HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips
TYPE- Ear Training
BUMPER MUSIC- "Stranger Stuff" (Area 47 Music)
ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe
Continuing where episode 56 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary dominants.
We will now add the secondary dominants of the mediant and submediant (V/III, V/VI). Listen for the chord qualities and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!
-This chord is built on scale degree 7.
-In the key of C major, the viiº chord is normally a DIMINISHED chord (Bº).
-However, below, we can see that this chord, in the 3rd measure, has been altered. D is now D# and F is now F#. The, normally, Bº is now B major.
-This chord now has a DOMINANT (V) function and wants to resolve to the following chord (the iii). So it is considered the V of iii (the secondary dominant of the iii chord).
-This chord is built on scale degree 3.
-In the key of C major, the iii chord is normally a MINOR chord (Em).
-However, below, we can see that this chord, has been altered (G is now G#). The Em chord, diatonic to the key, is now an E major chord.
-This chord now has a DOMINANT (V) function and wants to resolve to the following chord (the vi chord). So it is considered to be the V of vi chord.
Let's take four listens to identify this chord progression. Below is a good strategy on how to use your listens wisely for each time the progression is played.
1st LISTEN-THE BASS
Use this listen to focus on the bass line. In our first example, we hear the following scale steps in the bass, beginning with scale degree 1 (G):
1 - 4 - #4 - 5 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1
2nd LISTEN-THE HIGHEST NOTE
Use this listen to focus on the melody or the soprano voice. When you hear that note, try to identify what scale degree it is and where it goes from there. Sometimes singing (in your head), from the identified note down to the the tonic, can help zero in on what scale degree it is. In this case, we hear that scale degree 5 begins the following progression in the highest voice:
5 - 6 - 7 - 7 - 6 - 6 - 7 - 1
3rd LISTEN-THE THEORY BRAIN
Something harmonic is coming together! We now have enough information to ENGAGE OUR THEORY BRAIN and start making educated guesses at how this progression might develop. Here's an example of the process:
-1st CHORD- Has two notes from the tonic chord (G and B) and sounds like a major chord. The tonic is in the bass as well. Let's call it I.
-2nd CHORD- Has the C note (scale degree 4) in the bass and the E note (scale degree 6) in the soprano. That doesn't tell our eyes that much. But listen! It sounds like a MAJOR chord. It contains scale degree 4. I and V do not. So we can rule out I and V. That just leaves IV, the only major diatonic chord left.
-3rd CHORD- Has the C# note (scale degree #4) in the lower voice and F# (scale degree 7) in the upper voice. It sounds a little strange but it is major.
We can see, by the #4, that some chromaticism has been added. This might be a foreign chord. Let's entertain the idea that it might be a secondary dominant chord. Let's see what chord follows...
-4th CHORD- We hear a minor chord. The C# from the previous chord had moved up to a D note (scale degree 5). The F# (scale degree 7) from the previous chord held it's position. Since it's minor, we know it's not a secondary dominant chord (normally major or major-minor). Only one diatonic chord contains those 2 scale degrees; the iii chord. So we can safely suspect this to be a iii chord and the previous chord a V/iii chord.
-5th CHORD- Again, we hear a minor chord. We have an E note (scale degree 6) in the bass and an E note in the soprano. We know that the previous chord, iii, tends to move to vi. We know that 2 of the 4 notes are on scale degree 6. Let's call it vi.
-6th CHORD- Contains the A note (scale degree 2) in the bass and the E note (scale degree 6) in the upper voice. It sounds minor. The ii chord, alone, contains these two notes and it follows a vi. This all checks out for this to be a ii chord.
-7th CHORD- Here we have a D note (scale degree 5) in the bass and an F# (scale degree 7) in the soprano. It sounds major and, if our ears are up to speed, it also sounds dominant. Let's call this a V chord and see what happens next.
-8th CHORD- Finally, we have the G note (scale degree 1) in the lower voice and the G note in the upper voice. This is a major chord that sounds kind of "tonic heavy". The leading tone, from the previous measure, has moved up to 1 and the 5 from the previous measure has resolved to up to 1. Let's call it I and, thusly, confirm the previous chord to be a proper V chord.
Ideally, this listen will be your confirmation listen. Check out all the voices you filled in and make sure they make sense with what you're hearing.
Here's what it will look like:
NOW LISTEN AS WE APPLY THIS APPROACH TO THE NEXT EXAMPLES
-When trying to determine which scale degree is in the highest voice, try singing down the scale from that note. If you feel you've reached the TONIC on the 3rd note down, that note is the 3rd. If you can keep going, perhaps not.
-Try practicing progressions using these chords, using CHORALE or KEYBOARD styles.
-Don't neglect the MINOR keys while working on these progressions.
-Try to get good at singing "in your head" or to your self. When you hear a chord, try to arpeggiate the notes in your head.
-Try to get good at identifying the bass lines when listening to music. These will be the first that you will want to identify when taking your listening exams.
-Budget your listens wisely. First identify the lowest notes. Second, identify the highest notes. Use the third listen to engage your theory brain and then the fourth to confirm.
MUSIC STUDENT 101