cycles per second’ or ‘440 Hertz’. 440 Hz also happens to be standard concert pitch in the West and is situated four octaves above the bottom note on most pianos (a = 27.5 Hz) and three octaves below the instrument’s highest a (3520 Hz). Words like ‘above’, ‘below’, ‘top’ and ‘bottom’, not to mention the French and German words for musical pitch (hauteur and Tonhöhe), all indicate that our cultures conceptualise pitch on a vertical axis covering the range of low, medium and high frequency sounds that humans can hear. This metaphor of vertical placement —high-frequency sounds on top, low-frequency sounds down below— is so strong that we use terms like ‘high e’ to designate the guitar string situated lowest in playing position and ‘low e’ when referring to what is visually the top string when making music on the guitar. This anomaly suggests that synaesthesis may be more important than visual observation in our spatial conceptualisation of pitch. High pitch is in general much more likely to be associated with light in both the ‘not dark’ and ‘not heavy’ senses of the word, not least because small gusts of wind can scatter feathers, leaves, plastic bags and other small, light objects, blowing them up into the air —towards the sky, the clouds and the sun— whereas heavy objects tend be larger, more difficult to move and therefore more likely to stay down on the ground, which is understandably imagined as darker and heavier than air. Indeed, not only do large heavy objects tend to need lots of energy —a tornado or vast amounts of jet fuel, for example— to get them off the ground; their very weight and inertia makes them appear less volatile and less mobile, more likely to be understood as heavy, dark and massive rather than quick, light and small. Besides —and with apologies for the tautology— babies and small children have smaller bodies and vocal equipment producing ‘higher’, ‘lighter’ sounds than grown-ups. The process whereby male voices break and descend an octave or so at adolescence further reinforces the synaesthetic patterning just described, as does the fact that singers tend to use the head register to produce high notes, the chest register for low ones.

Moreover, you are much more likely to feel the vibrations of a loud bass instrument in the stomach whereas, for example, dissonant high-pitched sounds are often used in film music as a sort of sonic headache to accompany scenes of madness, relentless sunlight, etc. Whatever the reasons may be for spatially conceptualising pitch vertically rather than horizontally, it is clear that pitch, —low, medium or high— is, along with volume and timbre, an essential element allowing humans to distinguish between sounds, for example between a hi-hat and a big gong struck in the same way or between the top notes of a piccolo and the lowest ones played on alto flute played at the same volume with the same sort of attack for the same duration.

There’s an obvious problem at the end of the previous paragraph because the high or low pitch of flute notes is different from the high or low pitches of cymbals or gongs, even though the sound of a big gong contains a lot of low frequencies and the hi-hat sounds high. We’ll return to that contradiction at the start of the section Tone, tonal, tonality on page 51.

Tonal note names

It’s impossible to explain concepts of tone and tonality without referring to notes by name. There are two basic ways of referring to those ‘single, discrete sounds of finite duration and with easily discernible fundamental pitch’: absolute or fixed and relative or movable.

Fig. 3. Absolute (fixed) note names in English, French and German

Absolute note names in English and German occupy the first few letters of the alphabet. They usually designate notes of previously and unequivocally determined fundamental pitch, like the note a at 440 hz or c# at 554.37 hz. The Latin convention, exemplified by French names in Figure 3, and used in parts of Eastern Europe as well as throughout the Latin world, serves the same purpose but can cause confusion with the relative pitch names of tonic sol-fa used to designate types of tonal material like the heptatonic la (aeolian) and doh (ionian) modes shown in Figure 4. The point is that la-modes do not have to be in A (French La) any more than a doh-mode has to be in C (French Do), just because they are the two tonics on which those modes are constructed using only the white notes of a piano keyboard. For example, the lower half of Figure 4 shows la set to D (Ré) and doh to F (Fa). In fact, both modes can have any of the Western octave’s twelve tones as tonic (pp. 53, 93, ff.).

Fig. 4. Absolute and relative note designation

The problem with the Latin note-naming convention is in other words that it’s not instantly clear if, for example, la means La in absolute terms (e.g. a at 440 hz), or if it means la relatively, as in tonic sol-fa. If la is relative, it might be the note a as scale degree 6 (â) in C major, or as scale degree 1 (Â, the tonic) in A minor. La could also be f# (â) in A major or the tonic (Â) in F# minor. To avoid such confusion I’ll stick to the English-language note-naming convention of using the first seven letters of the alphabet for absolute designation and use the tonic-solfa mainly to refer relatively to mode types like ‘ré-pentatonic’ (p. 156), ‘doh-sol hexatonic’ (p. 169), etc. The arabic numerals in Figure 4 are entirely relative once an agreed pitch is established as tonic (Â). They simply express the seven basic scale degrees of any heptatonic mode, with the tonic as scale degree 1 (Â). The Northern Indian relative note names (sa ri ga ma pa dha ni) follow a similar principle to heptatonic scale-degree indications by number. Sa, like ‘one’, is always the keynote or tonic (Â), pa always the fifth degree (Û, ‘five’), whether or not the tonal material sounds to a Westerner like a minor (la), major (doh) or thirdless mode and no matter which fundamental frequency is assigned to doh or sa.

Tone, tonal, tonality

On page 49 I raised the issue of difference between notions of pitch applied to the flute and those applied to the high pitch of a hi-hat and to the low pitch of a large gong. The difference is of course that flute notes, high or low, almost always have one clearly discernible fundamental pitch while, for example, hi-hat, snare drum and gong notes do not. It is this factor of discernible fundamental pitch that determines whether the note in question is a tone rather than just a note. Tone will therefore be used in this book to mean a note of discernible fundamental pitch. Now, if you believe in absolute natural-science truths, you may dislike this definition because ‘discernible’ implies that, despite some grounding in acoustic physics (periodic versus. aperiodic sounds, etc.), awareness of fundamental pitch also relies on culturally acquired patterns of perception. That is certainly a correct observation but hardly a valid objection to the definition since music, even the concept itself, is, as intimated earlier, an intrinsically social and cultural phenomenon whose understanding de facto requires social and cultural consideration. A much more serious problem is caused by conflicting meanings of the adjective tonal and its abstract-noun derivative tonality.

Tonal logically means relating to or having the character of a tone or of tones, as defined in the previous paragraph. However, in conventional Eurocentric music theory tonal is still often used in two ways that fly in the face of lexical logic and of cultural common sense. The first of these is the binary opposition between tonal and atonal, the second that between an implicit and self-proclaimed ‘tonality’ and music based on tonal principles other than those of no more than just one type of tonal music.

‘Tonal’ and ‘tonical’

The most obvious terminological anomaly in conventional music theory is probably the dichotomy tonal versus atonal. Schönberg certainly objected to his music being labelled ‘atonal’ because his compositional norms were defined by tonal rules, by twelve- tone (zwölfton) techniques. After all, neither he, nor Berg, nor Webern were famous for their use of atonal sounds (atonal in the logical sense of ‘no tones’). There just isn’t much hi-hat, snare drum or sampled traffic in their œuvre. It may seem bizarre, but euroclassical music theorists managed to confuse the notion of music containing no intended tonic, as in the work of twelve-tone composers, or in Herrmann’s music for the shower scene in Psycho (1960), with music containing no tones, as in, say, taiko drumming (e.g. Kodō, 1985) or in Herrmann’s cue for the scene ‘Crows attack the students’ in Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963).

Using appropriate linguistic derivatives, there are at least two conceivable solutions to this confusion between tone and tonic: the ‘-al, -ality, -alist’ and the ‘-ic, -ical’ patterns set out in Table 4.

Tone, tonal and tonality follow the linguistic logic of centre - central - centrality and form - formal - formality but, unlike those examples of that pattern, tone has no adjective deriving from the abstract noun tonality. Unlike centralist or formalist, tonalist[ic] just doesn’t exist. If it did, it could qualify tonal music with a tonic or tonal centre, while ‘non-tonalist’ or ‘atonalist’ could denote tonal music with none. However, apart from sounding like the name of a political movement (’we tonalists will introduce free ringtone downloads after the next election’), non-tonalist would imply that tonal music with no intended tonic had no tonality in the sense defined earlier, no system according to which tones were configured. Since that is patently untrue of twelve-tone music, whose tonal rules are clearly codified, the only logical solution is to use the second pattern of derivation to create an adjective ending in -al on the basis of a noun ending in -ic.

Table 4. Solutions to terminological confusion between tone and tonic

Pattern 1: —, —al, —ality, —alist

root noun adjective 1 abstract noun adjective 2

centre central centrality centralist

form formal formality formalist

sense sensual sensuality sensualist

tone tonal tonality ¿tonalist?

Pattern 2: —ic, —ical

noun adjective noun adjective

comic comical clinic clinical

ethic[s] ethical magic magical

music musical rhetoric rhetorical

polemic polemical tropic[s] tropical

statistic[s] statistical tonic tonical

Pattern 2 in Table 4 suggests that, just as clinical things happen in clinics, just as the weather is tropical in the tropics, and just as rhetorical devices (like the ‘just as’ anaphora of this sentence) are used in rhetoric, tonal music featuring a tonic should be called tonical and tonal music that does not atonical or non-tonical. At least that rids us of the embarrassingly illogical use of ‘atonal’ and ‘atonality’.

Here I need to underline that I’m not using tonic in the restrictive sense of euroclassical music theory, where it implies the existence of a ‘dominant’ etc., but as simple shorthand for tonal centre, i.e. a central reference tone in any tonal idiom.

The second item of terminological disorder in conventional European music theory about tonal and tonality is not just equally questionable: it’s also more insidious.

‘Tonal’ and ‘modal’

Let me start with an analogy. I once overheard a French student on exchange at the Université de Montréal saying to one of her québécois classmates ‘Mais vous avez tous un accent ici’. I was struck by the chauvinism of her observation, not least because she was attending the oldest francophone university in the francophone world’s second largest city. It’s probably less surprising that, here in the UK, it was only a few decades ago that ‘talking with an accent’ (i.e. in any other way than that considered correct at ‘public’ (= private) schools or at Oxbridge) was considered acceptable for BBC announcers and newsreaders.

The analogy between the notion of speaking ‘with an accent’ and making ‘modal music’ should be clear. According to such chauvinist thinking it matters not, so to speak, if more people ‘speak with an accent’ than use ‘received pronunciation’, or if they make music using tonal idioms that differ from those of the euroclassical or jazz canons. In both cases the former, usually practised by a majority, is given a label implying deviation from norms established by a hegemonic minority. Indeed, ‘modal music’ in conventional music theory came to mean music in any other mode than the two used in the euroclassical repertoire of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Those two modes, discussed in Chapter 3, are of course the heptatonic major scale (ionian) and the heptatonic minor scale which has three variants, two of which are ionianised (not ‘ionised’!).

In conventional music theory, tonal vocabularies using the euroclassical major and ionianised minor modes are often qualified as ‘tonal’, as if all other modes were not also tonal, as if their distinctive tonal traits were not also defined by the way their constituent tones are configured. Conversely, the ionian mode (‘major scale’), the most common tonal vocabulary in the euroclassical repertoire, is rarely considered a mode in conventional music-theory circles ‘because’, I’ve heard people say, ‘it’s tonal, not modal’! This tautological travesty not only ethnocentrically relegates ‘modality’ to a state of alterity divergent from a unilaterally hijacked ‘tonal’ norm; also, by excluding the ionian from the realm of modality, it prevents us from investigating which characteristics of that mode may have led to its importance and popularity in Europe in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries.

The terminological appropriation of ‘tonal’ to refer to just one set of tonal practices during a brief period in the history of the world’s smallest continent is, to say the least, problematic. The false dichotomy ‘tonal v. modal’ is just one example of the confusion, the terms ‘pre-tonal’ and ‘post-tonal’ another, since they both patently imply that music from medieval and early Renaissance Europe (‘pre-’) is as devoid of tones as twelve-tone music (‘post-tonal’, ‘atonal’, etc.). But that’s not all because, for example, anhemitonic pentatonicism has been in widespread use all over this planet before, during and after the so-called ‘tonal’ period. And what about the common use of tertial ionian harmony in today’s supposedly ‘post-tonal’ era? This unilateral and restrictive confiscation of ‘tonal’ has obvious repercussions on the notion of tonality.

Tonality, Tonart, Tonalité, Tonicity, Tonicality

‘Tonality’ is still used by some scholars of music to denote the practices they consider ‘tonal’ in the restrictive sense just criticised. Used in that way, ‘tonality’ refers to one system, and one only, according to which tones are configured. Just imagine if grammaticality referred to the grammatical rules of only one language or group of languages, for example to English or to Neo-Latin and Germanic languages, in which correct use of definite and indefinite articles is a central element of grammaticality. Such restrictive use of the term would mean that Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Russian and hundreds of other widely spoken languages which feature neither definite nor indefinite articles would be considered ungrammatical. While such an implication would cause uproar among serious linguists, most music theorists seem blithely content to accept the equally ethnocentric use of tonal and tonality. That’s plain wrong and it’s why in this book tonality will mean the system or set of norms according to which tones are configured in any musical culture. However, even if that much less ethnocentric definition solves one important problem, it raises another.

The broader definition just presented works well in English and in Germanic languages where tonality/Tonalität is distinguished from the concept of key/Tonart. In Neo-Latin languages, however, tonalité, tonalità, tonalitate, tonalidad and tonalidade tend to mean key/Tonart rather than tonality/Tonalität which, consequently, requires another expression to clarify the distinction. As a native anglophone I am not in a position to advise speakers of Catalan, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or Romanian how tonality/Tonalität should be translated, but I used to suggest that students at the francophone Université de Montréal might consider, at least as a stop-gap solution, an expression like idiome tonal or système tonal to cover the concept tonality/Tonalität and stick to the more common use of tonalité as equivalent to the Anglo-Germanic concept of key/Tonart.

There’s also a minor problem with the word tonicity, an abstract noun based on the noun tonic meaning a musical keynote or reference tone. While tonic-tonicity (noun - abstract noun) seems to be linguistically analogous to plastic-plasticity, plasticity is in fact the abstract noun deriving not from the noun but from the adjective plastic (= malleable), in the same way as eccentricity, elasticity, electricity, historicity, periodicity, etc. all essentially derive from adjectives —eccentric, elastic, electric, historic, periodic—, not from nouns. The point is that tonic is a noun, not an adjective qualifying music that has a tonic. Since it would be confusing to use the same word —tonic— both as a noun to denote ‘a musical keynote or reference tone’ and as an adjective to qualify music with a tonic, the adjective tonical, will, following the argumentation presented earlier (p. 53, ff.), be used instead to qualify music that has a tonic and tonicality will be used as its derivative abstract noun to denote the quality of having a tonic.

To minimise the lexical anomalies (or absurdities) discussed above, here are the definitions used in this book.

• tone (n.): a note with discernible fundamental pitch;

• tonal (adj.): having the properties of a tone;

• tonality (n.): system according to which tones are configured;

• tonic (n.): musical keynote or reference tone;

• tonical (adj., neol.): having a tonic.

• Tonicality (n., neol.): the quality of having a tonic.

The most important conclusion here is that instead of using tonality to mean a highly restricted set of tonal practices, it will be used to cover any or all sets of tonal practices. Similarly, modal will not be used as an ethnocentric rag-bag label connoting tonal ‘otherness’ (‘modal harmony’, ‘modal jazz’, etc.) but as an adjective qualifying the abstraction and distillation of pitches in real music to an ordered array of single occurrences of those pitches (see pp. 85-94).

Other meanings of ‘tone’

Tone means lots of other different things in relation to sound. It can, for example, refer to aspects of speech that express feelings or attitudes, as in ‘I don’t like your tone’. You can even like or dislike the tone of a letter someone has written to you without a sound being uttered. Tone can also refer to particular pitch sequences allowing speakers of languages like Chinese, Ewe, Navajo and Norwegian to distinguish between the meanings of phonetically otherwise identical words or syllables. Tone can sometimes even mean the same thing as timbre, as with the ‘tone’ knob on a Fender Stratocaster, where tone is short for tone colour meaning timbre (see below). More frequently, tone is also commonly used to mean not so much ‘a note of discernible fundamental pitch’ as the intervallic distance between two such tones, as in the expression ‘whole tone’, i.e. a major second, where frequency differences between the two notes are in the ratio 9:8. This interval (pitch difference) can also be understood as the step between degrees 1 and 2 or 4 and 5 in the standard Western major and minor scales. Semitone, a pitch step half the size just described, as between degrees 3 and 4 or 7 and 8 in the ionian mode (the standard Western ‘major scale’), obviously derives from this intervallic sense of the word tone.

Timbre and tone

Timbre [!tQmbr(] and its adjective timbral [!tImbr(l] are words denoting acoustic features that allow us to distinguish between two notes, tonal or otherwise, sounded at the same pitch and volume. Timbre, sometimes also called ‘tone quality’ or ‘tone colour’ (Klangfarbe), is a complex acoustic phenomenon whose four basic phases were simplified by analogue synthesiser manufacturers in an ‘ADSR’ scheme: A for attack, D for decay, S for sustain and R for release. The properties of each of these elements, and how those properties vary as the sound of a note is produced, continues and ends, determine the specific qualities of what we hear as timbre. That whole process from start to finish is called the envelope (Fig. 5, p. 60).

The envelope of notes played on drums, piano and other percussion instruments, as well as notes on plucked acoustic instruments, consist of only attack and decay. Those played by bowed strings, woodwind, brass and electrically amplified instruments contain all four phases. The first type of note relies on a one-off action to produce a sound that can last from as little as just a few milliseconds (e.g. xylophone) to several seconds (e.g. large gong, loud held note on the piano, as in Fig. 5a and b). The second type is generated by ongoing action (bowing, blowing, electric current, etc., as with the violins and synthesiser in Fig. 5c and d.). These and other distinctions are essential to the understanding of how timbre is produced. However, for the purposes of this book the following three phases, explained next, will probably suffice: attack, continuant and release.

Attack refers to the initial fraction of a note corresponding to the way the note is struck, hit, plucked, scraped, blown, etc. on an acoustic instrument, or ‘attacked’ by the voice. For example, it’s easy to distinguish the same note of the same duration played at the same volume in the same position on the same string on the same guitar in the same room, if the instrument is plucked with the flesh of the thumb rather than with a plectrum.

Release refers to the way a note ends. For example, xylophone and unsustained piano notes end more abruptly than piano notes played with the sustain pedal pushed down, or than undamped or unclipped notes on, say, guitar, French horn or cello. Release is often audible when violinists take their bow off the string at the end of a long note (Fig. 5c).

Fig. 5. Attack, decay, sustain release: four envelopes

Continuant is a term I’ve borrowed from phonetics where it means an extendable or sustainable consonant, like /r:/ as in ‘Rrreally!’ or /S:/ as in ‘Shshsh!’ meaning ‘be quiet!’. I’ve adapted continuant here to denote in a more reader-friendly way the ongoing ‘body’ of a note, i.e. the part that is most likely to be heard as tonal, regardless of whether it’s the decay of struck or plucked notes or the sustain part of notes generated in other ways. Timbral envelopes are perhaps easiest to conceptualise using onomatopoeias like ding and pling (two small bells?) or twang and blang (two electric guitar sounds?). The initial consonants represent the sound’s attack, ng its release and the vowels its continuant (sustain and/or decay). Unless you’re hearing, say, a xylophone or short, unsustained notes on piano or guitar, a note’s continuant is usually, compared to the attack, a longer sound whose timbre is acoustically determined by its frequency spectrum, i.e. by how much of which frequencies it contains. And that, finally, is where fundamental pitch comes in.

As we saw just saw, some sounds, like those of the hi-hat and a kick drum, although heard as high- and low-pitched respectively, are aperiodic (Fig. 6b): they have no audible fundamental pitch.

The frequency spectrum of tonal instruments and singing voices, on the other hand, is periodic (Fig. 6a) in relation to a fundamental (Fig. 7). Now, a tone sung or played at a particular pitch doesn’t only consist of waves oscillating at the rate corresponding to that single pitch, its fundamental: it also contains the sound waves of overtones or harmonics (a.k.a. partials) oscillating at integral multiples of the fundamental’s own frequency (Fig. 7, p. 62). How strongly which harmonics are present in which parts of an envelope is an essential aspect of timbre.

Fig. 6. Periodic and aperiodic sound waves.

Fig. 7. Harmonic series based on fundamental pitch c2 (65.5 hz)

Fig. 8. Sound waves for flute and clarinet at same fundamental pitch.

For example, flutes, whose spectrum contains a strong element at twice the fundamental frequency (2f, one octave higher), have a simpler spectrum than clarinets which lack that first harmonic (2f) and whose sound is characterised by the strong presence of a pitch three times the frequency of the fundamental (3f), one twelfth (one octave plus a fifth) higher. This basic difference in frequency spectrum is one reason why the same note at the same fundamental pitch and volume played on a flute and a clarinet produces two quite different sound waves enabling us to distinguish between the two instruments (Figure 8). The sound of a seriously overdriven guitar, as used in various (rock) metal styles, derives from the very strong presence of higher pitches in the frequency spectrum to the extent that individual overtones can occasionally emerge as if they were fundamental pitches. Of course other timbral traits for other instruments, voices and sounds are determined by other combinations of frequencies specific to each of them.

Summary in 15 points

1. A note is a minimal, discrete sound of finite duration in music.

2. Pitch is that aspect of a sound which is determined by the rate of vibrations producing it —its acoustic frequency. Frequency is measured in Hertz (abbr. Hz).

3. Tone means a note with discernible fundamental pitch and tonal is its adjective.

4. Tonal means having the properties of a tone. Notes can be tonal or non-tonal.

5. Tonality is an abstract noun denoting the state or quality of being tonal (§4, above). More specifically, tonality means a system according to which tones are configured.

6. Tonality includes such phenomena as key (Tonart), mode (Chapters 3-4), melody (Chapter 5), tonal polyphony (Chapter 6), chords and harmony (Chapters 7-15). It also includes certain aspects of timbre (§§11-14, below).

7. Tonic is a noun meaning keynote or reference tone for a piece or passage of music. Its adjective is tonical.

8. Tonical qualifies music that has a tonic.

9. Tonicality is the abstract noun derived from tonical. It means the state or quality of having a tonic.

10. Music without a tonic is non-tonical (or atonical). Music without tones is non-tonal (or atonal). Twelve-tone music is non-tonical (or atonical). It is certainly not atonal.

11. Timbre (a.k.a. ‘tone quality’ or ‘tone colour’) is a complex acoustic phenomenon allowing us to distinguish between two notes, tonal or otherwise, sounded at the same pitch and volume. Its adjective is timbral.

12. Timbre consists of an envelope containing four elements: attack, decay, sustain and release.

13. Decay and sustain are the most readily extendable elements of timbre and can be referred to collectively as the continuant. A tone’s continuant consists of a fundamental pitch and of partials or harmonics pitched at integral multiples of the fundamental’s own frequency.

14. How strongly which harmonics are present in which parts of an envelope is an essential factor defining a particular timbre.

15. Modes are by definition tonal. The widely disseminated binary tonality \ modality is a conceptual aberration.


Having defined note, pitch, tone, tonal, tonality and timbre we can now launch into the discussion of tonality itself. I’ll try and deal first with issues of pitch, tuning and octaves (Chapter 2) before tackling the topic of modes (Chapters 3-4).


Fig. 10. One octave

Fig. 11. g#≠a$

2. Tuning, octave, interval

Tune and tuning relate etymologically to tone. In fact, tuning systems are culturally specific conventions regulating how tones are fixed and organised in relation to each other. By tuning is also meant the manner or process by which instruments adjust or relate to those tonal conventions. This second type of tuning is instrument-specific and will be considered after an explanation of the two general types of tuning schemes which, for reasons that will become evident, I call extra-octave and intra-octave.

General tuning systems

Extra-octave tuning

Extra-octave tuning is best exemplified by international concert pitch which was by 1939 established as a fixed frequency rate for one designated note: 440 hz for the a above middle c (a4, see Fig. 9, p. 69). The pitch of other notes can be determined from this single absolute reference point. Previously, especially before the mid nineteenth century when a4 converged on the ¾-tone range between 410 and 450 hz, travelling keyboard players had to transpose, wind instrumentalists include extra lengths of tubing in their baggage, and string players retune, all in accordance with the local norm. Thanks to standardised concert pitch, musicians can go from one venue to another without having to perform the same music at a different pitch. Two other areas benefitted from the establishment of internationally recognised concert pitch: the mass production of instruments, not least those with some sort of keyboard, and the worldwide dissemination of recorded music.

Extra-octave tuning conventions like concert pitch are used to ensure, for example: [i] that, before a performance or recording session, musicians playing portable pitched instruments in the same ensemble will produce the same pitch (in unison or at octave intervals from that pitch) for the same designated note, or for its sounding equivalent on transposing instruments; [ii] that the overall pitch of non-portable instruments (e.g. piano, organ, accordion) matches that of an agreed overall standard, so as to facilitate tuning when such instruments are part of an ensemble; [iii] that unaccompanied vocalists start at a pitch allowing them to reach, with a minimum of difficulty, the highest and lowest notes of whatever they are about to sing.

Concert pitch has helped globalise musical activity but it is of less relevance to musical traditions whose note names are relative rather than fixed (p. 49, ff.), or in which no note names are used, or where participants have no need to interact with musicians who do depend on concert pitch. While concert pitch is useful in music featuring instruments whose overall tuning cannot be radically adjusted from one performance to another (e.g. piano, organ, harmonica, accordion), it is by no means a necessity for other tonal instruments such as banjo, bass, bouzouki, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, saz, ud, or even a synthesiser equipped with the requisite retune, detune or transpose options.

One remarkable side effect of extra-octave tuning is absolute pitch, by which is meant an individual’s ability, based on experience and long-term memory, to identify and/or reproduce a particular pitch independent of musical context. This ability, often called perfect pitch, is useful in standardised tonal situations because it can speed up transcription work, but it can be inconvenient in non-standard pitch contexts, for example if a guitar or fiddle playing patterns characteristic for a particular key (e.g. G, D, A or E) is heard a semitone higher or lower than concert pitch. For example, some of my students with ‘perfect pitch’ insisted in 2007 that ‘Not Ready To Make Nice (Dixie Chicks, 2006) was in E$ minor, an unusual pop key, when we were hearing standard chord shapes in a guitar-friendly key, regardless of whether the absolute pitch of the song’s keynote in octave four was 311.13 (e$Ò) or 329.64 hz (e@Ò).

Intra-octave tuning

Intra-octave tuning, as the name suggests, regulates pitches internally within the octave which it organises into a number of constituent pitches and intervals. The main functions of intra-octave tuning are: [1] to enable any particular pitch included in a performance or recording session to be sounded in unison by all ensemble members designated to play that pitch; [2] to regulate intervals between the octave’s constituent pitches so that they are sounded in a reasonably consistent fashion. This brief description of intra-octave tuning begs questions about the term interval.


In everyday speech an interval usually means the ‘horizontal’ distance in time between one event from another. In music theory, however, an interval is the ‘vertical’ distance in pitch between one tone and another. If temporal intervals are quantified in units like milliseconds or millennia, intervals of pitch are quantified in terms of octaves, tones, semitones and cents (hundredths of a semitone, sometimes abbreviated ‘¢’). Intervals are produced and understood in two ways: [1] melodically, as the pitch gap between two notes sounded one immediately or very soon after the other; [2] harmonically, as the pitch gap between two simultaneously sounding notes. As already implied, one such pitch distance, the octave, is central to the understanding of all other intervals in music.


Two tones at the same pitch —in unison— are in a pitch frequency ratio of 1:1. Two tones an octave apart are separated by a frequency factor of 2. For example, the first note in each of the pairs aÌ (220 hz) and aÒ (440 hz), or cÒ (261.63 hz) and cÙ (523.25), or e$Ì (155.56) and e$Ò (311.13), is each one octave below the second (Figure 9 >). With its simple frequency ratio of 2:1, the octave is also the interval between a note’s fundamental pitch and that of its first harmonic, which, in its turn, is an intrinsic part of the timbre of every singing voice and of most acoustic tonal instruments. This interval is called ‘octave’ because it’s the eighth note you reach in the heptatonic (seven-note) scale if you ascend or descend one step at a time, for example c d e f g a b [c] (Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê [î], rising) or c b a g f e d [c] (î ê â Û Ô Î Ê [Â], descending).

All known music traditions tend to treat two pitches an octave apart as the same note in another register. Men are understood to be singing the same tune as women and children if both parties follow the same pitch contour at the same time in parallel octaves. The octave’s property of unison in another register is also illustrated by the fact that: [1] a common chord consisting of the tonic, third, fifth and octave (i.e. Â Î Û î as, say, cÒ eÒ gÒ cÙ) is treated as a triad, not a tetrad, because it contains only three, not four, differently named notes (e.g. just cÒ eÒ gÒ as tonic, third, fifth, i.e. Â Î Û and no î); [2] any single note sounded on instruments like the twelve-string guitar, or using common types of organ registration, produces two pitches an octave apart; [3] parallel octaves are often used to enhance melodic timbre in jazz piano and guitar playing, not as a harmonic device (e.g. Erroll Garner, Wes Montgomery); [4] lower octave doubling of bass notes is used in many styles (e.g. euroclassical, jazz, rock) to boost the bass line, not as a harmonic device; [5] the octave is associated with the concept of register.

Music’s range of audible fundamental pitches is often divided into octaves so that register can be referred to without having to mention cycles per second (Hz). A standard piano keyboard spans just over eight octaves from a0 (27.5 hz) to c8 (4186 hz; see Figure 9). The average human singing voice usually spans about two octaves. According to this system of labelling octaves, the first note of the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction riff (1965a) is bp, concert pitch is ar and the first sung note of Abba’s Dancing Queen (1975c) is c#Ù.

Fig. 9. The piano keyboard’s 88 notes: a0 (27.5 Hz) to c8 (4186 Hz)

Figure 9 shows a piano keyboard divided into seven octaves plus three extra notes at the bottom and one at the top. Octave numbers appear to the left of the keyboard and the identity of the 88 individual notes, each with its fundamental frequency in cycles per second (Hz), to its right. Figure 10 (p. 70) also shows the familiar pattern of seven white and five black notes (twelve in all) that recurs in each octave. The eleven intervals inside the Western equal-tempered octave are set out in Table 5 (p. 70).

Intervals and intra-octave tuning

Table 5. Western intra-octave intervals (ascending from cn to cn+1)

1. Note name

(doh = c) 2. Semitones

above doh 3. Scale degree

shorthand 4. Frequency

ratio to tonic 5. × > frequency

of tonic (just

temperament) 6. × > frequency

of tonic (equal


7. Interval name

in relation

to lower tonic



Scale degree names



c 0 1 1:1 1 1 prime (unison) tonic: one

c# 1 #Â 25:24 1.042 1.060 [raised prime] -

d$ 1 $Ê 25:24 1.042 1.060 minor 2nd

or semitone flat supertonic

flat two

d 2 Ê 9:8 1.125 1.123 major 2nd or

whole tone supertonic:


d# 3 #Ê 6:5 1.2 1.189 augmented 2nd sharp two

e$ 3 $Î 6:5 1.2 1.189 minor 3rd flat three

e 4 Î 5:4 1.25 1.260 major 3rd mediant: three or major three

f 5 Ô 4:3 1.333 1.335 perfect 4th subdominant: four

f# 6 #Ô 45:32 1.406 1.414 augmented 4th

or tritone or [raised subdominant]

sharp four

g$ 6 $Û 45:32 1.406 1.414 diminished 5th flat five

g 7 Û 3:2 1.5 1.498 perfect 5th dominant: five

g# 8 #Û 8:5 1.6 1.587 augmented 5th sharp five

a$ 8 $6 8:5 1.6 1.587 minor 6th flat submediant:

flat six

a 9 6 5:3 1.667 1.682 major 6th submediant: six or

major six

[a#] 10 #6 9:5 1.8 1.782 augmented 6th -

b$ 10 $7 9:5 1.8 1.782 minor 7th subtonic: flat seven

b 11 7 15:8 1.875 1.888 major 7th leading note: sharp or major seven

c 12 8 2:1 2 2 (perfect) octave tonic: eight

Table 5 presents all twelve tones in the Western chromatic scale. Column 1 gives the note names of those twelve pitches in an ascending scale with c@ as its tonic (see also Fig. 10 -). Column 2 in Table 5 presents the number of semitones separating each note from the lower tonic (c), and column 3 the heptatonic scale-degree shorthand for each of the twelve notes ($Ê = ‘flat two’, #Ô = ‘sharp four’, etc.). Column 4 shows the pitch frequency ratio in just temperament (p. 74, ff.) between each note and the lower tonic, while columns 5 and 6 show the same pitch differences as multiples of the tonic’s fundamental frequency, using just and equal temperament respectively. Column 7 presents the most widely used interval names in Western music theory. Finally, column 8 lists two types of scale degree designation: [1] in italics, those used in theories of euroclassical harmony; and [2], in small capitals, the popular practice used by anglophone musicians when pronouncing the scale-degree symbols in column 2. The difference between the labels in columns 7 and those in italics in column 8 can be explained as follows.

Although the interval names in column 7 of Table 5 are all given in relation to the lower tonic (c@), they can in fact be applied in relation to any note. For example, f@ is located, as shown in Table 5, a perfect fourth (5 semitones or guitar frets) above c, but it is also a perfect fourth below b$ and a perfect fifth (7 semitones) below c, as well as a semitone or minor second (or a single guitar fret) above e; f is also a major third (4 semitones) above d$, a major sixth (9 semitones) below d, and a major second or whole tone below g, as well as a minor seventh (10 semitones) above g.

The terms in italics in column 8 of Table 5, on the other hand, are used almost exclusively about music in the euroclassical tradition and can only be applied in relation to the relevant keynote or tonic of music in that tradition. For example, although six different rising perfect fifths exist within the tonal vocabulary of a C major scale (f

Ex. 1. Subtonic or leading note? (a) Handel: hymn tune Antioch (‘Joy To The World’); (b) The Foggy Dew (Irish trad.).

Example 1 includes seven sevenths of which only one is strictly speaking a leading note. Example 1a contains two sevenths, both major or ‘sharp sevens’ (ê or Kê), the first one descending from the tonic, the other [nº 2] rising back up to the tonic. The five sevenths in example 1b are all minor or ‘flat sevens’ ($ê), two of them [4, 5] descending from the tonic, two [3, 6] ascending to the tonic and one [7] going in both directions. So which of the seven sevenths is definitely a leading note? Well, the seventh degree in the euroclassical major, ascending minor and harmonic minor scales (see p. 91, ff.) is called leading note because in those modes it’s the major seventh (ê/Kê, ‘sharp seven’) which is supposed to lead to the tonic (î=Â) a semitone above, (e.g. b@?c in C, f#?g in G). That means the only unequivocal leading note in example 1 is number 2.

Leading note can also designate any tone that leads by a single semitone step, ascending or descending, to a subsequent note heard as consonant, as with an f@, either in a G7 chord descending one semitone to e@ in a C major tonic triad (Ô>Î, see p. 252, ff.), or like the second scale degree in E phrygian descending to its tonic ($Ê>Â, see pp. 122 and 439). Now, in conventional music theory leading note tends to mean the note situated one semitone below the tonic and which is assumed to lead up to that keynote (Kê<î=Â), even if it can also descend from it. One obvious problem with this terminology is that, as example 1b suggests, widely disseminated types of popular music often use the minor seventh ($ê, the subtonic, ‘flat seven’), which is located not a semitone but a whole tone below the tonic and just as likely to descend to the sixth or fifth as ascend to the tonic, or arrive from or depart to other scale degrees. Moreover, example 2’s d@s (in E$) repeatedly state Kê at the start of a descent, not as a leading note up to î=Â. Besides, the first seventh in example 1a shows that not even a euroclassical Kê has to lead up to î=Â .

Ex. 2. Bombay Railway (2014): recurrent descending Kê motif (d@ in E$)

In short, the term leading note is misleading if it designates the sort of minor sevenths shown in example 1b, as well as the major sevenths in example 2. That’s why it’s advisable, when referring in relative terms to the seventh scale degree, to use the term subtonic for all types of ê except those that lead by a semitone up to its tonic.

Equal-tone tuning

The most widely accepted intra-octave tuning system for music in the urban West is equal temperament or equal-tone tuning. It divides the octave into twelve equal intervals (semitones) and has been in use since the late eighteenth century. It was developed to solve problems caused by discrepancies between certain intervals as constituent parts of the octave and the same intervals in their ‘pure’ form.

Table 6. Intra-octave intervals in just and equal tuning, with scale degrees 1-8 and note names in C




type ñ Â Prime/Tonic $Ê Minor 2nd Ê Major 2nd $Î Minor 3rd ^Î Major 3rd Ô Perfect 4th #Ô Augm. 4th/

$Û Dimin. 5th Û Perfect 5th $â Minor 6th ^â Major 6th $ê Minor 7th ^ê Major 7th î Octave/Tonic

Just 1:1

1 25:24 1.042 9:8 1.125 6:5

1.2 5:4 1.25 4:3 1.333 45:32

1.406 3:2

1.5 8:5

1.6 5:3 1.667 9:5

1.8 15:8 1.875 2:1


Equal 1 1.060 1.123 1.189 1.260 1.335 1.414 1.498 1.587 1.682 1.782 1.888 2

Degree  $Ê Ê $Î Î Ô #Ô/$Û Û $â ^â $ê ^ê î

in C c c#/d$ d d#/e$ e f f#/g$ g g#/a$ a b$ b@ c

As shown in Figure 11 (>), the top note of three stacked pure major thirds, each at the frequency ratio 5:4 above the previous one, is out of tune at the octave with the bottom note. That means the g# at the top of the pile of the three major thirds a$-c , c-e , e-g# is, in just intonation, one fifth of a tone (40¢) lower than the octave above the initial a$. Similarly, the top a$ in the four stacked natural minor thirds g#-b-d-f-a$ is more than a quarter-tone (>50¢) lower than the octave above the initial g#. These natural acoustic discrepancies posed particular problems for keyboard players needing to produce, say, both g# (as in an E major triad) and a$ (as in an F minor triad) in the same piece: one or the other would be seriously out of tune. Equal temperament tackled the problem by slightly detuning eleven of the octave’s constituent semitones so that the interval between each of them became identical. As Table 6 shows, the equal-temperament perfect fourths (e.g. c-f ) and fifths (c-g) have almost the same values as their just-tone equivalents. Thirds, sixths and sevenths, on the other hand, have clearly been the object of more significant doctoring.

Equal-tone tuning is essential in many types of Western music, including euroclassical, twelve-tone, parlour song, marches, waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, evergreens, most types of jazz, bossa nova, choro, symphonic film scores, etc., etc. It is, however, unnecessary in music requiring no enharmonic alignment (between d# and e$, g# and a$ etc.) for purposes of modulation or harmonic colour. Moreover, equal temperament is either unnecessary or inappropriate in, for example, most types of blues, bluegrass, blues-based rock, folk rock, not to mention the traditional musics of Africa, the Arab world, the Balkans, the British Isles, the Indian subcontinent, Scandinavia etc., i.e. in any music whose tonality is non-euroclassical and/or drone-based. One reason for the relative incompatibility of such music with equal-tone tuning may be the use of drone notes to produce an overall sound that is rich in natural overtones and thereby inconsistent with equal-temperament intervals. Another reason might be the centrality of each interval’s expressive character in relation to a permanent tonic, as in the rāga traditions of India whose aesthetics also often require microtonal pitch distinctions. Artificially adjusting intervals by as much as a quarter-tone, as in equal-tone tuning, is incompatible with the principles of such music.

Another important consideration is, as shown in Table 7, the pitch location of scale degrees incompatible with the Western assumption that semitones are the smallest possible intervals.

Table 7. Intra-octave interval pitches for five heptatonic modes

Columns 1 and 9 in Table 7 show, in ascending order, the scale degrees (including accidentals, where appropriate) of a heptatonic octave. Column 2 lists the twelve semitones in an octave ascending in equal-tone tuning from an to an+1, specifying a pitch difference of 100 cents between each semitone step. Column 8 provides an incremental listing in cents of each semitone step from the initial an (‘0’=no interval) to an+1, located 1200¢, twelve semitones or one octave higher. Please note that columns 1 and 2 are in complete horizontal alignment with columns 8 and 9.

Columns 3-7 show, in cents, the pitch difference between each of the seven scale degrees in five different modes. The pitch location of scale degrees in the ionian and aeolian modes (columns 3 and 5) align entirely with the Western equal-tone semitone pitches given in columns 2 (100¢) and 8 (multiples of 100¢), as do those of Rast (column 4), except for the latter’s two 150¢ (¾-tone) steps â-§ê and §ê-î. In a similar way, Bayati (col. 6) resembles the aeolian mode (col. 5), except for the four ¾-tone steps (150¢) Â-§Ê, §Ê-$Î, Û-§â and §â-$ê. The Javanese Pelog scale (col. 7) diverges even more radically from Western equal-tone tuning: neither its Ô nor Û align with those of the other modes in the table. The point is that in many types of tonality scale degree pitches do not fit into the simple twelve-semitone grid of Western intra-octave tuning systems. Moreover, as highlighted by the thicker horizontal lines above the start and end of each scale degree in Table 7 and by the varying number of cents given for the interval between scale degrees, pitch placement of an octave’s constituent tones can vary radically from one mode to another.

Within the general framework of just intonation discussed earlier, a wide variety of intra-octave tunings are used in different music traditions. Despite a few exceptions, such as the Pelog and Slendro systems of Java, many intra-octave tunings include, as suggested by the thick horizontal line above Ô and Û in Table 7, the natural fourth (4:3), and most include the natural fifth (3:2). At the same time, Arab and Indian music theories divide the octave into 16 and 22 unequal steps respectively, reflecting intra-octave tuning conventions that differ markedly from those of the urban West.

The Western adjustment of natural intervals into the twelve equal intervals shown in Tables 5, 6 and 7 (pp. 70, 74, 76) has only been in operation for a couple of centuries in urban Europe and America, but it has during that short period managed to replace many earlier vernacular tuning patterns in the Western world, patterns that can be heard today in archival recordings from what were relatively isolated areas like the Outer Hebrides or the Appalachian backwoods. It’s impossible to predict if the global spread of Anglo-North-American music during the latter half of the twentieth century, together with the equal-tone tuning of piano, organ, accordion and synthesiser keyboards —plus the inclusion of general MIDI in personal computers, plus the overwhelming use of equal-tone tuning in globally disseminated film and games music—, will eventually bring about the demise of other tuning systems. Even if that were to happen, tonal diversity does not, thankfully, depend solely on a variety of intra-octave tuning systems to survive and flourish. The vast variety of modes used on a daily basis in different parts of the world is one healthy symptom of tonal diversity; another is tuning in the second sense of the word presented at the start of this chapter.

Instrument-specific tuning

Fig. 12. Neanderthal bone flute from Divje Babe (Slovenia)

The holes in this celebrated Neanderthal bone flute would have allowed its user, some 60,000 years ago, to produce the pitches of an anhemitonic pentatonic scale. Since then, a vast number of other wind instruments have been made using various materials, with holes, mouthpieces, reeds, keys, valves, tube lengths, bell shapes and bore sizes constructed and arranged in an infinite variety of ways. All these factors affect the sound of each instrument and determine its tonal vocabulary, i.e. its range and placement of possible pitches as well as their intervallic relation to each other. For example, a shakuhachi flute doesn’t sound distinctly ‘shakuhachi’ (perhaps ‘traditional Japanese’ to Western ears) just because of its timbre, however important that may be. The fact that its five holes also correspond to the five notes of a standard anhemitonic pentatonic scale and that tonal complexity can be increased by exploiting the considerable amount of pitch bend available for each note are factors determining its tonal identity. Using my MIDI software to assign a rapid run of staccato chromaticism to the best shakuhachi sample bank in the world will not make that lick sound like a shakuhachi any more than 128 quantised kick drum semiquavers in a row can ever sound like a real live rock drummer. In short, the physical construction of a wind instrument affects the tonal as well as timbral identity of the instrument and of the musical culture to which it is assumed to belong.

Most wind instruments are monophonic and players need, like vocalists, to ensure the notes they produce respect the basic pitch rules of the musical culture in which they are used. A monophonic wind instrument player must also, when part of an ensemble, adjust to a common reference pitch like a=440. Polyphonic instruments (actual or potential) require further internal tuning. Piano and pipe organ tuning is usually carried out by specialists but portable string instruments are tuned by their players. The pitches to which open strings are tuned vary considerably from one instrument to another. Table 8 shows a few tuning variants for some common string instruments. String note names are provided for clarification and do not necessarily indicate concert pitch.

Table 8. Some common string-instrument tunings

instrument Low string high string instrument

Banjo G D/C G B D Banjo

*Banjo – Tenor C G D A C Tenor Banjo

Bass E A D G Bass

*Bouzouki G D A D Bouzouki*

Charango G C E A E Charango

Fiddle G D A E Fiddle

*Guitar (Table 9) E A D G B E Guitar (Table 9)

Mandolin/Violin G D A E Mandolin

*Saz C/D G C Saz*


(e.g.) sa-1

C-1 pa-1

G-1 sa

C ma

E pa

G sa+1

C+1 sa+2 *Sitar

C+2 (e.g.)

*Ud D G A D G C Ud*

Ukulele A D F# B Ukulele

Several instruments listed in Table 8 have common alternate tunings. For example, a saz can be tuned c-f-c, while a bouzouki can be tuned c-f-a-d or d-a-f-c (2×4-string), or d-a-d (2×3-string, common in rebetiki). Ud tunings vary considerably from region to region (Turkey, Armenia, etc.) and fiddle tunings are often adjusted to the character of the music to be played, typically to create tonic-and-fifth drone effects (g-d-g-d, g#-d#-g#-d#, a-d-a-d, a-e-a-e, etc.). Some common alternative guitar tunings (a.k.a. scordatura) used in anglophone music traditions are set out in Table 9. All these tunings can be transposed using a capo.27

It should also be noted that several string instruments used in the Middle East, the Arab world and the Indian subcontinent (e.g. saz, tambur) are provided with ligatures which function as moveable frets allowing the musician to accommodate tunings based on a division of the octave into more than twelve intervals (Table 7, p. 76).

Table 9. Some alternate guitar tunings

Name Low string high string Usage

STANDARD E A D G B E general

Open E E B E G# B E

Delta blues, folk

Open D or Vestapol D A D F# A D

Drop D D A D G B E

‘folk’ and

related styles

Drop double D D A D G B D

D ‘modal’ D A D D A D


Open G or Taropatch D G D G B D slide, Delta blues

Dobro G B D G B D Delta blues,


Open A or Hawaiian E A E A C# E Hawaiian, slide

C sixth C G C G A E ‘New Age’

As mentioned in the section about note (p. 47), some instruments have double sets of strings, for example the twelve-string guitar (2×6), the bouzouki (3×2) and various types of balalaika, each pair of strings being tuned in unison or at the octave. Moreover, each of the piano’s upper keys is assigned its own triple set of strings. The point of such unison or octave duplication is to create a brighter or richer sound for each note. The ‘bright’ effect is due to doubling at the octave or higher, as in the case of 4-foot, 2-foot and mixture registration on the organ. The ‘rich’ effect, however, more likely relates to unison doubling: that’s because two simultaneously sounding strings, pipes or reeds tuned to the same pitch rarely produce that pitch in perfect unison, with the result that a greater number of partials is created for each note than issues from just one of the two. Western music exploits this timbral aspect of tuning in many ways, of which three can be summarised as follows.

[1] The characteristic ‘rich’ sound of the French accordion derives from each note being assigned two reeds slightly out of tune with each other.

[2] Recorded tracks are often doubled, sometimes several times, either digitally or ‘live’, to create an effect of multiplicity. Not only can the copied or repeated tracks be offset from the original by a few milliseconds, they can also be slightly detuned, either naturally or by digital manipulation. The effect of slightly detuning a copied track without simultaneous offsetting resembles the ‘wider’ sound produced by applying chorus or modest amounts of phasing to the same signal source (Lacasse 2000: 126-131).

[3] Digitally detuning a copied piano track and playing it back with the original produces a ‘ragtime’ effect similar to that created by an out-of-tune piano or by one that has been intentionally ‘soured’.

Although, in cases like these, tuning has an obvious timbral rather than tonal function, it should be clear that tones and timbres are interrelated. Indeed, what we hear as two or more separate notes may in another cultural context be perceived as one single sonority, or vice versa. There is in other words a sort of no-man’s-land between tone and timbre where one of the two will attract more of our attention than the other.

So far I’ve tried to explain most basic concepts of tonality —note, pitch, tone, tuning, interval and octave. The next two chapters deal with ways of conceptualising tonal vocabulary, i.e. with ways of describing the various tonal constellations that help us aurally distinguish between musical moods, functions and cultures.

Summary in 14 points

1. Extra-octave tuning exists basically to ensure that all participants in a musical event perform any given note at the same pitch. Concert pitch (a4=440 Hz) was established as international standard to facilitate such tuning. Absolute (or perfect) pitch is a side effect of this standardisation.

2. Intra-octave tuning regulates intervals (see §9) between the octave’s (see §3) constituent pitches so that they are sounded in a consistent fashion.

3. In most Western music the octave is treated heptatonically, in the sense that it very often consists of seven basic steps (doh ré mi fa sol la ti).¹ The octave is so called because it is the eighth note you arrive at if you ascend one heptatonic step at a time (doh ré mi fa sol la ti |doh|).

4. If doh is tonic and numbered Â, the other six scale degrees are numbered Ê Î Ô Û â ê.

5. Five of the standard Western heptatonic octave’s steps are whole tones; the other two are both semitones.

6. The standard Western octave is also divided into twelve semitones to cater for varying placement of tone- and semitone steps in different modes. Semitonal variants precede their relevant scale degrees, e.g. $Î as the minor third and Î as the major third scale degree.

7. Note names are identical for pitches separated by an octave. The pitch frequency difference factor between two such notes is 2, e.g. a3=220 Hz, a4=440 Hz, a5=880 Hz.

8. The octave is a useful unit when referring to register. A standard piano keyboard covers a range of pitches from 29.135 (a0) to 8,416 Hz (c8), equivalent to 7¼ octaves. The average human singing voice spans about two octaves.

9. An interval is the difference in pitch between two tones. Even if intervals can be measured in Hz, they are most often designated in terms of scale degree difference. In this way the interval between  and Ô (e.g. a@ and d in A) as well as between Ô and ê (d and g) is a fourth (roman counting: (x+1)-y=z).

10. Conventional scale degree names like dominant and subdominant are useful in theories of euroclassical tonality but are irrelevant or misleading when dealing with most other types of tonality. The equation of leading note with scale degree 7 (ê) is particularly problematic.

11. ‘Natural intervals’ are characterised by simple frequency ratios expressing pitch difference, e.g. 3:2 for the perfect fifth. Tuning based on such intervals is often called just-tone tuning and is often heard as clearer and brighter than equal-tone tuning. However, while g# and a$ are pitched identically in equal-tone tuning, they can be seriously out of tune with one another when treated as natural intervals.

12. To avoid the problem of ‘g#≠a$’, equal-tone tuning adjusts each of the octave's twelve constituent semitones so that each semitone step is intervallically identical. An equal-tone semitone interval is measured as 100 cents.

13. Many music cultures configure the octave's constituent pitches in ways that do not conform to the twelve semitone pitches of Western tunings. (Table 7, p. 76).

14. The individual strings of instruments like the guitar can be tuned in a wide variety of ways to suit particular tonal configurations, styles, modes and moods.

FFBk02Tuning8v.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:33


Fig. 18. Maqam Rast

Ex. 53. Flamenco cadence chords (Soleá)

(Fernández, 2004: 100)

3. Heptatonic modes


This chapter is in three parts: [1] an introduction that defines basic terms and sorts out some underlying issues of conceptual confusion (pp. 85-92); [2] a section on the diatonic heptatonic ‘church’ modes (pp. 94-112); [3] coverage of several common heptatonic modes that are rarely on the curriculum in Western seats of musical learning (pp. 112-149). Non-heptatonic modes are dealt with in Chapter 4 (p. 151, ff.).

Mode, from Latin modus (= measure, pattern, manner), basically means a way of doing things. Fashion addicts dress a certain way to be à la mode and computers behave differently in secure mode, print mode and sleep mode. Modes are also used in many languages to represent different aspects of the verb. In English we distinguish between If I were a carpenter —the subjunctive modus irrealis— and When I was a carpenter —the indicative modus realis. These verbal modes are also called moods. Musical modes can also relate to moods.

In music theory mode has a very particular meaning. Medieval theorists in Europe considered different ways of using rhythm and metre as modes, but the word has for a long time been used solely to denote specific ways of conceptualising tonal vocabulary and its configuration. By tonal vocabulary is meant a store of particular tones used in a particular body of music, be it just a short passage or a complete work. As we saw in Chapter 2 (e.g. Table 7, p. 76), some musical traditions use tonal vocabularies unfamiliar to Western ears in that they contain pitches incompatible with the twelve semitones of standard Western tuning, while other traditions use those twelve semitones in ways that diverge from conventional and familiar Western notions of ‘major’ and ‘minor’.

The notion of mode in music theory derives from two main sources: [1] attempts by medieval European scholars to systematise the tonal vocabulary of liturgical music according to Ancient Greek and Arab concepts —the heptatonic-diatonic ‘church modes’ (p. 93, ff.); [2] ethnomusicological classification of tonal vocabulary used in traditional musics. Please note that the Greek mode names in use today—ionian, aeolian, etc.— do not designate the same tonal configurations as in Ancient Greece and that, like a roman font (not like ‘Roman history’ or ‘the Romans’), those mode names start with a lower-case letter.

One important step in getting to grips with how and why different musics sound different is to distil their tonal vocabulary down to single occurrences of each constituent note inside one octave and to check which of those notes are used most frequently or as points of repose, reference or closure. Such distillation of tonal vocabulary can then be presented as a mode, with its constituent pitches arranged concisely, in scalar order, inside one octave. A mode is simply the manageable conceptual unit resulting from such distillation. Please note that mode can refer to tonal vocabularies in terms of both melody and harmony but that this chapter and the next one deal mainly with melodic (monophonic) aspects of mode. Another limitation on what follows is that the countless melodic modes used in different music traditions across the world just cannot be dealt with in a book of this size and that I have had to focus on modes relevant to ‘everyday tonality’ of the urban West. To put some meat on this rather theoretical bone, let’s start with something familiar.

Scales, modes, tonal vocabulary

Ex. 3. UK national anthem (God Save The Queen)

Example 3 contains seven different tones: g a b c d e f#, some of which are more important than others. The note g is most important because: [1] the tune both starts and ends on g; [2] the tune’s first half finishes on g (bar 6); [3] 28.6% of the melody consists of the note g. That’s why g is heard as the tune’s main reference tone, its tonal centre, its keynote, its tonic. We can say that the tune is ‘in G’. As shown in Table 2 (p. 43), a mode’s tonic is numbered as scale degree 1 (Â). The other six notes in example 3 are numbered 2 through 7 because the tune is heptatonic (ἑπτά=7): it contains no more and no less than seven differently named notes. Their order of appearance in example 3 is: Â (the note g in bar 1), Ê (a, also in bar 1), ê (f# in bar 2: ^ê, ‘major seven’), Î (b@, bar 3: ^Î, ‘major three’), Ô (c, bar 3), Û (d, bar 7) and â (e@, bar 13, ^â, ‘major six’).

Figure 13 (below) shows exactly the same tonal vocabulary distilled to single occurrences of notes rearranged in ascending scalar form inside one octave delimited by its keynote or tonic, g. Such reduction of a real tune to an intra-octave abstraction of notes demands that tones registrally outside that octave be included inside it. That’s why God Save The Queen’s lowest note, the f # in bars 1 and 5 of example 3, is shown an octave higher in Figure 13.

Fig. 13. Ionian mode in G with scale degree numbers and note names

Although Figure 13 looks like a G major scale, it’s not the sort of scale you hear in real music situations. Indeed, the tonal reality from which the scalar representation of a mode is distilled into a theoretical model very rarely features scalar runs through an octave. Figure 13 is simply the abstraction of a specific tonal vocabulary: it’s the heptatonic ionian mode in G reduced to single occurrences of its constituent notes. Its scalar presentation just makes it easier to see those features at a glance. To make the abstract nature of that visual representation as clear as possible, mode notes are rendered as stemless blobs, indicating that they have no duration or rhythm, while the absence of bar lines signals that they have no metre. Figure 13 and similar abstractions of mode are no more actual music any than the alphabet is language in action.

In musical practice, modes work more in terms of characteristic motifs and turns of phrase than of scalar abstraction. The UK national anthem tune’s typically ionian cadence formulae Ê Â ê Â and Î Ê Â (bars 5-6, 13-14) are a possible case in point because neither of them is included in the abstraction of Figure 13, which distills the ionian mode of not just the real God Save The Queen (ex. 3) but also of the entirely fictitious version shown as example 4.

Ex. 4. Fictitious God Save The Queen (also in ionian G)

Example 4 is just as ionian as example 3. Both have g as tonic (Â), both contain Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê (g a b@ c d e@ f#), and both share the same basic melodic profile, but they are significantly different in how that same tonal vocabulary actually sounds. The most striking difference is that between the relative importance of ê (f#) in the original and its use only as brief passing notes in example 4 where â (e@) is given much more prominence (bars 2, 6-7, 11, 13) than in example 3 (just once, in bar 13). The result is that the counterpoise —the main tonal counterbalance or contrast to the tonic (g)— shifts from f# and a in example 3 to either e and b, or to e and a, in example 4. In short, the specific tonal configuration of a melody is not just a matter of identifying its tonal vocabulary in terms of a mode: modal identification should ideally be complemented with observations about the relative prominence of certain tones, or combina-tions of tones, within that vocabulary. This aspect of mode comes much closer to how musicians actually use a tonal vocabulary. It also comes a little closer to concepts like the Arab maqam or Indian rāga, both of which include basic formulae for the performance of melodic contour, mood and direction as part of their theory.

Despite the problems and limitations just explained, I will in this book be using mode, as defined above, as the first port of conceptual call for two reasons: [1] it’s more likely than other theoretical models to be familiar to readers; [2] it can be a useful and manageable tool for theorising tonal vocabulary, provided that the sort of limitations just mentioned are taken into consideration; [3] it’s a more adaptable concept than the scale of conventional music theory. But there are other problems with the concept of mode.

Another set of difficulties derives from the fact that euroclassical music theory has in general only had to contend with ‘major’ and ‘minor’ modes whereas an almost endless array of modes are in daily circulation outside that tradition. Now, with such tonal diversity it’s clearly useful if you can identify different types of tonality without having to describe them all in detail. That involves recognising the sound of various modes, being familiar with the pitches they contain, with how they’re configured and with the music traditions to which they belong, etc. All those issues are at the heart of Chapters 3 and 4. The point is that although modes may not ‘tell the whole story’, they can be a useful starting point in the understanding of different tonal traditions. That said, before considering the panoply of modes out there in ‘everyday tonality’, it’s necessary to grasp how conventional Western music theory’s major and minor modes fit into the bigger picture, and that involves understanding the concept of ionianisation.

Ionianisation (^ê)

The tune of God Save The Queen is in the ionian mode. It’s heptatonic because it contains seven different tones and it’s also diatonic. The ionian is just one of seven heptatonic diatonic modes, each of which can be used, as we shall shortly see (p. 94, ff.), to create quite different sorts of sound. Those differences depend on such structural niceties as the unique location of the two semitone intervals in each diatonic mode. The aim of this subsection is to explain what makes Western music theory’s notions of major and minor both special and problematic.

Using the keys of C and E by way of illustration, Figure 14 (p. 91) shows the one major and three minor modes that euroclassical pianists have to practise as scales based on each of equal-tone tuning’s twelve possible keynotes. The scale degree numbers placed above each note in each of these four modes show that Î, â, and ê vary from one mode to another while Â, Ê, Ô and Û remain constant. Due to its dominance in the euroclassical tradition, conventional music theory treats the ionian mode as the norm from which all other modes are seen to diverge. This means that scale degrees 3, 6 and 7 are considered as major by default —Î, â and ê—and that the minor third, sixth and seventh degrees need to be qualified by the accidental ‘$’ —$Î, $â and $ê.

Fig. 14. Euroclassical music’s four modes in scalar form

The three minor-mode variants in Figure 14 are so called because, unlike the ionian, they all feature a minor third ($Î or ‘flat three’). Scale degrees 6 and 7 (â, ê) are configured in different ways for each of the three minor-mode variants. [1] The ascending melodic minor scale contains, like the ionian mode, a major sixth (â or ^â) and major seventh (ê or ^ê). [2] The descending melodic minor variant is in the aeolian mode (or ‘natural’ minor) and contains both a minor sixth ($â or ‘flat six’) and a minor seventh ($ê or ‘flat seven’). [3] The harmonic minor scale contains the same notes in both ascent and descent, and includes, like the aeolian mode, a minor sixth ($â, ‘flat six’) but also, like the ionian mode, a major seventh (ê or ^ê, ‘sharp seven’). Minor scales [1] and [3] can be understood as ionianised variants of the aeolian or ‘natural’ minor mode [2].

As we shall in Chapter 8, the major seventh or ‘leading note’ (ê or ^ê, ‘sharp seven’ or ‘major seven’) is so central to the mechanics of tonal direction in euroclassical harmony that a minor seventh ($ê), such as produced on the white notes of a piano keyboard with a@ as keynote (the aeolian mode), only exists in descending melodic contexts. Moreover, as the label harmonic minor suggests, the ‘natural’ minor seventh of a minor-mode triad based on the fifth degree of the scale (‘v’, e.g. an E minor triad containing g@ in the key of A minor) is, in euroclassical harmony, normally altered to a major seventh (ê/^ê or ‘sharp seven’, g#) to produce a major chord functioning as ‘dominant’ (‘V’) in the home key (e.g. E or Eé in A minor) and producing the ‘perfect cadence’ E7?Am (V?i) rather than Em?Am (v-i). In the ionianised worlds of jazz and euroclassical tonality the latter is heard as less directional, less final, because it contains $ê, no ascending leading note, no ê leading up to î (=Â).

I’ve jumped the gun here, rushing into the mechanics of euroclassical harmony before explaining how melody, let alone harmony, uses modes as sets of tonal vocabulary that contribute to the creation of variation and identity in music.

Modes and ‘modality’

Modes are tonal phenomena and mode means the tonal vocabulary used in a particular extract, piece or style of music. However, ‘modality’ is often used in conventional Western music theory not so much to identify a specific tonal vocabulary as to designate en masse innumerable types of tonical tonality that diverge from one single type and from one only. Labels like ‘modal jazz’ and ‘modal harmony’ tend to mean jazz and harmony using tonical configurations other than the basically ionian-tertial tonality of the euroclassical and standard jazz repertoires. The differing tonal norms of such repertoires as blues-based rock, of some types of post-bebop jazz, of much pre-Baroque European music —in fact of musics from almost any part of the world at any time— are in other words often lumped together under the rag-bag heading ‘modal’. On the other hand, the ionianised major-minor modality of the euroclassical repertoire and of popular music using that same sort of tonal system (national anthems, hymns, marches, waltzes, parlour songs, jazz standards, etc.) is rarely, if ever, referred to as modal. It’s most often called ‘tonal’ without any qualifier, as if no other kind of tonality existed. This use of tonality and modality implies that modes, by definition tonal phenomena, aren’t tonal, and that one type of tonality —the euroclassical— isn’t modal, even though it couldn’t exist without the ionian mode and the ionianised minor modes that define its specific tonal identity. So, to avoid terminological confusion and embarrassment, all modes, including the ionian, will, as abstractions of tonal vocabulary, be treated here as tonal phenomena central to the understanding of any type of tonical tonality. The binary tonal v. modal of conventional music theory is in other words nonsensical and will not be used in this book.

Heptatonic: why seven?

Heptatonic modes aren’t necessarily more widely used than others but they do turn up more often in music theory, not only in the West but also in China, Java, Japan, India and the Arab world. In these traditions the octave is understood to consist of seven underlying tonal positions or steps (Table 10). These basic steps, numbered Â-ê, are called scale degrees and can be specified more precisely, either microtonally (e.g. ñ$Ê, §Î, Ñê) or, as in Western music theory, semitonally (e.g. $Î, Î). For example, ‘$â’ (‘flat six’) means a minor sixth located eight semitones above the tonic, ‘â’ or ‘^â’ (‘sharp six’) a major sixth or nine semitones above Â.

Table 10. Heptatonic note names in Arab, Chinese and Hindustani music theory

Scale degree Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê î=Â

Movable sol-fa doh ré mi fa sol la ti doh


movable sol-fa Rast

dāl Douka

rā' Jaharka

mīm Nawa

fā' Hussayni

şād Awj

lām Kirdan

tā' …



(transcr.) 上

shàng 尺

chĕi 工

gōng 凡

fán 六

liù 五

wũ 乙

yí 上


India Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa

Thanks to its use in Arab, Indian and European music theory, the heptatonic scale degree is widely accepted as the basic unit for designating the constituent tones of almost any mode based on any tonic, no matter how many steps the mode contains. For example, ‘Â Ê Î Û â’ gives the five heptatonic scale degrees of the doh-pentatonic mode, while ‘(î) ê $ê â $â Û $Û Ô Î $Î Ê $Ê Â’ designates a twelve-note chromatic descent through any single octave.

The modes most familiar to euroclassical performers —the ionian and its ionianised minor-mode variants— have already been presented (Fig. 14, p. 91). Those modes aren’t just heptatonic: they’re also diatonic. A diatonic mode has two defining features. [1] It includes each of the mode’s seven differently named scale degrees, for example a b c d e f g as Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê —the aeolian mode in A— or c d e$ f g a$ b$ for the same scale degrees and mode in C (Fig. 16, p. 97). [2] A diatonic mode contains two steps of one semitone (‘½’) and five of a whole tone (‘1’), for example 1-½- 1-1-½-1-1 for the aeolian but 1-1-½-1-1-1-½ for the ionian (Fig. 16, p. 97).

The heptatonic-diatonic ‘church’ modes


The ‘church’ modes (a.k.a. ‘ecclesiastical’) aren’t just a topic of arcane interest to music historians (Fig. 15a). They’re also relevant to musicians trying to master various jazz and rock idioms (Fig. 15b). Structurally, church modes presuppose: [1] the division of the octave into seven constituent pitches (heptatonic), five separated by a whole-tone interval, and two by a semitone (diatonic); [2] a tonal centre, keynote or tonic on scale degree 1 (Â), which can often (not always) be identified as a (real or potential) drone or as the final, or most frequently recurring note in the mode.

Fig. 15. Modal theory, ancient and modern

Figure 16 (p. 97) sets out the seven heptatonic ‘church’ modes in three columns. Column 1 gives the names of each mode and presents its constituent tones using the white notes only of a piano keyboard. Each diatonic mode’s two semitone steps —between mi and fa, ti and doh (e\f, b\c on the white keys)— are marked with a slur. The other five steps —do-ré, ré-mi, fa-sol, sol-la and la-ti (c-d, d-e, f-g, g-a and a-b on the white keys) are all whole tones in all seven modes. The alternative mode names in brackets derive from the tonic note (Â) when the mode is sounded on the white notes of a piano keyboard, e.g. ‘ré mode’ or ‘D mode’ for the dorian (d to d on the white notes), ‘mi mode’ or ‘E mode’ for the phrygian (e to e).

Column 2 presents each mode with c as tonic. It also shows each mode’s scale degrees with the apposite symbol (^/$) added to distinguish major from minor thirds, sixths and sevenths, for example the occurrence of $Î and $ê in the dorian as opposed to ^Î and ^ê in the ionian. A horizontal line marks the position of each mode’s internal tritone between fa and ti. That tritone is between f and b for all the white-note modes (column 1), but its position varies in columns 2 and 3. For example, while the fa-ti tritone is f-b in C ionian and a@-d# in E ionian (both Ô - ^ê), it’s always between $Î and ^â in the dorian mode (e$-a@ in C dorian and g@-c# in E dorian), between $Ê and Û for the phrygian, Â and #Ô for the lydian, and so on. These internal tritone positions, unique to each mode, are marked more clearly by the thick vertical lines in Table 11 (p. 98). Since all the modes in Figure 16 contain a tritone, they can also be called tritonal, as well as diatonic and heptatonic.

Column 3 in Figure 16 serves two purposes. One is to further clarify the position of semitone (‘½’) and whole-tone (‘1’) scalar steps in each mode, the other to present each mode with a different tonic. The unique patterning of tone and semitone steps, and the unique positioning of the fa-ti tritone are essential factors distinguishing one mode from another.

It’s this unique combination of scale degrees, of how the mode’s individual notes sound in relation to each other and to the tonic, that gives each mode its unique flavour. For example, the ionian (C or doh mode), lydian (F/fa mode) and mixolydian (G/sol mode) all contain Î (^Î, ‘major third’). This common trait gives rise to their qualification as ‘major modes’, while the label ‘minor’ is applied to the dorian (D/ré), phrygian (E/mi) and aeolian (A/la), modes, which all feature $Î (‘flat three’ or ‘minor third’; see Table 11, p. 98).

These patterns of tritone placement and scalar intervals produce a unique scale degree profile for each mode, for example Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê for the ionian, Â Ê $Î Ô Û â $ê for the dorian. As Table 11 (p. 98) shows, those strings of figures indicate that while the dorian shares Ê, Ô and Û in common with most of the other modes, the combination of minor third ($Î, ‘flat 3’), major sixth (^â, ‘sharp 6’) and minor seventh ($ê, ‘flat 7’) is exclusive to the dorian, just as the mixolydian is alone with its ^Î and $ê.

[Text continues after Figure 16.]

Fig. 16. The seven European heptatonic diatonic ‘church’ modes

Table 11 (p. 98) also shows that the lydian is the only one of the seven diatonic heptatonic modes to include a raised fourth (#Ô) and that the locrian is alone without a perfect fifth, the most likely reason for its rare usage, apart from melodically in heavy metal, and the reason for its infrequent appearance in this book. Apart from the locrian, then, the phrygian is the only mode to feature $Ê (‘flat two), but its inclusion of Û (‘perfect fifth’) means that it can be used effectively in music relying on drones, natural overtones, etc.

Table 11. Unique scale-degree profiles of the heptatonic ‘church’ modes .

ionian (C/doh) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8=1

dorian (D/ré) 1 2 $3 4 5 6 $7 8=1

phrygian (E/mi) 1 $2 $3 4 5 $6 $7 8=1

lydian (F/fa) 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 8=1

mixolydian (G/sol) 1 2 3 4 5 6 $7 8=1

aeolian (A/la) 1 2 $3 4 5 $6 $7 8=1

locrian (B/ti) 1 $2 $3 4 $5 $6 $7 8=1

All this theoretical detail about mode may seem nerdy and arcane but it’s essential to the understanding of how modes work, at least if the theory is also rooted in practical familiarity with real sounds. Such familiarity is easy to acquire even if you aren’t a musician, or if you have no access to a piano keyboard, because many user-friendly midi keyboard apps can be downloaded free to your computer, tablet or smartphone. To ‘check out the feel’ of a mode using only the white notes of the keyboard, all you need to do is:

1. Hold down or repeat the tonic note (c for ionian, d for dorian, e for phrygian, etc.) like a drone in the bass register.

2. With the keynote (tonic) sounding more or less constantly, play short melodic patterns, circling first round the keynote, then venturing further afield, using rising and falling patterns.

3. Listen out for how the mode sounds when you include the semitone intervals e - f or b- c in short phrases that finish on the keynote (Â, the tonic) or on the fifth (Û).

4. Apply these white-notes-only tricks to any of the seven modes shown in Table 11.

Each of the heptatonic modes in Figure 16 (p. 97) can be transposed so that any of the Western octave’s twelve constituent semitone steps can act as tonic, just as long as the mode’s unique sequence of tones and semitones is retained. For example, the ionian mode, with its unique ascending pattern of steps —1-1-½-1-1-1-½— and of scale degrees —Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê— produces, with c as its tonic, the notes c d e f g a b. Transposing that same mode with those same step patterns up one semitone from C to D$ produces the ionian mode on d$: d$ e$ f g$ a$ b$ c. Then, if you transpose the same pattern down a minor third from C to A you end up with the ionian mode in A (a b c# d e f# g#). If you carry out those two transpositions of the ionian mode, you will have played the same ionian-mode scale in three different keys: C, D$ and A.


Another effective way of identifying modes is to associate each of them with a particular tune. This section provides examples of tunes in the seven diatonic modes just presented.

Ionian: Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê

The ionian (heptatonic C or doh-mode) is so familiar in the West that it’s hardly worth mentioning. You’ll get the idea if you just think of what sounds similar in God Save The Queen (p. 87), the Internationale, the Star-Spangled Banner, Happy Birthday and Jingle Bells. They’re all either basically or totally ionian (‘in the major key’).

Dorian: Â Ê $Î Ô Û â $7

The distinctive flavour of the dorian mode comes from its unique combination of $Î, ^â and $ê, as heard in ex. 5 (g c# d@ in dorian E).

Ex. 5. Simon & Garfunkel (1966): Scarborough Fair (Eng. trad.) E dorian

The Blacksmith (ex. 6) is also dorian, this time in D, even if bars 1-4 are simply la-pentatonic (Â $Î Ô Û $ê; see p. 155, ff.). â (^â, b@), essential to the dorian sound, appears as upbeat to bar 5 and in bar 7, while Ê (e) occurs three times in bars 6-8.

Ex. 6. Steeleye Span (1971): The Blacksmith (Eng. trad.); D dorian

The dorian major sixth (^â; b@ in D) is heard in bar 3 of example 7. That note makes an otherwise hexatonic ditty into what may well be the anglophone world’s best known fully dorian tune.

Ex. 7. The Drunken Sailor (Eng. trad., cited from memory; D dorian)

Ex. 8. Noël Nouvelet (Fr. Trad., cited from memory); D dorian

Although Noël Nouvelet (ex. 8) is in fact hexatonic because it contains only scale degrees 1 2 $3 4 5 6 (d e f g a b@ in D) and no $7 (c), its dorian flavour is unmistakable due to the strong presence of the uniquely dorian placement of the tritone between scale degrees $3 and 6 (f and b@ in D, bars 1 and 2). For something to sound dorian you have to hear at least Â, $Î, Û and â. Â and Û are needed to establish the tonal centre while $Î and â (^â) are what make the dorian sound really distinctive. The three dorian scale degrees 2, 4 and $7 are less specific since they are also present in both the mixolydian and aeolian modes (see Table 11, p. 98).

Phrygian: Â $Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê

The phrygian is distinctive as a heptatonic diatonic mode because it’s the only one to include $Ê (‘flat two’, ‘flat supertonic’, ‘minor second’, etc.) and a perfect fifth (Û). Unlike phrygian harmony (p. 289, ff.), phrygian melody is rather unusual in the urban West. It is, however, widespread, as maqam Kurd, in the Balkans, Turkey, the Arab world and on the Indian subcontinent. Example 9, an extract from one of the most popular Greek songs of recent years, contains a strong $Ê presence (f@-e) in bars 22-23.

Ex. 9. Sokrates Málamas (2005): ‘Princess’; E phrygian (dromos Ousák)

Another descent with $Ê-Â closure is audible in the D-phrygian pastiche of Spanishness cited in example 10 (e$>d).

Ex. 10. Cordigliera (Italian library music, n.d., CAM 004); D phrygian

Phrygian melody also turns up in at least two popular pieces of early twentieth-century music for string orchestra —Vaughan-Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and Barber’s Adagio for Strings (1936) in phrygian F (ex. 11, g$-f).

Ex. 11. Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings (1936); bars 4-8; F phrygian

Lydian: Â Ê Î #Ô Û â ê

The lydian is, like the phrygian, a very distinctive heptatonic diatonic mode because it contains a scale degree found in none other. It’s the raised fourth (#Ô) that sets the lydian mode apart. Heard in the same breath as Â, ^Î, Û and ^â, it’s #Ô that gives the initial motif from The Simpsons theme (ex. 12a) its lydian flavour, even though the extract is strictly speaking hemitonic pentatonic (c e f# g a) because neither Ê (d in C lydian) nor ê (b@) are anywhere to be heard. Similar observations can be made about the initial motif in the radio signature for BBC’s Pick of the Pops (ex. 12b) and about the Romanian dance motif in example 13. They are all lydian because the mode’s unique #Ô is heard in the same breath as its Â, Î and Û.

Ex. 12. (a) Danny Elfman (1989): The Simpsons theme, lead motif; C lydian

(b) Brian Fahey (1960): BBC Pick of the Pops motif; C lydian

Ex. 13. Romanian Polka from Romanian Dances (arr. Bartók, 1915); D lydian

Mixolydian: Â Ê Î Ô Û â $ê

Ex. 14. She Moved Through The Fair (Brit./Ir. Trad. cit. mem.) D mixolydian.

After the ionian, the mixolydian is the most common heptatonic mode in traditional music from the British Isles. The tune cited as example 14 contains all scale degrees (Â Ê Î Ô Û â $ê) in D mixolydian (d e f# g a b c@) and is known in numerous variants, including the UK hit Belfast Child (Simple Minds, 1989). Its tonal vocabulary, characterised by an internal tritone between major third (^Î) and minor seventh ($ê), corresponds roughly to the notes playable on a Highland bagpipe chanter. Figure 17a shows how those notes are written for pipers while Figure 17b presents the pitches as they are often transcribed, in A mixolydian. Figure 17c represents the same nine notes, but as they actually sound, i.e. as B$ mixolydian with an extra $ê (a$) just under the lower Â.31

Fig. 17. Highland bagpipe chanter pitches: ([a], [b] conceptually; [c]: as heard)

Whether bagpipe chanters were adapted to cater for a mixolydian tonality that already existed in song, or whether Scottish tunes were influenced by the tonality of Highland pipe chanters (or both), it should come as no surprise to find a great number of Scottish tunes in the mixolydian mode (see ex. 15).

Ex. 15. Tàladh Chriosda (Scot. Gael. trad. via A. Cormack, 2011); mixolydian E$

Mixolydian tunes are also common in traditional music from England (ex. 16), Ireland (ex. 17) and the Appalachians (ex. 18).

Ex. 16. The Lark In The Morning (Eng. trad. via Steeleye Span, 1971).

B mixolydian; $ê = a@)

Ex. 17. The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds (from Irish Street Ballads,

1939). D mixolydian; $ê = c@.

Many baião and forró tunes from Northeastern Brazil are also mixolydian. The most famous of these is cited in example 19.

Ex. 18. I’ve Always Been A Gambler (US Trad. via New Ruby Tonic

Entertainers, 1974, v Betsy Rutherford). G mixolydian; $ê = f@.

Ex. 19. Luiz Gonzaga (Senior): Asa branca (1955). G mixolydian; $ê = f@.

Please note that the mixolydian mode is not an exclusively pre-industrial affair. Gonzaga’s main fan base was among immigrants from the Northeast living in Brazil’s vast southern metropoles (São Paulo, Rio, etc.). Besides, the Îs and $ês in examples 20 (e@ and b$) and 21 (g# and d@) should dispel any notion of rural antiquity.

Ex. 20. Righteous Brothers: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, start of v. 1

(1964); C mixolydian; $7=b$

Ex. 21. Beatles: Norwegian Wood, sitar intro (1965b). E mixolydian; $7=d@.

Aeolian: Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê

After the ionian, the aeolian is probably the most familiar heptatonic diatonic mode in the ears of the urban West. It turns up in a wide range of musical traditions, including the euroclassical where it provides tonal material for some of the repertoire’s best known tunes (examples 22-24).

Ex. 22. Mozart: Symphony no. 40 in G minor (I) (1788), bars 1-4; G æolian.

Ex. 23. Beethoven: Symphony no. 5 in C minor (I) (1808), bars 6-13; C æolian

Ex. 24. Chopin: Marche funèbre (1839); B$ æolian

The aeolian mode has the same pitches as the ionian, dorian and mixolydian on scale degrees 2, 4 and 5. Its characteristic sound resides elsewhere, more specifically in the unique positioning of its two semitone steps — Ê-$Î, Û-$â— and of its internal tritone between major second (Ê) and minor sixth ($â). The three euroclassical tunes just quoted put these distinctive aeolian traits to good use. Mozart (ex. 22), in G aeolian, lets us hear the $â-Û (e$-d) semitone three times in under two seconds and includes the $â-Ê tritone (e$-a@) in the harmony behind bars 4-5. Beethoven, in C aeolian (ex. 23), uses the $â-Û semitone twice (a$-g in bars 2-3, 6-7) and states the Ê-$â tritone (d-a$) boldly in bar 6. Chopin, in B$ aeolian (ex. 24), uses grace notes to emphasise the mode’s Ê-$Î semitone (c-d$) in bars 1-2 and its $â-Û semitone (g$-f) in bars 5 and 6. Like Mozart (ex. 22, bars 3-4), Chopin also introduces the î-$ê-$â-Û descent that is both aeolian and phrygian (b$ a$ g$ f in ex. 24) but exclusively aeolian if, as is the case in the extracts cited, the major second (Ê, not $Ê) is already heard as part of the mode.

In The Language of Music, Deryck Cooke (1959) examines the aeolian traits just mentioned: Ê-$Î, Û-$â and î-$ê-$â-Û. The numerous examples of these melodic gestures cited by Cooke are all in the euroclassical tradition and suggest that those aeolian patterns in that tradition occur in contexts of grief, pain, anguish, gloom, misery, misfortune, death, mourning and resignation. Indeed, the Û-$â-Û and Ê-$Î-Ê gestures of Figure 25, in D aeolian, certainly fit the penitence implicit in the words Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy).

Ex. 25. Kyrie ‘Orbis Factor’: aeolian in D

Even in The Sacred Harp (1844),38 despite strong tonal influences from popular rural song of British origin, aeolian tunes are more likely to be sung as hymns of gloom (death, penitence, etc.), while hymns of praise and glory are more often set to ionian, doh-pentatonic, or major (or quartal) hexatonic tunes. A similar tendency to connect the aeolian with ‘gloom’ has lived on in musical styles drawing on the euroclassical tradition.

Budapest pianist Rezső Seress’s Vége a világnak (1933), later recorded by Billie Holiday as Gloomy Sunday (ex. 26), became a widely covered ‘suicide hit’, with its one $â-Û (e$-d in bar 6) and eight $Î-Ê semitone gestures (b$-a in bars 3-4, 11-14), in addition to its typically aeolian î-$ê-$â-Û descent (g-f-e$-d in bar 6).

Ex. 26. Billie Holiday: Gloomy Sunday (1941): vocal line, verse 2; G æolian

The fate of Romeo and Juliet, also involving suicide, is another aeolian tune of tragedy (ex. 27), with its initial $Î-Ê (c-b), its $â-Û (f-e, bar 3) and an extended î-$ê-$â-Û descent (a-g-f-e, bars 2-3).

Ex. 27. Nino Rota: Theme from Romeo & Juliet (1968); A æolian $Î-Ê

Repeated $Î-Ê motifs of anguish are not uncommon in rock music either, as amply demonstrated on the /eI/ of ‘run away’ and ‘pain’ in bars 2 and 12-13 of example 28.

Ex. 28. Aerosmith: Janie’s Got A Gun (1989: 4:04-4:34); F æolian $Î-Ê

Example 28’s young ‘Janie’, subjected to sexual abuse by her ‘daddy’, gets the gun of the song’s title so she can ‘put a bullet right through his brain’ and ‘run away-ay-ay from the pay-ay-ain’. In example 29, Nirvana’s remarkable lead vocalist, Kurt Cobain, uses $Î-Ê (a$-g) in a much lower register than Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler (ex. 28) to produce not a bitterly wailing accusation but something sounding more like the repeated litanies of someone trapped in the vicious circle of a debilitating depression. It’s certainly closer to a suicidal Gloomy Sunday (ex. 26) than to the passionate, primal yelling in the chorus of Smells Like Teen Spirit (ex. 195, p. 283) or of Lithium (ex. 30).

Ex. 29. Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991, verse); F æolian $Î-Ê (a$-g).

Ex. 30. Nirvana: Lithium (1991, chorus); D æolian $Î-Ê (f-e)

Lithium compounds (e.g. lithium citrate) are active ingredients in prescription drugs used to take the edge off bipolar extremes, to make mania less manic and depressive states less suicidal, so to speak. Shunning speculation about Cobain’s bipolarity as autobiographical ‘reason’ for the acutely expressed depression of the verses and impassioned anger of the choruses in Teen Spirit and Lithium, it is nevertheless clear that $Î-Ê gestures in aeolian melody are not exactly a happy affair in rock music, however life-affirming the expression of that anger may strike us as listeners.

Does all this mean that the aeolian mode is intrinsically tragic, sad, suicidal or angst-ridden?

Ex. 31. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (Eng. trad., cit. mem.) D aeolian

Ex. 32. Arturov: Amur Partisan Song (mel. cit. mem.); D aeolian

Examples 31 and 32are entirely aeolian but neither is connected with gloom, doom, depression or anguish. God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen proclaims happiness for the Christmas season (‘let nothing you dismay’) and brings ‘tidings of comfort and joy’, while the Russian partisans are celebrating victory, the bravery of their heroes and their successful arrival at the shores of the Pacific.

Ex. 33. Kaoma: Lambada (1989). D aeolian (d e f g a b$ c = Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê)

Moreover, although the lyrics of example 33 include crying over lost love (‘chorar ao lembrar de um amor’), the song’s main message, borne out by the official video’s sexy dancing and cheery faces, is getting over that sadness by falling in love again and dancing in the sunshine on the beach (‘dança, sol e mar’). We are in other words a long way from Chopin’s Marche funèbre, from Gloomy Sunday. and from the rock angst of examples 28-30.

How can the same mode be associated with such different moods? Three factors explain this ostensible connotative paradox, the first of which to do with speed and movement.

Although the Mozart, Beethoven, Aerosmith and Nirvana extracts (ex. 22, 23, 28-30) move at a moderate or brisk pace, the Chopin (l = 50), Billie Holiday (l = 60) and Rota extracts (l = 84) are all quite slow. The ‘Merry Gentlemen’ move much faster in alla breve metre (h = 90) and the Lambada dancers at a brisk 120 bpm, but the Russian partisans (l = 96) are only slightly faster than Romeo and Juliet (l = 84). The difference between them is one of surface rate. Whereas the aeolian tune for Shakespeare’s tragic lovers repeatedly pauses on single notes (the recurring ‘h_z’ in example 27), the Russian partisans in example 32 keep on moving (r il|l l l il|il l ). But that doesn’t explain why the Aerosmith and Nirvana examples are anguished but our ‘happy aeolian tunes’ (ex. 31-33) aren’t.

The second factor is the way in which the distinctive aeolian traits, discussed in conjunction with examples 22-30, are treated. While the $Î-Ê and $â-Û semitones, the Ê-$â tritone, and the î-$ê-$â-Û descent are highlighted in those extracts, the ‘happy’ aeolian examples do not dwell on those traits. In fact the traits either do not appear at all —there’s no î-$ê-$â-Û descent and no Ê-$â tritone in those examples— or, as in the case of Ê-$Î and Û-$â, they are simply passed over as part of the melodic phrase’s overall profile.

A third factor is the difference in timbre and delivery between the rock (ex. 28-30) and the ‘happy’ examples. Neither listlessly repeated litanies (ex. 29), nor guitar distortion, nor full drumkit, nor the urgent yelling of a solo male vocalist (ex. 28, 30) is anywhere to be heard in examples 31-33.

The final factor is one of tonal familiarity and cultural convention. If you’re mostly used to the tonality of the euroclassical repertoire and its widespread use in various forms of popular music, you’re more likely to assume that there’s some sort of automatic correspondence between the tradition’s simple major-minor binary and the equally crude bipolarity of ‘happy v. sad’. If you have experience of other tonal traditions you’ll be less liable to make such assumptions. To put the affective aspect of the major-minor binary into perspective, it’s worth noting that a 2013 poll among readers of Rolling Stone magazine asked to name their ‘saddest song’ revealed that seven of the top ten tearjerkers (70%) were in the major key, that two (20%) were in mixed modes, and that only one (10%) was in an unequivocally minor mode. The sadness perceived in those songs was therefore more likely to be a matter of lyrics, tempo, vocal timbre, register, melodic profile, articulation and instrumental restraint and much less of an issue of major v. minor. Moreover, the fact that most tunes in the cheery, glitzy 2014 Eurovision song contest were in a minor mode suggests that the major-minor = happy-sad binary is in sore need of revision.

Hypo’ modes

Non-diatonic heptatonic modes

So far I’ve presented the seven heptatonic ‘church’ modes, of which six —the ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian and aeolian— are on the radar screen of Western music theory. But there are countless other heptatonic modes in everyday use around the world that are not. Now, this account can do no more than address a very small sample of all those other modes. Given this vast tonal variety, I have chosen to focus on modes that Western listeners may well recognise but also hear as ‘different’ or ‘exotic’, more specifically on modes containing $Ê (‘flat two’) and/or #Ô (‘sharp four’) and/or an augmented second (scale step of 1½ tones). These modal features are common in music from the Arab world, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey and southern Spain. Tonality in that populous part of the world shares many common traits, even if terms and labels can vary radically from one area to another. For the sake of brevity, and for the six reasons given in footnote 50, I will use the Arabic word maqam (مقام; plural maqamat,مقمت) to qualify that general geomusical part of the world and its commonality of tonal traditions. To further simplify the account, I will largely avoid discussion of modes containing microtonal scale steps because their constituent notes are difficult or impossible to produce on a Western fretted instrument like the guitar or on a piano keyboard.

The account that follows, ‘Maqamat, flat twos and foreignness’, is divided into three parts. The first of these (pp. 114-145) is a rudimentary theoretical introduction to the modal practices of the regions enumerated in the previous paragraph. The second part zooms in on the modes of flamenco (pp. 128-133) and of some traditional music from the Balkans (pp. 134-145).

Maqamat, flat twos and foreignness

Basic concepts and theory

‘Mode’, as defined earlier, is probably the Western notion closest to the Arabic concept maqam (pl. maqamat). The same word —makam— is used in Turkey (pl. makamler) and Bulgaria (макам), while the Greeks call it dromos (δρόμος = ‘road/way’, pl. δρόμοι). Whatever its name, a maqam, like a mode, designates a specific tonal vocabulary, typically presented as an array of seven different notes, usually arranged in scalar order inside one octave. Unlike a mode, however, a maqam octave is understood to consist of two parts, usually tetrachords (p. 118, ff.). It also specifies pivotal tones in the vocabulary, and is often connected to a certain register or to a particular starting note or tonic on the ud. Moreover, a maqam contains rules defining its melodic development: ‘[t]hese rules describe which notes should be emphasised, how often, and in what order’. Finally, a maqam can also relate to paramusical phenomena that are more nuanced than the spurious happy-v.-sad distinction between major and minor modes in the West.

There are between thirty and forty maqamat in common use today.53 Figure 20 (p. 116) lists just six of the basic maqam families and presents the tones of at least one of the maqamat belonging to each of those six. Two modes in the Hijaz family are included (nos. 5a and 5b) to give an idea of how different maqamat can belong to the same family. Figure 20 (p. 116) exists in other words solely to help explain and exemplify a few basic principles of modal theory and practice in the maqam world.

Starting with traits familiar to individuals outside the maqam world, Rast (-) looks like the ionian mode, except that its Î and ê are neither major nor minor but between the two (§Î, §ê).

Fig. 19. Λαϊκοι δρόμοι: popular Greek mode generator applet (screen shot)

When popular musicians in Greece use Rast without microtones, it sounds exactly like the ionian or the ‘major scale’ (κλίμακα ματζόρε): it’s the mode of bouzouki hits like Zorba’s Dance (Theodorakis, 1964). The fact that Greek musicians treat the ionian as just one mode among many is borne out by the contents of numerous online bouzouki tutors. Particularly instructive is the applet Laïkoi Dromoi (= Popular Modes, Fig. 19). It lets you select one of the nineteen (yes, 19) popular ‘scales’ on offer, including modes 5a (Hijaz/Hitzaz) and 5b (Hijaz Kar/Hitzazkiar), listed in Figure 20 (ñ). You choose your tonic (‘Root’), click ‘Generate’ and the app reveals which of the twelve notes in equal-tone tuning you’ll need to play on your fretted bouzouki or guitar to produce the ‘right notes’.

Fig. 20. A small sample of maqamat with tetrachord designation, scale degrees, scalar steps and alternative names.

Example 2 in Figure 20 (p. 116), Maqam Bayati, also looks familiar. It’s apparently aeolian, except that its Ê is §Ê, a quarter-tone below a Western Ê. A more obvious similarity is that between maqam Kurd (nº 6 in Fig. 20) and the phrygian mode. The only trouble here is that Greeks call maqam Kurd dromos Ousák, that Ousák is not the same as Turkish Uşşak makamı, and that dromos Kiourdi is dorian. There’s no need to memorise these maqam labelling inconsistencies but awareness of them can help avoid misunderstanding.

Four conclusions can be drawn from the simple observations made so far. The first three may seem obvious but they are important.

[1] The ionian and aeolian are just two of many heptatonic modes.

[2] The ionian cannot be regarded as default setting for musics outside standard euroclassical or jazz tonality.

[3] A tonal vocabulary (e.g. Rast, Bayati), need not conform to the pitches of Western tuning to be part of everyday tonality or to qualify as a mode.

[4] The fourth point concerns assumptions about modal connotations. Three maqamat in Figure 20 are traditionally linked to the following three different moods: ‘distant desert’; ‘vitality, joy and femininity’; and ‘pride, power, soundness of mind and masculinity’. Before reading up on the topic I had no idea which mood I was supposed to feel on hearing music in the three relevant modes. If, like me, you felt it was counterintuitive to link a minor mode like Bayati (nº 2 in Fig. 20) with joy and vitality,59 then you will, like me, have to admit to a degree of tonal monoculturalism. The point is that intuition for one population —e.g that of individuals conditioned to react with an ionianised brain— does not equate with the intuitive skills of all other human populations. Besides, as we saw earlier (pp. 107-112), the assumption that major is happy and minor sad is highly questionable, even within our own culture.

Returning to traits of maqam familiar to Western listeners, it’s clear that mode 3 in Figure 20 (p. 116), Nahawand, has the same scale-degree profile as the ‘harmonic minor’ of euroclassical music (p. 91). In that tradition it’s the least likely mode to be used melodically, but it’s common in tunes from the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. The melody shown as example 34 follows the scale-degree pattern given for Nahawand (the ‘harmonic minor’)—Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â ^ê—, which in A translates as the notes a b c d e f@ g#.

Ex. 34. Egyptian traditional song; Nahawand in A (1973)

Nevertheless, unlike the harmonic minor but like the European melodic minor (Fig. 14, p. 91), the scale degrees in many maqamat, makamler and dromoi differ between ascent and descent in the upper half of the octave, so that the descent (î) $ê $â Û, identical to the top four notes in the aeolian or phrygian modes, can often replace the (î) ^ê $â Û (a g# f@ e) heard briefly in bar 3 of example 34. To illustrate this point, a common descending pattern for Rast is shown as example 1c in Figure 20. (Note how ^ê or §ê in the mode’s ascending tetrachord (lines 1a, 1b) becomes $ê in descent (1c)).

Tetrachords and jins

One significant difference between modes and maqamat lies in how the octave is conceptualised. With modes the octave is generally regarded as a single unit but maqamat are additionally, and perhaps more importantly, understood to consist of a lower and an upper half. The dividing line between the two is somewhere in the middle of the octave, most commonly (not always) between Ô and Û, in which case there are four notes below —Â Ê Î Ô— and four above the dividing point —Û â ê î. Each such group of four notes is called a tetrachord or jins. Given that jins means type, gender, nature or spirit, Arab music theory categorises maqamat according to their essence (type, gender, nature, spirit), i.e. their initial jins. That’s why the examples in Figure 20 (p. 116) are listed by their first tetrachord. For example, Hijaz and Hijaz Kar (nºs 5a and 5b in Figure 20) are both in the Hijaz family of maqamat because their lower jins is always  $Ê ^Î Ô, not Â Ê §Î Ô (Rast), nor  $Ê $Î Ô (Kurd), nor Â Ê ^Î Ô (ionian), nor any other configuration of scale degrees 1-4. So, how can the jins of Arab music theory help us understand everyday tonality?

Well, the human hand has one thumb and four fingers. If your thumb is under the neck of a lute, guitar, saz, bouzouki, violin or similar stringed instrument, that one hand can play a maximum of four different notes (five, a pentachord, if an open string is included) without having to change grip, pattern, position or string. The tetrachord encapsulates in other words one shape of the hand and fingers. In music-making it represents a single, tangible moment or gesture that can function as a meaningful unit of musical structure with a particular character, nature or jins.

Two of the maqamat in Figure 20 (p. 116) have the same lower and upper tetrachord (jins). The upper jins of Rast (1a in Fig. 20) is identical to its lower one in that Û â §ê î involves exactly the same hand shape as Â Ê §Î Ô, i.e. 1 + ¾ + ¾ heptatonic steps between the four notes. That’s why the maqam’s two tetrachords are both marked ‘Rast’: the upper jins is simply a fifth higher. The same goes for maqam Hijaz Kar (nº 5b in Fig. 20). Since Û $â ^ê î involves exactly the same hand and finger shape, one fifth higher, as  $Ê ^Î Ô (½ + 1½ + ½ heptatonic steps), both tetrachords are labelled Hijaz, the lower jins in maqam Hijaz. All the other examples in Figure 20 feature an upper jins that differs from the lower one. For instance, the upper jins in Hijaz itself (5a in Fig. 20) is Û ^â $ê î (1 + ½ + 1), which corresponds not to its own lower jins ( $Ê Î Ô — ½ + 1½ + 1) but to the Â Ê $Î Ô (1 + ½ + 1) pattern of maqam Nahawand (Fig. 20, nº 3) transposed up a fifth. Conversely, the upper jins of Nahawand, Û $â ê î, involves the same manual action (½ + 1½ + ½) as the lower jins in Hijaz ( $Ê Î Ô). Hence its labelling as a combination of Nahawand (lower) and Hijaz (upper) tetrachords.

Thinking in terms of tetrachords (or trichords or pentachords) instead of octaves has at least two advantages. The first is that it allows for the generation of many more heptatonic modes than are familiar in the West, especially if all the maqamat involving microtones (not least those in the Sikah family) were to be included in the count. The other advantage is that tetrachords (or trichords or pentachords) can, as we shall see later (p. 163, ff.), help us make sense of tonality in Western musics outside the euroclassical system.

Hijaz and phrygian

Ex. 35. Maurice Jarre: Lawrence of Arabia (1963); quasi-Hijaz/Kurd in D

If you ask a Western musician unschooled in maqam tonality to come up with something ‘Arab-sounding’, chances are that he/she will suggest something along the lines of example 35. In fact, to sound ‘Arab’ —or for that matter ‘Gypsy’, ‘Jewish’, ‘Balkan’ or even ‘Spanish’ (!) — Western musicians will typically zoom in on differences between euroclassical tonality and that of the maqam world. Clearly, the most striking traits of tonal difference lie in all those maqam scale steps smaller than a semitone (§Î, etc.). But that difference causes two problems: [1] we Westerners are usually unable to correctly intone microtonal pitches; [2] even if we could, the music would sound ‘off key’ to a Western audience. We consequently have to focus on differences we can produce and which sound sufficiently foreign without coming across as ‘out of tune’. That’s almost certainly why Lawrence of Arabia and other popular Western pastiches of the Middle East focus on two elements: [1] the minor second or ‘flat two’ ($Ê) of the phrygian mode; [2] the augmented second (1½-tone step between $â and ê) of the harmonic minor scale (Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â ^ê) which can easily be transposed down a fifth to include the interval $Ê- ^Î in the Hijaz jins  $Ê ^Î Ô. That’s what happens in silent film pieces like Otto Langey’s Among the Arabs and Maurice Baron’s Vers l’Oasis in the ‘Oriental’ section of Rapée’s Motion Picture Moods for Pianists and Organists (1924: 496-518). The same two traits are also thrashed out in Alfred Ketèlbey’s ethnocentric classic In A Persian Market (ex. 36) and in Night Boat To Cairo (ex. 37) which reached nº 6 in the UK charts in 1980.

Ex. 36. Ketèlbey: In A Persian Market (1920), bars 27-33; quasi-Hijaz in E;

e f g# a b c d = Â $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â $ê.

Ex. 37. Madness: Night Boat To Cairo (1980); quasi-Hijaz hexatonic in F;

f g$ a@ b$ c e$ = Â $Ê Î Ô Û $7 .

Even Dizzy Gillespie uses a similar trope in A Night In Tunisia, (ex. 38) where the E$7 chord’s d$ (bars 1, 3, 5) aligns enharmonically with the c# (^ê) in bar 7. But Gillespie also breaks the trope by emphasising c@ ($ê) in bars 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6. That c@ becomes part of a tetrachord leading down to the fifth, a@ ([î]-$ê-$â-Û = (d)-c@-b$-a).

Ex. 38. Dizzy Gillespie: A Night In Tunisia (1957); quasi-Nawa Athar and ‘Gypsy Hungarian’ in D. <Â [$Ê] $Î #Ô Û $ê >$ê $â Û Ô $2 Â.

Or maybe the Gillespie tune is in a variant of the ‘Neapolitan scale’? Or, perhaps like Lawrence of Arabia, it’s an aggregate of features that we hear as typical for, but that may well be foreign to, tonal practices actually in the maqam world. Whatever the case, there’s a difference between palatable tonal tropes of foreignness for Westerners and the ‘foreign sounds’ as they’re used and heard by the home crowd on their home turf. Consider, for example, how the phrygian mode (maqam Kurd) is used by contemporary popular artists in Greece and Turkey. In Prigkipesa (ex. 39), Malamas performs in dromos Ousák (maqam Kurd) but there’s nothing foreign about it. The $Ê (f@) in phrygian E is neither ‘milked’ nor otherwise dwelt on, even if its normal function as descending leading note ($Ê>Â) is clear in the melodic cadence at the end of the song.

Ex. 39. Sokrates Málamas (2005): ‘Princess’; E phrygian (δρόμος Ουσάκ);

e f@ g a b c d in E = Â $Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê.

The $Ê>Â gesture is also present, though less prominently, as c@-b in example 40, at the words yillari ağla, kiskanır rengini and baharda yeşiller. The $Ê-Â is in the phrygian melodic cadence Ô-$Î-$Ê-Â, the lower tetrachord in Kürdi makamı (e-d-c-b in B, bars 4, 8-9). However, in this sad song, Turkish singing star Sezen Aksu does make conspicuous use of $Ê in the bold leap of a fifth (c-g=$Ê-$â) for the words düşler (‘dreams’) and ıçmiş (‘drink up’). By echoing the tune’s initial b-f# (Â-Û) the $Ê-$â establishes $Ê as the song’s tonal counterpoise (see p. 161, ff.). With such a bold gesture repeated at the start of the recording’s vocal line, the $Ê in the c

Ex. 40. Sezen Aksu: Firuze (1982), 2 extracts; Kürdı makamı in B (phrygian);

b c d e f# g a = Â $Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê

Greece’s dromos Ousák, Turkey’s Kürdî makamı and the Arab maqam Kurd are all basically the same as the phrygian mode as set out on pages 97, 101-102 and 116 (Figure 20, nº 6). It’s simple: the phrygian mode’s unique scale-degree profile runs  $Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê. Despite such clarity, Westerners tend to use ‘phrygian’ to qualify any mode containing $Ê, regardless of whether the mode corresponds to the phrygian maqam Kurd ( $Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê), Hijaz ( $Ê ^Î Ô Û [$]â $ê), or Hijaz Kar ( $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â ^ê). For example, the Yiddish adjective Freygish qualifies one of the most popular modes in Klezmer music. Despite its name, it usually designates the Hijaz mode (examples 41, 42), i.e. not maqam Kurd, not the phrygian.

Ex. 41. Idelsohn: Hava Nagila (הבה נגילה, mel. cit. mem.); ‘Freygish’, i.e. Hijaz;

e f@ g# a b c d in E = Â $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â $ê.

This Freygish mode, consisting of a lower Hijaz tetrachord (Â $Ê ^Î Ô) and an upper Kurd tetrachord (Â $Ê $Î Ô raised to Û $â $ê î), is extremely common in the maqam world. In Greece, for example, it’s called Hitzas (ex. 43) and in Bulgaria Hidzhaz/Хиджаз (ex. 44).

Ex. 42. Beregovski’s Sher (Klezmer); ‘Freygish’, i.e. Hijaz; d e$ f# g a b$ c in D = Â $Ê Î Ô Û $â $ê; cited by S Moore (2013: 105).

Ex. 43. Haris Alexiou [Χάρις Αλεξίου] ‘Ap’ ton perasméno Márti’, bars 9-14; Λαϊκές Κυριακές (1976); Hijaz in A: a b$ c# d e f g = Â $Ê Î Ô Û $â $ê.

Ex. 44. Ермалък/Ermálak (1992): Българи (=Bulgarians); Hijaz in B$

b$ c$ d@ e$ f g$ a$ = Â $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â $ê.

Now, Ermálak may have chosen Hijaz and an additive metre for this speed metal piece because those may well be musical elements that Bulgarians themselves have learnt to perceive as distinctly Bulgarian. At the same time, flat twos and augmented seconds are just as much a tonal trait of heavy metal as of ‘Bulgaria’, an observation just as pertinent to metal musicians Ermálak (ex. 44) as to Iron Maiden (ex. 45, p. 125), Rainbow (ex. 46) or Metallica (ex. 47).

Ex. 45. Iron Maiden: Powerslave (1984: 0:00-0:35 bars 1-4; 0:36-0:49, bars 5-8); A phrygian: a b$ c@; A Hijaz a b$ c# d; E Hijaz: e f@ g# a b c@.

Ex. 46. Rainbow: Gates of Babylon (1978: 0:53-1:01) riff in E Hijaz Kar, 15ma bassa: e f@ g# a b c@ d# = Â $Ê Î Ô Û $â ^ê.72

Ex. 47. Metallica: Wherever I May Roam (1991), 3:49-4:03;

mostly Hijaz Kar in E; e f@ g# a b c@ d# = Â $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â ^ê

In extreme metal and in industrial, flat-two modes, be they phrygian or in the Hijaz family, became a style indicator.

‘Heavy metal without a minor second? It would be unspeakable… I don’t think it would be metal. It would be a sham.’

Starting with Hand Of Doom (1970b), Black Sabbath often exploited conventional links in Western music, including film underscore, between $Ê and a broad semantic field variously described as anguished finality, claustrophobic, heavy, sombre, gloomy, dark, danger, unsettling, sinister, strange and foreign. As a style trait with such connotations, the trope was also embraced by bands like Venom (1982) and Arch Enemy (2004), as well as by metal celebrities Iron Maiden (1980, 1984), Metallica (1984, 1988) and Megadeth (1992). This appropriation can be seen as a process whereby the dark, dangerous ‘Other’ became the subject, albeit deeply alienated, still dark and dangerous, but no longer just an object, or objects, outside the self. This aesthetic was characterised by two UK metal musicians in the following sort of terms.

‘It’s stuff your parents don’t like’… ’A lot of kids that like it are not the mainstream trendy kids’… ‘It’s also intense… with the harmonic minor and the flattened second… ‘Unnerving’… ‘There’s too many perfect cadences all resolving in pop’… ‘The major scale is all resolved and neat’… ‘Let’s keep it unresolved’…

The metal aesthetic is in other words quite explicit. So are its tonal foundations, as illustrated here in an online guitar tutor (ex. 48).

Ex. 48. Scale exercises in F# Hijaz (Â $Ê Î Ô Û $â $ê), example 1 in lesson ‘Phrygian dominant’ (sic) for metal guitarists (Campese, 2009)

The instructor explains that the first scale (1a) is just a ‘3-note-per-string pattern for [the scale] in F#’ while 1b ‘is a cool pattern I came up with that brings out the exotic flavour of the scale’. He adds:

‘[Y]ou could picture this as the regular phrygian scale with a raised third. It sounds great played over major and dominant chords —it has a Spanish flavour. You can experiment by playing power chords off of each note for a more rock approach. ’ (Campese, 2009)

Power chords on Hijaz scale degrees are certainly a feature of the Bulgarian metal recording whose melodic line is cited as example 44, but there’s nothing Spanish about a Bulgarian metal presentation of Bulgarians (Българи) to a Bulgarian audience. It seems that the old exoticism is back, this time in the guise of anglophone metal aesthetics and in the shape of ‘Spain’ rather than of Jews, Arabs or Gypsies. True: Spain and Gypsies are Hijaz connotations that still need to be addressed, but before confronting that issue, it’s best to summarise at least one important point in the account so far. No matter how you interpret the meanings of flat two in metal and industrial music, the connotations of example 49 —also in Hijaz Kar, just like the Metallica extract (ex. 47)— have in their home context nothing to do with darkness, danger, doom, nor with Spain.

Ex. 49. Misirlou a.k.a ‘Song of the Crickets’ (Afghanistan trad., n.d). Hijaz Kar in D; d e$ f# g a b$ c# = Â $Ê Î Ô Û $â ê

In other words, the connotations of flat-two modes like Hijaz, Hijaz Kar and the phrygian vary just as much as those of the aeolian; it’s down to other factors like speed, motivic gesture, phrasing, rhythmic-metric framework, instrumentation, register, dynamics and articulation. Most importantly, though, it depends on how your ear has been culturally conditioned, as we shall see next.

‘¡Viva España!’

‘Flat-two Spain’ and ‘flat-two Gypsies’ must be among Western exoticism’s most exploited musical tropes. ‘Gypsy’ is a corruption of ‘Egyptian’ (cf. Fr. égyptien/gitane) and it was mainly through Muslim North Africa that the Roma came to Arab Andalusia, many of them during the fifteenth century. Both before and after the Christian ‘reconquest’ (1492), the music of southern Spain included elements from the Mozarbic church, from Muslim and Jewish cantillation, as well as from the musics of the Morisco and Roma population. It was from this musical melting pot that evolved the various types of song, dance and guitar playing that were identified much later —in the late eighteenth century— under the umbrella heading flamenco. This syncretic musical tradition came to signal Spanish otherness, at least in the heyday of non-Iberian colonialism, and has done so more or less ever since, most recently in picture-postcard versions that sun-seeking tourists from the north could hear in tapas bars on the Costa del Sol or on their stereo equipment back home (ex. 56, p. 133). The question here is: what flamenco elements exist in ‘everyday tonality’?

According to Fernández (2004), flamenco tonality uses three modes: ionian, phrygian and ‘majorised phrygian’ (frigio mayorizado, i.e. Hijaz). Given that the ionian became international tonal currency in eighteenth century Europe, the most distinctive traits of flamenco tonality lie in its use of two modes based on mi (Fig. 21, p. 129). The first of these two mi-modes is purely phrygian. Its distinctive tetrachord  $Ê $Î Ô is most often heard in melodic descent (Ô $Î $Ê Â = a g f e in E). The other mi-mode, Hijaz, can also be called majorised phrygian because of the major third in its initial Hijaz tetrachord — $Ê ^Î Ô. This variant is more often heard in melodic ascent.

Fig. 21. The Andalusian mi-modes

Before continuing this account, one common point of confusion about the flamenco use of Hijaz needs to be disentangled. The confusion comes from jazz theorists who call Hijaz (or the majorised phrygian) the ‘phrygian dominant’ even though there’s nothing dominantal about it. It’s a mi mode, not a doh or fa mode, nor the ionianised harmonic minor, nor any other mode containing a ^ê. It makes no sense to imply that Hijaz Î (^Î, g# in Figure 21), used in melodic ascent to Ô (a in E), can become a ^ê without changing from a mi-mode like Hijaz into a la-mode like the aeolian. The mi mode’s tonic (I, Â, e in E) cannot morph into a dominant (V), the tertial triad on its own Û is v°, not v, let alone V; nor can its fourth (la, IV, Ô, a@ in E) be transformed into a tonic (I), nor its $Ê be confused with $â, so that its $Ê becomes Ê, at least not without the mode ceasing to be phrygian or Hijaz. Both ‘Â’ and ‘I’ mean one, the tonic, not Û or V (five). There is no dominant in these modes.

Among other names used to denote the Hijaz or majorised phrygian are the ‘Gypsy major mode’, the ‘flamenco mode’ and the ‘altered phrygian’. ‘Majorised’ is preferable to ‘altered’ because the phrygian can be altered in many ways (e.g. Hijaz and Kurd in Figure 20, p. 116). The Gypsy labels are unclear, too, because there are several variants of ‘major’ and ‘minor’ carrying the ‘Gypsy’ label (Fig. 20). ‘Flamenco mode’ is also confusing because there are at least two of them (phrygian and Hijaz) and because the ‘mode’ is as much a matter of harmony as of melody. It’s more concise and less confusing to call the phrygian ‘phrygian’ and the majorised phrygian ‘majorised phrygian’ or Hijaz. Hijaz is at least a mode that flamenquista Oscar Herrero thinks his guitar pupils should practise on the low E string (‘15ma bassa’ in example 50).

Ex. 50. Óscar Herrero (2004): Flamenco Guitar, Estudio N° 19 - Ligados;

repeated Hijaz tetrachord 1 $2 #3 4

However, it’s more common for Hijaz to be used in melodic ascent and phrygian in descent, as demonstrated in examples 51 and 52. In the last two bars of the Estribillo de Zorongo (in E) the ascending Hijaz g# (^Î) leads to a@ (Ô) but the phrygian g@ ($Î) leads via f@ ($Ê) down to e (Â). In the Liviana (in G#) the rising Hijaz ^Îs (b#) are all followed by falling phrygian $Îs (b@). The final melodic cadence on ‘muero’ is of course entirely phrygian Ô-$Î-$Ê-Â (c#-b@-a@-g#).

Ex. 51. Estribillo de Zorongo; Hijaz and phrygian in E: Hijaz ^Î<Ô (g#

Ex. 52. Fosforito: Liviana (simplified); Hijaz and phrygian in G#; ^Î-Ô-Û (b#-c#-d#, ascending); phrygian Û-Ô-$Î-$Ê-Â (d#-c#-b@-a@-g#, descending).

The alternation of $Î and Î in the flamenco mi-modes is not just a melodic issue. It’s at least as much a matter of harmony, even to the extent that the sound of a melodic mode can depend on the chords accompanying it, as explained next.

Example 53 shows the most common trait of flamenco harmony, the flamenco or Andalusian cadence in E: iv-$III-$II-I = Am-G-F-E.86 While the chord on Ô is based on the notes of the phrygian mode and includes a minor triad (iv = a-c@-e, not IV = a-c#-e), the final chord on Â, the phrygian tonic, contains a major third, as in the Hijaz mode: it’s I (e-g#-b) not i (e-g@-b). Thanks to the regular occurrence of this cadence formula in flamenco music, the melody shown in example 54 can be heard as phrygian. Even if it contains no $Ê it would, if accompanied, be heard above a iv-$III-$II-I cadence (Gm-F-E$-D in phrygian D): e$ ($Ê in D) would be present.

Ex. 54. Estribillo de Vito (baile popular cordobés; cit. Fernández, 2004: 46).

Besides, the descending flamenco cadence pattern is often a highly audible strand on the low strings of the guitar, as with the a-g-f-e bass notes (Ô-$Î-$Ê-Â) in the final bars of example 55.

Ex. 55. Juan Serrano (2002): Sevillana III; Ô-$Î-$Ê-Â descent, bars 5-7.

So, what do the ‘much exploited flat-two tropes’ of ‘Spanish Gypsies’ get wrong? They tend to shoot wide of the mark on many counts of rhythm, intonation and articulation, but they also miss an essential feature of flamenco tonality. One case in point is the 1970s charter-tour hit transcribed as example 56 (p. 133). The fact that its backing patterns are those of a paso doble, whose steps are associated more with bull-fighting than flamenco, may be relevant to its tourist character but not to its tonal structuration. The tonal tourism is to be found in the chord sequence Am-G-F-E. In the key of phrygian E, that progression would constitute an Andalusian cadence iv-$III-$II-I, as in example 53 or 55.

The trouble is that Y Viva España is not in phrygian E but in the key of A (first minor then major). There are three reasons for this observation. [1] The tune both starts and ends in A, not in E. [2] The chord E has an unmistakably dominant (V) function when it occurs at the half-way, half-cadence point on the first ‘España’ of the eight-bar refrain, creating the I-V-V-I matrix of periodic harmony typical for so many non-flamenco popular songs from northern Europe using standard tertial harmony in order to sound like flamenco. [3] The [G]-F-E sequence of bars 3-4 and 7-8 is replaced in bars 11-12 by the change B7-E in which the B7 does not act as V to produce a perfect cadence on E as tonic (I) but initiates a typical two-step II7-V7-I circle-of-fifths progression, B7-E7-A, in which E is unequivocally dominant (V) to the A (I) that comes on the subsequent first beat of the refrain. F-E in the Am-G-F-E sequence is in other words $VI-V in A, not $II-I in E.

Ex. 56. Sylvia Vrethammar (1973): Y viva España (v. 1 & 2)87 .

It could be argued that Bizet had similar problems with the tonal identity of flamenco in the introduction to his ‘Gypsy Song’ from Carmen (1875); but the clearest instances of [Â-$ê]-$â-Û (aeolian) replacing [Ô-$Î]-$Ê-Â (phrygian) are in style parodies like Y Viva España, where the final note and chord of the phrase, reached via a descent including the minor third and minor second above it, is Û/V, not the phrygian tonic (Â/I). It’s in this way that [Am-G-] Dm/F-E creates a half cadence in A harmonic minor, not an Andalusian cadence in phrygian or Hijaz E. In short, jazz theorists and creators of tourist flamenco music suffer from the same problem: both seem unable to hear a final phrygian cadence as final. The ionianised brain is apparently conditioned to hear the phrygian tonic as a dominant leading to a tonic in another, non-phrygian, mode.

Balkan modes

Exotic-mode Gypsies are clearly not just a Spanish affair. The ‘Other mode names’ column in Table 12 shows that ‘Gypsy’ qualifies not just Hijaz but also Nawa Athar and Niavent, modes that are also called ‘Byzantine’ or ‘Hungarian’ and ‘Ukrainian’. ‘Romanian’, ‘Bulgarian’, ‘Klezmer’ (even ‘Jewish’) are other ethnic labels for similar modes, most of which contain an augmented second and all of which are associated with southeastern Europe.

The left column in Table 12 (p. 135) shows seven ‘Balkan’ modes written in the G clef with c as tonic (Â). Scale degrees appear below and tetrachord names above each mode. Tetrachords are labelled according to the following principles. If the tetrachord aligns with the first four scale steps in a ‘church’ mode comprising two identical tetrachords, it’s given that mode’s name. Otherwise, if it corresponds with the first four notes of the recommended mode name shown in column 2, it’s given that name.

The middle column in Table 12 shows the recommended name for each mode. Recommendations are based on three principles.

[1] A mode name should respect the learning of those who make music in the relevant tradition and not be subjected to the tonal assumptions of jazz, euroclassical or any other alien type of music theory. That’s why the mode labels draw on the Arab-Ottoman-Greek traditions (maqam/makam/dromos) and steer clear of culturally irrelevant notions like the ‘dominant’.

[2] In cases where several adequate mode names exist, the shortest has been chosen.

[3] National and ethnic qualifiers are avoided for three reasons: [i] the same qualifier often applies to more than one mode; [ii] no mode is exclusive to one nation or ethnic group; [iii] ethnic identities in music change, as do their geographical locations.

Table 12. Seven Eastern European modes containing a 1½-tone step and/or #Ô.


Mode name

with scale steps Other

mode names

incl. misleading labels



½-1-1 Freygish, Ahava Rabba, An-dalusian, dorico flamenco, frigio mayorizado, phrygian dominant (1), altered phrygian, flamenco mode

hijaz kar


½-1½-½ Freygish, Gypsy, Gypsy major, Spanish Gypsy,

Byzantine, double harmonic minor,

phrygian dominant (2)

nawa athar


½-1-1 Gypsy minor,

Hungarian minor,

Hungarian Gypsy (1)



½-1½-½ Nagriz, Souzinak,

Hungarian Gypsy (2),

Spanish phrygian



1-½-1 Romanian (minor), Ukrainian dorian, Klezmer bulgarish, Misheberakh

lydian $7



(no augmented 2nd) Romanian (major),

Adonoy Molokh, ‘acoustic’, ‘overtone’, lydian dominant




Hungarian major

The scale-step figures under the mode names in Table 12 (p. 135) give the number of tones between each of its scale degrees (½ = semitone, 1 = tone, 1½ = 3 semitones). It should also be noted that individual tones in a particular mode are in practice often altered according to melodic context. Consideration of ascent or descent and the inclusion of melodic cadence formulae are two such factors, while some tunes can be a mixture of two (or more) modes.

The third column in Table 12 contains some alternative names for each mode. Problematic mode labels are in grey to indicate that their use is inadvisable.

The Roma may have chosen or been obliged to live outside mainstream society in many parts of Europe since their arrival in significant numbers during the fifteenth century, but they were often valued for their musical skills. In Romania, for example, Gypsy musicians (țigani lăutari) were indentured to provide entertainment for the aristocracy. Since the nineteenth century they’ve had a virtual monopoly on music-making at weddings and funerals. Klezmer musicians (klezmorim) often travelled and played with the lăutari, performing in both secular and specifically Jewish contexts. It’s therefore hardly surprising that Klezmer and Balkan Gypsy music share many common tonal traits.

Gypsy music played an important role in neighbouring Hungary, not least in the nineteenth century among members of the middle class who, in a wave of nationalism under the Dual Monarchy, identified what they heard in the music of urban Gypsy ensembles as a Hungarian rather than Austrian or German sound.

Like the flamenco derivatives discussed earlier, it was a sound adapted to Western ears while at the same time containing enough exotic elements to come across as ‘different’. Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies (1853) did much to spread this musical ‘Hungarianness’ around Europe. However, just as Boléro, composed by a Frenchman (Ravel, 1928), became international musical shorthand for Spain, it was a Spaniard (Paulo de Sarasate) and an Italian (Vittorio Monti) who formulated the most popular musical representations of Hungary and its Gypsy violinists. Both Monti’s Csárdás (1904) and Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen (1878) start with a dramatic minor-key rubato episode in slow quasi senza misura tempo (as in ex. 57) and end with a breakneck q section that often contains an accelerando passage. Super-fast scales and arpeggios (e.g. bars 2, 7 in ex. 57), phrases played as harmonics, triple and quadruple stopping (bar 4), left-hand pizzicati, glissandi, passages on the G string (‘sul G’ in ex. 57), frenetic semiquavers etc.— are all key features of the style’s Romantic virtuosity. The most consistent tonal feature, however, is its use of the harmonic minor (Nahawand), familiar enough to urban Western ears but, with its augmented second between $â and ^ê, exotic enough to signal the ‘Other’.

Ex. 57. Sarasate (1878) Zigeunerweisen (start of solo violin part); harmonic

minor (Nahawand) in C (bars 5-6): Â-Ê-$Î-Ô-Û-$â-^ê = c d e$ f g a$ b@ and in G (bars 2-3): Â-Ê-$Î-Ô-Û-$â-^ê = g a b$ c d e$ f#.

The flashy run-up in bar 2 of example 57, in G harmonic minor without Ê (a@), contains the augmented second $â-ê ($â-^ê, e$-f#) in three different octaves. That $â-^ê is even more audible in the appoggiature and grace notes of the G-string passage in bar 3. Bars 5-6 are little more than an ornamented BJ chord containing the distinctive augmented second $â-^ê (a$-b@) of C harmonic minor.

Swirling diminished chords, highlighted harmonic minor augmented seconds and suchlike certainly represented one contemporary aspect of Hungarianness in music but it wasn’t the only one.

Bartók modes

Through extensive fieldwork among peasant communities in Hungary, Romania and elsewhere, Bartók and Kodály collected recordings of other, older music traditions from the region. Initially championed as more ‘authentic’ than the often slick and flashy urbanised Gypsy music which had inspired Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies, Monti’s Csárdás and Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, Bartók’s and Kodály’s field recordings had a substantial impact on everyday tonality in the twentieth century because they inspired the creation of tonal alternatives to tired euroclassical tertiality, its Romantic chromaticism and its descent into serialism. Bartók’s own work provides proof of this new tonal sense, not just in his arrangements of the music he collected (examples 58-60) but also in his own compositions (examples 61-62).

In his piano arrangement of the tune shown as example 58 Bartók sticks mainly to a tonic drone on b@. In bars 10-13 the drone shifts to d, a move which changes mode from Nikriz in B to Mustaar in D. In this way the notes b c# d e# f# g# become â Â Ê Î #Ô [Û].

Ex. 58. Bartók (1915). ‘Topogó’ from Six Romanian Dances (cit. mem., shown an octave lower); hexatonic Nikriz in B: Â Ê $Î #Ô Û â = b c# d e# f# g#.

The main harmonic switch used by Bartók in example 59 is from Hijaz in A to either $Ê/b$ or $ê/g ($II or vii —B$/Gm in bar 3 and bars 5-7), the most usual points of counterpoise in Hijaz.

Ex. 59. Bartók (1915). ‘Bucsumí tánc’ Six Romanian Dances; Hijaz in A (except c@, b. 5-6): Â $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â $ê= a b$ c# d e f g.

In example 60, a Hungarian bagpipe tune arranged for piano, there’s no change of drone note. It’s entirely in the lydian flat seven mode which consists of a lower lydian and an upper dorian tetrachord (Â Ê Î #Ô, Û ^â $ê î). Jazz theorists often refer misleadingly to this mode as the ‘lydian dominant’ but it’s no more dominantal than Hijaz with its equally erroneous ‘phrygian dominant’ label. The mode in example 60 just can’t be ‘dominant’ if the bagpipe drone (d) is the tonic!

Ex. 60. Bartók (1916): Piano Sonatina, I (‘Dudások’ [=bagpipers]), b. 5-8; lydian $7 in D; d e f# g# a b c@ = Â Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê.

Example 61 presents an easily recognisable scalar instance of the lydian flat seven mode in Bartók’s music, while example 62 shows the same mode (or is it?) at the start of one of the composer’s best known works.

Ex. 61. Bartók (1937) Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion; lydian $7 in C;

c d e f# g a b$ = Â Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê

Ex. 62. Bartók (1939) Divertimento for String Orchestra (I), b. 2-8;

Nikriz in F; f g a$ b@ c d e$ = Â Ê $Î #Ô Û â $ê.

Used as signature for euroclassical music broadcasts on US Public Service TV, the opening theme of Bartók’s Divertimento contains many ‘fun’ elements (divertimento = entertainment, amusement). Aside from its rhythmic jokes, the extract contains elements of tonal fun that need some explanation.

Example 62 is preceded by a O bar of repeated iil zil iil F major triads that shuttle momentarily to G major (z) and back. That chordal accompaniment chugs along with its iil repetitions for the first minute or two of the piece, sticking to F±G in bars 1-3 and 5. With that ongoing chordal shuttle and f-e@-d as the main theme’s first three notes, the lydian mode is clearly stated, at least until the appearance of e$ ($ê) in bar 2 (^ê isn’t heard again for some time). Bearing in mind that ^Î (a@) is present in the accompanying F major chords, and that the note combination b@-c-e$ (#Ô-Û-$ê) is heard three times in bars 2-3, the lydian flat seven mode is clearly established —f g a b@ c d e$ = Â Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê. That tonal perception is broken by bar 4’s held a$ (l._l._z, $Î), the piece’s first melodic third of any sort. The chord change F?B$é at the introduction of a$ in the melody is such standard procedure for a blues in F (see ex. 63, p. 143, bar 2) that listeners might be excused for thinking of Gershwin, but three beats or two seconds later (bar 5) we are back in lydian flat seven mode. The ‘joke’ is that the melody is not in the lydian flat seven but in the Nikriz mode — f g a$ b@ c d e$ = Â Ê $Î #Ô Û â $ê — while the accompaniment consists of chords based on major triads (F, G, B$é). Two conflicting types of tonality —the $Î, #Ô, $7 of Nikriz and Western chords based major common triads— collide to produce a tonal hybrid whose ‘incongruity’ must, at least at the time of its first performance, have seemed new, dynamic and, hopefully, amusing (divertente).

Analytical detail of a few bars by Bartók may seem incongruous in a book about everyday tonality, but it is highly relevant to important change in popular tonal idioms during the twentieth century. The brief allusion to Gershwin a few sentences ago hints at where this narrative might be heading.

In a short advertisement for an upcoming 2009 performance of Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F (1925) and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra (1943), a music journalist on the Las Vegas Sun wrote:

‘The pairing of George Gershwin and Béla Bartók might have some Las Vegas Philharmonic ticket holders scratching their heads. A jazz-influenced Broadway composer and a Hungarian composer with a background in ethnomusicology doesn’t at first seem a likely coupling. But David Itkin, music director and conductor, says he selected [the] program as a way to pair two very accessible 20th century works that won’t turn audiences away.’

Now, although Bartók may have heard Gershwin’s music before writing his Divertimento (1939), and although he mentions Gershwin’s influence on Mikrokosmos nº 151, the point here is that a central aspect of Bartók’s tonal idiom —the incorporation of Eastern European ‘folk’ modes into his own work— exerted influence in the opposite direction. Not only were his Contrasts (1940) commissioned and performed by Benny Goodman; also, such figures as Chick Corea, Robert Fripp, Herbie Hancock and Frank Zappa have all testified to, or practically demonstrated, Bartók’s influence on them. The obvious question is why they go for Bartók instead of, say, Britten, Nono, Shostakovich, Stockhausen, Webern or Xenakis.

Part of the answer may well lie in Bartók’s use of metre, rhythm and percussive articulation; but just as important is his tonal idiom that draws on the field recordings made earlier in life. One obvious trait is the usually tonical basis of his music, but that’s not the only, nor the most important relevant characteristic linking Bartók’s idiom with an emerging North American sense of tonality that included the blues. Example 63 provides a clue to how this link works. It’s a simple, standard, right-hand piano figure for accompanying a swung ( Q) blues in F at the point of its change from F(7) to B$(7). Including its grace notes (the #Ê-Î and #Ô-Û smudges essential to blues piano), the total tonal vocabulary of example 63 is f g g#/a$ a@ b$ b@ c d e$ or scale steps Â Ê #Ê/$Î Î Ô #Ô Û â $ê in F. Considered enharmonically and excluding the perfect fourth (Ô, b$), all those scale degrees are contained either in the Nikriz or in the lydian flat seven mode, both of which contain Â Ê #Ô Û â $ê. (The only difference is Î: $Î in Nikriz, ^Î in lydian flat seven). Moreover, both modes are used extensively by Bartók and both bear more similarity to the blues tonality discussed on pages 158-163 than to ionian, ionianised or other ‘dominantal’ configurations.

Ex. 63. Standard blues piano motifs in F (over F and B$ in Q )

Bartók’s influence on everyday tonality can also be understood in a wider sense by briefly returning to the Bartók-Gershwin issue, because both composers worked on a similar task. Each of them developed, in different ways and using different raw materials, a tonal idiom, including harmony, that was based on and compatible with the rural or urban popular music traditions that they enjoyed and respected, but which were absent in the international concert music culture of the day. These developments took place at a time of crisis in euroclassical tonality when chromatic tertiality had disappeared from the tonical radar screen into the black hole of serialism, a time when the gap between the ‘classical/serious’ and ‘popular/trivial’ poles of Western musical life was at its most extreme. Instead of falling into the radicalist trap of musical experimentalism by refining serialism, introducing stochastic or aleatoric techniques, etc., they adopted a more radical, not radicalist, tonal strategy by fetching inspiration from the ‘popular/trivial’, i.e. from the music of the lower classes. Gershwin did it as a Broadway composer influenced by the blues and pre-bebop jazz of African Americans, Bartók as a Hungarian composer-cum-ethnomusicologist and fan of the modes and rhythms he knew so well from peasant communities in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. There’s something intrinsically democratic and inclusive about this process, even at the practical level of music making because one Bartókian solution to the problem of harmonising melodies incompatible with euroclassical tonality was, as we saw in examples 58-59 (p. 139), to use changing drone points and quartal harmony. As we shall see later (p. 344, ff.), this can be an effective strategy when putting chords to melody in other tonalities than that of the ionian and ionianised modes.

Before abandoning the Bartók connection it’s worth noting that his tonal aesthetic has been adopted in certain types of contemporary popular music in Hungary. Whether or not that is due to the inclusion of the Bartók-Kodály heritage in the nation’s school music curriculum during the period 1945-1990 is an issue beyond the scope of this discussion. Suffice it here to say that example 64, in breakneck tempo (212 bpm) and the Nikriz mode, shows (including repeats) seven seconds of a 2011 performance at the Budapest Tanc Ház (= House of Dance). Judging from the YouTube video from which the example is transcribed, it was a very popular occasion.

Ex. 64. István Pál (2011): Elhunyt táncos barátaink emlékére (1:07-1:14, rough transcr.); Nikriz in D: Â Ê $Î #Ô Û â $7 = d e f@ g# a b@ c@.

Example 65 is even more remarkable because it’s performed by an urban Gypsy ensemble (violins, bass, cimbalon, etc.) that only a few decades earlier would have almost certainly offered a repertoire of the Csárdás type described on pages 137-138.

Ex. 65. Tivadar Mészáros (1984): Kókai Rezső/Verbunkos Rhapsody (at 1:54; rough transcr.) Nikriz in C: Â Ê $Î #Ô Û â $ê = c d e$ f# g a b$.

Returning from Nikriz to the lydian flat seven, it should be noted that the mode is not exclusive to Eastern Europe. It’s also identified by Brazilian musicians as the Escala nordestina, i.e. a mode associated with traditional music from the Brazilian Northeast (ex. 66).

Ex. 66. José Siqueira (1949): Segunda cantoria de cego; lydian flat seven in A:

Â Ê ^Î #Ô Û â $ê = a b c# d# e f# g@ (cited by Camacho, 2004: 172).

The lydian flat seven mode even occurs in cheerful, widely diffused media music from the UK and the USA. Cited in truncated form on page 102 as familiar examples of the lydian mode, the two theme tunes cited more fully as examples 67 and 68 demonstrate that the lydian flat seven mode is not just specific to rural regions in the Balkans or Northeastern Brazil.

Ex. 67. Brian Fahey (1960): Theme for BBC Pick of the Pops; lydian $7 in C; c d e f# g a b$ = Â Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê (except Hijaz cadence, b. 8).

Ex. 68. Danny Elfman (1989): The Simpsons theme, lydian flat seven in C;

c d e f# g a b$ = Â Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê

Summary in 14 points

[1] A mode is the result of distilling a tonal vocabulary down to a set of individual occurrences of its constituent tones. These are normally arranged in ascending scalar order and delimited by scale degree 1 (Â, the tonic) at the bottom and top of one octave.

[2] Many traditions of musical learning conceive of the octave as consisting of seven basic scale degrees, several of which (typically Î, â and ê, but also Ê and Ô) are variable in pitch.

[3] The distinctive character of a mode is largely determined by its unique scale degree profile, e.g. Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê (ionian), Â $Ê Î Ô Û $â $ê (Hijaz). Even so, music in the same mode can vary quite substantially in mood and character depending on which of its constituent tones are used in which way, as well as on other musical factors (see ‘Aeolian’, pp. 105-112).

[4] Six heptatonic diatonic modes are in common use in the West: ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian and aeolian. These six modes all contain a perfect fifth and consist of four scalar steps of a whole tone and two of one semitone. The locrian is less common, except in heavy metal music.

[5] The ionian, lydian and mixolydian are called ‘major’ modes because they contain ^Î, the dorian, phrygian and aeolian are called ‘minor’ because of their $Î. The notion that major modes are happy and minor modes sad is questionable.

[6] The ionian mode has equivalents in many music cultures but no pride of place among other modes in those traditions.

[7] A vast number of heptatonic modes exist in addition to the six or seven more familiar to Westerners. Many of those other heptatonic modes are non-diatonic. Nineteen Greek dromoi and at least thirty Arab maqamat are in daily use.

[8] Many modes in the Arab and Ottoman traditions contain pitches incompatible with Western tuning systems, e.g. e§, ¾-tone above d, ¼-tone below e@ and ¾-tone below f.

[9] A maqam octave is often theorised as a combination of two tetrachords. This aspect of tonal theory is useful in the understanding of many types of mode.

[10] Modes containing $Ê or #Ô and/or a scale step of an augmented second (1½ tones), as in the ‘harmonic minor’ —Nahawand— and Hijaz, are very common in the Arab world, the Balkans, Greece and Turkey. Hijaz is also common in Andalusia as one of flamenco music’s two mi modes.

[11] The augmented second interval (1½ tones) and the scale degree flat two ($Ê) have been used in the West as stereotypical signals of a remarkably wide variety of ethnic ‘Others’, most notably Arabs, Jews and Gypsies, the latter from both the Balkans and southern Spain.

[12] The phrygian is the only diatonic heptatonic mode to include flat two ($Ê), and the harmonic minor the only euroclassical mode to contain an augmented second.

[13] The lydian flat seven mode, found in traditional music from Romania, and as used by Bartók, has tonal similarities to blues modes. It is also characteristic of music from Northeastern Brazil.

[14] ‘Phrygian dominant’ and ‘lydian dominant’ are patent misnomers. Westerners raised on a tonal diet of V-I in the ionian mode and who fail to hear a final cadence in the phrygian or Hijaz modes are effectively deaf to the phrygian tonic. Similarly, music in the lydian flat seven mode cannot morph into another mode with another tonic by being that tonic’s ‘dominant’ without the music ceasing to be in lydian flat seven.

One last point

No-one can possibly hear all different tonal vocabularies as would a member of their home audience and, of course, there’s nothing more destructive to a living musical tradition than to insist on ‘authenticity’ at all costs. My remarks about pieces like the Lawrence of Arabia theme, Zigeunerweisen and ¡Y Viva España! are in other words not intended as ‘put-downs’ of those pieces but as a way of drawing attention to what a Western listener might be missing in terms of musical variety and richness if touristic impressions are allowed to cloud insights that might have some cultural depth, or even be fun. I’m clearly no opponent of hybridisation or the mixing of styles. If I were, I wouldn’t have written with such enthusiasm about Gershwin or Bartók and their development of viable tonal idioms in the twentieth century by bringing together apparently incompatible styles of music. However, as a music educator keen to ensure that my students can find musical inspiration and interest in as wide a variety of traditions as possible, I strongly object to labels like ‘phrygian dominant’ and ‘lydian dominant’ because they belong to a terminology and attitude which assumes that other musical traditions can be forced into the conceptual grid of euroclassical or conventional jazz tonality. After all, the musicians who actually use those modes un-exotically in other cultures as part of their everyday tonality have perfectly adequate and much shorter names for the same phenomena —Hijaz ( إجز, Χιτζάζ, Хиджаз, Hicaz, Hiyaz, etc.) for example. Those labels denote tonal practices that have nothing to do with ‘dominants’ and the unstoppable march of chords anticlockwise round the circle of fifths to reach a final ‘perfect cadence’. It’s for these reasons that I find terms like ‘the phrygian dominant’ not just misleading but also, quite frankly, disrespectful and, if not arrogant, at least ignorant.

If you find my anti-ethnocentric invective unconvincing, why not try a simple two-part thought experiment? First imagine your favourite ionian-mode tune as the butt of an Egyptian parody called ‘Western Baby’, played in the ‘out-of-tune’ maqam Rast and containing wrongly placed V-I cadences plus seemingly pointless switches of key. That could initially be quite funny because it’s unusual for parody to go in our direction, but the joke would probably wear thin with time.

The second part of the thought experiment is easier. Just put yourself in the shoes of someone living in a Muslim town. How many times would you have heard something resembling example 69 (p. 149) proclaimed from your local minaret?

Ex. 69. Morning adhan (call to prayer), Al-Aqsa mosque, Jerusalem (2013) *

If it’s your thirtieth birthday, if there are five calls to prayer every day and if Hijaz is one of the five most common modes used by the local Mu'ezzin, you’ll have heard that sort of tonal statement once a day.113 That makes 11,000 hearings of something in a mode that Westerners find a bit strange. Regardless of whether or not you’re a devout Muslim, it’s just as much, if not more, tonal ‘home’ to you in your home town than the BBC News jingle is to an avid watcher of current affairs broadcasts on UK TV. I just think we should at least try and understand the music of elsewhere from the ‘hearpoint’ of those for whom elsewhere is home, not just through our own culturally conditioned ears. It’s also more fun that way.

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4. Non-heptatonic modes

If modes containing seven different scale degrees are heptatonic, eight-note modes are octatonic, six-note modes hexatonic, those with five pentatonic, while four- and three-note modes are tetratonic and tritonic. Now, even though the most popular pentatonic modes are sometimes called ‘gapped’ because they contain two scale steps larger than those of the ‘church’ modes of Chapter 3 —doh ré mi sol la and la doh ré mi sol, for example— they are no more incomplete or empty than the octatonic start to example 70 can be considered cluttered or crowded.

Ex. 70. Vigneault/Rochon (1973): Je chante pour (octatonic opening phrase)

The point is that the most widespread convention for numbering scale degrees (in Europe, the Arab world, India, Java, China, etc.) is, as we’ve seen, heptatonic. So, when expressions like ‘thirdless hexatonic’ occur in this chapter it does not imply that the mode is in any sense deficient: it’s just a matter of using a quasi-global convention to designate a particular trait of the mode.

Tritonic and tetratonic

Tritonic and tetratonic tunes are common in many parts of the world, not least in traditional music from Micronesia and Polynesia, as well as among the Māori, the Inuit, the Saami and Native Americans of the great plains. Tetratonic modes are also found in Christian psalm and response chanting (ex. 71), while the sound of children chanting tritonic taunts can still be heard in playgrounds in many parts of the world (ex. 72).

Ex. 71. Psalm tone 2 (quasi-tetratonic: c d [e] f g)

Ex. 72. Children’s tritonic taunting chant (e g a)

And it’s not as if tritonic and tetratonic tunes are exclusive to children or to pre-industrial times and places. For example, the lead vocals of both Sweet Home Alabama (ex. 73) and Da Doo Ron Ron (ex. 74) are entirely tritonic.

Ex. 73. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet Home Alabama (1974); d e f#/1 2 #3

Ex. 74. The Crystals: Da Doo Ron Ron (1963); e$ f g / 1 2 3

Nevertheless, the fact that the melodic lines of these two tunes draw on a three-note vocabulary does not mean the actual pieces are in a tritonic mode. Performed with instruments and backing vocals, both tunes are heptatonic. Sweet Home Alabama is mixolydian (Â Ê Î Ô Û â $ê) in D (d e f# g a b c@) with its three-chord mixolydian loop {D-C-G} (I-$VII-IV) and Da Doo Ron Ron unequivocally ionian (Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê) in E$ (e$ f g a$ b$ c d) with its ionian chord loop {E$-A$-B$-E$} (I-IV-V-I). Each tune has a clear tonic letting us identify Â, Ê and Î as scale degrees in the tritonic vocal line. It is on the other hand impossible to talk about tonics in examples 71 and 72 because their performance is monophonic and has no obvious tonic (why would it need one?) from which other scale degrees can be unambiguously derived.


Fig. 22. Anhemitonic pentatonic mode frequency ratios

The most widely used modes outside the euroclassical sphere must surely be pentatonic. One reason for the ubiquity of anhemitonic pentatonicism may be, as suggested in Figure 22, that all five notes are acoustically linked by simple pitch ratios. In doh-pentatonic C, for example, the frequency ratio between c and g (a fifth) is 2:3, that between g and d (a fourth) 4:3, between d and a 2:3, and 4:3 between a and e. Rearranged in ascending order of pitch in the second row of Figure 22, the ‘white-key’ versions in Figure 23 (p. 154) show that those same five notes constitute modes like the doh- or ‘major’ pentatonic (c d e g a —no. 1 in Figure 23) and the la- or ‘minor’ pentatonic mode (a c d e g —no. 5).

Modes 1-5 in Figure 23 (p. 154) are anhemitonic because they contain no semitones. Their scalar steps comprise three whole tones (one between doh and ré, ré and mi, sol and la), and two steps of one and a half (1½ between mi and sol, la and doh). The Japanese mode Hirajoshi at the bottom of Figure 23, however, is hemitonic because it contains semitones ($â-Û and $Ê-Â). Like any other hemitonic mode, it cannot be played using only the black notes on a piano keyboard whereas all five anhemitonic modes can. The account that follows deals with the three most commonly heard of the five anhemitonic modes, at least in the urban West, two of which are also conceptually familiar. Those two are the doh-mode or ‘major pentatonic’ (Fig. 23, nº 1) and the la-mode or ‘minor pentatonic’ (Fig. 23, no. 6). The third, the ré-pentatonic mode (Fig. 23, nº 2), despite its presence in traditional musics in the British Isles and North America, appears to be a less familiar entity.

Anhemitonic pentatonic

Fig. 23. Five anhemitonic pentatonic modes (plus one hemitonic)


Ex. 75. ‘Sloane’ (Irish trad.), b. 1-8 (doh-pentatonic in E$)

Ex. 76. The East Is Red ( 东方红 - Chinese trad.), b. 1-4 (doh-pentatonic in E)

Fig. 24. Doh-pentatonic modes for examples 75 (E$) and 76 (E)

In E$ (ex. 75) the doh-pentatonic notes are e$ f g b$ c [e$] and, in E (Fig. 76), e f# g# b c# [e]. In addition to countless well-known tunes like Auld Lang Syne, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and Sukiyaki, two other popular doh-pentatonic melodies are cited here: The Skye Boat Song (ex. 77) and Amazing Grace (ex. 78).

Ex. 77. Skye Boat Song (Scot. trad., cit. mem.); doh-pentatonic in G $ (black keys)

Ex. 78. Amazing Grace (1835; mel. cit. mem.); doh-pentatonic in F

Both doh- and la-pentatonic melodies are common in music from such far-flung parts of the world as West Africa, the Andes, East Asia (including China, Japan and Indonesia), Hungary and the British Isles.


La-pentatonic melody is common in traditional music from the British Isles and the Appalachians (ex. 80), as well as in blues-based popular styles (ex. 79, 81).

‘Minor pentatonic scales show up everywhere in rock music… [S]ongs by Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen,… Nirvana… feature [them] again and again.’

Ex. 79. Johnny Cash: Hurt (2009; la-pentatonic A).

Ex. 80. ‘The Coo-Coo Bird’ (US trad., via Ashley, 1929; la-pentatonic G)

Ex. 81. ‘Boom Boom’ (Animals, 1964b, covering Hooker, 1963; la-pentatonic E)

Fig. 25. La-pentatonic modes in G and E

Examples 79-81 are all la-pentatonic. Section 5 in Figure 23 (p. 154) shows that the five notes of the la-pentatonic mode —la doh ré mi sol [la], spaced at intervals of 1½, 1, 1, 1½ and 1 tones respectively— are equivalent to heptatonic scale degrees  $Î Ô Û $ê (Â). In A (ex. 79), that pattern produces the notes a c d e g. In G (ex. 80) it produces g b$ c d f (g) and in E (ex. 81) e g a b d (e) (Fig. 25).


Section 2 in Table 23 (p. 154) shows that the five notes of the ré-pentatonic mode —ré mi sol la doh— are equivalent to heptatonic scale degrees Â Ê Ô Û $ê. In D that ré-pentatonic pattern of 1 + 1½ + 1 + 1½ + 1 steps produces the notes d e g a c. In A (ex. 82-83) that same scale degree pattern —Â Ê Ô Û $ê— results in a b d e g, while in C# (ex. 84) it gives c# d# f# g# b and, in C (ex. 85), c d f g b$.

Ex. 82. Shady Grove (US trad. via Clarence Ashley, ré-pentatonic A)

Ex. 83. The Braes of Lochiel (Scot. trad., bars 1-5; ré-pentatonic A)

Ex. 84. ‘Lowlands Of Holland (UK. trad./Steeleye Span, 1970; ≈ ré-pentatonic C#)

Ex. 85. ‘Female Drummer (Eng. trad. via Steeleye Span, 1971; ≈ ré-pentatonic C)

Ré-pentatonic tunes seem more unfamiliar than doh- and la-modes to most of my students, many of whom hear, for example, The Female Drummer (ex. 85) in a ‘minor’ mode (usually dorian) despite there being nothing minor (or major) about it because it contains no third at all, neither minor (e$) nor major (e@). Nor is the mode in any way unresolved or incomplete, even though many musicians insist on referring to it as ‘suspended’.

Diligent readers will have observed that examples 82-83 are entirely ré-pentatonic but that, strictly speaking, examples 84 and 85 are not. That’s because there’s an e ($3 in C#) in bar 9 of example 84 and an a@ (#6 in C) in bars 3-5 and 11-13 of example 85. So, if neither $3 nor #6 are part of the ré-pentatonic mode, why are examples 84 and 85 so labelled? It’s because those extra notes mark a temporary counterpoise to an overriding ré-pentatonic tonality. Since that interpretation sounds a bit spurious, I had better explain.

The single e@ in bar 9 of The Lowlands Of Holland (ex. 84) marks a momentary change from C# ré-pentatonic to either C# la-pentatonic or E doh-pentatonic. It occurs near the start of the third of four 4-bar periods, a typical half-way point for going tonally ‘elsewhere’ before ‘returning home’: it’s the ‘B’ in a standard AABA strophic pattern whose three ‘A’ periods stay consistently in C# ré-pentatonic. In The Female Drummer (ex. 85) the highlighting of a tonal ‘elsewhere’ works differently. Here the a@ (Kâ in C) serves to underline the importance of the tune’s counterpoise on b$ ($ê). It could be argued that the a@’s function is that of a momentary leading note to the b$. That interpretation does not work on the extracts shown as examples 95-102, all of which are unequivocally ré-hexatonic and discussed on pages 172-173.

Songs like The Female Drummer and The Lowlands Of Holland are, as we just saw, basically pentatonic with a momentary hexatonic ‘extra’. Blues tonality, so influential on everyday music in the twentieth century, is similar on that count but in a very different way.

Blues pentatonic

Viewed in highly schematic terms, blues melody is based on the anhemitonic doh- and la-pentatonic modes (Fig. 26, nºs 1 and 2, p. 159). The lower line in Figure 26 (nºs 3 and 4) shows the sort of tonal material you’re likely to actually hear. Not only are the modes presented in descending order in accordance with the blues-typical tumbling strain (see p. 183, ff.); they also show some common alternatives to strictly pentatonic pitches in terms of substitution, inflection and harmonic or melodic context.

Fig. 26. Blues pentatonic modes: [1] doh-pentatonic; [2] la-pentatonic;

[3] blues/gospel major pentatonic; [4] blues minor pentatonic.

Doh-pentatonic blues

The blues-gospel major pentatonic mode is so called because it resembles the standard doh-pentatonic mode with its ^Î and ^â. The qualifier ‘gospel’ simply alludes to its frequent use in gospel-related styles, as shown on page 160 in examples 86 (Alex Bradford) and 87 (Smokey Robinson), while the ‘blues’ epithet is obvious from the twelve bars of Bessie Smith in example 88. In this mode, the two scale degrees most commonly subjected to variation are â and Î. â can be replaced by $ê if the underlying harmony so demands, for example b$ instead of a@ over Cé. Even more common is a blue note on Î, either as WÎ or as a slide from $Î towards ^Î (notated as an ascending d#-e in Figure 26 and as a passing e$ in descent). A straight $Î with no slide or bend (e$ in C) replaces KÎ when the harmonies shift to a chord on IV (Fé if the blues is in C). Finally, the [Ê]-Â-â-Â at the end of example 3 in Figure 26 shows the notes often used around the tonic in this mode. Two examples serve to illustrate how this mode is used in gospel-related styles.

Example 86, taken from a 1955 recording by gospel vocalist Alex Bradford, is entirely doh-pentatonic in A (a b c# e f# = Â Ê Î Û â), except for the alteration of c# to c@ ($Î replaces ^Î) over the Dé (IV) chord in bar 4. Doh-pentatonic in A is ideally suited to the improvised melodic outbursts heard during the shuttle between the chords A and F#m (I\vi) that occupies over half of the track’s running time because major (doh) pentatonic in A contains the same notes as minor (la) pentatonic in F#. The same sort of tonal shuttle, both melodic and harmonic, is heard in other up-tempo gospel numbers like Shout (Isley Brothers, 1959; Lulu, 1964).

Ex. 86. Alex Bradford (1955): Somebody Touched Me

Ex. 87. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (1963) You Really Got A Hold On Me

Ex. 88. Bessie Smith (1929) I’m Wild About That Thing

In example 88, Bessie Smith, in a twelve-bar B$ blues-gospel pentatonic eulogy to part of her lover’s anatomy (‘Give it to me, papa; I’m wild about that thing’), illustrates how the mode’s tonal alteration principles work. Doh-pentatonic Î is replaced by blues-gospel §Î (d§ as blue note) in bars 4, 7 and 10 but by a ‘straight’ $Î (d$) over the E$ (IV) chord in bar 5, just like the c@ over Dé in example 86. Another famous doh-pentatonic blues example (e f# a b c# in A) is the John Lomax recording of Arkansas State Prison inmates singing The Rock Island Line (Pace, 1934).

La-pentatonic blues

The most significant trait in the blues minor mode is its treatment of la-pentatonic Û. It can be stated ‘straight’, but it can also be ‘slid up to’ from #Ô just below, as with the e#-f# in bar 1 of example 89 and in bar 2 of example 90; or it can be inserted as, or altered wholesale to, $Û, usually followed by Ô, as in those same two examples, most notably on the last ‘money’ in the Valentine Brothers track (ex. 90). In the blues minor mode, $Î and $ê are more rarely the object of slides or bends. They are usually articulated as ‘straight’ $Îs and $ês, occasionally as §Î and §ê.

Ex. 89. Robert Johnson (1936): Kind Hearted Woman Blues

Ex. 90. Valentine Brothers (1982): Money’s Too Tight To Mention, 2:15-2:33

Among other famous recordings featuring these traits of the minor blues mode are Robert Johnson’s Crossroads (1937, in B), Charlie Patton’s Stone Pony (1934, in F) and Texas Alexander’s Peaceful Blues (1929, in F#), all of which contain $Î or §Î, as well as $Û and $ê accompanied by major chords on the guitar.

The la-pentatonic blues mode’s $Û became a defining trait of bebop. It allowed musicians to do all sorts of clever things with harmony (p. 270, ff.) and became synonymous with jazz notions of cool. The descending $Û (c$ in F) is given this ‘cool’ treatment in the tritone triplet figure c$-b$-a$-f ($Û-Ô-$Î-Â) in bars 4 and 6 of example 91.

Ex. 91. Bobby Timmons (1958): Moanin’; $5 as bebop blues.

Ex. 92. Henry Mancini (1963): The Pink Panther (repeated $Û extract).

As a much used musical sign of 1950s streetwise sophistication, $Û became a sitting duck for satire. Just five years after Art Blakey’s popular recording of Moanin’ (ex. 91), Henri Mancini (ex. 92) set the comic incompetence of Inspector Clouzot —including his P.I. trenchcoat and other delusions of cool— to a barrage of flat fives (b$ is $Û in The Pink Panther’s E minor blues pentatonic mode). The b$ is held relentlessly in bar 3 of the extract in example 92 and is hammered home four times in bar 6 before trickling down in triplets —like the $Û-Ô-$Î-Â figure in Moanin’— to the final tonic.

Despite the flat five’s fall from grace as the tonal epitome of cool —’jazz is not dead, it just smells funny’, said Frank Zappa,— the la-pentatonic blues mode and its $Û returned with a vengeance in early heavy metal, as heard in examples 93 and 94, as well as in tracks like Rat Salad (Black Sabbath, 1970b), Highway Star (Deep Purple, 1972b) and Wrathchild (Iron Maiden, 1981). Such prominent use of the la-pentatonic blues mode’s $Û in early metal may well have reinforced the predilection among some exponents of the style for the tritone in general, rather than as part of the blues la-pentatonic mode.

Ex. 93. Cream: Sunshine Of Your Smile (1968): blues la-pentatonic riff in A

Ex. 94. Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water (1972a, 0:26-0:35): opening guitar riff with bass, blues la-pentatonic in G

Theoretical bridge from five to six

One last piece of theory is needed before taking on the hexatonic modes. It involves dividing the octave into two halves, one pentatonic, the other heptatonic. In Figure 27 (p. 164) the pentatonic trichords on mi and sol are greyed out because they’re the same as those starting on la (scale steps 1½, 1, 1) and ré (1, 1½, 1). The three pentatonic trichords between  and Û are therefore: [1] the doh-pentatonic trichord Â Ê Î Û (scale steps 1, 1, 1½); [2] the ré-pentatonic trichord Â Ê Ô Û (1, 1½, 1); [3] the la-pentatonic trichord  $Î Ô Û (scale steps 1½, 1, 1).

The other scalar half of the hexatonic modes discussed below consists of one of the three symmetrical heptatonic tetrachords shown first in Figure 28: [1] the doh or ionian tetrachord Â Ê Î Ô (tone step pattern 1, 1, ½); [2] the ré or dorian tetrachord Â Ê $Î Ô (1, ½, 1); [3] the mi or phrygian tetrachord  $Ê $Î Ô (½, 1, 1). Since the other ‘church’ modes are asymmetrical, their names are less useful as tetrachord qualifiers than the three just mentioned.

Fig. 27. The three anhemitonic pentatonic trichords: Doh, Ré and La.

Fig. 28. 3+1 octave-symmetrical tetrachords

The Hijaz tetrachord is included in Figure 28 because, like the other three, it’s symmetrical in the sense that it can be used in the same heptatonic mode as both upper and lower tetrachord (Hijaz Kar, Fig. 20, p. 116). It also constitutes the upper half of the harmonic minor mode (Û $â ^ê î =  $Ê ^Î Ô) whose lower tetrachord is dorian (Â Ê $Î Ô). Among other heptatonic modes built on two different tetrachords are the mixolydian, whose lower half is ionian Â Ê Î Ô and its upper dorian (Û â $ê î = Â Ê $Î Ô), and the aeolian with its lower dorian and upper phrygian tetrachords (Â Ê $Î Ô and Û $â $ê î =  $Ê $Î Ô). The lydian and locrian, as well as Niavent (Nawa Athar), Nikriz and Mustaar are all asymmetrical because, by containing #Ô or $Û, their lower tetrachord cannot be transposed a fifth to the upper half of the octave (Fig. 20, p. 116; Table 12, p. 135).

The explanations just offered let us understand that, for example: [1] the doh-hexatonic mode consists of a lower heptatonic ionian (doh) tetrachord (Â Ê Î Ô) and a pentatonic upper ré trichord (Â Ê Ô), a fifth higher as Û â î; [2] the quartal (‘thirdless’) la-hexatonic mode consists of a pentatonic lower ré-trichord (Â Ê Ô) and a heptatonic upper mi-tetrachord (Â $Ê $Î Ô), a fifth higher as Û $â $ê î.

Hexatonic modes

No names

Hexatonic modes are, as we shall shortly see, common in melody from the British Isles and North America. And yet, while pentatonic and heptatonic modes may be covered in music theory courses, hexatonic modes are conspicuous by their absence, with one exception —the ‘whole-tone scale’, probably included because of its use by accredited euroclassical composers like Debussy. More popular hexatonic modes, those containing a perfect fifth, like the ‘seventhless’ doh-mode, don’t seem to make it into the academy. And so far I’ve been treating them as if they were either deficiently heptatonic (e.g. the ‘seventhless’ doh-mode), or pentatonic with one note too many (e.g. the ‘extra’ ^â in the otherwise ré-pentatonic Female Drummer). Nor do hexatonic modes appear to have ready names like ‘lydian’ or ‘la-pentatonic’ allowing them to be easily identified or discussed without cumbersome periphrasis.

The aim of this section is therefore to bring some semblance of order into what seems hitherto to have been something of a conceptual no-man’s land, to explain how common hexatonic modes are constructed, and to suggest simple ways in which those modes can be identified and named. To make this task less daunting I’ve chosen to focus on hexatonic modes playable on the white keys of a piano keyboard. I’ve identified those modes in two ways: by relative tonic note —doh, ré, mi, fa, sol and la— and by the nature of each mode’s third scale degree (Î). The three types of third are: [1] KÎ — major hexatonic; [2] $Î —minor hexatonic; [3] no third at all —quartal hexatonic. After the initial systematic table (Fig. 29, p. 167) and some theoretical explanations, examples are discussed in order of the three types of third just mentioned.

The hexatonic modes in Figure 29 (p. 167) share common features. Apart from consisting by definition of six different tones, each of them contains four scalar steps of a whole tone (‘1’ in the right-hand column), one of a semitone (‘½’), and one of three semitones (‘1½’). They also all consist of a pentatonic trichord and a heptatonic tetrachord (Figures 27-28, p. 164). The boundary between the two, just below the fifth in each mode, is marked in Figure 29 by a small vertical dash (‘|’) in the left column. For example, the much used doh-hexatonic mode —doh ré mi fa sol la (doh)— contains no seventh. Its lower half consists of four notes or three steps: c d e f = Â Ê Î Ô = 2 tones plus 1 semitone —1, 1, ½, i.e. an ionian or doh tetrachord, while its top half is a ré-pentatonic trichord (g a c = Â Ê Ô, or one whole tone plus three semitones —1, 1½). Together that produces Â Ê Î Ô Û â [Â] for the whole mode (c d e f g a [c] in C). The equally ubiquitous la-hexatonic mode, on the other hand, is ‘sixthless’ —a b c d e g [a] = Â Ê $Î Ô Û $ê [Â] in A— and consists of a ré tetrachord (Â Ê $Î Ô) in the lower half and a la-pentatonic trichord in the upper ( $Î Ô as Û $ê î [=Â] for e g a in A).

Similar deconstruction of each mode in Figure 29 reveals a unique combination of tetrachord and trichord, except for the second mi mode and the final sol mode. These two are greyed out because, although they can be generated on the white notes of the piano with e and g as tonic, they produce the same scale degrees as other hexatonic modes: the  $Î Ô Û $â $ê [Â] in E (e g a b c d) is the same as aeolian hexatonic in A (a b c d e g), while the Â Ê Ô Û â $ê in G (g a c d e f) is identical to ré-hexatonic in D (d e g a b c).

Fig. 29. ‘White-note’ hexatonic modes containing a perfect fifth.

The hexatonic modes in Figure 29 have been named according to the following principles. If the tones of the white-note mode are part of a heptatonic ‘church’ mode, and if its hexatonic scale degree profile is not duplicated elsewhere in the table, it is given the relevant ‘church’ mode’s name. That’s why the tertial mode in D is called dorian hexatonic: its combination of $Î ^â and $ê is uniquely dorian. It’s also why the sol mode containing ^Î ^â and $ê is mixolydian hexatonic, and why the mi mode featuring $Ê is exclusively phrygian; it’s also the only mi mode and can therefore be called either mi hexatonic or phrygian hexatonic. In the same way, given that the fourthless doh mode containing ^Î ^â and ^ê is the only one listed to contain those ionian scale degrees, it’s called ionian hexatonic, while its widely used ‘seventhless’ cousin (Â Ê Î Ô Û â) can be called simply doh hexatonic.

If a hexatonic mode contains no third, it’s qualifiable as quartal. Using the white keys of a piano, hexatonic quartal modes can be constructed on A/La (Â Ê Ô Û $â $ê —la quartal hexatonic), D/Ré (Â Ê Ô Û â $ê —ré hexatonic) and G/Sol (Â Ê Ô Û â $ê, same degrees as D/Ré). Ré quartal is called simply ré hexatonic because its first four notes (Â Ê Ô Û) include the ré-pentatonic trichord Â Ê Ô.

Both the fourthless and the sixthless modes on G/Sol are uniquely mixolydian (Â Ê Î Û â $ê and Â Ê Î Ô Û $ê) but that adjective is reserved for the first of the two because it is even more specifically mixolydian than the G-mode without â, which can be called simply sol hexatonic.

To summarise: the hexatonic modes in Figure 29 (p. 167) can be categorised in several ways. Here I do so in terms of three types of thirds: [1] major hexatonic, i.e. those containing a major third —the do, sol and fa modes; [2] minor hexatonic, i.e. those containing a minor third —the ré-tertial, the (‘sixthless’) la mode, the la-aeolian and the mi mode. [3] quartal hexatonic, i.e. those with neither major nor minor third —the ré- and the la-quartal modes.

Major hexatonic

Examples 95-97 all include a semitone between scale degrees 3 (^Î) and 4 (Ô). They aren’t pentatonic because all heptatonic scale degrees except ê are present in all three tunes. Here we’re dealing with the seventhless doh-hexatonic mode, so called because Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û and â, can, if C (doh) or G (sol) is tonic, be played on the white notes of a piano keyboard. This mode is common in traditional and popular music from the British Isles and the USA.

Ex. 95. ‘This Old Man’ (Eng. trad., cit. mem.) doh-hexatonic;

Â Ê Î Ô Û â = d e f# g a b in D) .

Ex. 96. The Claudy Banks (Eng. trad., via The Albion Country Band, 1970);

doh-hexatonic Â Ê Î Ô Û â = e f# g# a b c# in E)

Ex. 97. MacPherson’s Farewell (Scot. trad., mel. cit. mem.); doh-hexatonic

Â Ê Î Ô Û â = f g a b$ c d in F.

Finally, to underline the ubiquity of the seventhless major hexatonic or doh-hexatonic mode (it’s not unusual!), here’s Tom Jones.

Ex. 98. Tom Jones: It’s Not Unusual (1965); doh-hexatonic in C (no b@)

Minor or la-hexatonic

Minor hexatonic tunes are common in traditional music from the British Isles and the Appalachians. Examples 99-104 are all in the sixthless la-hexatonic mode — Â Ê $Î Ô Û $ê.

The tune usually sung to Robert Burns’ political poem Ye Jacobites By Name, is la-hexatonic and cited as example 99.

Ex. 99. Ye Jacobites By Name (1791; Scot. trad. via The Corries, 1971); la-hexatonic F: f g a$ b$ c e$ (no d@, no d$)

The Maid Of Coolmore (ex. 100), a slow traditional song of parting, is performed by The Bothy Band in la-hexatonic B. It contains b c# d e f# a but neither g@ nor g#.

Ex. 100. The Maid Of Coolmore (Ir. trad. via Bothy Band, 1976); la-hexatonic B

La-hexatonic tunes aren’t only found in traditional songs from pre-industrial Scotland and Ireland. When Johnny Comes Marching Home (ex. 101) may date from the time of the US Civil War but it’s still a well-known tune on the repertoire of countless marching bands. In la-hexatonic G, it contains no sixth, neither e$ nor e@.

Ex. 101. When Johnny Comes Marching Home (US trad.); la-hexatonic G:

g a b$ c d f.

Which Side Are You On? (ex. 102), in la-hexatonic E, contains e f# g a b d but neither c@ nor c#. First recorded in the early 1930s, it’s one of the USA’s most popular union songs. And the hook line of The Hollies hit Bus Stop (ex. 103) is in la-hexatonic A. It contains a b c d e and g but neither f@ nor f#.

Ex. 102. Florence Reece: Which Side Are You On? (1931); la-hexatonic E

Ex. 103. Hollies: Bus Stop (1966); la-hexatonic A: a b c d e g, no f@, no f#.

Finally, the Dolly Parton hit Jolene (1973; ex. 104, p. 172) is in la-hexatonic C# and contains c# d# e f# g# b but neither a@ nor a#.

Ex. 104. Dolly Parton: Jolene (1973); Â Ê $Î Ô Û $ê la-hexatonic C#

Quartal or ré hexatonic

Ex. 105. ‘The Drunken Piper’, bars 1-8, no grace notes (fr. Scots Guards Settings of Pipe Music, Vol 1, 1954); in ré-hexatonic A (sounding B$):

Â Ê Ô Û â $ê = a b d e f# g in A.

Ex. 106. ‘Wondrous Love’ (US trad., arr. Hauser, Southern Harmony (1854) via Popular Music in Jacksonian America (1982); ré-hexatonic F;

Â Ê Ô Û â $ê = f g b$ c d e$ in F)

As argued earlier, The Female Drummer (ex. 85, p. 157) can be heard as basically ré-pentatonic (Â Ê Ô Û $ê) with an unaccented â added in at certain points. It can also be classed as ré-hexatonic like unequivocally ré-hexatonic examples 105-107, The Drunken Piper, Wondrous Love, and Tiocfaidh an samhradh. They all contain scale degrees Â Ê Ô Û â $ê.

Ex. 107. Tiocfaidh an samhradh (Ir. trad. via Bhreatnach, 2007); ré-hexatonic A;

Â Ê Ô Û â $ê = a b d e f# g in A

Although there’s neither c@ nor c# in The Drunken Piper (ex. 105 in ré-hexatonic in A), neither a@ nor a$ in Wondrous Love (ex. 106, in F), neither c@ nor c# in Tiocfaidh an samhradh (ex. 107 in A), and neither e@ nor e$ in The Female Drummer (in C, ex. 85, p. 157), my music students, schooled in euroclassical and/or jazz theory, have habitually identified those thirdless tunes as dorian (as if Â Ê $Î Ô Û â $ê). They rarely mistake the mode for mixolydian even though that mode also contains â and $ê. How come?

The thought process seems to be that if the tune is not in a major mode, it ‘has’ to be in the minor; and, if so, it ‘has’ to be dorian, because that’s the only minor mode to contain ^â. It’s as if the major-minor dualism of euroclassical music theory precluded any mode that doesn’t fit into its scheme. Quartal (‘thirdless’) modes like ré- or sol-hexatonic may appear less familiar than their major or minor cousins but that’s no reason for pretending they don’t exist.

Non-tonical modes

The whole-tone scale

All the hexatonic modes discussed above are tonical, but one non-tonical hexatonic mode is also part of everyday tonality. The whole-tone scale is so called because its six scale degrees are all separated by a whole tone. Unlike the hexatonic modes presented so far, it contains no perfect fifth and can only be transposed to one other position, as shown in Figure 30.

Fig. 30. The two whole-tone scales

Ex. 108. Debussy (1910): Voiles, bars 1-4; whole-tone scale c d e f# g#/a$ b$

One use of the whole-tone scale is to exploit its non-tonicality —it contains neither perfect fifth nor fourth— to suggest something indeterminate or unrooted, like the hazy, impressionistic upper-register fluttering of Debussy’s Voiles (= ‘Sails’ or ‘Veils’, ex. 108).

The ‘Dave Conservatoire’ puts it this way:

[The whole-tone scale] ‘is often used to produce a dreamy, fantasy-like character to music and is used in film and television soundtracks to indicate moving from one dimension to another —a flashback or dream sequence, for example.’

Indeed, Star Trek teleportations are set to an equally magical electronic whole-tone ripple and shimmer. But the indeterminate fantasy element of the whole-tone scale can, depending on instrumentation, register, dynamics, etc., also become less magical and more mysterious, even sinister, as in Herrmann’s score for the chase scene in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959).

The other main everyday use of the whole-tone scale is in jazz where it acts as ‘go-to’ tonal vocabulary for melodic improvisation over chords containing an augmented triad. Jazz musicians can use the C whole-tone scale (nº 1 in Fig. 30) over a standard augmented chord based on any of the six notes in the scale (e.g. CéP E9P A$7U) and the B whole-tone scale (no. 2 in Fig. 30) for the same chord types based of any of its six notes (e.g. E$7P, F9P, G7U).


Like its whole-tone cousin, the octatonic scale only has two versions. Both run in alternate steps of whole and half tones.

Fig. 31. The two octatonic scales

The octatonic scale is also similar to the whole-tone scale in three other ways. First, since it lacks either the perfect fifth (no. 1 in Fig. 31) or perfect fourth (no. 2), it sounds quite non-tonical. Second, that element of tonal instability makes it suitable as another film music mystery mode, as in the Poledouris underscore for the passing spacecraft in Starship Troopers (1997) or in Herrmann’s music for The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). Third, the octatonic scale is a favourite with jazz musicians needing to improvise over diminished chords to the extent that, in jazz theory, the mode is often called the ‘diminished scale’. ‘Master the diminished scale in two seconds’, says one online jazz tutor while another posting plugs:

‘THE defining treatise on the diminished scale. It explains everything you need to know about this versatile scale and how/where to use it in your solos.’

Final thoughts on non-ionian modes

Mode names often reflect, as we have seen, hegemonic identification of tonal vocabulary in ethnic terms like ‘Gypsy’. Even the ‘church’ modes were originally named after ancient Greek provinces and several maqam labels are geo-ethnic (e.g. Iraqi, Kurd, Hijaz). From a contemporary Northern European or North American hearpoint, the phrygian mode is often, as we saw in Chapter 3, assumed to sound Hispanic or, if not, Balkan, Arab or Jewish (make your mind up!), while anhemitonic pentatonicism can be heard, just as confusingly, as Scottish, Irish, ‘Celtic’, ‘Oriental’, Chinese, Andean, etc. US film music frequently uses such hegemonic perception of tonal idiom to transmit cultural stereotypes of place and sometimes it actually works. In fact, modes can, if used discerningly, be just as efficient as instrumental timbre when it comes to establishing cultural location in audiovisual contexts. For example, while the sound of a koto might in itself conjure up something of ‘traditional Japan’ to non-Japanese listeners, ethnic connotations would be much clearer if it played something in the fourth position of the pentatonic Hirajoshi mode (Fig. 23, p. 154).

Given that mode and mood are etymologically related, it is no surprise to find that different modes are also perceived as connoting different moods. Such connotations are culturally specific and are illustrated in the modal commutations of the first line of God Save The Queen (ex. 130, p. 186). For example, the equation of minor modes with ‘sad’ and major with ‘happy’ may well have some validity within euroclassical tonality and related popular styles but it is largely inapplicable to the music of other cultures. Similarly, rock and pop music using aeolian harmony in a certain way has had a tendency to be associated with the ominous, while mixolydian film and pop music veers more towards a mood of wide open spaces. Within African American music, descending minor pentatonic modes with ‘blues’ fifths are more likely to connect with either outdated jazz ‘cool’ or with blues, old times and oppression, while melismatic major pentatonic melody is more likely to link with the positive ecstasy of gospel music, or with hope for a brighter future in the fight for Civil Rights, or, more recently, with more somatic types of individualised abandon (‘whoa-oh, baby, yeah!’).

During the hegemony of euroclassical major-minor tonality, music from the continent’s fringe areas (Spain, Russia, Scandinavia, the Balkans and British Isles) was often characterised by the musicological establishment as ‘modal’, because, although much music produced in those areas conformed to the central, ionian norms of modality (‘tonality’!), much of it —typically rural popular music— did not: it conformed to modes regarded as archaic by the European bourgeoisie during the ascendancy of that class. Some of these modes, notably those containing a flat seventh and the two commonest anhemitonic pentatonic modes are regarded, rightly or wrongly, as typical of rural music from the British Isles. These modes blended with compatible tonal vocabularies of West African origin to contribute to the development of North American popular styles that challenged the hegemony of euroclassical major-minor tonality during the twentieth century on a global scale. Who knows what is happening to that global tonality as North America now ceases to be ‘the future’?…

Summary in 14 points

[1] Modes containing less than seven tones are no more empty than modes containing more than seven are necessarily cluttered.

[2] Tritonic and tetratonic melody is common in many parts of the world, including the urban West.

[3] Pentatonic melody is found all over the world. Anhemitonic pentatonicism (what can be played on only the black notes of a piano keyboard) is particularly common.

[4] An anhemitonic pentatonic octave contains three whole tone steps and two steps of 1½ tones.

[5] The constituent tones in any anhemitonic pentatonic mode are related to each other by simple pitch frequency ratios.

[6] Anhemitonic pentatonic modes can have doh, ré, mi, sol or la as tonal centre. The doh-pentatonic mode is also called major pentatonic because it’s the only one to include ^Î. The mi- and la-modes are minor pentatonic because they include $Î. The ré- and sol-modes are quartal pentatonic because they contain Ô but neither ^Î nor $Î. Mi-pentatonic is unusual because it has no Û.

[7] The most familiar pentatonic modes in the West are those based on doh and la. Blues pentatonicism is essentially based on those two modes. The doh-pentatonic blues mode is common in pre-war jazz and in gospel-related styles. The la-pentatonic blues mode is more common in guitar blues, in blues-based rock and ‘cool’ jazz.

[8] Hexatonic melody is extremely common but no accepted terminology exists for the designation of tonical hexatonic modes.

[9] Tonical hexatonic modes used in the West consist of a heptatonic tetrachord and a pentatonic trichord. There are nine such modes that can be played on the white notes of a piano keyboard and that contain a perfect fifth. A hexatonic octave of this sort contains four whole-tone steps, one semitone step and one step of 1½ tones.

[10] Hexatonic modes in common use are the seventhless doh-hexatonic, the sixthless la-hexatonic and the thirdless ré-hexatonic.

[11] The whole-tone scale is also hexatonic but it is non-tonical because it contains neither perfect fifth nor perfect fourth.

[12] The octatonic scale run in alternate steps of whole and half tones. It also has a non-tonical character because it contains either no perfect fourth or no perfect fifth.

[13] The whole-tone and octatonic scales can only be transposed to one other position. They are both often used as mystery cues in film and TV.

[14] The culturally specific use of modes to suggest geo-cultural identity is often confused and ethnocentric but it can still work on audiences who are not the object of that identification.

FFBk04Modes2.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:29


FFBk05Mel.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30

5. Melody

Melody derives from the two ancient Greek words: mélos (μέλος = song, or the music to which a song is set) and ōdé (ᾠδή = ode, song, poem). In English the word has three main meanings: [1] a monodic tonal sequence, accompanied or unaccompanied, perceived as a musical statement with distinct rhythmic profile and pitch contour; [2] the monodic musical foreground to which accompaniment and harmony are generally, at least within most popular music traditions of Europe and the Americas, understood as providing the background; [3] all such monodic tonal sequences and/or aspects of musical foreground within one complete song (e.g. ‘Auld Lang Syne is a popular Scottish melody’). It should be noted in the latter case that mélodie, Melodie, melodia, melodi (French, German, Latin and Scandinavian languages respectively) can in popular parlance sometimes denote the entirety of any tune or song, including lyrics and accompaniment, in which melody, according to definitions [1] and [2], is a prominent feature.

Defining parameters

General characteristics of melody

It is difficult to be precise or consistent about which characteristics constitute melody since its definition according to [1] and [2] above is contingent on cultural consensus. Nevertheless, the following parameters, most of them documented by Stefani and Marconi (1992: 13-24), seem to determine what is more likely to be popularly understood, at least within a mainstream European or American context, as typically melodic about a monodic tonal sequence:

• easy to recognise, appropriate and to reproduce vocally;

• perceptible as occupying durations resembling those of normal or extended exhalation (the ‘extended present’, i.e. consisting of phrases lasting between about two and ten seconds);

• delivered at a rate usually ranging from that of medium to very slow speech;

• generally articulated with rhythmic fluidity and unbroken delivery of tonal material within one sequence: legato rather than staccato;

• distinctly profiled in terms of pitch (melodic contour) and rhythm (accentuation, metre, relative duration of constituent events);

• delivered with regularity and metric articulation of breathing;

• relative simple in terms of tonal vocabulary;

• tending to change pitch more by intervallic steps rather than by leaps;

• spanning rarely more than one octave.

In other words, a monodic tonal sequence is less likely to be considered melodic if it is not clearly tonal, or if it is difficult to appropriate and reproduce, or if it is too long or too short; or if its constituent notes are delivered too fast, or if it consists of no more than one or two very long notes, or if it is broken up into very short units consisting of just one or two notes, or if there is little or no metrical regularity between phrases, or if it exhibits no clear tonal or rhythmic profile, or if it is too chromatic, or if it contains too many large intervallic leaps or covers too large a pitch range. Indeed, it is for the following reasons that monodic sequences of the following types, even though they may exhibit some melodic traits, are less likely than, for example, nursery rhymes, folk tunes or jazz standards to be considered melodic: rap declamation and Sprechgesang because of unclear tonal articulation, recitative because of irregular metricity, riffs because they are too short. Even so, some riffs are more singable than the melodic lines they accompany (e.g. the ‘verse’ parts of Satisfaction (ex. 109), Layla (ex. 110) and Hoochie Coochie Man (Waters, 1970)), while some literally monotonous monodic sequences of tones still qualify as melody (e.g. the verse parts of Samba de una nota só (ex. 111), Un homme et une femme (Lai, 1966) and Subterranean Homesick Blues (Dylan, 1965a)). Moreover, important sections of some well known melodies are based on little more than repetitions or sequential variations of motifs almost too short to qualify as melodic phrases, for example Volare (ex. 112) and Les feuilles mortes (ex. 113).

Ex. 109. Rolling Stones (1965): Satisfaction

Ex. 110. Derek and the Dominoes (1970): Layla

Ex. 111. A. C. Jobim (1960): Samba de una nota só

Ex. 112. D. Modugno (1958): Volare

Ex. 113. J. Kosma: Les feuilles mortes

Metaphorical nomenclature

The nature of melody can also be understood by examining words and expressions either commonly associated or partly synonymous with melody. For example, melodic line emphasises the monodic and sequential (horizontal) aspects of melody while melodic phrase and melodic statement draw attention to the relationship between melody and human speech or declamation. Motive and motif denote movement by definition and melodies are thought of as movement in two-dimensional space — forwards, upwards, downwards, etc. —, often with culturally specific patterns of implication (expected or unexpected continuation, see Meyer 1987), while melodic profile, contour and figure refer to qualities of distinct linearity, shape and gesture. Strain, meaning tune, also links melody with notions of distinct characteristics (cf. ‘a genetic strain’) while lay, another archaic synonym, is defined as ‘a song’ or ‘short poem meant to be sung’ (Oxford Concise Dictionary, 1995).

Tune, Middle English variant of tone, highlights melody’s tonal nature, while air, in the sense of tune, suggests speech, gesture and movement that have metaphorically taken off (‘melody hath wings’, ‘volare - cantare’, see ex. 112), thereby emphasising the notion of melody as heightened discourse transcending speech.

These transcendent notions of melody can in turn be related to the connotations of monodic pitched declamation necessitated, in the interests of comprehension and before the invention of microphones and PA systems, by acoustic settings characterised by long reverberation times, for example the chanting of prayers and biblical texts in cathedrals and large churches, or the Mu'ezzin’s call to prayer from the minaret across the town in the relative stillness of dawn or dusk. They are also related to the everyday observation that emotionally heightened speech exhibits greater variation in pitch and resembles melody more than does talking in a normal voice.

In short, melody is tonal monodic movement, temporal and spatial, which is inextricably connected with human utterance, both gestural and vocal.

Typologies of melody

Structurally, melodies resemble or differ from one another according to several factors: [1] pitch contour, [2] tonal vocabulary, [3] dynamics and mode of articulation (incl. phrasing), [4] rhythmic profile, [5] metric and periodic organisation. They can also be categorised in ‘experiential’ (aesthesic, perceptual, semiotic) categories (Stefani and Marconi, 1992: 111-229). Structural and experiential typologies are interrelated.

Structural typologies

Pitch contour

Figure 32 shows the basic pitch contour types used by ethnomusicologists in the classification of melody (Skog 1977). Each contour type is illustrated by the following examples: [1] rising – ex. 114, 128 (phrase 1); [2] falling – 115, 128 (phrase 2) and [3] tumbling – ex. 116, 117, 118, 129 (bars 1-2); [4] V-shaped – ex. 119, 120 (bars 3-4), 123 (bar 1); [5] centric – ex. 121, 122; [6] terraced (falling) – ex. 120 (bars 1-2), 123 (bars 3-4) and [7] (rising) – ex. 123 (bars 2-3), 129 (bars 4-9); [8] oscillatory – ex. 124 and the double V-shape of ex. 119; [9] arched – ex. 125, 127 (phrase 2); [10] wavy – ex. 126, 127 (phrase 4-6).

Fig. 32. Melodic contour categories

Boundaries between melodic contour types are fluid. For example, the double V-shape of ex. 119 has an oscillating character while parts of ex. 124’s oscillatory profile have the shape of a flat V. Similarly, many centric contours (ex. 121-122) can also be heard as oscillating, while some ‘wavy’ phrases can be heard as short arcs (ex. 126, bars 2-4, 4-5). Moreover, a ‘tumbling strain’ is little more than an overriding melodic descent with initial rising anacrusis or with intermediate, subsidiary rises in pitch (hence ‘tumbling’). It should also be noted that certain styles show a predilection for particular contours, for example blues-related styles for the ‘tumbling strain’ (ex. 116-118).

Ex. 114. Cole Porter: I Get A Kick Out Of You (1934): rising

Ex. 115. The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies (Eng. trad., cit. mem.): falling

Ex. 116. Muddy Waters (cited by Miani, 1992); tumbling

Ex. 117. Nashville Teens: Tobacco Road (Loudermilk, 1964); intro, tumbling

Ex. 118. Beatles: Can’t Buy Me Love (1964); tumbling

Ex. 119. Ellington: Satin Doll (1953, start of middle 8); V-shaped

Ex. 120. Warszawjanka (Polish trad.): terraced (descent), V-shaped

Ex. 121. Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas: From A Window (1964): centric

Ex. 122. Mark Snow: X-Files Theme (1996); centric

Ex. 123. The Grand Old Duke of York (English trad.); V-shaped, terraced

Ex. 124. Beatles: If I Needed Someone (1965); oscillatory.

Ex. 125. Ack Värmeland du sköna (Sw. trad.); arched (+ terraced descent)

Ex. 126. P. De Rose: Deep Purple; wavy

Ex. 127. Beatles: Yesterday (1965); wavy, falling, centric, rising

Pitch contour alone is not enough to distinguish the style or character of one melody from another. Example 128 illustrates how tonal vocabulary, rhythmic profile and metricity, not pitch contour, can be the operative distinguishing factors.

Ex. 128. (a) Misirlou; (b) E. Y. Harburg: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

Ex. 129. Vigneault/Rochon: Je chante pour (1978)

Tonal vocabulary

Ex. 130. God Save the Queen: commutations of tonal vocabulary

The popular device of putting major-key tunes into the minor and vice versa testifies to the fact that changing tonal vocabulary can radically alter the character of a melody. Example 130 shows the first six bars of the UK national anthem’s melody: [1] as is, in the major key (ionian mode) and with the same melodic contour, rhythm, metre, etc., but in the following modes — [2] aeolian (or dorian); [3] phrygian; [4] Hijaz Kar; [5] doh-pentatonic; [6] la-pentatonic (see p. 155, ff.). All these variants would most probably be heard by members of the UK cultural mainstream as ‘ethnic’ or ‘folksy’: ([2], [5] and [6] as potentially ‘Celtic’, [5] as conceivably also as ‘Chinese’, [3] as vaguely ‘Spanish’, [4] as possibly ‘Arab’ and [6] as vaguely ’bluesy’. The same six bars could also be changed, without altering other parameters, to create a whole-tone or octatonic mode, or even a dodecaphonic tone row if you wanted to produce a more unsettling effect on your listeners.

Dynamics and mode of articulation

The structure and character of a melody are determined also by [1] how loud or soft it is presented in part or as a whole (yelling and crooning the same tune produces radically different effects); [2] what timbre or instrument is used to articulate it — imagine Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love delivered bel canto, or your national anthem played on kazoo; [3] in what tessitura it is executed (influences whether it will sound growled or screeched, squeaky and strained); [4] if lyrics are included, which language and what kind of accent and diction are used —just imagine Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog (1953) with Italian lyrics; or Queen Elizabeth II delivering a Grandmaster Flash ‘message’; or a stirring union song crooned by Bing Crosby or mumbled in the manner of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke in the verse part of Creep (1992).

The characteristics of a melodic line are also determined by [4] its phrasing and accentuation. Examples 131a and 131b are of identical length, melodic contour and tonal vocabulary, but differ so radically in phrasing that ex. 131b needs notating alla breve. Whereas the original version (ex. 131a), with its staccato punch and syncopation, is well suited to the funky trickster character played by Eddy Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, ex. 131b resembles more some lyrical or pastoral theme with an archaic flavour and would be more appropriate played by strings than by a synthesiser of mid nineteen-eighties vintage.

Ex. 131. Faltermeyer: Axel F (1984) – (a) original; (b) as legato tune

Rhythmic profile

As much as showing difference in phrasing, example 131 also illustrates how difference of rhythmic profile influences the affective character of melody. Rhythmic profile is also related to bodily movement and posture, as well as to patterns of language.

Body and melodic rhythm

Example 131a’s rhythmic profile — its staccato quality with short pauses, its lack of anacruses, its sudden disjunct leaps for agogic effect, its anticipated downbeats (especially bar 4) — corresponds much more closely with skipping or jumping movement than with the flowing, legato, constant type of movement immanent in the regularly measured downbeat dotted crotchets, crotchets and upbeat quavers of example 131b.

Ex. 132. Song of the Volga boatmen (Russian trad.)

Similar links between melodic rhythm and body movement can be found in work song. For example, the slow, heavy task of hauling barges, with its repetitive to-and-fro of body and arms, is better helped by the kind of steady, measured rhythm and short phrases (as well as restricted oscillatory pitch contour) evident in ex. 132 than by the brisk 2/4 or 6/8 call-and-response patterns of continuous melody spanning an octave which can be found in numerous British shanties sung to help with nautical work involving quicker, more circular types of movement (‘capstan’ and ‘windlass’ songs, the latter sung when hoisting sails with a winch). A-Roving, Billy Boy (ex. 133), Bound For The Rio Grande, What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor (ex. 276, p. 394) Fire Down Below and Johnny Come Down To Hilo all belong to this category.

Ex. 133. Capstan Shanty Billy Boy (English trad., Northumbria)

Clear links also exist between body and melodic rhythm in dance music. The polka, jig, reel, waltz, samba, cueca, rumba, tango, etc. exhibit unique and easily identifiable traits of melodic rhythm. Similar observations can be made about differences between the melodic rhythm of lullabies, marches, dirges, cattle calls, field hollers etc. whose melodic rhythm tallies with the relevant type of bodily activity and/or acoustic conditions of that activity.

Language and melodic rhythm

Since melody is so often a matter of singing words, melodic rhythm is also determined by the rhythmic particularities of the language in which those words are sung. For example, a melodic phrase in 6/8 ending e |eq , especially with descending pitch contour (ex. 134 at ‘el día’ and ‘cantaría’), is less likely to occur in English than in Latin language song, as evidenced by the following trisyllabic words and phrases: volare, cantare, amore, nel cuore (Italian), querida, contigo, belleza, te quiero, llorando, tristeza, tan solo, en pena, tus ojos, (Spanish). On the other hand, the onbeat ‘Scotch snap’ | zl. | or |Il. |(Tagg, 2011c), especially with rising pitch contour, are unlikely to appear in Germanic or Latin-language song simply because English is one of the few European languages to feature this trait (e.g. ‘mother’, ‘brother’, ‘do it’, ‘hit it’, or, in ex. 135, at ‘Jenny’, ‘body’, ‘pettie’, ‘coatie’, ‘coming’).

Ex. 134. Ferlosio: El gallo negro.

Ex. 135. Comin’ Through The Rye (Scot. trad.)

Culturally specific melodic formulae

Melodies can also be recognised as belonging to particular cultures not only due to idiosyncrasies of language rhythm but also because particular turns of melodic phrase have become by convention associated with those cultures. This observation applies to patterns of melodic ornamentation, for example the onbeat jq q figure often found in popular non-Spanish notions of Spanish melody (ex. 136-138).

Ex. 136. Library music jq hispanicism 1: Cordigliera (CAM (Italy))

Ex. 137. Library music hispanicism 2: Duncan: Wine Festival (Boosey & Hawkes)

Ex. 138. Library music hispanicism 3: Haider: Spanish Autumn (Selected Sounds)

Similarly, Irish traditional music (ex. 139) is often recognisable by its use of quick semiquaver triplets (jjl z or ‘did-dle-y [day]’).

Ex. 139. Poitín (Irish trad.) – semiquaver triplets

But culturally specific melodic traits can be found in more substantial patterns of pitch contour and rhythmic profile. For example, pentatonic or hexatonic melodic cadences of the type î[Â]-â-Û are typical of many traditional melodies from the British Isles, (ex. 140 bar 3, first time; ex. 97 (p.170), bars 7-8 and 15-16).

Ex. 140. Skye Boat Song (Scot. trad., cit. mem.)

Another typical trait is the major-mode descent to â, as in bars 4 and 12 of Macpherson’s Farewell (ex. 97, p. 170) and in all three extracts cited as example 141. Nor are â<Â melodic cadences, as in the Skye Boat Song (ex. 140), untypical of the tradition.

Ex. 141. (a) Rossa’s Farewell to Erin (Irish trad.); (b) The Boys of Wexford (Irish trad.); (c) Soldier, Soldier (English trad.)

Also quite characteristic for traditional melody from the British Isles is the repeated final  or Û, as shown in example 142.

Ex. 142. Repeated final note cadence formulae. (a) John Barleycorn (English trad.); (b) The Banks of Newfoundland (English trad.); (c) The Kerry Recruit (Irish trad.); (d) The Bonny Labouring Boy (Irish trad.)

Strings of appoggiature, on the other hand, unusual in popular melody from traditional music from the British Isles, are all the more common in popular melody of the euroclassical tradition (ex. 143) and its pastiches (ex. 144), or of Arabic origin (ex. 145-146).

Ex. 143. Carissimi: Aria ‘I Triumph!’ (Vittoria!)

Ex. 144. Abba: Fernando (1975)

Ex. 145. Egyptian trad. (cit. mem., see ftnt. 61, p. 118)

Ex. 146. Mameluk, a.k.a. Aya-Zehn (Egyptian trad.)

Finally, the Û-Ô-Â cadence is typical of traditional Russian melody (ex. 147), while î[Â]-^ê-Û patterns are an idiosyncratic of Scandinavian melody (ex. 148-149). Grieg bangs home that point three times in four seconds at the start of his famous piano concerto in A minor (ex. 150), used as the theme music for A Song of Norway (1970).

Ex. 147. Russian 5-4-1 melodic cadences: (a) V. Soloviov-Sedoy: Podmoskovnye Vechera; (b) Aturov: Partisan Song (see ex. 32, p. 110)

Ex. 148. Mikaelidagen (Sw. trad., cit. Ling, 1964: 114)

Ex. 149. ‘Vårvindar friska’ (Sw. trad., Vi gör musik, 1970: 114)

Ex. 150. Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (1868: start)

Patterns of recurrence

Melody can also be categorised according to the manner in which constituent phrases or motifs are organised into a larger whole in patterns of variation and recurrence. Middleton (1983) suggests a sliding scale of musical syntaxes stretching from the monadic (circular, mythic, unchanging, etc.) to the infinite set (linear, narrative, teleological, ‘nothing to be heard twice’), a scale along which any type of musical statement, including melody, can be placed.

Ex. 151. Roy Milton: Hucklebuck (1949).

Monadic melody is typical for song whose narrative interest resides in other factors than those mentioned so far, such as in changing lyrics, varying metre (e.g. chanted psalms, prayers), harmonic progression (e.g. One Note Samba, ex. 111), rhythmic punch (e.g. Hucklebuck, ex. 151), etc. At the other end of the spectrum are things like the dodecaphonic tone row, constrained by avant-garde imperatives of non-repetition and absent from popular song. Instead, patterns of recurrence and difference vary from the relatively simple, single-layered (or ‘immediate’) to the multi-layered (or ‘delayed’). Common processual devices in European and North American popular melody are reiteration, recapitulation, sequence, inversion, anaphora, epistrophe and ‘ready-steady-go’. The ordering of melodic segments on a larger scale, for example into the eight-bar sections of a thirty-two-bar (AABA) jazz standard, is a question of song form rather than of melodic typology.

Reiteration —consecutive recurrence(s) of a very similar or identical motif or phrase — is found in examples 109 and 110 (p.181, both melodic line and riff), as well as in examples 132 (p.188, bars 1 and 2, bars 5-6 and 7-8), 136 (bar 1, p. 190), 146 (bars 1-2, p.192) and 151 (p.193, throughout).

Recapitulation —recurrence of motif or phrase after different intervening material— is illustrated at the musematic level by example 132 (p.188) in which the motif of bars 1 and 2 recurs in bar 4 after different material in bar 3 and again in the final bar of the song. Melodic recapitulation is more commonly thought of on a larger scale, for example in terms of recapitulating the A section of a song in AABA form, such as the first line of example 127 (Yesterday, p.185) recurring after an intervening middle section. However, recapitulation on this time scale is more an issue of overall song form than of melodic profile.

Sequence —reiteration of rhythm and relative pitch profile at a different absolute pitch— can be found in Autumn Leaves (ex. 113, p. 181), El gallo negro (ex. 134, p. 189), Poitín (ex. 139, p. 190, bars 1-2, 5-6), Vårvindar friska (ex. 149, bars 1-2), and in Gershwin’s Foggy Day in London Town (ex. 152, p. 195) where ‘B’ (bars 1-4) is repeated a fourth higher (bars 5-8) and ‘A1’ (d-a$, bar 3) acts as a sequential variation of ‘A’ (c-e$, bar 1).

Inversion (repeating rhythm profile but substituting up for down and vice versa) also occurs in example 152 (p.195) whose bars 9-12 are an upside-down variant of bars 1-4.

Ex. 152. Gershwin: A Foggy Day in London Town (1937) adapted from

Middleton (1983:251).

Anaphora —repeating the same element at the start of successive phrases— is inherent in terms of rhythmic and relative pitch profile in any sequential repetition (see above). It can also recur at the same absolute pitch, as in the d-c#-d q q q figure of ex. 153 (p.195) or the e q (e) c-d figure of ex. 153b. Even the single note f recurring at the start of each short motif in Axel F (ex. 131) and rising in turn to different pitches (a$, b$, c, d$, f) functions anaphorically.

Ex. 153. Melodic anaphora — (a) Silvers: April Showers; (b) Akst: Am I Blue?

as quoted by Middleton (1983: 250).

Epistrophe —repeating the same or similar element at the end of successive phrases— is found at the words ‘far away’, ‘here to stay’ and ‘yesterday’ of bars 3, 5 and 7 in Yesterday (ex. 127, p. 185).

‘Ready-steady-go’ is a popular melodic device consisting of a motif, either simply reiterated or repeated by sequential transformation (usually once or twice) and followed by new rhythmic material or pitch pattern. For example, bars 1-2 and 3-4 of Akst’s Am I Blue? (ex. 153b, p.195) are rhythmically identical (‘ready’ and ‘steady’) but instead of leading to yet another long held note, the same anaphoric figure in bar 5 introduces the tonally and rhythmically different material of bars 6 and 7 (‘go!’). The device can work at several levels, as shown in ex. 154. The function of such repetition is propulsive and similar to that of gaining momentum by circling on the spot before hurling a discus.

Ex. 154. Rossini: William Tell Overture (1829) a.k.a. The Lone Ranger theme (1949); propulsive repetition (‘ready-steady-go!’)

Connotative typologies

Families of melody definable according to the kind of structural parameters described so far can be grouped together in more connotative or perceptual categories. Concepts like the Arabic maqam, Iranian dashtgah and Indian rāga all exemplify the formalisation of links observed in particular cultures between, on the one hand, categories of tonal, rhythmic and motivic structure and, on the other, certain regional locations or ethnic groups, or specific moods, attitudes, activities, types of behaviour, times of the day, etc.

Stefani and Marconi (1992: 111-229) expound several connotative categories of popular melody in the West, in particular those they call dream, desire and tenderness, meditation, supermusic and recitation. To illustrate how this type of categorisation works and to save space, I’ve chosen to focus here on just three of those connotative categories: dream, supermusic and recitation.


Stefani and Marconi characterise ‘dream’ structurally in such terms as slow movement, smooth articulation, arched or waved pitch profile spanning a large range, phrase length well in excess of normal breathing, continuous transformation of main motif(s), unexpected intervals, lack of hard scansion and accentuation, etc. More connotatively they note similarities with slow motion camera work, soft focus, suspended animation, large spaces, fluid gestures like unpredictable flight, beauty, the unreal, etc. This melodic category, including its connotations, is exemplified here by Schumann’s Träumerei (ex. 155), Deep Purple (‘When the deep purple falls over sleepy garden walls’, ex. 126, p. 185), Stardust (ex. 156), The Dream of Olwen (ex. 157) and In A Monastery Garden (ex. 158).

Ex. 155. R. Schumann: Träumerei, Op. 15 nº 7 (1838)

Ex. 156. Carmichael. Stardust (1929)

Ex. 157. Charles Williams: The Dream of Olwen (1947

Ex. 158. Ketèlbey: In A Monastery Garden (1915)


Typical examples of supermusic are the main themes from Star Wars (ex. 159), Superman (ex. 160), Dallas, Dynasty, Kojak (ex. 163), The FBI (ex. 161), Counterspy, The Gun Fight at O.K. Corral, How The West Was Won (ex. 162), The Champions, etc. They are, according to Stefani and Marconi (1992), characterised by crisp articulation, forte dynamics, a medium to brisk pace, brass instruments, ascending leaps of the fourth, fifth and octave, etc. This set of melodic tropes is associated with heroism (Tagg, 2000a: 191-200).

Ex. 159. J. Williams: Star Wars (1977); main theme

Ex. 160. J. Williams: Superman (1978); from main theme

Ex. 161. B. Kaper: The FBI theme (1965)

Ex. 162. A. Newman: How The West Was Won (1963); film theme

Ex. 163. W. Goldenberg: Kojak (1972); TV theme


Recitation is usually articulated metrically rather than parlando rubato (recitative). It is characterised structurally by a reciting tone to which most of the phrase’s syllables are set, as well as by a cadence formula and, often, an initial lead-in motif. Recitation tunes are generally of a declamatory character. For example, the underlined syllables in ‘How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?’ from Dylan’s Blowing in the Wind (1963) are all declaimed at the fifth (a in D major). The principle of lead-in motif (intonatio/initium), reciting tone (tuba or tenor) and cadence formula (terminatio/finalis) is illustrated in example 164. ‘Once the voice is activated’ (intonatio)… ‘it stays still in a manner of speaking, giving no further information about itself and drawing the listener’s attention to the “message”, i.e. to the words’ (Stefani & Marconi, 1992: 132).

Ex. 164. ‘Recitation’ melody — (a) Latin psalmody, tone 2 (plagal); (b) Brassens: Le gorille (1952); (c) The Who: Pinball Wizard (1969)


This final section of the chapter deals with a concept that can be quite useful when describing melodic lines. From Ancient Greek melízō (μελίζω = warble or play an instrument), melisma means a string of several consecutive notes sung to one syllable. Melismatic is usually contrasted with syllabic, the latter meaning that each note is sung to a different syllable. Melismatic and syllabic are used relatively to indicate the general character of a vocal line in terms of notes per syllable, some lines being more melismatic, others more syllabic. It is doubtful if a sequence of notes sung staccato to the same syllable, for instance ‘oh-oh-oh-oh-oh’ in Peggy Sue (Holly 1957) or Vamos a la playa (Righeira 1983), constitutes a melisma because each consecutive ‘oh’ is articulated as if it were a separate syllable (staccato = detached, cut up). A melisma, on the other hand, is executed legato, each constituent note joined seamlessly to the preceding and/or subsequent one (legato = joined). Since inhalation before the start of a new phrase constitutes a break in the melodic flow, no melisma can last longer than the duration of one vocal exhalation. Since several notes are sung to one syllable within the duration of one musical phrase, melismas contain no long notes.

Melismatic singing differs more than syllabic singing from everyday speech in that it is uncommon to change pitch several times, within the duration of one spoken syllable. When such spoken pitch change does occur in English, for instance a quick descending octave portamento on the word ‘Why?’, it tends to signal heightened emotion. Together with the general tendency to regard melody as a form of heightened speech transcending the everyday use of words (p. 179, ff.), it is perhaps natural that melismatic singing is often thought to constitute a particularly emotional type of vocal expression. Such connotations are further underlined by the fact that some of the most common words to be sung melismatically in English-language popular song are exclamations (e.g. oh!, ah!, yeah!) or potentially emotional syllables like love, feel, alright, pain, fly, cry, goodbye and why?).

Melismas occur in most musical cultures, for instance in the Mu'ezzin’s call to prayer, in raj music, in the alap sections of Northern Indian dhrupad performances, in the Saami jojk, in the Russian bïlinï, Ukrainian duma, Romanian doina, etc. They also occur in most plainchant settings of Alleluia and Kyrie eleison, as well as at particularly emotional points in arias from the European opera and oratorio repertoire. While Lutheran chorales are largely syllabic, a significant minority of low-church hymns do feature short melismatic passages (ex. 165).

Ex. 165. Jesus Christ is Ris’n Today (Methodist Hymn Book, 1933, nº 204)

Particularly influential on the development of melisma in Anglo-American popular song are various florid, highly ornamented, often pentatonic or hexatonic vocal traditions originating in the British Isles, i.e. the sort of vocal delivery found in Gaelic keening (caoine) and slow, solo ballad singing in the sean-nós style (ex. 166).

Ex. 166. Extract from Cuil Duibh-Re (Ir. trad.), as performed by Diarmuid O’Súillebháin (transcr. Tomás O’Canainn, repr. in Ling 1997: 92

These ‘old’ ways of singing appear to have been the antecedents of the florid vocal lines produced by the Old Baptist and similar ‘dissenting’ congregations of the USA’s middle south (ex. 167).

Ex. 167. Extract from Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah (Cwm Rhondda), Old Regular Baptist congregation; adapted from transcr. in Wicks (1989:73)

Such vocal techniques have strongly influenced the popular music of both white and black US Americans, the former through white gospel music into songs by Country artists like Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and George Jones (Wicks 1989), the latter through African-American gospel singers into the mainstream of the international pop music market. The protracted, proclamatory ‘We—ll!’ at the start of Shout (Isley Brothers 1959; Lulu 1964) provides an early example of the gospel melisma in Anglo-American hit recordings. Similar melismas were not uncommon in Motown vocal lines (e.g. ‘Mr Po-o-o-o-stman’, Marvelettes 1961 and Beatles 1963), nor in Merseybeat influenced by gospel styles (ex. 168-169).

Ex. 168. Beatles: Not A Second Time (1963)

Ex. 169. Searchers: Goodbye, My Love (1965)

Since the types of melisma mentioned here have, since World War II, been most widely disseminated through recordings made or influenced by African-American artists, it is often assumed that such melismatic techniques are of African origin. However, given that none of the forty music examples in the chapters dealing with vocal lines in African music (Nketia 1974: 147-174) contain syllables set to more than two separate notes, the popular assumption that melismatic ornamentation is inherently ‘black’ must be challenged in the same way that the identification of the banjo, an instrument of African origin, with ‘white’ music must also be regarded as historically inaccurate (Tagg 1989).

In the 1980s pentatonic melismas deriving from gospel traditions became very common in recordings by solo divas like Whitney Houston who, for instance, on the word ‘much’ in the phrase ‘I wish I didn’t like it so much’ from So Emotional (Houston 1987), launches into a florid pentatonic melisma consisting of at least six short separate notes each time the phrase occurs in the lead-up to the chorus. These virtuoso techniques had become such a mannerism of abandon by the 1980s that they were easily parodied, for example by Nile Rodgers in the ‘Soul Glow’ shampoo jingle from the Eddy Murphy movie Coming to America (1988), or by Frank Zappa who, in You Are What You Is (1981), set prosaic concepts like ‘appropriate’ and ‘post office’ to ecstatically delivered pentatonic gospel melismas.

Summary in 11 points

[1] Melody is a monodic tonal strand of music that is easy to recognise, appropriate and to reproduce vocally.

[2] Melody occupies durations resembling those of normal or extended exhalation —the extended present.

[3] Melody is usually delivered at a rate ranging from that of medium to very slow speech.

[4] Melody is usually articulated with rhythmic fluidity and unbroken delivery of tonal material.

[5] Melody is distinctly profiled in terms of pitch and rhythm

[6] Melody tends to be relatively simple in terms of tonal vocabulary, changing pitch more often by steps rather than leaps and rarely spanning much more than one octave.

[7] Typologies of melody can be structural or connotative.

[8] The most common structural typology of melody is based on pitch contour —rising, falling, tumbling, terraced, V-shaped, arched, centric, wavy.

[9] Just as important as pitch contour to a melody’s specific identity are tonal vocabulary, rhythmic profile (including language rhythm), metricity, dynamics, mode of articulation, culturally specific motifs and patterns of recurrence, including reiteration, sequence, anaphora, epistrophe, etc.

[10] Connotative typologies of melody includes such categories as ‘Dream’, ‘Supermusic’ and ‘Recitation’.

[11] A melisma is a string of several consecutive notes sung to one syllable. Melismatic is usually contrasted with syllabic, the latter meaning that each note is sung to a different syllable. Melismatic singing is often thought to constitute a particularly emotional type of vocal expression.


FFBk06Polyph.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30

6. Polyphony

The aim of this chapter is to provide short overviews, including definitions, of important concepts that recur in this book: polyphony, drone, heterophony, homophony and counterpoint.

The tonal elements discussed so far have been treated either as generally applicable concepts like tone, pitch and tuning, or in terms of monody, modes and melody. One of the definitions of melody was ‘the monodic musical foreground to which accompaniment and harmony are generally… understood as providing the background.’ Both harmony and accompaniment usually imply that at least two notes are sounded at the same time, i.e. that the music is polyphonic. But what is polyphony?

Polyphony: three meanings

Polyphony, from Greek poly (πολύς = many) and fonē (φωνή = sound), can mean three things:

1. music in which at least two sounds of differing pitch or timbre are heard at the same time;

2. music in which at least two tones of clearly differing fundamental pitch are heard simultaneously — tonal polyphony.

3. tonal polyphony of the type used by certain European composers between c. 1400 and c. 1650.

The third meaning, popular with teachers of euroclassical music history, is incongruous because the type of polyphony alluded to is just one among many. Polyphony used in the third sense is often opposed to homophony which, according to definitions one and two, is also unmistakably polyphonic (p. 212, ff.). Since the output of Palestrina, Byrd or Josquin des Prez is hardly what you’re most likely to hear on a polyphonic synthesiser, polyphony will not be used according to the restrictive third definition but according to definitions 1 —all polyphony— or 2 —tonal polyphony.

According to the first definition, any music featuring the simultaneous occurrence of sounds for which no fundamental pitch is discernible can be called polyphonic, especially when such sounds are produced by different instruments or voices articulating different rhythmic patterns. The notion of a polyphonic synthesiser rhymes well with this general definition since such instruments allow for the simultaneous occurrence of several different non-tonal as well as tonal sounds, whereas monophonic synthesisers cater only for one pitch and timbre at a time. This general definition of the term means that sound combinations such as drumkit patterns, or solo vocal line plus hand clap/foot stamp (like Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz (1971)), or fife and drum music (e.g. Royal Welsh Fusiliers, n.d.) can all be qualified as polyphony.

The second definition of polyphony is tonal. In this sense, solo and unison playing or singing without tonal accompaniment would be monophonic but performing in parallel intervals would be polyphonic. A single or unison melodic line accompanied by a drone is also polyphonic according to both definitions 1 and 2.

The degree to which music can be regarded as polyphonic is determined by the cultural habitat of that music’s producers and users. For example, the consecutively articulated notes of arpeggiated guitar or piano accompaniment are both intended and perceived as harmony or as chords rather than as melody. This principle is illustrated in the right-hand keyboard configuration of the chord loop in The House Of The Rising Sun, shown as example 170a. The arpeggiated pattern may be written one note at a time but it’s normal practice to hold each note in each arpeggio until it is struck again, as suggested for the A minor triad in example 170b. If played on the piano, the sostenuto pedal would be down, as in example 170c and each note would sound until repeated or until the pedal was released. Besides, even if you played those arpeggios as written they would still sound more like a chord than a monophonic line for two reasons: [1] notes played in quick succession in recurring patterns each spanning no more than just a second or two build a single gestalt; [2] the notes are organised in regularly grouped units, each unit corresponding to sounds recognisable as a chord in the cultural context of the relevant musical style.

On the other hand, the fast descending scalar pattern played on sitar at the end of a rāga performance (e.g. Shankar 1970) may for similar reasons of reverberation sound like a chord to Western ears but it is by no means certain that such a cascade of notes is in its original context intended to be heard as a chord or cluster.

Ex. 170 Arpeggiated right-hand keyboard figures. (a) and (b) Animals: House Of The Rising Sun (1964): (a) as notated; (b) as heard; (c) Elton John: Your Song (1971): first chord.

There are numerous types of tonal polyphony. This chapter deals very briefly with the basics of drones, heterophony, homophony and counterpoint. I’ve covered those topics in more detail elsewhere and harmony, the favourite topic of conventional music theory in the West, is discussed in Chapters 7-15.


Drones are basically ongoing notes that sound at the same pitch throughout part or whole of a piece of music. They occur in two basic forms, both of which are mainly used as accompaniment to a melodic line, vocal or instrumental, performed either in another register or by another instrument. In its first form a drone is a continuously sounding single note or combination of two notes, such as produced by most sorts of bagpipes. While the first type of drone is uninterrupted and continuous, the second has a rhythmic character in that note[s] of identical pitch are repeated at short intervals. Drones act as tonal reference point and background for the changing pitch of other strands in the music. They are a common feature in many forms of music throughout the world and are more usually instrumental than vocal. Drones are also used in vocal and instrumental training (e.g. violin) as a way of improving intonation.

Vocal drones can be found in, for example, the antiphonal rhythms of traditional hymn singing from Tahiti (himene) as well as in riffing vocal repetitions heard in some types of gospel singing in the USA (e.g. Swan Silvertones, 1952: 1:15-2:00). Instrumental drones can be produced by the same player on the same (set of) instrument(s) that perform the melody, or by a separate (set of) instrument(s): bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, launeddas (Sardinia) and Jew’s harp belong to the former category; didgeridoo (Australia), komuz (Kirghizstan) and tanpura (India) to the latter.

Some string instruments, such as the vina (India) and other members of the lute family, are provided with one or more drone strings to be plucked at appropriate junctures for purposes of tonal reference and rhythmic impetus. Rhythmic drone effects are also produced by fiddlers who make frequent, often percussive, use of open strings (e.g. Robertson, 1922; Ståbi et al., 1965), by banjo players (p. 334, ff.) and by guitarists, most notably when alternate tuning is involved (e.g. Hooker, 1960; Mitchell, 1971; Steeleye Span, 1971; Watson, 1971; Cooder, 1974; Folk och Rackare, 1976; Thompson, 1988). There is much more on this topic and its relation to ‘thirdless’ harmony in the section ‘Open tuning and drones’ on pages 340-349. In that connection it is worth noting that a ‘top-down’ drone, with  pitched consistently highest in the accompaniment, states the tonic ‘root’ of each sonority. This means that lower parts, including the bass line, may well be playing notes extraneous to whatever chord is identified with the droned tonic.

The connotative charge of drones varies according to cultural perspective and media context. In the heyday of euroclassical music drones were often used to evoke pastoral or bucolic settings (e.g. Handel 1741; Beethoven 1808b; Alfvén 1904). More recently, drones have become increasingly common and can be heard in, for example, folk rock, ambient and ‘Celtic mood’ music, as well as in such styles as house, techno and other types of electronic dance music. In the latter case, the drone’s connotations, if any, have yet to be clearly established. However, the connotations of one latter-day drone are quite clear: the ‘doomsday mega-drone’ underscoring ongoing threat scenarios in such popular TV productions as V (De Vorzon & Conlan, 1983) or Twin Peaks (Badalmenti, 1990).

It seems that the drone has deeper connotations on the Indian subcontinent. For example, Coomaraswamy (1995: 77-80) describes the tanpura, the droned string instrument of much rāga music which is heard before, during and after the melody, as ‘the timeless and whole which was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.’ The account continues:

‘The melody itself, on the other hand, is the shifting character of Nature which comes from the Source and returns to It’… ‘Harmony is an impossibility for us, for by changing the solid ground on which Nature’s processes rely we would be creating another melody, another universe and destroying the peace on which Nature rests’.


Heterophony derives from Ancient Greek héteros (ἕτερος = other) and fonē (φωνή = sound). It means polyphony resulting from simultaneous differences of pitch produced when two or more people sing or play more or less the same melodic line at the same time. Heterophony can denote everything from the unintentional polyphonic effect of unsynchronised unison singing to the intentional discrepancies between vocal line and its instrumental embellishment which are characteristic of much music from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arab world, as in example 171.

Ex. 171 Heterophonic cadential formula in Greek Tsamiko music;

(transcr. Chianis, 1967)

The clarinet part in example 171 creates momentary dyads in relation to the melody. Those dyads result from the clarinet’s ornamentation of the vocal line it so clearly follows (f-e-e-d-c-d). In heterophony, start and end points of melodic phrases normally coincide in time and pitch, with possible convergence at other important points, but in the short time between those points participants trace different lines in the same mode. Such tonal differences constitute a polyphony that is heterophonic rather than contrapuntal or harmonic.

Heterophony also occurs in the final chorus of trad jazz performances and, more elaborately, in traditional ‘home worship’ from the Hebrides (ex. 172) where each florid improvisation on the same hymn tune is thought to present each individual’s personal relation to the same God. In other words, heterophony involves at least two individuals who may be ‘saying the same sort of thing at almost the same time’ but not ‘with one voice’.

Heterophony is also at the heart of most forms of Indonesian gamelan music in which several layers of heterophony can combine to produce chordal effects (Hood, 1980).

The five vocal strands of example 172 seem to base their melismatic ornamentations on the first four melody notes of a popular pentatonic and homophonic low-church hymn tune (Martyrdom, ex. 173). The relevant four notes in example 172 are d-g-e-d, i.e. Û<Â>â>Û, the same scale degrees as the initial e$-a$-f-e$ (‘As pants the heart’) in the soprano voice of example 173 (p. 212).

Ex. 172 Hebridean Home Worship: 5-voice heterophonic version of Martyrdom (Psalm 84); transcr. Thorkild Knutsen (1968).


Ex. 173 Martyrdom (Congregational Praise, no. 390, b. 1-8)

From the Greek ὁμόφωνος (homófonos = sounding in unison or at the same time), homophony is the type of polyphony in which different strands of the music (instruments, voices, parts, tracks) move in the same rhythm at the same time. Homophony is in other words the polyphonic antithesis of counterpoint. Even if example 173 contains a few passing notes occurring in some parts and not others, it is still basically homophonic because all syllables both start and finish at exactly the same time in all four voices. Example 174, however, is 100% homophonic.

Ex. 174 Old 100th (French Psalter, 1551)

One of the most common homophonic traits in pop music has been singing or playing in parallel thirds or sixths (ex. 169 p.202) but, as the voice profiles in example 174 show (at ‘earth do dwell’), contrary motion is in one sense just as homophonic as parallel motion.

In conventional historical musicology, homophony is sometimes opposed to what is confusingly called just ‘polyphony’, as if homophony were not a type of polyphony and is if polyphony only meant a particular kind of contrapuntal polyphony practised by European composers of the late Renaissance (see p. 205). This culturally restrictive use of the term is problematic because no viable label remains to denote the sort of polyphony in which one voice or instrumental part leads melodically while others provide chordal accompaniment. Moreover, chordal accompaniment in many types of popular music is characterised by riffs (bass, guitar, backing vocals, etc.) and thereby, as we shall see, to a significant extent contrapuntal. It would certainly be misleading to call such music ‘homophonic’.

Music can be considered homophonic (or contrapuntal) only in relative terms. For example, although example 175, taken from one of the most popular hymn tunes in nonconformist Christianity, like examples 173 and 174, fulfils the criteria of homophony, it is less homophonic than example 174 because: [1] each voice in example 175 has its own melodic profile, producing both contrary and oblique motion (bars 1-2 and bar 3 respectively); [2] the alto, tenor and bass parts in bars 1 and 2 include passing notes below longer notes in the tune; [3] the excerpt ends with a small contrapuntal intervention on E7 in the alto and bass parts (bar 4).

Ex. 175 Cwm Rhondda (refrain) (John Hughes, 1873-1932)

Example 176 (p. 214) exhibits both homophonic and contrapuntal traits. While lead singer (a) and backing vocalist (e) sing homophonically, their combined, parallel melodic statements are counterpointed by bass line, drumkit (not shown) and by flauto dolce ostinato in octave unison with the violins. This mixture of homophonic and contrapuntal elements provides the basic texture for most music in pop, rock and related styles of music.

Ex. 176 Abba: Fernando (1975): repeat and fade


Counterpoint (adj. contrapuntal), from Latin contrapunctus (originally punctus contra punctum = ‘note against note’) means two things. [1] It is a type of polyphony whose instrumental or vocal lines clearly differ in melodic and/or rhythmic profile. [2] It also means, by analogy, the intentional contradiction in music of concurrent verbal or visual events, especially in the audiovisual media. It is the first meaning that concerns us here.

Counterpoint is often understood as the horizontal aspect of polyphony, harmony as its vertical aspect. The problem with this distinction is that since chords, the building blocks of harmony, are usually sounded in sequence and since each constituent note of each chord can often be heard as horizontally related to a note in the next one (‘voice leading’), harmony frequently gives rise to internal melodies, some of which may ‘clearly differ in melodic and/or profile’, i.e. they will exhibit contrapuntal traits. Conversely, the simultaneous sounding of lines with differing melodic profile entails by definition consideration of the music’s vertical aspect — its harmony. Therefore, since melodic profile is as much a matter of rhythm as of pitch, it is more accurate to consider homophony (music whose parts move at the same time in the same rhythm) as the polyphonic antithesis to counterpoint. Even so, polyphonic music can be considered contrapuntal or homophonic only by degree, never in absolute terms. For example, the final chorus in most trad jazz band performances of almost any number (many instrumentalists improvising different rhythmic and tonal lines around the same tune and its chords, e.g. King Oliver, 1923), though partly heterophonic, is more contrapuntal than the preceding solos (one melodic line, a bass line and chordal rhythm). Such final choruses are decidedly more contrapuntal than conventional hymn singing (voices moving to different notes in the same rhythm), much more so than doubling a vocal line at the third or sixth (following the same pitch profile in the same rhythm). In short, the more differences there are between concurrent parts in terms of melodic rhythm and pitch profile, the more contrapuntal the music.

Imitative counterpoint of the type taught to composition students in Western universities is uncommon in popular music, even though well-known canons like Frère Jacques, Three Blind Mice, London’s Burning and Row Your Boat must be among the most frequently sung songs in the world. Indeed, despite the fact that canonic singing is also widespread in some parts of Africa, the most common forms of counterpoint in popular music are: [1] the simultaneous occurrence of different melodies in the overlap between call and response (ex. 177, p. 216); [2] the contrapuntal interplay between (a) melodic line, (b) accompanying or lead instrument, (c) bass line (ex. 178, p. 216).

Ex. 177 Call and response overlap: Please Mr. Postman (Marvelettes, 1961)

Ex. 178 Melodic line, lead and bass in Satisfaction (Rolling Stones, 1965)

Although the lead guitar and bass lines in Satisfaction may look like heterophony in parallel fifths, their timbre and rhythmic patterning are quite different — l l. z il;l. zil_l (guitar) v. l. l. iil| l. l. iil (bass). Moreover, both parts contrast with the two-note recitation-tone profile of the vocal line and with its rhythmic pattern l il l il | zl l. . It’s all a matter of degree. The more differences there are in polyphony between parts or voices in terms of rhythm, melodic profile, start and end points, etc., the more it will be contrapuntal. The fewer the differences on those counts, the more homophonic it will become until we arrive at tunes in parallel thirds, parallel fifths (organum) and parallel octaves (unison).

Summary in 7 points

[1] Polyphony is music in which at least two sounds of differing pitch or timbre are heard at the same time.

[2] Tonal polyphony is music in which at least two tones of clearly differing fundamental pitch are heard simultaneously.

[3] Drones consist basically of ongoing or frequently recurring notes that sound at the same pitch throughout part or whole of a piece of music. A drone usually demands just intonation of the other pitches it accompanies.

[4] Heterophony is polyphony resulting from simultaneous differences of pitch produced when two or more people sing or play more or less the same melodic line at the same time. Heterophony is common in music from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arab world.

[5] Homophony is a type of polyphony in which different strands of the music move in the same rhythm at the same time. It is the polyphonic antithesis of counterpoint.

[6] Counterpoint is a type of polyphony whose instrumental or vocal lines clearly differ in melodic and/or rhythmic profile. It is the polyphonic antithesis of homophony.

[7] Differences between homophony and counterpoint are relative. There are often contrapuntal elements in more homophonic music and often homophonic passages in more contrapuntal music.

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Fig. 37. E$9 and EY9

7. Chords

Even if Chapters 3-5 were mainly about melody and the monophonic aspects of mode, it was impossible to totally avoid mentioning chords and harmony. Now, harmony is no side issue in the rest of this book: it’s the central topic. If that is so we’ll need a vocabulary capable of designating harmony’s nuts and bolts. That’s why this chapter is devoted to explanation of the chord-naming conventions used in the rest of this book. And that, in its turn, means that this is not a discursive chapter. It’s intended rather as a reference resource whose core consists of the various charts and tables displaying tertial chords, their designations and abbreviated labels (pp. 223, 226, 232-233, 235). Please note that quartal harmony is dealt with separately in Chapter 10.

Definition and scope

Chord, from Greek χορδή (chordē, Latin chorda), originally meant the string of a musical instrument. Eventually, chord came to denote the simultaneous sounding of two or more different tones by any polyphonic instrument or by any combination of instrument(s) and/or voice(s). The simultaneous sounding of notes of the same name, i.e. unison pitches or pitches separated by octave intervals, does not qualify as a chord. A two-note chord is a dyad, a three-note chord a triad, a four-note chord a tetrad and a five-note chord a pentad.

Chords need not be heard as such by members of a musical tradition whose polyphony emphasises the interplay of independent melodic lines (counterpoint) much more strongly than music in the Western post-Renaissance tradition of melody and accompaniment. In most types of popular music chords are generally regarded as belonging to the accompaniment part of that dualism.

Tertial triads

Tertial chords are based on the stacking of thirds. Tertial triads are fundamental harmonic building blocks in euroclassical music, in most forms of jazz and in many types of popular music.

A triad is any chord containing three different notes. The tertial common triad is a particular, and particularly common, type of triad constructed as two simultaneously sounding thirds, one superimposed on the other. As Figure 33 shows, c and e (separated by a major third) together with e and g (minor third) constitute the major common triad of C major (c-e-g), while d and f (minor third) together with f and a (major third) make a D minor triad.

Fig. 33. Tertial common triads on each degree of C ionian / A aeolian

Two types of tertial chord shorthand appear in Figure 33: [1] lead-sheet chord shorthand (C, Dm, Em, etc.); [2] roman numerals (I, ii, iii, IV etc.). Both systems are in common everyday use. Lead-sheet chord shorthand, explained on pages 229-244, is ‘absolute’ in that, for example, the abbreviation C denotes a major triad based on c@ and on no other note, Dm a minor triad based on d@ and no other note, etc. The roman numeral system is, however, ‘relative’.

Roman numerals

Roman numerals are used to denote chords and their relation to the tonic (keynote) of any key or mode. This sort of relative chordal designation can, with few modifications, be transferred to the study of any polyphonic music for which a keynote or tonic can be established. More specifically, each roman numeral designates the root note of the scale degree on which the chord is built. For example, the upper-case roman ‘one’ (I) in Figure 33 means a major common triad with scale degree 1 ( at its root. In the key of C, where  is c@, ‘I’ designates not the note c@ but a C major triad built on c.

Minor triads are expressed using lower-case roman numerals. As shown in Figure 33, ‘vi’ means a minor triad on scale degree 6 (^â). In the C major scale, the ionian mode, â is a@, so ‘ vi ’ means an A minor common triad (Am). The ‘i’ under that ‘vi’ in Figure 33 designates the same A minor common triad, except that it is now, as ‘i’, the triad on scale degree 1 (Â) in A aeolian (A ‘natural minor’). The lower line of roman numerals in Figure 33 reveals that what was the tonic major triad I (‘one’) in C major becomes $III (‘flat three’) in A aeolian. It’s the same C major triad as before but this time in the key of A aeolian, not C ionian. It further reveals that the F and G major triads that were IV (‘four’) and V (‘five’) in C ionian are $VI (‘flat six’) and $VII (‘flat seven’) in A aeolian. That’s worth knowing because $VI?$VII?i (or I) constitutes the highly popular aeolian cadence, no matter which key you’re in —F?G?Am (or A) in A, C?D?Em (or E) in E, A$?B$?Cm (or C) in C, etc. It’s the aeolian equivalent of the ionian cadence formula IV?V?I (F?G?C in C, A$-B$-E$ in E$, etc.). These relationships should become clearer after perusal of Table 14 (p. 223).

The major triads in Figure 33 are C, F and G. As we just saw, they occupy scale degrees Â, Ô and Û in the ionian mode as the triads I, IV and V but occur on degrees $Î, $â and $ê in the aeolian as the triads $III, $VI and $VII. The minor triads Dm, Em and Am are on scale degrees Ê, Î and â in the ionian (ii, iii, vi) and on Ô, Û and  (iv, v, i) in the aeolian. Moreover, the major scale’s ^ê (b@ in C) and the minor scale’s Ê (b@ in A) produce a diminished triad (vii° and ii°) that is rarely heard without the addition of a fourth note. The two most common diminished tetrads are the diminished seventh (e.g. CJ) and the half-diminished chord (‘seven flat five’, e.g. Cm7L5). They appear top right in Table 13 (p. 222). There’s one tertial triad that, unlike the three types shown in Figure 33, cannot be generated by superimposing two mode-specific thirds. It’s the augmented triad and it’s included with the other three types in Table 13.

Table 13: Four types of tertial triads (on c) + 2 diminished tetrads

triad type thirds fifth notes lead sheet4

major maj + min perfect c e g C

minor min + maj perfect c e$ g Cm

augmented maj + maj augmented c e g#/a$ CU /CP

diminished min + min diminished c e$ g$/f# CJ/C°

As shown in Figure 33 (p. 220) and Table 13, major triads consist of a minor third on top of a major third (e.g. e-g over c-e for C), minor triads of a major third over a minor third (e.g. e$-g over c-e$ for C minor), while augmented triads comprise two superimposed major thirds (e.g. e-g# over c-e) and diminished triads two minor thirds (e.g. e$-g$ over c-e$). In principle, all tertial triads of the type contained in Table 13 contain a root note, its third and its fifth.

Table 14 (p. 223) shows lead sheet and roman-number symbols for each scale degree in all seven heptatonic ‘church’ modes. It’s included mainly for reference purposes when discussing chord sequences and functions in different keys and modes. However, some aspects of symbol convention in Table 14 need explanation.

[1] Since the locrian mode’s tonic triad is diminished (I°) and includes no perfect fifth, it is rarely used as a chord in ‘everyday tonality’ and will be discussed no further in this context. Of course, that does not mean that the locrian mode is never used melodically; on the contrary, it is very common in heavy metal.

[Text continues with §2 on page 224 after Table 14.]

Table 14: Roman-numeral triads for all seven steps in all ‘church’ modes

[2] Common triads based on scale degrees in all modes except the ionian involve at least one roman-numeral symbol preceded by an accidental, usually $. That’s because the roman numbering of tertial triads comes from the theory of euroclassical music whose default mode is ionian. Consequently, the roman numbering of triads in other modes has to indicate divergence from that ionian standard. That’s why ‘III’, for example, always means a major triad on Î, the major-third scale degree in relation to the tonic, i.e. an E major triad in C, or a C# major triad in A, etc., whereas ‘$III’ designates a major triad on $Î, the minor third in relation to the tonic, i.e. an E$ major triad in C, a C major triad in A. Similarly, ‘vi’ always indicates a minor common triad on the major sixth (â), i.e. an A minor triad in C, an F# minor triad in A, etc.

[3] It is not uncommon for music in the dorian, phrygian or aeolian mode to use a permanent Picardy third as tonic triad: i becomes I. The triad on Û can also be ‘majorised’ in some cases: v can become V. These devices are explained on pages 276-284 and marked in columns 1 and 5 (I and V) in Table 14.

Ex. 179. I vi ii7 V7 sequence (‘vamp’) in C and D major

Bearing in mind that pitches extraneous to the tertial common triad, most frequently the flat seventh, are expressed as superscripted arabic numerals, it is clear that | I-vi-ii7-V7| designates the same chord progression in any major key, whereas |C Am Dm7 G7 | and | D Bm Em7 A7 | designate the same sequence in two keys only (C and D major respectively, ex. 179). Similarly, a repeated |I-$VII-IV| progression (C B$ F in C) is found as D C G (in D) throughout Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama (1974) and as G F C at the end of The Beatles’ Hey Jude (1968b; in G). Note that tertial triads built on pitches foreign to the ionian mode must be preceded by the requisite accidental, for example ‘$VII’ for a major triad built on b$ in the key of C major. Similarly, notes within a tertial chord that are extraneous to the current key of the piece must also be preceded by the requisite accidental, e.g. ‘ ii7L5 ’ for the second-degree seventh chord in C minor with d as root and containing also f, a$ and c.


Fig. 34. C major triad inverted ?

In most popular music the lowest note in a chord is usually also its root. However, in choral settings and in music strongly influenced by the euroclassical tradition, tertial chords are often inverted, i.e. the chord’s root note does not have to be its lowest. The first three chords of Figure 34 show a C major common triad [1] in root position (with c in the bass), [2] in first inversion (with its third, e, in the bass) and [3] in second inversion (with its fifth, g, in the bass). The final chord of Figure 34 is a tetrad (a chord containing four different notes): it’s a C major triad with the flat seventh (b$) in the bass, i.e. the tetrad C7 in third inversion (with its seventh, b$, as lowest note).

European textbook harmony symbols, derived from figured bass techniques of the baroque era (bottom line of symbols in Fig. 34), are largely incompatible with the way in which chords are understood by most musicians today. Therefore, if inversions need to be referred to, they are most commonly denoted in the absolute terms of lead sheet chord symbols (top line in Fig. 34), sometimes in the relative terms of roman numerals, as shown in the line of symbols between the two staves, i.e. as IzÌ for the tonic triad with its third as bass note, IzÙ for the same chord with its fifth in the bass, etc.

Recognition of tertial chords

Individual chords can be identified and named according to their constituent notes and harmonic functions. They can also be recognised phenomenologically. Table 15 (pp. 226-229) lists some common tertial chords together with references to their occurrence in well-known pieces of popular music. It also shows, where applicable, with which musical styles or with what kind of mood the chords are often associated.

Table 15: Familiar occurrences of tertial chords (ends on page 229)



hand full



tion occurrences style



triad First and final chord of most national anthems, White Christmas (Crosby 1942), the Internationale (Degeyter 1871), Blue Danube waltz (Strauss 1867). Chords in chorus of Yellow Submarine (Beatles 1966). Happy Birthday, last chord.

m (common)

minor triad;

‘minor’ 1st long chord in Pink Floyd’s Shine On Crazy Diamond (1975). 1st chord in It Won’t Be Long, She Loves You and I’ll Be Back (Beatles 1963b; 1964a). 1st and last chord in Chopin’s Funeral March (1839).

+ augmented triad; ‘aug-mented’, ‘aug’ [o:g] Gershwin’s Swanee (1919) at “how I love you!”. Second chord in Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite and Fixing A Hole (Beatles, 1967)


added sixth chord; ‘six’, ‘add six’ 1st chord, at ‘When whipperwills call’, in My Blue Heaven (Donaldson 1927). 1st and last chord in Mack The Knife (Weill, 1928); in chorus of Alabama Song, at ‘Moon of Alabama’ (Weill, 1927). Last ‘Yeah’ in She Loves You (Beatles, 1963b). jazz


m6 minor triad with added (maj.) sixth; ’minor six’ First chord in verse of Alabama Song, at ‘Show us the way to the next’... (Weill, 1927). First chord after fanfare in the Wedding March (Mendelssohn, 1843).

7 (dominant) seventh chord;

‘seven [chord]’ Penultimate chord in most hymns and national anthems. First chord in Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There (1963a), I Wanna Be Your Man (1963c), She’s A Woman (1964d), Taxman (1966), Get Back (1969b).

7+ seventh chord with


fifth; ‘seven plus’, ‘seven aug’ [o:g]) Cole Porter (1933): You’re Bad For Me, upbeat to chorus. Miles Davis (1961): Some Day My Prince Will Come, second chord, at ‘day’. Mary Hopkins (1968): Those Were The Days, at ‘were the’ (upbeat to chorus). Beatles (1969a): Oh! Darling, after ‘broke down and died’ before reprise of hook.

7$5 seventh chord with diminished fifth; ‘seven flat five’ Jobim (1963): Garota da Ipanema, penultimate chord; (1964):

Samba da una nota so, 4th chord; (1969);

Desafinado, 2nd chord. bossa nova,



^ or

M or

M7 major seven[th] chord;

‘major seven’ Cole Porter (1932): Night And Day, first chord of chorus. Erroll Garner (1960): Misty, 1st downbeat chord of chorus. Beatles (1963d): This Boy, 1st chord. Tom Jones (1965): It’s Not Unusual, 1st chord. Burt Bacharach (1968): This Guy’s In Love With You, 1st three chords. Beatles (1969a): Something, 2nd chord. jazz standards,

pop 1960s-70s

bossa nova,


m7 minor seven[th] chord;

‘minor seven’ Youmans (1925): Tea For Two, first chord (on ‘tea’). Bacharach (1964): Walk On By, first chord. Beatles (1965b): Michelle, second chord; (1968a): Rocky Racoon, 1st chord in hook; (1969a): You Never Give Me Your Money, first chord. jazz standards,

pop 1960s-70s


m^9 minor, major seven[th]/ninth

(or nine) Hagen (1944): Harlem Nocturne (the ‘Mike Hammer’ theme), first downbeat chord of tune. Norman/Barry (1962): James Bond Theme, final chord. detective

& spies

m7$5 minor seven flat five

or half diminished Addinsell (1942): Warsaw Concerto, 2nd chord. Miles Davis (1973): Stella By Starlight, 1st chord. Nat King Cole (1955): Autumn Leaves (Kosma), 1st chord of middle eight. romantic

& classics

dim diminished seventh chord; ‘diminished’,

‘dim’ Beatles (1963b): Till There Was You,

2nd chord (at ‘hill’);

Beatles (1967a): Strawberry Fields,

at ‘nothing is real’. horror chord

silent movies.

9 (dominant) ninth chord;

‘nine’ Beatles (1964a): Things We Said Today, at ‘dreaming’ (‘some day when we’re dreaming’); (1969a): Because, highlighted chord at ‘round’/‘high’/‘blue’. swing



plus nine chord Hendrix (1967b): Purple Haze, 1st chord.

Beatles (1969a): Come Together, start.

Blood Sweat & Tears (1969):

Spinning Wheel, first chord. rock c. 1970,

jazz fusion

M9 major nine chord Jobim (1963): The Girl from Ipanema, 1st chord.

m9 minor nine chord Warren (1938): Jeepers Creepers, 1st chord of chorus. Weill (1943): Speak Low, 1st chord in chorus. Raksin (1944) Laura, 1st chord in chorus. jazz



chord of the eleventh; ‘eleven


‘eleven’ Righteous Brothers (1965): You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, 1st chord. Beatles (1967b): She’s Leaving Home, at ‘leaving the note’, ‘standing alone’, ‘quietly turning’, ‘stepping outside’, ‘meeting a man’; (1970): Long And Winding Road, at first occurrence of ‘road’. Abba (1977): Name of the Game, at repeated ‘I want to know’. gospel, soul,

fusion, post-bop

m11 minor eleven chord Miles Davis (1959): So What, all chords. Goldenberg (1973): Kojak Theme, first two chords under melody. post-


13 chord of the thirteenth;

or thirteen

chord Degeyter (1871): Internationale, upbeat to chorus. Big Ben Banjo Band (1958): Luxembourg Waltz, 1st chord (upbeat).

Beatles (1969a): Because, just before ecstatic “Ah!” on D chord. pre-jazz,

swing, bebop

*9 major triad with added ninth Bacharach (1970b): Close To You,

1st chord (at ‘why do birds suddenly appear?’); Nilsson (1974): Without You, 1st chord. pop


m*9 minor triad with added ninth;

minor add nine Al Hirt (1966): Music To Watch Girls By, 1st chord.

Lionel Richie (1983): Hello, 1st chord.

Rota (1966): Romeo and Juliet,

main theme, 1st chord. sad, bitter-



major triad in first inversion Beach Boys (1966): God Only Knows, hook line at ‘knows what I’d be’. Foundations (1967): Baby, Now That I’ve Found You, at ‘let you go’ and ‘even so’. Procol Harum (1967b): Homburg, 3rd and 4th chords in introduction. ‘classical’

/5 major triad in second inversion Beach Boys (1966): God Only Knows, 1st chord. Foundations (1967): Baby, Now That I’ve Found You, at ‘love you so’. Procol Harum (1970): Wreck of the Hesperus, start of major key section. ‘classical’

mzÙ minor triad in second inversion Simon & Garfunkel (1966): Homeward Bound, 2nd chord; Sinatra (1969): My Way, 2nd chord. reflective




seventh chord in third inversion Beach Boys (1966): God Only Knows, at ‘are stars above you’. Foundations (1967): Baby, Now That I’ve Found You. Procol Harum (1967): Homburg, 2nd chord. Abba (1974a): Waterloo, 2nd chord, on the ‘oo’ of ‘At Waterloo’ in verse 1. ‘classical’

/7 major triad with major seventh in bass Procol Harum (1967):

Whiter Shade Of Pale, chord 2.

Eric Clapton (1974): Let It Grow, 2nd chord. ‘classical’,


S4 suspended fourth chord;

‘sus four’,

‘suspension’ Beatles (1965a): You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.

Rolling Stones (1965): Satisfaction, 2nd of two chords in main riff. Marvin Gaye (1966): Ain’t No Mountain, 1st chord in introduction. pop 1960s-


Lead sheet chord shorthand

G, D7, Em7, C#m7L5, B$S4, Am*9 and so on: these are just a few examples of the shorthand used to designate individual chords in many forms of popular music. The rest of this chapter aims to explain how that system of chord labelling works.

Lead sheets are sheets of paper displaying the basic information necessary for performance and interpretation of a piece of popular music. Elements usually included on a lead sheet are: [1] melody, including its mensuration, in staff notation; [2] lead sheet chord shorthand, usually placed above the melody; [3] lyrics, if any. Such types of written music are used extensively by musicians in the fields of jazz, cabaret, chanson and many types of dance music. Lead sheets consisting of lyrics and chord shorthand only are common among musicians in the rock, pop and Country music sphere.

Lead sheets originated for reasons of copyright. In the 1920s, the only way to protect authorship of an unpublished song in the USA was to deposit a written copy with the Copyright Division of the Library of Congress in Washington. To protect the rights of songs recorded by early blues artists, musicians had to provide the Library of Congress with a transcription of the melody’s most salient features along with typewritten lyrics and basic elements of the song’s accompaniment (Leib, 1981:56). Such a document was called a lead sheet, its function descriptive rather than prescriptive, not least because: [1] the most profitable popular music distribution commodity of the time was not the recording but three-stave sheet music in arrangement for voice and piano; [2] most big band musicians read their parts from staff notation provided by the arranger. However, guitarists and bass players of the thirties usually played from a mensurated sequence of chord names, i.e. from ‘basic elements of the song’s accompaniment’ as written on a lead sheet. With the decline of big bands and the rise of smaller combos in postwar years, with the increasing popularity of the electric guitar as main chordal instrument in such combos, and with the shift from sheet music to records as primary music commodity, lead sheets ousted staff notation as the most important scribal aide-memoire for musicians in the popular sphere. Other reasons for the subsequent ubiquity of lead sheets are that: [1] their interpretation demands no more than rudimentary notational skills; [2] since they contain no more than the bare essentials of a song, an extensive repertoire can be easily maintained and transported to performance venues.

By lead sheet chord shorthand is meant: [1] symbols used on a lead sheet to represent, descriptively or prescriptively, the chords of a song or piece of music; [2] the widespread system according to which music practitioners most frequently denote chords.

Since there are probably as many variants of lead sheet chord shorthand in circulation as there are musical subcultures, it is impossible to provide a definitive overview of the system. Still, even though a few of these variants diverge from the codification practices described below, most variants follow by and large the principles expounded in this chapter. Table 16 (pp. 232-233) provides a selection of fifty tertial chords and their lead sheet symbols, all with the note c as root. Table 17 (p. 233) shows how the shorthand translates into spoken English used by musicians.

Lead sheet chord shorthand table: explanations

Table 16 (pp. 232-233) charts fifty different chords based on the note c. Each chord is identified with: [1] its number in the chart so that it can be referred to concisely from the commentary following the tables; [2] the stack of thirds from which each chord derives its lead-sheet shorthand; [3] a valid way of spacing (voicing) each chord at the piano. The first section of the chart (p. 232) is presented in ascending order of the number of thirds supposedly contained in the chords: first simple triads, then seventh chords, ninths, elevenths and thirteenths. That part of the table is followed by a selection of added, suspended and inverted chords (p. 233).

Fig. 35. Symbols used

in Table 16


The top line in Table 16 (overleaf) is not for playing. As visualised in Figure 35, it just presents the stacking of thirds at the theoretical basis of each chord. The lower two staves, however, present a viable way of playing each chord on a piano keyboard. Please note that the little ‘8’ under the treble clef of the piano part follows the practice of notation for guitarists and tenor vocalists. That means your right hand has to play everything one octave lower than written. The left hand part should be played as notated. Table 17 (p. 233) spells out the chord names in Table 16. That is followed (p. 234, ff.) by a detailed explanation of lead-sheet chord shorthand and its conventions. [Text continues on page 234 after Table 17]

Table 16: Lead sheet chord shorthand chart for C (1)

[Explanations and text continue on page 234 after Table 17]

Table 16 (cont’d): Lead sheet chord shorthand chart for C (2)

Table 17: Full names of most lead sheet chords in Table 16.

chord chord nº as spoken in English

CP or CU 3 C plus, C augmented, C aug [o:g]

C° 4 C diminished triad

C7|C9|C11|C13 5, 13, 22,26 C seven | C nine | C eleven | C thirteen

C^ CM(7) | C^9 7, 15 C major seven | C major nine

C7L5 or C7Y5 10 C seven flat five, C seven minus five

C7U, C7P 9 C seven aug[mented], C seven plus

C9P (C9U) C+9 19 18 C nine plus (C nine aug[mented]), C plus nine

C13+11 (C11P13) 31 C thirteen plus eleven (C eleven plus thirteen)

Cm7|Cm9|Cm11 6, 14, 23 C minor seven|C minor nine|C minor eleven

CmM or Cm^9 8, 16 C minor major seven, C minor major nine

Cm7$5 or C%

or Cm7-5, 11 C minor seven flat five, C half diminished,

C minor seven minus five,

CJ or CJ7 12 C dim[inished] [dIm], C diminished seventh

C6 | Cm6 33, 34 C six, C add six, C added sixth |

C minor six, C minor add[ed] sixth

CS(4) | CS9 37, 39 C sus (four), C four suspension, C suspended fourth; C sus nine

C*9 | Cm*9 35, 36 C add nine, C minor add nine

CzÌ or Cze 41 C major first inversion, C (with) third in bass, C (with) e bass, C first inversion

[1] Table 16 (pp. 232-233) contains one chord per ‘bar’. If two chords appear in the same ‘bar’ it’s because they’re one and the same chord. For example, CP9 (nº 99 in Figure 35; or chords 12 and 18 on page 232), can be written in radically different ways depending on tonal context.

[2] Certain notes must, for reasons explained later, be omitted from certain chords, for example the major third (e@) in the C11 chord shown as nº 98 in Figure 35. Such obligatory omissions are indicated by an elongated X through the note in question.

[3] Sometimes the piano part in Table 16 misses out notes that appear in the stack-of-thirds row with no ‘obligatory omission’ line through them (e.g. both chords in Figure 35).

Basic rationale of lead sheet chord shorthand

Lead sheet chord shorthand has an entirely tertial basis. Since this system of abbreviation evolved during the heyday of tertial harmony in popular music, its simplest symbols denote common triads built on the designated note (e.g. ‘C’ for a C major common triad). Moreover, characters placed after the triad name tend merely to qualify that tertial triad, either in terms of notes added to it or by denoting chromatic alteration of any degree within the chord except for the root and its third. Similarly, the odd-number integers seen most frequently after the triad symbol (7, 9, 11, 13) represent pitches stacked in thirds above the two thirds already contained within the triad (1-3, 3-5) on which a more complex chord is based (e.g. C9 containing b$ and d —flat seventh and major ninth— in addition to c-e-g). The shorthand system also assumes that root and bass note are the same. Developed in style-specific contexts, lead sheet chord shorthand allows for the concise representation of chords in many types of popular music, for example jazz standards, chanson, Schlager and many types of pop, rock and Country music. The system is, however, cumbersome and in need of radical reform when it comes to codifying inversions and to non-tertial harmony (see Chapter 10).

Symbol components

Lead sheet chord symbols (see Table 18, below) are built from the following components placed in the following order: [1] note name of the chord’s root, present in every symbol; [2] triad type, if not major; [3] type of seventh, if any; [4] ninths, elevenths and thirteenths, if any, with or without alteration; [5] altered fifth, if any; [6] added notes outside the tertial stack, or omitted notes and suspensions, if any; [7] inversions, if any. Since components [2] through [7] are only included when necessary, chord symbols range from very simple (e.g. C, Cm, C7) to quite complex (e.g. F#m6*9, B$Y13P9). Table 18 summarises the order of presentation for symbols most commonly used in connection with tertial chords containing neither added notes, nor suspensions nor inversions.

Table 18: Normal order of components in lead-sheet chord shorthand

1: root


name A, B$, B, C, C#/D$, D, D#/E$,

E, F, F#/G$, G, G#/A$

chord/interval type






2: triad type

[omit] m

(=min/mi) aug or +(5) ° [unusual]

3: type of

seventh maj(7)

or Δ

7 dim(7)

or o(7)

4a: thirteenth 13 –13

b: eleventh 11 +11

c: ninth 9 –9 +9

5: fifth + or aug –5 or $5

Note name of the chord’s root

Note names may be in English, as in the top row of Table 18, or are written according to Germanic or Latin language conventions. English root note names are always in upper-case.

Tertial triad type

No extra symbol is necessary for standard major triads: just ‘C’ on its own is always a C major common triad. The qualifier ‘major’ applies exclusively to sevenths, never to thirds (see p. 236). On the other hand, ‘minor’ (‘m’) applies to the third and to no other note in the chord. Chords built as or on a common minor triad must include the triad type qualifier ‘m’ (or ‘mi’ or ‘min’), always lower-case, immediately after the chord root’s note name. For example, ‘Cm’ means a C minor common triad, i.e. c-e$-g.

Augmented triads consist of two superimposed major thirds (e.g. c-e-g#), diminished triads of two superimposed minor thirds (e.g. c-e$-g$). The adjectives augmented and diminished qualify in this case alteration of scale degree 5. Augmented fifths are usually indicated by a ‘+’, or by ‘aug’ (e.g. ‘CP’, or ‘CU’). While the diminished triad is uncommon on its own, the augmented triad (CP, B$P, etc.) occurs quite frequently in popular music.

To avoid linguistic incongruities like ‘Amadd9’ in chord shorthand —there’s nothing mad about it— it’s preferable to write root name and triad type in normal typeface, subsequent symbols in a smaller typeface and/or as superscript, for example ‘AmM7’ or ‘Am*9 ’.

Type of seventh

Since, in the often jazz-related styles for which lead sheet symbols were originally developed, the minor (flat) seventh (e.g. b$ in relation to c) is more common than the key-specific major seventh (e.g. b@ in relation to c), and since the qualifier ‘minor’ is applied exclusively to the third in tertial triads, a common major triad with an added minor seventh requires no other qualification than the numeral 7 (Table 16: 5): flat seven is default seventh in the same way as default triads feature major thirds. On the other hand, tertial chords containing a key-specific major seventh need to be flagged with a maj or Δ (Table 16: 7). Since maj and Δ are reserved as qualifiers of the seventh and of no other scale degree, the ‘7’ may be omitted in conjunction with these symbols (e.g. CM or C^ = CM7). However, the simple ‘7’ is always present to denote the default tetrad of the seventh whose seventh degree is always flat or minor, see Table 16: 5-12).

Seventh chords containing an augmented fifth indicate such alteration by 7P or 7U (Table 16: 9). Diminished fifths in seventh chords containing a major third appear as 7Y5 (‘seven minus five’) or 7L5 (‘seven flat five’, see Table 16: 10). Seventh chords containing minor third, diminished fifth and flat seventh —m7L5, a very common chord in euroclassical and jazz-related styles—, are usually abbreviated m7L5 or m7Y5, or sometimes just % (‘minor seven flat five’ or ‘half diminished’, Table 16: 11). The dim chord constitutes a special case, containing both diminished seventh and fifth, and is most frequently indicated by dim placed straight after the root note name, sometimes by J7 (‘diminished seventh’ or just J; Table 16, chord no. 12).

Ninths, elevenths, thirteenths

Chords involving ninths, elevenths and thirteenths are assumed to include, at least theoretically, some kind of tertial triad and some kind of seventh (p. 232: 13-32). Chords containing elevenths presuppose the presence of a ninth, and thirteenth chords the presence of an eleventh as well as a ninth, all in addition to a seventh and the major or minor triad of the root note. To save space, shorthand denoting all such chords is usually presented in descending order of intervals requiring qualification — thirteenths, elevenths, ninths, fifths — once the root note name, the minor triad marker (if necessary) and the major seventh symbol (if necessary) have been included (Table 16: 17-32). The only exception to this practice is the chord containing major thirteenth and augmented eleventh (13+11) which is sometimes referred to in reverse order as 11+13 (p. 232: 31-32). Shorthand for chords of the thirteenth, eleventh and ninth include no mention of the eleventh, ninth or seventh below them, unless any of those degrees deviate from their default values (perfect eleventh, major ninth, minor seventh). For example, the ‘11’ in ‘C11’ assumes the presence of the default ninth and flat seventh (d and b$), whereas the ‘9’ in CP11P9 is included on account of its alteration from d to d#/e$.

Certain notes are often omitted from ninth, eleventh and thirteenth chords. While most of the omissions are preferential, one is mandatory: removing the major third from a ‘major’ eleven chord because of an internal minor-ninth dissonance created between the major third lower in the chord and the eleventh usually at the top, for example the e@3 against the f4 in C11 (see chord 98 in ex. 35, p. 231, nº 22 in Table 16, p. 232). Other omissions relate largely to register. For example, with an accompanimental register in the middle of the piano keyboard and with bass notes usually between one and two octaves lower, sounding the fifth in chords of the ninth and thirteenth can often sound ‘muddy’. It is for this reason that fifths are omitted in chords 17, 18 and 26-31 on page 232.

Altered fifths

Although simple augmented and diminished triads are encoded + or aug and dim or ° respectively, the symbol for altered fifths (+ and –5 or $5) in chords of the seventh, ninth, eleventh and thirteenth is always placed last after all other relevant information (e.g. C7L5, Cm7L5, C7P, etc; see Table 16, chords 9-12, 19-21, page 232).

Additional symbols

Omitted notes

The more notes a chord theoretically contains, the more difficult it becomes to space those notes satisfactorily on the keyboard or guitar. As we just saw with the ‘eleven chord’, the principle of tertial stacking even leads to unacceptable dissonance that can prove impossible to resolve without removing a note from the stack. Such removal also applies to any thirteenth chord whose theoretical tertial stack contains an unaltered eleventh: that note is always left out of thirteenth chords based on the major triad (p. 232, chords 26-30). Similarly, the perfect fifth is often omitted from thirteenth chords as well as from certain ninth chords. All these omissions constitute standard practice and need not be indicated in lead sheet chords.

One chord which was often understood to require indication of note omission was the ‘bare’ fifth, often used as rock power chord and previously noted (in E) as ‘E no 3’ or ‘E omit G#’. A much less clumsy way of indicating open fifths is used in metal contexts where a simple ‘5’ suffices, e.g. ‘E5’ for the dyad e@-b@, ‘C5’ for c and g, ‘F5’ for f and c, etc. (see chords 1 and 2 in Figure 36, p. 240).

Added ninths and sixths

Added chords are those consisting of a simple triad to which another single note has been added without inclusion of intervening odd-number degrees that result from tertial stacking. For example, *9 and m*9 chords are triads to which the ninth has been added without including an intermediate seventh (p. 233, chords 35-36). Similarly, the two sixth chords (p. 233, chords 33-34) are qualifiable as added because they both consist of a triad to which a major sixth has been added without any intervening sevenths, ninths or elevenths making them into chords of the thirteenth. It should be remembered that the ‘m’ in ‘m6’ refers to the minor third, not to the sixth which is always major (e.g. Cm6 = c-e$-g-a@; p. 233, chord 34). Unlike added ninths, added sixth chords are rarely indicated with the prefix ‘add’ before the ‘6’.

Suspended fourths and ninths

Suspensions are chords that should be resolved into a subsequent tertial consonance. The most common suspensions in popular music, sus4 and sus9, both resolve to common major or minor triads, the fourth of sus4 to a third, the ninth of sus9 to the octave (e.g. the f in CS4 to the e of C or the e$ of Cm, the d in CS9 to the c of C or Cm (resolutions marked with arrows by chords 37-40 on page 233). The absence of any numeral after sus assumes that the suspension is on the fourth. Although add9 chords (p. 233: 35-36) and sus9s (39-40) may be identical as individual chords, sus9 should typically resolve in the manner just described, while add9 need not.

Even more important than the distinction between add and sus is the use of chords that, taken out of context, may look or sound like sus4, sus9 or add9 but which in quartal harmony are nothing of the sort. Chords 3-6 in Figure 36 are basic triads in quartal harmony and should be designated as suggested below, not according to the norms of tertially based lead-sheet chord shorthand. For example, chord 5, below, is a ‘C four’ (C4, not CS4) and chord 6 an ‘F two’ (F2, not FS9 or F*9). ‘GÁ’, ‘CÃ’, ‘FÀ’, ‘CÄ’ and other conventions of quartal harmony are all explained in Chapter 10.

Fig. 36. Six basic quartal dyads and triads with abbreviations


Inversions of tertial chords are exemplified by chords 41-45 in Table 16 (p. 233). Every standard tertial chord contains a root note (‘1’), a third (‘3’) and a fifth (‘5’). If the root note is pitched lowest of those notes, like chord numbers 1-39 in Table 16, that chord is in root position. If the third is lowest, for example the e@ in a C major triad or the e$ in a C minor triad, the chord is said to be in first inversion (e.g. chords 41-42 in Table 16: CzÌ and CmzìÌ). If the fifth is lowest, the same chord is in second inversion, like the g@ in chords 43-44: CzÙ and CmzÙ. Tertial seventh chords can be also be inverted on the seventh, in which case they are in third inversion, for example chord 45 on page 233, a C7 with b$ in the bass: Czè or C7zb$.

In many types of popular music, inversions most often occur as either: [1] offbeat shuttle notes, usually the fifth, to the root note, for example the ‘pa’ in bass ‘oom-pa’ patterns; or [2] as part or whole of a pattern passing from one chord in root position to the next. Since these passing-note patterns, often involving a third or seventh, are created aurally, typically by the bass player, without reference to notation, no standard lead sheet codification exists for these practices. This lacuna in lead-sheet chord shorthand makes chord labelling difficult in euroclassical harmony contexts.

One way of indicating inversions is, as suggested above, to write the relevant bass note by interval number or note name following the rest of the chord’s symbols and a forward slash, for example C7zÌ or C7ze, for a C seven chord with its third (e@) in the bass. Inversions audible in pop recordings are often absent from published lead sheets and tend only to be indicated, if at all, when they occur on an important downbeat or its syncopated anticipation. The same goes for chords that are held or repeated while bass notes change in conjunct motion. For example, a bass line descending chromatically from Cm to A$ (chords 47-50 on page 233) would first pass through the chord labelled Cmzòè or Cmzb@ . That indication may be accurate but the chord is unlikely to be called ‘C minor with a major seventh in the bass’ or ‘C minor over b natural’, much more likely to be thought of as a ‘another C minor’, because it’s simply part of the bass player’s job to take the music from Cm to A$ in an appropriate manner. In any case, you are unlikely to see | D D/c# |Bm D/a |G^| as lead-sheet shorthand for the first five chords in Bach’s Air (1731), however accurate that may be. You’d more likely see just |D |Bm | G |. As explained in Chapter 11, musicians are expected to come up with the tonal details by ear and from experience.


Flat, sharp, plus and minus

Sharp and flat signs (#, $) are mainly reserved as accidentals qualifying the root note name. Figure 37 shows the ‘$’ in ‘E$9’ indicating that the root note e itself is flat (E$) and not its ninth (f# becoming f@). It is in this way possible to distinguish between an E flat nine chord, (E$9: e$-g-b$-d$-f), and an E minus nine chord (EY9, i.e. E7 with a flat ninth —e-g#-[b]-d-f@). Otherwise the rule is that in any chord, all altered degrees apart from 3 and 7 (pp. 236-236) are indicated by ‘+’ for a note raised by a semitone and by ‘–’ or ‘$’ for a note lowered by one semitone. C7L5 and C7Y5 are in other words the same chord. It should be noted that there are conflicting conventions concerning the use of these symbols. For example, the Real Book† uses minus signs instead of ‘m’ to denote minor triads, flat and sharp signs instead of ‘+’ and ‘–’ to indicate chromatic alteration.

Enharmonic spelling

Lead sheet chord shorthand tends to disregard the rules of enharmonic orthography. For example, although the $II?I cadence at the end of the Girl from Ipanema (Jobim, 1963) might appear as A$9L5 ? GM7 on a lead sheet in G, the same $II?I cadence would in E$ almost certainly be spelt E9L5 ? E$M7 rather than the enharmonically correct F$9L5?E$^. Similarly, distinction is rarely made between chords containing a falling minor tenth and those with a rising augmented ninth. The assumption seems to be that since both +9 and -10 refer to the same equal-tone pitch, the difference between them is immaterial. +9 (‘plus nine’) is much more commonly used than -10 (‘minus ten’), even if the latter is more often enharmonically correct.

Non-tertial chords

Since non-tertial chords do not derive from stacked thirds, they are not translatable into lead sheet shorthand. Apart from open fifths, already mentioned, there are problems in encoding harmonies used in some types of jazz, as well as in some types of folk music and avant-garde rock.

The perverse habit of calling unsuspended quartal chords ‘suspended’ has already been mentioned (p. 240) and is raised again in the chapter on quartal harmony (p. 293).

Another anomaly is that musicians often conceptualise chords of the eleventh and thirteenth bitonally rather than in terms of stacked thirds, for example C13P11 as a D major triad on top of C7; or C11 as Gm7 or B$6 with c in the bass. No satisfactory consensus exists as to how such chords might be more adequately encoded. One possible solution to part of the problem may be to refer to some of these chords in the way suggested in Table 36 (p. 240) and in the chapter on quartal harmony (p. 293, ff.).

Summary in 7 points

[1] Chord means the simultaneous sounding of two or more differently named tones. Dyads contain two such tones, triads three, tetrads four and pentads five.

[2] The two most commonly used systems of chord designation are roman numerals and lead-sheet chord shorthand.

[3] Roman numeral designation is relative in that it indicates the scale degree, in any key, on which a chord is based (e.g. a C major common triad is I in the key of C but $III in A). Lead-sheet chord shorthand is absolute (C can only be C).

[4] Roman-numerals are mainly used to designate tertial chords. Lead-sheet chord shorthand is entirely tertial.

[5] There are four types of tertial triad: major, minor, augmented and diminished.

[6] Lead sheet chord symbols are built from the following components placed in the following order:

• note name of the chord’s root, e.g. C;

• triad type, if not major, e.g. Cm, CP;

• type of seventh, if any, e.g. C7, C^, Cm7, Cm^7;

• ninths, elevenths and thirteenths, e.g. CY9, Cm^9;

• altered fifth, if any, e.g. Cm7L5;

• added notes outside the tertial stack, or omitted notes and suspensions, if any, e.g. Cm6, C7S4;

• inversions, if any, e.g. CzÌ, Cze.

[7] Lead-sheet chord shorthand cannot be usefully applied in its current state to quartal harmony.

FFBk07Chords.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30


FFBk08Harm1.fm. 14-09-13 15:30

8. ‘Classical’ harmony


More words have probably been written about harmony, more hours devoted to its teaching and learning than to any other aspect of tonality. An impressive arsenal of terms has evolved over the last 200 years in efforts to put the chordal practices of the euroclassical and jazz canons into theoretical systems that are supposed to make sense to students who can then hopefully make informed choices about what they want to embrace or reject in their own music making. The sheer volume of that body of knowledge is daunting and begs the question as to why so much of this book is apparently devoted to the same topic.

The main problem is that harmony is one of the most established subjects in seats of musical learning that aren’t exactly famed for serious interest in the everyday tonality of a popular majority whose musical fare is not necessarily compatible with what is normally taught under the heading ‘harmony’. The repertoire restriction resulting from that lack of interest is certainly understandable in conventional teaching situations because ’everyday tonality’ involves a virtually boundless mass (and mess) of musics in a state of flux incompatible with a régime of ’robust’ course planning and curriculum regulation. Under such conditions it’s much easier to stick to finished chapters of music history —the Baroque and its figured basses, Viennese classicism and its sonata form, bebop jazz and its tritone substitutions, etc.— than to flounder in the largely uncharted theoretical waters of a wide variety of popular musics.

My point here is that there’s no point in thinking about, say, La Bamba in Schenkerian terms, or about ‘perfect cadences’ in aeolian or mixolydian chord progressions, or about ‘suspensions’ in the quartal harmony of TV jingles or folk rock (not to mention Bartók). None of those phenomena of everyday tonality can be understood using the toolkit of conventional harmony courses and nothing else. And that’s why, in brief, Chapter 9, on non-classical tertial harmony, and Chapter 10, on quartal harmony, are necessary.

This chapter on ‘classical’ harmony is also necessary, even if there’s already so much about it ‘out there’ because (three reasons): [1] ‘Classical harmony’, in the sense explained shortly (p. 249, ff.), is a widely used tonal idiom in everyday tonality; [2] It’s a very particular phenomenon of particular interest and influence that needs to be appreciated as a specific tonal idiom in relation to others; [3] It’s difficult to explain the specifics of non-classical tertial harmony (Chapter 9) and quartal harmony (Chapter 10) without comparing them to ‘classical’ harmony.

After a short definition and history of the word ‘harmony’, this chapter continues with an explanation of the term ‘classical harmony’ (p. 249, ff.). That section also defines ‘tertial’ and sorts out conventional music theory’s confusion about triads and thirds. The importance of syntax, narrative, linear ‘function’, voice leading, the ionian mode, modulation and tonal directionality are then set out as central characteristics of the idiom (p. 252, ff.). Then comes a longer section underlining the importance of the key clock or circle of fifths and of cadences in creating a sense of tonal direction (p. 255, ff.). After a short account of the partial dissolution of classical harmony, the chapter’s last few pages (p. 267, ff.) are devoted to a discussion of classical harmony in popular music. As usual, the chapter ends with a brief summary of its main points.

History and definitions

Harmony seems, at least in Western musical circles, to be understood in three ways. [1] In general it denotes certain aspects of tonal polyphony, in particular those relating to the simultaneous sounding of several tones to produce chords and chord sequences. [2] Harmony refers to the chordal and accompanimental rather than melodic or strictly contrapuntal aspects of music, as in statements like ‘the harmonies under that tune are very simple’ or ‘this melody is difficult to harmonise’. [3] It also denotes the theoretical systematisation of [1] and [2], as in the statement ‘we all studied harmony and counterpoint at university’.

From the Ancient Greek word ἁρμονία, meaning a joining, marriage or arrangement, harmonía, in both Greek and Latin, came to mean agreement, concord and, in music, whatever sounded good together. In medieval Europe harmony initially meant the simultaneous sounding of two notes only (dyads), in much the same way as a backing vocalist singing in parallel thirds with the main tune is said to be ‘singing harmonies’. European theorists of the Renaissance extended the notion of harmony to the simultaneous sounding of three notes, thus accommodating the ‘common triad’, with its third as well as fifth. Since then the teaching of harmony has largely concentrated on the chordal practices of music in the Central European tradition of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, i.e. on euroclassical music and with popular music styles conceived in that tonal tradition.

More recently the notion of harmony has been popularly applied to any music that sounds in any way chordal to the modern Western ear, for example, the vocal polyphony of certain African and Eastern European traditions, or the polyphonic instrumental practices of some Central and South-East Asian music cultures, even though chords and Western harmony may be neither intended nor heard by members of the musical community in question. Moreover, whereas popular English-language parlance may use the word harmony to describe things like a melody plus drone, or two voices singing in parallel homophony, conventional musicology tends to reserve the word for chordal practices relating to the euroclassical repertoire. However, since the tonal idioms of everyday life encompass a wider range of polyphonic practices than those conventionally covered by Western music scholarship, it is appropriate to qualify any type of tonal polyphony as harmony. This wider meaning of the term lets us consider a variety of harmonic practices and thus to treat harmonic idiom as one important set of traits distinguishing one sort of music from another.

One central problem facing anyone wanting to understand the variety of harmonic idioms heard on an daily basis is that some idioms are clearly codified in music teaching programmes and that others are not. Since most Western writing on harmony deals with only one or two of those idioms —notably classical harmony and jazz harmony—, cardinal problems arise when terms developed to denote specific features of central importance to those idioms are applied to other types of tonal polyphony in which those same features are absent or irrelevant. Reciprocally, those ‘other’ tonal idioms can exhibit important features that may be equally alien to the traditions on which the established codification of Western music theory is based. The trouble is that, for understandable reasons, most familiar Western terms denoting musical structure emanate from euroclassical and jazz academies, and that terms specific to other traditions are either unfamiliar in the West, or uncodified, or chaotic, or even non-existent.

To tackle this problem, I’ll suggest some terms and models designed to redress the terminological imbalance just mentioned, but it’s best to begin with a theory of euroclassical harmony for the following four reasons. [1] It already has a codified body of theory and forms the harmonic basis of a substantial amount (but by no means all!) of ’everyday tonality’. [2] It can serve as a familiar starting point for many music students. [3] Its unique tonal idiom has been globally influential and needs clarification allowing us to make viable comparisons with other idioms. [4] Its terminology needs discussion so that useful concepts can be retrieved and problematic notions discarded in a serious account of other tonalities.

Classical harmony

Before getting down to the nuts and bolts of actual harmony, two conceptual areas are in particular need of clarification: [1] classical harmony, [2] triads and tertial harmony.

I’m using the expression classical harmony in this book because it denotes the most common practices of tonal polyphony found in the globally influential body of euroclassical music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Now, such harmony is also variously referred to as ‘triadic’, ‘diatonic’, ‘functional’, ‘tonal’, etc., but these qualifiers are all misleading since they can each be applied to harmonic practices diverging significantly from those of the euroclassical repertoire, its immediate precursors and successors. For example, all harmony using three-note chords is by definition triadic. It’s also diatonic if, as is often the case, its tonal material can be derived from a heptatonic mode containing two scalar steps of a semitone and five of a whole tone. Moreover, all harmonic idioms are by definition tonal and none can ever be devoid of function. In short, although many popular music styles throughout the world may follow the basic harmonic principles of the euroclassical tradition, ‘classical harmony’ is probably the least erratic way of referring to those principles.

Triads and tertial harmony

Due to the importance of harmonic narrative in euroclassical music, harmonic theory has been largely dominated by terms suited to the description of that particular type of polyphonic dynamic. Similarly, terms applicable to any type of tonal polyphony in more than two parts/voices (e.g. ‘triad’) have become so fixated on phenomena peculiar to classical harmony and to its direct successors that they require redefinition when other harmonic idioms are discussed. Also, a handful of newer concepts have had to be included in the arsenal to denote phenomena for which harmonic theory previously had either an inadequate name or no name at all. One such term is quartal harmony (Chapter 10), so called because, from the viewpoint of euroclassical music theory, its most distinctive trait appears to be chords built on the stacking of fourths rather than of thirds. In fact the stacking of thirds seems to have needed no qualification as long as it was considered the norm from which all other practices were seen and heard to diverge; but such a view is untenable when discussing the variety of harmonic idioms outside the euroclassical music tradition and a general structural descriptor for harmony based on thirds becomes essential. Therefore, if harmony based on stacked fourths is called quartal, harmony characterised by the stacking of thirds will be called tertial (Fig. 38, p. 251).

The historical legacy of European classical music theory is so strong in so many institutions of musical learning that such a common phenomenon as the triad, which also occurs in other harmonic idioms, is so named as if no triads occurred in, say, Appalachian banjo playing or in bimodal son. The rather obvious point is that if dyad denotes a chord consisting of two differently named tones, then triad means any chord containing three such notes, tetrad four, pentad five, and so on. However, as the expression common triad suggests, triads built on the superimposition of two adjoining thirds are so common in classical harmony that triadic has, in conventional Western music theory, come to confusingly qualify not chords containing three different notes —triads— but chords built on the stacking of thirds. That is illogical, erratic and misleading. Therefore, when considering music in several harmonic idioms, including those associated with euroclassical tradition, it is vital to distinguish between triad and third, just as we distinguish between ’dyad’ and ’second’, or between ’tetrad’ and ’fourth’. That’s why chords based on stacked thirds, be they triads, tetrads or pentads, will be called tertial, and why triad will mean any chord, tertial or not, containing three differently named tones.

Fig. 38. Triads and tetrads in tertial and quartal harmony

The tonal polyphony of euroclassical music is often regarded as having developed into a form which by around 1700 crystallised into an established set of practices that were codified after the event to become part of the ‘theory’ taught in seats of musical learning. Its establishment is associated with the transition from contrapuntal to more homophonic types of tonal polyphony in Central Europe, and with the adoption of the melody-accompaniment dualism as a basic compositional device. It’s a set of practices in which harmony is generally associated with instrumental or vocal accompaniment to a foreground melody, as is evident in expressions like ‘background harmony’, ‘backing vocals’, ‘under-lying chords’, etc. Practically all euroclassical music uses harmonic practices which also form the basis of tonal polyphony in such common types of popular music as operetta, parlour song, music hall, waltzes, marches, hymns, community songs, national anthems, romantic ballads, Schlager, evergreens, jazz standards, swing, bebop, etc. This broad tradition of tertial harmony also pervades some styles of Country music and film music. Since this type of harmony, which, for reasons given on page 249, I’m calling classical, has exerted a strong global influence on everyday music making over the past two hundred years, its basic rationale will need some explanation.

Syntax, narrative, and linear ‘function

Classical harmony is generally thought to encompass the sequential (horizontal, linear) as well as simultaneous (vertical) aspects of chords. It is in other words not just a matter of instantaneous sonority or of short, repeated chord sequences. On the contrary, one of its most salient features is the implication of tonal direction of notes within chords (Fig. 39, 40, p. 253), such horizontal linearity being instrumental in elemental processes of musical narrative (opening, continuation, change, return, closure, etc.) in the euroclassical repertoire. The importance of these syntactic and diatactical functions in the tradition led influential musicologists to qualify its harmony as ‘functional’ (Funktionsharmonik). Although ’functional’ is a patent misnomer in that it erroneously implies that all other harmonic practices are devoid of function, its insistence on syntactic function underlines important differences of expression and narrative organisation between European classical harmony and other types of tonal polyphony. How does it work?

Voice leading, the ionian mode, modulation and directionality

In conventional European music theory a harmonic dissonance is in crude terms any chord that isn’t a common triad containing a root note, a major or minor third and a perfect fifth. In classical harmony, dissonances are usually prepared as suspensions (notes suspended or held over from a previous chord) and resolved on to consonances (e.g. CS4?C or ?Cm, as in Figure 39b), while closure is almost always effectuated by the perfect cadence V?I (e.g. G7? C in C). In these basic chord progressions the concept of voice leading is paramount in that the perfect fourth in relation to the keynote (e.g. the f of G7 in C) usually descends to the third (e@ in C; Fig. 39) and the major seventh (e.g. the b@ of the G or G7 chord in C) usually ascends to the keynote (b@?c; Fig. 39). This voice-leading behaviour is not arbitrary: it derives from the fact that the most popular array of notes within an octave during the rise and hegemony of the bourgeoisie in Europe was the ionian mode (the ‘major scale’, e.g. c to c on the white notes of the piano).

Fig. 39. Leading notes and voice leading in C

The ionian is the only heptatonic diatonic mode to feature at the same time: [1] major triads on all perfect intervals of the scale (tonic, fourth and fifth —I, IV, V— e.g. C, F and G in C major, see Table 19, p. 263); [2] a dominant seventh tetrad, containing a tritone, on the fifth degree (e.g. G7, containing f@ and b@, still in C); [3] semitone intervals, one ascending and one descending, which adjoin two of the tonic tertial triad’s three constituent notes, i.e. leading note to tonic (ê<î, or b@Î, or f>e in C). In simple terms, the ionian mode’s fourth (Ô) can be heard as pulling down to the major third (Î) a semitone below, while its major seventh or leading note is so called because it is heard as leading up to the keynote one semitone above (ê<î). This simple principle of voice leading endows the ionian mode with its unique qualities of tonal directionality. Unlike other modes, its two leading notes lead in two different directions to a consonance on a tonic major common triad.

Fig. 40. Ionian mode: leading notes and directionality

Although this ionian-mode directionality is that of the V?I cadence anticlockwise round the circle of fifths (e.g. G7?C, see p. 256, ff.), the ionian mode’s semitones can also go in the opposite direction because the third degree can rise as leading note to the fourth (e.g eb@, Fig. 40b), which also happens to be major third in a simple triad on V (G). In the first instance (Î<Ô, Fig. 40a), harmonic direction goes anticlockwise (flatwards) in that Î (e@) in the tonic triad (C) acts as leading note to a triad on IV (ê<î in F is e@Î in G is c>b@, ex. 40d).9 Clockwise direction round the circle of fifths (e.g. from C to G; see p. 256, ff.) is usually enhanced by raising the tonic’s fourth by one semitone (e.g. from f to f# in the D7 chord of ex. 40d), such alteration making for a clearer direction towards the dominant by introducing a second, rising semitone (f#b@, ex. 40b, c). Raising the fourth by a semitone (e.g. f to f# in C) moves the tonic of the ionian mode to the dominant, from I to V (e.g. C?G), and constitutes a change of key or modulation so that what was V becomes a new I, especially if a pivot chord is included in the progression (the A minor chord marked * in ex. 40d). Conversely, lowering the leading note by half a tone (e.g. from b@ to b$ as in the C7 chord of ex. 40c) will introduce a descending semitone (b$>a@) to underline the subdominantal direction of the semitone rising to the keynote of the new ionian mode (e.g. e@

The notion of narrative linked to the modulatory potential of the ionian mode is important because it helps explain the overriding interest in ‘horizontal’ tonal development that euroclassical scholars have tended to show in the kind of extensional dynamic that characterises much of the relevant repertoire composed in the period between roughly 1730 and 1900. It is an interest that focusses on the extended development of ideas over time in a piece of music (diataxis), rather than on the more ‘vertical’ or intensional dynamic of simultaneously sounding strands of music whose interest lies more in intricacies of timbre, articulation, voicing, as well as in registral, acoustic and metric or rhythmic placement in the extended present (syncrisis).

The key clock (circle of fifths)

The sort of harmonic directionality just described relies heavily on tonal relationships between a given keynote’s common triad (a.k.a the tonic triad) —‘I’ (‘one’) for short— and common triads constructed on scale degrees Ô and Û —chords ‘IV’ and ‘V’— of that same keynote’s major scale. In the key of C, for example, I means a C major triad while IV and V mean the major triads F and G respectively. As shown in Figure 41 (p. 256), the keys of F (IV) and G major (V) are each one step away from the central key of C major (I): F is one step away anticlockwise —‘flatwards’— and G one step clockwise —‘sharpwards’. The note g is located one fifth above or one fourth below c and the note f one fourth above or one fifth below c. In terms of classical harmony, the note g (Û in C) is also called the dominant and the tertial tetrad on that note, G7 (contains g b d f), is often referred to as the key of C’s dominant seventh chord (V7). Similarly, f (Ô in C major) is the same key’s subdominant note and a tertial triad based on that note — F (contains f a c)— is, still in terms of classical harmony, a subdominant triad (IV) in the key of C. The same relationships and terms apply for any of the twelve keys: E$ is V or dominant and D$ is IV or subdominant in A$ (I); B is V or dominant and A is subdominant in the key of E, and so on.

Figure 41 also shows that a minor key is linked to each major key —C major to A minor, E major to C# minor, etc. The basic nature of this link relates to key signature. For example, neither C major nor A minor contain any sharps or flats in their shared key signature, while E major and C# minor both take four sharps, A$ major and F minor four flats, and so on. The operative adjective in this pairing of one minor with one major key is relative, a word which in this context has a very specific meaning: if a piece in C major contains a section in A minor, that A minor section is said to be in the relative minor (relative to C, that is), and if a piece in F minor modulates to A$ major it is said to modulate to the relative major. Relative minor keys are placed three ‘hours’ earlier (flatwards, anticlockwise) on the key clock than the major key based on the same tonic (e.g. A major is at three o’clock but A minor at twelve) while relative major keys are situated three ‘hours’ later (sharpwards, clockwise) than their minor-key variant (e.g. F minor is at eight o’clock and F major at eleven).

Fig. 41. The ‘key clock’ or circle of fifths

The circle of fifths or key clock is a central concept of tonality in Western music theory. Its main functions are: [1] to visualise the system of keys and key signatures used in much music of the Western world; [2] to facilitate understanding of harmonic progressions found in such music. The key clock is a tonal concept applied to harmony rather than to melody, not least because intervallic leaps of a fourth or fifth are more common in bass lines than in tunes. It is of particular use in the study of popular music, in most jazz idioms, as well as in other styles influenced by European traditions of tertial harmony. But why are fifths so central to questions of harmony and tonality?

It has been known since ancient times that an interval of twelve superimposed fifths is, with a minimal margin of error, equal to an interval of eight octaves, i.e. that the frequencies of pitches one fifth apart are separated by a factor of 12:8 or 3:2 (×1.5) when ascending and of 2:3 (×0.67) when descending. The concept also assumes that the interval of a fourth (4:3 or ×1.33 up and 3:4 or ×0.75 down) is complementary to that of the fifth within an octave, so that ascending a fourth and then descending an octave (e.g. cÌfÈ ) will land on the same pitch as just descending a fifth (e.g. cÌ>fÈ). Similarly, ascending a fifth and then descending an octave (e.g. ¢cÌgÈ) will end up on the same pitch as just descending a fourth (e.g. cÌ>g). Hence, a series of alternately falling fifths and rising fourths, running anticlockwise round the complete circle of fifths visits every note in the twelve-tone chromatic scale within the range of a single octave (ex. 42, line 1). The same applies to a series of alternately rising fifths and falling fourths running clockwise except that you have to cover an eleventh before returning to c (Fig. 42, p. 258).

Although clockwise movement round the circle of fifths traces an arc of rising fifths or falling fourths, Figure 41 is never called a ‘circle of fourths’, probably because classical harmony’s overriding sense of direction towards closure relies on anticlockwise movement that virtually always culminates in a V-I perfect cadence. This statement may seem evident in practice to jazz and euroclassical musicians but that familiarity can cause problems when the V?I anticlockwise pull of classical harmony becomes so ingrained, so established and unquestioned, that the ability to correctly hear or perform music based on other types of tonal polyphony can be seriously impaired. I’ll try to address that issue in the next chapter but it’s worth raising briefly here since the centrality of V-I cadences in classical harmony relates directly to the circle of fifths.

Fig. 42. Circles c-c of (1) falling 5ths/rising 4ths; (2) rising 5ths/falling 4ths

Cadential mini-excursion

Cadences are music’s most common type of episodic marker. In Chapter 5 (p. 189, ff.) we saw how different musical traditions signal melodic finality in different ways. This section deals with harmonic cadences in euroclassical and related styles.

There are four main cadence types in classical harmony, two of which take one step flatwards, the other two one step sharpwards round the key clock. Having repeatedly underlined the centrality of the flatwards V-I perfect cadence in classical harmony, I feel it needs no further introduction. That leaves the other three types to discuss. The two cadences which proceed clockwise are called the half cadence or imperfect cadence and the plagal cadence. The second anticlockwise type is usually called an interrupted cadence.

The half cadence is so called because it marks the harmonic change from I to V in extremely common harmonic schemes like I V V I (e.g. C G G C in C or A E E A in A over, say, four, eight or sixteen bars) in which V (the ‘dominant’) is obviously the halfway house, as illustrated in example 180.

Ex. 180. Half/imperfect cadence halfway: ¡Y viva España (Vrethammar, 1973.

A typical half cadence, like that in bars 3-4 of example 180, which proceeds clockwise from I to V is a cadence because it harmonically marks a resting point on a different chord to what came just before; and it is half because it marks that change halfway through a longer harmonic scheme, such as the eight-bar period of ex. 180. It is an imperfect cadence because it has no finality in the tonal idiom it uses. By marking the end of a phrase or smaller part of a larger unit, at least half of which Western listeners know is still to come, it has the opposite effect of the perfect cadence V-I. Put simply, half or imperfect cadences (I-V) serve rather to open up harmonic processes and perfect cadences (V-I) to close them.

Plagal cadences also run clockwise, but not from I to V: they take instead the single sharpwards step from IV to I. Since they end on the tonic, plagal cadences are associated with harmonic closure, as demonstrated by their use as the ‘Amen’ chord formula par excellence (e.g. D?A in A). That said, it is significant that medieval music theorists chose the Latin word for ‘oblique’ (plagius, from Greek πλάγιος meaning sideways, askance, misleading) to distinguish certain modes, not chords, from their ‘authentic’ variants and it’s interesting to note how the same adjective connoting falsity came to qualify the chordal ‘Amen ending’ from IV to I (e.g. D?A). Plagal cadences may in other words be endings but European music theory clearly doesn’t consider them true, authentic, direct, complete, full, final or perfect. Those adjectives are of course reserved for the perfect cadence leading from V to I (e.g. E7?A).

Interrupted cadences do exactly what their name suggests: they interrupt a ‘normal’ V-I cadence by substituting I with a closely related chord, most frequently the common triad on degree 6 of the relevant key, V?vi, for example E7?F#m in A, where F#m is relative minor; or, less commonly, V?$VI (e.g. E7?F in A minor, where F is subdominant relative major). V?vi (or ?VI) is of course an excellent way of interrupting the inevitable because vi leads anticlockwise round the circle of fifths to ii, which leads to V and, with the final/full/perfect cadence, back to I (in A: E to F#m, then F#m? Bm [or D] ?E7?A). It’s worth noting that the interrupted cadence is also called ‘deceptive’ (trompeuse), ‘avoided’ (évitée), a ‘false conclusion’ (Trugschluss) and a ‘trick’ (inganno).

If anything demonstrates the supposed normality of V-I closure in institutionally conventional notions of harmony it must surely be the distinction between qualifiers like, on the one hand, half, incomplete, plagal/oblique, interrupted, deceptive and false and, on the other, perfect/full (V-I). Yes, I’m making a plea here for harmonic cultural relativity; and, to state my case as clearly as possible in this mini-excursion, I’ve included example 181 as evidence that there need be nothing remotely interrupted, oblique, deceptive, false, unauthentic, incomplete, or imperfect about a final cadence landing on vi (F# minor), the relative minor triad of the song’s clear tonal centre (I is unmistakably A major). There’s even a ritenuto to underline finality: z l. h instead of the usual z l z\h . To be blunt: classical cadence categories and assumptions about harmonic direction may be fine for the musical-cultural practices on which such conceptualisation is based but it would be absurd to assume that those categories and concepts apply to all types of music circulating on an daily basis in the modern media.

Ex. 181. Uninterrupted final cadence on vi/i: Um Um Um Um Um (Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, 1964: end of final chorus).

After that warning about harmonic cultural absolutism, it’s safe to return to ‘business as usual’ with the key clock. It’s also necessary because, as I’ve already mentioned, there’s also plenty of classical harmony in the music we hear on a daily basis.

The key clock (reprise)

In the key clock diagram on page 256, keys and their signatures are arranged as the twelve hours of an analogue clock with C major and its relative A minor (no sharps and no flats) at twelve o’clock, and F#/G$ major, with their relative D#/E$ minor and with their six sharps or flats, appropriately at six. Moving clockwise, the number of sharps in each key signature increases (one for G major at one o’clock, two for D major at two, etc.) or the number of flats decreases (five for D$ major at seven o’clock, four for A$ major at eight, etc.). Since movement clockwise is by ascending fifths and since an increase in sharps or a decrease in flats implies upward movement, this tonal direction sharpwards (from I to V, e.g. C to G) can be referred to as rising, while anticlockwise tonal movement flatwards towards the subdominant (from V to I or from I to IV, e.g. from G to C or from C to F) can be referred to as falling.

Circle-of-fifths progressions


Harmonic progressions round the key clock are common in many types of popular music (Table 19). Those running anticlockwise or flatwards, (‘falling’) are particularly common in styles using the tertial harmonic practices of jazz or euroclassical music. Two basic types of such progression exist (Fig. 43, p. 263): [1] real or modulatory; [2] virtual or key-specific. Both these types of anticlockwise progression involve the same final V? I cadence (e.g. G7?C) because all unaltered notes in the dominant seventh chord (V7, e.g. g b d f in G7) are contained in the major scale of the tonic (e.g. C major, containing c d e f g a b). However, as soon as an anticlockwise progression contains more than just V? I it will have to be either real/modulatory, e.g. VI7?II7?V7?I (A7? D7?G7?C in C, Fig. 43a), or virtual/key-specific, e.g. vi7?ii7?V7?I (Am7? Dm7? G7? C in C; Fig. 43b). Figure 43a constitutes a real circle of fifths because A7 (VI, the chord on the sixth degree) is the real dominant seventh of D (II, on the second degree) and D7 (II) the real dominant seventh of G (V). The progression can also be called modulatory because A7 and D7 both contain notes foreign to the destination key of C major (c# and f# respectively). On the other hand, the virtual circle-of-fifths progression (ex. 43b) can also be called key-specific because all notes in all chords belong to the same tonic key (e.g. C major). It can be called virtual because neither Am7 (vi7) nor Dm7 (ii7) are real dominant sevenths of subsequent chords in the progression.

Table 19 (p. 263) shows that a certain predilection for real circles of fifths in US popular song from the 1910s and 1920s was superseded by preference for virtual variants in standards and evergreens of the thirties and forties. The virtual or key-specific circle-of-fifths is moreover a distinctive trait of the baroque style (Corelli, Vivaldi, etc.) and is also quite common in European popular song showing classical influences.

Fig. 43. Modulatory (‘real’) and key-specific (‘virtual’) circle-of-fifths progressions in C (falling/anticlockwise)

Table 19. Examples of anticlockwise circle-of-fifth progressions in English-language popular song (Types: real, virtual, both [real and virtual])

Song Type Anti-clockwise (falling) chord progression

Sweet Georgia Brown

(Pinkard 1925) real (B7) E7 | E7 | A7 |A7 | D7 | D7 | G

(III)-VI-II-V-I in G

The Charleston

(Mack, 1923) real [B$] | D7 | G7 | G7 | C7 | F7 | B$ G7 | C7 F7


Has Anybody Seen My Gal (Henderson, 1925) real F | A7 | D7 | D7 | G7 | C7 | F D7 | G7 C7


All The Things You Are (Kern, 1939) virtual Fm7 B$m7 | E$7 A$^ | D$^ • vi-ii-V-I-IV in A$

Cm7 Fm7 | B$7 E$^ | A$^ • vi-ii-V-I-IV in E$

Blue Moon

(Rodgers, 1934) virtual { E$ Cm7 | Fm7 B$7} E$ |

(I)-vi-ii-V-I in E$

Jeepers Creepers

(Warren, 1938)

both (a) Gm9 C9 F^9 (b) Dm7 Gm7 C9 F6 | Gm9 C9 |

(c) Am7L5 D9 Gm7 C9 F6

(a) ii V I (b) vi ii V I | ii V | (c) iii VI ii V I,

all in F

Moonlight Serenade

(Miller, 1939) both Bm7L5 EY9 | Am7 DY9 | Gm7 CY9 || F

+iv-VII-iii-VI-ii-V-I in F

Autumn Leaves

(Kosma, 1946) virtual Gm7 C7 | F^7 B$^7 | E7L5 A7 | Dm

iv-VII-III-VI-ii-V-i in D min.

Windmills of Your Mind (Legrand 1968) virtual E7 Am D7 G^7 C^7 F#m7$5 B7 Em

I-iv-VII-III-VI-ii-V-I in E min.


(Thielemans, 1962) virtual [B$] | Am7 D7 | Gm7 C7 | F7 B$7 | E$

ii-iii-vi-ii-V-I-IV in B$


(Beatles, 1965a) both [F] | Em7 A7 | Dm | B$(Gm7) C7 | F

vii-III-VI-IV(ii)-V-I in F

Flatwise key-clock progressions are, as shown in Table 19 and Figure 44 (p. 264), frequently constructed as a chain of seventh chords (sometimes also ninths, elevenths or thirteenths). Figure 44, which assumes the presence of each chord’s root in the bass part, illustrates one way of playing such chains as key-specific circles in [1] C major, [2] D$ major, [3] G# minor. To effectuate any complete key-specific circle of fifths, one step in the bass line has to be a diminished fifth. It’s between vii and IV in the major key, between ii and V in the harmonic minor, e.g. from F^7 to Bm7L5 in C major or in A minor. Each of the remaining seven steps is by a falling perfect fifth or rising perfect fourth.

Fig. 44. Seventh chords in key-specific (virtual) sequence anti-clockwise round the circle of fifths: (i) C major; (ii) D$ major; (iii) G# minor.

Playing key-clock progressions like these demands a minimum of physical effort because: [1] stringed bass instruments are tuned in fourths, facilitating leaps of the fourth, fifth and octave; [2] fifths, fourths and octaves are easy to pitch on brass instruments playing a bass line; [3] the constituent notes of any two contiguous seventh chords in a key-clock progression are, with the exception of the root, either immediately adjacent or the same. This proximity of notes in consecutive chords makes matters easy for keyboard players and guitarists in terms of hand and finger positioning.

Clockwise/sharpwards: a provisional note

Clockwise (‘rising’) circle-of-fifths progressions may be less common than their anticlockwise counterparts but they do occur quite often in pop and rock styles using certain types of non-ionian harmony, a matter explored more thoroughly in Chapter 13. For example, the mixolydian chord loop {$VII-IV-I} runs clockwise (e.g. {B$ F C}), as do all progressions listed in Table 20.

Table 20. Examples of clockwise circle-of-fifth progressions in

English-language rock music

Artist: Song (detail) Progression

Kinks: Dead End Street (1966; verse) C G Dm Am — III VII iv i in A minor

Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar (1971; plagal extension, ex. 182) (D$)-A$ E$-B$ F-C (ex. 182182)

($II-)$VI $III-$VII IV-I in C

Rolling Stones: Jumping Jack Flash (1969a; at ‘It’s alright’.) D A E B — $III $VII IV I in B

Jimi Hendrix: Hey Joe (1967a) C G D A E — $VI $III $VII IV I in E

Irene Cara: Flashdance (1983; verse start) B$ F Cm Gm — $III $VII iv i in G minor

Ex. 182. Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar (1971). Clockwise circle-of-fifths progression through plagal ornamentation of aeolian cadence $VI-$VII-I.

We will return later to these sharpwards circle-of-fifths progressions from rock music.21 Here we’ll just finish this basic account of classical harmony and of it uses in everyday music.

Partial dissolution of classical harmony

Historians of euroclassical music tend to agree that the harmonic idiom of influential composers in the latter part of the nineteenth century became increasingly chromatic. Wagner’s constant modulations in the prelude to Tristan and Isolde (1859) and their link with notions of the ‘incessant projection of… longing without satisfaction and without end’ are often cited as an early example of that trend (Newman, 1949). The same discourse about narrative in the euroclassical repertoire continues with the idea that, starting around 1910, exponents of twelve-tone composition like Schönberg no longer considered central tonal reference points (‘home keys’) as a valid principle for writing new tonal music. This meta-narrative about dodecaphonic music contributed to a widening of the gap between popular and classical styles of music in the West. Jazz harmony also underwent a process of chromaticisation in the 1940s with bebop’s increasing use of chords containing two tritones, the rising augmented fourth (#4) or falling flat fifth ($5) providing yet another leading note to tertial harmony’s ascending major seventh and descending fourth.

There were, however, other euroclassical reactions to late Romantic chromaticism, tendencies that offered more listener-friendly solutions to the problem. Some of these alternatives are discussed under the heading ‘Euroclassical thirdlessness’ in Chapter 10. Debussy, for example, often used chords as sonorities in themselves without the constituent notes of each chord requiring voice leading into those of the next one, while music influenced by neo-classicism (e.g. Stravinsky, Hindemith) and by involvement in traditional music outside Central Europe (e.g. Bartók) led to harmonic idioms that abandoned the leading-note fixation of classical tertiality in favour of chords based on the fourth and fifth. Similar developments occurred later in some types of post-bop jazz, as well as in certain types of rock. In short, even though twelve-tone techniques were sometimes used for mystery or horror scenarios in film, it was the non-dodecaphonic alternatives to classical harmony, crumbling under the weight of its ongoing modulations and busily chromatic chord changes, that were to exert a strong influence on several types of postwar popular music.

Classical harmony in popular music

Main characteristics

Tertial harmony of the type used in operetta, parlour song, marches, national anthems, musicals, in traditional church hymns (chorales), etc. largely follows euroclassical voice-leading norms: flat sevenths descend, sharp sevenths rise, voices may move in parallel thirds or sixths but not in parallel octaves or fifths. Dominantal modulation (changing key one step clockwise round the circle of fifths), V-I cadences and inversions of tertial triads and seventh chords are other common features in these types of popular music.

Ex. 183. Mendelssohn (1845): Oh! For the Wings of a Dove.

Examples 183 (/) and 184 (p. 268), taken from two highly popular Victorian parlour songs, start by establishing the home key (tonic, I) by means of an ionian shuttle (I\V, bars 1-2 E$\B$ in ex. 183; bars 1-4 F\C in ex. 184). They then both modulate to the dominant. Mendelssohn (ex. 183) does so directly, using an F7 in second inversion (F7zs in bar 4), while Love’s Sweet Song (ex. 184, p. 268) sets up a circle-of-fifths progression using the A7 chord (III) in bar 5 that of course proceeds to Dm (vi) in bar 6. That D minor chord then acts as pivot (it’s both vi in F and ii in C) and produces the solid ii?V?I cadence in C (bars 7-8).

Note also the frequency of dominant seventh chords containing the ionian mode’s two leading notes a tritone apart and how the major third in those chords ascends as leading note to the next chord’s tonic, while the flat seventh descends to the next chord’s major third (see leading-note arrows in examples 183-184).

Ex. 184. James L Molloy: Love’s Old Sweet Song (1882)

The traits just mentioned form the harmonic core of a global idiom of popular music which flourished during the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. Those traits can be found in popular tunes like Adeste Fideles, La cucaracha, The Blue Danube, Milord, Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and countless others.

Traits like [1] ionian-mode voice leading via the dominant seventh’s minor seventh and major third, [2] dominantal modulation, [3] falling V-I directionality, [4] frequent chordal inversion have in fact become so indicative of euroclassical music that they can be inserted as genre synecdoches in a context of non-classical harmony (e.g. pop and rock) to connote high art rather than low-brow entertainment, deep feelings and the transcendent rather than the superficial and ephemeral (examples 185-187).

Ex. 185. Subdominant second inversion as second chord: outline keyboard arpeggiation. (a) J S Bach: Prelude in C major from Wohltemperiertes Klavier, I (1722); (b) Elton John: Your Song (1970, transposed to C)

Ex. 186. Inversions through descending bass in major key: (a) J S Bach: Air from Orchestral Suite in D Major (1731); (b) Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967, transposed from C); (c) Morricone: ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ (1986); (d) bass line common to all.

Ex. 187. Altered supertonic seventh chord in third inversion: (a) Mozart: Ave verum corpus, K618 (1791); (b) Procol Harum: Homburg (1967b);

(c) Abba: Waterloo (1974b)

Together with dance styles like bossa nova, jazz has relied heavily on a sense of harmonic direction similar to that of the European classical tradition. Long and sometimes complex chord sequences, an increasing amount of chromaticism, and the use of modulation are all key factors in many types of jazz. The popularity of the thirty-two bar standard as basis for improvisation bears witness to the essential role of harmonic narrative in jazz. Put simply, no standard jazz performance will work if musicians do not know or cannot follow the chord changes.

Fig. 45. Possible renditions in C of VI-II-V-I sequence in main tertial idioms

of jazz harmony

Jazz harmony can be divided into four main historical idioms: [1] trad jazz; [2] the swing era; [3] bebop; [4] post-bop. Except for [4], jazz harmony tends to follow the basic rules of euroclassical music: flat sevenths fall, sharp sevenths rise, accidentals are used for chromatic effect or for modulation, chord progressions are mostly falling, flatward (V-I), anticlockwise round the circle of fifths. Trad jazz harmony tends to use real circle-of-fifths progressions, adding sixths or sevenths to basic triads. Swing era harmony tends to favour virtual circle-of-fifths progressions with sixths, sevenths and ninths added to basic triads. Bebop harmony adds chords of the eleventh and thirteenth. It also uses the flat fifth as an extra leading note ($Û>Ô) allowing for considerable chromatic alteration, most notably through tritone substitution (Fig. 45c). Basic differences between the four idioms are simplified in Figure 45 which shows varying treatment of the {VI-II-V-I} vamp sequence.

Summary in 6 points

The main characteristics of classical harmony, as found in hymns, national anthems and many types of popular song, as well as in most forms of jazz, can be summarised as follows.

[1] Chords are constructed by stacking superimposed thirds (tertial chord structure).

[2] Default mode is ionian, the only mode in which a tertial tetrad on any degree of the relevant heptatonic scale contains two leading notes in relation to the tonic triad (I); in the ionian mode that tetrad falls on scale degree 5 (V7) and is called a dominant seventh.

[3] Voice-leading (how individual notes in one chord link to individual notes in the following one) is important: flat sevenths descend, sharp sevenths rise, voices may move in parallel thirds or sixths but never in parallel octaves or fifths.

[4] Inversions of tertial triads and tetrads are quite common, as are conjunct bass lines.

[5] Initial outward harmonic movement (harmonic departure) tends to go sharpwards (clockwise) but the majority of chord changes proceed flatwards (anticlockwise) round the key clock, ending with a V-I cadence ([vii?] iii?] vi?] ii or IV?] V?I) (harmonic return).

[6] Only the V-I cadence is considered full, complete or perfect; classical harmony’s three other cadence types are called [1] ‘half’ or ‘imperfect’, [2] ‘plagal’ (= ‘oblique’) and [3] ‘interrupted’/‘false’/‘deceptive’.

As already stated, there’s still plenty of this type of harmony in what citizens of the Western world hear on a daily basis. But that everyday music also contains, as I’ve also suggested, plenty of harmony that works differently. Those differences are the subject of the next two chapters.

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FFBk09Harm2.fm. 14-09-13 03:30

9. Non-classical tertial harmony

Non-classical tertial: intro

The next two chapters deal with two types of non-classical harmony: [1] non-classical tertial (this chapter) and [2] quartal (Chapter 10). When trying to unravel how these types of harmony work it is in general counterproductive, if not downright misleading, to think in terms of interrupted and imperfect cadences, of dominants and subdominants, of ^ê leading notes, of grand harmonic narrative, flatwards directionality and the unstoppable current of euroclassical and jazz tonality sweeping us all to our inevitable date with a final V-I ‘perfect’ cadence. Even the routine task of identifying keynotes and root notes can be a futile exercise when dealing with music that seems to have either none in particular. The long and short of this paragraph is that it’s pointless trying to force the conceptual grid of conventional harmony lessons wholesale on to music that conventional harmony experts have between them spent countless lifetimes avoiding or trivialising.

Some of the issues just raised are examined more closely in Chapters 12, 13 and 14, while Chapter 11 (‘One-chord changes’) confronts assumptions about harmonic impoverishment in non-classical styles by arguing that single chords usually consist of at least two. However, before addressing those issues, it’s wise to be equipped with some basic concepts that can be of use when confronting all the everyday music that does not conform to the rules of classical harmony.


Non-classical harmony is often called modal, but that is, as I’ve repeatedly argued, a misnomer because what makes classical harmony unique is its particular use of a particular mode —the ionian. So, by ‘non-classical tertial harmony’ I mean the way chords are used in tertial music that follows the tonal vocabulary of the modes discussed in Chapters 3 and 4 —the church modes, Hijaz, pentatonic, hexatonic, etc.— but does not in general abide by the rules of classical harmony in terms of voice leading, modulation, cadences, harmonic narrative, etc. As already inferred, this chapter deals with the overridingly tertial aspects of non-classical harmony. Quartal harmony is discussed in Chapter 10 (p. 293, ff.).

Locrian harmony is not included here because its tertial tonic triad is diminished rather than, as in all the other cases, either major or minor, a fact that makes it harmonically unusable in music including drones or held notes at the fifth, or in music where power chords are the order or the day, as in various styles of metal. That’s why this first part of the chapter focuses on tertial harmony in the six remaining ‘church’ modes: ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian and aeolian (see Table 21, p. 276). Of those six modes the ionian is sometimes regarded as ‘non-modal’ because it has the same tonal vocabulary as the European heptatonic major scale, the result being that only the dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian and aeolian modes are considered ‘modal’. I strongly contest this special status granted to the ionian. The fact that it has been, as we already saw (p. 252, ff.), a particularly interesting, influential and familiar tonal vocabulary, both in Europe and globally, doesn’t mean that it isn’t just one mode among the others any more than I can kid myself, as an elderly white European male, that the demographic ‘elderly white European males’ isn’t just one demographic group among all the others, no matter how interesting I may want to think I am or how familiar I am to myself. But there are other, less ideological and more prosaïc, reasons for treating the ionian as just one mode among others.

Ionian mode and barré

Fig. 46. I-IV-V-IV-I in D ionian:

(a) classical chorale harmony; (b) with barré chords on G and A.

Although sequences of common triads in the ionian mode form the essence of tonal polyphony in many postwar popular music styles, such harmonic practice —for example, in Latin American urban styles like cúmbia or son, in urban African musics like high life and kwela, as well as in most pop, rock and R&B— cannot be qualified as classical for two prosaic reasons. Firstly, such music rarely conforms to European art music conventions of voice leading because most barré chord progressions involve a sequence of parallel fifths and octaves (Fig. 46b), forbidden in classical harmony (Fig. 46a), for example between the triads on IV and V of the ionian La Bamba loop ({I-IV-V}, as in Figure 46b with its parallel octaves and fifths between G and A). Similarly, bottleneck guitar techniques rely entirely on chords strung together in parallel motion. Secondly, it is clear that such loops, consisting rarely of more than four different chords, function in a radically different way to progressions in the idiom of classical harmony, not least because tertial loops of this type contain little or no chromaticism, nor do they modulate, nor contribute in themselves to the construction of musical narrative. Although such chord loops (see Chapters 13 and 14) often change from one section of a song to another, their main function is to provide a fitting tonal dimension to underlying patterns of rhythm, metre and periodicity. Their function is not to provide long-term harmonic direction but to generate an immediate or continuous sense of ongoing tonal movement and to act as tonally appropriate accompanimental motor. They are, so to speak, the tonal aspect of groove.

Major triads in non-classical tertial harmony

Characteristic differences in non-classical tertial harmony derive to a large extent from the unique tonal relationship between the keynote and the major triads intrinsic to each mode. Table 21 (\) shows that each mode contains three major triads (C, F, G on the white notes of the piano). It also shows that the minor modes (dorian, phrygian, aeolian) all have a major triad on the flat third degree ($III), that the phrygian is alone with a major triad on the flat supertonic ($II), that a major triad on the unaltered supertonic (II) is unique to the lydian mode, that the mixolydian is the only major mode with a major triad on the flat seventh ($VII), that the dorian is the only minor mode with a major triad on the fourth (IV), etc.

Table 21. Major triad positions in unaltered ‘church’ modes


ionian y y y

dorian y y y

phrygian y y y

lydian y y y

mixolydian y y y

aeolian y y y

The basic principles of tertial harmony in any of the ‘church’ modes (including the ionian) can be simply grasped using only the white notes of a piano keyboard instrument. Playing the major triads of F, G and C, as well as the relevant tonic triad (if it is not already based on f, g or c), while at the same time holding down the keynote of the relevant mode in the bass (c for ionian, d for dorian, e for phrygian and so on) will produce familiar but distinctive patterns of harmony for each mode. This procedure can then be transposed to any of the octave’s black or white notes.

Permanent Picardy third

One of the most common alterations in non-classical tertial harmony is to raise the third of tonic triads in minor modes (dorian, phrygian, aeolian) from $Î to Î. Such alteration can be understood in terms of a tierce de Picardie used consistently throughout a piece of music as substitute for the tonic minor triad, not just as alteration of the final chord. Major triad substitution was a common feature of Elizabethan music (ex. 188, 190; see also Farnaby’s Dreame, Dowland’s King of Denmark’s Galliard, etc.).

Ex. 188. Farnaby: Loth to Depart (c. 1610): aeolian harmonies with major tonic triad (I iv $III iv [$VI $VII])

Permanent Picardy thirds aren’t just an arcane anomaly found in music of the late Renaissance. They’re also a common harmonic feature in a wide range of tonal idioms, most probably because the fourth harmonic (5f) of a note like the d3 (147 Hz) in the left hand of example 188 is pitched two octaves and a major third higher. The fourth harmonic of Farnaby’s d3 is in other words at f#5 (740 Hz), just one octave above the f#4 (370 Hz) in the keyboard player’s right hand. The first natural harmonic of the minor third ($Î), on the other hand, is, if it’s ever audible, very weak and much higher at 19f, three octaves and a minor third above its fundamental. Of course, that doesn’t mean that minor thirds are melodically ‘inharmonious’ but it does have accompanimental repercussions, especially if drones are in evidence, or if the music does not need to follow equal-tone temperament, or if accompanying instruments are rich in overtones. In such cases a major tertial triad can sound cleaner, brighter, and acoustically more stable, etc. than its minor counterpart.

Major third substitution in the tonic triad is widespread in much blues and in some Country music where minor or blues thirds are sung or played to the accompaniment of major triads (ex. 189), or when barré techniques are used to progress between I, $III and IV, as in the dorian-mode riff of Green Onions (ex. 263, p. 365) or Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple, 1972). Dorian harmonies are in other words suited to the accompaniment of minor pentatonic melody (Â $Î Ô Û $ê) because, with alteration of the tonic, major triads occur on four of five pitches (I $III IV $VII). With the fifth degree triad also altered in the same way, major triads exist on all five steps in the la-pentatonic mode (I $III IV V $VII) but the harmonic mode remains dorian because it’s the only mode featuring the major triads $III and IV (Fig. 47, p. 280).

Ex. 189. Darling Corey (Watson 1963): major tonic triad for minor mode tune

The fifth degree triad of minor modes was also often altered to major in European polyphonic music during the ascendancy of the ionian mode (and the bourgeoisie), typically to introduce V-I cadences containing dominant sevenths and their double leading notes. Example 190 (bars 1-2) shows a dorian (I IV $III) and (bars 4-5) a mixolydian progression (I IV $VII), each followed by the standard V7-I cadence of classical harmony.

As just noted, alteration of v to V (changing the triad on Û from minor to major) also occurs in blues-related styles, especially when barré, slide or bottleneck techniques are used on guitar. In these cases such alteration relates to tuning and playing practices, not to any predilection for the ionian mode or for perfect cadences, as is evident from the absence of V-I changes (B-E) in example 191 whose guitar strings are tuned to an open E major chord (E B E G# B E). Note how major triads follow the melodic contour in parallel motion at the octave or fifth.

Ex. 190. Weelkes: Hark, All Ye Lovely Saints (c.1610)

Ex. 191. Slide guitar chords (open tuning E) for Vigilante Man (Guthrie), adapted from Cooder (1971)

The logic of this harmonic practice is simple. Figure 47 shows how placing a tertial major triad on each degree of an anhemitonic la-pentatonic blues scale produces the chords I $III IV V $VII —D F G A C in D (Fig. 47), E G A B D in E (ex. 191), etc. These observations are pertinent not only to blues with open-chord tuning or bottleneck accompaniment on guitar but also to the power chords of blues-influenced rock in the heavy metal repertoire.

Power chord excursion

Power chords are dyads played on an electric guitar treated with distortion. The dyad’s two notes are played a perfect fifth or fourth apart on adjacent strings, as shown in Figure 47.

Fig. 47. Typical shapes for playing an E5 power chord (Lilja, 2009: 104)

Power chord shorthand consists of the root note name and a superscripted ‘5’ to indicate that the fifth but no third is also played. All four chords in Figure 47 are E5 (‘E five’) because only two differently named notes are sounded —e and its fifth, b. Similarly, the A5 in Figure 48 (p. 281) designates a power-chord consisting of aÈ (110 Hz, open A string) and its fifth, eÌ (165 Hz, D string, 2nd fret). Although power chords are played as dyads, they produce a large number of harmonics that make them sound richly textured. One of those harmonics is the major third (Î), heard at five times the frequency of the root note, as with the c# indicated as ‘5f’ at 550 Hz in the root harmonics listed in Figure 48 above the A5 power chord. Indeed: ‘I hear the third in distortion’, said Pete Townshend.

I also found the ‘major-third aspect’ of power chords quite striking, not least when teaching keyboard harmony in the 1970s, long before the advent of polyphonic synths and multi-track sampling. I had to suggest ways of accompanying rock tracks on the (acoustic) piano. My attempts to approximate the sound of power chords on the instrument were doomed to fail but it all sounded slightly less absurd if weak major thirds (Ä, the small notes in ex. 192) were added to the top of the main riff notes (æ).

Ex. 192. Rolling Stones (1971): Bitch (start, approximation for acoustic piano).

One lesson I learnt from this strange exercise was that the presence of a major third in the upper register is at the same time a timbral and tonal issue. The power chord’s Î is obviously timbral because 5f is a partial; but it’s just as clearly tonal because it’s an audible part of a sound consisting of partials that unequivocally confirm a very strong and stable root tone, as shown in Figure 48.

Fig. 48. Power chord harmonics for A5 (a2 110 Hz, e3 165 Hz)

Playing A5 as a power chord does not only produce the root harmonics shown on the left in Figure 48 because aÈ and eÌ together also generate a distortion fundamental at 55 Hz (a1), one octave below the aÈ root. That a1 is a real difference tone, a measurable acoustic phenomenon rather than a combination tone created inside the listener’s head. Interacting with the two notes of the power chord and its root harmonics, the distortion fundamental produces its own harmonic series which, apart from a ‘natural’ $ê (7f = \gÒ) and ô (9f = \bÒ), two major thirds (5f = c#Ò, 10f = c#Ù) and two fifths (3f = eÌ, 6f = eÒ), also includes three octaves (2f, 4f, 8f, = aÈ aÌ aÒ). Lilja (2009: 113) summarises these findings as follows.

‘[T]he distortion fundamental may be regarded as a chord root, rather than the chord root that is actually played. Furthermore, all the higher partials belong to the same harmonic series, which is not the case with, for example, the minor triad. This is why the power chord is… regarded as the most consonant chord structure.’

The power chord is in other words made tonally stable and consonant by the harmonic series consisting of the partials defining it. This acoustic rootedness makes the power chord a useful tool in heavy metal, industrial and grunge music because it allows for the unequivocal statement of substantial ‘tonal elsewheres’ in relation to the tonic (I5). The $II5 of the phrygian examples cited earlier (pp. 124-126) illustrate this phenomenon clearly, as do the tritone of example 193 and the locrian shuttle I5\$V5 in Symptom Of The Universe (Black Sabbath, 1975). After all, you can’t get much further away from the tonic (I5) on the key clock than to $II, five steps flatward, and there is no more distant position on the circle of fifths than $V/#IV, a full six steps away.

Ex. 193. Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath (1969): tritone riff)

Of course, as illustrated in example 194, you don’t have to move so far round the key clock from I5 to experience the impact of tonal solidity offered by each power chord. For example, the chorus of Nirvana’s Lithium (ex. 194) takes four key-clock steps sharpward from I (D5) to III (F#5) and flatward to $VI (B$5); then VI (B5) is three steps away, $VII (C5) is two, while IV (G5) and V (A5) are both just one step from I. The chorus to Smells Like Teen Spirit (ex. 195), with F5 as I, is similar, moving three and four key-clock steps from I (F5) to $III (A$5) and $VI (D$5) respectively.

Ex. 194. Nirvana: Lithium (1991: chorus, 00:37-00:54)

Ex. 195. Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991: chorus)

These two Nirvana songs use power chords chromatically to produce an important but often overlooked ingredient in the expression of the visceral alienation frequently ascribed to the band’s music. In most blues-based rock, however, power chord sequences rarely stray further from the tonic than $VI5. In fact they tend mainly to be based on the notes of the la-pentatonic (blues) mode, i.e. I5, $III5, IV5, V5 and $VII5 (see Fig. 49, p. 284) plus the additional aeolian $VI5. Typical of this tonal idiom would be such chord sequences as the A A C C D F A A| (I $III IV $VI I) of Alice Cooper’s Under My Wheels (1971), or the A×8 C×4 D D E E (I $III IV V) and A G D D (I $VII IV) of AC/DC’s Shoot To Thrill (1980). We are in other words back at the point, illustrated in Figure 47 (p. 280) and which led to this power-chord excursion, about Picardy thirds in minor-mode tertial harmony, except that it should now be clear how ^Î (at 5f and 10f) has little or nothing to do with ‘the major key’ or with the major thirds of euroclassical harmony. The ^Î acts rather as an acoustic stabilising factor in the statement of individual chords that depend neither on suspension-resolution, nor on V-I harmonic movement, nor on leading-note directionality to establish them as valid points of harmonic difference. For example, the c# at 5f in the A5 chord of Figure 49 neither ‘comes from’ nor ‘leads’ anywhere in particular. Its function is simply to make the chord richer and more rooted.

Fig. 49. Blues-pentatonic power chords (V V) in A, including distortion fundamental (● 1f) and partials 2f, 3f, 4f and 5f (●, Î)

Back to ‘acoustic’ tertiality

The observations made earlier about ‘majorising’ tertial triads on scale degrees  and Û and the short exposé of power chords in blues-based rock demand that Table 21 (p. 276) be updated as shown in Table 22 (p. 285). Returning to the world of acoustic tertiality, the data in Table 22 can be summarised in eight points.

Table 22. Tertial triad types for scale degrees in the six church modes

scale degree -

ý mode ý Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê

ionian I ii iii IV V vi vii°

dorian i or I ii $III IV v or V vi° $VII

phrygian i or I $II $III iv v° or V $VI $vii

lydian I II iii +vii° V vi vii

mixolydian I ii iii° IV v vi $VII

aeolian i or I ii° $III iv v or V $VI $VII

[1] Minor modes (those containing $Î, i.e. dorian, phrygian, aeolian) can have a tertial major triad on the tonic (I can replace i). Dorian and aeolian tertial harmony modes can also have a major triad on Û (V can replace v; see p. 286 for unaltered triads).

[2] Each mode contains one diminished tertial triad. These are greyed out in the table because they are used so rarely.

[3] Ionian tertial harmony is alone in featuring major triads on scale degrees 4 and 5 — both IV and V. Typical ionian chord sequences are I-IV-V; IV-V-I; ii-V-I and V-IV-I.

[4] Dorian tertial harmony is alone in containing major triads on $Î and Ô —both $III and IV. Typical dorian chord sequences are I/i-$III-IV and IV-$III-I/i.

[5] Phrygian tertial harmony is alone with major triads on both $Ê and $Î, as well as with a minor triad on $ê ($II, $III and $vii). Typical phrygian chord sequences are [iv-] $III-$II-I (Hijaz), $III-$II-i (‘true’ phrygian); $vii-$II-I/i and $II-$vii-I/i.

[6] Only lydian tertial harmony has major triads on Ê and Û (II, V). A typical lydian chord loop runs I-II-V.

[7] Mixolydian tertial harmony is alone with major triads on scale degrees 4 and $7 (IV and $VII). Typical mixolydian chord sequences are I-$VII-IV; $VII-IV-I and I-$VII-V (the ‘cowboy half-cadence’, see p. 290, ff.).

[8] Aeolian tertial harmony is alone with its major triads on $â and $ê (both $VI and $VII). Common aeolian chord sequences are: [1] $VI-$VII-I/i (the aeolian cadence); [2] i\$VI (the aeolian shuttle); [3] i-$VII-$VI-V (aeolian half cadence, often confused with the phrygian full cadence iv-$III-$II-I/i); [4] {i-iv-V} (the minor La Bamba or Che Guevara loop).

In short, the distinction between major and minor tonic triads is often irrelevant to the identification of harmony in terms of the church modes (including the ionian). That’s because the location of major triads on other scale degrees than  (I) is unique to each mode. Only the ionian features both IV and V, only the dorian includes both $III and IV, only the mixolydian contains both IV and $VII, only the aeolian has both $VI and $VII, etc.

Unaltered non-ionian tertial harmony

One type of minor-mode tertial harmony consistently majorises the tonic triad (I) and/or the triad on Û (V); the other does not. For example, both types of tertial dorian harmony feature major triads on $III and IV: [1] the blues-based type discussed above and [2] the ‘folk’ type whose triads on  and Û are much more rarely subjected to ‘majorisation’. The second type is illustrated in example 196. Its chords are Dm (i), F ($III), G (IV) and C ($VII).

Ex. 196. Poor Murdered Woman (Eng. trad., arr. Hutchings; Albion Country Band, 1971): dorian tune with dorian tertial triads

Table 23 shows the major triads, including, where applicable, the altered tonic (in square brackets), of the church modes. It also presents each mode’s major triads as they would occur in C and in E, along with references to examples of popular music in which each relevant mode-based tertial harmony can be heard.

Table 23. Examples of major triads in non-classical tertial harmony

mode relative

positions on white

notes with E

as tonic


ionian I IV V C F G E A B • La bamba (Valens, 1958) [C-F-G in C];

• Twist and Shout [D-G-A in D]

• Guantanamera [F-B$-C in F]

(Sandpipers, 1966);

• Pata Pata [F-B$-F-C] (Makeba, 1967).


(type 1) [I] $III IV $VII [D] F G C [E] G

A D • Green Onions (Booker T, 1962) [F-A$-B$]

• The Girl Sang The Blues

(Everly Brothers, 1963) [E-G-A]

• Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple, 1972)

[E-G-A in E]; ex. 190-191;


(type 2) i $III IV $VII Dm F G C Em G A D • Greensleeves (Eng. trad; first line);

• Poor Murdered Woman (ex. 184);

• Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel,

1968) [Em-D-Em-G-A-Em] (ex. 5, p. 100)

lydian I II V F G C E F#

B • Eden (Hooverphonic) [C-D-Em-G]

• Terminal Frost (Pink Floyd) [D-Ezlu]

phryg-ian [I] $II $III $VII [E] F C G [E] F

C G • Che Guevara (Puebla, 1965) [ex. 198];

• Malagueña (Sabicas) [Am-G-F-E] [ex. 197]

• TreiV h wra nucta (Alexiou, 1976) [ex. 199]

mixo-lydian I IV $VII G C F E A D • Sweet Home Alabama (ex. 284, p. 430);

• Hey Jude [G-F-C-G];

• The Magnificent Seven (ex. 203b, p. 291)

See also pp. 421-432.

aeolian [I] $III $VI $VII [A] C F G [E] G

C D • All Along the Watchtower [Am-G-F-G]

• Flashdance [G-F-E$-F in G].

• Cadences in Lady Madonna [F-G-A];

PS I Love You [B$-C-D]; SOS [D$-E$-F]

Brown Sugar [A$-B$-C] (ex. 182, p. 265).

The tertial harmony of each mode is often related to the frequency with which it is assumed by members of one music culture to be used in types of music made by others. Hence, dorian harmony is often associated with certain blues-based styles (ex. 191) and with rural popular music from various regions (ex. 196), while phrygian chord changes are often regarded, at least by non-Hispanics, as distinctive of Hispanic popular music styles (ex. 197, 198). As we saw in Chapter 3, tertial phrygian harmony is also used extensively in popular music from Greece (ex. 199), Turkey, the Balkans and the Arab world.18

Phrygian tertial harmony

It’s easy for untrained ears to confuse the intrinsically phrygian cadence $II or $vii-I with the aeolian-harmonic minor half cadence $VI or iv-V to the extent that even dedicated students of flamenco can apparently feel obliged to finish a malagueña ostinato similar to that suggested in example 197 on a chord of A minor instead of E major. To set the record straight, Sabicas uses a phrygian tonic to end his malagueña performances, as does Carlos Puebla to end his ode to Che Guevara (ex. 198), and as do Haris Alexiou’s musicians with the phrygian songs on her 1976 album (ex. 199). In concrete terms, {Am G F E} in Hit The Road Jack (Charles, 1961) is in A aeolian ({i-$VII-$VI-V}) but the malagueña {Am G F E} is in E phrygian ({iv-$III-$II-I}).

Ex. 197. Phrygian harmony: popular malagueña figure

Ex. 198. Phrygian harmony: Carlos Puebla: Hasta siempre.

Ex. 199. Phrygian harmony: Kouyioumtzis: Τρείς η ώρα νύχτα (Alexiou, 1976)

Phrygian harmony is discussed in more detail in Chapters 3 (pp. 128-133) and 14 (pp. 436-442).

Lydian tertial harmony

Just as phrygian tertial harmony has to feature $II or $vii to be worthy of the name, lydian tertial harmony, to qualify as lydian, has to include, apart from a major chord on the tonic, at least either a major triad on the major supertonic (II) or a minor triad on the major seventh (vii). There is no complete triad on the sharp fourth intrinsic to the lydian mode, just as there is none on the fifth in the phrygian, none on the seventh in the ionian, etc. Example 200, a folk rock recording in lydian E, contains plenty of #4s (a#) in both melody and harmony —E-F#-B is I-II-V.

Ex. 200. Folk och Rackare (1979): Vilborg på kveste (Norway trad.)

Lydian melodies also occur in the Balkans and numerous ‘sharp fours’ can for example be found in Bartók’s arrangements of Romanian melodies for the piano (pp. 134-145). However, lydian melody is infinitely rarer in English-language popular musics and lydian harmony is almost totally absent. True, there may be a fair number of departures from I to II but these often proceed to IV, a definite no-no for lydian harmony. In fact, apart from the Scandinavian folk rock recording just cited, I only discovered two tracks, one alternative electronica and the other prog rock, containing unequivocal lydian harmonies: Belgian band Hooverphonic’s Eden (1999) with its C D Em G (I II iii V) and Pink Floyd version two’s Terminal Frost (1987) with its D\Ezè shuttle. Even the C\D in the verses of R.E.M.’s Man On The Moon (1992) leads into a chorus so resoundingly in G that after hearing it just once the shuttle sounds much more like a IV\V in G than a I\II in C.


Ex. 201. The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds (Irish trad: start): tertial harmonisation of mixolydian tune requires I, IV and $VII (D, G and C)

Mixolydian harmony is probably as common in English-language popular music as lydian is rare. The mixolydian is the only mode with major triads on I, $VII and IV. It is often linked with British and Irish or Anglo-American folk music (ex. 201-202), with some forms of rock and Country, with rural popular song from Brazil’s northeastern states, as well as in music for Western adventures (ex. 203). One particular trait of mixolydian harmony, the ‘cowboy half cadence’, from $VII to an altered major triad on V, is familiar enough to have become an object of both pastiche (ex. 205) and parody (ex. 206). We return in more detail to mixolydian harmony in Chapter 14.

Ex. 202. Rounding The Horn (Eng. trad: end): tertial harmonisation of mixolydian tune requires I, IV and $VII (D, G and C)

Ex. 203. Mixolydian shuttle: Tiomkin: Duel in the Sun (1947)

Ex. 204. ; Mixolydian shuttle: Mancini: Cade’s County (1971)

Ex. 205. Cowboy half cadences: (a) The Shadows: Dakota (1963)

Ex. 206. Cowboy half cadences: (b) Brooks/Morris: Blazing Saddles (1974)

Aeolian tertial harmony

Aeolian harmony seems to have acquired two main functions in pop and rock music: [1] connoting the ominous, fateful or implacable (Björnberg 1995); [2] substituting standard IV-I or V-I cadences with the more colourful $VI-$VII-I aeolian cadence, easily performed as barré chords on guitar. We’ll revisit aeolian harmony in greater detail on pages 386-388 in Chapter 12.

Summary in 5 points

[1] Non-classical tertial harmony uses the same basic triads as classical harmony but applies them according to different rules and in different functions.

[2] Apart from a common triad on the tonic, the most important and characteristic chords for each mode are, if played on only the white notes of a piano keyboard, the major triads on F and G. These major chords are positioned differently in each mode: IV and V for the ionian, $III and IV for the dorian, $III and $II for the phrygian, II and V for the lydian, IV and $VII for the mixolydian, $VI and $VII for the aeolian.

[3] The three ‘major’ modes are ionian, lydian and mixolydian. The others —dorian, phrygian and aeolian— are ‘minor’ modes.

[4] Harmony in the ‘minor’ modes often (not always) features an altered tonic triad with a permanent Picardy third —I consistently replaces i. Triads on the fifth are also frequently ‘majorised’ —v may be replaced by V.

[5] Non-classical tertial harmony is investigated in greater detail in Chapter 14 — ‘Chord loops & bimodality’. Quartal harmony is the subject of the next chapter.


Ex. 238. Manfred Mann: I’m Your Kingpin (1964: riff on i)

Fig. 52.



Ex. 235. Sting: Seven Days (1993)

Fig. 56. Quartal neighbourhoods

Ex. 246. Possible guitar pattern

for ex. 247

FFBk10Quartal.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30

10. Quartal harmony


No ‘sus’, no ‘add’, no ‘omit’

Fig. 50. Six common quartal chords containing c and f

If you’re familiar with lead-sheet chord shorthand (pp. 220-233) and formed in the ii-V-I mould of the ionian-tertial tradition, you might be inclined to label the six chords in Figure 50 in the following sort of terms: [1] ‘CS4 over g’ or ‘G7S’; [2] ‘F*9 T3’; [3] ‘FS9’; [4] ‘FS4’; [5] ‘FS4 S9’; [6] ‘C11’. Chord 6 is certainly an eleven chord, but the other labels —the ‘sus-s’, ‘adds’ and ‘omits’— aren’t just clumsy: they’re also wrong in a quartal harmony context. That’s because if there’s nothing suspended, added or omitted about a chord, it’s perverse to designate it as if there were. As with the other misnomers discussed earlier, it’s also misleading to label features of quartal harmony in terms irrelevant to the idiom. A secondary aim of this chapter is therefore to suggest a neater and less erratic way of denoting the most common quartal chords. The primary aim, however, is to put forward a basic rationale for the workings of quartal harmony. That involves investigating aspects of tonality which seldom see the light of day in conventional harmony courses, problematising notions like ‘root’ and ‘inversion’, and exploring the border regions between tertial and quartal tonality. That discussion is important because, as will become clear from the music discussed later, quartal harmony is heard in a wide range of repertoires, from vernacular chorality in rural Russia to post-bebop jazz, from Appalachian banjo tunings to impressionism, from Bartók to TV news themes, and from folk rock to corporate jingles and audio signals on digital devices.

Basic concepts

Chord shorthand

To save space in what follows I need first to set out a few basic terms and symbols as six chords explained in six points.

Fig. 51. Six basic quartal dyads and triads with abbreviations

[1] Chords 1 and 2 in Figure 51 are open-fifth dyads. Following the abbreviation conventions of heavy metal power chords, C5 (‘C five’) and F5 (‘F five’) replace cumbersome and unnecessary periphrases like ‘C no 3’ and ‘F omit A’ for such common sounds.

[2] Chords 5 and 6 are also common quartal sounds. C4 (‘C four’) replaces ‘Csus4’; F2 (‘F two’) replaces ‘Fsus9’ and ‘Fadd9’. ‘4’ and ‘2’ used in this way assume the simultaneous presence of a fifth.

[3] Chords 3-6 are all triads and all inversions of the notes g, c and f. They can be designated in different ways depending on context (see ‘Quartal triads and the tonical neighbourhood’, p. 295, ff.).

[4] Chord 3 is a three-note quartal stack (Á) rising from g (GÁ, ‘a G four stack’, g-c-f), chord 4 a three-note quintal stack ( À) rising from f (FÀ, ‘an F five stack’, f-c-g).

[5] The symbols à and Ä (chords 3 and 4) designate stacks emanating from a given central note, e.g. ‘CÃ’ for the triad g-c-f or for the pentad d-g-c-f-b$ (see §6).

[6] If necessary, the number of notes in a quartal or quintal stack can be signalled by a superscripted numeral following the chord abbreviation, for example ‘CÃÚ’ for the pentad d-g-c-f-b$ (designation tone in central position). The same principle applies to ‘rising’ stack symbols, for example ‘Dÿ’ for the quartal pentad d-g-c-f-b$, ‘B$ÀÚ’ for the quintally voiced stack rising from b$ —b$-f-c-g-d. If the number of notes in such chords is self-evident, or if the chord is a triad (e.g. GÃ = d-g-c), the additional numeral need not be given.

Quartal and quintal

Quartal harmony is so called because it’s based not on stacked thirds (tertial) but on the stacking of fourths, or of their octave complement, fifths (Fig. 52). ‘Quartal’, not ‘quintal’, is used as generic label for such harmony for the same reason that ‘tertial harmony’ (stacked thirds) is preferable to ‘sextal harmony’ (sixths, the octave complement of thirds). If falling through a pile of stacked sixths passes notes with the same names in the same order as climbing a stack of thirds —e.g. cs>er>gq>bp and crgq>cq>fp>b$o and dr

Quartal triads and the tonical neighbourhood

A triad consisting of Â, Î and Û is tertial because there’s a third between each of its notes (e.g. c-e and e-g in C, as in Figure 53, p. 296). If that is so, a quartal triad ought to contain Â, Ô and $ê because there’s a fourth between  and s and another between Ô and $ê. Indeed, a chord consisting of c, f and b$ (Â, Ô and $ê, CÁ in Fig. 53) is a common sort of quartal triad, but it’s not necessarily based on c. It could just as easily derive from either of the two other notes in the chord. If CÁ (a ‘C four stack’, c-f-b$) is inverted to f-b$-c, the second quartal triad in Figure 53, it’s more likely to be heard as F4 (‘F four’, Â-Ô-Û) than as an inversion of CÁ. The same goes for an inversion on $ê: b$-c-f will most likely be heard as a B$2 chord (‘B-flat two’, Â-Ê-Û). That’s quite different to how inversions work in tertial triads: the second chord in Figure 53 may look like ‘Â-$Î-$â’ on e but it’s normally heard as a C major triad in first inversion, i.e. with the third as bass note, not as a sort of E minor chord with a minor sixth and no fifth. The same goes for the third tertial triad (Â-Ô-#â) in Figure 53. Although the figured bass designation of the chord may be Vä in C, it’s more common to think of it as a C major triad in second inversion, i.e. with the fifth (g) as bass note.

Fig. 53. Three tertial and three quartal triads in inversion

An obvious question arises from the previous paragraph. Why can the same simple quartal triad have a different ‘root’ when its notes are inverted while tertial common triads have the same root note, however they’re inverted? It’s better to ask why tertial common triads do have the same root note when inverted. It all has to do with the asymmetry of the tertial common triad and with tertial directionality as opposed to quartal key-clock neighbourhoods. Those two points —intervallic asymmetry v. symmetry and directionality v. neighbourhood— require some explanation.

A simply stacked tertial common triad (Â-Î-Û, e.g. c-e@-g) consists of a minor third (e-g) superimposed on a major third (c-e). In first inversion the triad consists of a perfect fourth (g-c) on top of a minor third (e-g) and, in second inversion, of a major third (c-g) over a perfect fourth (g-c). If you repeat the lowest note in these asymmetrical common triads at the octave (c-e-g-c, e-g-c-e, g-c-e-g) it becomes clear that the root note is in a unique position, situated either a major third below or a perfect fourth above its nearest pitch neighbour. In a quartal triad stack (Á or Ã), on the other hand, all three notes are equidistant in pitch: it’s a perfect fourth from g to c and from c to f. There is, so to speak, no identifiable pitch hierarchy between the three notes. This means that when the stack g-c-f is inverted to c-f-g or f-g-c there’s no comparable hierarchy letting us identify any one of the three notes as root. That’s one reason why g-c-f (Â-Ô-$ê) is heard as GÁ (stacked quartal triad on g), c-f-g as G4 (Â-Ô-Û rather than Ô-$ê-Â), and f-g-c as F2 (Â-Ê-Û rather than $ê-Â-Ô). Another factor is the presence or absence of the major third.

In a tertial common triad the third is at a considerable distance round the key clock (circle of fifths) from its root note. The e$ in a C minor triad is three steps flatward (Ò) and, more importantly, the e@ in a C major triad four steps sharpward (Ó). No such tonical distance exists in quartal triads whose constituent notes are tonical next-door neighbours (Fig. 54, p. 298). The note f, for example, is only one step away from c and b$, the other two notes in a c-f-b$ quartal triad. In other words, quartal chords contain notes close to each other on the key clock. That proximity creates a central area of tonal reference that is wider and more fluid than the precise tonic orientation of conventional tertial harmony. So what?

Figure 54 (p. 298) represents the famous ‘key clock’ (circle of fifths) with a pentad of piled fourths (Ã5) next to each ‘key’. The top pile, CÃ, shows the note c in the middle of a quartal pentad containing, in ascending order, d, g, c, f and b$. The lower two notes in that same stack (g, d) are equivalent to the two ‘keys’ situated directly clockwise (Ó, sharpwards) from C (G and D), while the upper two notes (f, b$) correspond to the two ‘keys’ nearest anticlockwise (Ò, flatwards) from C (F and B$). The quartal stack at each hour of the clock works in the same way. The central note in each stack corresponds to a given tonical hour, the top two notes to the two hours nearest before it (Ò) and the bottom two to the first two hours after (Ó). For example, the E quartal stack (EÃ) at 4 o’clock has its f# at 6 o’clock, its b@ at 5, its a@ at 3 and its d@ at 2 o’clock.

Fig. 54. Quartal stack key clock

If notes in each of the pentads of Figure 54 are arranged in ascending scalar order, they build the sort of anhemitonic pentatonic modes covered in Chapter 4. For example, the quartal stack at 12 o’clock (CÃ) contains d g c f b$. Re-arranged in ascending order of pitch with c as Â, those notes become c d f g b$, i.e. Â Ê Ô Û $ê, or ré-pentatonic in C. Ré-pentatonic scales can be generated in the same way from all twelve quartal stacks in Figure 54 —e f# a b d@ for the quartal E stack (EÃ), a$ b$ d$ e$ g$ for ré-pentatonic A$, and so on.

Figure 55 (p. 299) shows three quartal pentad stacks containing the note c, the five anhemitonic pentatonic modes derived from re-arranging each stack’s five notes in scalar sequence, and each stack’s core triad (its three middle notes). Each of the three pentads has c in a different position: [1] central —in the middle of the stack; [2] flatward —where f was before, next to top of the stack; [3] sharpward —next lowest, where g was in the central stack. The core triads for c in those three positions are: [1] C4 (central), [2] C2 (flatward) and [3] CÁ (sharpward). Core triads and pentatonic modes are key factors of quartal harmony.

Fig. 55. C quartal pentad stacks, pentatonic modes and core triads

The anhemitonic scale resulting from the C quartal stack with c in central position (CÃ) is, as Figure 55 (1) shows, the thirdless ré-pentatonic mode (in C: c d f g b$ = Â Ê Ô Û $ê). The same quartal stack also contains the notes of the thirdless sol-pentatonic mode in F (f g b$ c d = Â Ê Ô Û â), as well as those of the minor- or la-pentatonic mode in G (g b$ c d f = Â $Î Ô Û $ê).5 Since G and F are on either side of C in the key clock and since both g and f are in the quartal stack CÃÚ (g b$ c d f), changing bass note between c, f and g makes little difference to the sound of a quartal triad based on those three notes in any inversion or with any voicing. You can hear a chord of G, C or F and still be in the same area of tonal reference compatible with the three different pentatonic modes just mentioned. It’s a key-clock neighbourhood spanning three positions on the circle of fifths (Fig. 56, p. 300). By allowing chords to shift almost imperceptibly one step clockwise or anticlockwise, the principle of key-clock neighbourhood is very different to the goal-oriented directionality of conventional tertial harmony with its leading notes (ê\î / Î\Ô) and clear cadences (V\I / I\IV).

The difference between quartal harmony’s overlapping tonical neighbourhoods (Fig. 56) and tertial harmony’s precise keys is clearest if you play triads round the circle of fifths in both idioms (Fig. 57). Six important observations (see below) can be made about the differences between tertial and quartal movement round the key clock.

Fig. 57. Tertial (1) and quartal (2) triads flatwards round key clock

[1] While each tertial progression (1) involves holding one and changing two of the triad’s constituent notes, proportions are inverse for each quartal progression (2): two notes are held over and only one is changed. For example, in the first tertial change, e and g move to f and a while c is held over. In the first quartal change, on the other hand, only g changes (to b$) while both c and f are held.

[2] One of the note changes in the movement of tertial triads round the circle of fifths involves a semitone, e.g. from e to f, a minimal pitch distance but all of five steps away on the key clock: it’s not in the tonical neighbourhood. Those two factors give Î its strong leading-note directionality towards Ô (equivalent to ê<î=Â in the target triad).6 In quartal triad progressions, however, the single replacement note is only three steps away at the minor third (e.g. g replaced by b$ in the first quartal change in Figure 57).

[3] The minor third is important because quartal harmony has to shift tonical neighbourhood by three key-clock steps (90°, 3 ‘hours’, e.g. C-E$) to sound like a substantial ‘new key’. Moreover, the minor third is the logical addition to an already existing quartal triad; for example c-f-b$ (CÁ) becoming c-f-b$-e$ (Cþ or Cç).

[4] All notes in a tertial triad have disappeared just two steps later round the key clock. Each quartal triad note lasts for three ‘hours’.

[5] If quartal triads contain, as they do by definition, notes related to each other by a fourth and/or fifth, then notions of V or Û as ‘dominant’ and IV or Ô as ‘subdominant’ are meaningless. ‘Major’ and ‘minor’ keys, as well as ‘perfect’, ‘plagal’, ‘interrupted’ and ‘half’ cadences are also largely pointless except in the grey areas between quartal and tertial harmony (see p. 302, ff.).

[6] Observations 1-5 apply also to sharpwards movement (clockwise) round the circle of fifths, as shown for quartal triads in the second line (b) of Figure 58 (p. 302).

Figure 58 (p. 302) shows progressions of quartal triads round the circle of fifths, both anticlockwise (1) and clockwise (2). The lower part (2) of the figure also shows how individual notes are held over three successive chords and underlines the overlapping fluidity of tonical neighbourhoods visualised in Figure 56.

The upper part (1) of Figure 58 includes three rows of chord symbols, each detailing the type of quartal triad built on each of every chord’s three notes. For example, the first chord, notated as the triad stack GÁ (g-c-f, g in sharpward position) is invertible to the core triad C4 (c-f-g, c in central position) and to F2 (f-g-c, f in the g-c-f stack’s flatward position). F4 (f-b$-c) becomes core triad in the second chord and moves to sharpward position as FÁ (f-b$-e$) for the third chord where B$4 (b$-e$-f) is the core triad. All notes follow this three-step pattern from flatward via core triad to sharpward position. The pattern is reversed for clockwise movement: _Á? _4? _2. For example, the quartal triad on g in the first chord of the lower line is GÁ, G4 (core triad) in the second, G2 in the third.

Fig. 58. Quartal triad progressions and tonical neighbourhoods

It should also be noted that each of the three rows above the upper line in Figure 58 contains four sections, each separated by a gap of a minor third: [1] F-A$/G#-B-D, [2] C-E$-G$/F#-A and [3] B$-D$/C#-E-G. That minor third/diminished seventh pattern can be a useful mnemonic when considering changes of key-clock neighbourhood in quartal harmony.

Crossing neighbourhood borders

Having explained basic differences of tonal function (in the normal sense of the word!) between tertial and quartal triads, it’s time to venture out from the comfort zone of _Á, _4 and _2 by increasing the number of notes in the quartal stack and by introducing notes outside the core triad’s immediate key-clock neighbourhood. It’s a process that investigates a no man’s land between quartal and tertial harmony, and it’s easiest to explain using Figure 59 (p. 304) in which the simple quartal triads CÁ, C4, C2 are heard together with each of the Western octave’s twelve tones. We can start by eliminating the three chords on the right in each system of Figure 59 because they all contain a dissonant minor ninth (or augmented octave). That still leaves nine others to consider.

The basic triad and its two inversions in each of the three systems in Figure 59 (p. 304) follow the explanations given earlier. In the top system (1), CÁ in the quartal stack c-f-b$ (CÁ, c sharpward) is inverted as F4 and B$2. In the middle line (2), C4 in the stack g-c-f (GÁ, c central) is inverted to GÁ and F2. In the bottom line (3), C2 in the stack d-g-c (DÁ, c flatward) inverts to G4 and DÁ. The first bass note to be added on the flat side in each line of Figure 59 produces a ö chord containing an internal minor third —e$-c in E$ö (line 1), b$-g in B$ö (2), f-d in Fö (3).

The first new bass note on the sharp side produces a stacked quartal tetrad þ or its inversion ç (‘seven flat three’)—Gþ in system 1, Dç in 2, and Aç in 3. These additions modify the sound of quartal chords quite noticeably. While the internal intervals of quartal triads were fourths, fifths, seconds and minor sevenths (Ô, Û, Ê (or ô), $ê, e.g. f, g, d, b$ in relation to c as Â), a major sixth now appears in the tetrads created by the addition of bass notes on the flat side (E$ö, B$ö, Fö) and a minor third on the sharp side —g-b$ in Gþ, d-f in Dç, a-c in Aç. Of course, the major sixth and the minor third are three steps equidistant, clockwise and anticlockwise, from the central point of origin on the key clock: it’s a major sixth from c to a or from e$ to c and a minor third from a to c or from c to e$ (Fig. 56, p. 300). It’s another ‘minor-third sign’ that the quartal harmony may be going elsewhere. Still, up to this ‘minor-third’ point —with the chord type ö flatwards and ç sharpwards at the fluid border of quartal key-clock neighbourhoods— the chords remain largely quartal in character. However, as you venture further afield from the quartal core triad the picture becomes less clear.

Fig. 59. Quartal triads above twelve different bass notes

Another step flatwards in the bass introduces a major third (‘#3’ and e$-g in Figure 59. Although the chord is still quartal (E$ÿ = g-c-f-b$-e$ inverted as the quintal stack E$ÀÚ = e$-b$-f-c-g), it also has a jazzy flavour as E$6*9. The next chord, with a$ as bass note, may theoretically be a revoicing of the quintal stack A$Àá (a$-e$-b$-f-c-g) but its two major thirds (a$-c, e$-g) make it sound even jazzier and thoroughly tertial as A$^9*6. The triple major-third chord on d$ could also be jazz as D$^13L5 but as a simple C4 or F2 over a d$ bass it could just as well be part of a quartally arranged phrygian cadence in C (ex. 207a), which in its turn resembles the Andalusian cadence (ex. 207b) cited by Fernández (2004: 100). Neither of the two has the function of a ‘major thirteen flat five’.

Ex. 207. (a) Notional quartal-style phrygian ending; (b) Andalusian cadence

How to label the chords in example 207a is another matter. Since the harmonic context is clearly quartal, I would suggest C4zf , C4ze$ , C4zd$ and C2 as least inappropriate. That’s certainly how I was hearing the chords when I played them, but my aural opinion is unlikely to be everyone’s and I guess that a common consensus will emerge in due course about such issues. In the meantime I would suggest the following.

1. Use quartal labels for the most obviously quartal chords (Fig. 60). There are only nine of them: _5 (‘five’), _4 (‘four’), _2 (‘two’), _Á (‘four stacked’), _À (‘five stacked’), _Ö (‘four two’), _æ (‘seven four’), _ç (‘seven flat three’, the same notes as a stacked quartal tetrad _þ), and _ö (‘nine six’).

Fig. 60. Nine basic quartal chords

2. If bass notes change under a simple quartal triad or tetrad, especially if any of those notes are outside the current tonical neighbourhood, or if they’re more complex than _ö or _ç, indicate the relevant quartal triad plus the bass note in subscript, e.g. ‘C4zd$’ for the penultimate chord in example 207a.

3. Consider the tonal idiom of the passage in which the chord occurs. Put simply, if it’s a suspension on the fourth that resolves down to the third it’s ‘sus 4’, if not it’s just ‘4’.

Context of tonal idiom is particularly important when dealing with chords of the eleventh, as will become clear next.

Quartal histories and examples

Elevens, the USA and corporate modernity

Elevens are a bit of an anomaly in tertial harmony because 11 minus 7 equals 4. That’s a cryptic way of saying that an eleventh is located one octave and a fourth above the root note, as shown in Figure 61 which sets out five variants of the ‘straight’ or ‘thirdless’ eleven chord (2-5 and 9) and three of the minor eleven chord (6-8).

Fig. 61. Eleventh chords

Chord 1 in Figure 61 shows the tertial stacking of a C11 chord. It’s almost never played like that due to the minor ninth between the major third (e) and the eleventh (f). Î is dropped and the notes are arranged as Gm7 or B$6 over c (chords 2, 5). Losing Î but keeping Ô gives it quite a quartal flavour in that it can be inverted to five-note quartal or quintal stacks (3 and 4 —Dÿ and B$ÀÚ), as well as to more common sonorities like chord 5. The fifth can also be omitted from an eleven chord, as indicated by the brackets around g in chord nº 9, because, as explained below, its most common function is to merge a ‘IV’ chord in upper parts with a ‘V’ in the bass: hence B$zc or Gm7zc as alternative shorthand for C11.

Unlike the thirdless eleven chord (Fig. 61, 1), minor eleven can be played as a tertial stack (Fig. 61, 6). It can also, like the ‘straight’ eleven, be inverted into a stack of fourths (chord 8, DÁá) or fifths (E$Àá). Chord 7 in Figure 61 is a viable voicing of a full Cm11 but some notes (usually the fifth or ninth) are often dropped from this six-note fistful. As soon as $Î is omitted, as in chord 9, there’s nothing major or minor about the chord: it’s an eleven chord plain and simple. With no Î but with Ê, Ô, $ê and an optional Û, it’s ‘quite quartal’. That said, there’s not much point in thinking of the repeated A$11 chord in example 208 (a$-b$-d$-e$-g$) as a quartal pentad stacked on b$ or as a five-note quintal stack on g$, even if Dvořák’s A$11 contains exactly the same notes (B$ÿ = b$-e$-a$-d$-g$).

Ex. 208. Dvořák (1893): New World Symphony, II (largo); ‘gospel’ cadence

A V?I cadence like A$11?D$ is highly irregular in euroclassical music but it was how Dvořák solved the problem of harmonising his famous doh-pentatonic tune and its ‘missing’ ^ê for a concert- hall audience in 1893. In tertial terms, the solution was to treat the upper parts, including the melody, as the ‘subdominantal’ ingredient (involving Ê, Ô and â) in a plagal cadence (IV-I) while assigning the bass part its usual role as V in a V-I ‘perfect’ cadence. This superimposition of IV-I and V-I formulae to produce cadences using the ‘dominant’ eleventh (V11?I) was also the solution favoured by Dvořák’s pupil, copyist and friend, African-American composer Harry T Burleigh, whose arrangements of mainly pentatonic spiritual melodies are widely sung to this day and an established part of a particularly US-American tonal idiom.

Ex. 209. Deep River (US. trad., arr. Harry T Burleigh, 1916): gospel cadence

The eleven chord was used so often in arrangements of spirituals that it became a style indicator of gospel music. One of its clearest instances is the F11 in the last bar of example 210.

Ex. 210. Joe Zawinul, Cannonball Adderley (1963): Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

‘Eleven’ is so common in the positive doh-pentatonic sphere of upbeat soul and gospel that citing its occurrences seems almost superfluous. Still, just to give an idea of its popularity, examples 211 and 212, from a famous Motown hit, are included to illustrate two slightly different uses of the eleven chord in the same song.

Ex. 211. Martha and the Vandellas (1964): Dancing In The Street; intro.

Ex. 212. Lead-in to return of main riff in ex. 211

The official sheet music for Dancing In The Street tells you to use F7, not the F11 actually played by the Motown musicians who oscillate between F11 and a straight, seventhless F triad.10 It’s a mixolydian shuttle (E$/f\F) and one of those ‘one-chord changes’ that publishers of popular sheet music expect musicians to supply automatically. Example 212 cites the same song’s other, ‘dominantal’, use of the eleven chord (like examples 208-210), as it ushers in a return to the initial mixolydian ‘eleven riff’ on F (ex. 211).

The only thing that’s quartal about the eleven chords just cited (ex. 208-212) is that they include a fourth (4+7=11), no third, and that they are not suspensions. Dominantal use of a quartal chord is also found in traditional music from the Appalachians (ex. 213).

Ex. 213. Doc Watson et al. (1963): Amazing Grace; doh-pentatonic V-I in F.

Example 213 contains two thirdless chords: the final open-fifth dyad F5 (f-c) and the penultimate CÀ (c-g-d) inverted to a sparse C2 (c-d-g). In tertial terms, the three last chords ought to be have been Vä?V?I (FzÙ?C?F). The chord on ‘now’ fits that pattern but the last two (‘I see’) don’t. The open-fifth dyad, F5, is chosen not just because it’s the preferred final sonority in this type of vernacular harmony but also because the line of the middle voice descends more easily from d to c than from d to a. But why is the middle voice on d in the penultimate chord (on ‘now’) in the first place? Shouldn’t it be e to create a ‘normal’ C?F (ê<î=Â) cadence? No, because the tune being harmonised in this tradition, Amazing Grace (ex. 78, p. 155), is doh-pentatonic and because a melodic final cadence in the octave’s upper tetrachord involves pentatonic motion from â to either Û or Â. The mode they’re in just doesn’t include ê. That’s what creates the CÀ (c-g-d inverted to c-d-g), the sort of stripped-down ‘eleven sound’, of the penultimate chord in example 213. It seems in other words that ‘poor white folk’ came up with the same sort of solution as Dvořák and Burleigh when trying to merge doh-pentatonic tonality with a V-I cadence. This particularly US-American type of quartal tonality, was treated in a different way —melodically and harmonically, rarely as dominant elevenths— by Copland, as shown in example 214 (p. 310), whose melodic lines (left) contain the same notes as the chords at the end of each line.

Ex. 214. Copland: (a) Fanfare for the Common Man (1942; opening);

(b) Appalachian Spring (1944; 8 bars after ‘13’).

Such sounds also abound in Copland’s scores for films like Of Mice and Men (1939a), The City (1939b) and Our Town (1940). But Copland didn’t only put the common triad of the nearest flatward key on top of a given bass note (e.g. E$ over an f in B$ to produce F11, or as with chords 1, 3 and 5 in ex. 215, p. 311); he also often did the same with the common triad of a neighbouring sharpward key, as with chords 4-6 in example 215. This second type of chord certainly contains an internal major third (g-b, d-f#, e$-g) but there’s no third in the chord as a whole, no ^Î in chords 4-6 (no e in nº 4, no b in nº 5, no c in nº 6). The internal major third is ê in relation to the bass but not as its ‘leading note’, because the bass note can have no ‘dominant’ function, it can be no ‘V’, if it’s the ‘î=Â’ to which the ê is supposed to ‘lead’. So, even if chords 4, 5 and 6 in example 215 look or even sound tertial, they don’t work like the major thirds and sevenths of euroclassical tertial harmony. They’re simply alternative sonorities in the tonical neighbourhood.

Copland’s use of ‘IV-over-V ‘(chords 1-3) and ‘V-over-I’ (chords 4-6 in example 215) has been highly influential in Hollywood. These sounds turn up frequently in scores written to this day and have become a part of mainstream media culture, as suggested by the occurrence of both chords 3 and 6 in the first four bars of the Hill Street Blues theme (ex. 215b).

Ex. 215. (a) ‘Copland chords’; (b) Mike Post (1980): Hill St. Blues (opening)

Returning to more overtly quartal harmony in media productions from the last few decades, I’ll restrict the rest of this account to just a few examples heard many times by hundreds of millions of people. For instance, the original theme for the TV series Kojak (ex. 216, p. 312) was broadcast in over seventy countries to more than 100 million viewers. Out of its total running time of fifty seconds, forty-two, including the twelve in example 216, are entirely quartal and contain no dominant elevenths. Its tonal idiom follows the principles of quartal harmony explained on pages 295-305. It even ‘changes key’ by shifting a minor third from C up to E$ (bar 20) and back (bar 22). It also uses three common variants of quartal chord: Cm11 or CÁÓ (bar 18-19, c-f-b$-e$), E$æ (bar 20-21, e$-a$-b$-d$) and C2 (bar 22-24, c-g-d/c-d-g).

Ex. 216. Goldenberg (1973): Kojak (main theme, bars 18-24)

If over 100 million heard the Kojak theme, I shudder to think how many ears the D$4 of example 217 has reached how many times.

Ex. 217. Walter Werzowa (1993): Intel Inside jingle

The same sort of quartal sounds are often used together with teleprinter rhythms for news and current affairs broadcasts, for instance as logo for WINS, a news radio station in New York, or as signature for The McLaughlin Group, an opinionated public affairs discussion programme on US network TV (ex. 218).

Ex. 218. The McLaughlin Group (public affairs TV; c. 1986)

Moreover, jingles for ABC’s World News Tonight (USA) have often used quartal harmony and a large proportion of news demo tracks at the 30 Seconds Library site were also quartal in early 2014. But I was particularly struck by the amount of quartal harmony on Aspire and Achieve, an album subtitled ‘Aspirational themes for Technology, Science, Business, Commerce and Design’ and issued by the MediaTracks Production Music Library in the UK. Table 24 (p. 314) lists details of four of the quartal tracks included on that album.

Table 24. Quartal tracks on the album Aspire and Achieve (2013)

Composer Title Description

John Chilton Determination Expansive, aspirational and purposeful, rising to the challenge - optimistic and positive

Jon Chilton Research

Zone An inspiring, modernist and futuristic science and technology soundscape

Steven A. Johnson Work &

Motion A busy modernist and futuristic technology theme - positivity and productivity

Sebastian Morawietz Constant

Flow Exploration and discovery, an upbeat and positive electro theme.

Hoping to discover why the composers had found quartal harmony so appropriate to corporate aspiration, I phoned MediaTracks. The man answering my call told me the composers weren’t there, but assured me ‘they wouldn’t know why even if you asked them. They just know that’s how it sounds’, he said. I needed to go no further because someone whose income depends on the licensing of music designed to carry specific connotations was able to confirm as self-evident —’they know that’s how it sounds’— the connection between quartal harmony and optimistic achievement, success, productivity, modernity and a positive, up-to-date sense of corporate aspiration.

We’re talking here about a semiotic web that should come as no surprise, given the extent to which fourths and fifths feature in audio signals that users of digital devices have been hearing for a couple of decades. Those fourths and fifths, typically assigned to marimba-like samples resembling that heard in the ubiquitous Intel jingle (ex. 217, p. 312), or to other synthesised timbres, are triggered to alert users of state-of-the art electronic devices that a message has arrived, that battery power is low, that a download has finished, that a fatal error has occurred, etc. Did the technological modernity aspect of those sounds come from their use in modern technology, or did modern technology use those sounds because they already seemed to signal technological optimism and positive modernity? There’s no room here to investigate that etymophony, but it’s more likely that a connection already existed between quartal harmony and positive modernity before the global spread of home computers. It may have come from Copland-influenced film music (see examples 214-218), or from its use by other twentieth-century composers (examples 223-230), or from its use by certain post-bop jazz artists (examples 231-234). Whatever the case, it can seem paradoxical that tonal polyphony associated today with positive modernity was once linked with negative or nostalgic notions of archaic backwardness.

Euroclassical thirdlessness

In European Baroque and classical music, open-fifth drones were often used as a genre synecdoche connoting the simplicity of rural life. One example is the pastoral symphony from Handel’s Messiah (1741), another the opening to the Pastoral Symphony itself (Beethoven, 1808). The same sort of rural drone is given dissonant treatment by Schubert in Winterreise to accompany words conjuring up a stark vision of the ragged hurdy-gurdy player in an ice-bound, poverty-stricken village on a winter’s day (ex. 219, p. 316).

Ex. 219. Schubert (1827): Der Leiermann (opening piano accomp.)

Less stark but just as archaic are the connotations of Mussorgsky’s musical vision of ‘The Old Castle’ (ex. 220).

Ex. 220. Mussorgsky (1874): ‘The Old Castle’ (Pictures at an Exhibition)

One notable difference between Mussorgsky’s thirdless harmony and, on the other hand, the Baroque and classical uses of rustic drones in Central Europe is the relative strength and proximity of vernacular tonal traditions in Russia. Apart from the recurrent unisons or octaves characteristic of three-part popular song in rural Russia, example 221 (p. 316) includes several quartal sonorities, including secundal voicings and stacked quartal triads.

Ex. 221. Vernacular Russian vocal harmony, cited by Calvacoressi (1946: 186)

‘The fons et origo of Mussorgsky’s new idiom… is to be found in Russia’s folk song… [It] carries us into a harmonic world… unaccountable in terms of Western music and often disconcerting to the Western ear… but affording a wealth of raw materials to as composer endowed with the right kind of ear and imagination’ (Calvacoressi, 1946: 186).

Mussorgsky’s ‘folk’-influenced idiom is viewed here in terms of tonal innovation and novelty, even though the composer’s ‘fons et origo’ had, from the Central European V?I perspective, long been associated with rusticity and olden times. Samson (1995: 1-2, 9-15) also presents the harmonic idiom used by some nineteenth-century Russian composers as a sign of modernity and innovation. Mellers (1962: 856) does likewise, illustrating the point with two extracts from Borodin tone poems (ex. 222).

Ex. 222. Borodin: (a) The Sleeping Princess (1867) (E$õ, etc.)

(b) Song of the Dark Forest (1868) (F#5, G2, A2, etc.)

Russians like Mussorgsky and Borodin were followed later by composers of the Spanish school (e.g. De Falla, ex. 223a), but non-ionian tertial harmony was for some time the most common approach to the problem of harmonising music outside with the euroclassical idiom (e.g. Dvořák, Grieg, Vaughan Williams). However, the attitude of euroclassically trained musicians to traditions outside the canon did change during the nineteenth century. Whereas Czech-German symphonist Carl Stamitz had in 1798 deemed Irish tunes incapable of bearing any harmony (Hamm 1979: 50), Hughes, in the preface to his arrangements of Irish Country Songs (1909: v), expressed the need for a radical and unacademic approach when dealing with such material, championing the work of ‘M. Claude Debussy’ who, he wrote, had set the trend ‘to break the bonds of this old slave-driver’ [euroclassical tonality] ‘and return to the freedom of primitive scales’. Hughes’s accompaniment to She Moved Through the Fair (ex. 14, p. 103), set in E$ mixolydian, resolves its chains of open fifths and tertial triads on to a final quartal chord (ex. 223b, with A$4 as an inverted E$Á).

Ex. 223. (a) De Falla: Farruca from El sombrero de tres picos (1919); (b) Irish Trad., arr. Hughes: She Moved Through The Fair (final chords)

Ex. 224. Debussy (1910): ‘La cathédrale engloutie’ (Préludes, 1910)

Debussy is one of the first twentieth-century composers in Western Europe to use quartal harmony. Although whole sections of his La cathédrale engloutie —also as arranged by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth in Escape from New York (1981)— move in layered parallel fifths (ex. 224), Debussy’s use of thirdless harmony is generally limited to short passages providing contrasting harmonic colour to other sonorities, such as the whole-tone scale and tertial chords of the sixth, seventh and ninth. Example 225 (p. 318) shows the first three bars of one such brief quartal passage.

Ex. 225. Debussy: ‘Sarabande’ (Pour le piano, 1901): quartal passage (þ)

Stravinsky, on the other hand, produces quite extensive passages of quartal harmony in both The Rite of Spring (1913) and Petrushka (1911). The extract cited as example 226 (p. 319) is of particular interest, not just because its busily textured DÖ chord (d-e-g-a) in the upper register closely resembles the violin and Moog parts of the sixty years younger Kojak theme (ex. 216, p. 312), but also because both the Petrushka extract and the Kojak theme are linked to the same sort of positive, sparkling brightness and bustle.

Ex. 226. Stravinsky (1911): Petrushka (opening bars)

But it is Bartók and Hindemith who are probably most often cited as classical exponents of quartal harmony. Bartók seems to use it in three different ways: [1] as a drone-based device —see examples 13 (p. 102), 58 (p. 139) and 60 (p. 140); [2] as a quartal stack in parallel motion to give a particular sonority to a melodic motif; [3] as voice-led harmony involving change of tonical neighbourhood. Since drone-based quartal harmony is discussed in more detail later (p. 344, ff.), I’ll start with [2], the quartal stack in parallel motion. It’s not the most common Bartókian quartal device but it’s used to great effect in the ominous build-up cited as example 227 (p. 320). It’s also used by Morricone for a scene of considerable tension in The Mission (ex. 228, p. 320).

Ex. 227. Bartók (1939): Divertimento for Strings, II: bars 38-41 (parallel quartal triads [Á] doubled or tripled in octaves)

Ex. 228. Morricone (1986): ‘Penance’ from The Mission (0:29:23, ff; ten-note quartal stacks [Á10] )

Example 229 (p. 321) illustrates Bartók’s use of voice-led quartal harmony. The extract’s tonal reference point is its first chord, C#ÁÓ, and its two central notes, f# and b. That chord recurs on the first beat of eight of the eleven bars in the example and accounts for half of its total duration. It’s offset by change to sonorities at varying distances from the tonical neighbourhood it establishes and to which it repeatedly returns. First, by shifting the upper parts up and the lower parts down a fourth in bar 1, the original stack’s two central notes are dropped while the outer two (c# and e) are retained. It’s not a big tonal step to that unconventionally voiced ‘A^’ (AM7zg#) because g#, c#, e and a are all part of the same six-note quartal stack g#-c#-f#-b-e-a.

Ex. 229. Bartók (1917): String Quartet 2, III (lento)

However, none of the four ‘home’ notes (c# f# b e) are in the second ‘other’ chord (bar 2, a#-d#-d@-g@ = b$-e$-d-g): this time the upper two and the lower two parts have moved in contrary motion by a minor third to create a sort of ‘E$^zÙ’, an unequivocal tonal ‘elsewhere’ to C#ÁÓ. Bar 3’s BÁÓ, just two steps away on the key clock, returns to C#ÁÓ chromatically via an inverted C@ÁÓ (c-f-b$-e$ as a#-d#-c@-f@). From there, the viola and cello parts take three steps (and a minor third) to regain the tonal home neighbourhood (a#?c#, d#?f#) while the two violins take five key-clock steps (and a descending semitone) to return (c?b, f?e) to the tonal reference tetrad (c# f# b e). Such change involving voice leading by small pitch steps from a tonical neighbourhood at least three ‘hours’ away on the key clock constitutes a typical cadence in quartal harmony à la Bartók. An even clearer quartal cadence occurs in bars 7-8 where an inverted DÁÓ (d g c f as d e# c g) returns to the original C#ÁÓ. By moving in this sort of way from one tonical neighbourhood to another by at least three steps on the key clock (the ‘minor third rule’), Bartók creates a sense of movement, direction and contrast in quartal harmony.

A similar kind of quartal sound is heard in example 230a. Its main harmonies are on beats 1 and 3 of each bar and are reduced to basic dyads or triads in example 230b. From the initial tonical neighbourhood of C (bar 1), Hindemith makes one two-step move sharpward (Ó2) to DÃ (a-d-[g]-c) on bar 2’s beat 1 and another to the E4 on beat 3, a sonority that shares no notes in common with the initial C neighbourhood. That E4 is followed by a radical shift of five key-clock steps sharpward (Ó5) to bar 3’s D#æ (d#-a#-g#-c#) which contains both the g# and d# of the phrase’s target chord. To make the overall progression from neighbourhoods around C, D and E to the final G#5 more directed, Hindemith inserts a C#ÁÚ chord (c#-f#-[b]-e-a, also interpretable as an F#ÁÓ or A6zÙ), as penultimate sonority. It works cadentially because, as in the preceding Bartók example, it shares no notes in common with the final target chord.

Ex. 230. Hindemith (1934): (a) Mathis der Mahler, ‘Grablegung’, bars 1-4;

(b) chordal reduction; key-clock movement sharpward Ó, flatward Ó.

This use of chromaticism to give quartal harmony a sense of direction can also be found sometimes in certain types of post-bebop jazz.

Quartal jazz

Fig. 62. Google search for ‘quartal harmony’ 2014-04-17: most of first 100 hits link to jazz tutorials.

Quartal harmony was a little slower to enter the world of jazz but, judging from the number of online tutorial sites devoted to the topic (Fig. 62), it has become an integral part of the jazz academy curriculum. The 1959 Miles Davis album Kind of Blue (ex. 231), a project in which pianist Bill Evans played a pivotal role, is often seen as the turning point when the tertial-dominantal constraints and the constantly busy II-V-I changes of bebop were dumped in favour of quartal sounds that let improvising soloists focus on timbre and phrasing, as well as on melodic shape and narrative.

Ex. 231. Miles Davis: ‘So What?’ (Kind of Blue, 1959): chorus bars 1-19

The So whats in So What (ex. 231) are plagal transscansions resembling gospel-style Oh Yeahs or Amens. They’re the horn chords in bars 2, 4, 6 and 8 that respond to the bass’s preceding ‘calls’, and are very similar to the Oh Yeahs in Moanin’ (ex. 91, p. 162, also bars 2, 4, 6, 8). In both tunes the ‘response’ is a plagal dorian move from IV to i: Moanin’ goes from B$ to Fm, So What from a ‘sort of’ G (major) to the same ‘sort of’ Dm. That ‘sort of’ in So What is important and can be understood in at least three ways: [1] as two inverted nine-six chords Gö?Fö; [2] as two minor eleven chords Em11?Dm11; [3] as a IV?i gospel Oh Yeah response —Gö?Dm11. This third designation takes the bass root and tonic (D) into consideration and may be style-historically more appropriate but it gives no sense of the parallel motion between the two Oh Yeah/So What chords. That parallel motion is important because, between them, the two chords state all notes of the dorian mode supplying the tonal vocabulary of the melodic improvisations that follow. Moreover, the chords share two important quartal traits. [1] Both contain Â, Ô and Û (d g a) —D4, the core quartal chord in central position (see p. 304)— while Ê, $Î, â and $ê (e f a c), more distant from the centre of the piece’s tonical neighbourhood (D), occur in only either one or the other of the two chords. [2] The two chords are voiced as quartal tetrad stacks (e-a-d-g and d-g-c-f), each with a major third added on top (b and a). It’s these features that warrant the music’s qualification as quartal. Another quartal feature in So What is the ‘trucker’s gear change’ from D to E$ —five key-clock steps— to change quartal key for the bridge in a chorus that follows a standard 32-bar form in which the first sixteen bars are on D, the middle eight on E$ and the final eight back on D.

Among jazz musicians to follow Davis and Evans into the land of quartal voicing were guitarists like Kenny Burrell (e.g. 1963) and Barney Kessel (e.g. 1971). Now, while they may often have used quartal voicing, their harmonic idiom was rarely quartal because those voicings functioned as conventional bebop chords of the ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, etc. This distinction between voicing and idiom is essential to the understanding of quartal harmony and applies just as much to pianists as to guitarists.

Ex. 232. Blues in F: piano left hand and bass; quartal voicing, not harmony.

The upper stave of example 232 shows (8va bassa) the sort of triad voicings an average bop pianist’s left hand might produce for a twelve-bar blues in F. The lower stave shows the root note for each chord plus standard tritone substitution notes in bars 4 and 8-10. It all looks very quartal, and as a keyboard player I certainly recognise those familiar shapes in my left hand; but they don’t work as quartal harmony. That’s because only Fö consists of superimposed perfect fourths spanning a minor seventh (a-d-g). All the other triads produce, with their roots, chords of the thirteenth or augmented ninth, and their left-hand triads span not a minor but a major seventh, since each of them combines a perfect fourth with an augmented fourth. These asymmetric quartal voicings contain tritones and major thirds redolent of euroclassical leading notes, especially in bars 8-11 which place us squarely in the territory of II-V-I bebop directionality, an idiom incompatible with the relative fluidity of quartal harmony’s tonical neighbourhoods.

Not even the Fö in example 232 (p. 325) is strictly speaking quartal in its harmonic context because the chord has a root note (f) situated three key clock steps away from the central position (D4) of the quartal triad (AÁ) in the pianist’s left hand. It doesn’t state a tonical neighbourhood like the C4 in the Hindemith extract, or like Bartók’s recurrent C#ÁÓ (p. 322), or Stravinsky’s DÖ (p. 319), or the Kojak theme’s Cm11 and C2 (p. 312). The Fö in example 232 is really a tertial tonic major triad, complete with Î (a@) —an oddity in quartal harmony—, and including â (d@) and ô (g) to give it a modern quartal flavour rather than function. However, the sort of quartal voicing used by Chick Corea (e.g. Gemini, 1968), Freddie Hubbard and Herbie Hancock (ex. 233, p. 327) and, most notably, by McCoy Tyner (1967, ex. 234) can go beyond ‘just sounding modern’. When using quartal chords, these artists often come closer to the tonal idiom explained in the theory section of this chapter and as illustrated in examples 226-230 and 236-239.

None of the chords in the Freddie Hubbard example on page 327 contain leading notes, tritones or major thirds in relation to the bass. Instead the loop oscillates between two tonical neighbourhoods. One of those can be reduced to the quartal stack a-d-g-c-f. It consists of the initial DÁ preceded by the anticipated downbeat A4 at the end of bar 2. The opposite pole is the stack f-b$-e$-a$-d$, voiced e$-b$-d$-f-a$ (E$11), five steps flatward from a-d-g-c-f to which it’s linked via an intermediate CÁ. The E$11 pole links back to the tonical neighbourhood of A4 and DÁ via the two scalar passing chords F11 and G11. This chord loop’s shuttling between distant tonical neighbourhoods via intermediate sonorities gives the riff a circular harmonic motion.

Ex. 233. Freddie Hubbard (trp.), Herbie Hancock (piano): riff and chord loop from Red Clay (1970), repeated 1:21-2:26, 10:20-11:40; cited in Ingelf (1974)

If anyone can be said to epitomise quartal jazz it must surely be pianist McCoy Tyner. In 1962, he and his trio recorded an album whose title makes a pun of that stylistic trait —Reaching Fourth. It’s a trait that’s also omnipresent in example 234.

Ex. 234. McCoy Tyner (1967) ‘Blues On The Corner’ (solo extract)

Examples 232 and 234 both show quartal voicings of left-hand chords for a standard twelve-bar blues, but that is where any likeness between them ends. Apart from the fact that there’s only room here to cite six bars of Tyner’s playing and that Blues On The Corner is in B$, not F, the most important harmonic difference is that Tyner’s left-hand triads are, in this extract, all fully quartal, each consisting of one perfect fourth on top of another —b$-e$-a$ (B$Á, bar 1, B$ in sharpward position), f-b$-e$ (B$4, bars 2-4, B$ in central position, inverted to look like FÁ) and e$-a$-d$ (E$Á, bars 5-6). Another difference between examples 232 and 234 is that Tyner’s triads are all rooted on the notes he marks with sturdy open fifths in the bass on anticipated downbeats to bars 1, 3 and 5. There are no chordal tritones, no major thirds or sevenths, nothing remotely ionian, tertial or dominantal in the extract. And the two left-hand triad stacks marked with asterisks in bars 3 and 4 are simply the two poles in a centric pitch decoration in parallel motion around the main quartal triad (B$Ã) —B$Ã - C$Ã > B$Ã > A$4 - B$Ã. That gesture helps avoid harmonic stasis on the repeated B$ tonic and prefigures change to E$ (IV) in bar 5 of the twelve-bar blues. Finally, Tyner’s right hand keeps to the B$ la-pentatonic blues mode (descends $ê Û/$Û Ô $Î Â = a$ f/f$ e$ d$ b$) in accordance with observations made earlier about quartal stacks and the pentatonic modes whose constituent pitches those chords contain.

Quartal rock

Quartal harmony in rock is sometimes identified with prog and fusion. The problem with that view is that, although artists like John McLaughlin and Chick Corea provide a fair number of quartal voicings on the celebrated fusion album Bitches Brew (Miles Davis, 1970), it would, I think, be misleading to qualify 1970s fusion music as a haven of quartal harmony. I went through numerous tracks by Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Santana, Weather Report, Frank Zappa and Joe Zawinul but failed to find consistent use of quartal harmony. There were runs of parallel fourths and jazzy quartal voicings but, so to speak, nothing resembling the non-ionian quartal harmony of Bartók, Stravinsky or McCoy Tyner.

Symptomatic of this process of ‘non-discovery’ was the Cö in Sting’s Seven Days (ex. 235). In quartal theory it’s either an EÁ5 (e-a-d-g-c) or, more likely, CÀ5 (c-g-d-a-e) revoiced as c-g-a-d-e. That said, ‘C6/9’ is how the official sheet music of the song labels the chord; and ‘C6/9’ normally designates a C6 (c-e-g-a) with ô (d) as an extra note. That’s also how it sounds in context, like the Fö in example 232 (p. 325). Once again, the G2 (g-a-d) in mid register may make the Sting chord’s voicing nominally quartal but it doesn’t work as quartal harmony because it’s above a c bass and because Î (the e on ‘days’) is strongly present in the melody. It’s a tonic major triad in modern quartal clothing. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with chords containing Â, Î and Û: it’s just that they’re not really quartal, even when voiced as if they were.

Sounds closer to the notion of quartal harmony presented in this chapter can be found in recordings by artists like Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Stormy Six and Yes. Example 236 is, I think, a textbook example of rock quartality.

Ex. 236. King Crimson: ‘Frame By Frame’ (Discipline, 1981), 2:19-2:39.

In basic harmonic terms, example 236 consists of a quartal triad, stacked c#-f#-b (C#Á/F#Ã), that shifts up a minor third to e-a-b (EÁ/AÃ) in bar 5, then by another to g-c-f (GÁ/CÃ) just after the cited extract. The second guitar’s constant semiquavers, played consistently in 6/8 across the underlying 4/4 metre, expands the three-note quartal stack by a note at each end to produce the quartal pentad g#-c#-f#-b-e (G#Á5/F#Ã5). Those semiquavers rise by a minor third along with the bass and the upper guitar part.

Now, King Crimson didn’t always use quartal harmony but the band’s guitarist, Robert Fripp, has since 1986 strongly advocated his ‘New Standard Tuning’ in fifths for the instrument (CGDAE plus G, a minor third above E). The idea was, says Fripp, to create ‘a more rational system’, one that sounded ‘better for chords’, especially if built ‘in fourths, fifths and octaves, so avoiding thirds, especially major thirds’ (Mulhern, 1986). Fripp also addressed the doctored pitching of thirds in equal-tone tuning, expressing preference for the more open, brighter sounds of perfect intervals (unison, fourth, fifth, octave), and of just-tone intonation.

Another artist to clearly favour a bright, full, open, overtone-rich, chordal sound is Joni Mitchell. Given the acoustic link between fourths/fifths and the harmonic series, it would be surprising if quartal harmony did not appear in her work. Indeed, The Dawntreader (1967), Song To A Seagull (1968), Blue and This Flight Tonight (1971), The Magdalene Laundries and Sex Kills (1994) are just some of her songs to contain significant elements of quartal harmony. The opening of This Flight Tonight (ex. 237) will have to suffice here by way of illustration. It’s interesting for several reasons: [1] it’s an early example of quartal harmony in a pop-rock artist’s own songwriting; [2] it illustrates the importance of Mitchell’s alternative tunings to produce a tonal sphere able to carry both tertial and quartal chords; [3] it illustrates a particularly useful technique for voicing quartal chords. Let’s see how points [2] and [3] work.

In example 237, Mitchell has tuned her guitar to an open A$: the bottom string is set to a$1 (52 Hz), a minor sixth below standard tuning’s low e (e2 , 87 Hz). That a$1 and the open-string octave above it (a$2, 104 Hz) sound throughout the excerpt, as does the open-string fifth (e$3) above that, except for the last two chords, when it moves to another a$3. In the penultimate chord, the a$3 is also sounded in unison on the next string up, while the final fifth (e$4) is also doubled. From that short description, and from a quick look at the notation and tab shown below, it should be clear that we are hearing a sound extremely rich in overtones.

Ex. 237. Joni Mitchell (1971): This Flight Tonight (0:00-0:17)

The chord changes in example 237 are created by a sequence of descending parallel fifths (more overtones) inside the already overtone-rich A$ drone. There’s d$-a$ for the A$4 chord, c$-g$ for A$m11, a$-e$ for A$5, and g$-d$ for A$æ. This sort of conjunct movement in parallel fifths (or fourths) over, under or inside a drone is, as we shall shortly see, a useful device when accompanying many types of traditional melody. None of this means that Mitchell is a quartal purist, far from it: she moves between tertial and quartal without apology or embarrassment. She’s able to do that because her tertial harmonies contain little or nothing by way of tritones or modulatory chromaticism, and because her quartal chords are rarely, if ever, suspensions. In fact, her harmonic style has coherence because her guitar chords, be they tertial or quartal, consistently relate to the overall tonical neighbourhood circumscribed by the most frequently sounded open strings and their combined harmonics. It’s in this light essential to consider Mitchell’s numerous ‘alternative’ tunings as an integral part of her tonal language and composition work.

Quartal pop

Before taking the small step from Joni Mitchell to quartal aspects of traditional music from the British Isles and the Appalachians, I need to briefly mention quartal harmony in mainstream pop and rock, or, rather, the lack of it. I say ‘lack’ because I can bring to mind only one consistently quartal track from my pop- and rock-playing days in the 1960s and 1970s. It’s the one-bar pattern shown as example 238 and it’s played as shown, as well as transposed to the same quartal sound over A and B, throughout the B side of a minor Manfred Mann hit from 1964. I am reasonably confident that Kingpin is a rare exception because, even if songs like Nowhere To Run (Martha and the Vandellas, 1965) and The Road To Nowhere (Carole King, 1966) contain passages of bare fourths and/or fifths, they are treated literally as bare, not quartally à la Joni Mitchell, King Crimson, McCoy Tyner, Copland or Bartók. That ‘bare thirdlessness’ from the 1960s tends rather to act as word painting for the emptiness of the ‘nowhere’ dominating the lyrics to both songs; it works as contrast to the implicit ‘tertial completeness’ of what was then normal pop.

However, from around 1980, quartal chords start to appear in the borderlands between pop and rock, not as a 1960s ‘emptiness cue’ but as an alternative or contrast to a tertial tonal idiom. Message In A Bottle (Police, 1979) provides an early example of the clear use of quartal chords in at least part of a song. Subsequent instances of quartality in anglophone pop-rock music include The Weapon (Rush, 1982), Heart Telegraph (Divinyls, 1985), New Day Rising (Husker Du, 1985), Big Blue Sky (Northern Pikes, 1987), What I Am (Brickell, 1989), Furious (Throwing Muses, 1992) and Wonderwall (Oasis, 1995). Some of this pop-rock quartality can be heard as the extension of the open-fifth power chord by one quartal/quintal step —for example C2 (c-d-g) instead of C5 (c-g) in the Husker Du track—, while in other instances —e.g. Divinyls, Edie Brickell and Oasis— the quartal idiom resembles more closely that of the Joni Mitchell and King Crimson citations (ex. 236-237).

Please note that the power fifths and fourths of heavy metal, industrial and grunge constitute a different sort of ‘thirdlessness’ and are discussed in Chapter 9 on pages 280-284.

‘Folk’ fourths and fifths

Resuming the connection between open tunings, just-tone intonation and quartal harmony, we need to backtrack one final time, on this occasion from the relative modernity of King Crimson, Joni Mitchell, The Police, Edie Brickell and Oasis to sawmills in the Appalachian backwoods.

Banjo tunings

The banjo is an instrument of African origin that developed, mainly during the nineteenth century, to cater for the tonal idioms of both black and white populations living in the rural US South. The most common type of banjo has five strings of which the fifth is shorter and pitched highest. It’s mostly played with the thumb as a rapidly repeated ‘top-down’ drone note and is represented in Figure 63 by the black blobs. The other strings are arranged in ascending order. For example, the ‘open C’ tuning (‘1’) has a high g (g4) as fifth string, low d (d3) as fourth, g3 as third string, b3 as second and a high d (d4) as first. Its tuning shorthand is ‘g'dgbd' ’.

Fig. 63. 5-string banjo tunings

Tunings 1 and 5 are clearly useful for melodies in G and D major (pentatonic, hexatonic or heptatonic) and tuning 2 is convenient if you need to switch either way between G and C. The two other tuning types, ‘double C’ and ‘sawmill’ are both distinctly quartal and well suited to pentatonic or hexatonic melodies in minor or quartal modes, as illustrated in example 239.

Ex. 239. Shady Grove (Scot.-US trad. via Clarence Ashley); ré-pentatonic tune in A with sawmill banjo tuning (a'ead'e', nº 4b in Fig. 63)

Sawmill (g'dgc'g' or a'ead'e') may not be the most common banjo tuning but nor is it exceptionally rare or exotic, even though liner notes to an early recording of The Cuckoo Bird (ex. 80, p. 156) characterise the tuning as ‘archaic’. In fact, sawmill is used for a whole host of other tunes including Black Nag, Clinch Mountain Backstep, Easy Cluck Old Hen, Frosty Morning, Kitchen Girl, Little Sadie, Santa Anna’s Retreat and Wayfaring Stranger. The main reasons for citing example 239 (p. 335) are: [1] it uses quartal harmony throughout because its open strings are tuned to an A4 chord; [2] its origins are rural and popular, not erudite, cool or urban; [3] its sound has been called ‘archaic’ as opposed to the ‘modernity’ ascribed to quartal harmony in other types of music; [4] it illustrates the use of tonic drones, the importance of ‘alternate’ tunings and of counterpoise. It’s these latter issues —drone, tuning and counterpoise— that occupy the next few pages.


The drone note of example 239 —a@— is obviously the tune’s tonic. That tonic drone is pitched at both ends of the octave encompassing all notes in the ré-pentatonic melody, except for the lower g@ ($ê, bars 2 and 6). Ré-pentatonic modes consist of Â Ê Ô Û $ê, which in A translates to a b d e g. Three of those five notes are playable on the open strings of a banjo with sawmill tuning in A (a'ead'e'). That tuning produces the excerpt’s A4 chord (a-d-e), theoretically invertible as EÁ (e-a-d) or Aà (e-a-d). The tune’s two other notes, b and g, are each on either side of the central e-a-d tonical neighbourhood and can be understood as one-step expansions of e-a-d (AÃ) to the quartal pentad b-e-a-d-g (AÃ5), or, voiced quintally, as g-d-a-e-b (AÄ5). As tonal extensions of the core quartal triad (e-a-d becoming b-e-a-d-g), b and g are the two notes in the ré-pentatonic melody that are situated furthest away on the key clock from the tonic drone. They are in other words ideal candidates for treatment as counterpoise, i.e. as a tonal ‘elsewhere’, ‘another tonal place to be’. Since g is the exception on two counts —the low g is also outside the octave pitch range of the two a@-s—, it’s also most likely to be counterpoise to the piece’s central AÃ.

Musicians occasionally vary in their choice of which note, if any, to use as ‘tonal elsewhere’. There tends to be more variation about where and how to mark the counterpoise. For instance, it’s not until bar 6 in example 239 (p. 335), at the second ‘my little love’, that a tonal shift to the g area (including d and possibly b) is clearly audible in the banjo part. That shift accompanies a melodic shift from a general pattern of onbeat a@ and e@ to onbeat g and d. Here it’s important to note that the tonal rhythm generated by varying metric and periodic placement of change between tonic and counterpoise is a factor of interest in many a traditional melody that lends itself to droned accompaniment.

Counterpoise placement is pretty obvious in The Drunken Sailor (ex. 240, p. 338), given that the tune in bars 1-4 oscillates between a D minor and a C major common (tertial) triad. Part 1 of example 240 shows how rudimentary fifths (D5 and C5 in parallel organum style) can accompany the melody in regular patterns of two bars per chord, except for bars 7 and 8 where the accompaniment can only spend one bar on C5 if the eight bar period is to finish back on the tonic. That single bar on the counterpoise breaks the previously established two-bar oscillation pattern and can be heard as the kickback point when the preceding tonal direction is reversed. In this case the initial movement out from tonic to the counterpoise (D5?C5) is replaced by movement back to the tonic from the counterpoise (C5?D5). Kickback simply has to occur if a four- or eight-bar melody is to both start and end on the tonic. That’s because regular shuttling between two tonal poles over an even number of bars will automatically end on the second of the two poles unless the regularity of the established shuttle pattern is broken (see also Table 25, p. 339).

Ex. 240. The Drunken Sailor (Eng. trad.) with droned accompaniment: (1) parallel ‘organum’ fifths (no drone); (2) drone plus parallel fifths creating quartal chords; (3) counterpoise kickback with cadence direction.

Example 240-165 is the same as 240-2, except that the tonic drone notes are held throughout the eight bars of version 2 so that the c-g dyad in bars 3-4 and 7, added to the d-a drone, creates the quartal chord Dæ. It’s the same technique Joni Mitchell uses in the intro to This Flight Tonight (ex. 237, p. 332). The kickback point in version 2 is identical to that in 1 but it’s different in example 240-3, where it’s brought forward by one beat and syncopated. Its arrival on the target D5 is delayed by another beat and different notes are introduced to give a greater sense of cadential direction (f?e?d). Counterpoise kickback points are more complex in example 241.

The first four bars in all four eight-bar sections in example 241 (p. 339) start with regular shuttling each bar between tonic (†) and counterpoise (§). They also all start bar 5 on the tonic. As shown in Table 25, section ‘A’ delays kickback until bar 8, while section ‘C’ inserts an earlier flat seven in the second half of bar 7. Sections ‘B’ and ‘D’ start kickback in the middle of bar 5. These early kickbacks act as tonal syncopation and give the music extra impetus at the end of each eight-bar period. But the counterpoise and its kickback placement aren’t the only factors of tonal interest in this music and its drone-based accompaniment.

Ex. 241. Farewell To Erin (Irish trad., Bothy Band, 1976); † = tonic (usually A5), § = counterpoise (typically G5); esp. 02:08-03:17 (end).

Table 25. Kickback points (*) in examples 239-241. † = tonic; ● = counterpoise.

Tune (ex.) ñ | Bars ? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Shady Grove (239) † † † † † † *● † ● ?†

Drunken Sailor (240) † † ● ● † *● (†) ● ?†

Farewell To Erin (241) A † ● † ● † ● † *●?†

Farewell To Erin B & D † ● † ● † *● ● † ● ●?†

Farewell To Erin C (241) † ● † ● † ● † *● ●?†

As mentioned earlier, tuning is also an important issue, as the next few (partly autobiographical) paragraphs will hopefully demonstrate.

Open tuning and drones

With a euroclassical background and the church organ as my main instrument, I was ‘the typical middle-class keyboard player’ when I started making popular music in the 1960s. My first gigs were with a Scottish country dance band. My function in the band was, as I heard things (though it was never stipulated as a contractual obligation), to provide ‘oom-pa’ chords and to mark bass ‘lead-ins’ across bar lines. I also came to realise that it often sounded better if I held over a high tonic note as a top-down drone over changes to IV and to mixolydian $VII, although I had no explicit theoretical notion of what I was doing. Next I joined an R&B band. There I soon discovered that thirds in the low and mid registers sounded muddy and almost always wrong but I could not at the time have told you why. I was also slow to understand why guitarists in the band spent so much time ‘fiddling around’ with their amps and with their tuning because I had largely been led to believe that ‘the notes’, equal-tempered ones to boot, were the be-all and end-all of ‘the music’.

It was with that musical mindset that I found myself, in the 1970s, teaching aurally based keyboard accompaniment skills at a music teacher training college in Sweden. One of my students was Pelle Björnlert, a young fiddler from Östergötland, whose open tuning was a key aspect in the sound he wanted to make. ´Giss-diss-giss-diss’ (= G# D# G# D#), he would say with glee when we tried out droned fourth- and fifth-based accompaniment patterns at the keyboard (but not in G#). His glee stemmed from the fact that G#-D#-G#-D# was his preferred fiddle tuning because, he told me, it was clean, clear and bright. It was also in the 1970s that I met up several times with Ulf Gruvberg and Carin Kjellman, the two founding members of Folk och Rackare, Scandinavia’s best known ‘folk rock’ outfit at the time. They expressed a similar view about the uncluttered clarity of open tunings, drones, fifths and fourths. Example 242 provides a very brief glimpse of their tonal world.

Ex. 242. Vänner och fränder (Swedish trad., Folk och Rackare, 1978)

The drone in example 242 is set to A: a@ is sounded constantly and the fifth, e@, most of the time. The tune is hemitonic pentatonic (a c# d e f@, bars 1-6), repeated at the fifth (e g# a b c@, bars 7-8). In bars 1-6 the counterpoise is on the minor sixth (f@), emphasised by the Û-$â-Û motif for the recurrent hook phrase ‘Uti ros-en’. That Û-$â-Û idea is also prefigured on guitar in bar 2. The melody’s Î (c#) and the $â (f@) are both quite distant on the key clock from the droned tonic (a@) and the only quartal triads produced are some brief appearances of A4 and the longer duration of A2 in bars 7 and 8. The example illustrates how droned accompaniment, open tuning and untempered intonation can sharpen tonal focus, also in melodic modes containing non-quartal scale degrees like Î and $â. Drones, open tunings and untempered intonation are in other words essential factors enabling artists like Joni Mitchell and Folk och Rackare to switch between quartal and tertial harmonies ‘without apology or embarrassment’.

Open tunings and fourths/fifths, are also essential to the tonal world of artists like Malicorne (e.g. Le branle des chevaux, 1979), Värtinna (e.g. Oi Da, 1991), Hedningarna (e.g. Kruspolska, 1992), and, in the anglophone sphere, Richard Thompson (see below), as well as folk rock bands like Steeleye Span. Among tracks representative of this UK tonal idiom are The Murder of Maria Marten (Albion Country Band, 1971) and, by Steeleye Span, The Lowlands Of Holland (ex. 84, p. 157) and The Blackleg Miner (both 1970) plus Cold, Haily, Windy Night; The Female Drummer (ex. 85, p. 157); and The Lark In The Morning (ex. 16, p. 104).

In most of the tracks just mentioned, as well as in the work of Richard Thompson, drone notes and open tunings can, in combination with the melody line produce both tertial and quartal chords. For example, in Sam Jones (ex. 243), Thompson uses an open B tuning (B F# B F# B F#) over which he sings in ré-pentatonic B (b c# e f# a). He anticipates the melodic line with an e-c# figure on guitar, thus producing the quartal chord BÖ (b-c#-e-f#). When, in bar 3, he sings the same notes as before but raises the accompaniment in parallel fifths to $III (D), a standard tertial chord is produced (D) and the same basic melody is heard in A doh-pentatonic.

Ex. 243. Richard Thompson: Sam Jones (1996); opening bars (simplified)

Ex. 244. Richard Thompson: Yankee Go Home (1988); final verse (simplified)

At first glance, example 244 looks like a standard eight-bar progression —I |V|I|V|IV|V|I|I— with standard tertial triads —G|D|G|D|C|D|G|G. The bass certainly follows that familiar pattern but the guitar parts do so only partly because, tuned to open fifths in G, g and d (without b@) are sounded throughout the example. That produces G5 instead of G, D4 (or G2) instead of D and C2 (or G4) instead of C. It illustrates a common way in which standard I-IV-V progressions can be dealt with in droned harmony. It’s a process in which: [1] I is an open-fifth dyad on the tonic (e.g. G5); [2] IV is the tonic quartal triad in central position, e.g. d-g-c (DÁ) inverted to g-c-d (G4); [3] V is the tonic quartal triad stack in flatward position, e.g. a-d-g (AÁ) inverted to g-a-d (G2). In short, IV-I-V with I5 as drone constitutes a tonical neighbourhood of the type described on pages 295-302. Of course, with Î in the melody of example 244, the G5 and C2 come across as common triads on G (g-b-d) and C (c-e-g) respectively, but there’s no f# in the tune for the D chords until ‘Rome’ in bar 6. That single f# is heard against the g drone and immediately followed by a g in the melody (on ‘Yankee’) that turns at least half of that D chord into D4.

Yankee Go Home (ex. 244) doesn’t illustrate quartal harmony according to the account given earlier in this chapter (pp. 295-302) but it does serve as an example of how droned accompaniment can give rise to quartal chords, even in an apparently ‘normal’, major-key, tonic-dominant context. That said, quartal harmony is more likely to arise from droned accompaniment to modes containing $ê, as we shall see in the next and final section of this chapter.

‘The Tailor and the Mouse’

This section is mainly practical. Its aim is to suggest how flat-seventh traditional tunes from the British Isles can be given a droned accompaniment and to discuss ways in which the chords used can be designated. It concentrates on the single melody shown as example 245, a song my mother used to sing when I was a small child. It’s in the common, ‘sixthless’ la-hexatonic mode (Â Ê $Î Ô Û $ê = g a b$ c d f@ in G).

Ex. 245. The Tailor and the Mouse (Eng. trad. after Mrs. O.M. Tagg, c. 1948)

This tune can be accompanied using either tertial harmony or drones and parallel fifths. Starting with tertial harmony and sticking to triads whose constituent notes are in the melody’s hexatonic pitch pool (g a b$ c d f), it’s clear that the tune in bars 1 and 5 (with upbeats) traces a G minor triad (d b$ g: Gm/i), a chord that would theoretically fit all sixteen bars except 2, 6, 11 and 12. However, a D minor triad (d-f-a: DmzÙ or v) would be better for bars 3, 7 and 15 because they only contain cadential ds and neither the g nor b$ of Gm. Bars 2 and 6 emphasise f and contain a d, two of the three notes in a triad of D minor (d-f-a: v) or B$ major (b$-d-f: $III). Bars 11 and 12, on the other hand, contain a and c, two notes in an F major triad ($VII). One simple but viable solution for the tertial harmonisation of the sixteen bars of example 245 is therefore [ Gm |Dm |Dm |Gm ] Gm |Gm |F |F |Gm |B$ |Dm |Gm|. That amounts to eight bars of G minor and eight bars of ‘tonal elsewhere’.

When using drones and parallel fifths or fourths to harmonise a tune like The Tailor and the Mouse, it can be useful to identify its ‘tonal elsewhere’ —its counterpoise— as a single note other than the tonic. Just as the tonic, with its real or potential drone(s) on scale degrees 1 (g) and 5 (d) —G5— acts as tonal reference point for the song as a whole, the melody also has its ‘contrary’ pitch pole, its somewhere other than the tonic, its counterpoise. In the case of example 245, that other pole is the tonal common denominator of all notes in the tune other than g or d (and b$), i.e. the f in bars 1, 5 and 14, and the a@ and c@ in bar 11. Now, our simple tertial chords for those bars were Dm, F and B$, common triads whose constituent notes are d f a (Dm), f-a-c (F) and b$ d f (B$). Only one note occurs in all three of those tertial ‘elsewhere’ triads: f, the subtonic ($ê). It’s the central note for all points other than that of the tonic drone (G5) and the tonic ‘common triad’ (Gm). In short, g is tonic pole (I5) in The Tailor and the Mouse and f ($VII5) its counterpoise, just like D5 and C5 in The Drunken Sailor (ex. 240, p. 338).

Constructing a temporary pseudo-drone on the counterpoise is a common harmonisation device for traditional melodies like example 245. If the tune had been in G ionian, its counterpoise would most likely have been on the fifth (d), in which case the tonic’s G5 would have alternated with D5 (V5 = d + a). If it had been in G mixolydian, the counterpoise fifths to G5 (I5) would have been either C5 (IV5 = c-g) or F5 ($VII5 = f-c). In The Tailor and the Mouse the counterpoise fifths work best as F5 ($VII = f-c). As shown in the second line of example 247, F5 can cover all the tune’s ‘tonal elsewheres’ (bars 2-3, 6-7, 11-12, 14-15). However, in order to keep a droned effect throughout the piece, that rudimentary organum shuttling in parallel fifths between G5 and F5 would miss the richness of the sonority arising from the simultaneous sounding of the tonic drone and the quintal dyad on the counterpoise. And that, finally, is where quartal harmony comes in because if the tonic drone is combined with the counterpoise’s pseudo-drone, the resultant chord contains, as shown in the ‘Combined fifths’ line of example 247 (p. 347), scale degrees 1, 4, 5 and $7 (g-c-d-f), i.e. Gæ (‘G seven-four’).

The arrangement shown as example 246 (p. 346) could do with some ongoing movement, maybe a guitar with dadgad tuning and a ‘top-down’ tonic drone, picking arpeggios à la example 246. It would definitely also improve if given a suitable bass line, as suggested in example 248 (p. 348).

Ex. 247. The Tailor and the Mouse with tonic drone and alternating tonic- counterpoise fifths, both separate (G5\F5) and combined (G5\Gæ).

The bass line in example 248 (p. 348) is not untypical for droned arrangement of a simple tune like The Tailor and the Mouse. After a static tonic drone pedal (bars 1-8) it launches into oom-pa fifth and octave figures (bars 9-12), uses the tune’s hexatonic vocabulary in scalar movement (bars 11-16), and increases both harmonic and rhythmic speed to push things forward into the cadence (bars 14-16). With the addition of this bass line, new chords appear in bars 11-16. Numbered in example 248 (p. 348), they are: [1] Gæza (‘G seven-four over a’); [2] G5zb$ (G five over b$’); [3] Gæzd (‘G seven-four over d’). Is that really how those chords should be designated?

Chord 1 in example 248—a-f-c-d-g and labelled Gæza (‘G seven-four, a bass)— can be designated in at least three other ways: [1] as FözÌ (‘F nine-six, third in the bass’); [2] as F6*9za (‘F six add nine, a bass); [3] as AÁ5 (‘stacked quartal pentad, a bass’). Personally I prefer ‘Gæza’ because the whole arrangement is based on the shuttle G5\Gæ and chord 1 is in that sense no exception. Or perhaps you prefer the quartal pentad label ‘AÁ5’ because that’s also in keeping with the piece’s other quartal features. Or maybe you think of the chord in terms of F major in first inversion — FözÌ or F6*9za? At least those labels underline tonal movement in the bass line towards the subsequent b$ in bar 13.

Ex. 248. The Tailor and the Mouse with shuttled drone and bass line

Chord 2 —b$-d-g— is labelled ‘G5zb$’ but you might hear it primarily as a standard G minor triad in first inversion (GmzÌ). Personally, I prefer ‘G5zb$’ to ‘GmzÌ’ for the same reason that I prefer ‘Gæza’ to ‘FözÌ’: I see no reason to alter the basic G5\Gæ rationale of the piece just because the bass line diverges from the notes in those two drone chords.

Chord 3 —d-f-c-d-f (Gæzd), bar 16— can, thanks to the V-I cadence in which it appears, also be heard as Dm11. I’ve chosen Gæzd because, as with chords 1 and 2, there’s little point in discarding the basic G5\Gæ mechanics of the piece as a whole.

To be quite frank, I don’t think there are definite rights and wrongs when it comes to labelling chords like 1, 2 and 3 in example 248. There’s just no current consensus about such issues. In fact, how you name the chords will ultimately depend how you hear them and on the chord-descriptive vocabulary available to you. Available chord-descriptive vocabulary is an important issue because you clearly can’t name a chord ‘as you hear it’ if you don’t have the requisite vocabulary to do so, or if you rely entirely on pre-existing terminology that pays no attention to the relevant tonal idiom, nor to how it works or is heard. ‘Sus 4’ is the most obvious example of the problem because it’s often used to denote a quartal chord, not as it works or ‘as you hear it’ in a quartal context, but in terms of harmonic implications that just aren’t there, that are obviously unintended, and, most importantly, that no-one hears. The tonally alien implications of the terms you use in this way may even end up influencing how you hear the music —a supposedly missing third in ‘G omit 3’ when you meant G5, a supposedly suspended fourth in ‘G sus 4’ when you mean G4 etc. Which is where this chapter started and the main issue necessitating all the words, diagrams and music examples you’ve had to plough through since then. They were all intended as guidelines for understanding —and hearing— quartal harmony, not according to conventional wisdom but on its own terms.

Summary in 18 points

[1] Unlike its tertial cousin based on the stacking of thirds, quartal harmony is based on stacked perfect fourths or on their octave complement, fifths.

[2] The basic quartal chords are the open-fifth dyad (e.g. g-d) and the quartal triad stack (e.g. d-g-c) which can be inverted as g-c-d, c-d-g, or c-g-d.

[3] Unlike tertial common triads, a quartal triad stack and its inversions share no definite root note. For example, d-g-c (DÁ) inverted as g-c-d produces G4, c-d-g produces C2, and c-g-d produces the quintal stack CÀ.

[4] Since notes in quartal triads are related to each other by fourths or fifths, they are only one key-clock step away from each other, whereas tertial harmony’s thirds are three or four steps removed from the triad’s other two notes.

[5] Quartal triads contain a central note with a second note located one step flatward round the key clock and a third note one step sharpward, for example the g in d-g-c (GÃ) in which c is one step flatward from g and d one step sharpward. Such triads constitute a tonical neighbourhood spanning three positions on the key clock.

[6] Due to key-clock proximity and the ease with which tonal centre can shift between the three notes of a quartal triad, the tonical neighbourhoods of quartal harmony are more fluid and wider than the discretely focussed ‘keys’ of tertial harmony.

[7] To effectuate a clear change of quartal ‘key’ you have to shift tonical neighbourhood by at least three steps on the key clock, i.e. a minor third up or down. Changing to a counterpoise pole two steps away (e.g. from I5 to $VII5) creates enough tonal difference to allow for harmonic movement but it does not ‘change key’.

[8] ‘Major’, ‘minor’, ‘dominant’ and ‘subdominant’ are to all intents and purposes irrelevant concepts in quartal harmony. ‘Suspended’ fourths and ninths are totally erroneous notions in a quartal context, as are ‘omitted’ thirds.

[9] Quartal pentads contain the notes of anhemitonic pentatonic scales, typically those of the ré, sol and la modes. Quartal chords are particularly well-suited to accompanying melody that includes Ô, Û and $ê.

[10] The greater the number of notes in a quartal chord, the more likely it is to contain thirds and to sound tertial. The ‘eleven chord’ is one such sonority. It is often used as substitute for a tertial dominant when the melodic line contains no ^ê.

[11] During the heyday of euroclassical tertiality, thirdless chords, particularly open fifths, were associated with olden times and rural backwardness. Through composers like Stravinsky, Bartók and Copland, quartal harmony acquired associations of modernity that were later used extensively in music for film, TV and advertising.

[12] Quartal harmony entered the jazz world around 1960 but many musicians (not all!) schooled in the II-V-I directionality of jazz standards and bebop often confuse the approximate voicing of quartal triad stacks with quartal harmony. Those voicings tend to include an augmented as well as a perfect fourth, a combination that produces chords containing double leading notes well suited to chromatic circle-of-fifths runs à la bebop, progressions that are quite alien to quartal harmony.

[13] Quartal harmony has yet to fully enter the sphere of mainstream pop but it can be found in the work of prog rock artists like King Crimson. Quartal sonorities occasionally turn up in the work of bands like Police and Oasis.

[14] Aside from its use in the audiovisual media to connote a sort of positive modernity (see §11), quartal harmony is probably most commonly heard in what, for want of a better label, is often called folk rock (e.g. Steeleye Span).

[15] In folk rock and related styles, the factors most likely to produce quartal harmony are drones and open tunings based on  and Û, more often than not doubled in unison or at the octave. Quartal harmony is typically produced when Ê, Ô or $ê sounds simultaneously with the drone notes on  and Û (e.g. Joni Mitchell).

[16] Quartal harmony in folk rock and related styles can be more or less ongoing. With drones and open tuning the music can move between a relatively tertial and a relatively quartal sphere without compromising the tonal integrity of the music (e.g. Richard Thompson).

[17] There is no consensus about how to designate the elements of quartal harmony. The ideas set out in this chapter are no more than carefully reasoned suggestions as to how some sort of viable consensus might eventually be reached.

[18] Musical structures cannot be named if they have no names and they cannot be accurately named if existing concepts shoot wide of the mark. In this chapter I’ve tried to address that issue with reference to quartal harmony.


Fig. 64. Nadine’s ‘B$’

Fig. 65. Oom-pa[pa]

FFBk11OneChord.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30

11. One-chord changes

— When is a chord not a chord?

— When it’s two or three.

Harmonic impoverishment?

‘One chord as more than one chord’ is an intentionally contradictory expression. It’s supposed to draw attention to the flawed argumentation often used by the self-styled guardians of ’good music’ when they try to justify their ‘superior’ tastes by branding ‘inferior’ music as harmonically impoverished. One argument I’ve heard is that the twelve-bar blues is uninteresting because it only contains three chords (I |I|I|I|IV|IV|I|I|V|IV|I|I). Jazz adepts will understandably retort that a bebop blues performance includes many different chords of considerable complexity. Indeed, I remember having great difficulty learning the twelve-bar harmonic sequence shown in Table 26. The chord symbols in brackets (‘A$=I’ etc.) present the three chords in a simple I-IV-V variant of the twelve-bar blues matrix. They’re included in the table to orientate readers in the complexities of bebop chord alteration shown below them (A$13, DP9L5, etc.).

Table 26. Engdahl’s bebop chords for a blues in A$

bar 1 (A$=I)

h. A$13 q DP9L5 bar 2 (D$=IV)

h. D$9 l G7a$ bar 3 (A$=I)

h. A$13 lA13 bar 4 (A$=I)

h. A$13 lDP9L5

bar 5 (D$=IV)

h D$9 h G$13 [6] l B@13 l EP9

l B$Y9P5 l E$P9 bar 7 (A$=I)

h A$13 h G13+9 bar 8 (A$=I)

h G$13 h FP9

bar 9 (E$=V)

B$Y9P5 or EP9 bar 10 (D$=IV)

s E$P9P5 or A13 bar 11 (A$=I)

h A$13 h B@13 bar 12 (A$=I)

h E9 h E$13P5

Whatever respect I may have for the complexity of such harmonies, I cannot logically argue (like some jazzos I’ve known) that music normally devoid of thirteenth- and altered ninth-chords (chanson, pop songs, rock tracks, traditional ballads, etc.), is intrinsically less interesting than bebop. Nor should it imply, as we shall see, that songs containing ’only three chords’, like Chuck Berry’s Nadine (1964), are tonally less interesting than the first movement of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, another entertaining piece of music, but from 1787 rather than 1964.

There are at least three problems with the idea of popular music as harmonically impoverished. The first of these relates to the privileged status of harmony in seats of conventional musical learning and to the notion that texture, timbre, rhythmic articulation and other non-notatable parameters of musical expression are somehow of secondary importance. It’s as if the moving coil microphone, amplification, multi-channel recording, sound treatment, sequencing, digital sampling and the change of musical commodity from notation through phonogram to audio and video files had never taken place, nor in any way contributed to any change in the way music’s expressive potential is realised. While harmony still has an obvious part to play in today’s music making, it can, thanks to the changes just listed, no longer be treated as intrinsically more important than other parameters of expression. Multi-channel input that is electrically amplified and carefully mixed allows for the expression of intimate vocal nuance, as well as for the presentation of complex acoustic space through use of panning, reverb, delay, chorus and so on. Moreover, popular musicians devote much time and attention to perfecting particular sounds with their instruments and equipment, while mashers and remixers seem to favour parameters of synchronicity, metricity and timbral interest to create their sample-based compositions. To turn the tables, no-one in their right mind would dismiss Beethoven quartets (for example Op. 131 in C# minor) on grounds of monometricity (no cross-rhythms), monotimbrality (just a string quartet) or monospatiality (no variation of acoustic ambiance) because it’s obvious that the main dynamic of those quartets comes from thematic and harmonic development over time. By the same token it’s silly to dismiss Chuck Berry’s Nadine (1964; ex. 251, p. 358) because it spends 70% of its time on one chord, or Bo Diddley’s Bo Diddley (1958) because it’s all on one chord.

The second reason for refuting high-art arguments of harmonic complexity versus impoverishment is that while many types of popular music are frowned on for containing too few chords that are too simple, other music that contains no chords at all, such as rāga music from India, is rarely the target of the same sort of disdain. Similarly, the four-and-a-half-minute-long E$ major chord at the start of the overture to Wagner’s Rheingold (1869) is apparently qualifiable as ‘miraculous’, while pop music’s most common chord sequences are more likely to be written off as ‘boring’, ‘dumb’ or ‘trite’. One set of values apparently applies to classical musics of the world and another to the everyday musical fare of the popular majority in the urban West.

The third reason —and the main topic of the next few chapters— is that harmony in many types of popular music just doesn’t function in the same way as jazz or euroclassical harmony and that it’s not as crude or simple as uninformed jazzos and classical buffs still sometimes seem to believe.

Extensional and intensional

The very notion of chord change has an obvious temporal dimension. I don’t mean the short hiatus that sometimes arises when performing a technically difficult chord change. I mean the fact that chord changes entail by definition movement from one tonal configuration to another and that no movement of any type can take place without time passing. For example, the E\A shuttle with the famous sus4 guitar riff over A in Satisfaction (Rolling Stones, 1965; q=136) occupies 3.6 seconds before it is repeated.

Ex. 249. Satisfaction guitar riff shuttle occupying 3.6 seconds

A duration of 3.6 seconds falls squarely within the limits of the extended present. Now, although the present has no duration in Newtonian physics, the immediate past has an objective existence inside the human brain which processes short-term and long-term types of memory quite differently. The extended present lasts for about as long as breathing in and out, or as a few heartbeats, or as taking two or three steps, or as enunciating a phrase or short sentence, i.e. a duration equivalent to that of a musical phrase or a short pattern of dance movements. Such immediate, present-time activities usually last, depending on tempo and degree of exertion, for between around one and eight seconds.

The extended present in music relates closely to the notion of intensional aesthetics put forward by Chester (1970) as an opposite pole to extensional aspects of musical interest. His distinction is between relatively long-term narrative in music (extensional —diataxis) and the relatively short-term or immediate presentation of musical detail (intensional —syncrisis). According to this conceptual polarity, a sonata form movement is more likely to derive its main dynamic from the presentation of ideas over a duration of several minutes, while a pop song or film music cue is more likely to do so in batches of ‘now sound’, inside the extended present, like the 3.6-second Satisfaction riff (example 249). None of this means that sonata form movements never exhibit timbral or metric interest or that pop recordings never express a sense of narrative. It’s simply a question of degree and of general tendency. It’s also a question of different types of harmonic function, of chords and of chord changes, not just as harmonic ‘travelling’ —‘somewhere worth going’— but also as harmonic being —‘somewhere worth staying’. Clearly, the experience of ‘being in one place’ does not necessarily mean that nothing happens there or that the experience is dull. That’s why it’s essential to examine the functions and tonal reality of what jazzos and euroclassical buffs tend to think of as simple, single chords in many types of popular song. Example 250 (which you may remember from Chapter 10) illustrates this point.

Ex. 250. Dancing In The Street (Martha & Vandellas, 1964); transp. from F.

According to the official sheet music of this song, a single chord —G7— covers the two bars just cited.6 In reality, no G7 is played or heard at this point in the recording because the musicians start on G11 and shuttle from there to G (without a seventh) and back. Without the eleven chord it just doesn’t sound like Dancing In The Street. Example 250 is the first of eighteen ‘multi-chord’ variants of the ‘single chord’ G (or G7) cited in this chapter (ex. 250, 252-269).

The wonders of one chord

Bo Diddley (Diddley, 1958) is a well-known R&B track for at least two reasons: [1] it features Diddley’s trademark guitar-strum patterns Kl jl il l, Kl_jil il l, etc., all partially swung (Kl = l J z); [2] it contains only one chord. Lively strum patterns certainly offset the tune’s lack of harmonic variation, as do changes of fretboard position and the guitar tremolo effect’s regular quavers; but the performance also derives interest from passages where Diddley embellishes the permanent tonic F (I) by alternating it with E$ ($VII). In other words, not even this infamous single-chord piece consists of just one chord. It includes variation not only in timbral, rhythmic and registral terms but also tonally. Now, shuttling in parallel motion between barré chords on I and $VII is neither the only nor the most common way of creating tonal interest on one chord. Other means are used, for example, for the twelve consecutive bars of B$ in Chuck Berry’s Nadine.

Ex. 251. Chuck Berry: Nadine (1964): generic tonal groove for B$ tonic (6.7")

The B$ chord in example 251 is clearly no simple tonic common triad for at least four reasons.

[1] The strong downbeats at the start of odd-numbered bars contain a flat seventh (a$) and no third (d@). Strictly speaking that’s B$7T3, not B$.

[2] The major third (d@) is either absent on the weaker downbeats at the start of even-numbered bars (the sax’s d at the end of bar 1 does not carry over into bar 2) or else it is smudged (d$ into d@).

[3] The same d@s only appear as unaccented notes in the vocal line.

[4] E$ triads occur on the fourth beat of each bar over the V-I anacrusis (f-a$-a@) in the bass that leads back into the each bar’s B$ like a very brief dominant eleventh chord (F11?B$). Jobbing musicians wouldn’t dream of referring to the harmony of example 251 in terms of the reduction shown as Figure 64. It’s all just part of ‘B$’ in Nadine.

The function of extended one-chord harmony in a song like Nadine is at the same time stylistic and kinetic. Cover band musicians have to learn aurally how to configure, both rhythmically and tonally, the tune’s B$ so it sounds like classic rock and roll rather than like, say, trad jazz, disco, bossa nova or a polka. That stylistic experience involves knowing which notes to include, omit, smudge, slide, embellish or accentuate, which tonal shuttle poles to use in inner parts and bass lines, and how to rhythmically articulate those notes in terms of anticipation, on-beat placement, phrasing and so on.

Demonstrating the full complexity of harmonic groove would demand the detailed transcription of drumkit and other accompanimental patterns, including copious articulation marks, as well as descriptions of timbre and sound treatment. I have chosen not to undertake such tasks, not so much because that work would have been excessively time-consuming as because it would have blurred the focus of this book on the tonal elements of music. That’s also why musical examples in this section are mainly presented as piano reductions allowing readers with moderate keyboard skills to concretise the harmonic and basic rhythmic issues under discussion. It’s also why we’ll now concentrate on the harmonic variation of literally one single chord: G.

G? Which G?

The Nadine groove’s 6.67 seconds (2 × 3:33, ex. 251, p. 358) demonstrate how one chord of pop music can be tonally expanded in four different ways, one of which was the use of the chord’s fifth degree as alternate bass note on beat 3 of each 4/4 bar. This kind of bass shuttle is common in many types of popular song and, in its simplest form, presents the second inversion of the same chord in ‘oom-pa’ and ‘oom-pa-pa’ accompaniment figures for dances like the polka or waltz (GzÙ in Figure 65). In some styles arpeggiated figures are used in conjunction with the shuttling bass fifth, for example in Country ballads (ex. 252) and valses chantées (ex. 253).

Ex. 252. Arpeggiated Country ballad accompaniment figure in G with shuttling fifth (d): e.g. chorus of Detroit City (Bobby Bare, 1963)

The Country accompaniment figure’s G chord in example 252 consists of a simple dotted arpeggiation with a bass fifth shuttle on beat 3 and an anacrustic f# leading the bass line back to g. The only note otherwise extraneous to the common triad of G major is the slightly accentuated a@ which, in the style of Country pianist Floyd Cramer (1960, 1961), imitates a typical Country guitarist’s Ê-Î hammer-on embellishment of the chord. It would be stylistically out of place in jazz standards, waltzes, folk rock, chansons, reggae and most other types of music, including valse chantée (ex. 253).

The sheet music source for the refrain of L’hirondelle du Faubourg contains just the vocal line and the chordal shorthand ‘SOL’ (=G) and ‘RÉ7’ (=D7). The arpeggiated accompaniment in example 253 derives from French accordion patterns featuring the familiar î-ê-â-ê ‘carrousel’ motif (the loop of the right hand’s top notes: g-f#-e-f#). Although this tonal expansion of bar 1’s G common triad produces three chords (G, G^ and G6), the single chord designation G (sol) covers all of them on paper.

Ex. 253. F. L. Bénech: L’hirondelle du faubourg (1912) with accordéon musette arpeggiation in G and bass-line shuttling to the fifth (d)

No less than with Nadine and the Country example (pp. 358, 360), musicians accompanying a valse chantée need to know what notes to add, change or omit, what arpeggiation figure to provide, and what type of phrasing, ornamentation and articulation to apply, etc. They also need to know that the bass note of the first dominant chord reached (the D7 or RÉ7 at bar 7 in example 253) will most liikely be that chord’s fifth (the a@ in D7) so that the see-saw profile of the bass line can remain in tact and so that the return to I (G) is marked by a V?I change (d?g and D?G, ex. 254, b. 8-9) rather than just a-g (D7zÙ-G). Besides, if the ‘carrousel’ top-note loop continues into the dominant chord, which it often does in this kind of valse musette accompaniment, suspended fourths will occur over the dominant chord’s root. That’s another reason why the D7 (V) in bar 5) has to start with the shuttling fifth (a@) in the bass line (bar 5 in example 254).

Ex. 254. Musette waltz one-chord loops in G without arpeggiation

In most types of popular song and dance music, the commonest shuttle pole in bass lines is the fifth (d in G). In many styles a plagal shuttle —single- or multi-voice— can be added at the fourth (c in G). Single-voice plagal shuttles are simple embellishments of a common triad’s third: they introduce a fourth or second, or both, into the chordal configuration, as shown in example 255.

Ex. 255. Single-voice plagal embellishment of major third: Needles and Pins (Searchers, 1964); transposed from A.

This sort of single-voice plagal ornamentation is popular with guitarists because it involves simple hammer-ons and pull-offs that produce a momentary ‘sus4’ or ‘sus2’ effect (e.g. c as Ô and a@ as Ê circling around b as Î in G). It’s an instantly recognisable sort of sound which I personally associate with English-language protest song from the 1960s, probably thanks to its conspicuous presence in Eve Of Destruction (McGuire, 1965).

Multi-voice plagal shuttles are almost mandatory in soul, gospel and blues-based rock. Examples 256-258 illustrate such plagal embellishment of the same tonic G chord without any bass shuttle at the fifth. The generic rock pattern of example 256 includes smudged blues thirds (b$-b@) but none of the flat sevenths shown in examples 257 (fast gospel) or 258 (slow blues).

Ex. 256. Plagal rock shuttle (generic pattern: G as G-C-G)

Ex. 257. Can I Get A Witness (Marvin Gaye, 1963; transposed):

plagal extension of G to C and G7 no 5

Ex. 258. Plagal extension of G to C and G7 no 5; generic slow blues in G: based on Going Down Slow (Alan Price, 1966)

Ex. 259. Plagal alternation of G and C over bass fifth shuttles with anticipated chord changes. Fits slowish pop ballads like Ode To Billie Joe (Bobbie Gentry, 1967)

One of the most salient tonal features in example 259 is the ‘eleven chord effect’ created by combining a plagal shuttle chord in the upper accompanying parts with the bass line’s shuttle fifth. The C major triad over a d bass in the middle of bars 1-4 and 7 creates a D11 chord, while the F major triad over a g bass in bars 5-6 produces a G11 effect. Note also how the right hand’s rhythmic pattern ;l l z l z;l necessitates anticipation by one quaver of the change from G\C to C\F (bars 4-5) and back again (bars 6-7).

The ‘eleven effect’ is even clearer in examples 260-261 because the right hand’s multi-voiced plagal pole, C (g-c-e), is struck simultaneously with the bass line’s d to create a momentary D11 chord.

Ex. 260. Harmonic groove from Watermelon Man (Hancock, 1962; transposed from F): ‘11-chord’ effect of plagal alternation with shuttle fifth in bass

Ex. 261. G as 7th chord, plagal expansion (C) and D11 effect; fits Mercy Mercy

(Don Covay, 1966)

In Living For The City, Stevie Wonder (ex. 262) uses the same basic plagal shuttle pole and rhythmic pattern as Herbie Hancock (ex. 260) but expands the tonal configuration of G to also include a B$ triad, creating a major-minor shuttle consistent with the blues-related hardships recounted in the song’s lyrics.

Ex. 262. Expansion of I to I IV $III IV (G C B$ C) in verses of Living For The City (Wonder 1973) with resultant G7, CzÙ, B$zg=Gm7 and D11.

A similar expansion of the simple tonic chord to include both $III and IV, though this time without the eleven-chord effect, is at the basis of the well-known Green Onions riff (ex. 263). It’s applied to all three chords in the twelve-bar blues format the tune: I/G = G B$ C, IV/C=C E$ F and V/D=D F@ G.

Ex. 263. Expansion of I to I $III IV (G B$ C) in Green Onions (Booker T and the MGs 1962, transposed from F)

The consecutive juxtaposition of minor and major (ex. 262 - 263) can also be made simultaneous, as with the bebop +9 chords of Table 26 ( p. 353) or in the characteristic sound of Hendrix numbers like Purple Haze (1967b) and Foxy Lady (ex. 264).

Ex. 264. I expanded to I+9 with heavy anacrusis in Foxy Lady (Hendrix 1967c,

transposed from F#)

The chordal effects of blue notes in contrapuntal one-chord configurations like example 265 can also be quite striking, as can the sonorities created by delayed bass root notes sounding with incomplete seventh chords (example 266).

Ex. 265. (right) Plagal and bluenote ($Î, $Û, $ê) contrapuntal expansion of G, producing momentary dissonances; fits Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard 1958)

Ex. 266. (below) Incomplete G7 chord with delayed bass root in harmonic groove at start of Lively Up Yourself (Marley 1975)

Finally, while the G major of example 267 is unambiguous, the bass line’s pentatonically delayed root notes, the G 9 effect of the trumpets’ f@ and a, the guitar’s three b@s contradicted by a b$ in the strings and flute part, the insistence on f@ in the trombone part, not to mention the fact that it is easy to hear the downbeat of each bar a quaver later than it actually occurs, make for yet another tonally distinct configuration of the ‘same’ chord: ‘G’.

Ex. 267. G major section in the middle of Shaft (Isaac Hayes 1971)

The fifteen examples (252-267) just presented of the single chord G vary considerably, not just in terms of voicing, register, instrumentation, tempo, timbre, phrasing and rhythmic configuration but also, as the piano reductions were intended to show, tonally. It should be clear from all these variants of ‘G’ that ‘chord’ means at least two chords in the sense of the word defined on page 219, whether that ‘one chord’ be in a valse chantée or a soul number. Readers still unconvinced by this exposé are urged to peruse examples 268 and 269 (p. 368) which show two standard variants of what would most likely appear on a lead sheet as just ‘G’.

Ex. 268. Single tonic chord expanded to standard turnaround sequences in bars 11 and 12 of a slow twelve-bar blues in G

If the chords of a standard simple twelve-bar blues in G are supposed to run |G|G|G|G|C|C|G|G|D|C|G|G|, why, you may well ask, are there six different chords in the cycle’s last two bars of examples 268 and 269? It’s partly because the harmonic notion of a twelve-bar blues is, like the concept of a ‘single chord’, no more than an abstraction of real musical practices.

Ex. 269. Tonic chord extended to standard ending of blues in G (bars 11-12)

Just as musette accordionists and rock guitarists learn by ear what to omit, include and add, all in accordance with the relevant style, to the stated chord indication, blues pianists know that staying on the tonic for the last two bars of a chorus will halt harmonic movement and give no forward drive into the first chord of the next chorus or create no sense of tonal finality (ex. 269). Blues pianists compensate for such harmonic stasis by increasing harmonic rhythm to lead appropriately into a reprise of the matrix (ex. 268) of to finish the piece (ex. 269). As stated earlier, one of the main reasons for tonally expanding single chords well beyond the notes they theoretically contain is to create tonal movement, usually by shuttles in the bass line and inner chordal parts. That sort of movement livens up the single chord, producing appropriate harmonic activity as an intrinsic part of the relevant groove. It is in that sense of harmonic groove that single chords can, as suggested earlier, turn into ‘somewhere worth staying’.

The next chapter deals with the harmonic groove of two chords as ‘a place to be’…

Summary in 5 points

[1] The dynamics of harmony in popular music tend to rely less on long-term narrative (diataxis) and much more on tonal variation presented in bouts of the extended present (syncrisis).

[2] The indication of a single chord on paper, or in theory, is in practice rarely performed as just one single chord by competent musicians accompanying a popular tune in such styles as valse musette, rock, pop, gospel, soul, R&B, funk, etc. (see examples 250-267).

[3] Accompanying musicians have to learn how to configure a single chord in a range of style-appropriate ways (§2). Such configuration involves the inclusion of other chords that provide the theoretical ‘one single chord’ with a sense of ongoing cyclical tonal movement. Accompanimental configurations of this type constitute the tonal aspect of groove.

[4] A single chord indication can in aural reality be interpreted as a sequence of up to five different chords, if the sequence were transcribed and set in front of euroclassical harmony students, as in examples 268 and 269.

[5] Equating the indication of a single chord in the sheet music to a popular song with harmonic impoverishment is a sign of musical naïvety or ignorance.


FFBk12Shuttles.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30

12. Chord shuttles

As we saw in the previous chapter, harmonic shuttles are an effective way of putting life into single-chord passages of music and of establishing a groove and sense of style. However, one of the shuttles cited —Bob Marley’s Lively Up Yourself (p. 366)— is different. It’s not a plagal expansion of an ongoing D tonic but a two-chord alternation between D and G, lasting six seconds, that runs throughout the whole performance. The duration of a two-chord shuttle unit, from one chord to the other and back, is, like that of a single-chord shuttle, always containable within the extended present. The fact that, for example, Chuck Berry’s two-chord song Memphis Tennessee (1960), spends twelve seconds on one chord and twelve more on the other —that’s 24 seconds in all (16 bars of 4/4 at l=160)— means that each harmonic to and fro in the song is about four times too long to qualify as a shuttle.

The difference between one-chord and two-chord shuttles is not determined by duration but by whether or not both chords in the shuttle are complete in themselves. The most reliable signs of a complete two-chord shuttle are: [1] each chord can be heard in root position for part of its duration; [2] a similar amount of time is spent on each chord as long as the shuttle is in operation; [3] it occurs as to-and-fro movement at least twice in immediate succession and does not exceed the limits of the extended present. One consequence of these three traits is that, like two equally heavy children each at opposite ends of a seesaw, there need be no specific tonal hierarchy between the two chords of a shuttle. As we shall see later, while many of the chordal alternations under review can be heard in relation to a tonic (I), others cannot. But first I’d better clarify the sort of repertoire I draw on in what follows and explain how the material is presented and categorised.

About the material

Tables 27-31 (pp. 374-389) show the most common types of chord shuttle used mainly in widely disseminated recordings of English-language popular song released between 1955 and 2005. Here I have to confess that my repertoire selection criteria have not been particularly rigorous because, as the preponderance of recordings from my band-playing years in the 1960s and 1970s suggests, about half of the pieces listed in the tables are simply tunes I have either actually played or that I remember well from younger days. To counteract that personal bias I expanded the selection by listening to most UK number-one hits, especially those I did not know, released between 1960 and 2007 and by noting details of the chord shuttles I heard. Therefore, although the tunes listed in the tables in no way constitute an exhaustive inventory of anglophone hits containing chord shuttles during that period, they should not be dismissed as an entirely misleading sample of that repertoire.

Tables 27-31 present shuttle types in ascending order of the scale degree of the root of the second chord in relation to the first, i.e. I\II, I\IV, I\V, I\VI, I\VII (I\III is absent for reasons explained later). Each table divides the relevant scale-degree-based category into subgroups. For instance, the main category, ‘Quintal shuttles (I\V)’ (p. 383), contains (using the key of D as an example) the subgroups I\V (D\A, ionian shuttles), i\V (Dm\A), i\v (Dm\Am) and V\I (A\D). The last of these subgroups, the reverse ionian shuttle V\I, is included in the I\V category because, even though ‘A\D’ on paper looks like a I\IV, the key of A\D in the chorus of The Police’s Every Little Thing (Table 29, p. 383) is, unlike the tunes listed in Table 28 (p. 376), clearly D, not A. The point of this aspect of classification is to group together, where possible, shuttles that use the same harmonic constellation in relation to an unambiguous tonic. Example 270 illustrates this point: E\A in Satisfaction clearly shuttles plagally between the tune’s tonic and fourth degree in E (I\IV) while the Beethoven E\A is a reverse ionian shuttle between dominant and tonic (V\I).

Ex. 270. E\A shuttle in different keys: (1) Satisfaction (Rolling Stones, 1965);

(2) Symphony N°7 in A, last movement, bars 5-8 (Beethoven, 1812).

Although the roman numerals used in the previous paragraph and in tables 27-31, are essential to chord shuttle classification in sound-alike types, they can cause a major problem in that their use assumes that the chords under discussion all relate to an unambiguous tonic. Since such notions of harmony do not apply to several of the recordings listed below, the tables also include absolute chord indications (e.g. ‘C?F’ rather than just ‘I?IV’) for each song. In most cases it has been possible to assign a keynote to the section of the recording in which each shuttle occurs. Those keynotes are shown in column three of each table. Question marks are inserted when the tonic’s identity is ambiguous and such cases are discussed in conjunction with the table containing those peculiarities.

Apart from the shuttle types, chords and keynotes in the left three columns, each table also refers to each recording by artist, title and year. Publishing details of each tune are included in this book’s Reference Appendix (p. 505, ff.) so that readers can more easily locate and access the recordings mentioned (see ‘Accessing and using musical sources’, p. 29).

It will be clear from what follows that some types of chord shuttle are more common than others. Although plagal shuttles seem to be in widest use (p. 375, ff.), other patterns of chord alternation are also common, notably those at the fifth, sixth and seventh (pp. 381-400). On the other hand, I found far fewer I\ii shuttles, and I was surprised to find no instances of I\III because I?III, I?iii and I?$III are hardly the rarest chord changes in pop music. Judging as improbable the possibility that numerous I\III shuttle tunes exist of which I am unaware, the only explanation I can offer for not finding any in the repertoire to which I have had access is that shuttles, unlike the chordal departures just mentioned, go in two directions and that moving from III to I is as uncommon a chord change in the music under discussion as I to III is common. Besides, as we shall see in Chapter 14, as well as in the chapter on the ‘Yes We Can chords’, I?III departures often lead ‘somewhere else’, usually to vi, VI or IV before returning to I.

Supertonic shuttles (I\II)

Table 27. Examples of shuttles to and from the second

Type Chords Key Tune

I-$II C\D$


C\D$ C


C Nacio Herb Brown: Temptation (1933)

Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit (start) (1967)

Madness: Night Boat To Cairo (1979)

I-ii C^7\Dm7



C\Dm C



C Tom Jones: It’s Not Unusual (intro) (1965)

Tymes: Miss Grace (1974)

Carl Douglas: Kung Fu Fighting (1974)

Wham: Wake Me Up (chorus) (1984)

ii-I Dm7\C^7

Gm7\F^7 C

F Guess Who: These Eyes (1969)

Lily Allan: Smile (2006)

As already mentioned, supertonic shuttles (Table 27) do not seem very common in the music under review here. Although widespread in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean, the phrygian shuttle I\$II is quite rare in anglophone pop songs and, judging from the lyrics of relevant songs in Table 27, seems to be used together with notions of strangeness and mystery (temptation, drugs and Cairo). The (non phrygian) I\ii and ii\I examples sound a lot like the IV6\I of George McRae’s Rock Me Baby (1964, A$6\E$) because ii7 and IV6 (e.g. Gm7 and B$6 in F) contain the same notes (Ê Ô â Â: in F = g b$ d f). All four I\ii shuttles, plus the McCrae example, are linked to carefree lyrics, about love in the case of Guess Who, McCrae, Tom Jones and Lily Allan, and, in the Carl Douglas hit, about the fun of watching, rather than participating in, Kung Fu fighting.

Plagal shuttles

For reasons just explained, no table exists for shuttles to and from the third. On the other hand, since shuttling to IV in the inner parts of the harmonic elaboration of single chords is such a common phenomenon (pp. 364-366), it’s hardly surprising to discover that two-chord plagal shuttles are so numerous that there is only room to include some of the most striking or well-known examples in Table 28 (p. 376). These plagal shuttles are presented in two main sections, the first for straightforward examples where there is no doubt about keynote identity, the second for ‘dorian’ shuttles, i.e. for those whose first chord contains, or is, a minor triad and whose second contains, or is, a major triad at the fourth.

The first and last subgroups in the first section of Table 28 (I\IV and IV\I) list standard major-major plagal shuttles that are an extremely common harmonic device in pop and rock music. Some of them occur in introductions and/or at the start of verses (e.g. Spencer Davis, John Lennon, Dionne Warwick, Manfred Mann, Archies, Paul McCartney, Oasis, Clash, and both Aretha Franklin songs) while others dominate large parts of the recording (e.g. Bob Marley, Arrested Development, George McCrae). In the first instance, repeating the I\IV shuttle, even if it’s part of the tune’s hook, highlights whatever eventually breaks the repetition. In the second case the shuttle constitutes either the entirety or the main part of the recording’s harmonic universe. As the first part of Table 28 suggests, minor-triad variants of I\IV are rarer: only one instance of I\iv is listed (R. Kelly’s C\Fm) and only three of i\iv (Anita Ward, The Valentine Brothers and Xtra Bass).

Table 28. Shuttles to and from the fourth (I\IV, plagal)

Type Chords Key Recording (Year)

Simple plagal shuttles














E$\A$^ G













E$ Beatles: Love Me Do (1962c)

Dave Clark Five: Glad All Over (1963)

Floyd Cramer: On The Rebound (1964)

Spencer Davis: Keep On Running (intro) (1965)

Rolling Stones: Satisfaction (1965)

Manfred Mann: Pretty Flamingo (1966a)

Aretha Franklin: Respect (1967)

Dionne Warwick: The Way To San José (1968)

Archies: Sugar Sugar (1969)

John Lennon: Imagine (intro, verse start) (1971)

Aretha Franklin: Think (1974)

Bob Marley: Lively Up Yourself (1975)

Paul McCartney: Mull Of Kintyre (1977)

Arrested Development: Mr Wendal (1992)

I-iv C\Fm C R. Kelly: I Believe I Can Fly (1996)

i-iv Cm\Fm


Cm\Fm Cm


Cm Anita Ward: Ring My Bell (1979)

Valentine Brothers: Money’s Too Tight (1982)

Xtra Bass: Step To The Rhythm (1989)

IV-I A$6\E$



G$\D$ E$



D$ George McCrae: Rock Me Baby (1974)

Clash: Should I Stay Or Should I Go (1982)

Oasis: Don’t Look Back In Anger (intro) (1995)

Michelle McManus: All This Time (2004)

Dorian plagal shuttles from minor to major at the fourth

i-IV Am\D





F#m\B Am





F#m Shadows: Apache (1960)

Swinging Blue Jeans: You’re No Good (1964)

Classics IV: Spooky (1968)

Santana: Oye como va (1970)

Labelle: Lady Marmalade (1975)

Dead or Alive: You Spin Me Around (1985)

ii-V Am7\D

B$m7\E$ G

A$ Chiffons: You’re So Fine (1963)

Edwin Hawkins Singers: Oh Happy Day (1969)

ii-V ?


? F#m\B


Gm\C E?


? George Harrison: My Sweet Lord (1970)

[later in same song]

Pink Floyd: The Great Gig In The Sky (1973)


? Am7\D

F#m\B F

A Dionne Warwick: Walk On By (1964)

Abba: The Name Of The Game (A section) (1977)

The first subgroup of dorian shuttles in Table 28 is reasonably straightforward. Apache, You’re No Good, Lady Marmalade and You Spin Me Around all include clear cadences on to their tonic, even if the home keys of Spooky and the Santana rendering of Oyé como va are slightly less unequivocal. In the second subgroup (ii\V), He’s So Fine and Oh Happy Day start with repeated dorian plagal shuttles like the tunes just mentioned and could, without their continuation, also be construed as straight i\IVs. However, the IV in the final instance of the Chiffons and Edwin Hawkins shuttles becomes V in relation to a tonic major chord whose root is situated one tone below that of the shuttle’s first chord. In concrete terms, He’s So Fine’s Am7\D becomes Am7?D?G and Oh Happy Day’s B$m7\ E$ becomes B$m7?E$?A$. In short, the to and fro of i\IV turns into a unidirectional ii?V?I cadence. Things are not that simple with the Pink Floyd track The Great Gig In The Sky.

The Pink Floyd track just mentioned has a duration of 4:34 and appears on the album Dark Side of the Moon (1973). It’s perhaps best known as the track featuring ecstatic vocals by Clare Torry. Harmonically it starts with a minute of chordal meandering to end up clearly on B$. That harmonic resting point is followed at 1:07 by a 72-second stretch of Gm7\C shuttling at l=66 (ends at around 2:19) over which Torry improvises her famous wordless vocals. The Gm7\C shuttle might initially sound like i\IV in the relative minor of B$, or even like a potential ii\V in F major, but, with the vocal improvisation clearly locked into the harmonic universe of the shuttle, it establishes a tonal world of its own. The ten consecutive Gm7\C shuttles, each lasting seven seconds, are followed by a brief chromatic passage landing not on B$, Gm or F but on a held B@m. From that distant harmonic reference point the sequence |r F |B$|Fzq|Gm7|C |Gm7|C7 |F^ |B$^ |E$^ |Cm7 |F7| leads back to a clear resting point at 3:24 on the initial tonic, B$. The last 72 seconds of harmony consist, once again, of Gm7\C, ending its final rallentando on an ‘unresolved’ Gm7. And that is the end of the original vinyl album’s side one.

The question is whether the Gm7\C heard during over half of The Great Gig’s total duration is: [1] a i\IV shuttle in G minor because Gm is the track’s last chord and because G minor is relative minor to the only obvious possible tonic —B$; [2] as v\I in C, because, with the minor seventh in the G minor chord and the rallentando, the track could just as easily have ‘resolved’ on to a final C major common triad as gone back to G minor; [3] as ii\V in F, because that’s how the shuttle is treated in the modulatory sequence at 2:48; [4] as a sort of vi\II shuttle in B$ because the tune has full cadences in, and rests consecutively for much longer on, B$ than any other chord. Frankly speaking, the answer is at the same time all and none of the above. The weakest of the four explanations is nevertheless the last one, even though it may appeal to those who believe in hierarchically arranged tonal centres, because the very fact that the Pink Floyd shuttle can be heard in any of the other three ways means that it either has multiple tonal implications or none at all. In fact, the track’s last 72 seconds, which repeat Gm7\C, suggest that this shuttle is not a process but a state or condition. Pink Floyd’s Gm7\C in The Great Gig In The Sky is not a place you pass on the way to another destination: it’s a tonical neighbourhood and is itself somewhere to be.

The Pink Floyd Gm7\C as a ‘place to be’? Before dismissing that notion as a sad platitude issuing from the befuddled brain of an old hippie (I was never a hippie anyhow), it’s worth considering the following points. Dark Side of the Moon is a concept album with no silence between tracks. Since Great Gig is track 4 on side 1 of the LP, most listeners will have already heard track 2, Breathe, which contains the same dorian shuttle (i\IV) a tone higher (Em\A) in the same slow tempo. In fact the first Em of Breathe’s first i\IV is also the first tonal sound on the whole album because track 1, Speak To Me, is a montage of heartbeats, a ticking clock, a cash machine, disjointed speech, a helicopter and a scream. Since Breathe’s first Em\A has no prior harmonic context to which it can refer, the slow i\IV dorian shuttle is itself the whole album’s initial tonal reference point. It is moreover squarely established by being repeated eight times (16 bars and lasting 1:45) at the start of Breathe, after which the four-bar sequence |C^ |Bm |F |G DP9 | just leads back, with a v?I movement, to the same Em\A. It then reappears, twice more in the same track, repeated four times on each occasion, at the words ‘Breathe, breathe in the air’ (2:27) and at ‘Run, rabbit, run’ (3:12). The same i\IV also turns up, once again in slow tempo and six times in a row, near the end of track 3 (Time, at 5:54), just before ‘Home, home again’. It even appears in a similar tempo as Dm\G in a rhythmically more active instrumental section lasting 110 seconds (1:30-3:20) in Any Colour You Like on the album’s side two. In short, if anything had to be singled out as harmonic focal point of Dark Side of the Moon, it would not be the mere ‘keys’ of D minor, E minor or G minor in the three shuttles Dm\G, Em\A and Gm\C but the ongoing tonal constellation of the i\IV dorian shuttle at any of those pitches. It is for these reasons that the famous Great Gig shuttle has to be understood as the whole album’s most frequently stated and most characteristic tonal place to be.

The last 1:45 of George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord (4:35; 1971) is in a similar sort of dorian shuttle ‘place’ as Pink Floyd’s, fading out on its G#m\C# with no sense of a final tonic. However, the Harrison tune starts with four F#m\Bs, the last of which turns out to be a ii?V to land on the tonic, E. Still, even though this ii\V pattern occurs a few times in the first part of the song (first in E, then F#), the lasting harmonic impression of the Harrison recording and the chordal basis of its repeated hook line is the dorian shuttle and its state of open-endedness which occupy 70% of the song’s total duration. It is certainly where the song mostly wants us to be, along with the simultaneously sung ‘Hare Krishna’-type repetitions preceding the final fade-out.

The Am7\D shuttle at the start of the verses in Walk On By (Warwick, 1964) works differently in this Bacharach tune whose clear target tonic is F. The Am7\D can be heard as lead-in to a ii?V?I on the subsequent G minor. However, that Gm becomes one pole in a Gm7\Am7 shuttle (i\ii in Gm, ii\iii in F) that leads via B$ (IV) to C (V) and the verse’s end cadence in F (I). Whatever the case, the tune’s initial Am7\D, its es and gs shuttling with ds and f#s, is clearly a different place to be than the world of song’s tonic, F^ and its shuttle with B$^.

Abba’s The Name Of The Game (4:00; 1977) is a different kettle of fish because its F#m\B constitutes the harmonic entirety of the first (A) part of the song (0:38) whose sections have an unusual order of presentation: ABCDEFDEDF. Since the subsequent sections (DEF) are unequivocally in the key of A, it’s tempting to argue that if the first (A) section’s F#m\B is not a sort of vi?II pointing towards the subsequent tonic, then it must at least be a ii\V in E which then completes a classic V?I gesture on to A. Well, neither argument holds because the chords of the song’s second (B) section run |F#m |Bzq |C#m |D| which, only after repetition, finally runs into an E chord and a V?I cadence in A. Yet again, this Abba F#m\B is ‘another’ place to be, a different tonal constellation. If you insist on considering this Abba shuttle in terms of conventional harmony (which it’s not), it’s probably least misleading to think of it as a i\IV dorian shuttle in the tune’s relative minor.

Quintal shuttles (I\V)

Shuttles to and from the fifth are a stylistic trait of European art music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Just as rock musicians often milk a final IV?I cadence with virtuosic flourishes in live performance, European classical composers seem to have relished milking final cadences with V\I shuttles. There are, for example, six such ionian shuttles as episodic markers of finality in bars 305-310 of the first movement of Mozart’s 41st symphony and seven in bars 405-416 at the end of the last movement of Beethoven’s fifth. However, it should be remembered not only that E\A can be either V\I in A or I\V in E (ex. 270 p. 373) but also that ‘I’ and ‘V’ may not be at all accurate chord labels at all when discussing many types of popular music (ex. 271).

Ex. 271. Mila moja (‘A’ section; Serbian trad., cit. mem.)

Both two-bar sections of the Serbian song just quoted (ex. 271) start with a chord of D major and end with a chord of A major that leads to the start of one of those two sections with what may seem like a V?I movement after a ‘half cadence’ at the end of every four-bar period. Heard like that, Mila moja clearly has D as its ‘tonic’ triad (I) and A as its ‘dominant’ (V). The trouble is that the recording ends squarely and without fade-out on A. Since A is the final resting point of the tune’s harmony, it cannot be the dominant because dominants must, according to the rules of classical harmony, proceed to the tonic. So perhaps A is tonic instead?… That interpretation of Mila moja’s chords as plagal movement in A (D=‘IV’, A=‘I’) is no more convincing because, as we just suggested, the chords lead just as much from A to D as from D to A. The only realistic interpretation of Mila moja’s two chords is to view them as a simple shuttle whose function is to provide a tonal dimension to the motion and direction of both melody and accompaniment, and to consider D and A as non-hierarchical shuttle poles because both chords exhibit characteristics of the tonic, one ionian (D), the other mixolydian (A). Like Pink Floyd’s Gm7\C, Mila moja’s D\A is one integral harmonic unit, a harmonic ‘state’ or ‘place to be’. Denoting its two chords as either I\V or IV\I rather than as both is certainly misleading, but using the terms ‘dominant’ or ‘subdominant’ in such contexts is plain wrong.

Despite the conceptual problems just discussed, most of the I\V and V\I shuttles listed in Table 29 (p. 383) contain an unambiguous ‘I’ and ‘V’ in relation to each other. There is, for example, no doubt that Sandie Shaw’s Puppet On A String (1967) is in C and that the chorus of Every Little Thing She Does (Police 1981) is in D. Direction from V (G and A respectively) towards those keynotes is as unequivocal as it is from E to A in the Beethoven extract referenced in the same table.

Ex. 272. Kylie Minogue (2001): Can’t Get You Out

Of My Head ?

The i\v shuttles (both minor triads), on the other hand, have very little of the I\V (ionian) shuttle’s sense of harmonic direction, not least because a minor triad on the fifth (v) contains no leading note to the tonic. In concrete terms, the c@?d in the Am?Dm of example 272’s i\v shuttle just doesn’t pack the same directional punch as the c#?d in the A?D movement of the V\I shuttle in Police’s Don’t Stand So Close To Me (1980; ex. 273, p.388). Another reason for the lack of direction in the Minogue shuttle (ex. 272) is that, as more tracks are added to the mix, the i\v’s two chords contain more and more notes in common: two of the first chord’s four different notes (the a and c in Dm7) are also included in the second chord (Am9).

Table 29. Examples of shuttles to and from the fifth (ñ) (cont. p. 384)

Type Chords Key Publication/Release (Year)















C Beethoven: Symphony #7, 4th movement,

(bars 24-36) (1812) (ex. 270b)

Honeycombs: Have I The Right (intro) (1964)

Kinks: Tired Of Waiting (middle) (1965)

Kinks: Tired Of Waiting (middle) (1965)

Byrds: Mr. Tambourine Man (intro) (1965)

Sandie Shaw: Puppet On A String (1967)

Fifth Dimension: Stoned Soul Picnic (1968)

Rod Stewart: The First Cut Is Deepest (intro) (1977)

i-V Gm\D


Fm\C Gm


Fm Mozart: Symphony nº 40, 1st movement

(last 8 bars) (1788a)

Rolling Stones: Paint It Black (1966)

All Saints: Bootie Call (1998)


(see also

I-$VII-I) Am\Em


Am[7] Am

Dm Kraftwerk: The Model (1982)

Kylie Minogue: Can't Get You Out Of My Head








A5\D5 F





D Roy Orbison: It’s Over (intro) (1963)

Unit Four Plus Two: Concrete And Clay (1965)

Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit (B part) (1967)

Cowsills: Indian Lake (end of intro) (1968)

Police: Every Little Thing She Does (1981)

Tori Amos: Professional Widow (1996)

Kylie Minogue’s electronica hit and Kraftwerk’s The Model are interesting because their hook lines and harmonic ‘places to be’ —the tonical neighbourhood where the tunes spend most of their time— are in the sphere of their i\v shuttles. Both tunes not only start and end there: other chordal passages also aim clearly back towards that main tonal world of the song: i\v. s

Submediantal shuttles (I\VI)

Shuttles between tonic and submediant, it seems, are far from rare in anglophone pop music. The most frequently used subtype is I\vi: major tonic to minor submediant. Although it turns up in songs from various periods in Anglo-North-American pop history, it is particularly common, as Table 30 shows, in US-American pop music from the late 1950s and early 1960s. I?vi may also sometimes be associated with gospel (e.g. Shout) but, it has, as I just hinted, more obvious connotations with the doo-wop and ‘shalalee’ world of white US teenagers around 1960, not least because i?vi is the first change in the even more frequently exploited {I-vi-IV/ii-V} loop hailing from the same milksap period. This ‘historical reference’ connotation of I\vi operates clearly in Badalmenti’s opening theme to the TV series, Twin Peaks (1990-91). The recording’s clean, late-1950s guitar sound à la Duane Eddy, complete with historically accurate spring reverb, shuttles slowly between I and vi to usher in the TV series’ superficially idyllic but deeply disturbing small-town ‘American dream’, with its creepy consumerism, its depraved prom queens and its depressive James Dean look-alikes.

Table 30. Examples of shuttles to and from the sixth

Type Chords Key Recording (Year)

I-vi F\Dm



















G$\E$m F



















G$ Isley Brothers: Shout (1959)

Bobby Darin: Dream Lover (intro) (1959)

Jimmy Jones: Handy Man (intro) (1960)

Sam Cooke: The Chain Gang (intro) (1960)

Steve Lawrence: Pretty Blue Eyes (1960)

Johnny Preston: Cradle Of Love (1960)

Helen Shapiro: Walking Back To Happiness (1961)

Ernie K-Doe: Mother-In-Law (1961)

Ricky Nelson: Travelling Man (intro) (1961)

Dick & Dee Dee: The Mountain’s High (1961)

Neil Sedaka: Calendar Girl (intro) (1961)

Little Eva: The Loco-Motion (1962)

Marvelettes: Playboy (intro) (1962)

Shirelles: Baby It’s You (intro) (1962)

Little Peggy March: I Will Follow Him (1963)

Lulu: Shout (1964) (orig. Isley Brothers, 1959)

Searchers: Don’t Throw Your Love Away (1964)

Roy Orbison: Pretty Woman (verse start) (1964)

Georgie Fame: Yeh-Yeh (1964)

Angelo Badalmenti: Twin Peaks (1990)

I-VI A\F A David Bowie: Suffragette City (1972)

Aeolian shuttles

i-$VI B$m\G$






Am\F B$m






Am Chopin: Marche funèbre (1839)

Bob Dylan: All Along The Watchtower (1968)

Jimi Hendrix: All Along The Watchtower (1968)

Ten cc: The Wall Street Shuffle (1974)

Elvis Costello: Watching The Detectives (1977)

Irene Cara: Flashdance (1983)

Neil Young: Change Your Mind (1994)

? E$\Gm Gm? Police: Don’t Stand So Close To Me (1980)

i-vi A$m7\Fm7 A$m Doors: Light My Fire (1967)

Although only one example each was found of I\VI (Bowie) and i\VI (Doors), i\$VI shuttles were numerous. Toing and froing between a tonic minor and a major triad on the flat submediant (i\$VI) —the aeolian shuttle—, has already been mentioned in terms of its ominous, fateful or implacable connotations (p. 291). Sometimes this basic harmonic and connotative sphere includes a $VII between the tonic minor (i) and $VI poles of the shuttle, like the {|Dm |B$ | C | C |} in Dire Straits’ Sultans Of Swing (1978). On paper that certainly looks more like a four-bar loop than a shuttle, but since the $VII in any loop of the {i-$VII-$VI-$VII} type is situated one whole-tone below the minor tonic and one whole-tone above the $VI pole, and since it is consistently followed in alternation by the poles on either side, it has, if the loop is fully repeated at least once, the character of a passing chord in a shuttle between the two chords at opposite ends of the loop. If we consider {i-$VI-$VII}, {i-$VII-$VI} and so on as extended variants of i\$VI, then we can add a fair number of tunes to the aeolian shuttle list, for example: [1] Derek & The Dominoes: Layla (1970); [2] Neil Young: Southern Man (1970); [3] Jeffrey Cain: Whispering Thunder (1972); [4] Pink Floyd: Money (1973); [5] David Bowie: 1984 (1974); [6] Nationalteatern: Barn av vår tid (1978); [7] Dire Straits: Sultans Of Swing (1978); [8] Flash and the Pan: California (1979); [9] Phil Collins: In The Air Tonight (1981); [10] Kim Carnes: Voyeur (1982); [11] Frequency X: Hearing Things (1989); [12] Neil Young: Rocking In The Free World (1989).

Without going into the verbal details of these songs, it is possible to summarise some important areas of connotation for the lyrics of each title as: [1] painful separation (Layla); [2] ‘screaming, bullwhips cracking’, ‘crosses burning’ (Southern Man); [3] distant but immanent threat (Whispering Thunder); [4] the absurdity of financial greed (Money); [5] dystopia (1984); [6] teenagers hardened by cold, grey soulless concrete tower blocks (Barn av vår tid = ‘Child of our time’); [7] a trad jazz band playing for an inimical audience on a cold and rainy night (Dire Straits); [8] a mad US general nukes the state of California (California); [9] waiting for something unknown, imminent showdown (Phil Collins); [10] the loneliness and emptiness of video titillation (Voyeur); [11] fear of mental instability (Hearing Things); [12] ‘better off dead’ and ‘garbage can’ (Rocking In The Free World). Now let’s add to those ten extra examples of aeolian shuttle connotations the basic gist of lyrics in the six i\$VII tunes listed in Table 30: [11] funeral (Chopin); [12] ‘Outside in the cold distance a wild cat did growl… and the wind began to howl’ (All Along The Watchtower); [13] the destructive ugliness of financial speculation (Wall Street Shuffle); [14] ‘they beat him up until the teardrops start’ (Elvis Costello); [15] ‘in a world made of steel, made of stone’ (Flashdance); [16] ‘When you get weak and you need to test your will’ (Neil Young: Change Your Mind).

Here’s Alf Björnberg’s conclusion (1984: 382) about the connotations of aeolian shuttles:

‘A remarkable number of these lyrics deal with such subjects as fascination with and fear of modern technique and civilisation, uneasiness about the future and the threat of war, alienation in general and in particular situations, static moods of waiting and premonition, historical or mystical events. As a whole the lyrics circumscribe a relatively uniform field of associations which might be characterised by such concepts as modernity, cold, waiting, uncertainty, sadness, stasis, infinity in time and space.’

Before ending this sad aeolian story, let’s not forget the poor ‘young teacher, the subject of schoolgirl fantasy’, the ‘temptation, frustration, so bad it makes him cry’, the ‘hurt’ and ‘accusations’, etc., all sung over the $VI\i (E$\Gm) verse part of Don’t Stand So Close To Me (Police, 1980, ex. 273). With chorus hook lines squarely in D major, the tune’s E$\Gm is a very different harmonic place to be. Calling it ‘$VI\i in the key of the refrain’s subdominant minor’ or even ‘I\iii in the key of the flat supertonic’ might fool a gullible harmony teacher but since the tune starts with repeated changes from E$ to Gm, first quietly and threateningly in the sub-bass register, then chordally with guitar and vocals, there is in reality no key of D major to which the supposed ‘subdominant minor’ or ‘flat supertonic’ can possibly be related. Moreover, the change to D major and ‘Don’t stand so close’ is entirely unprepared (first at 1:48) and the return to the world of E$\Gm is equally abrupt (bars 4-5 and bar 8 back to bar 1 in ex. 273).

Ex. 273. Police: Don’t Stand So Close To Me (1980): juxtaposition of two distinct tonal spheres.

Once again we’re dealing with states, conditions and tonal grooves, not with the syntactic norms of transition in euroclassical music theory. Any sense of overall tonal process, ‘narrative’ or ‘form’ in this Police song, and in countless others, derives not from modulation, nor from overriding tonal schemes, nor ‘deep structure’ à la Schenker or Riemann, but from the juxtaposition of distinct harmonic constellations and from the organisation of those different tonal states in terms of repetition, change, reprise and relative duration, as well as from the order in which the distinct elements are presented. This is of course a question of musical ‘form’ and, structurally, of the intramusical context of shuttles. However, it is clear that if we don’t know how the shuttles themselves work, we won’t be able to understand how they, or the chord loops discussed in the next chapter, contribute to the overall character and identity of a recording or performance.

Subtonic shuttles (I \$VII)

As shown in Table 31 (p. 389), shuttles between tonic and subtonic can be divided into three subgroups: [1] I\$VII or mixolydian; [2] i\$VII, which alternates a minor-key tonic with a major chord on the flat seventh; [3] $VII\I or reverse mixolydian. This third group also includes shuttles which, like subgroup [1] and the Righteous Brothers tune, feature two major triads a whole tone apart but which, as we shall see, can also be heard as belonging to another key (Presley), or to several potential keys (Human League).

Table 31. Examples of shuttles to and from the seventh

Type Chords Key Recording (Year)















D The Champs: Tequila (1958)

Shadows: Wonderful Land (intro) (1962)

Cliff Richard: Bachelor Boy (intro) (1962)

Kinks: Tired Of Waiting (1965)

Youngbloods: Get Together (1969)

Brook Benton: Rainy Night In Georgia (intro) (1969)

Dexy’s Midnight Runners: Geno (1980)

Madness: House Of Fun (1982)

i-$VII Cm\B$

Am\G Cm

Am Albion Country Band: Van Diemen’s Land (1971)

Bothy Band: Farewell To Erin (1976)

$VII-I B$/c\C

D$\E$ C Righteous Brothers: You’ve Lost That

Loving Feeling (1964)

Van Halen: Running With The Devil (1978)


? A$\B$

F\G E$

Am ? Elvis Presley: Return To Sender (1962)

Human League: Don’t You Want Me Baby (1981)

There are four obvious common denominators between the shuttles listed in Table 31: [1] there are no shuttles to or from any chord on the major seventh degree; [2] there are no shuttles between the tonic and the minor subtonic because I\$vii and i\$vii (e.g. E\Dm) are variants of the phrygian shuttle i/I\$II (e.g. E\F) where the flat supertonic (f@), not the subtonic (d@), is the operative feature; [3] neither I\$VII, the mixolydian shuttle, nor i\$VII show any trait of classical harmony in the sense defined and used in Chapter 6 (p. 249, ff.); [4] unlike dorian shuttles (i\IV), which could turn into ii\V and end as ii?V?I cadences, neither I\$VII nor i\$VII seems to own the clear potential to lead elsewhere. Traits [3] and [4] are interrelated for the following reasons.

It is first of all difficult to move directly between a tonic triad and a subtonic triad without involving voice leading in parallel fifths or octaves, both of which are banned in classical harmony. Secondly, chords on the flat seventh automatically contain no leading note, no major seventh (^ê), an essential ingredient in tonal spheres dominated by the ionian mode. In fact, the only mode in the Viennese classical tradition to include a flat seventh is the descending ‘melodic’ variant of the minor scale (same notes as the aeolian mode) whose other two variants, the ‘ascending melodic’ and the ‘harmonic’ minor, are ionianised in that both include major sevenths. And harmonic minor means just what it says: that any chord containing scale degree seven must make that seventh major so that it produces the leading note (^ê) to the tonic (e.g. f#?g in the change from D or D7 to Gm). That’s why i\V (e.g. Gm\D) often occurs in euroclassical music styles and why you’ll hardly ever come across i\v (e.g. Gm\Dm), except when stylistic reference or pastiche is intended, as in example 274. It’s also why i\$VII (e.g. Gm\F) and I\$VII (G\F) are usually off the conventional harmony teacher’s radar screen.

Ex. 274. Dvořák (1893): minor-mode ‘folk tune’ from New World Symphony.

Returning to the third of our comments about oscillations between tonic and flat seventh —that none of the example shuttles listed in Table 31 seem to have much harmonic potential to lead elsewhere— it’s worth noting that three of them are only used in introductions (Wonderful Land, Bachelor Boy and Rainy Night In Georgia). Now, introductions are by definition episodic markers of initiation and of preparation for an imminent something new, so using a shuttle without much potential to lead elsewhere means that a tonal, timbral, metric and rhythmic framework (groove) can be established while listeners wait for the tune proper to kick in. In fact, waiting is what the lyrics and the repeated I\$VII of the Kinks’ Tired Of Waiting is all about. It’s also an important element in the lyrics of the Righteous Brothers song: there’s no reciprocation of desire from the lyrics’ loved one. Waiting or frustration at unfulfilled goals are also key elements in Dexy’s Geno and Elvis’s Return To Sender. I\$VII in the Madness song, too, plays a waiting game in both its intro and in the first part of verses where the story is set up for punch lines and the chorus, both in a different harmonic sphere.

Waiting and not going anywhere are key issues in Human League’s Don’t You Want Me Baby? (1981). The key of A minor is clearly stated from the outset in eight bars of serious-sounding analogue synthesiser unambiguously confirming the aeolian mode. Then the male vocalist enters: ‘You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’. It is with that famous line that the song’s F\G shuttle also first kicks in to be stated eight times in a row (16 bars at l=116 = 0:34) before the harmony reverts to A minor and to two chordal passages that once again strongly underline that key ({|Am |Em |F |Dm G|} (×2) and |A |A#° |Bm |E7 |). The latter of those two passages leads back into another 24 bars of F\G (chorus ‘Don’t You Want Me, Baby?’ and the subsequent verse, lasting 0:50). That long batch of shuttles is followed by the A minor progressions just mentioned, by eight more bars of F\G (0:17), by a reprise of the ‘serious’ A minor intro and, to end with, thirteen more F\G shuttles (26 bars = 0:54) before the final fade-out finishes. F\G occupies in other words 2:35 (66%) of the song’s total duration of 3:56.

Harmonic issues about this song are similar to those raised about Pink Floyd’s Great Gig In The Sky. This time, however, there only seems to be one logical explanation for the harmonic relativity of the shuttle. Such an explanation would first argue that the tune’s F\G is a $VI\$VII in A minor because it first appears after the unequivocal establishment of that key as the tune’s harmonic starting point. Such an explanation would go on to argue that on two occasions the final instance of F\G becomes F?G?Am (a $VI? $VII?i aeolian cadence) as it runs into the first A minor chordal passage cited in the previous paragraph. The only trouble with this line of reasoning is that the F\G in the Human League song doesn’t really sound like it’s in A minor, however neat the argument just given may appear, because the shuttle has simply no transitional function at all. That claim is based on two observations. Firstly, since two thirds of the song’s duration, including its final quarter, is harmonically occupied by F\G in constant repetition, nothing else can be heard as the song’s harmonic centrepiece or main reference point. Secondly, if a continuation of F\G had to be imagined, it would more likely have been a transformation into a IV?V?I in C (F\G becoming F?G?C). That IV?V?I hypothesis is based on previously established instances of the same shuttle in the relevant repertoire, as shown in example 275 (p. 393).

The top line in example 275’s eight-bar comparison presents the melodic line of the chorus in Elvis Presley’s Return To Sender (1962), transposed up one tone, while the lower of the two lines shows the main hook of the Human League song (1981). There is striking similarity between the two melodic lines in the same vocal register which, in bars 1-6 of the example, follow the same basic to-and-fro movement of the same type of mixolydian shuttle (Presley in parallel fifths over B$\C, Human League in octaves over F\C, each three times in a row). In bars 6-7 of example 275 the Presley song completes a perfect cadence, using the second chord of its shuttle, C, as a dominant chord in relation to the target key of F. Bars 7 and 8 in the lower line are fictional and are supplied to demonstrate what might have happened if Human League had followed the practice, established by Elvis and many others, of transforming a mixolydian shuttle ($VII\I) into IV\V and thence into a IV?V?I cadence. If they had done so, it would certainly not have been the first time IV?V?I was heard in a popular song!

Ex. 275. Elvis Presley: Return To Sender (1962; chorus, B$\C ending in F, transposed up from E$) and Human League: Don’t You Want Me, Baby? (1981; F\G shuttle ending hypothetically on I in C).

One aim of the hypothetical substitution just proposed is to argue that harmonic devices like Human League’s F\G have a history and that included in such history is the way in which those devices normally connect (if at all) to what follows them. That’s why a continuation of the Don’t You Want Me shuttle as IV?V?I on to C doesn’t sound totally wrong. (Try it!) The interesting thing is nevertheless that there’s not a single chord of C in the whole tune and that listeners familiar with songs like Return To Sender will never hear the continuation they may have been unconsciously expecting. Now, that interpretation might square nicely with the waiting, frustration and the unfinished business of the relationship presented in the song’s lyrics but that hypothesis is at best no more than intelligent speculation. Besides, the song could just as easily end on a final F or G, as well as on C or Am. In fact, the main point of this discussion is that theoretical destinations of the F\G shuttle are only of interest to the extent that they help us understand why and how it in practice goes nowhere. Its overriding presence in the recording and its protraction into the final fade-out mean once again that, like the Police and Pink Floyd shuttles, we are dealing with a state, not a process, and with a situation, not a transition.

Tequila’s mixolydian shuttle (1958) is similar to the one in Don’t You Want Me Baby? in that it occupies the majority of the recording’s total duration. In fact Tequila’s proportion of main shuttle to other harmonic material beats both Human League (66%) and Pink Floyd (70%) hands down with its score of 83% (1:49 of 2:11). However, there is no doubt at all that Tequila is in F mixolydian and it has neither the potential nor the intention of going anywhere else, except for the very short B section which ends with an unambiguous II7?V7 (the G7? C7 at 0:51 and 1:34: iiil l il_z break: ‘Tequila’) that points listeners straight back with a V?I into the familiar I\$VII shuttle (G7? C7? F\E$). Although this quality of unambiguous tonic may be one reason why the tune’s F\E$ creates no connotations of waiting or suspension, it is more likely that the shuttle’s lively accompaniment patterns and the lead sax’s downbeat anticipations, all executed in brisk alla breve tempo (the groove), provide the recording with its ongoing forward drive.

Ex. 276. The Champs: Tequila (1958) – mixolydian shuttle in F.

Strictly speaking this F\E$, which lasts less than 1½ seconds each time it occurs, is too short to qualify as a proper shuttle (1 per bar in ex. 276). It has more the character of a single-chord tonal expansion, especially given that the recording’s acoustic bass, when it enters, plays c, not e$, each time the guitar switches to E$, using the familiar one-five oom-pa shuttle trick to vary what might otherwise have been an intervallically static bass line. In so doing the bass player creates a I\v (F\Cm7) shuttle which, as we already mentioned, is tonally very close to I\$VII. Whatever the case, doubt remains as to whether the Tequila F\E$ is in fact a two-chord shuttle, not just because each unit is so short (only 1.36 seconds) but also because the amount of time spent on each chord is not exactly equal. The point here is that although the two chords are equidurational in the first three repeated units (bars 1-3), in each fourth unit only the first of eight quavers is spent on F, the remaining seven being assigned to lively strumming on E$. That kind of insistence and increased rhythmic surface rate on the counterpoise chord has an anacrustic function similar to that of pick-up notes in the bass running from V back up to I (e.g. c e$ e@ | f in F) or to that of a drum fill on toms before kicking into ‘one’ on the ensuing downbeat (or its anticipation). Such anacrustic devices are frequently used as episodic markers of borders between musical phrases, i.e. to signal that a shuttle, loop or groove is about to restart or that the music is about to go elsewhere. The devices are in both instances syntactic (like punctuation) and propulsive (driving forward). Tonal variation in accompanying instruments, including variations of relative duration assigned to chords in a shuttle or loop, play a significant part in creating such propulsion, as will become clearer in our discussion of the final subgroup of flat-seven shuttles. In fact, the unit of present time in Tequila is, thanks to that episodic marker, more likely to be the whole length of the period shown in example 276, i.e. the full four bars of I\$VII shuttling or 5½ seconds (16 beats at l=176 or 8 beats at h=88).

Shuttle or counterpoise sandwich?

Ex. 277. What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? (Eng. trad., cit. mem.)

Like mixolydian melodies, minor-mode tunes with flat sevenths (dorian, aeolian, la-hexatonic, etc.) are, as we saw in Chapters 9 (p. 280, ff., ex. 196, 201) and 10 (pp. 336-348, ex. 239-248), very common in the popular song repertoire of pre-industrial Britain, Ireland and Appalachia. Indeed, as examples 277 and 278 suggest, harmonising tunes in those modes almost always involves changes between I and $VII (or i\$VII, or i\v). The question here is whether the chord changes presented qualify as shuttles because, as with Tequila, the time spent on each of the two chords is neither consistent nor equal. One obvious reason for such ‘inconsistency’ is that, as explained in the counterpoise section of Chapter 10 (pp. 336-347), if the first and last chords in a period covering an even number of bars both need to be on the tonic —as in bars 1 and 8 of the Drunken Sailor, or in bars 1 and 4, or 5 and 8, or 13 and 16 of The Tailor and the Mouse (ex. 278)—, then no consistent chord alternation is possible because the final bar in the phrase will inevitably land on the wrong chord (or the first one will in the case of a reverse shuttle). This simple arithmetic means that the shuttle, consisting by definition of two chords, must be adjusted in some way if it is to fit into the remaining odd number of bars (1-7 in ex. 277; 1-3, 5-7 and 13-15 in ex. 278). One trick is to halve the duration of the counterpoise chord on its final appearance in the phrase (the C in bar 7 of ex. 277), another to employ the sandwich technique illustrated in example 278.

Ex. 278. The Tailor And The Mouse (Eng. trad. quoted from memory)

The harmonic sandwich occurs three times in example 278 and involves putting the non-tonic chord filling (‘v’ or Dm in bars 2-4, 6-7, 14-15) between a slice of tonic-chord bread at each end of the phrase (‘i’ or Gm in bars 1, 4, 5, 8, 13, 16). These four- or eight-bar sandwiches are also extremely common in the ionian mode, I-V-V-I being a stock formula of harmonic progression in, for example, valse chantée. A third strategy, and the opposite of the Drunken Sailor trick, is to increase the duration of the counterpoise chord by placing it a beat or two before it is expected in a regular shuttle. That trick, used in Tequila, also works well when harmonising minor-mode traditional tunes like Farewell To Erin (ex. 241, p. 339) or The Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies (Reel Thing, 1998). However, when it comes to harmonising songs originally conceived without accompaniment, chord shuttles, as we have treated them in this chapter, can be virtually impossible to apply.

In example 279 (p. 398) there are really only two tonal poles: one on the keynote (c), the other on the tune’s counterpoise ( b$). The melody switches irregularly between those two poles: the first consists of three dotted crotchet beats on c (1½ bars of 6/8 metre = 3 × l. ), followed by five on b$ and so on. The complete pattern of rate of change between those tonal poles for the song is in fact 3 5 |3 1 1 1 2 |2 2 4 |3 2 1 2 1|, where ‘1’= 1 × l. and ‘|’ denotes end of phrase. If you harmonise this version of Van Diemen’s Land using just Cm and B$, you will certainly be alternating between i and $VII but you will definitely not be performing a i\$VII chord shuttle.

Ex. 279. Van Diemen’s Land, transcribed from version by Albion Country Band (1971, arr. Hutchings) with addition of pitch pole markings

(tonic = c, counterpoise = b$).

Having flown off the radar screen of euroclassical harmony many pages ago, we now risk disappearing from our own because, although chordal alternation is the subject of this chapter, questions of periodicity and harmonic rhythm are peripheral to the issue. However, we may have cause to revisit them in part of the next chapter when we try to come to grips with some fundamental questions of tonality in everyday life. For example, how come the ubiquitous La Bamba chord loop {G-C-D-D} is heard as {I-IV-V} in G while the well-known mixolydian rock loop {D-C-G-G} in Sweet Home Alabama is heard as a {I -$VII-IV} pattern in D? And does it really matter?

Summary in 16 points

[1] The observations listed below are, like the rest of this chapter, based on widely disseminated recordings of English-language popular song released between 1955 and 2005 (p. 372).

[2] A chord shuttle involves ongoing oscillation between two chords. Each of the two chords occupies a duration of between one and four beats of the music’s underlying pulse.

[3] The two chords in a shuttle are normally of equal duration and importance. The duration of a single chord shuttle does not exceed that of the extended present.

[4] Many chord shuttles have an identifiable tonic (e.g. the aeolian i\$VI: §13, below) but others do not (see §10 and §14, below).

[5] The tonic in shuttles consisting of the same two chords can vary according to tonal idiom, e.g. E\A as I\IV in Satisfaction but as V\I in Beethoven’s 7th symphony (ex. 270, p. 373).

[6] The most common general types of chord shuttle are plagal (I\IV, i\IV, i\iv, IV\I, etc.) quintal (I\V, i\v, i\V, V\I, etc.), submediantal (I\vi, i\$VI, etc.), and subtonic (I\$VII, i\$VII, $VII\I, etc.).

[7] Supertonic shuttles are not very common. The supertonic shuttle I\ii is plagal in character. Phrygian shuttles (I/i\$II) are quite rare in and have exotic connotations (pp. 374-375).

[8] Mediantal shuttles (I\III, etc.) seem to be extremely rare, if not non-existent. While I?III works well as a harmonic departure, III?I does not work well as a return (p. 374).

[9] Plagal shuttles are very common and of three main types: simple (I\IV), reverse (IV\I) and dorian (i\IV).

[10] Many dorian shuttles have a clear minor tonic triad (i\IV), while others act as a repeated ii\V culminating in a final ii?V?I with I outside the shuttle. However, it is sometimes impossible, as in the case of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (1973), to identify any tonic in a dorian shuttle which, like all chord shuttles, functions as an ongoing tonal state or ‘place to be’ rather than as a tonal process leading anywhere in particular (pp. 378-380; see also §15).

[11] Quintal shuttles (I\V, V\I) are common in euroclassical music, most notably in final cadences. While not exceptionally rare in rock and pop music, they are much less common than plagal shuttles in those styles of music. Quintal shuttles seem to be absent from gospel, soul and blues-related styles (pp. 381-384).

[12] There are two main types of submediantal shuttle —I\vi and i\$VI, the aeolian shuttle. I\vi is common in pop music of the milksap era. It also turns up in 1960s gospel music (p. 384).

[13] Aeolian shuttles (i\$VI) in rock music are often linked to things ominous, fateful, painful and implacable; or to modernity, cold, waiting, uncertainty, sadness, stasis, infinity in time and space, etc. (pp. 386-388).

[14] Subtonic shuttles —$VII\I or I\$VII— are basically mixolydian. They are quite common in postwar English-language popular song. If repeated several times in succession, they may well be associated with waiting (p. 389-395).

[15] Some apparently subtonic shuttles, like the F\G in Human League’s Don’t You Want Me Baby?, have, like some dorian shuttles (see §10), no clear tonic (pp. 391-394).

[16] Partial shuttles can be found in harmonisations of traditional melody from the British Isles but they do not fit tunes that return to the first of the shuttle’s two chords at the end of each verse. They function instead as counterpoise sandwiches (pp. 396-398).


13. Chord loops 1

Circular motion

Vamp, matrix, formula, pattern, changes, turnaround, loop, etc... These words —and probably several others— have all been used to denote the same thing: a short sequence of chords, usually three or four, repeated several times in succession. There are several reasons for choosing chord loop as label for such a common phenomenon.

The first reason is that loop is a short word whose meaning, transferred to denoting repeated circular motion, is widely understood, not just by computer programmers writing do while loops but also by anyone old enough to have worked creatively with audio tape. Indeed, the ninth meaning of loop in the Oxford Concise English Dictionary (1995) is ‘an endless strip of film or tape allowing continuous repetition’. Since the mid 1990s, short, digitally stored sequences have replaced audiotape loops to become one of most widely used building blocks in music making. Indeed, the audio software I bought in 2007 came with a small repertoire of such loops which I can, time and money permitting, expand by downloading thousands more from sites like Acid Loops, Freeloops, Fruity Loops, Loopasonic or Loop Galaxy. In other words, since loop already means a short sequence of sound, rarely longer than a second or two, that can be repeated consecutively once or ad infinitum, it is no great leap of semantic faith to use chord loop to mean a short sequence of chords, usually three or four, repeated several times in succession.

The second reason for using loop rather than, say, formula, matrix, pattern or progression is that these other four words do not necessarily imply repetition or circularity, and that of those four only progression unequivocally involves motion. Loops, on the other hand, go round and round (and round…) through at least three chordal points until the music exits the loop, or goes elsewhere, perhaps to a different loop, or until it fades out or just stops. Rundgång, literally ‘a going round’, is what Swedish musicians call chord loops: it’s a very brief ‘round trip’ where you pass a few different points (chords) before starting again round the same circuit for another lap. It’s a bit like a race track event compared to a swimming competition: swimmers swim lengths to and fro (shuttles) while runners run laps (loops).

The third reason concerns turnaround, a word clearly implying both motion (turn) and circularity (around). It has often been used in the same sense as chord loop but its original meaning is a short progression of chords played at the end of one section in a song or instrumental number and whose purpose is to facilitate recapitulation of the complete harmonic sequence of that section. Example 280 shows a typical piano turnaround for a slow twelve-bar blues in F whose basic chords run, for example F B$ F F B$ B$ F F C B$ F F. So as to avoid harmonic stasis and to drive tonal motion back into the initial F of bar 1, the final F in bars 11-12 can be replaced with a progression of the type shown as example 280: F F7/a B$ BJ | F/c D$9 C7. This turnaround increases the rate of harmonic change in motion towards a final C chord (bar 12) which, in its turn, leads back to the F of bar 1, creating in the process a highlighted V?I cadence and an effect of continuity over the join between the two periods.

Ex. 280. Typical piano turnaround for a slow 12-bar blues in F, bars 11-12.

A turnaround is in other words an episodic device joining the end of a larger harmonic cycle back to its start. It’s only the end part of that cycle, not its entirety. Now, observant readers objecting that example 280 (I? IÌ? IV? +iv°? IÙ? [$VI] V in relative terms) can on its own be convincingly repeated and treated as a chord loop are of course right. Ray Charles, for one, uses a simplified variant of this turnaround sequence as loop in Hallelujah I Love Her So (1957) {I-I3-IV-V} (={B$ B$3 E$ F} in B$) which, further simplified, would turn into a La Bamba loop ({I IV V}; p. 421, ff.). On its third appearance in each verse of the same Ray Charles song, however, the loop is left behind, becoming more like the blues turnaround in example 280: I?IÌ?IV?+iv°?IÙ? (B$ B$/d E$ EJ). That leads into the vamp progression I(5)?VI?II?V?I signalling end of verse. This ability of turnarounds to become loops and vice versa highlights the need to distinguish between the two related concepts. Both loops and turnarounds can have the same dual function: they can either be repeated as loops or propel tonal movement towards something else. Vamp is the clearest embodiment of such dual function and the fourth reason for preferring loop to the other labels for ‘a short sequence of chords, usually three or four, recurring consecutively…’

The VI?II?V? I progression in the Ray Charles song just mentioned is directional and cadential in accordance with the norms of classical harmony in general and in particular with the tenet of anticlockwise movement round the circle of fifths (see pp. 252-264). However, the widespread instruction vamp until ready, which also often involves repeating some kind of VI-II-V- I progression, suggests neither direction nor closure. As Monty Ashley wrote on his website in 2002:

‘[M]y favourite phrase in all of music is “Vamp until ready”. That’s basically an instruction to the band to stall. To fill time. To keep doing the same thing in an attempt to trick the audience into thinking something’s about to happen… I would have thought vamping instructions would be sort of complicated, but it’s usually only a few bars.’

Now, it’s true that a vamp doesn’t have to be based on ‘some kind of VI-II-V- I progression’; however, since vamp until ready appeared so often in sheet music for songs from musicals and since some kind of {I VI II V} loop was either written out or expected from the musicians following the instruction, vamp will in what follows denote any chord sequence of the type [I] VI II V [I]. The ‘[I]’ of course implies that not only does the tonic chord cadentially follow the V that precedes it; it also means that it is followed by a tertial chord based on degree six of the scale. That in turn means that the sequence can function as a loop: {I VI II V}. Vamp will in other words be used to designate that particular type of chord sequence as a class of chord loops, not as a generic term for all chord loops.


Loops and turnarounds

Performance of jazz standards in AABA form often feature vamp turnarounds before each recurrence of the ‘A’ section. Table 32 (p. 405) shows chord changes for the ten-bar ‘A’ section of a UK World War II hit. Note first how, in bars 7-9, the tune’s hook line is set to a cadential [I-]vi-ii-V-I sequence. Then, instead of sticking to that E$ tonic through bars 9 and 10 into the first two beats of the repeat’s bar 1, another I-vi?ii?V (E$ Cm7 Fm7 B$7) is inserted, this time as a turnaround which can be exchanged for its chromatically descending tritone substitution variant if you want to impress jazz chord connoisseurs (see p. 45).

Table 32. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (Sherwin & Strachey, 1940): viable chord changes for ‘A’ section of chorus in AABA form.

1 2 3 4 5

E$^ Cm7 Gm7 E$9 A$D G7 Cm7 D$9 E$^ A$^

6 7 8 9 10

E$^ A$^ E$^ Cm7 F9 B$Y9 E$6 E$6 E$6 E$6

Vamp turnaround for reprise ? Cm7 Fm7 B$7

Partial tritone substitution of turnaround ? G$13 Fm9 E9$5

Table 33. Blue Moon (Rodgers, 1934): vamp loops and turnarounds in a 32-bar jazz standard; bar nºs in italics; each vamp occupies two bars.

[A1] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$

I vi ii V I vi ii V I vi ii V I vi ii V

[A2] 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ A$ E$ Cm

I vi ii V I vi ii V I vi ii V I IV I vi

[B] 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm A$m D$ G$ B$Ù F B$

ii V I vi ii V I vi iv [$VII] [$III] V II V

? in G$ ? ii V I [III] back in E$

[A³ ] 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ Cm Fm B$ E$ A$ E$

I vi ii V I vi ii V I vi ii V I IV I

In several jazz standards —Blue Moon (Rodgers, 1934) and At Last (Warren, 1940) to name just two— the harmony of the entire ‘A’ section, not just its turnaround, consists of the same four-chord vamp. As shown in Table 33, the ‘chorus’ of Blue Moon starts by running a I-vi-ii-V pattern four times in a row (bars 1-8), the first three times as a loop (b. 1-6), the last time as a turnaround leading back to a repeat of the ‘A’ section ‘[A2]’ containing three more vamp loops (b. 9-14) and to a final, plagally extended tonic (E$ A$ E$, b. 15-16). That final E$ (b. 16) also initiates, with a one-bar delay, two more instances of I-vi-ii-V and the first four bars of the song’s ‘B’ section until it faces the middle eight’s obligatory modulation to a quickly accessible but not necessarily neighbouring tonal centre (bars 21-22). In Blue Moon’s case the target foreign key is G$ which is prepared by inserting a minor variant of IV (A$m7) as a pivot chord doubling as ii in a ii?V?I cadence (A$m?D$7? G$). Shifting back to E$ even quicker than we left it, another three instances of {I-vi-ii-V} (bars 25-30) lead to the end of this ‘standard’ in classic 32-bar form, 24 (¾) of which house the I-vi-ii-V vamp sequence as loop or as turnaround, and another two the ii?V?I in G$. That means the harmony of Blue Moon spends over 80% of its time going flatwards round the circle of fifths.

With their anticlockwise movement three steps flatwards round the key clock (VI?II?V?I), vamp sequences have a long history that dates back through jazz and the euroclassical period to chains of seventh chords produced by composers like Corelli and Vivaldi in the Baroque era (p. 264); but it’s not easy to find examples of vamp loops before the heyday of Broadway shows and big bands. It is on that tradition and its vamp until ready practices that US pop song writers drew to provide harmony for a disproportionate number of teenage-oriented hits released between 1957 and 1963, in the gap between the initial impact of rock’n’roll and the breakthrough of British bands in the 1960s.

Vamp loops of the 1957-1963 pop period can be heard as the harmonic epitome of the doowop-shalala culture alluded to in conjunction with the I\vi shuttle (pp. 385-385). Those loops are the chordal signature of what Jerry Lee Lewis is reported to have called ‘milksap’ sung by ‘all those goddam Bobbies’. But it wasn’t so often {I vi ii V I} that accompanied Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell, Bobby Vee, Bobby Vinton and their soundalikes as {I vi IV V I}. Can {I vi ii V I} and {I vi IV V I} really be considered the same thing? The short answer is, as we shall see next, ‘yes and no, but much more “yes” than ”no”’.

Leaving the interwar big-band-friendly key of E$ behind and moving to C as characteristic keynote for much music of the milksap era (I-vi-IV-V = C-Am-F-G in C), the answer to the question just posed should be: ‘yes, they are the same thing except for a difference of one note in one of the four chords’ because 11 of 12 notes are identical in the sequence. As shown in example 66, the only difference between ii and IV is between the d in Dm (ii) and the c in F (IV). At the same time, example 66b shows that a seventh chord on the second degree in C (Dm7, ii) contains exactly the same four notes (d f a c) as an added sixth chord on the fourth degree (F6, IV) and that the only difference between them is the choice of root note, i.e. whether d or f is in the bass. Example 66b also shows that the same principle applies to Fm7 and Dm7L5, all depending on whether f or d is the root of the same chord containing d f a$ and c. Although these aspects of interchangeability between II and IV are particularly striking when sevenths are also included in other chords of the same vamp, as in the performance of jazz standards (ex. 45, p. 270), they do explain why it is possible to consider both I-vi-ii -V and I-vi-IV-V as vamp variants rather than as distinct categories of loopable chord changes.

Fig. 66. (a) I vi ii/IV V in C; (b) interchangeability of II and IV in C.

As stated earlier, {I-vi-IV-V} loops are the harmonic epitome of milksap music emanating from both major and minor record labels in the USA between about 1957 and 1963. When researching that repertoire for intertextual purposes relating to the semiotic analysis of the I-vi-ii-V sequence in Abba’s Fernando (1975), I found 137 relevant tunes on the Billboard hot 100. To give a rough idea of that kind of repertoire I’ve listed 57 of those recordings in Table 34.

The duration of vamp sequences in the songs listed in Table 34 ranges from very short (e.g. 3" for Lollipop by The Chordettes (1958)) to well beyond the limits of present time (e.g. c. 15" for There Goes My Baby by The Drifters (1959)). One vamp progression from 1962 was intentionally omitted from the list because it lasts for 23 seconds, the first half of which appears as example 281.

Table 34. Sample of I-vi-IV-V ‘milksap’ recordings (USA 1957-63).

1957 1961

Tab Hunter: Young Love Chubby Checker: Let’s Twist Again

Ricky Nelson: Teenager’s Romance Dion: Runaround Sue

The Rays: Silhouettes Ben E King: Stand By Me

Paul Anka: Diana Barry Mann: Who Put The Bomp

1958 The Marcels: Blue Moon

Chordettes: Lollipop Ricky Nelson: Travelling Man

Danny & the Juniors: At The Hop Elvis Presley: His Latest Flame

Everly Brothers: Dream Rosie & Originals: Angel Baby

Monotones: The Book Of Love Bobby Rydell: Good Time Baby

Ricky Nelson: Poor Little Fool 1961

1959 Neil Sedaka: Happy Birthday Sweet 16

Paul Anka: Put Your Head On My Shoulder Bobby Vee: Take Good Care Of My Baby

Bobby Darin: Dream Lover Del Shannon: Runaway

Dion & Belmonts: A Teenager In Love Linda Scott: Don’t Bet Money, Honey

Drifters: There Goes My Baby 1962

Connie Francis: Lipstick On Your Collar Gene Chandler: The Duke Of Earl

Ritchie Valens: Donna Sam Cooke: Having A Party

Jackie Wilson: Lonely Teardrops Four Seasons: Sherry Baby

1960 Shirelles: Baby It’s You

Bobby Rydell: Little Bitty Girl 1963

Mark Dinning: Teen Angel Cascades: Rhythm of the Rain

Percy Faith: A Summer Place Elvis Presley: The Devil In Disguise

Jimmy Jones: Handy Man Paul & Paula: Hey Paula!

Sam Cooke: What A Wonderful World This Could Be Del Shannon: Little Town Flirt

Little Peggy March: I Will Follow Him

Bobby Vee: Devil Or Angel Ronettes: Be My Baby

Johnny Tillotson: Poetry In Motion Doris Troy: Just One Look

I started Chapter 9 by arguing that Chuck Berry’s Memphis Tennessee didn’t qualify as a shuttle because it took too long (24") to alternate between its two chords. The same reservation applies in terms of a loop to Ketty Lester’s Love Letters (ex. 281, p. 411): even if its B$-Gm-E$-F (I-vi-IV-V) is repeated consecutively, each occurrence of the progression occupies an entire verse lasting 23 seconds, a duration equivalent to that of a twelve-bar blues in o at q=120. Of course, the twelve-bar blues, like the chaconne or passacaglia, is by definition a tonal format that is repeated consecutively, but if each cycle in the format exceeds the duration of the extended present by a factor greater than two, which it almost always does in the case of a 12-bar blues, it’s impossible to hear it as a loop —as a cyclical harmonic matrix, yes, but not as a loop. On the other hand, if the cycle in question has a duration of no more than two ‘nows’ —a ‘this bit’ and a ’that bit’ with just one caesura and no third or fourth ‘bits’, so to speak— then it can still be heard as a loop. That’s one reason why the repeated 12½-second mixolydian chord formula at the end of Hey Jude (Beatles, 1968a; see p. 426, ff.) can be heard as a single-caesura loop in the same way as longer milksap vamp loop durations like the 15 seconds in There Goes My Baby (Drifters, 1959) or the 14½ seconds in Oh Carol! (Sedaka, 1959). On the other hand, the Love Letters vamp includes four bouts of present time, the first two of which are shown in example 281.

Ex. 281. Ketty Lester: Love Letters (1962): start of first verse

The discussion so far can be summed up in six points.

[1] A simple loop without caesura lasts for between about 3 and 8 seconds, the approximate duration of the extended present;

[2] A single-caesura loop usually lasts for between roughly 8 and 18 seconds, the equivalent of two bouts of present time;

[3] Consecutively repeated chord progressions each of which lasts longer than around 18 seconds are much more likely to be heard as cyclical matrices. Loops may even be included within such cycles, as in the first statement of the ‘A’ section of A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (bars 7-10 in example 32, p. 405).

[4] Loops and turnarounds can consist of the same sequence of chords so that loops can become turnarounds and vice versa. However, while loops go round and round within themselves, turnarounds have a specific episodic function in that they simultaneously signal the end of the ongoing harmonic cycle and propel tonal motion towards the start of the next one.

[5] The most common variants of the I-VI-II-V vamp sequence in English-language popular song are I-vi-ii-V and I-vi-IV-V. Both sequences usually occur as loops. {I-vi-IV-V} became a style indicator of teenage-orientated pop hits released in the USA between 1957 and 1963 (‘milksap’).

[6] Vamp sequences take three steps anticlockwise (flatwards) round the circle of fifths (vi?ii?V?I) and have a history in both jazz and classical harmony.

Vamp, blues and rock

On page 406 I mentioned that the period between 1957 and 1963 coincides with the gap between the initial impact of rock’n’roll (c. 1955-7) and the global influence of British bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (c. 1963-70). It is worth considering this gap historically for both harmonic and ideological reasons. As we shall see, chords, one aspect of ‘everyday tonality’, aren’t just a matter of musical theory or practice: they also have to do with attitudes and values.

‘Classic’ rock’n’roll: IV-I

Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock (1955) and See You Later Alligator (1954), Elvis Presley’s recordings of That’s Alright Mama (1954) and Hound Dog (1956), many of Little Richard’s early recordings (Tutti Frutti, Lucille, Long Tall Sally, etc., 1956-57), Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls Of Fire and Whole Lotta Shakin’ (1957), not to mention Chuck Berry’s Maybellene (1956) and Johnny B Goode (1958) are all generally considered classics of early rock’n’roll. Numerous historians of the genre have interpreted such songs as representing some sort of social and behavioural paradigm shift, drawing attention to qualities like youthful energy and abandon, corporeal self-celebration, and pointing to musical traits like loudness, brisk tempo, plenty of percussive elements, energetic guitar strumming, relatively unrestrained vocal delivery and so on. Any mention of the music’s tonal elements is usually restricted to comments about the use of ‘blue notes’ or to the notion that the harmonies of rock’n’roll are simple. What most commentators tend to omit is that a large proportion of rock’n’roll hits from the mid 1950s, including all those just enumerated, follow the basic twelve-bar blues format | I | I | I | I | IV | IV | I | I | V| IV | I | I |. That sequence performed loud and up-tempo had immediate forerunners in the music of jump bands, boogie-woogie trios and other small combos in the milieu of jive and jitterbug that until the end of World War II had been the territory of riffing big bands. It was first with the initial breakthrough of rock’n’roll in the mid 1950s that those loud, up-tempo renderings of the twelve-bar blues format entered the mainstream en masse. That breakthrough has considerable harmonic and historical significance.

First of all you don’t have to be a musicology professor to work out that the basic blues format contains not a single V?I progression, not a single ‘perfect’ cadence. Even though the V in bar 9 may occasionally be repeated in bar 10, and even though turnarounds ending on V in bar 12 are far from uncommon in slower blues recordings, the basic harmonic matrix contains no steps anticlockwise round the circle of fifths. Of course, many jazz versions of the twelve-bar blues replace the I-V-IV-I of bars 8-11 with a vamp-related progression similar to that shown in the bebop example on page 353, but that is jazz, not rock. 1950s rock’n’roll usage of the format usually adheres to the V-IV-I-I pattern in bars 9-12. So, what’s the big deal?

A small but important part of the answer has already been intimated: that the closing change in a basic twelve-bar blues cycle is IV?I, not V?I such as you are bound to find in classical harmony or in music using a vamp sequence. The ‘Amen’ change (IV-I) in bars 10-11 of the twelve-bar format is in other words plagal, one step clockwise (sharpwards) round the key clock. But the question is whether we are in fact dealing with harmonic direction at all when rock, pop and Country musicians use the V-IV-I end changes so familiar from bars 9-11 of a twelve-bar blues.

The intro to an Eddy Cochran hit from 1958 is cited as example 282 (p. 414) for three reasons: [1] it includes the V-IV-I end change from the twelve-bar blues format so popular in rock’n’roll circles at the time the tune was recorded; [2] it contains no V?I change and little or no V?I directionality; [3] the bass anacrusis in bar 4 works like a miniature turnaround: it propels motion back to the start of the intro loop both rhythmically (eq e |q) and tonally (Û $ê Û $ê ? î = b d b d ? e). This third point will be useful in the discussion of factors determining the home key of certain types of chord loop.

Ex. 282. Eddie Cochran: C’mon Everybody (1958): 5½" ionian intro pattern.

Here, though, we need to focus first on the second point because it represents a radical shift in the accompaniment of English-language popular song away from euroclassical ii-V- I directionality. The Cochran tune’s chords are simply I, IV and V in E, but V (B) is no dominant and IV (A) no subdominant for two reasons: [1] return to the tonic (E) is not from a supposed ‘dominant’ on B (V-I) but from IV; [2] the Cochran B (V) chord occupies only two of the loop’s 16 beats while A (IV) occupies six and E eight. This means that in terms of both duration and cadential function IV (A) is more ‘dominant’ and V (B) more ‘subdominant’, so to speak. Still, switching the meaning of those two terms of euroclassical theory to cater for other harmonic realities, although illustrating a valid point, would cause even more confusion. It’s therefore advisable to abandon both terms in the discussion of most types of non-euroclassical harmony and to propose a more adequate type of theorisation.

Outgoing, medial and incoming chords

The solution suggested for a theory of chord loops in anglophone pop/rock music is to replace concepts like ‘dominant’ and ‘subdominant’ with the following: outgoing chord, medial chord, incoming chord, and turnaround chord (Fig. 67, p. 415). In the Cochran intro, in E, IV (A) is both its outgoing and incoming chord because its first change is I-IV and its final change IV-I. V (B) is the intro’s medial chord simply because it occurs in the middle of the loop. Since the loop both starts and ends on the same chord (E) it contains no turnaround chord in bar 4 and has to be supplied with the monophonic bass-line anacrusis shown in example 282. In vamps, on the other hand, the outgoing chord is vi, the medial chord ii or IV, followed by V which is both the incoming chord and turnaround chord towards I as the loop repeats. Of course, in both these cases the tonic (I) is of primary importance, being both starting point and destination of the loop, at least as long as it is in operation.

Fig. 67. Chord positions/functions inside loop with vamp as example.

(note: in 3-chord loops medial and incoming are usually on the same chord, e.g. I-IV-V-V for La Bamba).

With artists like Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Eddie Cochran out of action not long after the initial impact of rock’n’roll, recordings of energetic twelve-bar blues formats with their V-IV-I endings made less frequent appearances on the mainstream sales charts. That space was soon filled with manufactured teenage idols and their vamp until ready I-vi-IV-V loops. It was almost as if the shift towards non-classical harmony had been a passing fad. The historical point, which I cannot discuss here in any detail, is that a prewar harmonic model was dusted off and dressed up as a teenager with moody good looks and all the superficial attributes of youthful musical energy: guitar strumming, prominent bass and drum parts, etc. However, like parlour song, polkas, waltzes and jazz standards, the milksap records, based on vamp loops or not, usually cadenced V?I. Rather than profit from the obvious popularity of recent recordings featuring non-classical major-key harmony (Tutti Frutti, Hound Dog, C’mon Everybody, etc.), professional songwriters of the milksap era stuck to the familiar and well-trodden (ii/IV?) V?I paths of popular harmony from before the war and, in the lyrics, to teenage-oriented variants of love and marriage topics that were usually absent in the up-tempo rock’n’roll recordings. Now, there may be interesting parallels to draw between this reversion to older harmonic models and attempts at the same time to contain changes in social and sexual values within previously established rules of order and decency, but that is not the subject of this book. Whatever the case, if such hypotheses were to be tested, you would need viable theoretical tools to sort out the harmonic side of the issue. And that is definitely relevant to the title of this book.

Beatles harmony: bridging the gap

After the temporary re-emergence of vamps around 1960, non-classical harmony —mainly ionian, dorian, mixolydian and aeolian— became an increasingly common trait in music that was eventually labelled rock or rock and roll rather than rock’n’roll.† At the same time, many aspects of classical harmony remained an integral part in recordings of English-language popular song. For example, The Beatles, at their numerous gigs in Hamburg (1960-62), had to provide the demographically heterogeneous audience with an equally heterogeneous mixture of popular music styles. Early Beatles recordings (1962a/b, 1963a/c, 1964c/e) exhibit an eclecticism that includes everything from old-style I-IV-V-I classical-harmony-based singalongs (e.g. My Bonnie; When The Saints Go Marching In), through AABA 32-bar standards (e.g. Sweet Georgia Brown; Till There Was You) to ‘fast, loud twelve-bar blues formats and V-IV-I endings’ (e.g. Long Tall Sally; Kansas City). Furthermore, even though they covered at least one vamp loop tune in their repertoire (Please Mr. Postman; Marvelettes, 1961), they also drew on harmony associated with ‘folk song’ from the British Isles (e.g. A Taste Of Honey, 1963a). That ‘folk’ influence turns up more often in later recordings like And I Love Her and Things We Said Today (aeolian, 1964a), Norwegian Wood (mixolydian, 1965b) and Eleanor Rigby (dorian/aeolian, 1966). Add to all these harmonic influences Harrison’s interest in Indian rāga music (e.g. Within You Without You, 1967b) plus experimentation with musique concrète and other avant-garde techniques (e.g. Tomorrow Never Knows, 1966) and you have a respectable number of tonal territories regularly occupied by the band. In addition to all that there are several Beatles idiosyncrasies whose harmonic origins I’ve failed to clearly identify but which seem to have influenced other bands. One such idiosyncrasy is what Mellers (1973: 54) calls the band’s ‘familiar mediant transitions’, as in She Loves You (1963b), Help! (1965a) or She’s Leaving Home (1967b), but which I prefer to think of as multi-functional ways of treating the major key’s minor triads ii, iii and vi. For instance, apart from the mediantal transitions just mentioned you’ll find a regular submediant shuttle (I\vi in G) running into an aeolian cadence on vi (E minor) in Not A Second Time (1963c) and a reverse mediantal shuttle (vi\I) with an unusual continuation in It Won’t Be Long (1963c). One final minor-triad-related Beatles idiosyncrasy is worth mentioning: starting songs on vi (e.g. She Loves You; It Won’t Be Long); or on iii (Can’t Buy Me Love, 1964a); or on ii (e.g. All My Loving, 1963c; No Reply, 1964c; Help!, 1965a; You Never Give Me Your Money, 1969a).

Devoting one page to Beatles harmony may seem excessive to some readers, totally inadequate to others. Whatever the case, my aim was neither to aggrandise nor belittle the band’s importance but to present their use of harmony as eclectic and aggregative in a particular historical context. Their ability to assimilate a wide range of (then) contemporary harmonic idioms into a body of work in which none of those constituent idioms is hegemonic may partly explain their continued popularity across generational and other demographic gaps, but that is not really the point I wanted to make. More relevant to this chapter on chord loops is the fact that The Beatles helped expand the harmonic repertoire of popular music making so that it could include I-IV-V-I singalongs, twelve-bar blues sequences, ii?V?I directionality and mediantal progressions, as well as various types of non-ionian tonality. In short, while we shall see in what follows that there is often correlation between particular types of loop conceived in particular harmonic idioms and particular styles of music, that variety of idiom in the pop mainstream was made possible by musicians who bridged the old stylistic gaps, in particular by The Beatles.

Like shuttles, chord loops often play a central role in the creation of popular song in recording and performance. They work as the tonal ingredient of groove and, like shuttles, are best regarded as ongoing states, conditions or ‘places to be’, not as transitions or parts of an overarching tonal scheme or process. Many songs are harmonically based on a single loop (e.g. La Bamba) but more use one loop for just one section of the song and move elsewhere for other sections. Having already dealt in some detail with the vamp, perhaps the best known of all chord loops, and with its vi-ii/IV-V-I directionality, most of the chord loops presented in the next chapter rely on a decidedly less euroclassical type of tonality.

Summary in 8 points

[1] A chord loop is a cyclical sequence consisting of typically three or four chords that is repeated consecutively at least once.

[2] The duration of a single chord loop occurrence is normally that of the extended present. It can, however, also cover two bouts of the extended present if the boundary between its constituent parts is marked by a some sort of caesura (typically between two melodic phrases).

[3] Consecutively repeated chord progressions each of which lasts longer than around eighteen seconds are much more likely to be heard as cyclical matrices than as loops (e.g. a twelve-bar blues).

[4] A turnaround is a chord progression played at the end of one section and whose purpose is to facilitate recapitulation of the complete harmonic sequence of that section (e.g. bars 11-12 in a twelve-bar blues). Turnarounds can also function as chord loops, e.g. {I-vi-ii/IV-V} (e.g. Blue Moon).

[5] {I-vi-ii-V} or {I-vi-IV-V} are two common variants of the vamp loop (ii7 and IV6 contain the same notes). {I-VI7-II7-V7} and {I-VI7L5-$VI7L5-VP9} are just two of numerous other vamp variants.

[6] Vamp sequences are intrinsically ionian and tertial. Their root notes proceed anti-clockwise (flatwards) round the key clock by falling fifths towards the tonic and include the V?I cadence of classical harmony — VI?II?V?I. They were commonly used in English-language popular song during the inter-war years, as well as during the ‘milksap’ era (USA, c. 1958-1963).

[7] During the ‘classical’ rock'n'roll period (c. 1955-58) and after the breakthrough of British bands (1963, ff.) clockwise (sharpward) movement round the key clock became increasingly common in popular music that drew on the blues and/or on folk music rather than on jazz standards.

[8] The Beatles helped expand the harmonic repertoire of popular music making so as to include vamps, mediantal progressions, as well as both anticlockwise (flatward) and clockwise (sharpward) movement round the circle of fifths.

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14. Chord loops & bimodality

Ionian or mixolydian?

Since the vamp loop discussed in the previous chapter is built on unaltered tertial triads of the major scale’s constituent notes it is by definition ionian. However, it is, with its three flatward steps round the key clock (vi? ii/IV?V?I, e.g. Am-Dm/F-G-C), a rare bird in the ionian menagerie. Even the La Bamba loop ({I-IV-V}, e.g. C-F-G), whose V leads back into I, is, for reasons explained on page 275, unlikely to follow the voice-leading principles of classical harmony.

Table 35 (p. 422) lists a selection of tunes featuring ionian loops that contain the three chords which first-year students of classical harmony students are expected to learn in their first term: I, IV and V. To make things easier, I have restricted the first batch of loops examined to those starting on I (‘one’, the tonic). One reason for starting this chapter with those loops is that they link directly back to the passage about Eddy Cochran’s C’mon Everybody (p. 414, ff.) and to the necessity of abandoning notions of ‘dominant’, ‘subdominant’ and ‘perfect cadence’ when dealing with a large part of everyday harmonic reality. Another reason is that by dealing exclusively first with major triads in what most Europeans and many North Americans will doubtless think of as ‘the major scale’, I can hopefully exploit familiarity with how those ‘easy’ chords sound to explain the range of modal and connotative variety that different configurations of I, IV and V can produce.

The first subgroup in Table 35 (p. 422) lists examples of {I-IV-V} loops whose final V chord always leads back to I, while the second category consists of a selection of loops whose turnaround change is plagal (IV as incoming chord to I). The first part of section (a) in the table mentions two Latin-American tunes (La Bamba and Guantanamera), two happily energetic dance numbers (Do You Love Me? and Twist And Shout), and the celebratory singalong chorus of an otherwise pretty psychedelic Beatles track. The I-V-IV-V loops listed in the second part of section (a) all accompany tunes best qualified in terms of carefree singalong.

Table 35. Selection of ionian chord loops consisting of only I, IV and V

Type Tune (Artist, Year: chords; [detail])

(a) ionian loops with V-I turnaround


La Bamba

loops • La bamba (Richie Valens, 1958: C F G G)

• Do You Love Me (Brian Poole & the Tremoloes, 1963b: D G A A)

• Guantanamera (Trini Lopez, 1963: E A B B)

• Twist and Shout (Isley Brothers, 1962: F B$ C C)

• Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Beatles, 1967b: A D E E)

I-V-IV-V • I Don’t Want To Know (Fleetwood Mac 1977: B F# E F#; hook)

• I Walk The Hill (Big Country, 1986: D A G A)

• From Under The Covers (Beautiful South, 1989: F C B$ C; verses)

(b) ionian loops with plagal turnaround (IV-I)


Wild Thing

loops • C’mon Everybody (Eddy Cochran 1958: E A B A)

• Sweets For My Sweet (Searchers 1964: D G A G)

• Wild Thing (Troggs 1966: A D E D)

• Hang On Sloopy (McCoys 1965: G C D C)

• Name of the Game (Abba 1977: A D E D; hook line/chorus)

• Congratulations (Traveling Wilburys 1988: C F G F)

I-V-IV • Knocking On Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan 1973: G D C C [Am × 2])

• Already Gone (Eagles 1974: G D C C)

• Helpless (Neil Young 1977: D A G G)

‘Carefree singalong’ applies also quite well to the first batch of plagal loops (I-IV-V-IV), even if the light-hearted familiarity in Congratulations is verbally ironic and paced quite slowly. But the general mood of the {I-V-IV-IV} songs in section (b) of the table is quite different. The Eagles track is in moderately brisk tempo and has lyrics about showing courage in the face of difficulty, but the Dylan and Neil Young recordings move much more slowly. The words of Knocking On Heaven’s Door are about facing death and being weary of violence, those of Helpless about hopelessness with a faint promise of consolation. The lyrics of all three songs are reflective first-person narratives sung by a solo male vocalist. They are musically presented as Country-influenced ballads in a partially folk-rock vein, not exactly a startling stylistic choice for serious singer-songwriters like Dylan or Young. We are a long way from the carefree singalong of tunes in Table 35’s other subgroups.

One reason for such clear connotative differences between the {I-V-IV-IV} songs and the others listed in Table 35 is obviously tempo, another melodic profile and register, yet another vocal timbre and so on; but none of this means that harmony has no bearing on the issue. One reason is that the lyrics of the Eagles song, although set in a quicker tempo than both Hang On Sloopy and Wild Thing, have at least some qualities of narrative reflection that the majority of tunes in the first three subgroups lack. In fact it’s as hard to find loops from songs in the first three subgroups linked to reflection about serious things as it is to find {I-V-IV-IV} in a cheerful, familiar-sounding or carefree singalong. Although extensive research would be necessary to test the validity of that observation, it is not unreasonable to hypothesise that the relative duration of I, IV and V, as well as their functions in the loop (incoming, medial, etc.), may be factors affecting the connotative charge of the chord loop in question. If that is so, how can the three simplest chord functions known to harmony students give rise to even the slightest connotative difference in the space of just a few seconds? One reason is that conventional harmony can only see V as ‘dominant’ leading to I and cannot entertain the notion that V can be directly followed by IV, as in the {I-V-IV-IV} loops. According to those norms, IV can, if no parallel fifths or octaves are involved, proceed to V (and thence to I) but V ‘cannot’ go to IV, and thence possibly also to I. ‘Thence to one’ is an important observation because the most common incoming and turnaround chord in ionian, dorian and mixolydian loops is, at least in rock-related contexts, IV or, failing that, another chord whose root note is situated flatward of the tonic in the circle of fifths. Under such circumstances movement to the target tonic proceeds in a clockwise direction. Indeed, plagal cadences are probably more rule than exception in those musical styles.

Since the loops in Table 35 only contain the three chords I, IV and V, both IV and V can have more than one function. For example, the V in {I-V-IV-V} and the IV in {I-IV-V-IV} function as both outgoing and incoming chords whereas the IV in {I-V-IV-V} and the V in {I-IV-V-IV} have an exclusively medial function. With {I-IV-V-V} and {I-V-IV-IV}, on the other hand, V is the medial and incoming chord functions that combine and the outgoing that stays single. One simple rule of thumb in determining the character of these chord loops is that the more functions a chord fulfils, the more important it is. Another general guideline is that the medial chord often works like the opposite pole of a chord shuttle and can, as such, have particular importance as ‘the other place to be inside the loop’ (counterpoise), especially if the outgoing chord is both produced and heard as a logical step towards that pole and if the incoming chord is produced and heard as a logical link back between the medial and primary chords in the loop. Such links, explained in the next paragraph, can occur either as scalar motion in the root notes involved or as steps in one direction or the other round the circle of fifths.

In a {I-vi-ii-V} vamp in C, for example, the outgoing chord, vi (Am in C), takes one step flatwards to arrive at the medial chord ii (Dm), then another step flatwards to the incoming chord V (G) which takes a final single step flatwards back to I (C). La bamba loops, on the other hand, start with one step flatwards to the outgoing chord, IV, which then uses a scalar root-note progression (usually barré with parallel fifths and octaves) to reach the medial halfway house, V. That medial is then prolonged into an incoming chord function which completes the loop with a predictable single step flatwards to the tonic. It is clear that V, in its medial position, is where the outgoing IV was heading, even clearer that it is the incoming chord to I. In short, V carries more weight than IV in a La bamba loop. It is for the very same reasons that the reverse applies to the I-V-IV-IV loops (Dylan, The Eagles and Neil Young), where IV occupies the dual function of medial and (plagal) incoming chord, and where V, as outgoing chord, acts only as scalar link down to IV. In those V-IV-IV loops, IV carries much more weight than V, not so much because it occupies more time as because it is both where the V leads (medial position) and what points the loop back to its primary point on I (incoming function).

Things are not so clear cut with the two subgroups in the middle of Table 35. In the I-V-IV-V loops (Fleetwod Mac, etc.) V acts first as outgoing chord that leads by scalar descent to IV which is clearly the medial chord, the most obviously different ‘place to be’ inside the loop, as in the Dylan and Neil Young tunes. Then, with a one-step scalar ascent, the medial chord returns to V which then acts as incoming chord and makes an expected V-I change back to the tonic. V has a dual function in the loop and occupies half of its duration, but IV is the medial chord, the opposite pole (Fig. 67, p. 415). The same applies in reverse to the I-IV-V-IV loops: I’ve labelled them ‘plagal’ because: [1] the final step sharpwards from incoming or turnaround chord to tonic is IV?I; [2] because the outgoing chord is also IV; and [3] because IV occupies half the loop’s duration. However, given the medial function of V, do the I-IV-V-IV loops really sound more plagal than those in the I-V-IV-V subgroup or do they both straddle a kind of tonal no-man’s land between IV and V in relation to I? The only honest answer I can give is that I don’t know. What’s more I think the question is irrelevant unless I insist on hearing the V in the Dylan and Neil Young I-V-IV-IV loops as a ‘dominant’ demanding the tonic, which it patently neither is nor does.

Spot the key

Before putting to rest the misconceptions of conventional harmony in this chapter, there’s the thorny issue of identifying the tonic (’keynote’, ‘I’, ‘one’) in chord loops. I may have had difficulty sorting out issues of relative importance for IV and V but the identification of a tonic is not always an easy or necessarily possible task.

Example 283 (below) contains only three triads: D, C and G. Repeat marks indicate that each of the four sequences is a loop. Loops 1a and 1b are identical ({D-C-G}), as are 2a and 2b which are retrogrades of 1a and 1b ({G-C-D}). The only differences between the four loops are in the roman numerals identifying the tonic as first chord in loops 1b and 2a and as last chord in 1a and 2b.

Ex. 283. Same three chords, two different tonics

Two modes are in evidence in example 283 because the tonic G (I) in loop 1a becomes, in identical loop 1b, a medial and incoming IV to D (I). The same goes for the shift of tonic from G to D in loops 2a and 2b. The difference between the two pairs of identical chordal twins is one of mode: I on G, IV on C and V on D means ionian because, according to Table 21 (p. 276), that’s the only heptatonic diatonic mode with major triads on scale degrees Â, Ô and Û —I, IV, V—, while the only mode with major triads on Â, $ê and Û —I, $VII, IV— is the mixolydian. So, if it’s not possible to spot the tonic chord unequivocally from its position in the loop, what other clues can help us identify it? Here are some suggestions.

[1] Is the loop preceded or followed by other material that can put it in a larger tonal context?

[2] Does the performance containing the loop end without fade on a particular chord that might be heard as a tonal resting place?

[3] Is any chord immediately preceded by another in the loop which includes, or concurs with, anacrustic patterns highlighting and propelling motion towards that subsequent chord?

[4] Does one of the chords in the loop have two functions of which one is either first or last in the sequence?

[5] Is the music in which the loop occurs part of a tradition in which some tonal configurations are more common than others?

Let’s test these tips using two famous loop tunes: [1] La bamba, usually in C or D but here transposed to G to facilitate comparison, and its I-IV-V-V loop ({G C D D}), shown as ‘2a’ in example 283; [2] Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974) and its I-$VII-IV-IV loop, labelled ‘1b’, also in example 283 ({D C G G}). How can we tell that, using the same chords, the La bamba loop is in G and Sweet Home Alabama in D?

The first tip (what comes before and after the loop) is no help because the harmony of each song consists entirely of a single loop. Tip no. 2 is not much better in the case of La bamba because, although the Trini Lopez version culminates in an abrupt stop on the first chord of the loop (I), my Ritchie Valens and Los Lobos recordings of the song both end in fade-out. The widely distributed studio version of Sweet Home Alabama (1974) fades out too but the band seemed to be in no doubt that live performance of the tune demanded a final rock-show flourish on D (1977). As noted previously on several occasions, loops, like shuttles, are much more ‘places to be’ than ‘means to an end’. If a finality marker is necessary in live performance, the tune’s last chord could well be the last chord of the loop, as in several versions of Guantanamera (see below). And even if Lynyrd Skynyrd’s live performances of Sweet Home Alabama end on D as mixolydian I, the tune can also be finished just as convincingly on a plagally extended IV (G G C G) set to the rhythm |iiil_h |.

As for live-performance markers of harmonic finality in Latin American songs based on I-IV-V loops, the choice seems more open-ended. Different versions of the popular Cuban song Guantanamera and its basic {I-IV-V} loop pattern serve to illustrate this point. Joseíto Fernández’s iconic recording (1967) ends on V, as do Pete Seeger versions of the song (e.g. 1963), whereas Célia Cruz and Tito Puente (1992) opt for a big-band flourish on I —the ‘gringo ending’—, while The Sandpipers, in their 1966 global hit recording of the song, just fade out over the I-IV-V loop. In fact, the fade-out is in one sense the most convincing Guantanamera ending because it implicitly acknowledges {I-IV-V} as the song’s ‘home key’ and ‘place to be’. This kind of Latin-American music displays, as Manuel (2002) puts it, a ‘dual tonicity’ (≈ double tonic), a phenomenon conceptualised by Carlos Vega (1944: 160) in terms of bimodality and discussed later in this chapter (pp. 433-442). The main point here is that if musicians can opt to end on either what they perceive as the tonic or on the last chord of the loop in question, then the harmonic finality marker in live performance is not necessarily the loop’s tonic. So, let’s try the third of the five tips listed on page 427: it involves determining if any chord in the loop is immediately preceded by another which includes anacrustic patterns highlighting that subsequent chord by introducing propulsive motion towards it?

Example 284 (p. 430) shows two representative lead guitar licks for the mixolydian loop in Sweet Home Alabama. Like the upbeat |L z l z l | (l) figure at the end of example 282 (p. 414), the jl_jjjl ending of the Sweet Home Alabama loop (ex. 284) is anacrustic. This anacrusis has both rhythmic and tonal aspects. Rhythmically, the music’s surface rate increases from il to jl , an action which, so to speak, hurries the music on, propelling movement towards whatever immediately follows, in this case to the D chord at the start of the loop. Tonally the anacrusis contains the repeated rising pentatonic pattern Û<â<Â (a

Ex. 284. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet Home Alabama (1974): two lead guitar licks.

With La Bamba transposed to run {G-C-D-D} on the other hand, anacruses come mainly in the form of the vocalist’s pickup syllables Para bailar la (|Z z il l z), Una poca de (|L il il z) and Yo no soy mari- (|L il l il), which aim at Bamba, gracia and -nero respectively as their ensuing downbeats (|l l ) at the start of the loop. Since Bamba, gracia and -ero land consistently on the anacrustically targeted chord of G, G becomes just as clearly I in the {G-C-D-D} of La Bamba as D became I in the {D-C-G-G} of Sweet Home Alabama.

However, the fact that the first chord in both the La Bamba (ionian) and Sweet Home Alabama (mixolydian) loops happens to be I in no way means that I is always in that loop position. You only need to repeat the {V-IV-I-I} (ionian ex. 283-1a, {D-C-G-G}) to hear that G, not D, is I. Another reason for rejecting the first chord is tonic theory is that one common variant of the simple mixolydian loop runs {$VII-IV-I-I}, like the {D-A-E-E} in the chorus of With A Little Help From My Friends (Beatles, 1967b) or in the first two phrases of ‘Polythene Pam’ from Abbey Road (Beatles, 1969a). That {$VII-IV-I} is important because the roots of its three chords appear in order as two clockwise steps round the circle of fifths, as shown in Figures 41 (p. 256) and 68 (p. 432). In fact, all the mixolydian loops listed in Table 36 feature stepwise clockwise motion sharpwards round the key clock (see online demo The Mixolydian Mini-Montage).

Table 36. Examples of songs containing simple three-chord mixolydian loops

Type Key Song (Artist, Year)





C • With A Little Help From My Friends (Beatles, 1967b: hook)

• Polythene Pam (Beatles, 1969a: start of verses)

• 20th Century Man (Kinks, 1971)

• Gimme All Your Lovin’ (Z.Z. Top, 1983: hook)



G • Hey Jude (Beatles, 1968b; end)

• Fortunate Son (Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1970)






C • The Midnight Rambler (Rolling Stones, 1969)

• Where Do We Go From Here Now? (The Band, 1971)

• 20th Century Man (Kinks, 1971)

• Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974)

• Sharp Dressed Man (Z.Z. Top, 1983: verse starts)




A • Soul Finger (Bar Kays, 1967)

• Traveler In Time (Uriah Heep, 1972)

• You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet (Bachman Turner, 1974)

All these mixolydian loops contain two consecutive steps of a rising fifth or falling fourth: from $VII to IV and from IV to I (Figure 68, p. 432). We know that we’ve arrived on the tonic at that point because that’s where the process stops and a single two-step jump in the opposite direction, flatwards from I back to $VII, is needed for the sharpwards process to repeat. In fact it’s the exact opposite of classical harmony’s II?V?I directionality with its anticlockwise steps flatwards ending on I, where a single two-step jump sharpwards (from I to II) is required for the process to repeat. The tonic can therefore sometimes be identified as the culmination point of a process in one direction or the other round the key clock.

Fig. 68. Basic mixolydian and ionian directionality towards tonic in G

It’s also worth noting that longer rising-fifth progressions can occur in rock music, for example the final F?C? G?A cadence in 20th Century Man (Kinks, 1971) or the famous loop {C-G-D-A-E} ({$VI-$III-$VII-IV-I}) in Hey Joe (Hendrix, 1967a). In any case, all the short mixolydian chord loops listed in Table 36 (p. 431) establish the tonic as culmination of stepwise chordal movement sharpwards (clockwise) round the circle of fifths. That is certainly true for Sweet Home Alabama (C?G?D = $VII IV I) but how can it apply in reverse to La Bamba’s ionian loop (still in G) which arrives on G as tonic not from A (II) or Am (ii) and D (V), as suggested in Figure 68, but from C (IV) and D (V)? For two reasons: [1] as we’ve already seen (pp. 407-408), since IV6 and ii7 contain the same notes, IV and ii often serve the same purpose as chords preceding V in standard flatwards sequences towards the tonic; [2] the single scalar step from IV to V can provide a viable alternative to the single circle-of-fifths step from ii to V in projecting tonal movement towards V and thence to I.

Aeolian and phrygian

Fig. 69. Aeolian directionality

Chord progressions based on both scalar and circle-of-fifths motion combine to create considerable directionality in aeolian shuttles, loops and cadences. Remembering that the aeolian mode is alone with its major triads on the flat sixth and flat seventh degrees ($VI, $VII), the scalar aspect of aeolian chord sequences is obvious: $VI?$VII?I/i (F-G-A/Am), as in Figure 69. Like the mixolydian loops, the motion of aeolian harmony towards the tonic also proceeds sharpwards round the key clock, the main difference being that aeolian harmony uses double consecutive steps clockwise to progress from its flatward pole ($VI) to the tonic (Fig. 69).

At the same time, aeolian harmony’s scalar aspect means that it is, if the tonic triad contains no Picardy third, eminently reversible in terms not of tonal centre but of the conjunct motion of the chords’ root notes ($â-$ê-î-$ê-$â-$ê-î, etc.). It is this type of reversibility that motivated the general categorisation of aeolian loops like { i $VII $VI $VII } as aeolian shuttles: i\$VI via $VII, so to speak, as in Sultans Of Swing (Dire Straits, 1978: Dm via C to B$ and back via C to Dm; see pp. 386-388). However, if the tonic triad is major the sequence is usually unidirectional and turns into the much used aeolian cadence with Picardy third, as in The Beatles’ P.S. I Love You (1963a) and Lady Madonna (1968a).

Another aeolian device in English-language pop music is the uninterrupted cadence discussed earlier (pp. 260-261) and exemplified by Um Um Um Um Um (ex. 285, below). Its loop {I I ii vi} —A-A-Bm-F#m— runs throughout both the Major Lance (1962) and Wayne Fontana (1964) versions of the song and, as also noted earlier, has F#m as its final harmonic resting place. Heard in the key of F# minor rather than its relative major (A), roman numerals for the same loop would be {$III-$III-iv- i} and its final cadence plagal aeolian —plagal because the final step is from iv (Bm) to i (F#m) and aeolian because that’s the only ‘church’ mode featuring both $III and iv but neither $II nor $vii. However, uninterrupted cadences heard in the major key are more often of the V-vi type ($VII-i if you hear vi as i) and which serve to harmonically complete the phrases quoted as examples 141(a), (b) and (c) on page 191. They also turn up in Beatles tunes like Not A Second Time (example 286).

Ex. 285. Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders: Um Um Um Um Um (1964); uninterrupted final plagal aeolian cadence

Ex. 286. Beatles: Not A Second Time (1963c); uninterrupted aeolian cadence

Times critic William Mann’s qualification (1963) of this Beatles cadence as aeolian may have caused the young Lennon understandable mirth but it is quite accurate. It is also a cadence that may have caused a few eyebrows of to be raised in 1963, when there was little or no established alternative to the precepts of classical harmony in institutions of musical learning, but it should, almost half a century later after decades of mediantal folk rock and other types of rock tonality, cause no surprise at all. And yet it does: several of my pop music analysis seminar participants, all fed on a strict diet of V-I directionality, have found such cadences incomplete. Such surprise is all the more surprising given the continued existence today of tonality using other modes than the ionian and established a millennium before the rise to power of the ionian mode in euroclassical music. What can possibly be incomplete about completing a final ‘Amen’ on $ê and î (Â) if you hear example 287 in D minor or on Û and â if you hear it in F?

Ex. 287. Psalm tone 2 (end of final ‘Gloria patri et filio’…)

The question just asked is rhetorical because it’s hard to think of musical events more final than a final ‘Amen’. The problem of course lies in the particular type of tonal monocentricity with which our music students are still brainwashed. Having two possible tonal poles, like Psalm tone 2, Um Um Um Um Um or Not A Second Time, need be no problem unless you uncritically accept the arrogations of conventional harmony teaching, or unless you’ve somehow managed to entirely miss the tonal idioms of rock, droned ‘folk’ harmonisations, bimodal popular music from Latin America, music by composers of the Tudor era, the toni of Roman psalmody, and so on and so forth.

Carlos Vega (1944: 160), referring to criollo song, noted with customary acuity that ‘[t]here are no major tunes and minor tunes. There are just bimodal tunes’. The examples of uninterrupted cadences just presented are in Vega’s sense bimodal since they can be heard as first in a major mode, then in a minor mode (Um Um Um in A then F#m, Not A Second Time in G then Em, psalmody tone 2 in first F then in Dm). If you still insist on tonal monocentricity for such short musical statements, you’ll have to determine whether you’re hearing first I and then vi or first $III then i. My advice is to convert to a more catholic view that allows for the existence of both bimodal and monomodal notions of tonality. Although these considerations may not be directly relevant to the discussion of V-vi, a relatively rare change inside the chord loops of post-war English-language popular music, the notion of bimodality is essential to understanding the workings of another, extremely common type of aeolian loop: {i-iv-V}.

The {F#m Bm C#} of example 289 (p. 438) contains an aeolian loop that can be understood as the harmonic minor equivalent of the ionian La Bamba pattern. With v altered to V, it basically runs {i-iv-V-V} (e.g. Am Dm E; F#m Bm C#; Dm Gm A) and is widely used in Latin America. It’s certainly common in Cuban son and bolero styles, not least with artists like Compay Segundo and Carlos Puebla. This harmonic minor loop has a close relative in the {iv i V i} patterns (e.g. Dm Am E Am) that also often occur in popular music from Iberia and Latin America. Apart from running throughout substantial sections of several traditional Cuban son and bolero tunes, {iv-i-V-i} turns up as introduction to at least three Amália Rodrigues fado recordings. This {iv-i-V-i} cousin of {i-iv-V [-i]} is also common in music from Andean regions where it has another close bimodal aeolian relative: the $VI-$III-V-i sequence, as illustrated in example 288.

Ex. 288. Los Calchakis: Quiquenita (Argentinian trad.; La flûte indienne, 1968)

The $VI-$III-V-i bimodal accompaniment for this little Andean tune runs as a loop, as indeed it does in a few other songs on the globally distributed La flûte indienne album, but such patterns tend more often to either occupy longer durations than those of the extended present or not to be repeated consecutively.

Three quarters of the sung part of Carlos Puebla’s famous ode to Che Guevara (ex. 289, p. 438) uses the standard harmonic minor i-iv-V loop (F#m-Bm-C# in F# minor, bars 1-4, 6-7) and a straight i\V shuttle (F#m\ C# in bars 5-6 and 9-12). The last quarter (bars 13-16) consists of a phrygian descent towards what monomodal minds would assume to be V (C#) but which, if you listen bimodally, is heard as I in tune’s final four-bar phrase because F#m-E-D-C# is iv-$III-$II-I in C# and because a falling [iv-] $III-$II-I progression is a standard finality marker in phrygian harmony —the ‘Andalusian’ cadence. After all, that’s how the four-bar introductions to each verse of ¡Hasta siempre! (Comandante Che Guevara) run (ex. 197, p. 288) and, more importantly, that’s how Puebla’s performance of the entire piece ends, complete with ritardando and a break in the accompanying instrumental rhythm (bars 15-16).

Ex. 289. Carlos Puebla: ¡Hasta siempre! (Che Guevara): aeolian and phrygian.

As already noted, maestro flamenquista Sabicas also ends his malagueña performances with the same cadence and it’s certainly how Greek songwriter Stavros Kouyioumtzis chose to finish the tune quoted as example 199 on page 289. But the malagueña and the Kouyioumtzis song are more unambiguously phrygian (actually Hijaz) than Puebla’s Guevara ode, whose twenty-bar full cycle (4 bars instrumental plus 16 bars verse) consists of twelve bars in the aeolian-harmonic-minor mode (60% or the total duration) and eight bars (40%) of phrygian-mode descent. That descent takes us from what was i (F#m) but now becomes iv, down through an Andalusian cadence via $III and $II to the phrygian tonic with its Picardy third (Hijaz). And Puebla isn’t alone in working bimodally between aeolian-harmonic-minor and phrygian/Hijaz: you only need to check traditional Cuban songs like Decimas a un niño and Tonada de corte andaluz to find the same bimodal pattern. The pattern is schematised in Figure 70, using the chord sequences of example 289 by way of illustration.

Fig. 70. Aeolian (harmonic minor) in F# to phrygian (Hijaz) in C#: bimodal harmony in Puebla’s Comandante Che Guevara (ex. 289).

This is where the notion of hypomodes might have come in handy because it underlines the importance of the finalis (last note) in identifying the mode of a melody and there is no doubting the Puebla recording’s melodic and harmonic finality on c#/C#. Moreover, finality in an Andalusian cadence (iv?$III?$II?I) is tonally emphasised not by only one single leading note (as with ê<î in V?I), nor by just two (ê<î and Ô>Î in V7?I), but by three leading notes ($â>Û, Ô>Î, $Ê>Â), as in the final $II?I between D and C# in example 70. Given such conspicuous semitonal directionality it’s hard to understand why many musicians feel compelled to tack an extra iv chord to the end of a final phrygian cadence, as if that addition could somehow more conclusively finalise what had already been brought to an final conclusion on phrygian I/Â.

However, as already noted in the discussion of potential keynote identifiers (p. 426, ff.), the finalis is not necessarily the tonic of what precedes it. In fact the potential value of hypomodes for popular music studies seems to lie in the fact that they link modes, whose tonal centres are a fourth or fifth apart, together in pairs: the ionian with the mixolydian, the mixolydian with the dorian and, as we’ve just seen, the aeolian with the phrygian (Table 37, p. 441). Another way of understanding these bimodal pairings is to identify the two harmonic poles involved and to reverse the sequence between them. For instance, turning the C# phrygian sequence F#m E D C# in example 70 into [C#] D E F#m creates an immediately recognisable $VI-$VII-i aeolian cadence, while reversing the example’s F# aeolian i-iv-V into |h C# q Bm q F#m | produces the unequivocally phrygian effect I-$vii-iv. Similarly, reversing La Bamba’s {I-IV-V} in ionian G from G-C-D to D-C-G leads, with appropriate metric and anacrustic treatment, to the {I-$VII-IV} of Sweet Home Alabama in mixolydian D.

Nevertheless, as shown in the bottom row of Table 37, modes don’t have to be ‘hypo-linked’ in pairs at the fifth or fourth. Euroclassical music theory’s pairing of relative major and minor keys (p. 255, ff.) suggests that the ionian and aeolian also make a great modal couple. For example, switching between ionian and aeolian (where I?vi ionian equals $III?i aeolian) was mentioned in connection with the Flûte indienne example on page 437, whose $VI-$III-V-i in E (C-G-B7-Em) consists of an ionian IV-I (C G) followed by an aeolian V-i (B7-Em). Although that sequence can be only partially reversed (Em-B7-C-G, Em-B7-C-D-G, etc.), it’s clear that the straight reversal of aeolian progressions like the [un]interrupted cadence formulae G-D-Em and G-C-D-Em (I-[IV]-V-vi or $III-$VI-$VII-i) will turn them both into ionian cadences, one ‘perfect’ (vi-V-I / Em-D-G), the other plagal (vi-V-IV-I / Em-D-C-G).

Table 37. Bimodal reversibility of progressions (examples only)

lydian F G C = I II V [I] « ionian C G F F = I V IV [I]

ionian C F G = I IV V [I] « mixolydian G F C = I $VII IV [I]

mixolydian G C F Dm

= I IV $VII v [I] « dorian Dm F C G

= i $III $VII IV [I]

dorian Dm F G Am = i $III IV v [I] « aeolian Am G F Dm = i $VII $VI v [I]

aeolian Am Dm E = i iv V [I]

aeolian E F G Am= V $VI $VII i* « phrygian E Dm Am = I $vii iv [I]*

phrygian Am G F E = iv $III $II I*

ionian Am G C = vi V I « aeolian C G Am = $III $VII i

It should in short be understood that the V-I cadence does not trump all others in non-classical tonality and that reversal, partial or total, of harmonic direction, as in the Carlos Puebla example, can establish two modes, each with its own tonic, inside the same short piece of music. With that simple awareness of bimodality, of harmonic reversibility, and of non-classical tertial harmony’s relative independence from the unidirectional and tonally monocentric tyranny of V-I ‘perfect’ cadences, it’s much easier to understand, accept and enjoy tunes like Mila Moja (ex. 271, p. 381). No longer do we need to hear it ending with an ‘imperfect cadence’ on an irrelevant ‘dominant’ which we frustratingly and meaninglessly expect to be ‘resolved’ on to the tonic, in the presumptuous belief that a tune so short and simple cannot possibly have two tonal poles of equal value. Put in more colourful terms, if we Westerners no longer accuse Buddhists of disrespect because they wear white instead of black at funerals, surely we can also learn to hear, understand, respect and enjoy music that doesn’t follow the same culturally specific rules as those we’ve been brought up to follow.

Mediantal loops

Table 38. Mediantal chord loops (selection)

Type Tune (Artist, Year: chords [detail])






loop •AC/DC: Shoot To Thrill (1980: A C D …)

•Alice Cooper: Under My Wheels (1971: A C D …)

•Booker T and the MGs: Green Onions (1962: F A$ B$)

•J. J. Cale: After Midnight (1971: E G A E)

•Canned Heat: On The Road Again (1968: E×6 G A)

•Everly Brothers: The Girl Sang The Blues (1963: E G A E/A C D A)

•Led Zeppelin: Bron-yr-Aur Stomp (1970: G B$ C)

•Led Zeppelin: Candy Store Rock (1976: E A G short riff)

•Mission: Sacrilege (1986: D×6 F G)

•Slade: Shape Of Things To Come (1970: A C D F)

•Talking Heads: Take Me To The River (1978: E E G A)

•Tina Turner: Steamy Windows (1989: E×6 A G)

•Johnny Winter: Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo (1972: E A G)

•Stevie Wonder: Higher Ground (1973; E G A)

•Z. Z. Top: La Grange (1973: E E G A)


I-III? •Pink Floyd: Nobody Home (1979: C C E F C)

•Radiohead: Creep (1992: G B C Cm)

•Otis Redding: Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (1967; G B C A)

•Will.i.am: Yes We Can (2008: G B Em C) (see Chapter 15)






•Abba: Knowing Me, Knowing You (1975c; A C#m D E: interludes)

•The Band: The Weight (1968; A C#m D A)

•Beach Boys: I Can Hear Music (1969: D F#m G A; verse starts)

•David Bowie: Rock And Roll Suicide (1979; C Em F G Am)

•David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust (1979; G Bm C C)

•Dexy’s Midnight Runners: Come On, Eileen (1989; C Em F C G)

•Eric Clapton: Easy Now (1970b: D$ Fm G$ A$)

•Housemartins: Happy Hour (1986: B$ Dm E$ F; hook)

•Manfred Mann: Just Like A Woman (Dylan) (1966b: G Bm C D)

•Marmalade: Make It Soon (1969: G Bm C D: chorus)

•Small Faces: Itchycoo Park (1967: A C#m G D)




dorian •Dead or Alive: You Spin Me Round (1993: F#m A B)

•Smiths: What Difference Does It Make (1984; Bm D E D: intro.)

•Wishbone Ash: The King Will Come (1972; Dm F G: instrumentals)

•Yardbirds: For Your Love (1965: Em G A Am)

I tried to explain earlier (p. 374) why I found so few I\III shuttles in English-language popular song, given that harmonic departures from I to iii or III, or from either I or i to $III are not at all uncommon in the repertoire (Table 38). The reason was, I argued, that, however normal it might be to depart from I to III, the process is not reversible without introducing at least one intervening chord on the way back from III to I. If that observation is valid, it explains why mediantal shuttles are so rare while mediantal loops are quite common.

Rock dorian and I-III

As mentioned earlier (pp. 286-287), pop use of dorian harmony falls into two categories: those with and those without a permanent Picardy third on the tonic. Blues-based rock progressions starting I-$III-IV, as in Alice Cooper’s Under My Wheels (1971) or AC/DC’s Shoot To Thrill (1980), belong to the first type, ‘folk’ ballads like Greenback Dollar (Kingston Trio, 1962: i-$III-$VI-$III) or Paul Simon’s Scarborough Fair (1968: i-$VII-i-$III-IV-i) to the second. Since none of these four progressions occur as loops, they don’t appear in the ‘rock dorian’ (a) or ‘“folk” dorian’ (d) sections of Table 38 but other, loopable, progressions do. The label rock dorian for group (a) of mediantal loops is, I think, reasonably unproblematic because the thirteen songs listed are all clearly qualifiable as rock and because nine of those thirteen are in the rock-guitar-friendly key of E, another two in D or A and only two in flat-side keys. As the number of recordings in that group suggests, rock dorian loops are quite common.

However, loops in group (b) that start with a I-III departure are very rare, nor do they seem to return to the tonic in exactly the same way. One reason for their scarcity as loops may be that departing to III in classical and jazz harmony involves passing through VI, II and V before returning to I, a total of five chords that are not easily crammed into the extended present of a two- or four-bar loop. Indeed, as noted in the discussion of {I-vi-ii/IV-V} (pp. 404-411), even the mere four chords of a vamp can sometimes extend over durations too long to function as loops. Another reason may be that the initial change I-III, which I call the ‘Charleston departure’ because that’s how The Charleston (Mack & Johnson, 1923) starts, is too closely associated with old-style jazz hits for its use in soul- or rock-influenced music to be considered stylistically appropriate. In fact it’s interesting to note that although one of the tunes listed in group (b), Yes We Can, proceeds in ‘classical’ fashion from III to vi, the other three do not. More importantly, none of the four return to the tonic via anything resembling a ‘dominant’ but all pass through IV on their way back, a harmonic trait that suggests how sharpwards rather than flatwards directionality pervades many types of post-war English-language popular song. Be that as it may, since the I-III departure is discussed at some length in the final chapter about the Yes We Can chords, we’ll turn next to group (c) in Table 38 after dealing briefly with an as yet unexamined chord loop phenomenon: the double shuttle.

Double shuttle excursion

Apart from a short middle section, the whole of Otis Redding’s Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay is based on the mediantal loop {G-B-C-A} ({I-III-IV-II}). I hear the first change from G to B, four steps sharpward, mirrored in the third change from C to A, three steps sharpward. There is a to-and-fro not only inside each of these changes but also, at half speed, between G and C. The half-speed change from B to A creates a parallel scalar pattern that returns the loop to its initial G. Dock Of The Bay includes in other words two shuttles (G\B and C\A) contained within a third (G\C).

Double shuttles don’t have to be mediantal: they can also be bimodal. The Quiquenita loop, for example, {F-C-E7-Am} (ex. 288, p. 437), shuttles between an ionian IV-I in C and an altered aeolian V-i in A minor. Both those changes are repeatable as individual shuttles in popular Andean styles or they can be contained within one loop as a double shuttle. I even hear Solomon Burke’s Everybody Needs Somebody ({E-A-D-A} = {I-IV-$VII-IV}) as a mixolydian double shuttle, consisting of a I-IV in E and a I-V in D, all inside the larger shuttle E\D.

Ionian mediantal ‘narrative’ and ‘folk’ dorian

There’s no really clear stylistic common denominator for tunes listed in Table 38’s group (c). Except for The Weight, possibly categorisable as ‘folk rock’, most of tunes are qualifiable as pop rather than rock, including the Eric Clapton and Bowie recordings. Given that either II or vii must be present for tertial harmony to qualify as lydian, and that neither mixolydian, nor dorian, nor aeolian, nor phrygian modes feature the three tertial triads I, iii and IV, the group (c) loops must be given the modal label ionian. That would explain the lack of rock citations but it says very little about the I-iii-IV loop’s connotations. Nevertheless, the lyrics to all tunes in the group except I Hear Music (a blissful love song) involve some degree of worry, concern or reflection: the Abba song about the hardships of breaking up, The Weight about everyone else thrusting their problems on to you, Rock and Roll Suicide about a psychologically unstable friend or lover, and so on. As we shall see in Chapter 15 (pp. 470-471), I-iii, continuing usually to either IV or vi, is quite a common departure in popular song, more often with acoustic than electric accompaniment, in which singable ionian ‘folk-type’ melodies give space to lyrical narrative. It is for this reason that I’ve dubbed the group (c) loops ‘ionian mediantal narrative’. However, since chordal loops, not departures, are the subject of this chapter, the ‘narrative’ label may be a symptom of excessive interpretative license on my part, especially given that the sample of songs listed in the group is so small. The problem with group (d), ‘“folk” dorian’, is similar.

A few pages back I warned that ‘folk’ ballads like Greenback Dollar (Kingston Trio, 1962) and Paul Simon’s Scarborough Fair (1968) would not be listed in Table 38 because their i-$III… changes do not occur in loops. Nor do the any of the numerous i-$IIIs heard in harmonisations of rural popular music in the dorian or aeolian mode from the British Isles. Nor, even, does The House Of The Rising Sun (Animals, 1964) because its well-known Am-C-D-F (i-$III-IV-$VI) works not as a loop but as an anaphora leading in both eight-bar periods to a different cadence pattern: [1] Am-C-E-E (bars 5-8); [2] Am-E-Am-Am (bars 13-16). The simple truth is that ‘folk’ tunes don’t tend to be harmonisable as loops whereas pop and rock, as well as some Latin American styles, use them frequently. And that’s why the tunes listed in Table 38’s category (d) are such a motley bunch: one glam-synth-pop offering (Dead or Alive), one disturbingly existential piece of kitchen-sink pop (The Smiths), one slightly Tolkienesque prog rock recording (Wishbone Ash) and one attempt by The Yardbirds to produce something to sound as successful and as similar as possible to House Of The Rising Sun. In short, it’s clearly impossible to draw any conclusions about the connotations or stylistic home ground of loops in group (d), even though ‘folk dorian’ may not be an altogether unreasonable name to give chord sequences starting i-$III-IV.

Mediants may be midway between a tonic and its fifth but, as already suggested, by moving from I to a major-key-specific III or iii, that tertial triad on the mediant becomes a mediator, an intermediary step between the tonic and another harmony elsewhere. Indeed, the considerable irreversibility of I-III means, as argued earlier, that mediantal shuttles are probably too few to be counted. Moreover, I’ve racked my brain and other musical resources to find a single III or iii acting as incoming chord in a three- or four-chord loop: outgoing (departure), yes, as in Table 38, sections (b) and (c); medial, yes, as in the verses of She Loves You (Beatles, 1963b: {G-Em-Bm-D} = {I-vi-iii-V}); but incoming (arrival), no, not a single one.

This all means that mediantal harmony cannot be satisfactorily dealt with in a book whose harmonic scope has for practical reasons had to be limited to shuttles, loops and one-chord changes. Longer harmonic sequences, harmonic form, harmonic departures and so on must regrettably be topics for another book about everyday tonality. Nevertheless, even though the final chapter examines only one chord loop, I’ll be referring to those other topics and be devoting more attention to the meaning of particular chord sequences. After all, harmony is not primarily a theoretical issue: it is a practical matter of interhuman communication.

Summary in 14 points

[1] The four main types of ionian loop are {I-IV-V-V}, {I-V-IV-V}, {I-IV-V-IV}, and {I-IV-V-V}. The La Bamba loop {I-IV-V-V} is the most common. {I-IV-V-V} is used in slow tempo by artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

[2] A chord sequence like D-C-G can be either ionian —V-IV-I in G— or mixolydian —I-$VII-IV in D. The identity of a potential tonic and/or finalis, is detemined by several factors. The most reliable factor is anacrusis†: whichever chord is immediately preceded by the clearest lead-in motion is most likely to be heard as keynote and/or final chord.

[3] Many ionian loops are not ‘in’ one particular ‘key’. They often oscillate between two tonal poles and can be qualified as bimodal (see §§4 and 9, below). Performances of Guantanamera (basically {I IV V V}) can end on ‘V’ (most common), or on ‘I’ (the ‘gringo ending’), while others fade out ‘in the key of’ {I-IV-V-V}.

[4] Tonic and medial chords function as contrasting poles in three- or four-chord loops, e.g. the I and V of the La Bamba loop. The outgoing chord (IV in La Bamba) is an intermediary step between tonic (I) and medial (V), while the incoming chord, if different from the medial chord, does the same in reverse; otherwise the medial can be extended and lead straight back into the tonic chord, as in La Bamba: I (tonic), IV (outgoing), V (medial), V (incoming). If the process is reversed to V-IV-I-I, and if that initial V is preceded by a clear anacrusis, the V becomes I (see §§2-3) and the descending, rather than ascending, loop becomes more prominent. It then functions as I-$VII-IV-IV. That’s the harmonic difference between La Bamba (ionian) and Sweet Home Alabama (mixolydian). This simply observable mechanism can be called bimodal reversibility.

[5] Mixolydian loops run {I-$VII-IV-IV} (e.g. Sweet Home Alabama), or {I-$VII-IV-I} (e.g. Hey Jude), or {$VII-IV-I-I} (e.g. Gimme All Your Lovin'), or {I-I-$VII-IV} (e.g. Soul Finger). They are extremely common in English-language rock and pop music.

[6] While ionian loops run anticlockwise (flatward, in falling fifths) round the circle of fifths, mixolydian loops run clockwise (sharpward, in rising fifths), moving one key-clock hour at a time (e.g. C-G-D as $VII-IV-I in D).

[7] V (major triad on Û) is a possible alternative to v but it is not intrinsic to the mixolydian, dorian, aeolian or phrygian modes. Notions of ‘dominant’, ‘subdominant’, etc. can therefore be extremely problematic when discussing such tonality.

[8] Aeolian loops, like their mixolydian cousins, also progress clockwise (sharpward) round the circle of fifths, but they move two key-clock hours at a time between their constituent chords, e.g. F-G-Am as $VI-$VII-i (or I, if a Picardy third is present) in A minor. This sequence, one variant of the aeolian cadence, is highly directional because root notes progress in whole-tone steps upwards (in pitch) and sharpwards, in increments of two hours each round the key clock, towards the tonic.

[9] Aeolian cadences can be bimodal when phrases, periods, or entire songs establish a clear major tonic chord (I) but end on the common triad of the relative minor (vi). Such cadences, called ‘interrupted’ in conventional music theory, are demonstrably final and uninterrupted in certain types of popular music, so that what was vi is heard as i, implying that what was I has become $III. This sort of tonality, found in popular music from both the Andes and the anglophone world, was qualified as bimodal by Argentinian musicolgist Carlos Vega.

[10] If ionian sequences can become mixolydian through bimodal reversibility, a similar process applies to aeolian and phrygian harmony. For example, the ‘minor La Bamba’ or ‘Che Guevara’ ascent from i via iv up to V (e.g. Am Dm E) can be pitch reversed into a descent from i down to V via $VII and $VI. If that V is finalis, as is often the case in Latin American popular music, it is easily heard as phrygian/Hijaz I, thanks to the fact that i-$VII-$VI-V —Am G F E in A, for example— is exactly the same progression as the familiar Andlusian cadence in E— Am G F E , i.e. iv-$III-$II-I.

[11] Some chord loops can be thought of as double shuttles, for example the popular Huayno loop $VI-$III-V-i which, in C major/A minor, runs F C E Am and consists of a IV-I in C and a V-i in A minor. Such loops are clearly bimodal.

[12] There are two common types of dorian chord loop —‘rock dorian’ and ‘folk dorian’— in anglophone popular music produced since the 1960s. Rock dorian sequences tend to feature I-$III-IV… (or I5-$III5-IV5…), while folk dorian progressions use the minor tonic triad (i) along with $III, IV, $VII etc.

[13] Mediantal loops are normally ionian. They are often characterised by the departure I?iii which usually leads to IV or vi. In anglophone pop and rock music, mediantal loops are often linked to lyrics of a narrative character.

[14] Loops starting I?III, relatively uncommon in the anglophone pop/rock repertoire, are discussed at length in Chapter 15.


Fig. 72. Generic Yes We Can guitar accomp. pattern

15. The Yes We Can chords

This chapter started as a simple reply to a simple question sent by Carol Vernallis to the IASPM online list in January 2009. She asked list subscribers: ‘does anyone have thoughts on the chord progression of Yes We Can or on the music as well as the pop songs it might be echoing?’ Good question! By ‘Yes We Can’ Carol was referring to the Obama presidential campaign video of the same name (Adams 2008). IASPM list responses to Carol’s question can be summarised in the following six points.

[1] Mike Daley and Allan Moore reflected on the going somewhere else potential of the B major chord and on the relative comfort and security aspect of the plagal turnaround change (the chord loop ends on IV to be followed by I as the first chord in the loop). [2] Allan Moore suggested similar progressions in recordings like ELO’s Jungle (1973), Jimmy Ruffin’s What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted (1966) and Neil Young’s Southern Man (1970). [3] Barbara Bradby referred to Otis Redding’s Dock Of The Bay (1968), an intertextual similarity noted by several of my Montréal students. Bradby also observed melodic similarity between the phrase sung at 0:31 in Yes We Can and the initial ‘When the night’ phrase of Ben E King’s Stand By Me (1961). [4] Matthew Bannister pointed to similarities with Bob Marley and The Wailers’ No Woman No Cry (1974), another connection noted by my students, and to possible anthemic connotations in Another Girl Another Planet by The Only Ones (1978). [5] Danilo Orozco suggested similarities to harmonic matrices of Spanish origin in Latin America. [6] David Uskovich referred to Journey’s Don't Stop Believing (1981).

This list of intertextual associations adds up to a fair set of IOCM,† such as can be generated in a good popular music analysis seminar where all references are relevant, but some more so than others.

The four chords

Before starting on any musematic discussion, I need to be clear in structural terms about the harmonic progression we’re dealing with. Like my IASPM colleagues, I heard a four-chord loop covering four bars of 4/4, as shown in Figure 71: {G | B |Em |C } or, in relative terms, {I |III |vi |IV}.

Fig. 71. The four Yes We Can chords captured from YouTube (Adams 2008)

The sequence runs at q=100, lasts 9.6 seconds, and is heard at the rate of one chord per r-bar for the first 2:28 of the song’s total duration of 4:26. All four chords in the Yes We Can sequence are rhythmically articulated in ways similar to that shown in Figure 72 for the tonic (I, G). The root of each chord is usually sounded as two quavers, the second slightly muffled, followed by the chord’s remaining notes as either one (q) or two strummed downstrokes (iq) covering three or four of the guitar’s upper strings: for example, the top g in the chords just shown is not always audible. The sequence is played on an acoustic guitar with six metal (not nylon) strings. Apart from the B chord (III) in bar 2, taken as an A barré on the second fret, all chords are played in first position. With the exception of the C chord, whose higher c (first fret on the B string) is replaced by a d (third fret) to create a ‘droned’ C*9 effect, no chord contains notes extraneous to the common (tertial) triad in question.

In 2009 neither I, nor my students, nor IASPM list members were able to think of another piece of music answering exactly to all the traits just described. Our intertextual references —IOCM— all exhibited some common structural traits but, as we shall see, some comparison pieces were more apposite than others.

Late renaissance and Andean bimodality

Orozco’s reference to harmonic matrices like that of Guardame las vacas (Table 39) is interesting because it highlights, as argued below, bimodal traits also found in Andean (Huayno) chord matrices.

Table 39. Guardame las vacas chord matrix in Em/G

bars 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

chords { G D Em B G D Em - B Em }

in Em { $III $VII i V $III $VII i - v i }

in G { I V vi III I V vi - III vi }

If the finalis, E minor (Em), in the eight-bar matrix of Table 39 is regarded as the main tonic (i), its relative chord functions will be those of the middle line just shown. If, on the other hand, you hear the matrix in G major (the key of the initialis), the italicised line may be more apt. Or will it? Not really, because the matrix ends with a V?i (B?Em) perfect cadence. Besides, with Guardame las vacas, E minor is preceded or followed only by major triads —D ($VII) or B (V), both of which are, in terms of European classical harmony, dominantal to E, especially the V (B, altered to include the key’s sharp seventh, d#, instead of the key-specific triads Bm and D with their d@). Moreover, there is at the turnaround point no cadential relationship, neither plagal nor dominantal, between the finalis (Em) and the following initialis (C). The same goes for many Huayno-style chord loops, for example {C-G-B-Em} in Los Calchakis’ version of Quiquenita (La flûte indienne, 1966; ex. 288, p. 437). I’m unable to hear the totality of that progression in G ({IV-I-III-vi}): it always sounds to me more like {$VI-$III-V-i}, i.e. as principally, though not exclusively, in E minor.

The long and short of this brief excursion into Renaissance and Andean harmonic matrices is that, unlike the Yes We Can chords, they: [1] end with clear dominantal cadences in the minor key (V?i); [2] start on a triad of the relative major or relative subdominant major; [3] are often twice as long. Considering other parameters of musical expression associated with the Yes We Can chords, it is worth remembering that: [4] the Andean/late Renaissance IOCM’s tempo is more often than not noticeably faster than the Yes We Can tempo (q=100); [5] that their metre is not usually 4/4 but either 3/4 or 6/8 or a hemiola mixture of the two; [6] that any strumming of stringed chordal instruments is much quicker; [7] that the timbre of a steel-stringed acoustic guitar is unusual, while that of a gut or nylon-stringed guitar is less unusual (a ‘Spanish’ guitar sound), and that of a more trebly, jangly sound of a bandola, tiple or charango much more common. It’s for these reasons that while it may be interesting to speculate in a possible general commonality of divergence from the tertial sonic image of classical harmony and the sort of nineteenth-century urban Europeanness that goes with it, I don’t think those structural similarities are striking enough to make a case for further interobjective comparison in this direction. In what follows, I will therefore try to restrict comparisons to material that more closely resembles the Yes We Can chords on as many counts as possible.

Four chords, four changes

Investigating the meaning of a chord sequence means trying to find intertextual instances of all its chord changes. Tautologous though this may sound, it’s worth remembering that, unless the matrix starts and ends on the same chord, a three-chord sequence contains three changes, a four-chord sequence four and so on. This truism has to be stated because it’s easy to overlook one of the chord loop’s most important tonal points: the turnaround change from the last chord back to the first one. In Yes We Can it’s the plagal (IV?I) move from C to G. In fact, it’s that change, rather than the III?vi (B?Em as V?I in E minor) in the middle of the loop, that owns any real finality potential.

As observed earlier, plagal movement sharpwards round the circle of fifths is arguably as common in styles like gospel, country, folk rock and blues-based rock as it is uncommon in the flatwards circle-of-fifths world of Corelli trio sonatas, Wagner operas, Victorian parlour song, jazz standards and so on. Yes We Can’s plagal turnaround change may in fact be one reason why we are more likely to hear the tune as popular and North American rather than classical and European. We may even hear some Amen, gospel or major pentatonic folk song references in that sort of change, but it’s difficult to be more connotatively precise about IV?I as a chord change in those styles because it is such an idiomatically common harmonic step. It can also be the preferred harmonic finality marker for many songs in the broad range of English-language popular song traditions just mentioned. So let’s investigate the first change in the sequence instead. It is after all less usual than IV?I.

First impressions: from zero to I

It is said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That adage certainly applies to harmonic departures because the second chord in any sequence is the one creating that first impression of harmonic change or direction. However, before discussing Yes We Can’s I?III departure, it’s worth considering the very first change, the change taking listeners from musical nothing to something, i.e. from before and outside the music to the first sound of the song. The first-position acoustic guitar G chord in Yes We Can is important because its sound creates the song’s truly first impression.

Initial first-position G chords, strummed or simply picked on a metal six-string acoustic guitar at an easy or moderate tempo, occur at the start of the following Bob Dylan recordings: The Times They Are A-Changing (1964a), It Ain’t Me Babe (1964b), John Wesley Harding (1968), George Jackson (1971) and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (1973). They also occur as first-chord tonics in a fair number of Woody Guthrie songs, for example in Oklahoma Hills (1937), Grand Coulee Dam (1945) and Two Good Men (1946?). The first sound in Yes We Can is in other words virtually identical to the first sound in several popular songs by well-known US singer-songwriters associated with progressive politics and social change. Whether such allusions were intended or not in Yes We Can, the new US president’s election promises of change and social justice could certainly have been linked to much less appropriate figures of the nation’s popular music traditions than Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan. Just imagine the sights, sounds and words of artists like Alice Cooper, Charlie Daniels or Barry White as musical accompaniment for an election platform of responsible government! Obviously, there’s much more resonance, both lyrically and sonically, between Obama’s ‘It’s time for a change’ and The Times They Are A-Changing.

Another significant point about Yes We Can’s initial G chord, with its four open strings and doubled third (b@ on the A and B strings), is that, like the other two first-position chords in the loop (Em and C), it’s easy for any party or camp-fire amateur guitarist to produce. G, Em and C are all chords about which millions of North Americans (and Europeans) could say ‘Yes we can’. Nor does Yes We Can’s second chord, B, taken as a standard A major shape with a barré on the second fret, present any major technical challenge to the semi-skilled amateur. But it’s not so much that poïetic accessibility in itself that is semiotically important as its meaning to the non-guitar-playing majority. Thanks to the fact that those easy chords are within the capabilities of a significant guitar playing minority, the majority have through repeated exposure to such chords played in a simple way on guitar, learnt to associate them with the words, ideas and situations they accompany.

Harmonic departure: from I to III

Spanish-language bull’s-eyes

Let me start with an apparent bull’s-eye of IOCM, not just for I?III but for the entire Yes We Can chord sequence I?III-vi-IV[-I]. It’s a central element in four Spanish-language pop/rock recordings that Diego García Peinazo brought to my attention in April 2014. The four songs were Grita (Jarabe de Palo, 1996:), Flaca (Calamaro, 1997), Somos mar y arena (Maná, 2006) and El secreto de las tortugas (abbr. Las tortugas; Maldita Nerea, 2007). In addition to those bull’s-eyes of harmonic IOCM, three of the four songs also turned out to be in the same key as Yes We Can (G) and all four had a similar tempo. So, what else did they have in common and, if anything, were those similarities also found in Yes We Can?

On closer inspection it became clear that there were, compared to Yes We Can and with the exception of Grita (see below), significant differences of surface rate, harmonic rhythm, periodicity/diataxis, instrumentation and vocal delivery. The most important general difference was that all four recordings were by pop/rock bands and featured much livelier accompanimental patterns, electrically amplified instruments and full drumkit, all absent in Yes We Can. Another significant difference, obvious to the point of tautology, is that the vocals were in Spanish. As noted in Chapter 5 under ‘Dynamics and mode of articulation’:

‘The… character of a melody [is] also determined by… which language and what kind of accent and diction are used —just imagine Big Mama Thornton’s Hound Dog with Italian lyrics’… (§4, p. 187).

The simple fact is that singing in Spanish sounds different to singing in English. More precisely, many anglophone listeners, due to their unfamiliarity with lyrics in other languages than English, are liable to hear ‘foreign’ or ‘Hispanic’ connotations if the singing is in Spanish. But things may not be that simple with Grita, because of its striking similarity to Yes We Can on six different musical-structural counts: [1] it’s also in G; [2] it also runs at l=100; [3] it also changes chord once every r bar; [4] its harmonic departure is also I?III; [5] its first seven chords are also |G |B7 | Em C | G |B7 |Em; [6] —and most significantly— its first verse starts with simple strumming in first position on a metal-string acoustic guitar (see pp. 456-458). Another interesting similarity with Yes We Can is the overcoming hardship narrative of the lyrics, a topic addressed later in this chapter (pp. 472-478). So, what about English-language I?III IOCM?

English-language misses

I?III (G to B in Yes We Can) is neither the most usual nor unusual harmonic departure in English-language popular music: I?IV, I?V, I?vi, probably also I?ii and I?iii are probably all more common than I?III which, perhaps, may even be less usual than I?II, I?$III or I?$VII, but probably more common than I?$VI (see Moore, 1992).

Whatever the case, the number of pieces, or sections of pieces, that have come to my attention from an at least partially relevant repertoire and which start I?III is not very impressive. The eleven songs are, in alphabetical order: [1] Abilene (George Hamilton IV 1963); [2] Bell-Bottom Blues (Eric Clapton 1970a); [3] The Charleston (Golden Gate Orchestra 1925); [4] Crazy (Patsy Cline 1961); [5] Creep (Radiohead 1992); [6] Jungle (Electric Light Orchestra 1979); [7] Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (Bessie Smith 1929); [8] Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Otis Redding 1968); [9] Who’s Sorry Now (Connie Francis, 1957); [10] Woman Is The Nigger Of The World (John Lennon 1975); [11] A World Without Love (Peter & Gordon 1964). Without initially knowing why, I found that only three of those eleven pieces sounded enough like Yes We Can to be used as convincing IOCM for the chord sequence under analysis. Since that sort of ‘intuition’ is not much use in itself, I’ll try to identify and explain differences in parameters of musical expression operative in connection with the I?III departure shared by both Yes We Can and the eleven comparison pieces. That process of elimination ought to sharpen focus on the most salient features of the Yes We Can chord loop.

First of all there are two strictly harmonic features that seem to make a semiotic difference to the character of the I?III departure: bass lines and continuations. Bass notes in the Yes We Can loop are all on the root of the triad whereas Clapton’s Bell-Bottom Blues (1970a) uses a conjunct descending bass line so that the chords actually run I-IIIs-vi-[Is-]-IV (the bass notes in G would be g f# e [d] c, the chords G-Df# -Em-Gd-C), a progression containing two chords in inversion. Now, thanks to famous precedents like Whiter Shade Of Pale and Bach’s Air (I-Vq-vi-I ; see ex. 186, p. 269), chord inversions in conjunct bass lines are quite a reliable pop sign of ‘classicalness’. It’s a device which takes the tune in question out of the popular participation sphere of things like Yes We Can’s strum-along guitar and root-position triads, and which, by using both conjunct bass lines and inverted triads, gentrifies the piece. That’s just one reason for treating an obvious structural similarity like a shared I?III departure with caution. The second harmonic reason for doubting the relevance of some I?III comparison material is continuation. For example, only two of the eleven IOCM pieces (Dock Of The Bay and Creep) feature I?III at the start of a four-chord loop. Many of the others go on to include chains of flatward circle-of-fifths changes incompatible with the overall tonal idiom of Yes We Can. Moreover, parameters like tempo, accompaniment pattern and instrumentation can also make some I?III changes sound quite unlike Yes We Can’s.

The Charleston (q=96) and Who’s Sorry Now (q=88), for example, although performed at a tempo similar to Yes We Can (q=100), are very different in terms of instrumentation, rhythmisation and harmonic continuation. The trad jazz band orchestration of The Charleston, not to mention its lo-fi 78 rpm recording sound, and, in Who’s Sorry Now, the half-electrified 1950s pop combo, complete with constant piano triplets reminiscent of Stan Freberg’s ‘clink-clink-clink jazz’, are both a far cry from Yes We Can’s simply played acoustic guitar notes and triads. The continuation of I-III in The Charleston and Who’s Sorry Now? into a string of dominantal falling fifths (I-III-VI-II-V-I in the brass-and-sax-friendly keys of B$ and E$) are other obvious indications of musical styles and connotations on a distant planet from those of Yes We Can. The two Country numbers (Abilene and Crazy) can also be eliminated from the IOCM for similar reasons of incompatibility of instrumentation, accompanimental pattern and continuation.

When You’re Down and Out (q . =90, 12/8), Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (q=103, 4/4) and Creep (q=92, 4/4), on the other hand, all go at a similar pace to Yes We Can and are all part of the international, Anglo-American, post-1955 pop repertoire. Although none of these three songs feature simply strummed acoustic guitar they do bear more resemblance to Yes We Can than do The Charleston, Who’s Sorry Now,? Abilene and Crazy. Nevertheless, there are several important points of structural difference between the three tunes under discussion (Down And Out; Dock Of The Bay; Creep) and, on the other hand, Yes We Can. For example, all recordings of Down and Out, whether at q.= 90, as by Bessie Smith (1929) or Eric Clapton (1992), or, much slower, as by Clapton (1970) or Stevie Winwood (1966), all feature a slow blues shuffle accompaniment ( ¼ even if notated o ) using either cornet, piano and tuba accompaniment (Bessie Smith), or electric guitar, Hammond organ and drumkit (Clapton and Winwood), while the Yes We Can chords are stated in straight quavers (iiiq). Moreover, the initial I-III of Down and Out continues into a falling fifths progression including VI (E or E7), not vi (Em), then ii (Am) and, after passing through chords like #ivJ (C#J), to II7 (A7), V7 (D7) and I (G). Neither diminished chords nor extended flatward key-clock movement is to be heard anywhere in Yes We Can. It is conceived in a different timbral, metric, rhythmic and tonal idiom altogether.

Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Redding, 1968), on the other hand, runs in straight quavers (iiiq) and presents the four chords of its sequence at virtually the same rate (q=104) as Yes We Can: I-III-IV-II (G-B-C-A). This Dock of the Bay sequence is itself remarkable because it contains not a single plagal (IV?I) or dominantal (V?I) change. Only the 19-second bridge passage (1:24-1:43) of the song’s total duration of 2:45 includes a very brief $VII?V?I progression (1:37-1:43) to lead back into the virtually directionless sequence of chords occupying all but a few seconds of the recording. The Dock of the Bay sequence is also interesting because it consists of two pairs of chords: [1] I and IV (G and C) are next to each other in the circle of fifths; [2] III and II (B and A) are both well on the sharp side of I and IV and they are only separated from each other by VI (E) in the circle of fifths. But the four chords aren’t played in that sort of order —try G-C-A-B or G-B-A-C[-G] instead— because I and III (G?B) belong together in one phrase to which Redding sings ‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’, after which he breathes. After that halfway cesura he sings ‘Watching the tide roll in’ to the second half of the chord loop (its IV?II part, C?A), a sort of I-VI in C echoing the same sort of change as the I-III in the first half, G?B). There would be nothing remarkable about that division of the sequence if the two tertial triads in each half were closer to each other on the key clock, but that is not so. The second triad of each pair is situated not just one or two quintal steps away from the first but at a distance of four (I-III/G-B) and three (IV-II/C-A) steps respectively. This is what makes the Dock of the Bay sequence sound more like two similar chord shuttles played one after the other —constant to-and-fro movement— rather than like a chord loop such as I-vi-IV-V or I-V- $VII-IV. This to-and-fro movement in Dock of the Bay, enhanced by the addition of seaside sound effects like waves washing in and out, is of course absent in Yes We Can whose chord sequence contains two very clear neighbour-key chord changes: B?Em (III?vi, dominantal) and C?G (IV?I, plagal), giving it an definite loop rather than double shuttle character.

None of this means Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay is inadmissible as IOCM for the Yes We Can chords. Even though the Redding recording’s shuttle character, its harmonic continuation and its orchestration differ clearly from Yes We Can, its bridge repeats a short melodic phrase type (at ‘Nothing’s gonna change’, ‘I can’t do what ten people tell me to do’, etc., 1:24-1:37) that recurs in similar guise at 0:31 in Yes We Can (‘It was sung by immigrants’). As Barbara Bradby pointed out in her IASPM-list posting, that phrase in Yes We Can is quite close to Ben E King’s initial ‘When the night’ declamation in Stand By Me (1961). I would add that those melodic phrases in each of the three songs can be characterised as proclamatory, sincere and passionate. I would also characterise the phrase type as typical of male soul lead vocalists from the 1960s (e.g. Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye) and associable with the Civil Rights struggle and with the sort of social processes that Haralambos documents in Right On! From Blues to Soul in Black America (1974). If there is any truth in this interpretation of the phrase at 0:31 in Yes We Can, the connection with the I-III in Dock Of The Bay becomes one of circular reinforcement by cross-association. That chain of connotations contains the following sort of indexical links: [1] a melodic phrase in Yes We Can resembles melodic archetypes sung by male vocalists in late 1960s soul music; [2] that music at that time was often associated with a more hopeful and assertive image among African Americans in the USA; [3] one of the most famous of those male vocalists was Otis Redding, one of whose biggest hits was Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay; [4] that song also contains the same I?III departure as Yes We Can, the Obama campaign song; [5] Obama’s presidency marks another major positive change in US civil rights.

ELO’s Jungle (1979), mentioned by Allan Moore, runs at the same tempo as Yes We Can (q=100). Its first three relative chord changes are identical to those of the Obama song: D F# Bm G (Jungle, in D) = I-III-vi-IV = G- B-Em-C (Yes We Can, in G). ‘Bingo!’, you might think and, indeed, you seem to have a 100% match. But there are problems because this perfect match doesn’t sound much like the Yes We Can chords. There are at least four reasons for the mismatch. [1] the ELO chords aren’t used as a loop; [2] the ELO sequence continues into a repeated V?I cadence (A?D); [3] the four chords cover two, not four, bars and are spaced | h. q|h. q | with only one note for each chord, not a full bar of iq q iq q, or q q iq q, or any other similar pattern for every chord; [4] the instrumentation is totally different, filled with ’world-musicky’ tropical instruments associable, at least in an urban, non-tropical, ‘first world’ music culture, with the song title (Jungle). I hear instruments resembling agogo, güiro, cowbell, wood block, maracas, plus —outside that field (or jungle) of connotation— a very audible thick string pad. All these differences make me reluctant to use the ELO chords, despite their unmistakable similarity in terms of conventional harmonic theory, to those of the Obama song, as IOCM for Yes We Can.

Similar reasoning, but for different reasons of difference, can be applied to John Lennon’s Woman Is The Nigger Of The World (1975). Apart from the fact that the Lennon sequence is not a loop but part of an eight-bar chorus sequence (I-III-vi-I-IV-iv-I-I in E), the Lennon song’s beat is swung (12/8 feel), the overall volume effect much louder, the vocal register higher and timbre harsher than Yes We Can´s. There are also radical instrumentation differences between the two, the Lennon piece including a percussive piano track, electric guitar and bass, up-front wailing sax and loud drumkit events. None of these features are anywhere to be heard in the Obama song.

Only two pieces of I?III IOCM are left to discuss, the Lennon/McCartney song A World Without Love (Peter & Gordon, 1964) and Radiohead’s Creep (1992).

From 1964 until recently I laboured under the misapprehension that the first four bars of each verse in A World Without Love were set to the chords E |G# |C#m |A (I-III-vi-IV), i.e. to the same relative progression as the Yes We Can chord loop. The sequence in fact runs E | G# |C#m | C#m. I had even played it wrongly many times without any listener or fellow musician ever complaining, probably because the only melody note in the fourth bar, a c#, sounds just as good over A as C#m. The point of this anecdote is to suggest once again that an exact harmonic match is not necessarily the most important factor determining whether a chord sequence in one piece sounds like a chord sequence in another. In this context it means that the most important harmonic likeness between A World Without Love and Yes We Can is the fact that they both share the common departure changes I? III? vi. Now, the Lennon-McCartney sequence sounds different to Yes We Can’s mainly because: [1] the former runs at a faster pace (q=134); [2] the accompaniment is dominated by McCartney’s heavy q . e q . e ‘one-five oom-pa’ bass figures; [3] its I-III-vi is not repeated as a loop. That said, the I-III-vi-vi in World Without Love does occur regularly at the start of each verse in straight r, with one chord per bar and with simply strummed acoustic guitar accompaniment, however low in the mix it may be. Moreover, World Without Love’s harmonic continuation I - iv - I - I - ii - V - I (E |Am |E |E |F#m |B |E) stays within the Yes We Can idiom of common triads in root position, while the simple pop instrumentation has much more in common with Yes We Can than do ELO’s Jungle, Lennon’s Woman Is The Nigger, not to mention The Charleston, Bessie Smith’s When You’re Down And Out, etc. Like Dock Of The Bay, the I?III in World Without Love does share some structural traits in common with Yes We Can. However, unlike Dock Of The Bay, the Peter & Gordon recording contains no elements of soul or gospel to point listeners toward any kind of civil rights connotations. If that is so, what sort of paramusical message does World Without Love contain?

[v.1, v.3] Please lock me away and don’t allow the day here inside where I hide with my loneliness. I don’t care what they say I won’t stay in a world without love. [v.2] Birds sing out of tune and rain clouds hide the moon. I’m OK, here I’ll stay with my loneliness. I don’t care what they say I won’t stay in a world without love. [bridge] Here I wait and in a while I will see my lover smile. She may come, I know not when. When she does I lose, so baby until then.

At first sight the musings of this lovesick young man have nothing in common with the struggle, hope and commonality found in the key phrases from Obama speeches that occur throughout Yes We Can. That said, you only need scratch a little below the surface of the Lennon/McCartney lyrics to find one parallel: an emotional process, expressed in simple terms, from relative despair and darkness to relative hope and light, all with some sense of determination. That’s not unlike what happened in Grita (p. 458, ff.).

The sequence in Radiohead’s Creep runs {I?III?IV?iv} (G |B |C |Cm) as a loop at q=92 throughout the entire four-minute song. Each loop covers four bars, with one chord per bar rhythmicised in straight crotchets or quavers in the drumkit and guitar parts (iiiq in hi-hat), and with simple q. eeq e patterns on bass. Taken as accompanimental motion in toto, these parts are even more similar than those of Dock of the Bay to the simple iq q patterns of Yes We Can’s acoustic guitar. They are certainly much closer to the Obama song than are ELO’s |h. q|, or Down and Out’s or Woman Is The Nigger’s swung |q eq e| or Who’s Sorry Now’s |iiq iiq|; and, as just stated, they are, like Yes We Can, looped over the same period of four 4/4 bars. Moreover, the Radiohead loop’s turnaround change from C minor back to G (iv?I) is plagal like Yes We Can’s and the accompanimental patterns are all paragons of a no-frills pop/rock style (simple, standard drum and hi-hat patterns, simple guitar arpeggiations, virtually no reverb or other noticeable signal treatment etc.). Creep’s bare essentials aesthetic tallies well with the no-frills character of the Yes We Can guitar sound.

Now, none of the similarities just mentioned can deny the fact that there are also clear differences between Creep and Yes We Can, the most obvious being Radiohead’s use of alienated, angry rock yelling and powerfully overdriven guitar during 39% of the recording. Another important difference is harmonic: while Yes We Can repeats I-III-vi-IV, the Creep loop runs I-III-IV-iv. This means that although the turnaround change in both songs is plagal, the IV chord (major) in Creep occurs one bar earlier in the place of Yes We Can’s E minor (vi) and that the latter’s C major triad (IV) is in the same loop position as Radiohead’s C minor (iv). This C minor chord, with its e$ enharmonically contrasted in terms of voice-leading directionality against the B major chord’s ascending d#, gives the Creep loop a unique character that may contribute to the song’s sense of dramatic despondency: the d# goes up and out to e@ but the e$ repeatedly reverses that movement back down and inwards to d@ and G. Yes We Can contains no descending chromaticism.

Nevertheless, despite these clear differences between Yes We Can and Creep, the two songs definitely share more in common than just the initial I-III change in a four-chord, four-bar harmonic loop in G. The question is how a song of angry self-deprecation about being a ‘creep’ and a ‘weirdo’ can share anything musically significant with one affirming the hopeful collective belief of Yes We Can. One reason may be contained in the sort of notion, hinted at by other IASPMites, that the I-III change has a strong going somewhere else value, the kind of up and out found in the ascending I-III-vi (bass) and Û-#Û-â (inner part d-d#-e) movement already mentioned, and that this up and out going somewhere else is just as essential to expressing confidence in overcoming difficulties —‘yes we can’— as it is to bawling out disgust at whatever it is that brings about self-disgust. The Yes We Can chord loop does not have the chromatic slide back down of Creep, nor is its I-III change followed by Dock Of The Bay’s second directionally equivocal IV-ii (C-A) change: it has none of the to-and-fro effect of that song’s double shuttle. In fact, to gain more insight into the meaning of the Yes We Can chords we will need to examine comparison material featuring the other two chords in the Obama song’s chord loop: vi and IV. To be more precise, we need to find IOCM featuring four-chord loops running I - x - vi - IV, where x is an alternative to III as an intermediary chord between I and vi. The most common x chord will of course be iii or V (in G major: Bm or D).

I - iii - vi - IV

The first four chords of What Becomes of the Brokenhearted? (Ruffin 1966) run B$ Dm Gm E$ or, in relative terms, I?iii?vi?IV, i.e. exactly what we are looking for. Unfortunately, this is not the IOCM jackpot we wanted because the chord sequence actually goes B$f Dmf Gm E$g (Is?iiiq?vi?IVq): three out of the four triads are inverted. True, there is no conjunct bass line spanning a fourth or more in this sequence as in A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Procol Harum 1967a) or Clapton’s Bell-Bottom Blues (Derek and the Dominoes, 1970), but the triad inversions and the pedal-point character of the Ruffin song’s bass part make for a partly static harmonic effect that is not released into substantial movement until later in the piece. Moreover, like Clapton’s Bell-Bottom Blues (1970a), Brokenhearted’s initial sequence is not looped and its continuation contains harmonies incompatible with the consistent straight root-position chords of Yes We Can. On top of all that, the Motown tune is orchestrated quite differently, with piano, strings, backing vocals and percussion all in clear evidence. Perhaps the iiiq in 4/4 at q=100 and the male vocal timbre similar to that heard at 0:31 in the Obama piece can counteract some of the differences just mentioned. If so, eventual interobjective links between Yes We Can and Brokenhearted are unlikely to be related to audible harmonic resemblance.

Harmonic incipits running I?iii in root position are not uncommon in other types of anglophone pop music. For example Puff The Magic Dragon (Peter, Paul & Mary, 1963), The Weight (The Band 1968) and Daniel And The Sacred Harp (1970) all start I-iii-IV, while Sukyaki (Sakomoto 1963) and Hasta Mañana (Abba, 1974b) both feature a I-iii-vi progression. Later changes from I via iii to IV or vi also occur in Hangman (Peter, Paul and Mary, 1965) as well as at prominent places in Bob Dylan’s It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (1965: I-iii-IV) and I Pity The Poor Immigrant (1968: I-iii-vi). Except for Sukiyaki and Hasta Mañana, these songs all belong to the US folk and folk rock repertoires. Moreover, Hangman, the two Band tracks and the two Dylan tunes feature lyrics diverging from the normal pop fare of love, fun and teenage angst or antics. Only one of the songs, The Weight, uses a repeated chord loop, I-iii-IV-I at q=124 in regular 4/4 with one chord change per bar. Like Hangman, the lyrics of The Weight tell a story that contrasts negative and positive experiences, while the I-iii-vi of Dylan’s Immigrant accompanies the twist towards justice at the end of each verse. On the other hand, although all these songs feature simply strummed guitar over I-iii-IV or I-iii-vi progressions with all chords in root position, just one of them (The Weight) features a chord loop, and only then as a three- rather than four-chord unit. Moreover, none of the songs run I-iii-vi-IV which would have been the closest variant to Yes We Can’s I-III-vi-IV. In short, even if there may be some similarities and some possible references to US-American folk and folk rock songs with serious lyrics, we really need to look elsewhere for more convincing harmonic resemblance.

I - V - vi - IV

The second of our two alternatives to III in linking I to vi (between G and Em in Yes We Can) is V (D in G). The simple harmonic point here is that V is the relative major of iii, the key-specific triad on the root of the major scale’s third degree, and that, like ii or III, V contains two notes adjacent to the target triad of vi. This second-chord alternative changes the loop from I-III-vi-IV (Yes We Can) to I-V-vi-IV. Now, that sequence sounds quite similar to the start of Pachelbel’s Canon —{I V |vi iii |IV I |IV V}—, a harmonic pattern that seems to have acquired widespread currency in English-language pop music. That chord progression constitutes the entire harmonic basis of Liverpool band The Farm’s All Together Now (1990) with its tempo of q=108 in 4/4 and its rate of harmonic change at one chord per bar. More specifically, the I-V-vi-IV sequence, also in 4/4 and with one chord per bar, can be heard at the start of each verse in The Beatles’ Let It Be (1970: q=76 |C |G |Am |F) as well as, with two chords per bar, in the harmonic loop {I Vq|vi IV} under most of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry (1974: q=78 {C Gq | Am F }). The same I-V-vi-IV also accompanies the chorus hook line of John Denver’s Country Roads (1971: q=80 |D |A |Bm |G) and of The Dixie Chicks’ Not Ready To Make Nice (2006: q=86 {G |D |Em |C}). Of course, the same chord sequence can occur in boisterous rock tunes like We’re Not Going To Take It (Twisted Sister, 1984: q=144) or Another Girl Another Planet (The Only Ones, 1978: q=156) but the tempo, rhythmisation, instrumentation and vocal delivery of these two tunes is a far cry from the relatively stately pace and relatively ordered, no frills aesthetic of the Yes We Can chords. Indeed, the Obama song’s chord sequence uses a tempo and a rate of delivery that has much more in common with the extremely popular songs mentioned earlier. But that is not the whole story. All Together Now, Let It Be, No Woman No Cry, Country Roads and Not Ready To Make Nice all have an anthemic character. They are eminently singable and all feature lyrics expressing hope or encouragement in the face of trouble and hardship. True, the lyrics of Country Roads mention only briefly a slight regret —‘I get a feeling I should have been home yesterday’— but all the others clearly present, as Table 40 (p. 474) shows, experiences of both hardship and hope.

The Yes We Can video’s ‘Yes we can’ encapsulates the kind of sentiments listed in the hope, encouragement, determination column of Table 40 (p. 474). The Obama song’s Troubles column would be filled with quotes like ‘slaves and abolitionists’, ‘immigrants [braving the] unforgiving wilderness’, ‘workers [who had to] organise’, ‘women [who had to] reach for the ballots’, ‘obstacles [that] stand in our way’, the ‘chorus of cynics who grow louder and more dissonant’, and ‘the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon’. Apart from the all-encompassing slogan ‘Yes we can’, column three would contain ‘they blazed a trail’, ‘King who took us to the mountain-top and pointed the way to the Promised Land’, ‘opportunity and prosperity’, ‘heal this nation’, ‘repair this world’, ‘there has never been anything false about hope’, etc.

Although only one of the four songs mentioned in Table 40 (Grita) features simply strummed six-string guitar accompaniment, they all, like Yes We Can, move at a steady pace with one chord per 4/4 bar in four-bar periods. Three of them (No Woman No Cry, Not Ready To Make Nice, Grita) repeat the I-x-vi-IV sequence at least twice in succession, while the lyrics of all songs, plus Yes We Can, juxtapose experiences of hardship and of hope.

Table 40. Key overcoming hardship phrases in the lyrics of pop tunes featuring the I-x-vi-IV chord progression of Yes We Can.

Tune Troubles Hope, encouragement,


The Farm: All Together Now

(1990) …‘forefathers died, lost in millions for a country's pride’; ‘All those tears shed in vain; Nothing learnt and nothing gained’. …‘they stopped fighting and they were one’; ‘hope remains’; ‘Stop the slaughter, let's go home’; …‘joined together’; ‘All together now’.

Beatles: Let It Be

(1970) ‘times of trouble’;

‘the broken hearted people’; ‘the night is cloudy’. ‘Mother Mary comes to me’; ‘words of wisdom’; ‘There will be an answer’; ‘Still a chance’; ‘A light that shines on me’.

Bob Marley: No Woman No Cry

(1974/5) ‘The government yard in Trenchtown’; ‘observing the hypocrites’; ‘good friends we’ve lost’. ‘No woman no cry’; ‘dry your tears’; ‘I’ll share with you’; ‘got to push on through’.

Dixie Chicks: Not Ready To Make Nice (2006) ‘I’ve paid a price and I’ll keep paying’; ‘too late to make it right’; ‘sad, sad story’; ‘my life will be over’. ‘I’m through with doubt’; ‘I’m not ready to back down’; [I won’t] ‘do what… you think I should’.

El Jarabe de palo: Grita (1996) ’nada bueno’; ‘tienes miedo’; ‘el hielo que recubre tu silencio’. ‘Te tiendo la mano; tu agarras todo el brazo; si quieres más, grita!’*

IOCM in combination

It would have been surprising if there had been one single piece of other music containing exactly the same chord loop as Yes We Can’s played at a similar tempo in a similar way on the same sort of instrument[s] in the same key and same metre. On the other hand, the IOCM presented above shows how a range of different elements found mainly in relevant English-language pop music traditions are incorporated in the Yes We Can chord sequence. It should also be clear that those specific structural elements are often associated in those traditions with notions, attitudes, emotions, activities, events and processes that together build a reasonably coherent connotative semantic field. The most important structural traits and their main paramusical fields of connotation (abbr. PMFC) are radically summarised in Table 41.

Table 41. Brief summary of Yes We Can’s harmonic IOCM and its PMFCs.

General structural traits

(all 4/4 moderato) Genre[s]

(anglophone) Connotations


G major and other easy chords on acoustic metal-6-string guitar folk-related easy to play, participatory,

democratic, progressive politics,

‘yes we can’

I - III pop up and out, possible problems

I - iii - vi folk, folk rock,

country rock storytelling, of the people

IV - I gospel, soul, rock anglophone pop, affirmative,

determined, participatory (‘Amen’)

I - x - vi - IV pop, rock from hardship to encouragement, determination and hope; anthemic, participatory, progressive politics

In short, there is good reason to believe that the Yes We Can chords, by drawing mainly on specific English-language popular music traditions, contribute to the connotation of the sort of encouragement, affirmation, empowerment and democratic participation that were part of the Obama ethos and agenda during the election campaign of 2008. Particularly striking is the juxtaposition of hardship and hope found in the I-x-vi-IV IOCM (Table 40) corresponding to the Obama speech quotes about slaves, abolitionists, immigrants, workers, women and their determination to overcome various forms injustice. Zooming in on a more recent and specific example, it’s worth adding that The Dixie Chicks used the I-V-vi-IV variant of the Yes We Can chord loop to accompany their determination to defy personal threats resulting from the band’s shame over the fact that the previous president hailed from their home state of Texas.

Of course, there is much more to be said about the music of the Obama election video and its connotations. It might for example be argued that the anthemic character of the I-V-vi-IV IOCM is of minor relevance to Yes We Can and its mainly spoken lyrics. But such an argument misses at least one important point: that recordings consisting of one-line phrases presented as a string of statements by one artist after another have existed as a recognised pop song form since at least Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? (1984) and that songs in that form — the charity stringalong, as I call it— invariably involve a call to action for a just cause. This singing or declaiming consecutively rather than simultaneously is simply another way of musically presenting a sense of community compared to a hymn or anthem. Yes We Can combines, so to speak, the harmonic universe of the progressive Sing Out! community with the community of a charity stringalong for a humanitarian cause. The Yes We Can chords also refer to other popular anglophone music traditions like four-man-band rock (e.g. Beatles, early Radiohead), country- and folk-rock (e.g. The Band), and soul (Otis Redding). Moreover, Yes We Can adds rap and African-American preaching to that mixture of styles, fusing them all into one single production. That fusion certainly seems to align with the Obama campaign’s rhetoric of unification and collaboration. However, all these issues —the musically inclusive expression of community, the role of rap and preaching in Yes We Can, and their relation to the political context in which the video was produced and used— are all topics regrettably beyond the scope of this book.

Summary in 10 points

[1] Much of the 2008 Obama election campaign video Yes We Can is based harmonically on the four-chord loop {G | B |Em |C }, or, in relative terms, {I |III |vi |IV}.

[2] Yes We Can moves at 100 bpm with a harmonic rate of one chord per r bar. The accompaniment pattern is simple: just root (bass) note played with the thumb plus strum on the guitar’s middle and upper strings.

[3] Except for the second-fret barré B, the Yes We Can chords have simple first-position shapes. All four chords can be easily played by any semi-competent amateur guitarist.

[4] The first sound of the Obama song —a simple G chord in first position played on acoustic, metal-stringed guitar— is identical to the first chord in several well-known songs by Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie.

[5] The IOCM suggested by various popular music scholars was all relevant but some suggestions were more apposite than others.

[6] I |III |vi |IV occurs in at least four Spanish-language pop/rock songs issued between 1996 and 2007. Three of those run, like Yes We Can, at around 100 bpm, but only one (Grita) features a first-position G chord and simple strumming. The other songs are quite different in terms of surface rate, accompanimental patterning and instrumentation. They are also all in Spanish, a feature which for most anglophone listeners funnily enough signals ‘Spanish’ !

[7] {I |III |vi |IV} had no exact matches in the English-language pop/rock song repertoire. Dozens of songs with a I?III departure had to be discarded as IOCM because they differed markedly from Yes We Can on one or more of the following counts: chordal inversion, instrumentation, tempo, surface rate, accompanimental patterning, harmonic continuation, overall tonal idiom.

[8] Closest to Yes We Can in terms of harmony and other parameters of expression were: [1] World Without Love —I |III |vi |vi (Lennon-McCartney/Peter & Gordon); [2] Creep —I |III |IV |iv (Radiohead); [3] All Together Now —I |V |vi |IV (The Farm); [4] Let It Be —I |III |IV |iv (Beatles); [4] No Woman No Cry—I Vq |vi IV (Bob Marley); [5] the ‘B’ section of Not Ready To Make Nice —I |V |vi |IV (Dixie Chicks).

[9] The five songs mentioned in §8, together with Grita (§6), shared not only common musical traits. Their lyrics also exhibited paramusical similarities in terms of a contrast between problems and solutions, and a transition from hardship to hope.

[10] Structural comparison based on chord sequences can be revealing and semiotically useful, provided that harmony is treated as just one among several parameters of musical expression.

FFBk15Obama.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30



8 or 8v n. mus. abbr. octave; 8vb = octava bassa (one octave lower than written); 15mb = quintesima bassa (two octaves lower).

A. n. mus. abbr. alto (voice).

ac. adj. abbr. acoustic[s].

a cappella [aka!pEl(] adv. mus. [1] usual sense: voice[s] only without instrumental accompaniment; etym. It. cappella = chapel, choir, i.e. in the manner of a chapel choir; [2] specialist usage: voice[s] accompanied by only church organ.

accidental n. a sign used in musical notation, typically a sharp (#), flat ($) or natural (8) sign, indicating that the note it immediately precedes does not belong to the expected tonal vocabulary of the piece, section or passage in which it occurs and that the note it precedes has been raised or lowered by a small interval, most commonly a semitone (see also enharmonic). The accidental ‘W’ indicates that the tone it precedes is lowered by a quarter-tone .

Adeline slide n. ph. mus. neol. (1990) Short, chromatic passage, usually covering a third and usually descending, as in Sweet Adeline. See also minichromatic.

ADSR > envelope.

aeolian adj. heptatonic diatonic mode equivalent to the ‘natural minor’ or ‘descending melodic minor’ of euroclassical music theory. It’s the ‘church’ mode which, with a as tonic, runs from a to a on the white notes of a piano keyboard. Its seven ascending tones (1) and semitone (½) steps are 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1, and its scale degrees Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê: a b c d e f g in A).

aesthesic [Is!Ti:zIk] adj. (from Fr. esthésique, Molino via Nattiez); relating to the aesthesis [Is!Ti:sIs] (αàσθησις = perception/sensation) of music rather than to its production or construction; cf. poïetic.

a.k.a. abbr. also known as, alias.

aleatoric [alI(!tOrIk] adj. based on elements of chance; n. aleatorics.

anacrusis n. a very short musical event having the character of an upbeat or pickup, i.e. a rhythmic figure and/or short tonal process propelling the music into whatever it immediately precedes; adj. anacrustic; etym. Gk. ἀνάκρουσις.

anaphone n. [!Qn9f9Un] neol. (1990); musical sign type bearing iconic resemblance to what it can be heard to represent (p. 487, ff.); adj. ana-phonic [Qn9!fOnik]; see also sonic anaphone, tactile anaphone, kinetic anaphone.

anaphora n. rhetorical device by which successive sentences start identically but end differently, as in Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech; transferred to music, a melodic anaphora means that successive phrases start with the same motif but end differently, while a harmonic anaphora means that successive chord sequences start with the same change[s] but end differently. Anaphora is the opposite of epistrophe (see pp. 195, 447).

anhemitonic adj. (usually of modes or scales) containing no semitone step; see pentatonic.

antitonic n. mus. configuration of three quartally spaced notes serving as ]counterpoise to three quartally spaced tonic notes, e.g. b$-e$-a$ (B$Á) as antitonic to c-f-b$ (CÁ) as tonic; concept presented in Chapter 3 of Symmetries of Music: ‘Harmonic Principles (A): The Pentatonic Chromatic System’ — ‘tonic-antitonic relations in the pentatonic scale’ (Lendvai, 1993).

arr. abbr., arranger, arrangement, arranged by.

Ave Maria chord n. neol. (1989); a subdominant 6-5 chord with fifth in bass held over as second chord in a phrase from an initial major tonic root. Etym. the Dm7 (or F6) with c in the bass that comes as second chord in J.S. Bach’s Prelude Nº 1 in C Major (Wohltemperiertes, vol. 1) and which was used by Gounod for his setting of Ave Maria; also the second chord (resolved) in Mozart’s Ave verum corpus.

B. n., adj., mus. abbr. bass (voice); ] dbs, bsgt.

B&H abbr. Boosey and Hawkes (music publishers, London)

La Bamba loop n. neol. (c. 1983) chord loop running {I-IV-V}, as in La Bamba (Valens, 1958), the ionian (major-key) equivalent of the Che Guevara loop.

bimodality n. (Vega, 1944) type of tonality in which two different modes, and therefore two different tonics, can be heard either simultaneously or in succession one after the other (see Chapter 14).

bimodal reversibility n. neol. (2009) trait whereby a melodic or harmonic sequence in one mode becomes, when reversed, a sequence in another mode (see p. 441).

blues pentatonic > pp. 158-163.

brit. adj. abbr. British

bs. n., adj. mus. bass.

bsgt. or bs. gtr. n. abbr. mus. bass guitar.

bsn. n., mus., abbr. bassoon.

C20 Fox abbr. Twentieth Century Fox (US media corporation).

cadence n. mus. structural element indicating the end of a phrase, a period or a piece of music; see perfect cadence, plagal cadence, half cadence, interrupted cadence, quartal cadence, melodic cadence.

cf. abbr. Lat. ‘confer’ = compare, often with something different.

Ch4 abbr. Channel 4 TV (UK)

charity stringalong n. neol. (2009) recording made for a humanitarian cause in which individual artists sing or declaim single phrases in succession and only join together in concert or unison for the chorus or hook line, e.g. Do They Know It’s Christmas? and We Are The World; etym. string in the sense of ‘a string or line [succession] of persons or things’ and singalong, meaning ‘community singing’ or a tune to which anyone can sing along at the same time, usually in unison rather than in succession (Oxford Concise Dictionary, 1995).

charleston departure n. neol. (2000) chord sequence starting I-III like The Charleston (Mack & Johnson, 1923: B$ D7 G7, etc.), Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (Henderson, 1925) and other old-time jazz hits.

Che Guevara loop n. neol. (2008); chord loop running {i-iv-V}, as in Comandante Che Guevara/¡Hasta la victoria! (Puebla, 1965; ex. 289, p. 438); the aeolian/harmonic minor equivalent of the La Bamba loop.

chord loop n. neol. (2009) short repeated sequence of (almost always) three or four chords. Chord loops are indicated by 180° arrows at each end. The familiar vamp loop, for example, runs {I-vi-ii-V} or {I-vi-IV-V} like the {B-G#m-E-F#} in Sam Cooke’s What A Wonderful World (1960b) or the {E$ Cm Fm B$} in Blue Moon (Rodgers, 1934). Most chord loops have no name but some are so common that it saves time and space if they are given mnemonic labels like ‘the La Bamba loop’ ({I-IV-V}, e.g. {C-F-G}) or ‘the Che Guevara loop’ ({i-iv-V}, e.g. {Am-Dm-E}), so called because of its use in Carlos Puebla’s Comandante Che Guevara. Chord loops are discussed in Chapters and 14. See also chord shuttle.

chord shuttle n. neol. (1993) oscillation between two chords, for example the to-and-fro between tonic minor (i, B$m) and submediant major ($VI, G$) in Chopin’s Marche funèbre (1839), or Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower (1968: Am?F), a.k.a. ‘aeolian pendulum’ (Björnberg 1989); or between ii7 and V in He’s So Fine (Chiffons 1963), Oh Happy Day (Edwin Hawkins 1969), or My Sweet Lord (Harrison 1970). Chord shuttles are indicated by double ended arrows, e.g. i\$VI or B$m\G$ for Chopin’s funeral march, and are discussed in Chapter 12; cf. chord loop.

‘church’ mode n., a.k.a. ecclesiastical mode; one of the seven heptatonic diatonic modes which, when arranged in scalar form with the initial note repeated at the octave, contain, in varying positions, two semitone and six whole-tone steps. The six main ‘church’ modes are: [1] ionian (c-c on the white notes of the piano); [2] dorian (d-d on the white notes); [3] phrygian (e-e); [4] lydian (f-f); [5] mixolydian (g-g); [6] aeolian (a-a); [7] locrian (b-b); see pp. 94-112.

circle of fifths n. ph. mus. See key clock.

cit. mem. abbr. cited from memory.

classical harmony mus. general term denoting the widespread type of tertial tonality, based on the ionian and on the ionianised minor modes, as used in euroclassical music, in most types of jazz, as well as in the majority of urban popular music in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (see pp. 245-271).

clt. n. mus. abbr. clarinet.

conjunct-line trope n. ph. mus. conjunct motion in any voice or part that provides the basis for a common chord sequence, for example: [1] the Ô $Î $Ê Â bass line for the iv-$III-$II-I Andalusian cadence (p. 131); [2] the parallel-third minichromatic runs Û $Û Ô ^Î with ^Î $Î Ê Â in blues turnarounds (pp. 367-368); [3] the valse-musette ‘caroussel’ motif {î ê â ê} (pp. 361-362); [4] the ‘Bach Air’ descending bass line Â=î ê â Û Ô (p. 269), etc.

constructional adj., neol. (2001). See poïetic.

cor n. mus. abbr. corno/corni, It. for French horn[s]

counterpoise n. ‘1 a force etc. equivalent to another on the opposite side. 2 a counterbalancing weight’ (Oxford Concise English Dictionary, 1995); adapted (2009) to denote a tonal (melodic and/or harmonic) ‘complementary pole’ to the tonic, typically (though not exclusively) V in the ionian mode, $VII or IV in the mixolydian and dorian, $VI or iv in the aeolian, $II or $vii in the phrygian, etc. Counterpoise has basically the same meaning as antitonic and is not altogether unlike the Northern Indian concept of vadi (≈ ‘king’ of the melodic line in relation to main drone note, sa) or, perhaps, samvadi (the ‘queen’). The tonal rhythm generated by varying metric / periodic / temporal placement of change between tonic and counterpoise is a factor of interest in pre-industrial popular music from the British Isles (see kickback point).

cowboy half-cadence n., neol. (1987) harmonic progression from major triad on the flat seventh to major triad on the dominant ($VII-V), as in the main themes from The Magnificent Seven, Dallas, Blazing Saddles, etc.

crisis chord n. neol. (1991) chromatically embellished chord containing at least one diminished or augmented interval and occurring within the standard harmonic context of the European tertial idiom; usually occurring as m6 or m7$5, crisis chords can often be found about 75% of the way through a nineteenth-century parlour ballad.

CUP abbr. Cambridge University Press.

dbs. n. mus. abbr. double bass.

departure n. mus. whatever occurs when music leaves an established point of reference (e.g. after an initial tonic); departure chord ? outgoing chord.

DGG abbr. Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft.

diataxis [daI9!tQksIs] n. mus. neol. (2011) long-term arrangement/ disposition / order of musical episodes in terms of chronological placement and relative importance; in contradistinction to syncrisis (q.v.); etym. διάταξις= disposition, arrangement, order of events, running order, order of service, etc., as of processions, prayers, chants, bible readings, sacraments, and other ‘episodes’ in Byzantine Orthodox liturgy; adj. diatactical [daI9!tQktIk9l]); deriv. n. diataxeme [daI9!tQksi:m] identifiable element of diatactical meaning.

diatonic adj. conforming to the heptatonic tonal vocabulary of any of the European ‘church modes’ in which each constituent note is in English named after one of the first seven letters of the alphabet, for example a b c d e f g (aeolian in A), d e f# g a b c# (ionian in D), g a$ b$ c d e$ f (phrygian in G). Arranged in scalar form, all diatonic modes contain five whole-tone (1) and two semitone steps (½), e.g. c-d (1), d-e (1), e-f (½), f-g (1), g-a (1), a-b (1) and b-c (½) in C ionian. Semitone steps in European diatonic modes are separated by a fifth (e.g. e-f and b-c on the white notes of a piano keyboard).

doh-hexatonic adj. mus. of the major hexatonic mode containing no seventh (Â Ê Î 4 Û â); see p. 169, ff.

doh-pentatonic adj. mus. of the pentatonic mode containing a major third and major sixth (Â Ê Î Û â); see pp. 154, 159-161.

dominant n. Western music theory term used to denote: [1] the tone (Û) or chord (V) located a perfect fifth above or a perfect fourth below the tonic (adj. dominantal); [2] the syntactic-narrative function of that tone and chord in euroclassical tonality.

doo-wop. n., primarily vocal genre with origins in black US gospel of the 1940s and in barber shop quartet singing. Originally sung a cappella or with simple percussion, doo-wop became part of US-mainstream pop in the 1950s and early 1960s. The term’s etymology is onomatopoeic (like fa la la la in Elizabethan madrigals), deriving from the style’s use of paralinguistic syllables vocalising approximations of instrumental accompaniment patterns, e.g. The Marcels’ version of Blue Moon (1961), Barry Mann’s Who Put The Bomp (1961).

dorian adj. heptatonic diatonic ‘church’ mode which, with d as tonic, runs from d to d on the white notes of a piano keyboard. Its seven ascending tone (1) and semitone (½) steps are 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 and its scale degrees Â Ê $Î Ô Û â $ê (d e f@ f a b@ c in D).

dromos (Gk. δρόμος, pl. δρόμοι, lit. = way, road) n. mode or maqam.

ecclesiastical mode, see ‘church mode’.

ed. or eds. abbr. editor[s], edited by.

elbs. n. abbr. mus. electric bass, bass guitar.

elgt. or el.gtr. n. abbr. mus. electric guitar.

Eng. n. & adj. abbr. England, English.

Enharmonic mus. adj. . characteristic of notes having identical pitch in equal-tone tuning but which for practical reasons are ‘spelt’ differently. For example, the note b4 (≈ 494 hz) is much more likely to be written c$4 (≈ 494 hz) in the key of B$ minor, but it will inevitably appear as b@ in its own key of B (Fig. 73: 1-2). Similarly, the individual note pitch g, apart from being itself (Fig. 73: 3), should be spelt f! (‘F double sharp’)in a G# minor context (Fig. 73: 4). Just as it would be mad to write d e g$ g@ (5 ^6 $1 $1) for a simple 5-^6-^7-1 run-up from d to g, it’s absurd to write the same 5-^6-^7-1 run-up in G# minor (from d# to g#) as 5-&7-$1-1 or as anything other than d# e# f! g#.

Fig. 73. Enharmonic spellings and misspellings

Fig. 74. Enharmonic ups & downs: 12 × 12-note chromatic scales (equal-tone tuning)

Enharmonics aren’t just a matter of formal correctness, even though seeing, say, d# (‘D sharp’) when it should be e$ (‘E flat’) is a bit like reading ‘I no’ instead of ‘I know’. Enharmonic spelling has more to do with clarity and practical convenience. The idea is to let the notationally literate musician know about the immediate tonal context and direction of the line being performed, not least if the line is chromatic. That principle should be clear enough from Figure 74 which presents all twelve 12-note chromatic scales, both ascending and descending. The pitches in descent are, in equal-tone tuning, identical to those in ascent except they’re in reverse order and spelt quite differently. You’re much more likely to find sharps in ascent because sharps raise the note you’re currently on —they point upwards— and more likely to find flats in descent because, by lowering the note you’re on, they point downwards.

Another principle of enharmonics relates to key. While it is not unusual to hear or read music in G# minor, you will almost never see anything in G# major: A$ major, yes, but not G#. This enharmonic convention is due to the fact that while the key signature of G# minor contains only four sharps, the key of G# major would, if it were ever used, have a key signature containing eight accidentals: seven sharps plus one double-sharp. D$ minor, if it existed, would have the same problem in reverse: its key signature would have to include seven flats and one double-flat. A$ and D$ major, on the other hand, are quite common keys with their four and five flats respectively (see ‘key clock’, p. 256). Since making music in keys featuring six or seven accidentals (F#/G$, C# and C$ major plus D#/E$ and A$ minor) can already be quite a challenge, having to think in keys with eight or nine accidentals is a pointlessly difficult task. That’s why the minor keys whose tonic is one of the piano keyboard’s five black notes are: B$, E$ or D#, G#, C# and F#, never A#, D$ or G$ and very rarely A$. Similarly, while common major keys are B$, E$, A$, D$ and G$ or F#, you will never find major-key music in A#, D# or G#, and only rarely in C# major. If you’re dealing with a chromatic passage in tonical music, it’s always advisable to use accidentals belonging to key signatures closest to that of the tonic in your passage.

episodic marker n. neol. (1990) musical sign type consisting of a short processual structure mediating temporal position or relative importance (see p. 516, ff.); see also diataxis.

epistrophe n. rhetorical device by which successive sentences start differently but end similarly. A melodic epistrophe means that successive phrases start differently but end with the same motif, while a harmonic epistrophe means that successive chord sequences start differently but end with the same change[s]. Epistrophe is the opposite of anaphora (see p. 195).

equidurational. adj. neol. (2000) of equal duration, lasting for the same amount of time.

euroclassical adj. mus. neol. (2008) belonging to or having the characteristics of European classical music (a.k.a. ‘art music’, or ‘WECT’ [=Western European Classical Tradition]), most typically that composed between c. 1650 and c. 1910. The prefix euro is included to avoid confusion with classical (or art) music traditions outside Europe, e.g. the Tunisian nouba, the rāga traditions of India, Cambodian court music, the yăyuè (雅乐) of imperial China, etc. ‘Euroclassical’ is shorter than other labels denoting the same thing; nor does it imply that other musics are artless.

ex. abbr. music example. exx. = examples.

etymophony [EtI!mOf9nI] n. neol., adj. etymophonic [EtIm9!fOnIk] (c. 1990) origin[s] and development of a non-verbal sound’s meaning; etym. transfer from etymology (= the sources of the formation of a word and the development of its meaning).

extended present n. ph. (a.k.a. present-time experience, or, misleadingly, ‘specious present’). As a duration the extended present lasts no longer than a musical phrase (exhalation), or a few footsteps, or a short gestural pattern, or a few heartbeats. It is a duration experienced as a single unit (Gestalt) in present time, as ‘now’ rather than as an extended sequence of musical ideas; see also intensional, syncrisis). The extended present can also be imagined as the human brain’s equivalent to a computer’s ram where information is processed immediately, rather than as its hard drive (longer-term memory) where access and retrieval times are longer. For more, see Tagg (2013: 272-3; 417-484).

extensional adj. (Chester, 1970) relating to ‘horizontal’, syntactical aspects of musical expression extended over longer durations; opposite of intensional.

fl. n. mus. abbr. flute.

flat side. n. the left side of the circle of fifths or key clock (p. 256), where flats are included in the relevant key signatures: F, B$, E$, A$, D$ [G$].

flatward[s] adv. and adj. proceeding anticlockwise round the circle of fifths (p. 256); opposite of sharpwards. For example, ‘the chord progression proceeds flatwards via Dm and G7 to C’ (adverbial); ‘Am7 Dm7 G7 C is a flatwards chord progression landing on the tonic, C’ (adjectival). Flatwards movement is so called because the number of flats in the major-key signature of the root note of successive chords in the progression increases or the number of sharps decreases. For example, in the progression Fm - B$ - E$ (ii-V-I), the number of flats increases from 1 (F) via 2 (B$) to 3 (E$), while in the flatwards progression Dm - G7 - C the number of sharps decreases from 2 (D) via 1 (G) to 0 (C).

Fr. abbr. n & adj. France, Fren gch.

ftnt. abbr. footnote.

genre synecdoche [!ZAnr0 sIn!Ekd9kI] n. ph. mus. neol. (1992) part-for-whole musical sign type referring to a musical style other than that of its immediate surroundings and, by extension, to paramusical or extramusical aspects of the genre with which that ‘other’ musical style is associated (see Tagg, 2013: 524-528).

gk. abbr. Greek

gospel jaw [!gOsp(ldZo:] n. ph. mus. vocal technique used primarily by female singers in the gospel and soul music tradition to simulate real vocal vibrato. The simulation, produced by wobbling the jaw rapidly up and down, is often applied towards the end of long notes by such artists as Whitney Houston.

groove n. mus. sense of gross-motoric movement produced by one or more simultaneously sounded rhythm patterns lasting, as single units, no longer than the extended present, and repeated throughout a musical episode or piece. Most commonly used in reference to the perception of continuous propulsion created, typically for dancing, by the interaction of musicians in a band’s rhythm section or its accompanying parts, groove can also denote other types of perceived gross-motoric movement, as in work songs and marches.

gt. or gtr. n. mus. abbr. guitar.

half cadence a.k.a. imperfect cadence mus. harmonic cadence marking a temporary resting point in classical harmony. In that tradition final closure can only be effectuated by a perfect cadence.

harmonic minor n. & adj. denoting a mode, recognised in conventional Western music theory, whose scale degrees are Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â ^ê (e.g. c d e$ f g a$ b@ in C, scale steps 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1½ ½), i.e. the same pattern as maqam Nahawand (see pp. 91; 116, ff.).

heptatonic adj. (of modes or scales) containing, or having a tonal vocabulary of, seven different notes within the octave. Theoretically a heptatonic mode could contain c c# d d# e a$ and b@, or any other conceivable combination of different notes, but Western music’s familiar heptatonic modes all contain a note based on each of the first seven letters of the alphabet, e.g. a b c d e f g (aeolian heptatonic in A), d e f# g a b c# (ionian heptatonic in D), g a$ b$ c d e$ f (phrygian heptatonic in G); see also diatonic, pentatonic, hexatonic.

Table 42. Heptatonic note names in Indian and Arabic music theory

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8=1

sol-fa doh ré mi fa sol la si doh

Indian Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa

Arabic Rast Douka Jaharka Nawa Hussayni Awj Kirdan …

hexatonic adj. (of modes or scales) containing six different tones within the octave; see pp. 165-174; cf. pentatonic, heptatonic.

Hijaz n. mus. Ar. family of maqamat whose lower tetrachord runs  $Ê ^Î Ô (½ 1½ ½, e.g. c d$ e@ f in C). The Hijaz family includes Hijaz itself ( $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â $7), Hijaz Kar ( $Ê ^Î Ô Û $â ^ê) and Shad Araban. Hijaz modes are common in the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, Southern Spain and throughout the Arab world (see pp. 116, pp. 119-133); etym. Hijaz/Hejaz (الحجاز = ’the barrier’), the Red Sea coastal region in the west of today’s Saudi Arabia.

hocket n. mus. From French hoquet and Latin hoquetus (= ‘hiccup’); musical performance technique in which individual notes or chords within musical phrases, not entire phrases, are alternated between different voices, instruments or recorded tracks. Although the term is traditionally used to describe the technique in late medieval French motets (see In seculum, 1908), hockets are not uncommon in modern popular music. A well-known example is the woman shifting to and fro between voice and one-note pan pipe in the introduction to Herbie Hancock’s 1974 version of ‘Watermelon Man’. Hockets is a prominent feature in several African music cultures, not only among the Ba-Benzélé (1965) featured on the Hancock recording, but also among the Mbuti, the Basarwa (Khoisan) and Gogo (Tanzania) (Nketia, 1974: 167). In a more general sense, fast alternation of one or two notes between voices, instruments and timbres not only contributes massively to the dynamic of timbral and rhythmic distinctness that is intrinsic to the polyphonic and polyrhythmic structuration of much music in Subsaharan Africa (Nketia, 1974; Chernoff, 1979): it also gives evidence of ‘social partiality for rapid and colourful antiphonal interchange’ (Sanders, 1980). Such partiality may also help explain the predilection for hocketing found in funk music where the technique is intentionally employed for purposes of zestful accentuation and interjection. Typical examples of funk hocketing are the quick, agogic interplay between high and low slap bass notes, or the fast interchange between extremely short vocal utterances, stabs from the horn section and interpunctuations from the rest of the band (e.g. James Brown, Larry Graham; see Davis, 2005). These affective qualities of hocketing were certainly recognised by medieval European clerics who characterised it as lascivius (= fun) propter sui mobiltatem et velocitatem. In 1325, Pope John XXII issued a bull banning its use in church (Sanders, 1980).

Another type of hocketing has been developed in response to restrictions of instrument technology. For example the Andean practice of sharing the tonal vocabulary of a piece between two or more pan pipes (zampoñas) and their players demands skillful hocketing to produce runs of notes that are in no way intended to sound like hiccups (see Morricone, 1989). Advanced hocketing is also practised in Balinese gamelan music where very short portions of melody are allocated to many different players to produce highly complex sound patterns.

Huayno ‘(Wayñu in Aymara and Quechua) is a genre of popular Andean Music… especially common in Peru, but also present in Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Ecuador… The history of huayno … [is] a combination of traditional rural folk music and popular urban dance music’ (Wikipedia entry Huayno [140805]).

IASPM abbr.: International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

incoming chord n. neol. (2009) last chord before the tonic in a three- or four-chord loop (a.k.a. turnaround chord). In a three-chord loop the medial and incoming chords are often identical; see also outgoing chord and medial chord; for fuller explanation see pp. 414-416.

intensional adj. (Chester, 1970) relating to ‘vertical’ aspects of musical expression and to the limits of the extended present; opposite of extensional.

interrupted cadence n. ph. mus. (in classical harmony) a cadence ending on vi (usually V?vi) and usually followed, sooner rather than later, by a final cadence (normally V?I). N.B. Outside the sphere of classical harmony, cadences on vi can be final: nothing is interrupted because it is finished: see uninterrupted cadence; see also perfect cadence, half cadence, plagal cadence.

interval counting the anomalies of interval counting, according to which an octave (octava = eighth) can equal 7, 8 or 9 (!), are explained on line at G tagg.org/teaching/IntervalCounts.html [140811] (Tagg, 2014).

IOCM abbr., n., neol., mus., semio (1979) InterObjective Comparison Material, i.e. intertextual reference[s] consisting of music other than the analysis object and which sounds like and/or is structurally similar to (part or parts of) that same analysis object.

ionian mode mus. heptatonic, diatonic mode containing scale degrees Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê (scale steps 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½); i.e. the same as the Western major scale.

ionianise v. mus. neol. (2007) to make ionian, i.e. to change certain scale degrees in other modes so they conform to euroclassical principles of tonality linked to that tradition’s proclivity for the ionian mode, e.g. the harmonic minor and ascending melodic minor modes (see pp. 90-92, ff.); n. ionianisation; adj. ionianised.

Ir. adj. & n. abbr. Irish, Ireland.

It. adj. & n. abbr. Italian, Italy.

ITV abbr. Independent TV (UK).

key clock, a.k.a. circle of fifths, n. ph. mus. theoretical model of the Western octave’s twelve constituent tones, and their keys, arranged in order of fifths ascending clockwise (sharpwards, C G D A E B F#/G$ D$ A$ E$ B$ F) and descending anticlockwise (flatwards, C F B$ E$ A$ D$ G$/F# B E A D G); see pp. 255-265.

key-clock neighbourhood: see tonical neighbourhood.

la-hexatonic, adj. mus. of the ‘sixthless’ hexatonic mode containing scale degrees Â Ê $Î Ô Û $ê; see p. 170, ff.

la-pentatonic adj. mus. of the anhemitonic pentatonic mode containing scale degrees  $Î Ô Û $ê; see pp. 155-163.

Lat. adj. abbr. Latin.

lead sheet n. ph. sheet of paper displaying the basic information necessary for performance and interpretation of a piece of popular music; for complete explanation, see pp. 229-230.

lead sheet chord n. ph. chord indication on a lead sheet.

lead sheet chord shorthand n. ph. [1] symbols used on a lead sheet to represent the chords of a song or other piece of music; [2] the widespread system according to which musicians most frequently denote chords; for complete explanation, see pp. 229-244.

leading note n. the major seventh degree (^ê) in the European major, ascending minor and harmonic minor scales, so called because in those modes it is assumed to lead to the tonic one semitone higher. Leading note can also designate any note that leads by a semitone step, ascending or descending, into another note contained within the subsequent common triad, e.g. the note f in a G7 chord descending to the e in a C major tonic triad. It is worth noting that a phrygian cadence from $II to I uses three leading notes: [1] from minor second to tonic ($2-1, e.g. f@ to e in E phrygian), from perfect fourth to major third (4-3, e.g. a to g# assuming there is a Picardy third on the tonic E, as in flamenco music); [3] from minor sixth to perfect fifth ($6-5, e.g. c to b in E phrygian). Since a large, widely disseminated and influential body of popular music so often uses modes with minor sevenths ($7), the term leading note cannot be meaningfully used to designate the seventh degree in those contexts. The term subtonic (q.v.) will be used instead.

locrian adj. heptatonic diatonic ‘church’ mode which runs from b to b on the white notes of a piano keyboard. Its seven ascending tone (1) and semitone (½) steps are ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 and its scale degrees  $Ê $Î Ô $Û $â $ê —b c d e f@ g a in B.

loop See chord loop.

lydian adj. heptatonic diatonic ‘church’ mode which, with f as tonic, runs from f to f on the white notes of a piano keyboard. Its seven ascending tone (1) and semitone (½) steps are 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ and its scale degrees Â Ê Î #Ô Û â ê —f g a b@ c d e in F.

‘lydian dominant’ n. misnomer often used in jazz theory to denote the lydian flat seven mode (q.v.).

lydian flat seven adj. phr. qualifier of the heptatonic mode consisting of scale degrees Â Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê (scale steps 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1: c d e f# g a b$ in C); see pp. 139-145; often referred to erroneously in jazz theory as the ‘lydian dominant’ mode.

maqam (مقم) n. mus. Arabic. concept of mode (pl. maqamat مقمت) in widespread use across the Arab world, in the Balkans, and in the Eastern Mediteranean (incl. Greece and Turkey); see p. 113, ff.

matrix n. mus. repeated tonal pattern of longer duration than a simple chord loop; a twelve-bar blues, a ground bass, a chaconne, etc. are all tonal matrices (see Vega 1944).

medial chord n. neol. (2009) the chord placed after the outgoing chord in a three- or four-chord loop; in a three-chord loop the medial and incoming chords are usually identical. The medial chord is the most likely counterpoise to the tonic (see pp. 414-416).

mediant n., from Latin mediare = to come between, in particular the note that ‘comes halfway between’ the tonic and the fifth, i.e. the third, e.g. the note e@ in C major or e$ in C minor. Tertial chords based on the third scale degree, the mediant, as well as on ionian scale degrees 6 and 2, belong to a category of harmony which German theorists call Mediantik and which some anglophone disciples of Germanic theorising about euroclassical music call ‘mediantic’. Since ‘mediantic’ sounds too much like media antics to be taken seriously and since the words dominantal (= relating to the ‘dominant’) and subdominantal (=relating to the ‘subdominant’) already exist, and since they both add the adjectival suffix -al to a noun ending in -ant, the only logical adjectival derivative of mediant in the English language is mediantal.

mediantal adj. relating to or having the character of the mediant.

melodic cadence: cadence defined melodically, not harmonically.

melodic minor n. & adj., mus. denoting a mode, recognised by conventional Western music theory, whose ascending scale degrees are Â Ê $Î Ô Û â ê (e.g. c d e$ f g a@ b@ in C, scale steps 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½) and whose descending pattern is $ê $â Û Ô $Î Ê Â, i.e. that of the aeolian mode or ‘natural minor’ which ascends Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê (e.g. c d e$ f g a$ b$ in C, scale steps 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1). The ascending form of the melodic minor is one ionianised version of the aeolian mode ($â $ê ? â ê).

milksap n. colloq. derogatory term, probably first coined by Jerry Lee Lewis, to designate the bland pop songs recorded in the USA by ‘all those goddam Bobbies’ —Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydell, Bobby Vee, Bobby Vinton, etc.— between 1957 (the end of rock-'n'-roll) and 1963 (the arrival of the Beatles and Rolling Stones). The harmonic epitome of this teen-angel sort of pop was the {I vi IV V} vamp.

minichromatics n., neol. (1976) a.k.a. ‘decorative chromaticism’ and opposed to ‘structural’ or ‘modulatory’ chromaticism. Minichromatics implies using chromaticism, within the euroclassical tertial idiom, as a means of colouring and decorating the current tonality rather than as a means of modulating away from it.

minor third rule n. ph. mus. neol. (2014) principle of quartal harmony according to which the music’s tonal centre needs to move at least three key-clock steps in either direction —a minor third up or down in terms of pitch— to sound like a ‘change of key’ (p. 301, ff.); see also tonical neighbourhood.

mixolydian adj. heptatonic diatonic ‘church’ mode which, with g as tonic, runs from g to g on the white notes of a piano keyboard. Its seven ascending tone (1) and semitone (½) steps are 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 and its scale degrees 1 2 3 4 5 6 $7.

mode n. mus. tonal vocabulary that can for theoretical purposes be reduced to individual occurrences of each tone arranged in scalar order inside one octave delimted by the mode’s first scale degree (Â and î=Â: tonic, keynote); for fuller explanation, see pp. 85–89.

MoR n., adj., abbr. middle-of-the-road; genre label used in US media.

movement n. mus. self-contained section of a symphony, sonata or similar type of euroclassical work, that usually has its own structure, tempo, home key, etc.

museme n. (Seeger, 1960) minimal unit of musical meaning; see also Tagg (2000a: 106-108).

museme stack n. neol. (1979) compound of simultaneously occurring musical sounds to produce a meaningful unit of ‘now sound’; components of a museme stack may or may not be musematic in themselves.

mustaar n. mus. Ar. maqam whose scale degrees are  #Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê, e.g. c d# e f# g a b$, steps ¥ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 (see p. 135).

mvt. n. mus. abbr. > movement.

nahawand mus. Ar. maqam mode similar to the Western harmonic minor scale (see pp. 91; 116, ff.).

nawa athar mus. Ar. maqam in the niavent family.

niavent mus. Ar. family of maqamat whose lower tetrachord is Â Ê $Î #Ô; includes niavent itself (Â Ê $Î #Ô Û $â ^ê), nawa athar (Â Ê $Î #Ô Û $â $ê), and nikriz (Â Ê $Î #Ô Û ^â $ê or ^ê); see pp. 116, 135.

nikriz mus. Ar. maqam in the niavent family.

outgoing chord n. neol. (2009) the first chord, a.k.a. departure chord after the tonic in a three- or four-chord loop; cf. incoming chord and medial chord. For more detail, see pp. 414-416.

paramusical adj. neol. (1983) literally ‘alongside’ the music, i.e. semiotically related to a particular musical discourse without being structurally intrinsic to that discourse; see also PMFC.

passim adv. etym. Lat. = ‘here and there’; used in references to indicate that the phenomenon in question can be found in several or many places in the referenced work.

pendulum See chord shuttle.

pentatonic adj. (of modes or scales) containing five different notes within the octave; see pp. 153-163.

perceptional See aesthesic.

pf. n. mus. abbr. pianoforte, i.e. piano.

perfect cadence n. ph. mus. harmonic cadence from V to I (see p. 252, ff.); a.k.a. V-I cadence, dominantal cadence, full cadence, etc; see also plagal cadence, half cadence, interrupted cadence, interrupted cadence, quartal cadence.

phonological loop n. ph. neurol. short-term (J 2"), ongoing mini-chunk of audio information inside the brain’s working memory that can be instantly recalled and strung together with up to three others in immediate succession to produce a larger chunk of ‘now sound’; see also extended present.

phrygian adj. heptatonic diatonic ‘church’ mode which, with e as tonic, runs from e to e on the white notes of a piano keyboard. Its seven ascending tone (1) and semitone (½) steps are ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 and its scale degrees  $Ê $Î Ô Û $â $ê —e f@ g a b@ c d in E.

‘phrygian dominant’ n. ph. mus. misnomer, widespread in jazz theory, for Hijaz or the ‘majorised phrygian’ mode which has neither dominant nor dominantal function (see pp. 129, 132-133, 148).

pl. abbr plural.

plagal adj. mus., via Latin plagius (=oblique) from Greek πλάγιος (=sideways, slanting, askance, misleading); mostly used to qualify a cadence from IV to I —the plagal cadence; also used to qualify any type of tonal (usually harmonic) motion between I and IV, e.g. the plagal ornamentation of chords, as described in Chapter 11, p. 362, ff.

plagal cadence n. ph. mus. harmonic cadence from IV to I (the ‘Amen ending’); opposed to perfect cadence q.v. Plagal and perfect are terms developed by music theorists to denote cultural specificities of tonal direction in the euroclassical tradition; see also half cadence, interrupted cadence.

PMFC neol., n. (1991) Paramusical field of connotation, i.e. connotatively identifiable semantic field relating to identifiable (sets of) musical structure(s); previously (1979) incorrectly called ‘extramusical field of association’.

poïetic adj. (from Fr. poïétique, Molino via Nattiez) relating to the poïesis, i.e. to the making of music rather than to its perception (a.k.a constructional); the opposite of aesthesic (‘receptional’), poiëtic qualifies the denotation of musical structures from the standpoint of their construction rather than their perception, e.g. con sordino, minor major-seven chord, augmented fourth, pentatonicism, etc. rather than delicate, detective chord, allegro, etc.

present-time experience ? extended present.

prog a.k.a. prog rock n., adj. colloq. abbr. ‘progressive rock’, a sub-genre of rock. It’s a problematic term used to loosely designate whatever it is that artists like Genesis, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Pink Floyd are supposed to have in common.

quartal adj. (of chords and harmony) based on the stacking of fourths; see Chapter 10 (pp. 293-351); cf. tertial.

quartal cadence: harmonic cadence used in quartal contexts. One type of quartal cadence is common in the droned accompaniment of traditional song: it moves from a chord based on the counterpoise to one based on the tonic (e.g. Dæ?G5 in G: see pp. 340-349). Another type is more chromatic: it involves the minor third rule and voice leading from a different tonical neighbourhood and (pp. 320-322).

q.v. abbr. Lat. ‘quod vide’ = which see, i.e. look up, in the same work, whatever immediately preceded the ‘q.v.’.

R&B (also RnB) n. abbr. rhythm and blues, i.e. the broad musical style and genre typified by the work of such artists as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker (1950s-70s), not that of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men etc. (1980s- ). This latter style is sometimes misleadingly called ‘contemporary R&B’.

Real Book popular name of an initially illegal collection of jazz standards and other popular tunes duplicated in lead-sheet form (melody and lead-sheet chord shorthand) at the Berklee School of Music (Boston, USA) in the early 1970s. Songs appearing in The Real Book have been legally licensed since 2004. It has a wide circulation among musicians with jazz training (distribution mainly through photocopying or p2p pdf file sharing). It uses shorthand which diverges on several counts (see p. 242) from that presented on pp. 229-244 in this book.

ré-hexatonic adj. mus. of the hexatonic mode containing scale degrees Â Ê Ô Û ^6 $ê; see pp. 172-173.

ré-pentatonic adj. mus. of the anhemitonic pentatonic mode containing no third but a minor seventh (Â Ê Ô Û $ê); see pp. 156-158.

rec. n., v., abbr. recording, recorded [by].

receptional adj., neol. (2001) See aesthesic.

rock n. and attrib. adj. a wide range of popular and originally English-language musics produced since the mid 1950s for a primarily youth audience, initially more often male than female. The label rock covers everything from prog rock (e.g. Genesis) to country rock (e.g. Byrds), from punk rock (e.g. Sex Pistols) to folk rock (e.g. Steeleye Span) and from heavy metal (e.g. Led Zeppelin) through thrash (e.g. Metallica) to death and speed metal (e.g. Slayer). It’s well-nigh impossible to pinpoint stylistic common denominators for such a wide range of musics, apart from the fact that the music is usually loud and its tonal instruments electrically amplified. The heyday of rock lasted from the mid 1960s to the 1990s and its musicians are mainly, though not exclusively, male. Fun, anger, opposition and corporeal celebration (‘kick-ass’) are aesthetic concepts frequently linked to rock.

rock and roll — basically synonymous with rock.

rock ’n’ roll n. is a much more restrictive term than rock or ‘rock and roll’; it denotes rock music produced only in the 1950s and early 1960s by such artists as Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

SÄMUS Sw. abbr. ‘Särskild Ämnesutbildning i Musik’, Swedish music teacher training programme, 1971-1976 (see Tagg, 1998d).

scale degree n. ph. (mus.) the pitch position, expressed as a numeral, of a tone in relation to a given tonic where that tonic is scale degree 1, abbreviated ‘Â’. For example, ‘$Î’ (scale degree ‘flat three’) means e$ if  is c@, but e@ if  is c#.

scale step n. ph. (mus.) the pitch interval, measured in whole tones, between adjacent notes in a scale: ‘¼’ = quarter tone, ‘½’ = semitone, ‘¾’ = three quarters of a tone, ‘1’ = a whole tone, ‘1½’ = one and a half tones or three semitones.

scot. abbr. Scotland, Scottish.

sharp side n. the right hand side of the circle of fifths (p. 256), where sharps are included in the relevant key signatures: G, D, A, E, B [F#].

sharpward[s]. adv. and adj. proceeding clockwise round the circle of fifths (p. 256); the opposite of flatwards. For example, ‘the chord progression proceeds sharpwards from F via C to G’ (adverbial); ‘F - C - G is a sharpwards chord progression landing on the mixolydian tonic, G’ (adjectival). Sharpwards movement is so called because the number of sharps in the major-key signature of the root note of successive chords in the progression increases or the number of flats decreases. For example, in the progression G-D-A ($VII-IV-I) the number of sharps increases from 1 (G) via 2 (D) to 3 (A); in the progression B$-F-C the number of flats decreases from 2 (B$) via 1 (F) to 0 (C).

shuttle See chord shuttle.

singalong n. a tune to which, when performed, it is easy for members of an audience to sing along; in general a tune easily sung by many people, or an occasion on which such tunes are performed (e.g. ‘Friday night singalongs at the old people’s home’); adj. attrib., e.g. ‘a singalong evening with pianist Fred Bloggs’ or ‘the singalong chorus part of the recording’.

solmisation n. mus. the use of mnemonic syllables to designate the pitch of an octave’s seven basic scale steps in relation to each other, as in tonic sol-fa (doh ré mi fa sol la ti). Solmisation syllables are also used in India (sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni), China (上 (siong), 尺 (cei), 工 (gong), 凡 (huan), 六 (liuo), 五 (ngou), 乙 (yik), Java, Japan and the Arab world (dāl, rā', mīm, fā', şād, lām, tā'); see also p. 93, ff.

stringalong; see Charity stringalong.

subtonic n. neol. (2009) the seventh degree in a heptatonic mode. Subtonic replaces leading note (q.v.) whenever scale degree 7 does not lead to the octave/tonic. ^ê is not always and $ê is almost never a leading note, but both are always subtonic.

Sv. abbr. svensk/svenskt/svenska, Sverige, i.e. Swedish, Sweden.

Sw. abbr. Swedish, Sweden.

syncrisis [!sINkrIsIs] n. mus. neol. (2012) musical form in terms of the aggregation of several simultaneously ongoing sounds perceptible as a combined whole inside the limits of the extended present, as distinct from diataxis (q.v.); etym. σύγκρισις = a putting together, aggregate, combination, from συγκρίνω = to combine, compound, put together; deriv. adj. syncritic [sIN!krItIk]

tertial adj. neol. (1998) (of chords and harmony) based on the stacking of thirds (see p. 249, ff.); cf. quartal.

tetrachord n mus. sequence of four tones, typically (though not exclusively) in consecutive scalar order; there are normally two tetrachords in a heptatonic octave (Figure 75, p. 502).

timp. n. mus. abbr. timpani.

tonal adj. mus. having the characteristics of a tone or tones, cf. tonical.

tonality n. mus. system (codified or uncodified) according to which tones are configured (see p. 51, ff.).

tonatim [t9U!nEItIm] adv., neol. (1992) tone for tone or note for note; etym. verbatim = word for word.

Fig. 75. tetrachords and scale steps for some heptatonic modes

tone n. mus. note with audible fundamental pitch (see p. 51, ff.).

tonic n. mus. central or main reference tone, keynote (p. 52, ff.).

tonical adj. mus. neol. (2008) having a tonic (p. 52, ff.), cf. tonal.

tonical neighbourhood n. ph. mus. neol. (2014) [1] (in quartal harmony) tonal area encompassing three adjacent ‘hours’ on the key clock or positions on the circle of fifths (e.g. G C F with C4 (c-f-g) as its core triad) (p. 295, ff.); [2] (generally) any tonal area consisting of closely related chords without definite harmonic directionality. See also quartal harmony and the minor third rule.

tonic sol-fa n. mus. type of solmisation using the syllables doh ré mi fa sol la ti to designate scale degrees 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 in the ionian mode (European ’major scale’). Doh can be set to any of the Western octave’s twelve tones. ’Doh=C’ means that the seven notes used in the music to which it applies will be c d e f g a b. ’Doh=A$’ means the seven notes will be a$ b$ c d$ e$ f g. The absolute pitch of a note designated in tonic sol-fa is in other words movable (p. 49, ff.)

tr. or trans. abbr. translate[d]/translator.

trad. adj. abbr. traditional.

transscansion [trQn!skQnS(n] n. mus. neol. (c. 1989) short wordless motif whose melodic and rhythmic profile closely resembles that of at least two spoken syllables associated with the music in which it occurs; etym. trans (across) + scan (speak or read metrically), i.e. with the metre and rhythm of the word[s] transferred from speech into music, for example the |r Zz il|s_ (Û-Â-Û-Ê)| of ‘Intel Inside’ (ex. 217, p. 312) or the |Y l z l. (Â-Â-Û)| of ‘Superman’ (ex. 160, p. 198).

trb. n. mus. abbr. trombone[s].

tritonal adj. mus. (of a chord or mode) containing the interval of a tritone (see p. 95); not to be confused with tritonic; ant. atritonal.

tritonic adj. mus. (usually of mode or melody) containing only three different tones inside one octave; ? pentatonic, hexatonic, heptatonic; not to be confused with tritonal.

trp. n. mus. abbr. trumpet[s]

turnaround n. short chord sequence at the end of one section in a song or instrumental number; the purpose of a turnaround is to facilitate recapitulation of the complete harmonic sequence of that section.

tunraround chord n., a.k.a incoming chord. In chord loops, it is the last chord immediately preceding the reprise of the loop; i.e. the chord whose relation to the first chord works like a turnaround (q.v.). Turnaround chords are also incoming except in instances when the loop’s first and last chords are both tonic, in which case a turnaround device is needed to move from the last back to the first.

uninterrupted cadence n. ph. mus. neol. (2008) cadence which, from a euroclassical hearpoint, sounds like an interrupted cadence but which is in fact a final cadence without interruption (p. 260-261).

v. n. abbr. [1] verse; [2] version.

vamp n. chord loop with several variants whose chords generically run {I-vi-ii/IV-V}. \

vla n. mus. abbr. viola.

vlc. n. mus. abbr. [violon]cello.

vln./vlns n. mus. abbr. violin, violins.

ww. n. mus. abbr. woodwind.

FFBkGlossary.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:30


FFBkBib.fm. 2014-09-13, 15:31

Reference appendix

Table 43: Symbols used in this appendix

F film production n musical notation

t TV production c composer[s]

w off-air recording C conductor

D DVD v vocalist[s]

V videocassette m performer[s]

E YouTube j writer or lyricist

G on line f film director

g video/computer game * star, actor

0 phonogram (CD, LP, etc.) p publisher

L audiocassette Ä arranger

b written word

o cover version T title theme

P first published H audio example

R first recorded § section/paragraph nº

$ advert ▪ track on album

Three example entries with explanations

1. Addison, John (1984) c Murder She Wrote Tt CBS wSvTV (1990).

John Addison is composer of the title theme (T) for this TV production (t), first broadcast by CBS in 1984 and recorded off-air (w) from Swedish TV in 1990.

2. High Noon (1952) F Criterion/Republic/UA f Fred Zinnemann; V4Front 054 1463 (1998); >cT Dimitri Tiomkin; 0vo> Frankie Laine; 0vR> Tex Ritter.

The source used for the music throughout this 1952 film (F) from production companies Criterion, Republic and United Artists (UA), and directed (f) by Zinnemann, is a videocassette (V) released in 1998. Details of the sources used for the title theme (T) composed (c) by Dimitri Tiomkin can be found under other entries (>): [1] Tiomkin himself; [2] Frankie Laine, who sang (v) a popular cover version (o) of [3] the original recording (R) sung (v) by Tex Ritter.

3. Mozart, W A (1791) Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A major, K622 ▪ 2nd mvt. FPadre Padrone > Macchi (1977); FOut of Africa >0 Barry (1986).

Details of the sound carriers used as sources for the second movement (▪) of this Mozart concerto from 1791 are provided under two other author entries, to which the reader is referred (>): [1] the album containing Egisto Macchi’s music for the film (F) Padre Padrone (released in 1977); [2] the album (0) containing Barry’s music for the 1986 film (F) Out of Africa.


To save space, the initial ‘http://www.’ in internet addresses (URLs) is omitted and replaced with the online or download icon G. To distinguish URL sources from surrounding text, and to save space, this font is used, for example ‘G tagg.org’. Dates of visits to URLs are formatted yymmdd and placed in square brackets after the relevant URL, for example ‘G tagg.org [100921]’. That’s clearer and much shorter than ‘http://www.tagg.org; page accessed 21st September, 2010’. A struck-through hyperlink, e.g. _q2TK-gefio , indicates that the link was previously operative but no longer worked at the time of publication.

YouTube files

YouTube file addresses are reduced to their unique filenames and the recurrent URL prefix http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= is omitted. For example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msM28q6MyfY (42 characters) appears as simply E msM28q6MyfY (1+11=12 characters). Try copying the ‘msM28q6MyfY’ part of the complete reference ‘E msM28q6MyfY [120122]’ into the YouTube Search window. It takes you directly to The Emmerdale Commutations, Version 6 and nothing else. The system doesn’t even bother you with all the other stuff it assumes ‘you might enjoy’. If you are reading this on a digital device you can just click on the hyperlink to access the referenced file.

N.B. The functionality of hyperlinks in this appendix will vary according to factors explained in the ‘Publication format and devices’ section of online information at G tagg.org/mmmsp/BookFormats.html.

Standard source reference abbreviations

IASPM: International Association for the Study of Popular Music | ITV: Independent TV (UK) | n.d. no date | New Grove: New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians | Orch: Orchestra | OUP: Oxford University Press | rec. recording/recorded | rev – revised | SRP2/SRP3: Sveriges Radio Program 2/3 (Swedish national radio channel 2 or 3) | SvTV: Sveriges Television (Swedish national TV) | Symph: Symphony | tr. translator[s] | TV3: Scandinavia’s commercial third channel | UA: United Artists | U.P. university press | xtr: extract[s] | xwos: except where otherwise stated.


This appendix lists: [1] works cited or referred to in main text (c. 90% of entries); [2] publications not in the main text but referred to as sources inside this appendix (c. 3%); [3] works of direct relevance consulted in the production of this book but not cited or referred to in the main text (c. 7%).


0 25 TV Commercial Classics (The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread) (1994) .

ASV Digital QS 6137 (1994).

n 300 Scales and Arpeggios for Mountains Ocarina

G uazu.net/ocarina/scales [140414]


0 Abba (1974) Waterloo. On Abba (1990).

0 — (1974b) ‘Hasta mañana’. Waterloo. Polar POLS 252.

0 — (1975a) S.O.S. On Abba (1990).

0 — (1975b) Fernando. Epic EPC 4036 (UK) ; also on Abba (1988a)

0 — (1975c) [1] ‘Dancing Queen’; [2] ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’.

Arrival. Polar PMC 272.

0 — (1977) The Name of the Game. Epic EPC 5750.

0 — (1981) One of Us. Epic EPCA 1740 ; also on Abba (1988b).

0 — (1988a) Abba – The Hits Vol. 2, Pickwick PWKS 500.

0 — (1988b) Abba – The Hits Vol. 3, Pickwick PWKS 507.

0 — (1990) Abba - The Hits Vol. 1. Pickwick PWKS 593.

XG Abdallah, Matthew (nd) ‘Get familiar with the minor pentatonic scale’. G easyeartraining.com/learn/get-familiar-with-the-minor-pentatonic-scale/ [140118].

Xb Abddon, Seifed-Din Shehadeh (2003) ’Arabic Music: Samaie Farhafza Analysis’ G leb.net/rma/Articles/Samaie_Farhafza.pdf [130731].

0 AC/DC (1980). ‘Shoot To Thrill’. Back In Black. Atlantic CD 7567-81472-2 (1990).

> Ack Värmeland du sköna (Swedish trad.) n Vi gör musik, p. 74.

0 Adams, William (‘Will.i.am’) (2008) vm Yes We Can. E Xyqcx-mYY| [080202].

0 Adderley, Cannonball (1963) Mercy, Mercy, Mercy c J. Zawinul. Capitol 5798 (1966).

0 Adderley, Nat (1960) Work Song. Riverside RLP 12-318.

n Addinsell, R (1942). Warsaw Concerto. London: Keith Prowse.

> Adeste Fideles (c. 1751) n The Methodist Hymnbook (1933: 118).

0 Aerosmith (1989). ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’. Pump. Geffen 924 254-2.

0 Afghanistan, Music from (1973). unesco/Bärenreiter Musicaphon BM 30L 2003.

n Akst, Harry (1929). Am I Blue? New York: M. Witmark & Sons.

0 Aksu, Sezen (1982) Firuze (=Turquoise). Kervan Plak LP 66. cd reissue Kervan Plak CD 025 (1994) E UnUfbhIHo10 [140207].

0 Albion Country Band (1971) No Roses. Crest 11. ▪ Claudy Banks ▪ Van Diemen’s Land ▪ The Murder Of Maria Marten ▪ Poor Murdered Woman.

0 Alén Rodríguez, Olavo (1998, ed.). From Afro-Cuban Music to Salsa. Piranha PIR 1256. ▪ Son del Mayabeque & Ignacio Piñeiro: ‘Te busque anoche’ ▪ Celia M Oquendo: ‘Tonada de corte andaluz en punto menor’; ▪ Dúo ’Amante Guajiro’: ’Me voy pa’l monte’.

0 —(1999a, ed.) Official Retrospective of Cuban Music, 2: Sones y guarachas. CIDMUC/Tonga TNG4CD 9903-2. ▪ Nilda y el Dúo Gilberto Salazarte: ‘El beso discreto (Miguel Matamoros); ▪ Voces de Cuba (trio) & Antonio (Ñico Saquito) Fernández ‘Meneame la cuna’.

0 — (1999b, ed.) Official Retrospective of Cuban Music, 3: Punto cubano y cancion. CIDMUC/Tonga tng4cd 9903-3 ▪ Decimas a un niño ▪ Amorosa guajira.

0 Alexiou, Haris/Ηάρις Αλεξίου (1976) Stavros Kouyioumtzis: Laikes Kyriakes (Σταύρος Κουγιουμτζής: Λαϊκές Κυριακές). Minos EMI Labelsound 724348013927 (2000). ▪ Τρεις η ώρα νύχτα (= 3 a.m.) ▪ Απ’ τον περασμένο Μάρτη (= On 1st March).

0 Alfvén, Hugo (1904). Midsommarvaka (Swedish Rhapsody no.1, op.19). Swedish Society Discofil SLT 33145 (nd).

0 Alice in Chains (1994) ‘Nutshell’. MTV Unplugged. Columbia CK 67703 (1996).

> All Along The Watchtower, see 0 Dylan (1968) and Hendrix (1968).

0 Allan, Lily (2006). Smile. Regal 370 0142.

0 All Saints (1998). Bootie Call. London 570 244-2.

> All The Things You Are, see n Kern (1939).

X0 Althia & Donna (1977). Up Town Top Rankin. Lightning LIG 506.

n Amazing Grace (UK/US trad. j J Newton) G tagg.org/pix/MusExx/AmazGrace

Mel%28F%29.jpg [140108] >0 Watson (1964).

0 Amos, Tori (1996). Professional Widow. EastWest SAM 1867

0 Andersson, Lena (1973). Hej du glada sommar. Polar POS 1175.

0 Animals, The (1964a). The House Of The Rising Sun. Columbia DB 7354.

0 — (1964b) ’Boom Boom’ R Hooker (1963). The Animals. Columbia SEG 8400.

0 Anka, Paul (1957). Diana. Columbia DB 3980.

0 — (1959) Put Your Head On My Shoulder. Columbia DB 4355.

b Apel, Willi (1972). ‘Variations’. Harvard Dictionary of Music.

Belknap Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

0 Arch Enemy (2004). Dead Eyes See No Future. Century Media 77576-2/

0 Archies, The (1969). ‘Sugar Sugar’. Bubblegum Hits. Varsese 066132 (2000).

n Arlen, Howard (1939). ‘Over The Rainbow’. The Wizard of Oz. New York: Feist.

0 Armstrong, Louis (1938). ‘Jeepers Creepers’ (Mercer, Warren) F ‘Going Places’. Fifty Years of Film Music. Warner 3XX 2736 (1973).

> A-Roving: n Songs that will Live for Ever, p. 158.

0 Arrested Development (1992). ‘Mr Wendal’. Megadance - The Power Zone.

EMI/Virgin/Polygram CDEVP 4 (1993).

0 Artists United Against Apartheid (1985). Sun City. Manhattan LC 7365.

n Arturov, T (nd) Song of the Amur Partisans (По долинам и по взгорьям); as ‘Partisansången’ (Sw. trans. E. Karlsson) in Ström (1981: 30).

0 Ashley, Clarence ‘Tom’ (1929). ’The Coo-Coo Bird’Columbia I 5889D (WI 4825 I); Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s. Folkways FA 2355, FA 2359 (1963); re-release by Smithsonian, 1997.

bn Asmar, Sami (nd). ‘Maqamat Commonly used in Arab Music, With Ascending Intervals & Transpositions’ |turath.org/Resources/MaqamTrans.htm|[000222].

0 Atacama (1971). Atacama. MNW 24P. ▪ Caliche (Chile, cueca); ▪ El burrito (Chile, trote); ▪ La tarijena (Bolivia, cueca); ▪ Puna (Chile, carnavalito).

n Auld Lang Syne (Scot. trad.) G tagg.org/pix/MusExx/AuldLangSyne.jpg [140101].

> Autumn Leaves = feuilles mortes, see 0 Kosma.


0 Ba-Benzélé (1965). ‘Hindewhu’. Music of the Ba-Benzélé Pygmies. Bärenreiter-Musicaphon BML 30L 2303 (S. Arom & G. Dournon-Taurelle, eds.).

n Bach, J.S. (1722). Das Wohltemperiertes Klavier, I. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel (nd).

n — (1731) Orchestral Suite in D Major, BWV 1068. Leipzig: VEB DVfM, 1973.

n — (1734) Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248. Leipzig: VEB DVfM (nd).

0 Bacharach, Burt (1964). Walk On By v Dionne Warwick;

Pye International 7N 25241.

0 — (1968) This Guy’s In Love With You m Herb Alpert, A&M AMS 727.

0 — (1970a) Raindrops v Bobbie Gentry, Capitol CL 15626.

0 — (1970b) Close To You vm The Carpenters, A&M AMLS 998.

0 Bachman Turner Overdrive (1974). ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’.

Not Fragile. Mercury 6338516.

V Badalmenti, Angelo (1990) c Twin Peaks, 4-6. f David Lynch t Lynch/Frost; Spelling, 1990-1991. V Screen Entertainment SE 9142.

0 Baez, Joan (1963). We Shall Overcome. Fontana H 428.

0 Ball, Kenny (& his Jazzmen) (1962). Midnight In Moscow (Soloviov-Sedoy,).

Pye 7NJ 2049.

> Bamba, La, see Valens (1958).

0 Band, The (1968). ‘The Weight’. Music from Big Pink. Capitol ST 2955.

0 — (1970) ‘Daniel And The Sacred Harp’. Stage Fright. Capitol SW 425.

0 — (1971) ‘Where Do We Go From Here Now?’. Cahoots. Capitol EAST 651.

0 Band Aid (1984). Do They Know It’s Christmas? Mercury 8805021.

L Band and Drums 1st Battalion of the The Royal Welch Fusiliers, The (1995). Cassette RS/1 (Caernarfon Castle).

> Banks of Newfoundland >n Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, p. 17.

0 Barber, Chris [Chris Barber’s Jazz Band] (1954). When The Saints Go Marchin’ In

(US trad.). Storyville A 45006.

0 Bare, Bobby (1963) Detroit City. RCA Victor 47-8183.

0 Bar Kays, The (1967). Soul Finger. Stax 601014.

n Bartók, Béla (1915) Six Romanian Dances. Vienna: Universal (1918).

n — (1917) String Quartet 2, Op. 17. London: Boosey & Hawkes (1939).

n — (1916) Sonatina for Piano (Sz. 55, BB. 69). Budapest: Editio Musica (1952).

0 — (1937) Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (Sz. 110). m Dezső Ránki, Zoltan Kocsis (pf.), Gustav Cser (perc.). Hungaroton SLPX 12400 (1987).

n0 — (1939) Divertimento for String Orchestra. (Sz. 113, BB 118). London: Boosey & Hawkes (1940). m Moscow Chamber Orch. C Rudolf Barshai.

London Treasury STS 15326 (1962).

n0 — (1940) Mikrokosmos. London: Boosey & Hawkes. ▪ ‘Fourths’ (Vol. IV) ▪ Ostinato and ▪ ‘Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm’ (Vol. VI).

‘Ostinato’ arr. for two pianos: An Evening with Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Polydor PD-2-6238 (1979).

n — (1943) Concerto for Orchestra. London: Boosey & Hawkes (1946).

b Barbrook, Richard (1990). ‘Melodies or rhythms? The competition for the Greater London FM radio licence’. Popular Music, 9/2: 203-220.

b Baroni, Mario; Jacobini, Carlo (1978). Proposal for a Grammar of Melody. Montréal: Presses de l’Université de Montréal.

0 BBC Space Themes (1978). BBC REH 324.

0 Beach Boys, The (1966). ‘God Only Knows’. Pet Sounds. Capitol DT 2458.

0 — (1969) I Can Hear Music. Capitol CL 15584.

0 Beatles, The (1962a). My Bonnie / (When) The Saints. Polydor 66 833.

0 — (1962b) ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’. Ya Ya (EP). Polydor 21 485.

0 — (1962c) Love Me Do. Parlophone R 4949.

0 — (1963a) ▪ I Saw Her Standing There ▪ P.S. I Love You’ ▪ ‘Please Please Me ▪ A Taste Of Honey ▪ Twist and Shout’. Please Please Me. Parlophone PCS 3042.

0 — (1963b) She Loves You. Parlophone 5015.

0 — (1963c) ▪ Please Mr. Postman ▪ It Won’t Be Long ▪ I Wanna Be Your Man ▪ Till There Was You ▪ Not A Second Time ▪ All My Loving’.

With The Beatles. Parlophone PCS 3045/PMC 1206.

0 — (1963d) I Wanna Hold Your Hand b/w This Boy. Parlophone R 5084.

0 — (1964a) ▪ Can’t Buy Me Love ▪ I’ll Be Back ▪ Things We Said Today ▪ A Hard Day’s Night ▪ And I Love Her. A Hard Day’s Night. Parlophone PCS 3058.

> — (1964b) ‘From A Window’: see Kramer, Billy J (1964).

0 — (1964c) ▪ No Reply ▪ 8 Days A Week ▪ Kansas City’. Beatles for Sale. Parlophone PCS 3062.

0 — (1964d) I Feel Fine / She’s A Woman. Parlophone R5200.

0 — (1964e) Long Tall Sally. Parlophone GEP 8913 (EP).

0 — (1965a) Help! Parlophone PCS 3071 ▪ You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away ▪ Yesterday ▪ Help!

0 — (1965b) Rubber Soul. Parlophone PCS 3075. ▪ If I Needed Someone ▪ Norwegian Wood ▪ Michelle.

0 — (1966) Revolver. Parlophone. PMC 7009. ▪ Taxman ▪ Eleanor Rigby ▪ Yellow Submarine ▪ Tomorrow Never Knows.

0 — (1967a) Penny Lane b/w Strawberry Fields. Parlophone R 5570.

0 — (1967b) Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone PCS 7027 ▪ A Little Help From My Friends ▪ Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds ▪ Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite ▪ Fixing A Hole ▪ She’s Leaving Home ▪ Within You Without You ▪ A Day In The Life.

0 — (1968a) White Album. Parlophone PMC 7067/8. ▪Lady Madonna ▪ Rocky Racoon ▪ Honey Pie.

0 — (1968b) Hey Jude b/w Revolution. Apple R 5722.

0 — (1969a) Abbey Road. Apple PCS 7088. ▪ Because ▪ Come Together ▪ Oh! Darling ▪ Something ▪ You Never Give Me Your Money ▪ Polythene Pam.

0 — (1969b) Get Back. Apple R 5777.

0 — (1970) Let It Be. Apple PCS 7096. ▪ The Long And Winding Road ▪ Let It Be.

0 — (1993) The Beatles / 1967-1970. Apple 0777 7 97039 2.

0 Beautiful South (1989). ‘From Under The Covers’. Welcome to the Beautiful South. London 842 080-1 (Canada).

n Beethoven, Ludwig van (1808a). Symphony N° 5 in C minor. Paris: Heugel (nd).

n — (1808b) Pastoral Symphony (no.6, op.68). Paris: Heugel (nd).

n — (1812) Symph. N° 7 in A Major, Op. 92. London: Penguin (1953), ed. G. Jacob.

n Bénech, Ferdinand-Louis & Dumont, Édouard (1912). ‘L’hirondelle du faubourg’. Les plus belles chansons de 1900 à 1940.

Paris: Beuscher/Arpège (nd): 150-1.

b Bengtsson, Ingmar (1975). ‘Bordun’ [=drone]. Sohlmans Musiklexikon, 1: 554.

Stockholm: Sohlmans.

n Benton, Brook (1969). Rainy Night In Georgia. Cotillion 44-44057.

0 Bernstein, Elmer (1964). Theme from The Carpetbaggers (Paramount).

0 — (1966) ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (theme). I magnifici 7. Liberty 3C 054-83185.

V Bernstein, Leonard (1954). On The Waterfront. Columbia Tristar CVR 30017, 1995.

0 Berry, Chuck (1955). Maybellene. Chess 321.

0 — (1958) Johnny B. Goode. Chess 1691.

0 — (1960) ‘Memphis Tennessee’. Chuck Berry Juke Box Hits, 2. Pye NEP 5026.

0 — (1964) Nadine. Chess 1883.

t Bhreatnach, Gearóidín (+ Sinéad & Deidre) (2007) Tiocfaidh an Samhradh (Irish trad.). w RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, 2007-01-04 E 6iBC69_1EEc [140117].

0 Big Ben Banjo Band (1958). The Luxembourg Waltz. Columbia DB 4181.

0 Big Country (1986). ‘I Walk The Hill’. The Seer. Mercury MERH 87.

0 Billy Boy; in Songs that will Live for Ever, p. 160.

b Björnberg, Alf (1984) ‘“There’s something going on” - om eolisk harmonik i nutida rockmusik’ [On Aeolian harmony in contemporary rock music]. Tvärspel - Festskrift till Jan Ling. Göteborg, Skrifter från musikvetenskapliga institutionen, 9: 371-386. Also published as ‘Armonia eolia nella “popular music” contemporanea’ in Musica/Realtà, 46 (1995): 41-50.

b — (1987) En liten sång som alla andra. Melodifestivalen 1959-1983. Göteborg: Skrifter från Musikvetenskapliga institutionen.

b — (1989) On aeolian harmony in contemporary popular music. Göteborg: IASPM - Nordic Branch Working Papers, no. DK 1 |tagg.org/others/bjbgeol.html.

0 Black Sabbath (1970a). Black Sabbath; reissue: Creative Sounds 6006-2 .

0 — (1970b). ‘Hand Of Doom’; ‘Rat Salad’. Paranoid. Vertigo 6360 011.

0 — (1980). ‘Symptom Of The Universe’. Sabotage. NEMS 9119 001.

0 Blake, Norman (1972) Home in Sulphur Springs. Rounder 0012.

0 — (1974) The Fields Of November. Flying Fish 004.

0 — (1976) Whiskey Before Breakfast. Rounder 0063.

> Blakey, Art (1958) Moanin’ >0 Timmons (1958).

0 Blood Sweat & Tears (1969). ‘Spinning Wheel’. Blood, Sweat and Tears.

CBS 63504.

> Blue Moon, see n Rodgers, R (1934) or 0 Marcels (1961).

b BMI Songwriters’ Guide to Music Publishing Terminology.

G bmi.com/toolbox/term.html |[980813]

b Bond, Carrie Jacobs (1928). The Roads of Melody. New York: Appleton.

> Bluesette, see Thielemans (1962).

t Bombay Railway (2007) f Gerry Troyna w BBC2, Feb-March, 2014.

n Bonny Labouring Boy; in Irish Street Ballads, p. 18.

0 Booker T and the MGs (1962). Green Onions. Stax 701.

b Borgersen, Terje (1986). ‘Melodi Grand Prix - Uten lyd og bilde - et pauseinnslag’. Eurovision Song Contest, 86: upretentsiøse essays: 28-34. Nordisk Institutt, Universitetet i Trondheim, AVH.

0 Borodin, Alexander Porfiryovich (1882). ‘In The Steppes Of Central Asia’

0 Pictures at an Exhibition. m Slovak Philh. Orch. C David Nazareth; Naxos 8.550051 (1987).

0 — (1887) Polovtsian Dances (same source as Borodin, 1882).

0 Bothy Band, The (1976) Old Hag You Have Killed Me. Mulligan LUN 007.

n Bound for the Rio Grande: in Songs that will Live For Ever, p. 161.

0 Bowie, David (1972). [1] ‘Suffragette City’; [2] ‘Ziggy Stardust’; [3] ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide’. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. RCA NTS 5063.

0 — (1974) ‘1984’. Diamond Dogs. RCA Victor APL 1-0576.

n Boys of Wexford: in Irish Street Ballads, p. 96.

0 Bradford, Alex (1955). Somebody Touched Me. Specialty 893; also on This is how it all Began, The Specialty Story, Vol. 1. Specialty 2117 (1969).

n Brassens, George (1952). ‘Le gorille’. Mauvaise Répuation;

quoted by Stefani and Marconi (1992: 134).

0 Brickell, Edie and The New Bohemians (1989) What I Am. Geffen GEF 49CD E tDl3bdE3YQA [140516].

bn Brooks, David (2012) Six Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tabs: Sawmill Tuning. Kindle.

D Brooks, Mel; Morris, John; Laine, Frankie (1974). Blazing Saddles.

Warner DVD WB 18959 [0-7907-5735-4] (2004).

0 Brown, James (1967). ‘Cold Sweat’. Foundations of Funk: A Brand New Bag: 1964-1969. PolyGram 531 165-2 (1996).

0 — (1996) ▪ ‘Get On The Good Foot’ ▪ ‘Get Up Offa That Thing’ ▪ ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’. Cold Sweat. Hallmark 305802.

Recorded live at Chastain Park, Atlanta, 1978.

F Brown, Nacio Herb (1933). Temptation; as sung by Bing Crosby in Going Hollywood (f. Raoul Walsh F Cosmopolitan/MGM).

> Brown Sugar, see 0 Rolling Stones (1971).

0 Brubeck, Dave (The Dave Brubeck Quartet) (1959). ‘Take Five’. Time Out.

Columbia/Legacy; re-issued on Columbia CK 65122 (1997).

b Burbat, Wolf (1988) Die Harmonik des Jazz. München: Deutscher…

0 Burke, Solomon (1964). Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. Atlantic 4004.

b Burns, Edward M (1999). ’Intervals, Scales, and Tunin’. The Psychology of Music (ed. Diana Deutsch). San Diego: Academic Press.

b Burns, Gary (1987). ‘A typology of hooks in popular records’.

Popular Music, 6/1: 1-20.

b Burns, Robert (1969) Poems and Songs (ed. J Kinsley).

London: oup > Corries (1971).

0 Burrell, Kenny (1963) ‘Chitlins Con Carne’. Midnight Blue. Blue Note BLP 4123.

0 Byrds, The (1965). Mr Tambourine Man. CBS 201765.


b Caesar, Gaius Julius (c. 53 BC). De bello gallico, I.

G freewebs.com/omniamundamundis/cae.htm [140222].

0 Cain, Jeffrey (1972). Whispering Thunder. Warner BS 2613.

0 Calamaro, Andres (1997). Flaca. E UCF9oHXhDMU [140802].

0 Calchakis, Los (1968). La flûte indienne. Barclay Panache 920014.

0 Cale, J.J. (1971). ‘They Call Me The Breeze’; ‘After Midnight’.

Naturally. Shelter 6317901.

b Calvacoressi, M D (1946). Mussorgsky. London: J M Dent.

b Camacho, Vania Claudia Gama (2004). ‘As trés cantorías de cego de José Siqueira’. Per Musi, 9: 66-78.

n Campbell’s Farewell To Red Gap (Scot. Trad.)

G cpmusic.com/tradgif/campfare.gif [090607].

bn Campese, Mike (2009) ‘Phrygian Dominant’. Premier Guitar magazine;

G premierguitar.com/articles/Phrygian_Dominant [140210].

bn Campin, Jack (2009). Scales and Modes in Scottish Traditional Music, v.2.0.

|campin.me.uk/Music/Modes/Modes-10.abc [090609]

0 Canned Heat (1968). On The Road Again. Liberty 15090.

0 Capaldi, Jim (1975). Love Hurts. Island WIP 6246.

0 Cara, Irene (1983). Flashdance … What A Feeling. Casablanca 811440-7.

n Carissimi, Giacomo. Aria ‘I Triumph’ (‘Vittoria!’). A Golden Treasury of Song, vol. 1, pp. 44-47). London: Boosey & Co. (1903).

0 Carmichael, Hoagy. Star Dust. New York: Mills Music (1929).

0 Carnes, Kim (1982). Voyeur. EMI America 006-86660.

0 Carey, Mariah (2005). We Belong Together. Island Def Jam Music Group 9883483.

0 Carpenter, John; Howarth, Alan (1981). Escape from New York.

Hot Ice HOT 1003; ‘The Engulfed Cathedral’ > Debussy (1910).

b Carvalho, José Jorge (1979). ‘Formas musicais narrativas do nordeste brasileiro’. INIDEF, 1 [S.l.]: 33-68.

0 Cascades, The (1963). Rhythm Of The Rain. Warner WB 88.

0 Cash, Johnny (2002) ‘Hurt’ ( cj Trent Reznor; R Nine Inch Nails).

The Legend Of Johnny Cash. Universal B0005288-02 (2005).

X0 Chacksfield, Frank (1953). Ebb Tide. London 1358.

b Chambers, Jack (1983). Milestones: the life and music of Miles Davis. New York: Beech Tree Books.

0 Champs, The (1958). Tequila. London HLU 8580.

0 Chandler, Gene (1961). Duke Of Earl. Vee Jay VJ 416.

0 Chapin, Harry (1974). Cat’s In The Cradle. Electra K12157

0 Charles, Ray (1957) Hallelujah I Love Her So. Atlantic EP 587.

0 — (1961) Hit The Road, Jack. HMV POP 935.

> Charleston: see Mack & Johnson (1923) and Golden Gate Orchestra (1925).

0 Checker, Chubby (1961). Let's Twist Again. London HLU 10512.

b Chernoff, John M (1979). African Rhythm and Sensibility. Univ. of Chicago Press.

b Chester, Andrew (1970). ‘Second Thoughts on a Rock Aesthetic’.

Frith & Goodwin (1990: 315-319). 1publ. New Left Review (1967).

b Chianis, Soitrios (1967). The Vocal and Instrumental Tsamiko of Roumeli and the Peloponnesus. Diss., University of California, Los Angeles.

0 Chiffons, The (1963). He’s So Fine. Stateside SS 172.

0 Chile (Trad.) (nd) ‘Tu beso’. Chili - Chile. Air Mail Music SA 141055.

n Chopin, Frédéric (1839). ‘Marche funèbre’ from sonata, op. 35; in Rapée (1924).

0 Chordettes, The (1958). Lollipop. London HLD 8584.

0 Cielito lindo (Mexican trad.). México Lindo. ARC Music EUCD 1249 (1993).

b Cino, Luís (2009). ‘Cuba: Algunas verdades sobre la Guantanamera’; Baracutey Cubano G baracuteycubano.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/cuba-algunas-verdades-sobre-la.html [140727].

b Circular 50: Copyright Registration for Musical Compositions. Library of Congress, 9 Feb. 98. |cweb.loc.gov/copyright/circs/circ50.html [1998-08-13].

0 Clapton, Eric (1970a) Bell-Bottom Blues, see Derek and the Dominoes.

0 — (1970b) Easy Now. Polydor 2383021.

0 — (1974) ‘Let It Grow’. 461 Ocean Boulevard. RSO 2479118.

0 — (1991) Tears In Heaven. WEA W0081.

0 — (1992) Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (unplugged, 9208) | online 090202.

0 Clark, Dave (The Dave Clark Five) (1963). Glad All Over. Columbia DB 7154.

0 Clash, The (1982). Should I Stay Or Should I Go? CBS A-3166.

0 Classics IV, The (1968). Spooky. Liberty 54579.

0 Cline, Patsy (1961). ‘Crazy’. The Sound Of Patsy Cline. MCA MUP 316.

0 Cochran, Eddie (1958). C’mon Everybody. London HLU 8792.

0 Cole, Nat King (1955). Autumn Leaves (Kosma). Capitol CL 14364.

0 Coleman, Bill (1994). ‘Georgia On My Mind’. Bill Coleman 1936-1938. Classics 764

0 Coleman, Cy (1965). ‘Big Spender’. Sweet Charity (Original Broadway Cast)

0 CBS 02900, 1966; reissue: Sony 2900, 1990.

0 Collins, Phil (1981). In The Air Tonight. Atlantic WEA 79198.

n Comin’ Thru’ the Rye: in Robert Burns: Poems and Songs, ed. James Kinsley.

London: Oxford University Press (1969).

0 Compay Segundo (nd). ▪ ¿De donde viene usted?’ (Group Rumores Campensinos, 1958?) ▪ ‘Sera cuando tu digas’ (1958?) ▪ ‘Guananey’ (1958?) ▪ ‘Chau chau’ (1985) ▪ ‘No quiero celos contigo’ (1985). Son del Monte. EGREM CD 0216 (1996).

b Conti, Jacopo (2007) Minimalismo, modalità e improvvisazione nella music a dei nuovi King Crimson. PhD Thesis, Università di Torino, Facoltà Di Scienze della Formazione G francofabbri.net/files/Testi_per_Studenti/MinimalismoModalita.pdf [140428].

b Connolly, Thomas H (1995). ‘Psalmody II’. New Grove,15: 322-332 (1995).

0 Cooder, Ry (1971). ‘Vigilante Man’ (Guthrie). Into the Purple Valley.

Reprise K 44142.

0 — (1974) ‘Jesus On The Main Line’ (US. Trad.). Paradise and Lunch.

Reprise K 444 260.

b Coomaraswamy, Ananda K (1995). The Dance of Šiva. New York: Dover.

b Cooke, Deryck (1959). The Language of Music. London: OUP.

0 Cooke, Sam (1960a). The Chain Gang. 45 RCA 1202.

0 — (1960b) Wonderful World. Maybellene MBR 504.

0 — (1962) Having A Party. RCA Victor 478036.

0 Cooper, Alice (1971). Under My Wheels b/w Halo Of Flies. Warner WB 16296.

0 — (1972) School’s Out. Warner K56007.

0 Copland, Aaron (1938). ‘Billy the Kid Suite’. Copland: The Royal Philharmonic Collection. m Royal Philh. Orch. C Philip Ellis. Tring TRP 040, 1995.

0 — (1939a) ‘Threshing Machines’ f Of Mice and Men > on Copland (2010).

0 — (1939b) ‘New England Countryside’ f The City > on Copland (2010).

0 — (1940) ‘The Story of Grover’s Corners’ f Our Town > on Copland (2010).

0 — (1942) ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’. BBC Space Themes. BBC REH 324, 1978.

0 — (1944) ‘Appalachian Spring’ (suite from ballet); source > Copland (1938).

0 — (2010) Music for Movies. m MGM Chamber Orchestra C Arthur Winograd.

Naxos 9.80865.

0 Cordigliera. Creazioni artistiche musicale CAM 004 (nd).

0 Corea, Chick (1968) ‘Gemini’. Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.

Blue Note (re-issue) 7243 5 38265 2 9 (2002).

0 — (1972) Light As a Feather. Polydor 5525 / ECM 8271482 (1987).

0 — (1979) ‘Ostinato’ > Bartók (1940).

b Corey, Gerald E (1996). ‘The Standard Tuning Pitch: A=440 Where Are You?’ To the World’s Bassoonists, 6/3 (International Double Reed Society). |idrs.colorado.edu/publications/TWBassoonist/TWB.V6.3/standard.html [020508].

0 Cormack, Arthur (2011 v) Tàladh Chriosda E nj44ICE_AAg [140130].

0 Corries, The (1971) ’Ye Jacobites By Name’ (cj Robert Burns). Live At The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh emi nts 109 E QeVdejmRqRw [140112].

0 Costello, Elvis (1977). Watching The Detectives. Stiff BUY-20.

0 Counterspy (anon. US radio signature). Themes Like Old Times, vol II (nd).

0 Covay, Don and the Goodtimers (1966) Mercy Mercy. Atlantic AT 4006.

0 Cowsills, The (1968). Indian Lake. MGM K 13944.

0 Cramer, Floyd (1960) Last Date. RCA Victor LSP-2350.

0 — (1961) ‘On The Rebound’. The Best of Floyd Cramer.

RCA Victor RD-7665 (1964).

0 Cream (1968). ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’. Wheels of Fire. Polydor 582 031/2.

0 Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970). ‘Fortunate Son’. Willie and the Poorboys. Liberty LBS 83338.

0 — (1971) ‘Someday Never Comes’. Mardi Gras. Fantasy 4C062-9339.

0 Crew Cuts, The (1954). Sh’Boom. Mercury 70404X45

0 Crosby, Bing (1942): ‘White Chistmas’ (Berlin). Best of Bing Crosby.

Decca DXS-184 (1965).

b Cruces, Cristina (2003). El flamenco y la música andalusí: argumentos para un encuentro. Barcelona: Ediciones Carena.

0 Cruz, Célia con Tito Puente (1999). ‘Guantanamera’. Celia Cruz - A Night of Salsa. RMM 0-28284078-2.

0 La cucaracha (Galdieri/Savino), as ‘Lo struscio di Amarcord’. Amarcord / Prova d’orchestra. Cinematre/RCA (Italia) NL 33211 (1974).

E Cuthill, Fiona (2010) Brenda Stubbert’s Reel E dhl8L2XEnrM [140416].

0 Crystals, The (1963). Da Doo Ron Ron (Spector). Philles 112/London HLU 9732.


0 Dagar, M. & A. (nd). Dhrupads - The Music of India, III. Bärenreiter Musicaphon.

0 Dale, Dick & The Deltones (1963) Misirlou. Deltone D-5019-1; R Astronauts (1961); as used in Pulp Fiction F Miramax f Quentin Tarantino (1994).

0 Daniels, Charlie (1989). ‘A Few More Rednecks’. Radio Special. Epic 1780.

b Dankworth, Avril (1968). Jazz. An Introduction to its Musical Basis.

London: Oxford University Press.

0 Danny and The Juniors (1957). At The Hop. HMV POP 436.

b Darcy, Warren (1989). ‘Creatio ex nihilo: The Genesis, Structure, and Meaning of the “Rheingold” Prelude’. 19th-Century Music, 13/2: 79-100.

0 Darin, Bobby (1959). Dream Lover. London HLE 8867.

0 — (1966) If I Were A Carpenter. Atlantic 58 4051.

b Davis, Bob (2005). Who Got Da Funk? An etymophony of funk music from the 1950s to 1979. PhD thesis in musicology, Université de Montréal.

ici-arts.org/downloads/THESIS%20complete%201.1.pdf [090531].

b Davidson, Archibald T & Apel, Willi (1949, eds.). Historical Anthology of Music, vol. 1. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

0 Davis, Miles (1958). Milestones. Fontana TFL 5035.

0 — (1959) ‘So What’. Kind of Blue. Columbia, CBS 62066.

0 — (1961) Some Day My Prince Will Come. CBS 8456.

0 — (1970) Bitches Brew. Columbia 26.

0 — (1973) ‘Stella By Starlight’. Basic Miles. CBS 65343.

0 Dead or Alive (1985). You Spin Me Around; remix on Disc-O-Very DSV 5008.

n Debussy, Claude (1901). Pour le piano. Paris: Jobert.

n — (1910) Préludes, I. Paris: Durand. ▪ ‘La cathédrale engloutie’ ▪ ‘Voiles’.

0 Dee, Joey (and the Starliters) (1962). Shout. Roulette R 4416.

0 Deep Purple (1972a). ‘Smoke On The Water’. Machine Head. TPSA 7504; also on Greatest Hits, CMC 5340132 (2001).

— (1972b). ‘Highway Star’. Made in Japan. Purple Records TPSP 351

n0 Degeyter, Pierre (1887). ‘Internationale’; Chants révolutionnaires, Paris, 1887;

0 USSR Defence Ministry Orch., Melodiya GOST 5289-68 (1968).

0 Denver, John (1971). ‘Country Roads’. Poems, Prayers and Promises.

RCA Victor SF 8219.

0 Derek and the Dominoes (1970). Derek and the Dominoes. Polydor 2625-005. ▪ Layla ▪ Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out ▪ Bell Bottom Blues.

> Déserteur, Le, see Vian.

V De Vorzon, Barry & Conlan, Joseph (1983). V.

Warner Home Video WEV 11443-1.

0 Dexy’s Midnight Runners (1980). Geno. EMI R6033.

0 Dick & Dee Dee (1961). The Mountain’s High. Liberty F 55350.

0 Diddley, Bo (1958) Bo Diddley. Chess LP 1431.

X0 DiFranco, Ani (2011) Which Side Are You On? Righteous Babe Records RBR073 EUyMGH3maB1U; solo live EwnFfg_u9wQo [131231] oÄ R> Reece (1929).

0 Dinning, Mark (1959). Teen Angel. MGM K12845.

0 Dion [& the Belmonts] (1959). Teenager In Love. Laurie 3027.

0 — (1961) Runaround Sue. Top Rank JAR 586.

0 Dire Straits (1978). ‘Sultans Of Swing’. Dire Straits. Vertigo 6 360 162.

0 Disco Aid (1986). Give, Give, Give. Total Control GIVE 1; w Sky TV, Dec. 1986.

0 Divinyls (1985). What a Life! Chrysalis 207289 ▪ Heart Telegraph (esp. 01:37-01:50, 03:20-04:46) E TYu-EcrY0CY [140516].

0 Dixie Chicks (2006). Taking the Long Way. OpenWide/Columbia. 82876 80739-2. ▪ Not Ready To Make Nice ▪ Taking The Long Way Round’; see also Shut up and Sing (F 2006)

n Donaldson, W (1927). My Blue Heaven. New York: Leo Feist Inc.

0 Doors, The (1967). Light My Fire. Elektra EK 45615.

0 Dorsey Brothers (1953). ‘Charleston’ (Johnson/ Mack); ‘Five Foot Two’ ( Henderson/ Lewis/ Young). Jazz of the Roaring Twenties.

Riverside RLP-1008.

0 Douglas, Carl (1974). Kung Fu Fighting. Pye 7N 45377.

0 Dowland, John. ‘The King of Denmark’s Galiard’. Elizabethan Collection.

Boots Classical 143 (1988).

b Dowling, W Jay (1985). ‘Entwicklung von Melodie-Erkennen und Melodie-Produktion’. Musikpsychologie - ein Handbuch, ed. H. Bruhn, R. Oerter, Rolf, H. Rösing: 216-222. München: Urban & Schwarzenberg.

b Drabkin, William (1995). ‘Register’. New Grove, 15: 683-684 (1995).

0 Drifters, The (1959). There Goes My Baby. Atlantic 45 2025.

0 Duncan, Trevor. ‘Wine Festival’, ‘Orange Grove’.

Boosey & Hawkes Recorded Library Music. SBH 298 (nd).

0 Dvořák, Antonín (1893). Symphony #9 in E minor – ‘New World’, Op. 95.

Decca Weekend Classics 417 678-2 (1968).

0 Dylan, Bob (1963). The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Columbia 98940. ▪ Blowin’ in the Wind’; ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall ▪ Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.

0 — (1964a) The Times They Are A-Changing. CBS 2105.

0 — (1964b) ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe’. Another Side of Bob Dylan. CBS 25AP271.

0 — (1965a) Subterranean Homesick Blues. Columbia 43242.

0 — (1965b) ‘Its All Over Now, Baby Blue’. Bringing it all Back Home. Columbia CS 9128.

0 — (1968) John Wesley Harding. CBS 63252. ▪ All Along The Watchtower ▪ John Wesley Harding ▪ I Pity The Poor Immigrant.

0 — (1969) ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’. Nashville Skyline. CBS 25AP278.

0 — (1971) George Jackson. CBS 45516.

0 — (1973) ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’. Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid.

Columbia KC 32460.

0 — (1974) ‘I Shall Be Released’. Before The Flood. Island IDBD1.


b Edström, Karl-Olof (1977). Den samiska musikkulturen. En källkritisk översikt [Saami Music Culture. A source-critical overview]. Göteborg: Skrifter från Musikvetenskapliga institutionen, 1.

0 Edwards, Michael (1937). Once In A While. London EMI Music (nd).

> Edwin Hawkins Singers (1969), see Hawkins, E.

b Eerola, Tuomas (2000) Cross-cultural music cognition: Cognitive methodology applied to North Sami yoiks G durham.academia.edu/TuomasEerola [140807].

0 Einstürzende Neubauten (1989) Haus der Lüge. Rough Trade RTD 126;

re-issue Some Bizzare BART 333 CD (1995).

0 Electric Light Orchestra (1973). Jungle b/w Shine a Little Love. JET 12 144.

0 Elfman, Danny (1989) The Simpsons Theme.

E PYRJv7-X0tk or E cOdYyx1oKI [both 131221].

0 Ellington, Duke. ‘Satin Doll’ (Mercer, Ellington, Strayhorn) (1953). Duke Ellington - Take the ‘A’ Train. Success 2140CD-AAD (1988); n The Complete Piano Player – Duke Ellington. London: Wise Publications (1992).

> ELO, see Electric Light Orchestra.

0 Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1971). ‘Tarkus’. Tarkus. Sony Music 88697830082.

b Emsheimer, Ernst (1964). ‘Some Remarks on European Folk Polyphony’. Journal of the International Folk Music Council, 16. (Studia ethnomusicologica eurasiatica, 2: 277-280. Stockholm: KMA, 1991.)

b — (1979) ‘Georgische Volksmusik’. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 16. (Reissued in Studia ethnomusicologica eurasiatica, 2: 283-290. Stockholm: Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien, 1991).

b EPMOW (= Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World), vol. 2, ‘Performance and Production’ (2002), ed. John Shepherd et al. London: Continuum.

0 ErMályk (1992) [Ер малък/Er Maluk/Malyk/Malak] ‘Българи’ (‘Bulgarians’)

[U, phrygian]). Ер Малък 1 (Er Malak 1). L RTM (Sofia).

G.ermalak.net/sites/default/files/01.Bulgari_0.mp3 [131216].

0 Everly Brothers (1958). (All I Have To Do Is) Dream. London HLA 8618.

0 — (1959) ‘Till I Kissed You’. Living Legends: The Everly Brothers. Warwick WW 5027 (1977).

0 — (1963) The Girl Sang The Blues. Warner 5389.

G Exotic Guitar Scales (2014) Jazz Guitar Online: G jazzguitar.be/exotic_guitar_scales. html [140720].


0 Fairport Convention (1969) Liege and Lief. Island ILPS 9115.

0 Faith, Percy [and orch.] (1959). Theme From ‘A Summer Place‘. Philips 322529 BF.

0 Faltermeyer, Harold (1984). ‘Axel F’. Beverly Hills Cop. MCAD-5553.

w Fahey, Brian (1960) ‘At The Sign Of The Swinging Symbol’. T Pick of the Pops, BBC Light Programme, Sept., 1963 E bY85ET2gXGQ [140129];

H radiorewind.co.uk/sounds/swingin%27_cymbal_clip.mp3 [140129].

0 Fahey, John (1969) Red Pony E YSh-YsyjpXk [140428];

also on God, Time and Causality; Shanachie 97006 (1989)

b Falconer, Joel (2011) ‘How to Add Interest to Your Chord Progression’

G music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-add-interest-to-your-chord-progression--audio-283 [140517].

0 Fame, Georgie (and the Blue Flames) (1964). Yeh Yeh. Columbia DB 7428.

0 Farm, The (1990). All Together Now. Jive ZB 44241.

n Farnaby, Giles (c. 1600) Seventeen Pieces, ed. T. Dart. London: Stainer and Bell (1957) ▪ Farnabys Dreame ▪ Loth to Depart.

bn Faucher, Alain (2006, ed.) Canciones populares antiguas - Frederico Garcia Lorca y la guitarra. Aubonne: Affedis.

n Ferlosio, José Antonio Sánchez. ‘El gallo Negro’. Sånger för socialismen, p. 139.

> Fernández, Antonio (Ñico Saquito), see Alén Rodriguez (1999a).

0 Fernández, Joseito (1967): ‘Guantanamera’. Joseito Fernández y su Guantanamera. egrem cd 0006 (1992).

b Fernández, Lola (2004). Teoría Musical del Flamenco. Madrid: Acordes Concert.

b Fernández Lopez, Justo (nd) Origen del cante flamenco: Tesis e hipótesis. G hispanoteca.eu/Musik-Spanien/Flamenco/Origen%20del%20cante%20flamenco.htm [140418].

nb Fiddle Styles G fiddlingaround.co.uk/fiddle%20styles.html [140414].

b Fiddle Tuning G gpfn.sk.ca/culture/arts/fiddle/vfc/lessons/def_style.html [020508].

0 Fields, Benny (1936). ‘These Foolish Things’. Those Wonderful Thirties.

Decca DEA 7-2 (1974).

0 Fifth Dimension, The (1968). Stoned Soul Picnic. Soul City SCS 92002.

0 Fine Young Cannibals (1987). Good Thing. London LON 218.

n Fire Down Below: in Songs that will Live for Ever, p. 163.

0 Flash and the Pan (1979). ‘California’. Flash and the Pan. Mercury 6310 9-956.

V Flashdance (Paramount Pictures, 1982): CIC video 71454; see Cara, I.

0 Fleetwood Mac (1977). ‘The Chain‘; ‘I Don’t Want To Know’.

Rumours. Warner BSK 3010.

0 Flûte indienne, La (1966). Barclay Panache 920014.

0 Folk Music of the USSR (nd). Folkways FE 4535.

0 Folk och Rackare (1976) Folk och Rackare. YTF 50240 ▪ Herr Olof och Havsfrun.

0 — (1978) Rackarspel. YTF 50241 ▪ Vänner och fränder.

0 — (1979) Anno 1979. Sonet SLP 2628 ▪ Vilborg på kveste.

0 Fontana, Wayne [and the Mindbenders] (1964). Um Um Um Um Um.

Fontana H 497.

0 Foundations, The (1967). Baby, Now That I’ve Found You. Pye 7N13766.

0 Four Seasons, The (1962). Sherry. Stateside SS 122.

0 Four Tops, The (1968). If I Were A Carpenter. Tamla Motown. TMG 647

0 Francis, Connie (1957). Who’s Sorry Now? MGM 12588.

0 — (1959) Lipstick On Your Collar. MGM 1018.

0 Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984). Relax. Island WIPX 902.

0 Franklin, Aretha (1967). Respect. Atlantic 70210.

0 — (1974) Think. Atlantic H 335 (España).

0 Freberg, Stan (1956). The Great Pretender. Capitol 45-CL 14571.

Xb Freeman, Larry (1951). The Melodies Linger On: Fifty Years of Popular Song. Watkins Glen, NY: Century House.

0 Frequency X (1989). ‘Hearing Things’. This Is Urban. Pop/Arts PAT CD 101 (1990).

b Frith, Simon; Goodwin, Andrew (eds., 1990). On Record: Rock, Pop and the Written Word. London: Routledge.


0 Garmarna (1996) ‘Vänner och fränder’. Guds Spelemän 0 Massproduktion mass cd-69. oR>Folk och Rackare (1978).

0 Garner, Erroll (1955) ’Don’t Be That Way’. The Unforgettable Erroll Garner.

Mercury 6641 589 E zIZmwIDaVb0 [131221] (with transcription).

— (1956) Misty (Erroll Garner Trio). Columbia 41067.

— (1961) ’Don’t Worry ’Bout Me’. Art Tatum / Erroll Garner - Giants Of The Piano. Columbia 33SX 1557 E vn52un18vBY [131221].

0 Gaye, Marvin (1963). Can I Get A Witness. Collectables COL-406.

0 — (1966) Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Tamla Motown STML 11062.

0 Gentry, Bobbie (1967) Ode To Billie Joe. Capitol ST 2830.

n Gershwin, George (1919). Swanee. New York: Harms, Francis Day & Hunter.

0 — (1925) Concerto in F for Piano & Orchestra. m London Philh. Orch. C Roberto Szidon m Edward Downes (piano). Rhapsody in Blue. 0 DGG Privelege 427 203-2 (1977) R VEB Deutsche Schallplatten (1970).

n — (1937) A Foggy Day in London Town. London: Chappell;

cited in Middleton (1983: 251).

> Giâi phóng mièn nam, see Huynh.

0 Gillespie, Dizzy (1957) ‘A Night In Tunisia’. Dizzy Gillespie.

La Voix De Son Maître FFLP 1018.

b Gillett, Charlie (1983). The Sound of the City. London: Book Club Associates.

b Gillies, Malcolm (2007). Bartók Connections. London: Boosey & Hawkes; extracts at G boosey.com/pages/cr/news/further_info.asp?NewsID=11483 [140228].

0 Gipsy Kings (1989). ▪ Viento del arena ▪ Camino ▪ Trista pena ▪ Vamos a bailar ▪ Volare. Mosaïque. CBS 466213-2.

0 Giraud, Hubert Y A: ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’. Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra.

Best of France (1967). Verve 834 370 (1988).

nD Goldenberg, William (1973) Kojak (main theme, orchestral arr. no. 1). Manuscript, Universal City Studios, Prod. no. 39000. Melville (NY): Duchess Music Corp. D (Season 1) Universal 1-4170-3522-6 (2005).

0 Golden Gate Orchestra (1925). The Charleston. Edison Diamond 51542-R.

0 Goldsmith, Jerry (1966). ‘Our Man Flint’ (film theme). Il Terzo Uomo e altri celebri Film, n.d. RCA Cinematre NL 43890.

b Gómez Sotolongo, Antonio (2006) ‘Tientos y diferencias de la Guantanamera’. Cuadernos de Música, Artes Visuales y Artes Escénicas, 2/2: 146-175. G redalyc.org/pdf/2970/297023492001.pdf [140727].

0 Göteborgs Brechtensemble (1979) ’Alabama Song’ (>c0 Weill (1929); Äm Bernt Andersson m Bengt Blomgren [gtr] v Liliane Håkansson). Låt er inte förföras; Avanti avlp 06. GH tagg.org/audio/GbgBrecht.mp3 [140101].

0 Graham Central Station (1974) Release Yourself. Warner Brothers 56062.

0 Grandmaster Flash (1982) Message. Sugar Hill 1007.

n The Grand Old Duke of York (English trad.); quoted from memory.

0 Great Gatsby – Original Soundtrack (1974). ‘Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue’ (Henderson, Lewis, Young); ‘Charleston’ (Johnson, Mack). Paramount 2-3001.

E Greaves, Amanda (2010) Moms Jig and Brenda Stubbert’s Reel E U-FMtOvtXh8 —from 01:27 [140516].

> Green Onions, see Booker T and the MGs.

0 Grieg, Edvard (1868). Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16. m Robert Docker (pf.) m Geoff Love and his Orch. Big Concerto Movie Themes.

Music For Pleasure. MFP 5261 (1972).

0 Guess Who (1969). These Eyes. RCA Victor 74-0102.

b Gurvin, Olav (1958) Hardingfela (summary, Musikkvitenskap, Oslo Universitet, 2011) G hf.uio.no/imv/om/organisasjon/nfs/felenett/hardingfeleartikler/hardingfela/ [131221].

0 Guthrie, Woody (1937). ‘Oklahoma Hills’ [original not found].

0 — (1944a) [All Of] You Fascists Are Bound To Lose’.

The Ballad Operas: The Martins and the Coys. Rounder 1819 (2000 ).

0 — (1944b) ‘Hey Lolly Lolly’. Legendary Woody Guthrie. Tradition 2058 (197?).

0 — (1944c) ‘This Land Is Your Land’. This Land Is Your Land. The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1. Smithsonian Folkways 40100 (1960).

0 — (1945) ‘Grand Coulee Dam’. Columbia River Collection. Topic TSCD 448 (1988).

0 — (1946) ‘Hard Travelin'’. The Greatest Songs of Woody Guthrie.

Vanguard VSD 3536 (1972).

0 — (1947) ‘Two Good Men’. Ballads Of Sacco & Vanzetti.

Smithsonian Folkways SF 40060 (1960).

nb Gypsy, Flamenco, Arabic, Klezmer, Blues Whistles for playing music in harmonic minor and related scales

G music.bracker.co/Whistles/Gypsy_Whistles [140414]


b Hage, Juriaan (1999) ‘Robert Fripp interview February 10th 1999’ G staff.science.uu.nl/~hage0101/interviews/fripp.100299.html [140420].

n Hagen, Earle (1944). Harlem Nocturne. New York: Shapiro & Bernstein.

0 Haider Hans (nd). ‘Spanish Autumn’. Selected Sounds SL 556/9023.

0 Haley, Bill [And His Comets] (1954). See You Later, Alligator. Decca 29791.

0 — (1955) Rock Around The Clock. Brunswick 05317.

0 Hamilton, George IV (1963). Abilene. RCA Victor 47-9469.

b Hamm, Charles (1979). Yesterdays. New York: Norton.

0 Hancock, Herbie (1962) ‘Watermelon Man’. Three Bags Full. Blue Note 1862.

> — (1970) ‘Red Clay’ >0 Hubbard (1970).

0 — (1974) ‘Watermelon Man’. Head Hunters. CBS S 65928.

0> — (1979) ‘Ostinato’ > Bartók (1940)

n Handel, G. F. (1741). The Messiah. London: Novello (1902).

b Haralambos, Michael (1974). Right On: From Blues to Soul in Black America.

London: Eddison Press.

n Harburg, E. Y. (1931). Buddy Can You Spare A Dime? quoted from memory.

n Harris, Charles K. (1891). ‘After the Ball’. Favorite Songs of the Nineties.

New York: Dover (1973).

n Harris, Roy (1938) Symphony nº 3. New York: Schirmer. E UQITv54rsVc [140909].

n — (1952) Symphony nº 7. New York: Schirmer E bvNWrTAdm28 [140909].

0 Harrison, George (1970). My Sweet Lord. APPLE 9342.

> Has Anybody Seen My Gal? See Henderson (1925)

0 Hatch, Tony (1974). ‘The Champions’. Hit the Road to Themeland.

Pye NSPL 41029.

0 Hauser, William (1835). ‘Wondrous Love’; > Popular Music in Jacksonian America.

0 Hawkins Singers, The Edward (1969). Oh Happy Day! Buddah 201048.

0 Hayes, Isaac (1971) Theme from ‘Shaft’. Stax S45.

0 Hear'n Aid (1986). Stars. Mercury 884 004-1.

0 Hedningarna (1992) Hedningarna. Silence SRSCD 4717.

0 Hellenic Music Archives Ensemble (1996). Smyrna, Ionian Coast. FM 803.

n Henderson, Ray (1925). Has Anybody Seen My Gal? New York: Feist.

0 Hendrix, Jimi (1967a). Hey Joe. Polydor 56139.

0 — (1967b) Purple Haze. Track 604001.

0 — (1967c) Foxy Lady. Reprise 0641.

0 — (1967d) Axis Bold As Love. Track 613-003 ▪ Castles Made Of Sand.

0 — (1968) ‘All Along The Watchtower’ (Dylan). Electric Ladyland.

Track 613-00819.

b Hentoff, Nat (1959). Interview with Miles Davis. G slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2009/08/kind_of_blue.html [140417].

n Herrero, Óscar (2004) 21 Studies for Flamenco Guitar.

Córdoba: RGB Arte Visual S.L.

D Herrmann, Bernard (1959). North by Northwest F MGM. f Hitchcock. Warner 0-7907-4981-5 (Hitchcock Signature Collection box).

D — (1960) Psycho F Shamley/Paramount f Hitchcock D Universal 0-7832-2584-9 (1999).

F — (1963) The Birds. F Universal f Hitchcock.

> Hey Jude, see Beatles (1968b)

0 Hill, Joe [J. Hillström] (nd) ‘Workers of the World Awaken!’ and ‘The Rebel Girl’. Songs of the Workers. Chicago: Industrial Workers of the World (1973, 34th edition).

0 Hi-Los, The (1957). Suddenly It's the Hi-Lo's. Columbia CL-952.

n0 Hindemith, Paul (1934). Mathis der Mahler. n Mainz: Schott ;

0 DGG 2530 246.

> Hirondelle du faubourg, see Bénech, F L.

b Hirt, Aindrias (nd). The European Folk Music Scale: A New Theory G academia.edu/2627765/The_European_Folk_Music_Scale_A_New_Theory [140111].

0 Hirt, Al (1966). Music To Watch Girls By. RCA 47-9060.

n Historical Anthology of Music, vol 1, (1945), ed. A.T. Davison & W. Apel.

Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

0 Holiday, Billie (1941) ‘Gloomy Sunday’ (c Rezső Seress, j László Jávor, tr. Sam Lewis). Billie Holiday – The Original Recordings, Columbia C32060 w ‘Night Music’ t SvTV1, Feb 1990 P Budapest, 1933 as ‘Vége a világnak’ (=End of the world), then as ‘Szomorú vasárnap’ (=Sad Sunday) Rv Pál Kalmár, (1935); as ‘Gloomy Sunday’ v Hal Kemp (1936), v Paul Robeson (1936).

0 Hollies, The (1966) ‘Bus Stop’. The Hollies. Music for Pleasure 41-5727-1 (1985).

0 Holly, Buddy (1957). ‘Peggy Sue’. Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Coral 94 123.

0 Honeycombs, The (1964). Have I The Right? Pye 7N 15664.

b Hood, Mantle (1980). ‘Indonesia’ (1). New Grove, 9 (1980).

0 Hooker, John Lee (1960). ‘Whiskey and Women’. Beale Street Blues.

King 474 (1995).

0 — (1962) Boom Boom. Virgin POB 3 (1993).

b Hooker, Lynn M (2013). Redefining Hungarian music from Liszt to Bartók.

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0 Hoola Bandoola Band (1972). ‘Man måste veta vad man önskar sig’.

Fri information. MNW 35P.

0 Hooverphonic (1999). Eden. Columbia COL 666826 1.

0 Hopkins, Mary (1968). Those Were The Days. Apple 2.

b Horowitz, Josh (1992). ‘Klezmer modes’; article (62 pp.) accepted for Musica Judaica, 13 (1992) but never published; résumé at

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0 Housemartins, The (1986). Happy Hour. Chrysalis 608369.

0 Houston, Whitney (1987). ‘So Emotional’. Whitney Houston Story.

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0 Hubbard, Freddie (1970) (m Herbie Hancock, piano). Red Clay. CTI 6001. E https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OjuCA-SsJM

n Hughes, Herbert (ed. 1909). Irish Country Songs, Vol. 1.

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0 Human League (1981). ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby?’ Dare. Virgin V 2192.

0 Hunter, Tab (1957). Young Love. London HL 8380.

0 Husker Du (1985) New Day Rising. SST 031. E nhW7MJh_FR4 [140516].

> Hutchings, Ashley > Fairport Convention; > Steeleye Span;

> Albion Country Band.

n Huynh Minh Sieng (n.d.). ‘Giâi phóng mièn nam’ (Vietnamese liberation song); in Ström, P: Sånger för socialismen; 0 Freedom Singers 68. Befria Södern BS 1 A-B.


0 Ifield, Frank (1962). I Remember You (Mercer/Schertzinger). Columbia DB 4856.

w Immel, Jerold (1976). How The West Was Won Tt NBC/MGM TV.

w — (1978) Dallas Tt CBS/Lorimar TV.

0 In der Heimat, In der Heimat – Erkennungsmelodie für das Programm der deutschen Krigsgefangenen (BBC, 1943). Entartete Musik. BOD 65053 (1988).

0 In Extremo (1999) ‘Vänner Och Frände’. Verehrt Und Angespien.

Metal Blade 3984-14281-2. oR>Folk och Rackare (1978).

n In seculum. Instrumental motet in the Codex Bamberg, 1908 edition ‘Cent motets du XIIIe siècle’. Historical Anthology of Music, vol. 1: 34.

b Infante, Blas (1933). Origines de lo flamenco y secreto del cante jondo. Consejería de Cultura, Junta de Andalucia (2010).

bn Ingelf, Sten (1977). Jazz-, pop- och bluesharmonik. Malmö: Musikhögskolan.

> Internationale, see Degeyter.

> Irish Country Songs, Vol. 1 >n Hughes (1909).

n Irish Street Ballads (1939) ed. Colm O’Lochlainn. Dublin: Three Candles.

0 Iron Maiden (1980). Iron Maiden. EMI EMC 3330.

0 — (1981). ‘Wrath Child’. Killers. EMI EMC 3357; reissue (2001).

0 — (1984). Powerslave. EMI EJ 2402001.

n Isaac, Heinrich. ‘Zwischen Berg und tiefem Tal’. Historical Anthology of Music, 1: 91.

0 Isley Brothers, The (1959). Shout. RCA Victor 47-7588.

0 — (1962) Twist and Shout. Wand 653.

> I’ve Always Been A Rambler >0 New Ruby Tonic Entertainers (1974).


b Jaltcoh (2009) ‘The 2 most overused chord progressions in pop music today’ G http://jaltcoh.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/2-most-overused-chord-progressions-in.html [140517].

0 Jarabe de Palo (1996) ‘Grita’. La Flaca. Virgin 8417622.

E el9crn8XoSU#aid=P-olH4FV8NA [140419].

0 Jarre, Maurice (1963) Lawrence of Arabia (Colonna sonora originale del film). F Columbia Pictures, Sam Spiegel Ff David Lean. 0 Orizzonte, distr Ricordi; Pye ORL 8241.

b Jeans, J (1968). Science and Music. New York: Dover.

> Jeepers Creepers: see Armstrong, L.

0 Jefferson Airplane (1967). ‘White Rabbit’. Worst of Jefferson Airplane.

RCA 4459 (1970).

> Jingle Bells, see Pierpoint.

0 Jennings, Waylon (1987) ‘Fallin’ Out’ (c D Lile) The Best Of Waylon Jennings.

MCA Nashville 088 170 139-2 (2000) E cgdIPTrRUK8 [140117].

0 Jobim, António Carlos (1960). ‘Samba de una nota só’. Gilberto & Jobim.

Capitol 2160.

0 — (1963) Garota da Ipanema. New York: Duchess Music.

0 — (1964) Samba da una nota so b/w Corcovado (‘Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars’).

Verve 10327.

0 — (1969) Desafinado. Rio de Janeiro: Editoral Musical Arapué.

0 John Barleycorn: in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, p. 56.

0 John, Elton (1970). ‘Your Song’. Elton John. DJM DJLPS 406.

n Johnny Come Down to Hilo: in Songs that will Live for Ever, p. 167.

b Johnson, Geir (1986). Norge i Melodi Grand Prix. Oslo: Forlaget Atheneum.

b Johnston, Thomas F: ‘Eskimo Music by Region: a Comparative Circumpolar Study’. Ottawa: Canadian Ethnology Service Papers, 32.

0 Jones, George (1980) ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’. The Essential George Jones. Epic 82796925652 (2008).

0 Jones, Jimmy (1960). Handy Man. MGM KGC 154.

0 Jones, Tom (1965). It’s Not Unusual (jm Mills/Reed). Decca F 12062; also on Number Ones of the Sixties, Music for Pleasure emi 077778975120/CD PR 111 (1993); on Sixties Beat, Dino dincd 42 (1992); and featured in the Las Vegas scene at 1:03:35 from Mars Attacks! F Warner w ITV 020720 22:35 (1996).

0 Joplin, Janis (1971). ‘Mercedes Benz’. Pearl. CBS CDCBS 64188.

0 Journey (1981). ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. Escape. Columbia TC 37408.

b Just tuning G sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Just_Tuning.html [020508]


0 Kaper, Bronislau (1965). ‘The FBI’ (Warner TV theme). Golden Hour of Favourite TV Themes. Golden Hour GH 845 (1976).

0 K-Doe, Ernie (1961). Mother-In-Law. Minit 623.

0 Kaoma (1989) Lambada. CBS 655011 8. E i8mz9uOvFQA [140209].

0 Kelly, R (1996). I Believe I Can Fly. Atlantic 7567-85465-2.

> Kerry Recruit: in Irish Street Ballads, p.2.

b Kepler, Johannes (1619) Harmonices Mundi; extracts and citations in article ‘Johannes Kepler’, New Grove (1980).

n Kern, Jerome (1939) ‘All The Things You Are’. The Best of Jerome Kern.

Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing (1993).

b Kernfield, Barry Dean (1984). Adderley, Coltrane and Davis at the Twilight of Bebop: the Search for Melodic Coherence (1958-59). Ann Arbor: University Microfilms.

0 Kessel, Barney (1971) ‘The Look of Love’ m Bacharach

0 Barney Kessel - Swinging Easy! Black Lion BLP 30107.

0 Ketèlbey, Alfred(1915) In a Monastery Garden. 100 Greatest Classics, Part VI.

Encanto TRXCD 106 (1987).

0 — (1920) ‘In A Persian Market’. Ketelbey: In A Persian Market.

m London Promenade Orch. Philips 6514 152

0 Khaled, Cheb (1992) Khaled. Barclay 5118152. ▪ Didi ▪ Wahrane ▪ El Ghatli ▪ Mauvais sang ▪ Braya ▪ Sbabi ▪ Harai Harai.

0 King, Ben E (1961) Stand By Me. London HLK 9358.

0 King, Carole (1966) The Road To Nowhere/Some Of Your Lovin’. London hlu 10036.

0 King Crimson (1981) Discipline. Warner Brothers 3429 ▪ Frame By Frame; also at E yTVfKEltWns; live version at E h_bHjxVdpPo [both 140420].

0 King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band (1923) ‘Dippermouth Blues’. Early Jazz.

Open University OU 42 / CBS Special Products LSP 13223, 1978.

0 Kingston Trio (1962) ‘Greenback Dollar’. New Frontier. Capitol T 1809.

0 Kinks, The (1965) Tired Of Waiting For You. Pye 7N 15759

0 — (1966) Dead End Street. Pye 7N 17222.

0 — (1967) ‘Waterloo Sunset’. Something Else By The Kinks. Pye NSPL 18193

0 — (1971) ‘Twentieth Century Man’. Muswell Hillbillies. RCA Victor SF 8243.

n Kitchen Girl (US Trad.) G cpmusic.com/tradgif/kitchgrl.gif [090607].

nb Klezmer Music in a Few Words G borzykowski.users.ch/EnglMCKlezmer.htm [140720].

0 KLF featuring Children of the Revolution (1991) 3 a.m. Eternal. Indisc dis 8234.

b Knudsen, Thorkild (1968) ‘Ornamental Hymn/Psalm Singing in Denmark, the Faroe Islands and the Hebrides’. DFS Information 68/2: 10. Also liner notes to Musique des Îles Hébrides, OCORA, 1968.

0 — (rec. 1970) Musique Celtique des Îles Hébrides. International Folk Music Council: Anthologie de la musique populaire. OCORA OCR 45.

0 Kodō (1985) m ‘Miyake’. Kodō – Heartbeat Drummers Of Japan

0 Sheffield Lab – cd-kodo E juT0drDIcvw [111128].

0n Kosma, Joseph (1946) Les feuilles mortes; in film Les portes de la nuit (M. Carné; Pathé); v Édith Piaf (q.v.) and, as Autumn Leaves v Nat King Cole.

0 Koury, Rex (1955) ‘Gunsmoke’. Covered on Golden Hour of Favourite TV Themes: Golden Hour GH 845 (1976).

> Kouyioumtzis, Stavros (Σταύρος Κουγιουμτζής); see Alexiou (1976).

0 Kraftwerk (1982) The Model. EMI 1A 006-64509 (NL).

0 Kramer, Billy J (and the Dakotas) (1964) From A Window. Parlophone R 5156.

0 Kulţūm, Um [كلثوم ] (1935) ‘Ala Baladi Elmahbub’ (F Wedad). Anthologie de la musique arabe - Om Kaltsoum vol 6 (1933-1934-1935).

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n Kuntz, Andrew (ed. 2009) The Fiddler’s Companion. G ibiblio.org/fiddlers/AA_ABEL.htm [090609].

b Kwan, Kelina (1992) ‘Textual and melodic contour in Cantonese popular songs’. Secondo convegno europeo di analisi musicale, ed. R. Dalmonte, M. Baroni: 179-188. Trento: Università degli studi.


b Lacasse, Serge (2000) ‘Listen to My Voice’: The Evocative Power of Vocal Staging in Recorded Rock Music and Other Forms of Vocal Expression.

PhD, Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool.

0 LaBelle (1975) ‘Lady Marmelade’. Non Stop Disco Flashback Show.

K-Tel International TN 1391 (NL, 1979).

> Lady Madonna, see Beatles (1968a).

0 Lai, Francis (1966) ‘Un homme et une femme’. Movie Memories. Music For Pleasure MFP 50438 (1976).

0 Laine, Frankie (1959) Rawhide (Tiomkin). Philips PB 965.

0 — (1990) ‘Gunfight at OK Corral’ (Tiomkin). On The Trail. Bear Family 15480.

0 Lance, Major (1964) Um Um Um Um Um (Mayfield). Columbia DB 7205.

0 Lawrence, Steve (1960) Pretty Blue Eyes. ABC Paramount 45 10058.

0 Led Zeppelin (1969) ‘Whole Lotta Love’. Led Zeppelin II. Atlantic 588-198.

0 — (1970) ‘Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp’. Led Zeppelin III. Atlantic SD 7201.

0 — (1971) ‘Stairway To Heaven’. Led Zeppelin IV, Atlantic SD 7208.

0 — (1976) ‘Candy Rock Store’. Presence. Swan Song SSK 59402.

0 Legrand, Michel (1968) ‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’ from film ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’. Movie Memories; Music for Pleasure MFP 50438.

b Leib, Sandra R (1981) Mother of the Blues. A Study of Ma Rainey.

Boston: University of Massachusetts Press.

b Lendvai, Ernő (1971) Béla Bartók: an analysis of his music. London: Kahn & Averill.

b — (1993) Symmetries of Music. Kecskemét: Kodály Institute.

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0 Lennon, John (1971) Imagine. Apple R6009 / Apple SAPCOR 10004.

0 — and The Plastic Ono Band (1975) Shaved Fish. Apple PCS 7173 ▪ Instant Karma ▪ Woman Is The Nigger Of Mankind.

bn Levine, Mark (2000) The Jazz Theory Book. Petaluma (CA): Sher Music Co.

b Levitin, Daniel (2006) This Is Your Brain on Music. New York: Dutton/Penguin.

0 Lewis, Jerry Lee (1957) Jamboree (EP). London RE 5003 (1958).

▪ Great Balls Of Fire ▪ Whole Lotta Shaking.

0 Liberace (1955) Unchained Melody. Philips PB 430.

> Liberty Bell, see Sousa, J-P.

b Lilja, Esa (2009) Theory and Analysis of Classic Heavy Metal Harmony. Vantaa: IAML Finland; see also Pentinnen et al.

b Lindblom, Paul; Sundberg, Johan (1970) ‘Towards a Generative Theory of Melody’. Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning, 52: 71-88.

b Lindley, Mark; Wachsmann, Klaus (1995) ‘Pitch’. New Grove, 14: 779-786.

b — (1995) ‘Temperaments’. New Grove, 18: 660-675 (1995).

b Ling, Jan (1964) Svensk folkmusik. Stockholm: Prisma.

b — (1997) History of European Folk Music. Rochester and Woodbridge:

Rochester University Press.

0 Little Eva (1962).The Loco-Motion. London HL 9581.

0 Little Richard (1955) Tutti Frutti; on Little Richard (1988).

0 — (1956) Long Tall Sally; on Little Richard (1988).

0 — (1958) Good Golly Miss Molly; on Little Richard (1988).

0 — (1988) Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly. Success 2106-CD.

b Lloyd, L S; Boyle, H ‘The History of Our Scale’ (1979). Intervals, Scales, and Temperaments: 34-51. New York: St. Martin's Press.

0 Lopez, Trini (1963) ‘Guantanamera’. The Best of Trini Lopez. Laserlight 15 056 (1988).

0 Lulu (and the Luvvers) (1964) Shout. Decca F 11884.

0 Lymon, Frankie (& the Teenagers) (1956) Why Do Fools Fall In Love.

Columbia DB 3772.

0 Lynn, Vera (1942) We’ll Meet Again. (reissue 1993: CD ASV 5145).

0 Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973a) ‘Free Bird’. Lynyrd Skynyrd. MCA DMCL 1798.

0 — (1974) Sweet Home Alabama. MCA 40258.

0 — (1977) ‘Sweet Home Alabama’. One More From The Road (rec. live in Atlanta, 1976). MCAD-6897 / JVC-526 (1977).


n Mack, Cecil; Johnson, Jimmy (1923). (The New) Charleston. Sydney: Chappell & Co. (1950); 1st rec., see Golden Gate (1925).

0 Madness (1979). Night Boat To Cairo. Stiff BUY-JB-71;

also on CD Madness, Geffen GEFD-4003 (1993).

0 — (1982) House Of Fun. Stiff BUY 146.

> Magnificent Seven, see Bernstein, E (1966).

0 Makeba, Miriam (1967). Pata Pata. Reprise 20606.

0 Maldita Nerea (2007) El secreto de las tortugas E 5juCY0S10o0 [140802].

0 Malicorne (1979) Le bestiaire. Ballon Noir BAL 13012

▪ La mule ▪ Le branle des chevaux ▪ La chasse-gallery.

b Malm, William P (1967) b Music Cultures of the Pacific, the Near East and Asia.

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n Mameluk (trad. Egypt). Vi gör musik, p. 330.

0 Maná 12 (2006) ‘Somos mar y arena’ Amar es combtir E dwgUJCxgB1o[140802].

0 Mancini, Henry (1971). ‘Cade’s County’. Golden Hour of TV Themes.

Pye Golden Hour GH 845, 1976.

nb Mandolin and Bouzouki Scales and Modes (2010) G musicopedia.com/scales/0-mandolin.php [140414].

0 Mann, Barry (1961). Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp…)? ABC-Paramount 10237.

0 Mann, Manfred (1964) I’m Your Kingpin b/w Hubble Bubble. HMV 1282.

0 — (1966a) Pretty Flamingo. HMV POP 1523.

0 — (1966b) Just Like A Woman. Fontana TF 730.

b Mann, William (1963) b ‘What Songs the Beatles Sang’. The Times, 1963-12-23 (Monday); G tagg.org/others/MannTimes631223.html [090717].

b Manuel, Peter (1989) b ‘Modal Harmony in Andalusian, Eastern European and Turkish Syncretic Musics’. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 21: 70-94.

b — (2002) ‘Dual Tonicity in Spanish and Latin American Musics’. Journal of the American Musicological Society, 55/2.

G Maqam World. http://www.maqamworld.com [140204].

0 Marcels, The (1961) Blue Moon (Rodgers, R; 1924). Pye 7N 25073.

0 March, Little Peggy (1963). I Will Follow Him. RCA Victor RCA 1338.

b Marco, Tomas (1981). ‘Raíces musicales de Andalucía’. Revista de Estudios Regionales, Extraordinario, III: 217-230.

0 Marley, Bob (Bob Marley and the Wailers, 1974). Natty Dread. Island ILPS 9281.

▪ Lively Up Yourself ▪ No Woman No Cry.

0 — (1975) Live! Island ILPS 9376. ▪ Lively Up Yo urself ▪ No Woman No Cry.

0 Marmalade (1969). (Baby) Make It Soon. CBS 4287.

b Maróthy, János (1974). Music and the Bourgeois, Music and the Proletarian.

Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

> Marseillaise, La, see Rouget de Lisle, C-J.

0 Martha & the Vandellas (1964) Dancing In The Street (jc Marvin Gaye, Ivory Joe Hunter, William Stevenson). Stateside SS 345; also on: [1] The Motown Story, Motown stml 11301-5 (1967); [2] Oldies but Goodies, 2, Success 2118 (1988). n Jobete/Stonegate (1964, renewed 1992; inaccurate).

0 — (1965) Nowhere To Run/Motoring. Tamla Motown tmg 502/Gordy 7039.

0 Martí, José. Guantanamera; m The Sandpipers: Pye 7N 25380 (1966)

— Guantanamera. m Digno Garcia y sus Carios: Pye 7N 17172 (1966).

F The Master Commander (2003) Miramax/Goldwyn/C20 Fox f Peter Weir

c Iva Davies; Richard Tognetti >c Vaughan Williams (1910).

0 Marvellettes, The (1961). Please Mr Postman. Tamla Motown 54046.

0 — (1962) Playboy. Tamla Motown 54060.

0 McCartney, Paul (1977). Mull Of Kintyre. Capitol 5C 006-60154.

0 McCoys, The (1965). Hang On Sloopy. Immediate IM 001.

0 McCrae, George (1974). Rock Me Baby. RCA Victor KPAO 1004.

b McGann, Cliff. ‘Celtic Guitar’ |ceolas.org/instruments/celtic_guitar.html [020515].

0 McGuire, Barry. Eve of Destruction. Dunhill D-5003.

b McKerrell, Simon (2009) ‘The Concept of Mode in Scottish Bagpipe Music’; The Highland Bagpipe (ed. J. Dickson); Farnham: Ashgate: 279-300.

b — (2011) ‘Sound Performing: Sound Aesthetics among Competitive Pipers’. International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, 42 (1):


0 McLaughlin, John & Mahavishnu Orchestra (1972). Birds of Fire.

Columbia, CK-31996.

b McLean, Mervyn (1976). Review of 0 Polynesian Songs and Games from Bellona (Mungiki) Solomon Islands. Ethnic Folkways Records FE 4273. b Journal of the Polynesian Society 87, 2: 144–148.

b — (1996) Māori Music. Auckland University Press.

0 McManus, Michelle (2004). All This Time. Almighty Records CD RALMY 184.

b The mechanism of octave circularity in the auditory brain.

G neuroscience-of-music.se/eng7.htm [140111].

0 MediaTracks Production Music Library. Aspire and Achieve. MediaTracks mml 164. G mediatracks.co.uk/products/current-affairs/aspire-achieve-product.html [140331].

0 Megadeth (1992) Symphony Of Destruction. Capitol 4KM 0777 7 44886 4 8.

b Mellers, Wilfrid (1973). Twilight of the Gods: The Beatles in Retrospect.

London: Faber.

b Mellers, Wilfrid; Harman, A (1962). Man and his Music.

London, Barrie & Rockliff.

n Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix (1834) ‘Auf Flügeln des Gesanges’, Op. 34/2; as ‘On Wings of Song’ in Golden Treasury of Song, 1, ed. N. O’Neill. London: Boosey & Co. (1903).

n — (1843) Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, arr. for organ by C.W. Pearce. London: Paxton.

n — (1845) ‘Oh! For the Wings of a Dove’ (P ‘O, könnt' ich fliegen wie Tauben dahin’ from ‘Hör mein Bitten, Herr’ in Elijah). The Parlour Song Book, ed. Michael R Turner, p. 218. London: Pan Books (1972).

n > Mercer, Johnny (1938). Jeepers Creepers: see Armstrong, L.

> — (1941) I Remember You; see Schertzinger (1941); see Ifield (1962)

b Merriam, Alan P (2011). Ethnomusicology of the Flathead Indians. Transaction.

G books.google.com/books?id=KLlzxAkV_0gC&pg=PA325 [140807].

0 Mészáros, Tivadar (nd) Kókai Rezső/Verbunkos Rhapsody. E kd2EPzhM7W0 [140221].

0 Metallica (1984) ‘Am I Evil?’. Creeping Death. Music for Nations P12 KUT 112.

0 — (1991) ‘Wherever I May Roam’. Metalllica; Vertigo 510 022-2.

n Methodist Hymn Book, The (1933). London: Methodist Conference Office. Adeste Fideles: 118; Cwm Rhondda: 615; Old 100th: 2; Onward Christian Solidiers: 822.

b Meyer, Leonard B (1987). ‘Le “implicazioni” nella melodia tonale’. Il senso in musica, ed. L. Marconi, G. Stefani: 187-196. Bologna: CLUEB.

b Miani, Guido (1992). ‘Gesti melodici del blues’. Dal blues al liscio,

ed. G. Nicotra & G. Bertoni: 11-48. Verona: Edizioni Ianua.

b Middleton, Richard (1983). ‘Play it again, Sam’: on the productivity of repetition. Popular Music, 4: 235-271.

> Midnight In Moscow, see Soloviov-Sedoy, V.

n Mikaelidagen (Swedish trad.); as quoted in Ling (1964:114).

0 Mila moja (Serbian trad.): untraceable 10" Jugoton LP of narodna muzika (c. 1965, yellow cover with formulaic dancers in national costume).

0 Miller, Glenn (1939) ‘Moonlight Serenade’. The Glenn Miller Story.

mca 252 181-1 (1985).

0 Milton, Roy & his Solid Senders (1949). Hucklebuck. Specialty 328; Fidelity 3001 (1951); as quoted by Middleton (1983:254).

0 Misirlou, a.k.a. Miserlou. [1] ‘Song Of The Crickets’, played by the Kabul Radio Orch. Music from Afghanistan. Bärenreiter-Musicaphon (1975). [2] Astronauts: Surfin' with the Astronauts. RCA 2760, 1963. [3] Dick Dale and the Deltones: Pulp Fiction Soundtrack. MCA 11103 (1995).

0 Mission (1986). ‘Sacrilege’. God’s Own Medicine. Mercury 8306031.

0 Minogue, Kylie (2001). Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Capitol CAP 77685.

0 Mitchell, Joni (1967) The Dawntreader. CBC TV E 1ie9cDiz8IM [140420].

0 — (1968) Joni Mitchell. Reprise RSLP 6293 ▪The Dawntreader ▪ Song To A Seagull (1968) E LBGqGZ9GWzE [140420].

0 — (1971) Blue. MS 2038 ▪ Blue ▪ This Flight Tonight (ERxs8wz4Vb9w [140422]).

0 — (1994) Turbulent Indigo. Reprise 9362-45786-2 ▪ Sex Kills (live on Jay Leno TV show, 1995 E CESBHEDlPzA; studio version E MzGvJ_sssJg) ▪ The Magdalene Laundries (TV, Toronto, 1994 E ATaFyIbd5hY) [all 140419].

0 Modugno, Domenico (1958). ‘Volare’. Dean Martin: Greatest Hits.

Capitol 94961 (1998).

n Molloy, James L (1884). ‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’ (1884).

Favorite Songs of the Nineties. New York: Dover, 1973.

0 Moloney, Mick (1972). Seán A Duír A’ Ghleanna (Irish Trad.); performed at Göteborg College of Music, September 1972 (private recording).

0 Monotones, The (1958). Book Of Love. Argo 5290.

0 Monti, Vittorio (1904). Ferenc Sánta and his Gypsy Band: Csárdás (Hungarian Gypsy Music). Naxos 8.550954 (1994).

0 Montgomery, Wes (1967) m ’Eleanor Rigby’ (cj Lennon/McCartney).

A Day in the Life (ÄC Don Sebesky). A&M/CTI.

— & Smith Jimmy (1997). Jimmy & Wes: The Dynamic Duo.

Polygram B0000047D7.

0 Moonlight Serenade, see Miller, Glenn (1939).

b Moore, Allan F (1992). ‘Patterns of harmony’. Popular Music, 11/1: 73-106.

b — (1995) ‘The so-called “flattened seventh” in rock’.

Popular Music, 14/2: 185-202.

b Moore, Sarha (2013). The Other Leading Note (A comparative study of the flat second pitch degree in North Indian classical, Ottoman- or Arabian-influenced, Western, heavy metal and film musics). PhD thesis, version 1. Department of Music, University of Sheffield, 2013-12-16.

0F Morricone, Ennio (1976). ‘La polenta’ from Novecento - Prima Parte. Produzione Europee Associate, Artemis Films ; also on LP 1900,

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0F — (1986) The Mission. F Warner f Roland Joffé. D Warner 23497 (2003)

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n0 — (1874) Tableaux d'une exposition. Mainz: Schott (nd). 0 Pictures at an Exhibition Ä Maurice Ravel m Slovak Philh. Orch. C David Nazareth. Naxos 8.550051 (1987).

n — (1875) Songs and Dances of Death. New York: International Music Co. (1951).

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0 National Anthems. Nationalhymnen aus 29 Nationen (1986).

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0 Nationalteatern (1978). Barn av vår tid. Nacksving 031-16.

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b Nettl, Bruno & Béhague, Gerard (1990). Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.

b Nettl, Bruno, Victoria Lindsay Levine, Elaine Keillor (2001). ‘Amerindian Music’. New Grove (2001).

b New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (editions 1980, 1995, 2001). London: Macmillan.

b Nketia, J H Kwabena (1974). The Music of Africa. 1974, New York: Norton.

b Norton, Richard (1984). Tonality in Western Culture. London: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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b Newman, Ernest (1949). Wagner Nights. London: Putnam.

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0 Nine Inch Nails (1994) ‘Hurt’. Downward Spiral. Island CID 522126-2.

> Cash (2002)

0 Nirvana (1991) Never Mind. Geffen 434425-2 ▪ Smells Like Teen Spirit ▪ Lithium

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0 Norman, Monty (1962). The James Bond Theme; m John Barry Orch,.

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0 Oasis (1995). (What's The Story) Morning Glory? Creation CRE CD 189

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> Oh! Susanna > Foster.

> O’Lochlainn (1939) >n Irish Street Ballads.

n O’Neill, James (ed., nd.). O’Neill’s 1001 Jigs, Reels, Hornpipes, Airs and Marches.

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0 Only Ones, The (1978). Another Girl Another Planet. CBS 6576.

> Onward, Christian Soldiers, see Sullivan, A.

0 Orbison, Roy (1963).‘ It’s Over’. The Best Of Roy Orbison. Arcade lsp 13158 (1974).

0 — (1964) ‘Pretty Woman’ The Best Of Roy Orbison. Arcade LSP 13158 (1974)

0 Orbit, William (1999) Barber's Adagio for Strings - Ferry Corsten Remix. WEA 247CD 8573813172 LC 4281; also on Orbit (2000).

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n Pinkard, Maceo (1925). Sweet Georgia Brown. Francis, Day and Hunter.

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0 — (1981) Every Little Thing She Does. A&M 2371.

0 Poole, Brian (and the Tremeloes) (1963a). Twist and Shout. Decca F 11694.

0 — (1963b). Do You Love Me. Decca F 11739.

0 Popular Music in Jacksonian America. Musical Heritage Society mhs 834561 (1982).

n Porter, Cole (1932). Night And Day. New York: Harms.

n — (1933) You’re Bad For Me. vAl Bowlly m Ray Noble and his Orch,.

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n — (1934) The Gypsy In Me. New York: Warner Bros publications.

n — (1934) I Get a Kick out of You. New York: Harms, Inc.

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b Powers, Harold (1992) b ‘Power, Harold. Modality as a European cultural construct’. Secondo convegno europeo di analisi musicale (ed. Dalmonte, Rosanna & Baroni, Mario). Trento: Università degli studi di Trento, Dipartimento di storia della civiltà europea: 207-220.

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b —(1995b) ‘Plagal cadence’. New Grove, 14: 800.

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0 — (1961) (Marie’s The Name Of) His Latest Flame. RCA Victor 1258.

0 — (1962) Return To Sender. RCA 1320.

0 — (1963) (You’re The) Devil In Disguise. RCA 1355.

0 Preston, Johnny (1960). Cradle Of Love. Mercury AMT 1092.

0 Price, Alan (1966). ‘Going Down Slow’. The Price To Play. Decca LK 4839.

0 Prine, John (1971) ‘Sam Stone’. John Prine. Atlantic K40357 (1972).

0 Procol Harum (1967a). A Whiter Shade of Pale (Booker, Reid). Deram DM 126.

0 — (1967b) Homburg. Regal Zonophone RZ 3003; also on Procol Harum.

Polydor 184115.

0 — (1970) ‘Wreck of the Hesperus (Valkyrie)’. A Salty Dog.

Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1009.

> P.S. I Love You >0 Beatles (1963a).

0 Puebla, Carlos (1965) Marchas y canciones revolucionarias. Arito 3310 (1970?) ▪ Hasta siempre; also on Cantarte Comandante, egrem CD-0259 (1997).

> Puente, Tito > 0 Cruz (1999).

F Pulp Fiction (1994) Miramax f Quentin Tarantino.


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b Radulescu, Speranta (2010) ‘Cu seriozitate despre muzica lăutărească (II)’.

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0 Ravel, Maurice (1928). Boléro m Orchestre National de France C Lorin Maazel. Holst: The Planets / Ravel: Boléro. CBS Masterworks. mdk 44781 (1981).

0 Rays, The (1957). Silhouettes b/w Daddy Cool. Cameo 117.

0 Ρεμβέτης της Mbαγδάτης (2001) ● Ζαχαρενιο Χανουμακι (Παναγιώτης Τούντας )

● Κατσιβέλα (Γιώργος Μητσάκης). NitroMusic 271048-2, (ed. Κ Φέρρης).

0 Redding, Otis (1967). Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Cropper/Redding).

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0 Rednex (1994) Cotton-Eye Joe. Zomba 74321 22154 2. E VcDy8HEg1QY [140108].

0 Reece, Florence (1931) ’Which Side Are You On?’ Harlan County USA: Songs of the Coal Miner’s Struggle. Rounder 11661-4026-2 (2006);

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0 Red Hot Chili Peppers (1992) Under The Bridge. Warner W0084, 5439-19002-7.

0 The Reel Thing (1998, Ä Tagg). ▪ ‘Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies’ (Eng. trad.) ▪ ‘St. Patrick’s Hymn’ (Irish trad.) a.k.a. > Sloane. Real Source Music RSM CD016. Gtagg.org/audio/RSM98/StPatricksHymn1207.mp3; Gtagg.org/audio/RSM98/RaggleTaggleGypsiesLMHmix.mp3.

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b Reimers, Lennart (1979). ‘Den svenska barnvisan’. Skriftfest: 19 uppsatser tillägnade Martin Tegen - 60 år: 150-160. Stockholm: Instit. för musikvetenskap.

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F Remando al viento (1987) CIA/Ditirambo/Viking f Gonzalo Suárez * Hugh Grant c Alejandro Masso >c Vaughan Williams (1910).

0 Repilado, Francisco > Compay Segundo.

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0 Richard, Cliff (1962). Bachelor Boy. Columbia DB 4950.

0 Richie, Lionel (1983). ‘Hello’. Can’t Slow Down. Tamla Motown ZL 72020.

0 Righeira (1983). Vamos a la Playa. A&M MAM 137.

0 Righteous Brothers, The (1964). You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.

London HLU 9943.

0 Riperton, Minnie (1974). Lovin' You. Epic EPC 3121.

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b Rochon, Gaston (1992). Processus compositionnel: genèse de chansons de Gilles Vigneault. Göteborg: Skrifter från musikvetenskap nr. 28.

0 Röda Kapellet (1974). Röda Kapellet. Avanti AVLP 01 ▪ Revolutionens vagga

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0 — (1976) ‘Lärling: från arbetarhem via 9tp’. Party Music/Partimusik.

Avanti avlp 02.

V Rodgers, Nile (1988). Coming to America (Universal, J. Landis).

cic vhr 2320 (Paramount).

n Rodgers, Richard (1934). Blue Moon. New York: Robbins > Marcels (1961).

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Valentim de Carvalho EMI 7 243 8 35465 2 7.

0 — (1992) Amália Rodrigues - The Queen of the Fado. Music of the World CD 12502 (1992) ▪ Fado marujo ▪ Trago fados nos sentidos.

0 Rodrigo, Joaquín (1939). Concierto de Aranjuez. Guitar Music. RCA LSC 2730-B.

0 Rolling Stones (1964). Little Red Rooster b/w Off The Hook. Decca DL 25158.

0 — (1965a) Satisfaction. Decca F 12220; also on Rolling Stones (1996).

0 — (1965b) ‘Everybody Needs Somebody’. The Rolling Stones 2. Decca LK 4661.

0 — (1966) ‘Paint It Black’; on Rolling Stones (1996).

0 — (1969a) ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’; on Rolling Stones (1996).

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0 — (1971) Brown Sugar b/w Bitch. Rolling Stones RS 19100;

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0 Ronettes, The (1963). Be My Baby. London HLU 9793.

n Rose, Peter De: Deep Purple (1930s); quoted from memory of Hi-Los (1959).

0 Rosie & The Originals (1960). Angel Baby. Highland 1011.

n Rossa’s Farewell to Erin: in Irish Street Ballads, p. 68.

n0 Rossini, Giacchino (1829). Overture to William Tell. London: Eulenburg (nd); T ‘The Lone Ranger’ on Themes Like Old Times, 1, Viva V-36018 (nd)

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F0 Rózsa, Miklós (1942). The Jungle Book (Korda; United Artists).

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n Rubinstein, A. G. ‘Melody In F’; love theme in Rapée (1924: 226).

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G Sabicas [A. C. Campos]. Malagueña performance ´Sabicas: maestro de flamenco with Maria Alba and company’, E E9A_R0OKSMQ [090703].

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0 Salazarte, Gilberto, see Alén Rodriguez (1999a).

b Salzer, Felix (1962). Structural Hearing. New York: Dover.

b Samson, Jim (1995). Music in Transition: a study of tonal expansion and atonality 1900-1920. London: Dent.

b Sanders, Ernest H (1980). ‘Hocket’. New Grove, 8: 608 (1980).

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0 — (1973) ‘Windmills of Your Mind’ (Bergman, Legrand). Movie Memories. Music For Pleasure MFP 50438 (c. 1976?).

n Sånger för socialismen, ed. Pierre Ström. Stockholm: Arbetarkultur (1981).

0 Sánta, Ferenc and his Gypsy Band: Csárdás (Hungarian Gypsy Music).

Naxos 8.550954 (1994) > Monti (1904).

n Santa Lucia (Italian trad.) in Songs that will Live for Ever.

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n Schubert, Franz (1814). ‘Erlkönig’. Ausgewählte Lieder > Schubert (nd).

n — (1827) ‘Der Leiermann’. Winterreise, Op. 89. > Schubert (nd).

n — (nd) Gesänge für eine Singstimme mit Klavierbegleitung nach den ersten drucken revidiert: Band I - Ausgabe für hohe Stimme. Frankfurt: Peters.

n0 Schumann, Robert (1838) ‘Träumerei’. Kinderszenen, Op. 15 m Martha Argerich (piano), Deutsche Grammophon 410653-2.

n Scots Guards Standard Settings of Pipe Music, Vol 1 (1954). London: Paterson▪ The Drunken Piper ▪ The Inverness Gathering.

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0 Scott, Linda (1961). Don't Bet Money Honey. Canadian American 127.

0 Searchers, The (1964) Needles And Pins. Pye 7N 155533.

0 — (1964b) Don’t Throw Your Love Away. Pye 7N 15630.

0 — (1965) Goodbye My Love. Pye 7N 15794.

0 Sedaka, Neil (1959). Oh Carol. RCA 1152.

0 — (1961a) Little Devil. RCA 1236.

0 — (1961b) Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen. RCA 1266.

b Seeger, Charles (1960). ‘On the Moods of a Musical Logic’.

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0 Seeger, Pete (1961). ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone’. World of Pete Seeger.

Columbia 31949 (1973). See also Sandpipers (1966).

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bn Segelstein, Cookie (2004). Jewish and Klezmer Violin Style, Part 2. G veretskipass.com/Veretski_Pass/Press_files/Jewish%20Fiddling%20%232.pdf [140220].

n Serrano, Juan (2002) Systematic Studies for Flamenco Guitar. Pacific (MO): Mel Bay Publications, G sheetmusicplus.com [140212].

bn Sethares, Bill (nd) Alternate Tuning Guide G sethares.engr.wisc.edu/alternatetunings/alltunings.pdf [140427].

0 Shadows, The (1960). Apache. Columbia DB 4484.

0 — (1962) ‘Wonderful Land’. The Shadows 20 Golden Greats.

emi cdp 7 46243 2 (1977).

0 — (1963) ‘Dakota’. Dance with the Shadows. Columbia SCX 3511 (Italia).

0 Shankar, Ravi (1970). Sound of the Sitar. World Pacific / Liberty WPS-21434.

0 Shannon, Del (1961). Runaway. London HLX 9317.

0 — (1962) Little Town Flirt. London HLX 9653.

0 Shapiro, Helen (1961). ‘Walking Back To Happiness’. Helen’s Hit Parade.

Columbia SEG 8136.

0 Shaw, Sandie (1967). Puppet On A String. Pye 7N 17272

> She Moved Through the Fair (Irish Trad.), see Hughes, H.

0 Sherwin, Manning; Strachey, Jack (1940). ‘A Nightingale Sang In Berkely Square’. We'll Meet Again: The Love Songs of World War II.

Smithsonian MSD2M-35384.

0 Shirelles, The (1962). Baby It’s You. Scepter 1227.

F Shut Up and Sing (2006) Cabin Creek Films/Weinstein; f Cecilia Peck, Barbara Kopple mcjv> Dixie Chicks (2006) ;

n Silvers, Louis (1921). April Showers. New York: Remick Music Corp.

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0 Simon and Garfunkel (1966). ‘Sounds Of Silence’; ‘Homeward Bound’;

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0 — (1968) Scarborough Fair. CBS 3317.

0 Sinatra, Frank (1956). Songs for Swinging Lovers. Capitol LCT 6106.

0 — (1969) My Way (Revaux, François). Reprise RS 20817.

0 Siqueira, José (1949). ‘Cantoria de cego’. m Miriam Ramos (pf) O Piano Brasileira - Setenta anos de história. Paulus 004451 (nd).

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Sohlmans musiklexikon, 4: 489-492.

0 Slade (1970). Shape Of Things To Come. Fontana TF 1079.

0 Slam (1995). ‘Positive Education’. Cream Anthems. Deconstruction 74321 32615 2.

0 Slayer (1998) Diabolus in Musica. American Recordings 491302 2.

n Sloane (nd) a.k.a ’Bí Thusa 'mo Shúile’ or ’Bob tu mo bhoíle’ or ’Be Thou My Vision’, > Methodist Hymn Book (1933: #632, p. 547).

0 Slobo Horo (1992) Mastika. RockAdillo ZENCD 2032. ▪ Mastika (cj Deli Selim) ▪ Meseno Horo (Bulgaria trad.) ▪ Lule malësore (Albania trad.)

0 Sly and the Family Stone (1970). ‘Thank You (For Lettin’ Be Myself)’.

There’s a Riot Going on. Epic S EPC 64613.

0 Small Faces, The (1967). Itchycoo Park. Immediate/Stateside HSS 1212.

0 Smith, Bessie (1929). Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.

Columbia 14451-D.

n0 Smith, John Stafford: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’. The American Song Book.

Leeds: E J Arnold, n.d; also on National Anthems, q.v.

0 Smiths, The (1984). What Difference Does It Make? Rough Trade RT 146.

0 — (1987) ‘Rusholme Ruffians’. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me.

Rough Trade RTT 200 CD.

> Smoke On The Water, see Deep Purple (1972).

0 Snow, Mark (1996). ‘The X Files Theme’ (a.k.a. ‘Materia primoris’). The Truth and the Light: Music from the X Files. Warner Brothers 9362-46448-2.

n Soldier, Soldier (English trad.); quoted from memory, as sung by my mother.

b Söderholm, Valdemar (1959). Harmonilära. Stockholm: Nordiska musikförlag.

0 Soloviov-Sedoy, V (nd). Podmoskovnye vechera (подмосковные вечера); quoted from memory of Midnight in Moscow, m> Kenny Ball (1961).

nb Songs of the Workers (1973; 34th ed.).

Chicago: Industrial Workers of the World.

n Songs that will Live for Ever (nd c. 1938, ed. M. Jacobson).

London: Odhams Press.

0 Sousa, Jean-Ph. (1981) ‘Liberty Bell’. Top TV Themes. Decca tab 18.

> Sous le ciel de Paris, see Giraud, H.Y.A.

0 Spencer Davis Group, The (1965). Keep On Running. Fontana TF 632.

0 — (1967) ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out’.

Gimme Some Lovin’. United Artists UAL 3587.

b Spurling, Patrick (nd) ‘In Conversation with Chick Corea’ G jazz.com/features-and-interviews/2008/5/30/in-conversation-with-chick-corea [140414]

0n St. Patrick’s Hymn, see Reel Thing and Methodist Hymn Book (1933: n° 632)

0 Ståbi, Björn; Hjort, Ole; Agenmark, Nils (1965). Spelmanslåtar från Dalarna.

Sonet SLP 16.

0 Stanley, Ralph (1950) The Fields Have Turned Brown. Columbia 20667; also on The Very Best of Ralph Stanley, Audium AUD-CD-8169 (2002).

> Star-Spangled Banner, see Smith, John S.

0 Steeleye Span (1970) Hark! The Village Wait. Crest 22. ▪ The Lowlands of Holland ▪ The Blacksmith ▪ The Blackleg Miner.

0 — (1971) Please to See the King. Crest 8. ▪ The Female Drummer ▪ The Lark In The Morning ▪ Cold, Haily, Windy Night.

b Stefani, Gino (1984). ‘Una nuova teoria degli intervalli’.

Revista Italiana di Musicologia, 1984/1.

b — (1987). ‘Melody: a popular perspective’. Popular Music, 6/1: 21-36.

b Stefani, Gino; Marconi, Luca (1992). La melodia. Milano: Bompiani.

b Stefani, Gino; Marconi, Luca; Ferrari, Franca (1990). Gli intervalli musicali.

Milano: Bompiani.

b Steingress, Gerhard (2006) … y Carmen se fue a París: la construcción artística del flamenco. Córdoba: Almuzara.

0 Stewart, Rod (1977). The First Cut Is The Deepest. WEA WB 16 813

0 Sting (1993) ‘Seven Days’. Ten Summoner’s Tales. A&M 89567.

0 Stormy Six (1982). ‘Panorama’ (c Tommaso Leddi). Al Volo.

L'Orchestra MILP 70001; Fonit Cetra 2113 (1982).

0 Strauss, Johann (Jr.) (1867) ‘An der schönen blaue Donau’. Strauss Waltzes.

CBS Odyssey MBK 44892 (1979).

b String instrument tunings G silverbushmusic.com/Tunings.html [020515].

n Ström, Pierre (1981, ed). Sånger för socialismen. Stockholm: Arbetarkultur.

> Sukiyaki 0 Sakomoto (1961).

n Sullivan, Arthur (1871). ‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’

>Methodist Hymn Book: 822.

0 Suppé, Franz von (1866). Overture to Light Cavalry (Leichte Kavallerie). The Instruments of Classical Music, vol. 3. Laserlight 15327 (1990).

bn Surenne, J.T. (arr., ed. 1854) Songs of Ireland without Words for the Pianoforte.

Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.

0 Svensk Rock Mot Apartheid (1985). Berg är till för att flyttas (Wiehe).

Svensk Rock Mot Apartheid NS 1001

0 Swan Silvertones, The (1952). Trouble In My Way. Specialty 853.

n Sweet Georgia Brown, see Pinkard, M (1925).

> Sweet Home Alabama, see Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974).

0 Swinging Blue Jeans, The (1964). You’re No Good. HMV POP 1304.

> Sylvia 0 Vrethammar (1973).


bn Table of Octave Designations G music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/appendix/octaveregisters/octaveregisters.html [131221].

0 Tagg, Philip (1974) cm ‘Revolutionens vagga’; ‘Solidaritetssång för Chiles folk’ >0 Röda Kapellet (1974).

b — (1989) ‘Open letter: Black music, Afro-American and European music’.

Popular Music, 8/3: 285-298.

0 — (1998c, arr.) ‘St Patrick’s Hymn’ a.k.a. Sloane (Trad. Irish); ‘The Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies’ (Trad. Eng.); >0 Reel Thing

b — (1998d) ‘The Göteborg Connection: Lessons in the history and politics of popular music education and research’; Popular Music 17/2: 219-242 G tagg.org/articles/xpdfs/gbgcnnct.pdf [140807].

b — (1993) ‘“Universal” music and the case of death’. Critical Quarterly, 35/2:54-85.

b — (1994) ‘From refrain to rave: the decline of figure and the rise of ground’.

Popular Music, 13/2: 209-222.

b — (2000a) Kojak: 50 Seconds of TV Music (2nd edition). New York: Mass Media Music Scholars’ Press (1st publ. Göteborg, 1979). Gtagg.org/mmmsp/kojak.html [100903].

b — (2000b) Fernando the Flute (3rd edition) b New York: Mass Media Music Scholars’ Press. Gtagg.org/mmmsp/fernando.html [100903].

b ― (2001) Assignment and Dissertation Tips bGtagg.org/xpdfs/assdiss.pdf.

b — (2002) ‘Harmony’. Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, vol. II

(‘epmow’, ed. D Horn and D Laing): 521-549.

b — (2003) Ten Little Title Tunes > Tagg and Clarida (2003).

b — (2004) Antidepressants and musical anguish management. iaspm-al conference keynote, Rio de Janeiro, June 2004. E tagg.org/articles/xpdfs/iasprio0406.pdf [140912].

t — (2007) The Milksap Montage (All) G tagg.org/Clips/MilksapOnly.mp4 [130318].

t — (2009a) Droned Fifths for the Tailor and the Mouse. G tagg.org/Clips/TailorMouse.mp4.

t — (2009b) Mixolydian Mini-Montage G tagg.org/Clips/MixolydMonatge.mp4 [130211].

t — (2009c) Dominants and Dominance G tagg.org/Clips/Dominantce.mp4 [130318].

t — (2010) The Intel Inside Analysis G tagg.org/Clips/IntelInside.mp4 [130318].

t — (2011a) The Minor Seven Flat Five Montage G tagg.org/Clips/m7b5All.mp4 [130318].

t — (2011b) Guantanamera Endings G archive.org/details/GuantanameraEndings [130318].

t — (2011c) Scotch Snaps: The Big Picture G tagg.org/Clips/ScotchSnap/ScotchSnap.mp4 [130318].

b — (2013) Music’s Meanings. New York: Mass Media Music Scholars’ Press.

b — (2013b) ‘Troubles with Tonal Terminology’. Festschrift for Coriún Aharonián and Graciela Paraskevaídis (orig. 2011, upd. 2013) G tagg.org/articles/xpdfs/Aharonian2011.pdf [140702].

b — (2014) ‘The Anomalies of Interval Counting’ G tagg.org/teaching/IntervalCounts.html [140810].

b Tagg, Philip & Clarida, Bob (2003). Ten Little Title Tunes. New York &

Montréal: Mass Media Music Scholars’ Press.

0 Talking Heads (1978) Take Me To The River. Sire 4004.

0 Ten cc [10cc] (1974) 0 100 cc – Greatest Hits of 10cc. UK Records UKAL 1012 (1975) ▪ The Wall Street Shuffle ▪ 4% Of Something.

0 Theodorakis, Mikis (1964). Zorba the Greek. Fontana 6499 689.

0 Thielemans, Toots (1964) ‘Bluesette’ 0 The Whistler and his Guitar.

ABC Paramount ABCS-482.

b Thomason, Paul (2014). Programme notes for the 2014 New York Metropolitan Opera performance of Das Rheingold (Wagner, 1869)

G pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/gp-at-the-met-wagner%E2%80%99s-ring-cycle/das-rheingold-program-note/1404/ [140511]).

0 Thompson, Richard (1969) > Fairport Convention.

0 — (1988) Amnesia. Capitol CDP 7 48845 2 ▪ Yankee, Go Home.

t — (1990) She Moves Through The Fair (live at Seattle Folk Festival).

0 — (1994) Mirror Blue. Capitol 0777 7 81492 2 4 ▪ For The Sake Of Mary.

0 — (1996) You? Me? Us? Capitol 7243 8 33704 2 9 ▪ Sam Jones.

0 — (1999) Mock Tudor. Capitol CDP 7243 4 98860 2 ▪ The Uninhabited Man; solo open tuning version, Cambridge Folk Festival, 2011 E ov_RlJgZClc.

t — (2001) ‘Woodstock’ (mj Joni Mitchell). Joni Mitchell Tribute Concert.

E bKmsdP7cGoM [140426].

t — (2003) Richard Thompson - Solitary Life: BBC documentary f John Peel.

t — (2013) Country Music Hall of Fame Songwriter Session: Richard Thompson

▪ On open string tuning (44:00) ▪ Matty Groves (open string, 50:20) E IfdkyHaD5OA [140426]; early version > Fairport Convention, 1969).

0 Thielemans, Toots (1962) ‘Bluesette’ Bluesette CBS 26604 (1985).

0 Thornton, Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ (1953) Hound Dog R Peacock 1612 (1952).

0 Three Tenors, The (Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti) (1995) ‘Nessun’ dorma’ (from Puccini’s Turandot, 1923) 0 In Concert. London 430 433.

0 Throwing Muses (1992) ▪ Furious. Red Heaven. Rough Trade RTD 1201404 2 41; also live at Astoria (London, 030320) E 3aY9g6T49dU [140516].

0 Tillotson, Johnny (1960) Poetry In Motion 0 London HLA 9231.

nb Tin Pan Alley - A Pictorial History 1919-1939 (1975, ed. I Whitcomb)

nb New York: Paddington Press.

0 Tiocfaidh an Samhradh > Bothy Band (1976); > Breathnach (2007).

0 Tiomkin, Dimitri (1947) ‘Duel In The Sun’ 0 The Western World of Dimitri Tiomkin. Unicorn-Kanchana Digital DKP 9002 (1980), see also Laine, F.

0 Timmons, Bobby (1958) c ‘Moanin'’. Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers – Moanin'. Not Now Music NOT 2CD344 (2010).

b Titon, Jeff Todd (1977). Early Downhome Blues — A Musical and Cultural Analysis. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

b Touma, Habib Hassan (1996). The Music of the Arabs (tr. Laurie Schwartz).

Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press.

0 Traditional Music from Turkey (2000). Arc Music EUCD 1585.

0 Traveling Willburys, The (1988) ‘Congratulations’

0 The Traveling Willburys. Warner 9257962.

0 Tres Caballeros, Los (0000) Perfidia E 7tqtVKL-XQk [140328].

0 Troggs, The (1966) Wild Thing. Fontana TF 689.

0 Troy, Doris (1963) Just One Look. Atlantic 8088.

0 Trukeros, Los (2007) De chilena —autoedición, Santiago de Chile.

0 Tu beso (nd). Chili-Chile. Air Mail Music SA 141055.

0 Turner, Tina (1989) Steamy Windows. Capitol CL 560.

t Twin Peaks > Badalmenti

0 Twisted Sister (1984) ‘We’re Not Going To Take It’. Stay Hungry.

Atlantic 7567-80156-2.

0 Twitty, Conway (1958) It’s Only Make Believe. MGM 922.

0 Tymes (1974) Miss Grace. RCA Victor APL1 0727.

0 Tyner, McCoy [Trio] (1962). Reaching Fourth cm McCoy Tyner m Roy Haynes,

Henry Grimes. Impulse IMPL 8029 (1976).

0 — (1967a) Expansions. Blue Note 84338.

0 — (1967b) ‘Blues On The Corner’ 0 The Real McCoy Blue Note BLP 4264.


0 Unit Four Plus Two (1965) Concrete And Clay. Decca F 12071.

0 Uriah Heep (1972) ‘Traveller In Time’. Demons and Wizzards. Island 86185T.

0 USA for Africa (1985) We are the World. Polygram 824 822-2.

0 Valens, Ritchie (1958) La bamba / Donna. London HL 8803 (UK).

0 Valentine Brothers (1982) Money's Too Tight (To Mention). Energy NRG 1.

0 Van Halen (1978) Running With The Devil. WEA LB 56470.

n Vårvindar friska (Swed. trad.). Vi gör musik, p. 72.

n Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1910) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis n London: Curwen (1921), New York: Dover (1999); m BBC Symphony Orch, C Andrew Davies 0 BBC MM83 (1999) E v=jAtx578yaZ8 [140131]; for other sources and uses, see footnote 29, p. 102.

n — (1921) The Lark Ascending. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0 19 3697200

m Iona Brown (vln) m Academy of St Martin in the Fields

C Neville Mariner 0 Argo 414596-2.

> Vaughan Williams (ed.) n Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.

0 Vee, Bobby (1960) Rubber Ball. London American REG 1278.

0 — (1961) Take Good Care Of My Baby. London HLG 9438.

b Vega, Carlos (1944) Panorama de la música popular argentina. Buenos Aires: Losada.

0 Venom (1982) ‘Countess Bathory’. Black Metal. Neat NEAT 1005.

0 Vian, Boris (1965) Le déserteur. Philips Médium 437.030 BE. n Upp till kamp (ed. Enn Kokk), Stockholm: Prisma (1970).

> Vi gör musik, ed. B-O Engström & E Cederlöf

n Stockholm: Ehrlingförlagen (1970).

0n Vigneault, Gilles; Rochon, Gaston (1973) ‘Je chante pour’. 0 Pays du fond de moi. Le Nordet, GVN-1002 (1973). F Je Chante Pour (National Film Board, Canada) f John Howe (1971) n Gilles Vigneault, vol. 1. Montréal: Éditions Le Vent qui Vire (1978); >b Rochon (1992).

b Vilariño, Idea (1981) ‘El tango’, vols. 1 & 2. La historia de la literatura argentina (Capitulo 117, 121). Buenos Aires: Centro Editor de America Latina.

0 Viola, Paulinho da (1975) ‘E a Vida Continua’. Paulinho da Viola.

emi (br) 329 85208 2.

0 Vitone, Luca (1998) Oh Yeah! Rock Suite in Y. AMF 1361.

> Voces de Cuba (trio) see Alén Rodriguez (1999a).

> Volga Boatmen, Song of the; n as quoted in Ling (1997:41)

V Vorzon, Barry De; Conran, Joseph (1983) V t Warner TV.

VWarner Home Video WEV 11443-1 through 5 (1987).

w Vrethammar, Sylvia (1973) v Viva España w Svensktoppen, SR P3.


0 Wagner, Richard (1859) Tristan & Isolde.

Deutsche Grammophon 2720 057 (1966).

0 — (1869) Das Rheingold. m Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele C Christian Thielemann. Opus Arte oacd 9000 bd (2009).

b Walker, Joe (2013) ’The World’s Most-Used Guitar Scale: A Minor Pentatonic’. DeftDigits Guitar Lessons (Seattle) G deftdigits.com/2012/01/06/the-worlds-most-used-guitar-scale-a-minor-pentatonic/ [131231].

0 Waltzing Matilda (Australia, trad.). Rolf Harris: All Together Now.

EMI 701102 (nd).

0 Ward, Anita (1979). Ring My Bell. Epic EPS 359.

0 Warren, Harry (1938). ‘Jeepers Creepers’. Louis Armstrong 1938-1939;

CD Classics 523.

0 — (1940) ‘At Last’ (F Valley Serenade and Orchestra Wives); The Glenn Miller Story hmv dlp 1024 (1978?); v Etta James: Argo LP-4003 (1961).

> Warszawjanka (Polish trad., arr. K. Kurpinski) n Sånger för socialismen, p. 43.

0 Warwick, Diane (1964) Walk On By (c Bacharach). Pye 7N 25241.

0 — (1968) Do You Know The Way To San José? (c Bacharach). Scepter SCE 12216.

0 Waters, Muddy (1970) v ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’. Goin' Home: Live in Paris 1970. New Rose 5099.

0 Watson, Doc et al (1963a) ● ‘Darling Corey’ ● ‘The Lost Soul’. The Doc Watson Family. Folkways FTS 31021; cd re-issue, 1990.

0 — (1963b) ‘Amazing Grace’. Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s (mv Clarence (Tom) Ashley, Clint Howard, Fred Price, Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson).

Folkways FA 2355, FA 2359.

0 — (1964) ‘Amazing Grace’. The Folk Box. Elektra/Folkways EKL-9001 (cut #48).

0 — (1971) ‘The Cuckoo’ (US Trad. via >Ashley (1929) and Eric Weissberg) 0 Ballads from Deep Gap. Vanguard VSD 6576; also cd vmd-6576 (1988).

n Weelkes, Thomas (1598) ‘Hark, all ye Lovely Saints’; Balletts and Madrigals, to Five Voyces; reproduced in Davidson & Apel (1949: 194).

0 Weill, K (1927) ‘Alabama Song’ from Mahagonny, as recorded on September Songs – The Music of Kurt Weill, various artists, Sony CD 63046 (1997); also > Göteborgs Brechtensemble (1979).

0 — (1928) ‘Mack the Knife’ (‘Moritat von Macki Messer’) from Die Dreigroschenoper, as recorded by the Lewis Ruth-Band on Entartete Musik, BOD 65053 (1988).

0 — (1943) c ‘Speak Low’ September Songs, Sony CD 63046 (1997).

b Weisstein, Eric (2000). ‘Scale’. Eric Weisstein’s Treasure Trove of Music.

|ericweisstein.com/encyclopedias/music/Scale.html [020512].

b Wellek, Albert (1963) Musikpsychologie und Musikästhetik: Grundriß der systematischen Musikwissenschaft. Frankfurt-am-Main:

Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft.

> We Shall Overcome, see 0 Baez (1963).

0 Wham (1984) v Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. Epic A 4440.

> What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

n Songs that will Live for Ever: 162.

> What Wondrous Love Is This? >0 Popular Music in Jacksonian America (1982).

> When The Saints Go Marchin’ In (US trad.), >0 Barber, Chris (1954);

>0 Beatles (1962a).

> Where Have All The Flowers Gone? See Seeger (1961).

0 White, Barry (1974) v I Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe. Pye Int. 7N25661.

0 Who, The (1966) cmv Substitute. Reaction 591001.

0 — (1969) cmv ‘Pinball Wizzard’ 0 Tommy. Track 613-013/4;

b quoted by Stefani and Marconi (1992:134).

b Wicks, Sammie Ann (1989). ‘A belated salute to the “old way” of “snaking” the voice on its (ca) 345th birthday’. Popular Music, 8/1: 59-96.

n Widor, Charles-Marie (1879). Toccata from Organ Symphony in F, Op. 42 nº 1. Paris: J. Hamelle: 40-49.

> Will.i.am (2008), see Adams, William.

0 Williams, Charles (1947) c ‘The Dream Of Olwen’ (F ‘While I Live’).

Big Concerto Movie Themes. Music For Pleasure MFP 4261 (1972).

0 Williams, Hank (1949) ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’. Hank Williams - I’m So Lonesome March-August 1949. Polydor 825 557-1 Y-2 (1986).

b Williams, Martin T. (1966). Where’s the Melody? A Listener’s Introduction to Jazz. New York: Minerva.

0 Williams, John (1977) c Star Wars. Twentieth Century 6641 679.

0 — (1978) c Superman - The Movie. Warner Brothers WB 2BSK 3257.

b Williams, Martin T. (1966). Where’s the Melody? A Listener’s Introduction to Jazz. New York: Minerva.

0 Wilson, Jackie (1958) ‘Lonely Teardrops’. Giants Of Soul. 4 Tune FTN 52011 (1990).

> Windmills Of Your Mind, 0 see Legrand (1968); Sandpipers (1973).

0 Winter, Johnny (1972) mv ‘Rock And Roll, Hoochie Coo’.

0 Edgar Winter’s White Trash - Roadwork. Epic KEG 31249.

> Winwood, Stevie, see 0 Spencer Davis.

0 Wonder, Stevie (1973) cmv Innervisions. Tamla Motown STMA 8011.

▪ Higher Ground ▪ Living For The City.

> Wondrous Love (W. Hauser) c 0 Popular Music in Jacksonian America.

b Winkler, Peter (1978) ‘Toward a Theory of Popular Harmony’.

Theory Only, 4/2: 3-26.

0 Wishbone Ash (1970) cmv ‘Phoenix’ 0 Wishbone Ash. MCA MKPS 2014.

0 — (1972) cmv ‘The King Will Come’ 0 Argus. MCAD 10234 (1991).

b Wood, Alexander (1962).The Physics of Music. London: Methuen.

> Workers Of The World Awaken! see Hill, Joe.

0 Wray, Link and his Ray Men (1958) m Rawhide 0 Epic 9300.

b Wright, Howard (nd) Joni Mitchell Tunings Notation

G jonimitchell.com/music/notation.cfm [140422].


b Xanadoume (n.d.) Ας ξαναδούμε τους μουσικούς δρόμους Gmatia.gr/egrapsan/arthra-meletes/as-xanadoume-tous-mousikous-dromous.html [140221].

0 XTC (1989) Oranges and Lemons. Virgin CDVT 2581-1,2,3 ▪ Scarecrow People.

0 — (1992) ‘Rook’ . Nonsuch. Virgin CDV 2699.

0 Xtra Bass (1989) ‘Step To The Rhythm’. This Is Urban. Pop & Arts pat cd 101 (1990).

0 Yardbirds, The (1965) cmv For Your Love. Columbia DB 7499.

0 Yes (1971). The Yes Album. Atlantic 2400 101. ▪ Starship Trouper.

0 — (1983) 90125. Atco 79-0125-1. ▪ Owner Of A Lonely Heart.

> Yesterday >0 Beatles (1965a).

0 Youmans, Vincent (1925) c ‘Tea For Two’. Benny Goodman: His Best Recordings.

Best of Jazz 4007 (1996).

0 Youngbloods, The (1969) m Get Together. RCA Victor 47-9752.

0 Young, Neil (1970) cmv ‘Southern Man’. After the Gold Rush.

Reprise 7599-27243-1.

0 — (1977) ‘Helpless’. Decade. Reprise 3RS 2257-2

0 — (1989) ‘Rocking In The Free World’ 0 Freedom. Reprise 925 899-1.

0 — & Crazy Horse (1994) cmv ‘Change Your Mind’.

Sleeps with Angels. Reprise 9362 45749 2.


0 Zappa, Frank (1981) cmv You Are What You Is. CBS 88560.

0 Zappa, Frank and the Mothers of Invention (1974)‘Bebop Tango (Of the Old Jazzmen’s Church)’. Roxy & Elsewhere. Discreet K69201.

b Zappa Wiki Jawaka in Hit Parader (1967) G killuglyradio.com/wiki/B%C3%A9la_Bart%C3%B3k [140226].

0 Zara (2000) v ‘Plennitsa’ (Lukanov; Stefanov). Chalga Pokolenie 2. Milena mr 200005-2.

0 Zawinul, Joe (1963) c Mercy Mercy > Adderley (1966); also m Jaco Pastorius (1977) on Curtain Call. Another Hit 2001 (1986).

> Zorba’s Dance >0 Theodorakis (1964)

0 Z.Z. Top (1973) cmv ‘La Grange’. Tres Hombres. Warner K 466121.

0 — (1983) cmv Eliminator. Warner 927334-2. ▪ Gimme All Your Lovin

▪ Sharp Dressed Man ▪ TV Dinners.


List of examples, figures and tables


Tab. 44 Basic typographical conventions for pitch-specific note and chord names 31

Tab. 45 Scale degree abbreviations with c and e[@] as tonic (Â). 33

Fig. 76 8va bassa 38

Tab. 46 Phonetic symbols for ‘BBC English’ 39

Chapter 1 (Note, pitch, tone)

Fig. 77 Sweet Home Alabama: partial MIDI piano roll view 46

Fig. 78 Absolute (fixed) note names in English, French and German 49

Fig. 79 Absolute and relative note designation 50

Tab. 47 Solutions to terminological confusion between tone and tonic 53

Fig. 80 ASDR — Attack, decay, sustain release: four envelopes 60

Fig. 81 Periodic and aperiodic sound waves 61

Fig. 82 Harmonic series based on fundamental pitch c2 (65.5 hz) 62

Fig. 83 Sound waves for flute and clarinet at same fundamental pitch 62

Fig. 84 The piano keyboard’s 88 notes: a0 (27.5 Hz) to c8 (4186 Hz) 69

Chapter 2 (Tuning, octave, interval)

Tab. 48 Western intra-octave intervals (ascending from cn to cn+1) 70

Fig. 85 One octave 70

Ex. 290 Subtonic or leading note? Handel: Antioch; The Foggy Dew (Ir. trad.) 72

Ex. 291 Bombay Railway (2014): recurrent descending Kê motif (d@ in E$) 73

Tab. 49 Intra-octave intervals in just and equal tuning 74

Fig. 86 g#≠a$ 74

Tab. 50 Intra-octave interval pitches for five heptatonic modes 76

Fig. 87 Neanderthal bone flute from Divje Babe (Slovenia) 79

Tab. 51 Some common string-instrument tunings 80

Tab. 52 Some alternate guitar tunings 81

Chapter 3 (‘Heptatonic modes’)

Fig. 88 Ionian mode in G with scale degree numbers and note names 87

Ex. 292 UK national anthem (God Save The Queen) 87

Ex. 293 Fictitious God Save The Queen (also in ionian G) 88

Fig. 89 Euroclassical music’s four modes in scalar form 91

Tab. 53 Heptatonic note names in Arab, Chinese and Hindustani music theory 93

Fig. 90 Modal theory, ancient and modern 95

Fig. 91 The seven European heptatonic diatonic ‘church’ modes 97

Tab. 54 Unique scale-degree profiles of the heptatonic ‘church’ modes . 98

Ex. 294 Simon & Garfunkel (1966): Scarborough Fair (Eng. trad.) E dorian 100

Ex. 295 Steeleye Span (1971): The Blacksmith (Eng. trad.); D dorian 100

Ex. 296 The Drunken Sailor (Eng. trad., cited from memory; D dorian) 100

Ex. 297 Noël Nouvelet (Fr. Trad.); D dorian 100

Ex. 298 Sokrates Málamas (2005): ‘Princess’; E phrygian (dromos Ousák) 101

Ex. 299 Cordigliera (Italian library music, n.d., CAM 004); D phrygian 101

Ex. 300 Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings (1936); bars 4-8; F phrygian 102

Ex. 301 (a) Danny Elfman (1989): The Simpsons theme, lead motif; C lydian

(b) Brian Fahey (1960): BBC Pick of the Pops motif; C lydian 102

Ex. 302 Romanian Polka from Romanian Dances (arr. Bartók, 1915); D lydian 102

Ex. 303 She Moved Through The Fair (Brit./Ir. Trad. cit. mem.) D mixolydian 103

Fig. 92 Highland bagpipe chanter pitches 103

Ex. 304 Tàladh Chriosda (Scot. Gael. trad. via A. Cormack, 2011); mixolydian E$ 104

Ex. 305 The Lark In The Morning (Eng. trad. via Steeleye Span, 1971); mixolydian 104

Ex. 306 The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds (from Irish Street Ballads); mixolydian 104

Ex. 307 I’ve Always Been A Gambler (US Trad. mixolydian 105

Ex. 308 Luiz Gonzaga (Senior): Asa branca (1955) mixolydian 105

Ex. 309 Righteous Brothers: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1964); mixolydian 105

Ex. 310 Beatles: Norwegian Wood, sitar intro (1965b). E mixolydian 105

Ex. 311 Mozart: Symphony no. 40 in G minor (I) (1788), bars 1-4; G æolian 106

Ex. 312 Beethoven: Symphony no. 5 in C minor (I) (1808), bars 6-13; C æolian 106

Ex. 313 Chopin: Marche funèbre (1839); B$ æolian 106

Ex. 314 Kyrie ‘Orbis Factor’: aeolian in D 107

Ex. 315 Billie Holiday: Gloomy Sunday (1941): vocal line, verse 2; æolian 108

Ex. 316 Nino Rota: Theme from Romeo & Juliet (1968); A æolian $Î-Ê 108

Ex. 317 Aerosmith: Janie’s Got A Gun (1989: 4:04-4:34); F æolian $Î-Ê 108

Ex. 318 Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991, verse); F æolian $Î-Ê 109

Ex. 319 Nirvana: Lithium (1991, chorus); D æolian $Î-Ê (f-e) 109

Ex. 320 God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (Eng. trad., cit. mem.) D aeolian 110

Ex. 321 Arturov: Amur Partisan Song (mel. cit. mem.); D aeolian 110

Ex. 322 Kaoma: Lambada (1989). D aeolian 110

Fig. 93 Maqam Rast 115

Fig. 94 Λαϊκοι δρόμοι: popular Greek mode generator applet (screen shot) 115

Fig. 95 A small sample of maqamat with tetrachord designation, scale degrees, scalar steps and alternative names 116

Ex. 323 Egyptian traditional song; Nahawand in A (1973) 118

Ex. 324 Maurice Jarre: Lawrence of Arabia (1963); quasi-Hijaz/Kurd in D 120

Ex. 325 Ketèlbey: In A Persian Market (1920), bars 27-33; quasi-Hijaz in E 121

Ex. 326 Madness: Night Boat To Cairo (1980); quasi-Hijaz hexatonic in F 121

Ex. 327 Dizzy Gillespie: A Night In Tunisia (1957); quasi-Nawa Athar and ‘Gypsy Hungarian’ in D. <Â [$Ê] $Î #Ô Û $ê >$ê $â Û Ô $2 Â 121

Ex. 328 Sokrates Málamas (2005): ‘Princess’; E phrygian (δρόμος Ουσάκ) 122

Ex. 329 Sezen Aksu: Firuze (1982), 2 extracts; Kürdı makamı in B (phrygian) 123

Ex. 330 Idelsohn: Hava Nagila (הבה נגילה); ‘Freygish’, i.e. Hijaz 123

Ex. 331 Beregovski’s Sher (Klezmer); ‘Freygish’, i.e. Hijaz 124

Ex. 332 Haris Alexiou ‘Ap’ ton perasméno Márti’ Hijaz 124

Ex. 333 Ермалък/Ermálak (1992): Българи (=Bulgarians); Hijaz 124

Ex. 334 Iron Maiden: Powerslave (1984); phrygian, Hijaz 125

Ex. 335 Rainbow: Gates of Babylon (1978) riff in E Hijaz Kar 125

Ex. 336 Metallica: Wherever I May Roam (1991) Hijaz Kar 125

Ex. 337 Scale exercises in F# Hijaz (‘Phrygian dominant’ (sic!)) 126

Ex. 338 Misirlou a.k.a ‘Song of the Crickets’ (Afghan trad.). Hijaz Kar 127

Fig. 96 The Andalusian mi-modes 129

Ex. 339 Óscar Herrero (2004): Flamenco Guitar, Estudio N° 19 - Ligados Hijaz 130

Ex. 340 Estribillo de Zorongo; Hijaz ^Î<Ô; phrygian Ô-$Î-$2-Â (descending) 130

Ex. 341 Fosforito: Liviana (simplified); Hijaz and phrygian in G# 130

Ex. 342 Flamenco cadence chords (Soleá) 131

Ex. 343 Estribillo de Vito (baile popular cordobés) 131

Ex. 344 Juan Serrano (2002): Sevillana III; Ô-$Î-$Ê-Â descent 131

Ex. 345 Sylvia Vrethammar (1973): ¡Y viva España! (v. 1 & 2) 133

Tab. 55 Seven Eastern European modes containing a 1½-tone step and/or #Ô 135

Ex. 346 Sarasate (1878) Zigeunerweisen (start of solo violin part) 138

Ex. 347 Bartók (1915). ‘Topogó’ from Six Romanian Dances; hexatonic Nikriz in B 139

Ex. 348 Bartók (1915). ‘Bucsumí tánc’ Six Romanian Dances; Hijaz in A 139

Ex. 349 Bartók (1916): Piano Sonatina, I (‘Dudások’); lydian $7 in D; Â Ê Î #Ô Û â $ê 140

Ex. 350 Bartók (1937): Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion; lydian $7 in C 140

Ex. 351 Bartók (1939): Divertimento for String Orchestra (I), Nikriz Â Ê $Î #Ô Û â $ê 140

Ex. 352 Standard blues piano motifs in F (over F and B$ in Q ) 143

Ex. 353 István Pál (2011): Elhunyt táncos barátaink emlékére; Nikriz 144

Ex. 354 Tivadar Mészáros (1984): Kókai Rezső/Verbunkos Rhapsody; Nikriz in C 144

Ex. 355 José Siqueira (1949): Segunda cantoria de cego; lydian $7; Â Ê ^Î #Ô Û â $ê 145

Ex. 356 Brian Fahey (1960): Theme for BBC Pick of the Pops; lydian $7 145

Ex. 357 Danny Elfman (1989): The Simpsons theme, lydian $7 145

Ex. 358 Morning adhan (call to prayer), Al-Aqsa mosque, Jerusalem (2013) 149

Chapter 4 (‘Non-heptatonic modes’)

Ex. 359 Vigneault/Rochon (1973): Je chante pour (octatonic opening phrase) 151

Ex. 360 Psalm tone 2 (quasi-tetratonic) 152

Ex. 361 Children’s tritonic taunting chant (e g a) 152

Ex. 362 Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet Home Alabama (1974); d e f#/1 2 #3 152

Ex. 363 The Crystals: Da Doo Ron Ron (1963); e$ f g / 1 2 3 152

Fig. 97 Anhemitonic pentatonic mode frequency ratios 153

Fig. 98 Five anhemitonic pentatonic modes (plus one hemitonic) 154

Ex. 364 Sloane (Ir. trad.), b. 1-8 (doh-pentatonic in E$) 154

Ex. 365 The East Is Red ( 东方红 - Chinese trad.), b. 1-4 (doh-pentatonic) 155

Ex. 366 Skye Boat Song (Scot. trad., cit. mem.); doh-pentatonic in G $ 155

Ex. 367 Amazing Grace (1835; mel. cit. mem.); doh-pentatonic in F 155

Fig. 99 Doh-pentatonic modes for examples 75 (E$) and 76 (E) 155

Fig. 100 La-pentatonic modes in G and E 156

Ex. 368 Johnny Cash: Hurt (2009; la-pentatonic A) 156

Ex. 369 The Coo-Coo Bird (US trad., via Ashley, 1929; la-pentatonic G) 156

Ex. 370 Boom Boom (Animals, 1964b, covering Hooker, 1963; la-pentatonic 156

Ex. 371 Shady Grove (US trad. via Clarence Ashley, ré-pentatonic A) 157

Ex. 372 The Braes of Lochiel (Scot. trad., bars 1-5; ré-pentatonic A) 157

Ex. 373 Lowlands Of Holland (UK. trad./Steeleye Span); ré-pentatonic 157

Ex. 374 Female Drummer (Eng. trad./Steeleye Span, 1971; ré-pentatonic C) 157

Fig. 101 Blues pentatonic modes: [1] doh-pentatonic; [2] la-pentatonic;

[3] blues/gospel major pentatonic; [4] blues minor pentatonic 159

Ex. 375 Alex Bradford (1955): Somebody Touched Me 160

Ex. 376 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: You Really Got A Hold On Me 160

Ex. 377 Bessie Smith (1929) I’m Wild About That Thing 160

Ex. 378 Robert Johnson (1936): Kind Hearted Woman Blues 161

Ex. 379 Valentine Brothers (1982): Money’s Too Tight To Mention 161

Ex. 380 Bobby Timmons (1958): Moanin’; $5 as bebop blues. 162

Ex. 381 Henry Mancini (1963): The Pink Panther (repeated $Û extract). 162

Ex. 382 Cream: Sunshine Of Your Smile (1968): blues la-pentatonic riff in A 163

Ex. 383 Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water (1972): la-pentatonic riff in G 163

Fig. 102 The three anhemitonic pentatonic trichords: Doh, Ré and La. 164

Fig. 103 3 + 1 octave-symmetrical tetrachords 164

Fig. 104 ‘White-note’ hexatonic modes containing a perfect fifth 167

Ex. 384 This Old Man (Eng. trad., cit. mem.) doh-hexatonic; Â Ê Î Ô Û â 169

Ex. 385 The Claudy Banks (Eng. trad.); doh-hexatonic Â Ê Î Ô Û â 69

Ex. 386 MacPherson’s Farewell (Scot. trad.); doh-hexatonic Â Ê Î Ô Û â 170

Ex. 387 Tom Jones: It’s Not Unusual (1965); doh-hexatonic Â Ê Î Ô Û â 170

Ex. 388 Ye Jacobites By Name (1791 via The Corries, 1971); la-hexatonic 170

Ex. 389 The Maid Of Coolmore (Ir. trad./Bothy Band, 1976); la-hexatonic 171

Ex. 390 When Johnny Comes Marching Home (US trad.); la-hexatonic 171

Ex. 391 Florence Reece: Which Side Are You On? (1931); la-hexatonic 171

Ex. 392 Hollies: Bus Stop (1966); la-hexatonic Â Ê $Î Ô Û $ê 171

Ex. 393 Dolly Parton: Jolene (1973); Â Ê $Î Ô Û $ê 172

Ex. 394 The Drunken Piper (Scot. trad.) ré-hexatonic Â Ê Ô Û â $ê 172

Ex. 395 Wondrous Love’ (US trad., Southern Harmony) ré-hexatonic 172

Ex. 396 Tiocfaidh an samhradh (Ir. trad. via Bhreatnach, 2007); ré-hexatonic 173

Fig. 105 The two whole-tone scales 174

Ex. 397 Debussy (1910): Voiles, bars 1-4 174

Fig. 106 The two octatonic scales 175

Chapter 5 (‘Melody’)

Ex. 398 Rolling Stones (1965): Satisfaction 181

Ex. 399 Derek and the Dominoes (1970): Layla 181

Ex. 400 A. C. Jobim (1960): Samba de una nota só 181

Ex. 401 D. Modugno (1958): Volare 181

Ex. 402 J. Kosma: Les feuilles mortes 181

Fig. 107 Melodic contour categories 183

Ex. 403 Cole Porter: I Get A Kick Out Of You (1934): rising 184

Ex. 404 The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies (Eng. trad., cit. mem.): falling 184

Ex. 405 Muddy Waters (cited by Miani, 1992); tumbling 184

Ex. 406 Nashville Teens: Tobacco Road (Loudermilk, 1964); intro, tumbling 184

Ex. 407 Beatles: Can’t Buy Me Love (1964); tumbling 184

Ex. 408 Ellington: Satin Doll (1953, start of middle 8); V-shaped 184

Ex. 409 Warszawjanka (Polish trad.): terraced (descent), V-shaped 184

Ex. 410 Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas: From A Window (1964): centric 184

Ex. 411 Mark Snow: X-Files Theme (1996); centric 184

Ex. 412 The Grand Old Duke of York (English trad.); V-shaped, terraced 185

Ex. 413 Beatles: If I Needed Someone (1965); oscillatory. 185

Ex. 414 Ack Värmeland du sköna (Sw. trad.); arched (+ terraced descent) 185

Ex. 415 P. De Rose: Deep Purple; wavy 185

Ex. 416 Beatles: Yesterday (1965); wavy, falling, centric, rising 185

Ex. 417 (a) Misirlou; (b) E. Y. Harburg: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? 185

Ex. 418 Vigneault/Rochon: Je chante pour (1978) 186

Ex. 419 God Save the Queen: commutations of tonal vocabulary 186

Ex. 420 Faltermeyer: Axel F (1984) – (a) original; (b) as legato tune 187

Ex. 421 Song of the Volga Boatmen (Russian trad.) 188

Ex. 422 Capstan Shanty Billy Boy (English trad., Northumbria) 189

Ex. 423 Ferlosio: El gallo negro. 189

Ex. 424 Comin’ Through The Rye (Scot. trad.) 190

Ex. 425 Library music jl hispanicism 1: Cordigliera 190

Ex. 426 Library music hispanicism 2: Duncan: Wine Festival 190

Ex. 427 Library music hispanicism 3: Haider: Spanish Autumn 190

Ex. 428 Poitín (Ir. trad.) – semiquaver triplets 190

Ex. 429 Skye Boat Song (Scot. trad., cit. mem.) 191

Ex. 430 (a) Rossa’s Farewell to Erin (Ir. trad.); (b) The Boys of Wexford (Ir. trad.); (c) Soldier, Soldier (English trad.) 191

Ex. 431 Repeated final note cadence formulae. (a) John Barleycorn (English trad.); (b) The Banks of Newfoundland (English trad.); (c) The Kerry Recruit (Ir. trad.); (d) The Bonny Labouring Boy (Ir. trad.) 191

Ex. 432 Carissimi: Aria ‘I Triumph!’ (Vittoria!) 192

Ex. 433 Abba: Fernando (1975) 192

Ex. 434 Egyptian trad. (cit. mem., see ftnt. 61, p. 118) 192

Ex. 435 Mameluk, a.k.a. Aya-Zehn (Egyptian trad.) 192

Ex. 436 Russian 5-4-1 melodic cadences: (a) V. Soloviov-Sedoy: Podmoskovnye Vechera; (b) Aturov: Partisan Song 192

Ex. 437 Mikaelidagen (Sw. trad., cit. Ling, 1964: 114) 192

Ex. 438 Vårvindar friska (Sw. trad., Vi gör musik, 1970: 114) 193

Ex. 439 Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (1868: start) 193

Ex. 440 Roy Milton: Hucklebuck (1949). 193

Ex. 441 Gershwin: A Foggy Day in London Town (1937) 195

Ex. 442 Melodic anaphora — Silvers: April Showers; Akst: Am I Blue? 195

Ex. 443 Rossini: William Tell Overture (1829) a.k.a. The Lone Ranger theme (1949); propulsive repetition (‘ready-steady-go!’) 196

Ex. 444 R. Schumann: Träumerei, Op. 15 nº 7 (1838) 197

Ex. 445 Carmichael. Stardust (1929) 197

Ex. 446 Charles Williams: The Dream of Olwen (1947 197

Ex. 447 Ketèlbey: In A Monastery Garden (1915) 197

Ex. 448 J. Williams: Star Wars (1977); main theme 198

Ex. 449 J. Williams: Superman (1978); main theme 198

Ex. 450 B. Kaper: The FBI theme (1965) 198

Ex. 451 A. Newman: How The West Was Won (1963); film theme 198

Ex. 452 W. Goldenberg: Kojak (1972); TV theme 198

Ex. 453 ‘Recitation’ melody — (a) Latin psalmody, tone 2 (plagal); (b) Brassens: Le gorille (1952); (c) The Who: Pinball Wizard (1969) 199

Ex. 454 ’Jesus Christ is Ris’n Today’ (Methodist Hymn Book, 1933) 200

Ex. 455 Cuil Duibh-Re (Ir. trad., via Diarmuid O’Súillebháin 201

Ex. 456 ’Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah’ (Old Regular Baptists) 201

Ex. 457 Beatles: Not A Second Time (1963) 201

Ex. 458 Searchers: Goodbye, My Love (1965) 202

Chapter 6 (‘Polyphony’)

Ex. 459 Arpeggiated right-hand keyboard figures. Animals: House Of The Rising Sun (1964); Elton John: Your Song (1971) 207

Ex. 460 Heterophonic cadential formula in Greek Tsamiko music 210

Ex. 461 Hebridean Home Worship: 5-voice heterophony of Martyrdom 211

Ex. 462 Martyrdom (Congregational Praise, no. 390, b. 1-8) 212

Ex. 463 Old 100th (French Psalter, 1551) 212

Ex. 464 Cwm Rhondda (refrain) (John Hughes) 213

Ex. 465 Abba: Fernando (1975): repeat and fade 214

Ex. 466 Call and response overlap: Please Mr. Postman (Marvelettes, 1961) 216

Ex. 467 Melodic line, lead and bass in Satisfaction (Rolling Stones, 1965) 216

Chapter 7 (Chords)

Fig. 108 Tertial common triads on each degree of C ionian / A aeolian 220

Tab. 56 Four types of tertial triads (on c) + 2 diminished tetrads 222

Tab. 57 Roman-numeral triads for all seven steps in all ‘church’ modes 223

Ex. 468 I vi ii7 V7 sequence (‘vamp’) in C and D major 224

Fig. 109 C major triad inverted 225

Tab. 58 Familiar occurrences of tertial chords 226-229

Fig. 110 Symbols used in Table 16 231

Tab. 59 Lead sheet chord shorthand chart for C 232-233

Tab. 60 Full names of most lead sheet chords in Table 16: 233

Tab. 61 Normal order of components in lead-sheet chord shorthand 235

Fig. 111 Six basic quartal dyads and triads with abbreviations 240

Fig. 112 E$9 and EY9 242

Chapter 8 (‘Classical’ harmony)

Fig. 113 Triads and tetrads in tertial and quartal harmony 251

Fig. 114 Leading notes and voice leading in C 253

Fig. 115 Ionian mode: leading notes and directionality 253

Fig. 116 The ‘key clock’ or circle of fifths 256

Fig. 117 Circles c-c of (1) falling 5ths/rising 4ths; (2) rising 5ths/falling 4ths 258

Ex. 469 Half/imperfect cadence halfway: ¡Y viva España (Vrethammar, 1973) 259

Ex. 470 Uninterrupted final cadence on vi/i: Um Um Um Um Um 261

Fig. 118 Modulatory (‘real’) and key-specific (‘virtual’) circle-of-fifths progressions in C (falling/anticlockwise) 263

Tab. 62 Examples of anticlockwise circle-of-fifth progressions in English-language popular song (Types: real, virtual, both [real and virtual]) 263

Fig. 119 Seventh chords in key-specific (virtual) sequence anti-clockwise round the circle of fifths: (i) C major; (ii) D$ major; (iii) G# minor 264

Ex. 471 Rolling Stones: Brown Sugar (1971). Clockwise circle-of-fifths progression through plagal ornamentation of aeolian cadence $VI-$VII-I. 265

Tab. 63 Clockwise circle-of-fifth progressions in English-language rock music 265

Ex. 472 Mendelssohn (1845): Oh! For the Wings of a Dove 267

Ex. 473 James L Molloy: Love’s Old Sweet Song (1882) 268

Ex. 474 Subdominant second inversion as second chord (Ave Maria chord): J S Bach: Prelude in C major, Wohltemperiertes Klavier, I (1722); Elton John: Your Song (1970) 269

Ex. 475 Inversions through descending bass in major key: (a) J S Bach: Air from Orchestral Suite in D Major (1731); (b) Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967); (c) Morricone: ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ (1986) 269

Ex. 476 Altered supertonic seventh chord in third inversion: Mozart: Ave verum corpus; Procol Harum: Homburg; Abba: Waterloo 269

Fig. 120 Possible renditions in C of VI-II-V-I in jazz harmony 270

Chapter 9 (Non-classical tertial harmony)

Fig. 121 I-IV-V-IV-I in D ionian: (a) classical harmony; (b) with barré chords 275

Tab. 64 Major triad positions in unaltered ‘church’ modes 276

Ex. 477 Farnaby: Loth to Depart (c. 1610): aeolian harmony with major tonic 277

Ex. 478 Darling Corey (Watson 1963): major tonic triad for minor-mode tune 278

Ex. 479 Weelkes: Hark, All Ye Lovely Saints (c.1610) 279

Ex. 480 Slide guitar chords for Vigilante Man (Guthrie via Cooder, 1971) 279

Fig. 122 Typical shapes for playing an E5 power chord (Lilja, 2009: 104) 280

Fig. 123 Power chord harmonics for A5 (a2 110 Hz, e3 165 Hz) 281

Ex. 481 Rolling Stones (1971): Bitch (approximation for acoustic piano) 281

Ex. 482 Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath (1969, tritone riff) 282

Ex. 483 Nirvana: Lithium (1991: chorus, 00:37-00:54) 283

Ex. 484 Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991: chorus) 283

Fig. 124 Blues-pentatonic power chords, distortion fundamental, partials 284

Tab. 65 Tertial triad types for scale degrees in the six church modes 285

Ex. 485 Poor Murdered Woman (Eng. trad.) dorian tertial triads 286

Tab. 66 Examples of major triads in non-classical tertial harmony 287

Ex. 486 Phrygian harmony: popular malagueña figure 288

Ex. 487 Phrygian harmony: Carlos Puebla: Hasta siempre. 288

Ex. 488 Phrygian harmony: Kouyioumtzis: Τρείς η ώρα νύχτα (Alexiou, 1976) 289

Ex. 489 Lydian: Folk och Rackare (1979): Vilborg på kveste (Norway trad.) 289

Ex. 490 Mixolydian: Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds (Ir. trad.): I IV $VII 290

Ex. 491 Mixolydian: Rounding The Horn (Eng. trad): I IV $VII 291

Ex. 492 Mixolydian shuttle: Tiomkin: Duel in the Sun (1947) 291

Ex. 493 Mixolydian shuttle: Mancini: Cade’s County (1971) 291

Ex. 494 Cowboy half cadence: The Shadows: Dakota (1963) 291

Ex. 495 Cowboy half cadences: Brooks/Morris: Blazing Saddles (1974) 291

Chapter 10 (Quartal harmony)

Fig. 125 Six common quartal chords containing c and f 293

Fig. 126 Six basic quartal dyads and triads with abbreviations 294

Fig. 127 Quartal/quintal stackings 295

Fig. 128 Three tertial and three quartal triads in inversion 296

Fig. 129 Quartal stack key clock 298

Fig. 130 C quartal pentad stacks, pentatonic modes and core triads 299

Fig. 131 Quartal neighbourhoods 300

Fig. 132 Tertial and quartal triads flatwards round key clock 300

Fig. 133 Quartal triad progressions and tonical neighbourhoods 302

Fig. 134 Quartal triads above twelve different bass notes 304

Fig. 135 Nine basic quartal chords 305

Fig. 136 Eleventh chords 306

Ex. 496 (a) Notional quartal-style phrygian ending; (b) Andalusian cadence 305

Ex. 497 Dvořák (1893): New World Symphony, II (largo); ‘gospel’ cadence 307

Ex. 498 Deep River (US. trad., arr. Harry T Burleigh, 1916): gospel cadence 307

Ex. 499 Joe Zawinul, Cannonball Adderley (1963): Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 308

Ex. 500 Martha and the Vandellas (1964): Dancing In The Street; intro. 308

Ex. 501 Lead-in to return of main riff in Dancing In The Street 211 308

Ex. 502 Doc Watson et al. (1963): Amazing Grace; doh-pentatonic V-I in F. 309

Ex. 503 Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man; Appalachian Spring 310

Ex. 504 (a) ‘Copland chords’; (b) Mike Post (1980): Hill St. Blues (opening) 311

Ex. 505 Goldenberg (1973): Kojak (main theme, bars 18-24) 312

Ex. 506 Walter Werzowa (1993): Intel Inside jingle 312

Ex. 507 The McLaughlin Group (public affairs TV; c. 1986) 313

Tab. 67 Quartal tracks on the album Aspire and Achieve (2013) 314

Ex. 508 Schubert (1827): Der Leiermann (opening piano accomp.) 316

Ex. 509 Mussorgsky (1874): ‘The Old Castle’ (Pictures at an Exhibition) 316

Ex. 510 Vernacular Russian vocal harmony, cited by Calvacoressi (1946: 186) 316

Ex. 511 Borodin: (a) The Sleeping Princess (1867) (E$õ, etc.)

(b) Song of the Dark Forest (1868) (F#5, G2, A2, etc.) 317

Ex. 512 (a) De Falla: Farruca from El sombrero de tres picos (1919); (b) Ir. trad., arr. Hughes: She Moved Through The Fair (final chords) 318

Ex. 513 Debussy (1910): La cathédrale engloutie (Préludes, 1910) 318

Ex. 514 Debussy: Sarabande (Pour le piano, 1901): quartal passage (þ) 318

Ex. 515 Stravinsky (1911): Petrushka (opening bars) 319

Ex. 516 Bartók (1939): Divertimento for Strings, II: (quartal triads doubled) 320

Ex. 517 Morricone (1986): ‘Penance’ from The Mission; Á10 320

Ex. 518 Bartók (1917): String Quartet 2, III (lento) 321

Ex. 519 Hindemith (1934): Mathis der Mahler, ‘Grablegung’ 322

Fig. 137 Google search for ‘quartal harmony’: mostly jazz tutorials. 323

Ex. 520 Miles Davis: ‘So What?’ (Kind of Blue, 1959): chorus bars 1-19 323

Ex. 521 Blues in F: piano left hand and bass; quartal voicing, not harmony. 325

Ex. 522 Freddie Hubbard: riff/loop from Red Clay (1970) 327

Ex. 523 McCoy Tyner (1967) Blues On The Corner 327

Ex. 524 Sting: Seven Days (1993) 329

Ex. 525 King Crimson: ‘Frame By Frame’ (Discipline, 1981) 330

Ex. 526 Joni Mitchell (1971): This Flight Tonight 332

Ex. 527 Manfred Mann: I’m Your Kingpin (1964: riff on i) 333

Fig. 138 Five-string banjo tunings 335

Ex. 528 Shady Grove (Scot.-US trad. via Clarence Ashley); ré-pentatonic 335

Tab. 68 Counterpoise kickback points in examples 239-241 339

Ex. 529 The Drunken Sailor (Eng. trad.) with droned accompaniments: 338

Ex. 530 Farewell To Erin (Ir. trad., Bothy Band); counterpoise placement 339

Ex. 531 Vänner och fränder (Sw. trad., Folk och Rackare, 1978) 341

Ex. 532 Richard Thompson: Sam Jones (1996); opening bars (simplified) 343

Ex. 533 Richard Thompson: Yankee Go Home (1988); final verse 343

Ex. 534 The Tailor and the Mouse (Eng. trad. after Mrs. O.M. Tagg) 344

Ex. 535 Possible guitar pattern for example 247 346

Ex. 536 The Tailor and the Mouse with tonic drone and alternating tonic-counterpoise fifths, both separate (G5\F5) and combined (G5\Gæ) 347

Ex. 537 The Tailor and the Mouse with shuttled drone and bass line 348

Chapter 11 (One-chord changes)

Tab. 69 Engdahl’s bebop chords for a blues in A$ 353

Ex. 538 Satisfaction guitar riff shuttle occupying 3.6 seconds 356

Ex. 539 Dancing In The Street (Martha & Vandellas, 1964); transp. from F. 357

Ex. 540 Chuck Berry: Nadine (1964): generic tonal groove for B$ tonic (6.7") 358

Fig. 139 Nadine’s ‘B$’ 359

Fig. 140 Oom-pa[pa] 360

Ex. 541 Arpeggiated Country ballad accompaniment figure in G with shuttling fifth (d): fits chorus of Detroit City (Bobby Bare, 1963) 360

Ex. 542 F. L. Bénech: L’hirondelle du faubourg (1912) with accordéon musette ’caroussel’ arpeggiation in G and bass-line shuttling to the fifth (d) 361

Ex. 543 Musette waltz one-chord loops in G without arpeggiation 362

Ex. 544 One-voice plagal embellishment of ^Î: Needles and Pins (Searchers, 1964) 362

Ex. 545 Plagal rock shuttle (generic pattern: G as G-C-G) 363

Ex. 546 Can I Get A Witness (Marvin Gaye): plagal extension of G to C and G7 no 5 363

Ex. 547 Plagal extension of G to C and G7 no 5; generic slow blues 363

Ex. 548 Plagal alternation of G and C over bass fifth shuttles with anticipated chord changes; fits slowish pop ballads, e.g. Ode To Billie Joe (Gentry, 1967) 364

Ex. 549 Harmonic groove from Watermelon Man (Hancock, 1962; transposed from F): ‘11-chord’ effect of plagal alternation with shuttle fifth in bass 364

Ex. 550 G7, plagal expansion (C) and D11 effect; fits Mercy Mercy (Covay, 1966) 365

Ex. 551 Expansion of I to I IV $III IV (G C B$ C) in verses of Living For The City (Wonder 1973) with resultant G7, CzÙ, B$zg=Gm7 and D11 365

Ex. 552 Expansion of I to I $III IV (G B$ C) in Green Onions (Booker T, 1962) 365

Ex. 553 I expanded to I+9 with heavy anacrusis in Foxy Lady (Hendrix 1967c) 366

Ex. 554 Plagal and bluenote ($Î, $Û, $ê) contrapuntal expansion of G, producing momentary dissonances; fits Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard 1958) 366

Ex. 555 Incomplete G7 chord with delayed bass root: Lively Up Yourself (Marley 1975) 366

Ex. 556 G major section in the middle of Shaft (Isaac Hayes 1971) 367

Ex. 557 Single tonic chord in bars 11-12 of a 12-bar blues expanded to turnaround sequence 367

Ex. 558 Final tonic in 12-bar blues extended to standard closing sequence 368

Chapter 12 (Chord shuttles)

Ex. 559 E\A shuttle in different keys: (1) Satisfaction (Rolling Stones, 1965);

(2) Symphony N°7 in A, last movement, bars 5-8 (Beethoven, 1812). 373

Tab. 70 Examples of shuttles to and from the second 374

Tab. 71 Shuttles to and from the fourth (I\IV, plagal) 376

Ex. 560 Mila moja (‘A’ section; Serbian trad., cit. mem.) 381

Ex. 561 Kylie Minogue (2001): Can’t Get You Out Of My Head 382

Tab. 72 Examples of shuttles to and from the fifth 383-384

Tab. 73 Examples of shuttles to and from the sixth 385

Ex. 562 Police: Don’t Stand So Close To Me (1980): two distinct tonal spheres 388

Tab. 74 Examples of shuttles to and from the seventh 389

Ex. 563 Dvořák (1893): minor-mode ‘folk tune’ from New World Symphony 391

Ex. 564 Elvis Presley: Return To Sender (1962; chorus) and Human League: Don’t You Want Me, Baby? (1981; hypothetical ending) 393

Ex. 565 The Champs: Tequila (1958) – mixolydian shuttle in F 394

Ex. 566 What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? (Eng. trad.) 396

Ex. 567 The Tailor And The Mouse (Eng. trad.) 397

Ex. 568 Van Diemen’s Land (Eng. trad.) with pitch pole markings 398

Chapter 13 (Chord loops 1)

Ex. 569 Typical piano turnaround for a slow 12-bar blues in F, bars 11-12. 402

Tab. 75 A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (1940): viable chord changes for ‘A’ section of chorus in AABA form. 405

Tab. 76 Blue Moon (1934): vamp loops, turnarounds in a 32-bar jazz standard; 405

Fig. 141 (a) I vi ii/IV V in C; (b) interchangeability of II and IV in C. 408

Tab. 77 Sample of I-vi-IV-V ‘milksap’ recordings (USA 1957-63) 409

Fig. 142 Chord positions/functions inside loop with vamp as example 415

Chapter 14 (Chord loops & bimodality)

Ex. 570 Ketty Lester: Love Letters (1962): start of first verse 411

Ex. 571 Eddie Cochran: C’mon Everybody (1958): 5½" ionian intro pattern 414

Tab. 78 Selection of ionian chord loops consisting of only I, IV and V 422

Ex. 572 Same three chords, two different tonics 426

Ex. 573 Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet Home Alabama (1974): two lead guitar licks. 430

Tab. 79 Examples of songs containing simple three-chord mixolydian loops 431

Fig. 143 Basic mixolydian and ionian directionality towards tonic in G 432

Fig. 144 Aeolian directionality 433

Ex. 574 Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders: Um Um Um Um Um (1964); uninterrupted final plagal aeolian cadence 434

Ex. 575 Beatles: Not A Second Time (1963c); uninterrupted aeolian cadence 435

Ex. 576 Psalm tone 2 (end of final ‘Gloria patri et filio’…) 435

Ex. 577 Los Calchakis: Quiquenita (Argentina trad. La flûte indienne, 1968) 437

Ex. 578 Carlos Puebla: ¡Hasta siempre! aeolian and phrygian. 438

Fig. 145 Aeolian (harmonic minor) in F# to phrygian (Hijaz) in C#: bimodal harmony in Puebla’s Comandante Che Guevara (ex. 289). 439

Tab. 80 Bimodal reversibility of progressions (examples only) 441

Tab. 81 Mediantal chord loops (selection) 442

Chapter 15 (The Yes We Can chords)

Fig. 146 The four Yes We Can chords captured from YouTube (Adams 2008) 452

Fig. 147 Generic Yes We Can guitar accomp. pattern 452

Tab. 82 Guardame las vacas chord matrix in Em/G 453

Tab. 83 ‘Overcoming hardship’ and I-x-vi-IV progression of Yes We Can 474

Tab. 84 Brief summary of Yes We Can’s harmonic IOCM and its PMFCs 475


Fig. 148 Enharmonic spellings and misspellings 485

Fig. 149 Enharmonics: 12 × 12-note chromatic scales (equal-tone tuning) 486

Tab. 85 Heptatonic note names in Indian and Arabic music theory 490

Fig. 150 Tetrachords and scale steps for some heptatonic modes 502

Tab. 86 Symbols used in this appendix 505



Alphabetical Index 562

X Scale degree index 595 X ($Ê Â, etc.)

A Chord shorthand index 598 A (m7$5, etc.)

k Chord sequence index 599 k (I-vi-ii/IV-V, etc.)

Icons, information and typographical conventions

1. Symbols/Icons. q = See |À = see above under current main entry| à = see below under current main entry|qà = see under | Qq = compared to, in conjunction with | ] = see also |X = see scale degree index | A = see chord shorthand index | k = see chord sequence index.

2. Cross references to other entries in the alphabetical index are in this font. References to subentries are in this font (e.g. ‘ascending melodic minor qmelodic à minor àascent’). All references are to the main alphabetical index unless preceded by ‘X’, ‘A’ or ‘k’ (see §1).

3. Italics. Titles of all written or recorded works, as well as words or expressions not commonly used in anglophone music studies, are in italics (e.g. ‘Abbey Road’, ‘Adagio for Strings’, ‘Adeste Fideles’ , ‘Apache’; ‘accordéon musette’, ‘baião’.

4. Proper names (human) are, page or column space permitting, formatted Surname, Forename (e.g. ‘Bartók, Bela’); otherwise they are formatted Surname, Initial[s] (e.g. ‘Bénech, F L’).

5. Underlined page numbers refer to a music example (e.g. ‘Axel F 187’).

6. Footnote entries in the alphabetical index are in this smaller font (e.g. ‘Ahava Rabboh 124’, ‘Carey, Mariah 176’). If reference to a footnote occurs among normal page references, the relevant page numbers only, not the headword, is assigned the same smaller font (e.g. pp. 113 and 138 in the entry ‘Bulgaria[n] 113, 124, 125, 127, 138, 374’). N.B. Footnote references are not included if normal reference is made to the same page and they are not distinguished from normal page references in the numerical indexes.

7. Bold type indicates particularly important or substantial references, definitions, etc. (e.g. ‘aeolian …26, 76, 77, 91, 95–99, 113, 116, 165…’).


The page-number references are generated semi-automatically and seem to be mostly correct, judging from a test carried out in September 2014. However, the distinction between normal, bolded, footnote and music-example references, explained under §§3-7, above, is not always applied consistently.

Creating the numerical indexes was a complicated task. Please note that those supplementary indexes are not exhaustive and that I have been unable to verify the accuracy of more than a random sample of page references.

Alphabetical index


a = 440 Hz 49, 65, 79

a cappella 479

AABA form 404, 417

abandon (somatic) 176

Abba 69, 192, 214, 228, 229, 269, 377, 380, 408, 422, 443, 446, 470

Abbey Road 418, 430

ABC (TV) 313

Abilene 460, 462

abolitionists 473, 475

absolute pitch 66

abuse 109

AC/DC 156, 284, 443

academic safari 15

accelerando 137

accentuation 187

accidental[s] 37, 254, 479, 484

accompaniment 15, 140, 141, 144, 179, 205, 206, 207, 209, 213, 230, 238, 247, 251, 275, 277, 278, 279, 317, 331, 339, 340, 342

droned 337, 338, 339, 340, 342, 344

piano 353–369

Qqmelody 219, 251 ] melody-accomp. dualism

accordion 78

French (accordéon musette) 47, 82, 361

Ack Värmeland du sköna 185

acknowledgements 43

acoustic/acoustics 22, 58

discrepancies 75

instruments 59

Adagio for Strings 102

Adams, William 451

added chords 233, 239, 293, 294, 347

ninth 228, 233

sixth 226

Adderley, Cannonball 308

Adderley, Nat 162

Addinsell, Richard 227

additive metre 124

Adeste Fideles 268

adhan (call to prayer) 149

Adonoy Molokh 135


advert [-ise[-ment]/-ising] 162, 141, 307, 310, 350, 507

aeolian 25, 26, 76, 77, 91, 95–99, 113, 116, 165, 176, 186, 255, 258, 274, 276, 277, 283, 285, 287, 288, 385, 386, 387, 391, 396, 416, 417, 418, 433, 441, 445, 446, 451, 479, 511


directionality 433

examples 105–112

half cadence 286

happy Qq sad 107–112

harmony 433–442

hexatonic 166, 167

loop 433–442

shuttle 286, 386–388, 433

tertial harmony 291–292

Aerosmith 108, 111, 156

aesthesic 479

affirmation/affirmative 475

Afghanistan Trad. 127

Africa 75, 155, 215

West 177

African American[s] 159, 176, 202, 465, 476

gospel singers 201

After Midnight 442

agogic 188, 491

agogo 465

Ahava Rabboh 124

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough 229

Air (Bach) 269, 461

Akst, Harry 195

Aksu, Sezen 122, 123

Alabama Song 226

alap 200

Al-Aqsa mosque 149

Albion Country Band 169, 286, 342, 389, 398

Alconbury 343

aleatoric 479

Alén, Olavo 437

Alexiou, Haris (Χάρις Αλεξίου) 124, 287, 288, 289

Alfvén, H 209

Alice in Chains 112

alienat-[ion/-ed] 283, 469

All Along The Watchtower 287, 385, 387

All My Loving 418

All Saints 383

All The Things You Are 263

All This Time 376

All Together Now 472, 474, 478

All You Fascists Bound To Lose 457

alla breve 187, 394

Allan, Lily 374, 375

Alleluia 200

Already Gone 422

Am I Blue? 195

Amazing Grace 155, 309

ambient 209

Amélie 102

Amen 435, 475

plagal 259, 323, 413, 456, 475, 497

plainchant 435


dream 385

North 175, 177

American in Paris 142

Among the Arabs 121

Amorosa guajira 437

Amos, Tori 384

Amur Partisan Song 110, 192

anacrusis/anacrustic 46, 395, 413, 415, 427, 429, 430, 479

anaphora 194, 195, 480

And I Love Her 417

Andalusia[n] 128, 129, 135

qcadence àAndalusian

Andean/Andes 155, 437, 453–455, 491

Angel Baby 409

anger/angry 283, 469

rock 468

Anger is an Energy 110

Anglo-American 290

angst/anguish 107, 110, 108, 111, 126, 283, 471

anguish management 110

anhemitonic 153, 480

pentatonic 79, 153,

154–163, 177

Animals, The 156, 207, 447

Anka, Paul 409

Another Girl Another Planet 451, 472

El Antechispa 438

anthem 476

national 92, 112, 187, 226, 251, 267

UK 87, 88, 186

USA 99, 268

pop/rock 451, 473, 475

anthemic 451, 473, 474, 475

anticipated downbeats 188

anticlockwise 19, 253, 255, 257, 260, 262, 270, 301, 403, 406, 413, 431

anti-depressants 110

Antioch 72

antiphony 208

antiquity 105

antitonic q counterpoise

anti-Vietnam war movement 416

Any Colour You Like 379

Ap’ ton perasméno Márti 124

Apache 377

Apel, W 216

aperiodic sound 51, 61

Apollo-Soyuz broadcasts 310

Appalachia[-n[-s]] 78, 104, 155, 170, 191, 293, 309, 396

Appalachian Spring 310, 315

April Showers 195

Arab[ic] 86 ] maqam

Andalusia 128

arabic numbers 32, 37, 50

heterophony 210, 217

language 187, 192

music 18, 192, 210, 217

music theory 77, 86, 89, 93, 113–120, 123, 134, 136, 151, 196, 490, 493, 500, 507, 508

note names 93–94

phrygian 101

Western connotations/stereotypes 120, 127, 176, 187, 316

world 75, 81

Arch Enemy 126

archaic/archaism 112, 177, 187, 315, 316, 335, 336

Archies, The 375, 376

Argentina trad. 437, 491

Arkansas State Prison 161

Arlen, H 406

Armenia 80

A-Roving 188

arpeggio/arpeggiation 137, 206, 343, 360, 361, 435, 473

Arrested Development 376

arrows (uses of) 39

Artists United Ag. Apartheid 476

Arturov, T 110, 192

Asa branca 105

ascend[ing]/ascent 39, 54, 55, 68, 70, 73, 83, 86, 87, 91, 129, 197, 252, 267, 425, 468, 469, 493

enharmonic 485, 486

fifths 257, 261, 492

leading note Xê-î

melodic minor 390, 494


Qq descent 90, 118, 130, 136, 253, 449

Ashkenazim 135

Ashley, Clarence 156, 157, 326, 335

Ashley, Monty 403

Aspirational themes for Technology, Science, Business, Commerce and Design 313

Aspire and Achieve 313, 314

At Last 405

At The Hop 409

Atacama 438

attack (ac.) 58, 59, 60, 61

‘atonal’ (sic!) 52-53


chord 174

fifth 70, 236, 237X#Û

fourth 70, 266, 325 X#Ô

second 13, 23, 35, 70, 113, 120, 125, 134, 137, 138, 147

X Â-#Ê, #Ê

sixth 70

triad 222, 226, 238 A+

Auld Lang Syne 155

Australia 208

Austro-Hungarian Empire 137

Autumn Leaves q Feuille morte

avant-garde 417

rock 243

Ave Maria chord 269, 480

Ave verum corpus 269

Axel F 187, 195

Aya-Zehn 192

Aymara 491


Ba-Benzélé 490

Baby It’s You 385

Baby, Now That I’ve Found You 228, 229, 429

Bach, J S 18, 65, 241, 269, 480

Bacharach B 227, 228, 380

Bachelor Boy 389, 391

Bachman Turner 431

backing vocals 213, 251, 470

backwardness 315, 350

Badalmenti, A 209, 384, 385

Baez, Joan 471

bagpipe[s] 98, 139, 140, 208

chanter 103

Northumbrian 208

baião 104

balalaika 81

Bali 491

Balkan[s] 75, 176, 208, 288, 290

modes 134–145

ballad[s] 423

Country 360, 423

‘folk’/trad. 354, 443, 446

parlour 483

pop 228, 364

romantic 251

singing 200

slow 228

La Bamba 11, 275, 287, 398, 415, 418, 421, 422, 425, 427–432, 440

loop 403, 436, 480

minor 286, 450


author in 372

big 230, 406, 407, 412, 428

characterisation 458

cover 359

four-man 476

jazz 215, 387, 461

jump 412

R&B 340

rhythm section 489

Scottish country 340

wind 137

Band, The 431, 443, 470, 471, 476, 509

Band Aid 476, 509

bandola 454

banjo 80

tuning 293, 334–336, 335

Banks of Newfoundland 191

Bar Kays 431

Barber, Samuel 102, 439

Bare, Bobby 360

Barley Wagons 310

Barn av vår tid 386, 387

Baron, Maurice 121

baroque 262, 406

barré 278, 292

ionian mode 275

Barrera, Nando 43, 128

Barry, John 227

Bartók, Béla 102, 138–144, 139, 140, 148, 266, 290, 293, 319, 320, 321, 326, 329, 350

Concerto for Orchestra 141

Divertimento 140–141

heritage (with Kodály) 144

reputation 142

Piano Concerto nº 2 322

Sonata for two pianos & percussion 140

Sonatina (Szonatina) 140

String Quartet nº 2 321

tonal idiom 143

Basarwa 490

bass 80, 213, 340, 348, 413, 466

anacrusis 395, 413, 414, 415

figured 245

figure[s] à lines

line[s] 68, 209, 215, 216, 240–241, 264, 269, 257, 271, 346-348, 361-362, 364, 366, 368, 374, 382, 347, 415, 429, 460, 461, 466, 470, 494

descent 232, 241, 269

instrument 46, 48, 66, 80, 144, 163, 213, 264, 394, 466, 499

double 355

low pitch 98, 238, 331

note[s] 131, 225, 229, 233, 234, 238, 241, 243, 276, 296, 299, 303, 304, 305, 310, 324, 329, 347, 360, 361, 366, 372, 407, 460, 477, 480

in quartal triads 303

part 213, 241, 263, 306, 307, 323, 325, 326, 328, 330, 340, 343, 359, 363, 415, 468, 469, 466, 470

vocal 212

player 126, 230, 239, 464

shuttle 364

slap 491

sub-bass 209, 388

bawling 469

Bayati 76, 77, 114, 116

BBC 112

English 41

news/news jingle 149, 313, 378

news reader 54

Pick of the Pops 102, 145

space themes 310

Top of the Pops 445

Be My Baby 409

Beach Boys 228, 229, 443

Beatles 18, 28, 72, 105, 184, 185, 201, 224, 226, 227, 228, 229, 263, 290, 376, 408, 410, 411, 416, 417, 422, 430, 431, 433, 434, 435, 471, 472, 474, 476

harmony 416–418

in Hamburg 417

Beautiful South 422

bebop q jazz à bebop

Because (Beatles) 227, 228

Beethoven L van 106, 111, 209, 315, 355, 373, 381

Symphony nº 5 381

Symphony nº 7 373, 383

Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite 226

bel canto 187

Belfast Child 103

Bell-Bottom Blues 460, 470

bells 61

bend 114, 79, 159, 161

Bénech, F L 361

Benton, Brook 389

Beregovski’s Sher 124

Berg, Alban 52

Bernstein, Elmer 310

Bernstein, Leonard 310

Berry, Chuck 354, 355, 358–359, 371, 409, 412

Bertolucci, B 214

Bertrand, Simon 43, 320

El beso discreto 437

Beverly Hills Cop 187, 311

big band qband à big

Big Ben Banjo Band 228

Big Blue Sky 333

Big Country 422, 511

bïlinï 200

Billboard 408, 415

Billy Boy 188, 189

Billy the Kid 315

bimodal[-ity] 26, 434–442, 445, 453–455, 480

reversibility 20, 26, 441, 480

bipolar[-ity] 109

The Birds (film) 52

Bitch 281

Bitches Brew 328

bitonal 243

bitter 109

bitter-sweet 228

Bizet, Georges 133

Björnberg, Alf 176, 291, 387, 464

Björnlert, Pelle 340

Black (Pearl Jam) 112

Black Nag 335

black notes qpianoàkeybd…

Black Power 159

Black Sabbath 126, 162, 163, 282

Black Sabbath 282

Blackleg Miner 342

The Blacksmith 100, 447

Blake, Norman 169

Blazing Saddles 291

Blood Sweat & Tears 227, 329, 366

Blowing in the Wind 198

Blue (Joni Mitchell) 331

Blue Danube 226, 268

Blue Moon 263, 405, 409

bluegrass 75

blues 75, 81, 142, 143, 147, 155, 176, 183, 288, 353, 363, 365, 400, 402, 420, 448

artists 229

‘bluesy’ 126, 177, 187, 359

Delta 81

ending 368

fifth 161–163, 176 ]X$Û

in F 141, 142, 402

pentatonic 32, 34, 158–163, 279, 284

doh- (major) 159–161

gospel 159

la- (minor) 161–163

piano 142, 367, 368, 402

motifs in F 143

q rock à blues-based

seventh 161 ]X$ê

slow 363, 462

smudge 359, 363

third 160, 161 ]X$Î

smudged 363

turnaround 367–368, 402, 403, 483

twelve-bar 21, 325, 328, 353, 365, 367, 368, 402, 410, 412, 413, 415, 417, 495

bebop chords 325, 353

vamp v. rock 411 ff.

Blues Brothers 445

Blues On The Corner 327, 328

Bluesette 263

Bo Diddley 355, 358

‘Bobbies’ (‘goddam’) 407

body 412

movement 188

melodic profile 188–189

bolero 436

Boléro 137

Bolivia 491

Bombay Railway 73

bone flute 79

Bonny Labouring Boy 191

boogie-woogie 412

Book Of Love 409

Booker T and the MGs 287, 365, 442

Boom Boom 156

Bootie Call 383

bop q jazz à bebop

Borodin, A P 317

bossa nova 227

Bothy Band 170, 171, 339, 389

bottleneck guitar 275, 279

Bound For The Rio Grande 188


European 177, 252, 278

Spanish 128

bouzouki 80, 81

Bowie, David 385, 386, 443, 445

Boys of Wexford 191

Bradby, Barbara 451, 464

Bradford, Alex 159, 160

Braes of Lochiel 157

Le branle des chevaux 342

brass instruments 59

Brassens, Georges 199

Brazil 104, 105, 144, 145, 437

mixolydian 290

breathe/breathing 180, 463

Breathe (Pink Floyd) 379

Breathnach, Gearóidín 173

Brena, Lepa 124

Brenda Stubbert’s Reel 172

Brickell, Edie, 333 334

bridge 404

Brill Building 415

British Isles 75, 103, 155, 169, 170, 177, 290, 396, 417, 429, 446

melismatic singing 200

melodic formulae in 191

broadcast 102, 140, 149, 310, 311, 313

Broadway shows 406

Brooks, Mel 291

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? 185

brotherhood 472

Brown Sugar 265, 287

Brown, James 491

Brown, N H 121, 374

Brubeck, Dave 358

Bryn-yr-Aur Stomp 442

Buckingham Palace 431, 434

bucolic 209

Bucsumí tánc 139

Buddhists 442

Bulgaria[n] 113, 125, 127, 138, 374

mode 134, 135

Bulgarians (Българи) 124

Burke, Solomon 445

Burleigh, Harry T 307, 309

Burns, Robert 170

Burrell, Kenny 324

El burrito 438

Bus Stop 171

bustle 319

Byrds, The 383

‘Byzantine’ mode 134, 135


Cade’s County 291

cadence 258–261, 271, 377, 381, 481

aeolian 221, 265, 286, 291, 392, 417, 433, 434, 435, 440, 441, 449


half 286

Andalusian 39, 131, 132, 133, 305, 438, 439, 440, 450


dominantal à perfect

dorian 377

flamenco À Andalusian

gospel 307

half 132, 133, 258, 258– 259, 288, 381, 442 kI-V

cowboy 286, 291, 483


harmonic minor 288

imperfect À half

interrupted 260–261, 441, 455, 491 kV-vi

ionian 221

lack of 377–380, 382

melodic 88, 136, 190–193, 198, 210, 494

Hijaz 145

phrygian 122

mixolydian 441

perfect 19, 35, 75, 92, 126, 132, 148, 246, 252, 253, 254, 257, 258, 259, 260, 262, 267, 271, 273, 278, 307, 368, 377, 380, 381, 393, 402, 406, 413, 416, 419, 439, 442, 453, 465, 496 Aê-î, kV-I

phrygian ]À Andalusian 130, 133, 147, 286, 288, 304, 438, 439, 440, 441, 493 A$Ê Â, k$II-I/i

plagal 75, 258, 259, 307, 381, 413, 424, 434, 441, 497, AÔ-^3, kIV-I

quartal 321, 322, 338, 347, 498

category problems 301

sharpward 432, 441

terminology problems 260–261, 301

uninterrupted 260, 261, 434, 435, 436, 441, 503

Cain, Jeffrey 386

Calamaro (band) 458

Calchakis, Los 437, 454

Cale, J J 442

Calendar Girl 385

Caliche 438

California (Flash & the Pan) 386, 387

call and response 216

Calvacoressi, M D 316

CAM 101, 190

Camacho, V C G 145

Cambridge 343

Camino 440

Campese, Mike 126, 127

Campin, Jack 104

Can I Get A Witness 363

Can't Get You Out Of My Head 383

Can’t Buy Me Love 184, 418

Canada 18

Candy Store Rock 442

Canned Heat 442

canon[s] 215

‘academic safari’ 15

euroclassical 54

jazz 15, 54

rock 15

Cape Breton 172, 334

capitals (use of) 40

capo 457

capstan shanty 189

Cara, Irene 265, 385

carefree 422, 423

Carey, Mariah 176

Carissimi, G 192

Carmen (Bizet) 133

Carmichael, H 197

Carnaval salteño 438

carnavalito 438

Carnes, Kim 386

Carpenter, John 318

The Carpetbaggers 310

carrousel motif/loop 361, 362

Cascades 409

Cash, Johnny 156

Cast No Shadow 334

Castles In The Sand 334

Cat’s In The Cradle 112

La cathédrale engloutie 318

cathedrals 182

celebratory 421

cello 59

‘Celtic’ 176, 186, 209

central position (quartal) 301–302

cents 77

Chain Gang 385

Chambers, Jack 162

The Champions 197

Champs, The 358, 389, 394

Chan Chan 437

Chandler, Gene 409

Change Your Mind 385, 387

chanson 361

chanting 182

Chapin, H 112

charango 80, 454

charity stringalong 476, 481

Charles, Ray 288, 402, 403

The Charleston 263, 444, 460, 461, 462, 461, 467

departure 444

Chartres school 216

chauvinism 54

Che Guevara loop 286, 437, 438, 439, 450

] Hasta la victoria…

Checker, Chubby 409

cheerful/cheery 110, 112, 423

Chernoff, J M 490

Chester, A 12, 21, 254, 356

Chianis, Soitrios 210

Chicago (band) 329

Chiffons 377

Chile 437, 439, 491

solidarity 438, 454

Chilton, John 314

China/Chinese 155, 187

note names 93–94

Trad. 155

choir 479

Chopin, Frédéric 106, 226, 385, 387, 482

chorales 200

chord[s] 24, 36–38, 206, 219–244 ] harmony

]A, ]k

accompaniment 213

altered fifths 238

definition 219

dyad, triad, tetrad 219

easy on guitar 457

inversions 225, 240–241

q lead sheet chords

q loop[s]

omitted notes 238–239

pivot chord 254, 267

plagal extension 363–366

recognition of 226–229

roman numerals 24, 28, 36, 37–38, 220–225, 243

]k I II III IV V, etc.

rhythm 215

shorthand 220–244 ]A

q shuttle[s]

Chordettes, The 409

choro 437

Christmas 110

chromatic 94, 270, 283

alteration 270, 266

chromaticism 79, 138, 269

lack of 275

scale 70

‘church’ mode[s] 24, 94–149, 482

mnemonic 97

triad types 285

Cielito Lindo 268

circle of fifths ] key clock 17, 24, 37, 129, 132, 148, 246, 253, 254, 255–258, 261–266, 265, 267, 270, 282, 297, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303, 351, 403, 406, 411, 413, 420, 424, 430,

432, 433, 449, 455, 461, 463

progressions 261-270

key-specific à virtual

modulatory à real

quartal 300-302

real 262-263, 270

virtual 262-4, 270

circular motion/circularity

loops 401–404

The City (film) 310

Civil Rights 159, 176, 315, 464, 416, 465, 467

Clapton, Eric 112, 229, 443, 445, 446, 460, 462, 470

Clarida, Bob 43, 162, 269, 311, 313, 314

clarinet 49, 210

sound wave 62

Clash 376

Classic FM 102

‘classic’ rock 359

classical 227, 228, 229


harmony 24, 245–271, 275, 278, 382, 390, 403, 411, 413, 416, 417, 419, 421, 431, 435, 444, 454, 455, 482, 492

dissolution of 265–266

popular mus. 267–271

music[s] 262, 355

musicians 257

v. ‘euroclassical’ 487

v. popular 143

classicalness 461

Classics IV 377

The Claudy Banks 169

claustrophobia 126

Clawhammer Banjo Tablature & Instruction 336

Clinch Mountain Backstep 335

Cline, Patsy 460

‘clink-clink-clink jazz’ 461

clockwise 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 261, 264, 267, 301, 302, 413, 424, 430, 433

Close To You 228

closure 252

C’mon Everybody 414, 416, 421, 422

Cobain, Kurt 109

Cochran, Eddie 414, 415, 421, 422

cold 387, 400

Cold, Haily, Windy Night 342

Cole, Nat King 227

collaboration 476

collective 469

Colligan, George 327

Collins, Karen 126

Collins, Phil 386, 387

Collins, Shirley 398

colonialism 128

Comandante Che Guevara

q Hasta la victoria…

Come On, Eileen 443

Come On Everybody q Cmon Everybody

Come Together 227

Coming to America 202

Coming Through The Rye 190

commercial q advert

common triad 24, 37, 220, 247, 250, 252, 255, 260, 275, 296, 310, 345


sense of 476, 477

songs 251

commutation 506

Compay Segundo 436, 437

computer audio 315

concert pitch 47, 65

a=440 Hz 47, 49, 65, 66, 79

escalation of 66

Concerto for Orchestra 141

Concrete And Clay 384

confidence 469

Congratulations 422

Congregational Praise 212


bass line 241, 271, 461, 470

descending 461

conjunct-line trope 22, 271, 367, 368, 482

motion 433

Conlan, J 209

connotation 23, 26, 176, 182, 196, 197, 200, 209, 384, 386, 387, 394, 423, 465, 467

aeolian 291

classical in pop 268

drones 209

Japanese 79

melody types 196–199

Yes We Can 469, 474–478

consolation 423

consonant/consonance 73, 98, 240, 252, 253, 282

tertial 240

Constant Flow 314

Conti, Jacopo 38, 43, 330, 334

continuant 59

timbre 60–61

continuation (harmonic) 460, 461, 466

contour (mel.) 23, 183–186

contrapuntal q counterpoint

Contrasts (Bartók) 142

conventional music theory q music theory à conv…

Coo-Coo Bird 156

Cooder, Ry 208, 279

Cooke, Deryck 107, 126

Cooke, Sam 385, 409

cool jazz 178

Coomaraswamy, A K 209

Cooper, Alice 284, 443, 457

Copenhagen 112

Copland, Aaron 18, 309, 310, 315, 350

Copland chords 311

copyright 229

Cordigliera 101, 190

Córdoba 131

core triad (quartal) 301–302

Corea, Chick 142, 326, 328

Corelli, A 262, 406, 455

Corey, G E 66

corporate 25, 293, 306, 314

corporeal 412 ] body

Corries, The 170

Costello, Elvis 385, 387

counterpoint 24, 212, 213, 214–216, 219, 247, 366

film term 214

counterpoise 20, 336–339, 345, 346, 347, 396, 397, 482

antitonic 337

kickback point 337–339

sandwich 396–398

Counterspy 197

Country (C&W) 81, 201, 251, 290, 360, 361, 413, 415, 423, 456

rock 475, 476

Country Roads 472

courage 423

Covay, Dan 365

cover band 359

cowbell 465

cowboy half cadence q cadence à half à cowboy

Cowsills 384

Cradle Of Love 385

Cramer, Floyd 360, 372, 376

Crazy 460, 462

Cream 163

Creedence Clearwater Revival 431

Creep 75, 187, 442, 460, 461, 462, 466, 467–469, 478

creeping 320

Crew Cuts, The 408

criollo 436

crisis chord 483

crooning 187

Crosby, Bing 187, 226, 375

cross-association 464

Crossroads 161

Crows attack the students 52

Cruces, Cristina 128

Crystals, The 152

Csárdás 137

Cuba 436, 437, 439

La cucaracha 268

The Cuckoo Bird 335

cueca 438, 439

Cuil Duibh-Re 201


relativity 260

stereotypes of place 176

cúmbia 275

current affairs 149, 313

Cuthill, Fiona 172

Cwm Rhondda 201, 213

cynical 469


Da Doo Ron Ron 152

dadgad tuning 81, 346

Dagar, M & A 200

Dakota 291

Dale, Dick (& the Deltones) 127

Daley, Mike 451

Dallas 197

dance 489

and melody 189

sexy dancing 110

Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm 142

Dancing In The Street 308, 357

Dancing Queen 69

danger[-ous] 121, 126, 127

Daniel & The Sacred Harp 470

Daniels, Charlie 457

Danny & The Juniors 409

Darin, Bobby 385, 409

dark 48, 126, 127, 317, 320, 467

The Dark Side of the Moon 25, 377–380, 400

The Dark Forest 317

Darling Corey 278

Darling Savishna 533

dashtgah 196

Dave Clark Five 376

The Dave Conservatoire 174

Davidson, A T 216

Davis, Bob 367, 491

Davis, Miles 112, 226, 227, 228, 323, 328

The Dawntreader 331

The Day the Earth Stood Still 175

A Day In The Life 471

De donde viene usted? 437

De Niro, Robert 320

Dead End Street 265

Dead or Alive 377, 443, 447

Dean, James

look-alikes 385

death 102, 107, 423

death metal 98, 499

Debrecen 137

Debussy, C 174, 317, 318

decay (ac.) 58, 59, 60, 61

Decimas a un niño 437, 439

Deep Purple (band) 163, 278, 284, 287

Deep Purple 185, 197

Deep River 307

de-ethnocentrification 15

Degeyter, P 226, 228

Delta blues 81

Deltones q Dale

democratic 475

Denver, John 472

depression/depressive 109, 110, 385

Derek & the Dominoes 181, 386, 470

Desafinado, 227

desafio 145

descent/descending 39, 68, 100

Qq ascent 90, 118, 130, 136, 253, 449

bass 232, 241, 269, 461

blues melody 328

chromatic 404, 468

enharmonic 485, 486

fifths 257, 492 ]X $5

fourths 71

leading note 55, 73, 122, 252, 253, 254, 267, 493 ]XÔ-Î, â-Û

melodic 183, 184, 185

minor 54, 91, 106, 390, 479, 494

minor pentatonic 176

phrygian 101,130, 131

] phrygian X Ô $Î $Ê Â

k iv-$III-$II-i/I

X î $7 $â 5

pitch contour 189

Rast 118

semitone 321

sevenths 72, 73

Le déserteur 268

despair 467, 469

despondency 468, 469

detectives 227

determination 314, 467, 473, 474, 475

Detroit City 360

detun[-e[-d]/-ing] 66, 75, 82 ]out of tune

Devil In Disguise 409

Dexy’s Midnight Runners 389, 391, 443

dhrupad 200

diabolus in musica 98

Diabolus in Musica 163

Diana 409

diataxis 12, 21, 25, 255, 356, 369, 458, 483, 501

diatonic 90, 94, 97, 249, 483

modes 94–149

Dick & Dee Dee 385

Diddley, Bo 355, 358

didgeridoo 208

difference tone 281

digital devices 293

diminished X$Û, A(3)°, A(7)dim/ø, Am7$5

chords 138, 175

fifth 70, 236, 237, 266

scale 175

seventh 36, 74, 222, 227, 302

triad[s] 221, 222, 238, 274

Dinning, Mark 409

Dion & The Belmonts 409

Dire Straits 386, 387, 433

directional[ity] 253,


aeolian 433, 449

bebop 325

enharmonic 468

euroclassical 11, 24, 55, 246, 252–255, 299, 301

euroclassical v. tonical neighbourhood 296

flatward 26, 92, 268, 273, 377, 383, 403, 413, 414, 418, 419, 431, 432, 435, 442, 444, 455

jazz harmony 350

lack of 284, 377–380, 383, 390, 394, 463, 469

mixolydian 432

phrygian 439, 440

sharpward 432, 444, 455

unidirectional 19, 39

Discipline 330

Disco Aid 476

disgust 469

dissonant/dissonance 48, 238, 239, 252, 303, 315, 329, 366, 473

distortion 280

fundamental 281, 282, 284

fuzz 282

Divertimento for Strings (Bartók) 140, 320

Divinyls 333, 334

Divje Babe 79

Dixie Chicks 67, 453, 456, 472, 474, 475

Dixon, Willie 448

Do They Know It’s Christmas? 476, 481

Do You Know The Way To San José? 376

Do You Love Me? 421, 422

dobro 81

Dock Of The Bay qSitting…

Dodecachordon 113

dodecaphonic 187, 193, 266

doh (sol-fa note)

hexatonic 165, 166, 167, 168, 169–170, 178

pentatonic 94, 153, 154–161, 176, 177, 186, 309, 315, 456, 484

blues 159–161, 178

tetrachord 163, 164

trichord 163

doina 200

dominant 11, 19, 70, 72, 92, 132, 133, 143, 254, 255, 258, 267, 361, 362, 373, 382, 393, 414, 421, 423, 442, 444, 497

dominantal 267-8, 454, 463

shuttle 381–384


eleventh 307, 359

ninth 227

seventh 226, 253, 255, 262, 267, 268, 271, 278

problem concept 134, 139, 140, 148

Don't Stop Believing 451, 473

Don’t Bet Money, Honey 409

Don’t Look Back In Anger 376

Don’t Stand So Close To Me 383, 385, 387–388

Don’t Think Twice 457

Don’t Throw Your Love Away 385

Don’t You Want Me Baby? 25, 389, 391–394

Donaldson. W 226

Donna 409

doom 107, 110, 126, 127

doomsday megadrone 209

Doors, The 385, 386

doo-wop 484

dorian 37, 95–99, 139, 173, 186, 274, 276, 278, 285, 286, 287, 324, 375, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 390, 396, 416, 417, 424, 440, 441, 445, 446, 484

examples 99–101

hexatonic 168

harmony 278–288, 444

‘folk’ 286–287, 446

minor pentatonic

melody 278–286

rock 24, 443–444

shuttles 376–381

tetrachord 164

double/doubling 82

C (banjo tuning) 335

sharp 485

shuttle 445, 463

Douglas, Carl 374, 375

Dowland, J 277

Dr. Strangelove 214

dream 122, 123, 227

melody type 196–197

sequence 174

whole-tone 174

Dream 409

Dream Lover 385, 409

Dream of Olwen 197

Drifters, The 409

dromos (δρόμος) 114, 117, 134, 484 ] maqam

Kiourdi 117

name confusion 117

Ousák 101, 117, 122, 123

drone[-s/-d] 24, 47, 75, 80, 94, 143, 206, 207–210, 274, 319, 332, 336, 338, 340–349


arrangement 337, 338, 339, 340–349

doomsday mega- 209

connotations 209

effect 453

fifths 344

top-down 340

drum[s] 59

bass/kick 61

kit 38, 46, 206, 462, 466

loops 401

drummer 79

The Drunken Piper 172, 173

The Drunken Sailor 100, 188, 337, 346, 338, 396, 397

Dual Monarchy 137

Dudások 140

Duel in the Sun 291

Duke Of Earl 409

duma 200

Duncan, Trevor 190

Dvořák, Antonín 307, 309, 317, 390, 391

dyad 250, 280, 309

Dylan, Bob 180, 198, 385, 422, 423, 425, 443, 446, 451, 456, 457, 470

Dylan, Jesse 451

Dynasty 197


E a vida continua 437

Eagles, The 422, 423, 425

The East Is Red 155

Easy Cluck Old Hen 336

Easy Now 443

ecclesiastical mode 482

ecstatic 202, 228, 377

Ecuador 491

Eddy, Duane 385

Eden 287, 290

Edström, Olle 200

Edwards, Michael 406

Edwin Hawkins Singers 377

Egypt trad. 118, 192

Eight Days A Week 290

Eileen 446

Eine kleine Nachtmusik 354

Einstein, Albert 102

Einstürzende Neubauten 126

Ekonda (people) 215

Eleanor Rigby 417

electric guitar q guitar

electrically amplified instruments 59

electro theme 314

electronica 290

The Elephant Man 102

eleventh[s] 228, 231, 232, 233, 235, 237, 238, 239, 243, 244, 257, 263, 270, 293, 295, 306–315, 324, 325, 350, 357, 359, 364, 365 ]A11

chords of the 232, 237–238, 306–315, 324, 327

gospel 307-308, 324

Elfman, Danny 102, 145

Elhunyt táncos barátaink emlékére 144

Elizabethan music 277, 278

Ellington, Duke 184

ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) 451, 460, 465, 467

‘elsewhere’ 149, 158, 282, 374, 469

tonal 303, 321, 336, 337, 345, 346

] counterpoise

Emerson, Lake & Palmer 329

empowerment 475

emptiness cue’ 333

encouragement 473-475


melodic rhythm 189

trad. 100, 104, 110, 157, 169, 184, 185, 189, 191, 286, 291, 338, 344, 347, 396, 397, 398

mixolydian tunes 104

Engdahl, Göran 353

enharmonic 74, 75, 242, 325, 468, 484–487

envelope (ac.) 59

ephemeral 268

episodic devices 402, 487

epistrophe 194, 195, 487

EPMOW 11, 519

equal-tone tuning 70, 74–78

equidurational 487

Erlkönig 107

Ermálak (Ермалък) 124, 374

error messages 315

escala nordestina 144

Escape from New York 318

Estribillo de Vito 131

ethnic/‘ethnic’ 186

mode names 54

ethnocentr[-ic/-ism] 14, 15, 72, 78

etymophony 315

eurocentric 78

euroclassical 11, 12, 16, 55, 75, 92, 105, 106, 107, 111, 118, 140, 192, 209, 228, 273, 340, 357, 369, 400, 406, 435, 492, 494, 495

bass 68

canon 15, 54

chords 220–225, 228, 229, 237, 241, 355,

Qq classical 487

composer 165

harmony 17, 24, 33, 71, 91, 92, 263–269, 271, 284, 307, 310, 325, 355, 381, 390, 497

history 205

idiom 35

ionian 54, 55, 57, 73, 90, 117

performers 90, 94

quartal 315–322

repertoire 14, 23, 31

scale degrees 70

scales/modes 91

scholars 19

theory 35, 52, 53, 72, 84, 89, 113, 134, 173, 388, 414, 441, 479, 499 ] music theory àconventional

tonality 32, 54, 92, 120, 138, 143, 147, 148, 176, 177, 350, 495, 503

Europe (North) 175

Europeanness 455

Eurovision song contest 112

Evans, Bill 323

Everly Brothers 287, 384, 409, 442

Every Little Thing She Does 372, 384

Everybody Hurts 112

Everybody Loves Somebody 445

‘excellence’ = mediocrity 15

Exotic Guitar Scales 136

exotic(ism) 14, 113, 123, 127, 128, 134, 137, 399

experimentalism 143

extended present 12, 21, 25, 179, 203, 255, 356–357, 369, 371, 388, 395, 399, 410, 411, 419, 437, 444, 452, 488, 489, 497, 501

extended tonic 405

extensional 12, 55, 254, 356–357, 488

extra-octave tuning 65–67


Fabbri, Franco 11, 38, 43, 59

fade-out 62, 214, 260, 380, 382, 392, 394, 402, 427, 428, 448

fado 437

Fado marujo 437

fa-hexatonic 167

Fahey, Brian 102, 145

Fairport Convention 335

Faith, Percy 409

Falla, Manuel de 317, 318

Fallin’ Out 169

The False Knight 169

Faltermeyer, Harold 187

Fame, Georgie 385

Fanfare for the Common Man 310

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis 101

fantasy (whole-tone) 174

Farewell To Erin 339, 389, 397

Farm, The 472, 474

Farnaby, Giles 277

Farnaby’s Dreame 277

farruca 318

The FBI Theme 197, 198

The Female Drummer 157, 158, 165, 172, 173, 342

femme fatale 121

Fender Stratocaster 58

Ferenc Sánta & Gypsy Band 137

Ferlosio, J A S 189

Fernández, Lola 128, 130, 131, 304

Fernando 192, 214, 408

ferocious 283

La feuille morte 180, 181, 194, 227, 263

A Few More Rednecks 457

fiddle 66, 67, 80 ] violin

fiddler[s] 208, 289, 340

tuning 67, 80, 340

The Fields Have Turned Brown 169

Fifth Dimension 383

fifth[s] 80, 257 XÛ A5 kV

ascending 257, 261, 492

descending 257, 492

] drone

Hollywood use of 316

open 309, 322, 331,


q power chord

figured bass 225

film music 18, 48, 75, 78, 121, 126, 174, 175, 176, 178, 198, 214, 251, 315, 316, 357

final ] finality

cadence 130, 131, 148, 162, 259, 260, 402

] cadence à perfect àplagal ]kV-I kIV-I


chord 131, 133, 226, 227, 277, 405

i or vi? 434

open 5th 309, 322, 331

quartal 318

chorus 211, 215

fade-out 394

note repeated 191

vi or i? 261

finalis 198, 440, 448, 450, 453, 454

finality 92, 94, 126, 259, 262, 273, 309, 381, 455

] cadence

aeolian 449

ambiguous 382, 421, 427, 428, 429

Amen 435

fade-out 380

hypothetical 378, 399

marker of 427

plagal 381, 414, 425, 434, 455, 456

lack of 378, 380, 392, 394

melody 258

phrygian 133, 147, 438, 439, 440

Picardy 3rd 277

rall./rit. 260, 471

Fine Young Cannibals 445

Fire Down Below 188

The First Cut Is The Deepest 383

Firuze 123

five ] fifth, XÛ A5 kV

Fixing A Hole 226

Flaca 458

flamenco 18, 128–133, 135, 136, 137, 147, 288, 493

qcadence àAndalusian

heterodoxo/ortodoxo 128

‘mode’ 135

Flash and the Pan 386

flashback 174

Flashdance 265, 287, 385, 387

flat ] minor, diminished

fifth/five 161–163, 274 ]X$Û, A$5

flat seven[th] 23, 33, 70, 72, 73, 91, 102, 139, 140, 141, 142, 144, 145, 147

]X$ê, A7, k$VII

side 303

six qX$â, k$VI

supertonic 70, 101, 276, 387, 388 ]àTWO

two 13, 22, 23, 33, 34, 70, 71, 98, 101, 113, 120–133, 147, 276, 434, 495

]X$Ê, k$II

flatward[s] 38, 256, 258, 261, 254, 255, 270, 271, 273, 282, 283, 297, 298, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 310, 322, 326, 344, 350, 406, 411, 413, 419, 420, 421, 424, 425, 431, 432, 433, 444, 449, 455, 461, 462, 488, 500

position 301–302

progressions 262–264

Fleetwood Mac 422, 425


melodic 196

rhythmic 180

tonical 24, 297, 301, 303, 325, 350


alto 49

bone/Neanderthal 79

shakuhachi 79

sound wave 62

Flûte indienne 437, 441, 454

A Foggy Day in London Town 194, 195

The Foggy Dew 72

‘folk’ (music, tune, etc.) 81, 142, 243, 286, 290, 317, 391, 420, 436, 446, 447, 456, 471, 475, 492

ballad 443

‘folksy’ 186

harmony 344–349

dorian 286–287, 443, 445–447, 450

quartal 334–349

rock 19, 75, 209, 246, 289, 290, 293, 340, 342, 351, 361, 423, 435, 445, 455, 458, 471, 475, 476

song/tune[s] 180 316, 417

collection (Bartók) 138

Folk och Rackare 208, 289, 340–342, 341

Folkways Anthology of American Music 336

Fontana, Wayne 261, 434

fonts 42

foot stamp 206

footnotes 42

For Your Love 443

foreign 114, 120, 121, 122, 126, 316, 459

forró 104

Fortunate Son 431

Fosforito (artist) 130

Foundations 228, 229, 429

Four Seasons 409

Four Tops 85

fourth[s], etc.

chords kIV, iv, etc.

A4, Ö, Á, Ã, S4, etc.

degrees X Ô, #Ô, etc.


Foxy Lady 365, 366

Frame By Frame 330

France q French

Francis, Connie 409, 460

Franklin, Aretha 376

Freberg, Stan 461

Free Bird 473

French/France 128

accordion 47, 82, 361

horn 59

language 47, 49, 259, 490

motet 490

note names 50

person 54, 137

Psalter 212

Trad. 100

frenzy 320

frequency 47–51, 61–71

ratios 68, 71

pentatonic 153

spectrum 61, 62

Frequency X 386

Frère Jacques 215

frets 81

‘Freygish’ 116, 123, 124, 135

frigio mayorizado 116 ] maqam àHijaz ]phrygian

Fripp, Robert 142, 329, 330

From A Window 184

From Under The Covers 422

Frosty Morning 336

‘functional’ (sic!) harmony 24, 249

fundamental (pitch) 51, 57, 61, 62, 63, 68

distortion fundamental 281, 282, 284

power chords 281

funeral[s] 387, 442

Funeral March (Chopin)

q Marche funèbre

funk 429, 491

Funktionsharmonik 252

Furious 333

fusion music 328

futuristic 314

fuzz 282 ] distortion


El gallo negro 189, 194

gamelan 211, 491

games music 78

García Peinazo, Diego 38, 43, 128, 330

Garmarna 341

Garner, D K 156

Garner, Erroll 68, 227

A garota da Ipanema

q Girl From Ipanema

Gates of Babylon 125

Gaye, Marvin 229, 363, 464

Gemini (Chick Corea) 326

General Motors (ad) 310

Geno 389, 391

genre synecdoche 268, 489

Gentle Giant 329

gentrification (harm.) 461

Gentry, Bobbie 358, 364

geo-cultural identity 178

George Jackson 456

Gershwin, George 141, 142, 143, 148, 194, 195, 226

new tonal idiom 143

gesture 488

Get Back 226

Get Together 389

‘GI Joe’ 343

Giâi phóng mièn nam 268

Gillespie, Dizzy 121, 162

Gillett, Charlie 416

Gillies, Malcolm 142

Gimme All Your Lovin’ 62, 280, 431

Girl From Ipanema 227- 8

Girl Sang The Blues 287, 442

Glad All Over 376

Glarean, H 14, 113, 149

glissando 137

glitz 112

gloom 107, 110, 126

Gloomy Sunday 108, 109

God Only Knows 228, 229

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen 110, 111

God Save The Queen 87, 90, 99, 176, 268, 434

fictitious version 88

in different modes 186

Goffin, Gerry 415

Gogo (Tanzania) 490

Going Down Slow 363

Going Hollywood 375

Golden Gate Orchestra 460

Goldenberg, Billy 198, 228, 312, 328

Goldsmith, Jerry 162

gong 48, 59

Gonzaga, Luíz 105

Good Golly Miss Molly 366

Good Thing 445

Good Time Baby 409

Goodbye, My Love 202

Goodman, Benny 142

Le Gorille 199

gospel 160, 176, 178, 201, 208, 228, 308, 323, 369, 400, 429, 455, 456, 467, 475, 484

African-American 201

cadence 307 ]A11

chord 308, 323, 363, 384

11th 307, 308, 324

jaw 489, 490

melisma 201-202

pentatonic 159

piano 410

style indicator 308

white 201

Göteborg 36, 43, 118, 209, 341

Grablegung 322

Graham, Larry 491

grammaticality 56

Grand Coulee Dam 456

Grand Old Duke of York 185

Grandmaster Flash 187

graphocentric 13

Great Balls Of Fire 412

Great Gig In The Sky

377–380, 392

The Great Pretender 461

Greaves, Amanda 172

Greece ] dromos

Ancient 86, 316

mode names 175

music from 18, 78, 101, 113, 114, 115, 117, 122, 123, 124, 134, 136, 146, 147, 175, 210, 288, 374, 438, 494

polytonic keyboard 42

Green Onions 278, 287, 365, 442

Greenback Dollar 443, 446

Greenfield, Howard 415

Greensleeves 287

grief 107

Grieg, Edvard 192, 193, 317

Grita 458, 459, 473, 474, 478

groove 25, 358, 359, 371, 388, 391, 394, 395, 489

chord loops as 418

tonal aspect of 275

Grover’s Corners 310

Gruvberg, Ulf 340

Guantanamera 11, 287, 422, 530

Guardame las vacas 453, 534

Guess Who 374

Guevara, Che 438 ] Hasta la victoria siempre

] Che Guevara loop

Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah q Cwm Rhondda

güiro 465

guitar 59, 61, 80, 213, 279, 360, 388, 394

amateur guitarist 457

chord shapes 452

q distortion

easy to play 475

electric 280, 466, 473

hammer-on 360, 363

lead guitar 216

overdriven 62, 468

q power chord

pull-off 363

slide 81, 279, 448

sound 385

open G 452, 456–458

strings 48, 131, 280, 331, 452

12-string 47, 68, 81

6-string 239, 278, 456, 473, 475

metal/steel string 454, 459

nylon string 454

] strum

transcription issues 38

tunings 80, 81, 331, 332

open E 278

Joni Mitchell 332

tutor 126, 163

Guitar Modes Made Easy 95

Guitar Player magazine 113

Gun Fight at O.K. Corral 197

Guthrie, Woody 279, 456, 457, 476

Gypsy/Gypsies (Roma) 40, 120, 127, 128, 129, 134, 135, 136, 147

ensemble 144

mode name confusion

121, 129, 134–136, 175

music (Hungary) 137–8

violin(ists) 137

The Gypsy In Me 133

Gypsy Kings 440


La Habana 437

Hage, Juriaan 329

Hagen, Earl 227

Haider, Hanns 190

Haley, Bill 412

half cadence q cadenceà

half diminished 222, 227

Hallelujah I Love Her So 403

Hamburg 416

Hamilton, George IV 460

Hamm, Charles 317

hammer-on qguitaràham...

Hammond organ 462

Hancock, Herbie 142, 326, 329, 364, 365, 490

hand clap 206

Hand Of Doom 126

Handel, G F 72, 209, 315

Handy Man 385

Hang On Sloopy 422, 423, 530

Hangman 470, 471

Happy Birthday 99, 226, 268

Happy Birthday Sweet 16 409

Happy Hour 443, 446

happy v. sad 23, 107–112, 117, 176

Haralambos, Mike 159, 464

Harburg, Yip 185

A Hard Rain 471

hardship 473, 474, 475

Hare Krishna 380

Hark All Ye Lovely Saints 279

Harlem Nocturne 227


departure 458–469

direction 413

finality 428

idiom in Yes We Can 462

minor 54, 73, 91, 94, 118, 120, 126, 129, 133, 135, 137, 138, 147, 164, 258, 264, 288, 390, 436, 437, 439, 481 490, 493, 494, 496 ] Nahawand,

X Â Ê $Î Ô Û $â ^ê

poles 440

reversibility 442

rhythm 398

sandwich 397

series 62

stasis 328, 368, 402

harmonica 291

Harmonices mundi 95

harmonics 61, 280

5f 280, 281, 284

harmonising traditional music 144

harmony 11, 15, 17, 24, 28, 43, 71, 72, 91, 92, 179, 205, 206, 210, 214, 215, 245–478, A, X

aeolian 276

classical 245–271

definition 247–249

q directionality

q dissonance

q dorian

etymology 247

folk song 344–349

history of 247–249

ionian mode 275–276

q jazz

loops 401–450

lydian 276

mixolydian 276

narrative 252–255

non-classical 24, 26,


one-chord changes


phrygian 130–133, 276

quartal 293–351

syntactic function 252–255

terminological problems 249–252

tertial 24, 26, 249–271

non-class. 273–292

tritone substitution 270

Harris, Emmylou 201

Harris, Roy 311

Harrison, George 377, 380, 384, 417

Harvard Dictionary of Music 12

Has Anybody Seen My Gal? 263

Hasta Mañana 470, 471

¡Hasta la victoria siempre! 287, 288, 438

Hava Nagila הבה נגילה 123

Have I The Right? 383

Having A Party 409

Hawaii[an] 81

Hawkins, Edwin 377

Hayes, Isaac 367

hazy (whole tone) 174

He Stopped Loving Her Today 112

He’s So Fine 377

Hear’n Aid 476

Hearing Things 386, 387

Heart Telegraph 333


dark (pitch) 48

metal q rock à metal

Hebrides 78, 211

Home Worship 211

Hedningarna 342

hegemony 177

Hejjaz q maqam à Hijaz

Hello! 228, 242

Help! 417, 418

Helpless 422, 423

Helsinki University 281

hemiola 454

hemitonic pentatonic 153, 341

Henderson, R 263

Hendrix, Jimi 227, 265, 334, 365, 366, 385, 432, 455

Hentoff, Nat 323

heptatonic 70, 87, 274, 489,

X Â Ê Î Ô Û â ê etc.

definition 93–94

modes 76

tetrachord 166

Herbert, Pete 126

Herrero, Óscar 130

Herrmann, B 52, 174, 175

Herz 47, 68

heterophony 24, 210–211, 215, 216

Heuger, Markus 43

hexatonic 13, 100, 139, 165–174, 178, 345, 490,

X Â Ê Î Ô Û â, etc.

theory 165–169

Hey Joe 455

Hey Jude 72, 224, 287, 410, 431

Hey Lolly Lolly 457

Hey Paula! 409

Hey, Big Spender 162

high life 275

Higher Ground 442

Highland bagpipe 103

Highway Star 162

hi-hat 48, 61

Hijaz q maqam à Hijaz

Hill St. Blues 311

Hill, Bertha ‘Chippie’ 230

Hill, Joe 268

himene 208

Hindemith, P 266, 319, 322

Hirajoshi 153, 176

L’hirondelle du faubourg 268, 361

Hirt, Aindrias 153

Hirt, Al 228

His Latest Flame 384, 409

Hispanic[-ism] 176

melodic 190

phrygian stereotype 288

Hit The Road Jack 288

Hitchcock, Alfred 174

hocket 490–491

Holiday, Billie 108, 111

Hollies, The 171

Holly, Buddy 199

Hollywood 175, 310, 311

film mus. stereotypes 316

Homburg 228, 229, 269, 290

home key 92

home worship 211

Homeward Bound 228

Un homme et une femme 180

homophony 24, 201, 211, 212–214, 215, 216, 248, 251

Honeycombs, The 383

Hoochie Coochie Man 180

Hooker, John Lee 156, 208

Hooker, Lynn M 139

Hoola Bandoola Band 473

Hooverphonic 287, 290

hope 467, 469, 473, 474, 475

hopelessness 423, 469

Hopkins, Mary 226

horn in F 49

horn section 491

Horowitz, Joseph 320

Horowitz, Josh 123, 124, 136

horror music 266

Hound Dog 187, 412, 416, 459

House Of Fun 389

House Of The Rising Sun 206, 207, 446, 447

Housemartins 443, 446

Houston, W 176, 202, 489

Hovis bread ad 307

How The West Was Won (film theme) 197, 198

Howarth, Alan 318

Howlin’ Wolf 448

Huayno 438, 454

Huayra Muyhoj 438

Hubbard, Freddie 326, 327

Hucbald 260

Hucklebuck 193

Hughes, Herbert 317, 318

Hughes, John 213

Human League 25, 389, 391–394

humanitarian 476

Hungarian/Hungary 138, 155

Gypsy music 137–138

‘Hungarian’ mode 134

Hungarianness 137, 138

Hungarian Rhapsodies 137

Hunter, Tab 409

hurdy-gurdy 208

Hurt (song) 112, 156

Husker Du 333, 334

Hutchings, Ashley 286, 398

hybridisation 147

hymn(s) 72, 92, 107, 112, 200, 208, 211, 213, 215, 226, 251, 267, 271, 429, 476

hypo-modes 14, 112, 440

hypoaeolian 439

hypodorian 260

hypomixolydian 260


I Believe I Can Fly 376

I Can Hear Music 443

I Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe 457

I Don’t Want To Know 422

I Get A Kick Out Of You 184

I Hear Music 446

I Pity The Poor Immigrant 457, 471

I Remember You 389

I Saw Her Standing There 226

I Shall Be Released 457

I Walk The Hill 422

I Wanna Be Your Man 226

I Will Follow Him 385, 409

I’ll Be Back 226

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry 112

I’m the King of the Castle 152

I’m Wild About That Thing 160

I’m Your Kingpin 333

I’ve Always Been A Gambler 105

IASPM 451, 453, 469

Idelsohn, Abraham Zvi 123


link with harmony 412

If I Needed Someone 185

If I Were A Carpenter 85

Ifield, Frank 389

image resolution 30, 38

Imagine (Lennon) 376, 460

immigrants 473, 475

imperfect q cadence à half

implication (tonal) 181

impoverished (popular music assumed as) 19, 25, 353–357, 369 ] trivial

impressionism 293

In A Monastery Garden 197

In A Persian Market 121

In Extremo 341

In seculum 490

In The Air Tonight 386

inclusiveness 477

incoming chord 414, 415, 424, 425, 447, 491

India[n] 81, 200, 208, 209

music theory 51, 77

note names 50, 93–94

subcontinent 75

Indian Lake 384

Indonesia 155, 211

Infante, Blas 128

infinity 387, 400

Ingelf, Sten 327

init[-ialis/-ium] 198, 454

injustice 475

Inspector Clouzot 162

instruments 79

concert pitch 66

Intel Inside jingle 312, 314

intensional 12, 21, 255, 356–357, 488

intensional 254, 491


of II and IV 408

Internationale 99, 226, 228, 268

internet 14, 29, 95, 242

addresses 506

references 27

interpunctuation 491

interrupted q cadence

intertextual 452

interval[s] 67–74

frequency ratios 70

intervallic symmetry/asymmetry 296

intonation q tuning

intra-octave tuning 67–68, 70–78

inversion[s] 225, 228-9, 233, 240-1, 267-9, 293-7, 299, 300-1, 303-4, 306-7, 309, 318, 321, 324, 328, 336, 343-4, 348-9, 461, 470

tertial v. quartal 296

IOCM 452, 453, 460, 492

Spanish 458–459

Yes We Can 474–478

ionian 24, 54–56, 76, 87, 90, 91, 95-99, 113, 177, 186, 252–266, 267, 268, 271, 274–276, 278, 285, 287,

289, 346, 373, 382, 390, 414, 416, 421, 422, 424, 426, 430, 432, 435, 436, 440, 441, 446, 456, X^ê

barré 275

default mode 32, 34, 37, 90, 117, 224, 271, 274

loops 421, 422


hexatonic 167, 168

mediantal ‘narrative’ 443–444, 445–447

narrative sequence


shuttle 267, 372, 381

tetrachord 163, 164

ionianisation/ionianised 54, 89, 90–92, 93, 94, 117, 129, 133, 143, 279, 390, 482, 493, 495, X^ê

alteration v to V 278

iPhone 113

Ireland/Irish 176, 208

trad. 72, 104, 154, 171, 173, 190, 191, 201, 290, 317, 318, 339, 396

Irish Country Songs 317

Iron Maiden 125, 126, 163

Irons, Jeremy 320

Isley Brothers, The 160, 201, 385, 422

Israel, Bob 313

It Ain’t Me Babe 456

It Won’t Be Long 226, 417

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue 457, 470

It’s Not Unusual 170, 227, 374

It’s Over 384

Italian/Italy 18, 101, 187, 190

language 60, 189, 196

music terms 259

person 137

italics 41

Itchycoo Park 443, 446

Itkin, David 141

Iverson, Mike 336


Jabo 215

Jackson, George 456

James Bond Theme, 227

Janie’s Got A Gun 108, 109

Japan 153, 155, 176

Jarabe de Palo 458, 474

Jarre, Maurice 120

Java 77

jazz 94, 239, 257, 262, 269, 323, 353, 361, 413, 444

band 215, 387, 461

bebop 22, 161, 162, 227, 228, 239, 245, 251, 266, 270, 323, 324, 327, 350, 351, 353, 354, 365, 413

Bebop Tango 162

chords 325

pre-bop 143

post-bop 19, 92, 228, 266, 270, 293, 315, 322, 455

canon 15, 54

cool 176, 178

fusion 227, 228, 326, 328

harmony 17, 266, 270, 444

musicians 174

quartal 323–328

scale 174

standard[s] 21, 121, 180, 194, 227, 251, 404, 405, 406, 455, 417

theory 173, 175

trad 211, 215, 270, 387, 461

tutor 175

Jazz Piano Harmony 326

The Jazz Theory Book 157

Je chante pour 151, 186

Jeepers Creepers 228, 263

Jefferson Airplane 374, 384

Jennings, Waylon 169

Jerusalem 149

Jesus Christ is Ris’n 200

Jewish 120, 127, 128, 134, 135, 136, 147, 176, 208

mode 134, 135

Jew’s harp 208

Jingle Bells 99, 268

jingles 293, 313

jins 118–120

jitterbug 412

jive 412

Jobim, ‘Tom’ 181, 227, 228

John Barleycorn 191

John Wesley Harding 456

John, Elton 207, 269

Johnny B Goode 412

Johnny Come Down To Hilo 188

Johnson, Mark 40

Johnson, Robert 161

Johnson, Steven A 314

jojk q yoik 200

Jolene 171, 172

Jones, George 112, 201

Jones, Jimmy 385, 409

Jones, Richard M 230

Jones, Tom 170, 227, 374, 375

Joplin, Janis 206

Jordán, Laura 43, 439

Journey 451, 473

Joy To The World 72

jump bands 412

Jumping Jack Flash 265

Jungle 451, 460, 465, 467

Jungle Book (Rózsa) 310

Just Like A Woman 443

Just One Look 409

just-tone temperament/tuning/intonation 70, 74, 331


Kabul Radio Orchestra 127

Kalehoff, Ed 313

Kalinka 137

Kansas City 417

Kaoma 110

Kaper, Bronislaw 198

K-Doe, Ernie 385

keening 200

Keep On Running 376

Keller, Andrea 142

Kell-Kirkman, Dylan 43, 464

Kelly, R 376

Kennedy, J F 102

Kepler, J 95

Kern, J 263

Kerry Recruit 191

Kessel, Barney 324

Ketèlbey, Alfred 121, 197

key (Tonart/tonalité) 36, 56, 486, 487

clock ] circle of fifths 16, 17, 19, 24, 246, 255–258, 261, 263, 264–265, 271, 282, 283, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301, 321, 322, 324, 336, 341, 349, 350, 406, 419, 420, 421, 430, 431, 432, 449, 462, 463

D central for white-note modes 38



quartal 300-302

real 262-263, 270

virtual 262–264, 270

signature 255, 261

steps 326

keyboard qpianoàkeyboard

players 75

keynote q tonic

Khaled, Cheb 200

Khoisan 490

kick drum 61

kickback point 337–339

Kind Hearted Woman Blues 161

Kind of Blue 112, 323

King Crimson 142, 326, 328, 330, 329, 334, 351

King of Denmark’s Galliard 277

King Oliver 215

King, Ben E 409, 451, 464

King, Carole 333, 415

King, Martin Luther 473

Kinghorn, Bill 323

Kingston Trio 443, 446

The King Will Come 443

Kinks, The 265, 383, 389, 391, 431, 432

Kiourdi (δρόμος) 117

Kirghizstan 208

Kitchen Girl 336

Kjellman, Carin 340

Klangfarbe 58

Klezmer 123, 124, 134, 136

bulgarisch 135

klezmorim 136

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door 422, 423, 456

Knowing Me, Knowing You 443

Knutsen, Thorkild 211

Kodály, Zoltán 138

Kojak theme 197, 198, 228, 311, 312, 319, 326, 328

Kókai Rezső/Verbunkos Rhapsody 144

Kolev, Todor 124

komuz 208

Kosma, Joseph 181, 227, 263

koto 176

Kouyioumtzis, S 289, 438

Kraftwerk 383, 384

Kramer, Billy J and the Dakotas 184

Kronberg, Margit 43

Kruspolska 342

Kubrick, Stanley 214

Kulţūm, Um (كلثوم, Kulthoum, Kulsum, &c.) 210

Kung Fu Fighting 374

Kuntz, Andrew 104

Kurd 40, 116, 117, 122

] maqam à Kurd

Kürdî makamı 122, 123

Qq Ousák/Ουσάκ 117

kwela 275

Kyrie eleison 200

Kyrie Orbis Factor 107


la (sol-fa note) 186

la-hexatonic 165, 166, 167, 170–172, 178, 344, 396, 492

quartal 167, 168

la-pentatonic 155–156, 176, 186, 278, 279, 283, 284, 444, 492

blues 161–163, 178, 279

trichord 163

Labelle 377

Lacasse, Serge 82

Lady Madonna 287, 433

Lady Marmelade 377

La Grange 442

Lai, Francis 180

Laikoi Dromoi 115

Lakoff, George 40

Lambada 110, 111

Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds 104, 290

Lanaridis, Aris 43

Langey, Otto 121


Qq melody 189–193

patterns 188

The Language of Music 107

The Lark In The Morning 104, 342

Lärling 472

Las Vegas Sun 141

Last Train From Poor Valley 169

Latin America 18, 275, 428, 436, 450, 451

Latin language rhythm 189

launeddas 208

Laura (Raksin) 228

Lavava no rio lavava 437

Lawrence of Arabia 120, 121, 147

Lawrence, Steve 385

Lay, Lady, Lay 457

Layla 180, 181, 386

lead guitar q guitar à lead

lead sheet chords 36, 229–244 ]A

‘add’ 239

anomalies 242

basic rationale 234

chart 232–233

chord root 235

definition 230

explanations 231–243

fifths 238

full names 233

history 229–231

9, 11, 13 chords 237

omitted notes 238

sevenths 236

‘sus’ 240

symbol component

syntax 235–243

triad type 236

lead-in 340 ] anacrusis

leading note 55, 70, 72, 73, 91, 252, 253–254, 270, 273, 299, 310, 325, 383, 390, 493, X^7-î

descending 55, 73, 122, 252, 253, 254, 267, 493, X$Ê-Â, Ô-Î

fixation 266

ionian 253–254

Qq subtonic 72

phrygian 440, X$Ê-Â

Led Zeppelin 156, 187, 414, 442

Lee, Pedro van der 454

Legrand, Michel 263

Leib, Sandra R 230

Leiber, Jerry 415

Der Leiermann 316

Leipzig 65

Lendvai, Ernő 337

Lennon, John 375, 376, 435, 460, 465, 466, 467

Lester, Ketty 409, 410, 411

Let It Be 472, 474, 478

Let It Grow 229

Let’s Twist Again 409

Levine, Mark 157

Lewis, Jerry Lee 407, 415

lexical 60

Liberia 215

Liberty Bell 268

library music 101, 190

Library of Congress 229

Ligados 130

ligatures 81

Light Cavalry 268

Light My Fire 385

light-hearted 422

Lilja, Esa 20, 43, 125, 159, 163, 280, 281, 282

Ling, Jan 43, 192, 201

linguistic derivatives (tonical, etc.) 52–53

Lipstick On Your Collar 409

listless 111

Liszt, Ferenc/Franz 137

Lithium 282, 109, 283

Little Eva 385

Little Red Rooster 448

Little Richard 366, 412, 415

Little Rock 416

Little Sadie 336

Little Town Flirt 409

liturgical music 86

Lively Up Yourself 366, 371, 376

Liverpool 472

Liviana 130

Living For The City 365, 429

Lobos, Los 427

Loch Lomond 169

The Loco-Motion 385

locrian 95, 98, 99, 163, 165, 222, 274, 493

I5 impossible 274

Lollipop 409, 410

Lomax, Alan 476

Lomax, John 161

London’s Burning 215

Lone Ranger 196

Lonely Teardrops 409

Long And Winding Road 228

Long Tall Sally 412, 417

loop[s] (chord sequence[s]) 11, 21, 25, 26, 39, 72, 265, 362, 388, 398, 401–450, 481, 482

q Bamba

Che Guevara 438

circularity of 401–404

drum 401

durations of 410

online resources 401

part of groove 418

Qq shuttle 464

single-caesura 410

symbol convention 39

synth 401

] vamp 403–411

Lopez, Trini 422, 427

Lorca, Federico García 130

Lorenzo’s Oil 102

The Lost Soul 78

Loth to Depart 277

loudness 61

love and marriage 416

Love Letters 409, 410, 411

Love Me Do 376

Love’s Old Sweet Song 268

Lovin’ You 176

The Lowlands Of Holland 157, 158, 342, 447

Lucille 412

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 422

lullabies 189

Lulu 160, 201, 385

luminous 319

Luxembourg Waltz 228

lydian 95–99, 165, 276, 285, 287, 289, 290, 441, 445, 493

‘dominant’ 139, 147, 148

examples 102

flat 7 23, 102, 135, 139–141, 140, 142–143, 145, 147, 493

harmony 289–290

hexatonic 167

Lymon, Frankie 408

Lynn, Vera 214

Lynyrd Skynyrd 46, 72, 152, 224, 427, 429, 430, 431, 473

lyrics 187, 471

in foreign language 187

language 459

not love or fun 471


macabre 320

Mack The Knife 226

Mack, C 263

MacPherson’s Farewell 170, 191

Madness 121, 374, 389, 391

The Magdalene Laundries 331

The Magic Flute 406

The Magnificent Seven 287

The Maid of Coolmore 170, 171

Maimets-Volt, Kaire 43

Maines, Natalie 476


hexatonic 166, 168,


Qq minor 90–92, 117, 177

q ninth à chord

pentatonic 94, 153, 154–161, 176, 177, 186, 309, 315, 456, 484

] doh àpentatonic

q Hijaz

q phrygian à ‘majorised’

scale 71, 91, 274, 421

second 70, 71

seventh 70, 73, 91, 92

] leading note

sixth 70, 71, 303, X^â

tertial, non-classical 276–287

third 70, 71, 280, 296, 310, XÎ, kIII

5f harmonic 277, ff.

just temperament 74

in power chord 280-4

triad 37, 220, 222, 224, 253, 345

but minor melody 278

substitution 277

tonally stable 277

non-classical tertial

Major Lance 260, 434

Make It Soon 443

Malagueña 287, 288, 438

Málamas, Sokrates 101, 122

Maldita Nerea (band) 458

Malicorne 342

Mameluk 192

Man måste veta vad man önskar 473

Man On The Moon 290

Maná (band) 458

Mancini, Henry 162, 291

mandolin 47, 80

Manfred Mann 333, 375, 376, 443, 446

manic-depressive 109

Mann, Barry 409, 415

Mann, William 435

maqam[at] (مقم/مقمت)

18, 89, 113, 114–133, 196

ascent/descent 118

Bayati 76, 77, 114, 116

connotations 117

names/identities 116–118

Hijaz 23, 33, 34, 40, 90, 113, 115, 116, 119, 120, 120–133, 139, 145-149, 248, 285, 438, 439, 490

etymology 175

family 115, 119

frigio mayorizado 116

Hijaz Kar 114, 116, 119, 127, 135, 164,, 186, 490

Qq phrygian 123–127

quasi 120, 121

Shad Araban 114, 115, 119

tetrachord 119, 120, 121, 122, 129, 164

jins 118–120

Kurd 40, 116, 117, 122

Kürdî makamı 122, 123

Qq Ousák/Ουσάκ 117

Mustaar 135, 136, 139, 165

Nagriz 135, 136

Nahawand 116, 118, 120, 137, 138

] harmonic à minor

Nawa Athar 116, 121, 134, 135, 165

Nikriz 135, 136, 139, 140, 141, 142, 144, 165

Rast 76, 77, 115, 116, 119, 148

qtetrachord (118–120)

maracas 465

Marcels, The 409

March, Little Peggy 385, 409

march(es) 75, 92, 189, 251, 267, 320

Marche funèbre (Chopin) 106, 226, 385, 482

marching band 171

Marconi, L 179, 182, 196, 198

Marie’s The Name Of His Latest Flame 384

marimba-like samples 314

Marley, Bob 366, 371, 376, 451, 472, 474

Marmalade (band) 443, 446

Marseillaise 268

Martha and the Vandellas 308, 333, 357

Martyrdom 211, 212

Marvelettes 201, 216, 385, 417

Master and Commander 102

Mathis der Mahler 322

matrix/matrices 21, 401

harmonic 132, 353, 410, 413, 452, 453, 455, 494

Matty Groves 335

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer 422

May, Brian 434

Maybellene 412

Mayfield, Curtis 260

Mbuti 490

McCarthyism 416

McCartney, Paul 372, 376, 431, 466, 467

McCoys 422

McCrae, George 375, 376

McDonald, Chris 43, 172, 334

McGuinness, David 43

McKerrell, Simon 43, 89, 103

McLaughlin Group 313

McLaughlin, John 328, 329

McManus, Michelle 376

Me voy pa’l monte 437

medial chord 414, 415, 424, 425, 447, 494

mediant 70, 253, 494

transitions 417

mediantal 417, 435

loops 442–448

narrative 470–471

progressions 418

shuttle 417, 443

MediaTracks Production Music Library 313, 314

Médicis, François de 406

medieval 490, 491

mediocrity of ‘excellence’ 15

Megadeth 126

megadrone 209

melisma[tic] 23, 176,

199–202, 211

gospel 201-202

Mellers, Wilfrid 317, 417

melody (incl. melodic) 23, 177, 179–202, 210

Qq accompaniment dualism 219, 251

arched 183, 185

articulation 187–189

Qq body movement


cadence formulae 122, 130, 136, 190–192, 198

centric 183, 184

connotations 186–187, 196–199

contour (incl. pattern, profile) 23, 98, 183–186, 423, 502 ]structuralà

Qq dance 189

dream type 196

dynamics 187

falling 183

general traits 179–181

hispanicism 190

Qq language 189–193

melodic minor 91, 118

metaphorical nomenclature 181–182

oscillatory 183, 185

patterns of recurrence 193–196

pitch contour 183–187

recitation type 198

rhythm 188–193

language and 189

rising 183, 184

structural types 183–196

terraced 183, 185

tonal vocab. 186–187

transcendental 182

tumbling 183, 184

typologies of 182–196

V-shaped 183, 184, 185

wavy 183, 185

Memphis Tennessee 371, 409

Mendelssohn, Felix 226, 267

Mercedes Benz 206

Mercy Mercy (Mercy) 308, 365

Merriam, Alan P 151

Merseybeat 201

Message In A Bottle 333

Messiah 315

Mészáros, Tivadar 144

metal qà rock

Metallica 125, 126, 127

Methodist Hymn Book 200

metre 502

Meyer, Leonard B 182

mi (sol-fa note)

hexatonic 167, 168

mode[s] 128, 129, 166

pentatonic 178

tetrachord 164

Miani, Guido 184

Michelle 227

microphone 182

Middle East pastiches


middle eight 404, 406

Middleton, Richard 193, 195

MIDI 45, 46, 78, 79

Midnight In Moscow 192

Midnight Rambler 431

Mikaelidagen 192

Mike Hammer 227

Mikrokosmos 142

Mila moja 381–382, 442

milksap 384, 407, 408, 416

list of recordings 409

Milksap Montage 384, 408

Miller, Glenn 263

Miller, Sue 43, 428

Milord 268

Milton, Roy 193

minaret 182

Mindbender 261, 434

minichromatic[s] 483, 367, 368, 496

Minogue, Kylie 382, 383, 384


q aeolian

add nine 228, A9

common triad 221

q dorian

q eleven, k11

q harmonic à minor

hexatonic 166, 168

] laàhexatonic

key 255

Qq major 107–112

major nine Ammaj9

major seven Ammaj7

qmelodyàmelodic minor

modes 285

nine chord Am9

pentatonic 155–156, 176, 186, 278, 279, 283, 284, 444, 492, ]laàpentat…

second 70, 71, X$Ê

seven[th] 70, 71, 73, 91, 325, X$ê, A7, k$VII

seven flat five Am7$5

sixth 70, 91, X$â, k$VI

subdominant 387, 388

tertial harmony 286

third 70, 91, 296, 302, 303 ]X$Î, Am7, k$III

just temperament 74

rule (quartal) 301, 303, 311, 321, 330, 350, 496, 499, 503

triad[s] 37, 222, 224, 345

Miracles, The 160

misery 107

misfortune 107

Mishberak 116, 135

Misirlou 127, 185

Miss Grace 374

The Mission 320, 442

Misty 227

Mitchell, Joni 81, 208, 326, 331–332, 334, 338, 342, 351

guitar tuning 331

mixolydian 72, 95–99, 113, 165, 173, 176, 265, 274, 276, 278, 285, 318, 340, 346, 389, 390, 392, 394, 396, 398, 410, 416-7, 426-7, 429-433, 440, 441, 445, 495

examples 103–105

harmony 278, 290

hexatonic 167, 168

loops 265, 430, 431

list of tunes from British Isles 104, 396

shuttle 389–391

Mixolydian Mini-Montage 429, 430, 432

mixture of styles 476

mixture stops (organ) 81

Moanin’ 162, 324

mode (incl. modal)

q aeolian

ascent/descent 118

‘church’ 94–149

definition 85–89

history 85–89

diatonic À‘church’

q dorian

connotations 175–177, 186–187, 288

harmony 273-450 ,

q maqam (à hijaz, etc.)

labels à names

q locrian, lydian

q maqam, mixolydian

melodic use of 85-178,


‘modal’, ’modality’ (problem concepts)

88–89, 92–93, 177,

modern Greek 115

names 86, 128–133, 134–136, 175

alternative 95, 97

Balkan 134, 135

lower-case 40

problematic 129, 136

sources for 136

non-diatonic hepatatonic 112–149

non-tonical 173–175

q phrygian

Qq mood 85

non-diatonic 175

non-heptatonic 151–178

non-tonical 173–175

white notes on piano 276

The Model 383, 384

modernity 306–315, 317, 334, 336, 350, 351, 387, 400

Modugno, D 181

modulation 252, 254, 267, 269, 354, 406

lack of 275

modulatory circle-of-fifths q circle-of-fifths àreal

Moldova 138

Molino, Jean 479

Molloy, J L 268

Moloney, M 201

monadic 193

Money (Pink Floyd) 386

Money’s Too Tight To Mention 161, 376

monocentric 442

monody 179

monomodal 436, 437

Monotones, The 409

Montgomery, Wes 68

Monti, Vittorio 137

Montréal, Université de 56

Moonlight Serenade 263

Moore, Allan 20, 43, 451, 460, 465

Moore, Sarha 43, 73, 124,126

MoR 495

Morawietz, Sebastian 314

Morisco 128

Morricone, Ennio 214, 269, 319, 320, 491

Morris, J 291

Mosaïque 440

Mother-In-Law 385

motif 181

Motivo andino 438

motor speed variations 66

Motown 201, 308, 429, 470

Mountain Lake PBS 140

The Mountain’s High 385

mourning 107

movement 489

Mozarbic 128

Mozart, Wolfgang A 107, 111, 354, 381, 406

K550 106, 383

K618 269; K622 505

Mr Wendal 376

Mr. Tambourine Man 383

Mu’ezzin 182, 200

Sheikh Naji Qazaaz 148

muddy thirds 340

Mulhern, Tom 331

multicultural 14

multiplicity 82

Murder of Maria Marten 342

Muresan, Danut 208, 342

Murphy, Eddy 187, 202

Murphy, Scott 175, 533

museme 319, 495

stack 21, 495

music hall 251

music theory 17, 26, 36, 38, 67, 71, 85, 86, 113, 165, 256

Arab 77, 86, 89, 93, 113–120, 123, 134, 136, 151, 196, 490, 493, 500, 507, 508

conventional (Western) 13, 15, 22, 23, 31, 35, 52, 53, 54, 73, 89, 90, 92, 93, 106, 112, 123, 173, 207, 219, 246, 248, 250, 252, 259, 388, 441, 449, 479

Indian 50, 51, 77, 93–94

relative 134

Renaissance 439

textbook 11

web search 245

Music To Watch Girls By 228

Musica Enchiriadis 216

musica ficta 78

musicals 267

Musique Celtique des Îles Hébrides 78

musique concrète 417

Muslim 128, 148, 149

Mussorgsky Modest 316, 317, 533

Mustaar 135, 136, 139, 165

My Blue Heaven 226

My Bonnie 417

My Sweet Lord 377, 380, 384

My Way 228

mystery 178

mystic chord 325

octatonic 175

whole tone 174


Nadine 354, 355, 358–359, 360, 361

Nagriz qà maqam

Nahawand 116, 118, 120, 137, 138 ]àmaqam

The Name Of The Game 228, 377, 380, 422

narrative 12

harmonic 252

Narváez, Luis de 533

Nashville Teens 184

national anthem[s] 267

UK 87, 186

USA 99, 268

Nationalteatern 386

Native American 155

Nattiez, Jean-Jacques 479

Nawa Athar 116, 121, 134, 135, 165

Neanderthal flute 79


scale 121, 122

sixth 122

Nehring, Neil 110

neighbourhood q tonical neighbourhood