Chords, Harmonies, Key Changes and Music Theory

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Anything to do with Music Theory. Nothing too serious! Let's keep it light-hearted, although we may get serious too. Post your observations in here.

Chords, Harmonies, Key Changes and Music Theory

Postby Hugh-AR » 14 Jun 2020 21:31

Chords, Harmonies, Key Changes. Music Theory and The Beatles

The Beatles played guitars, and guitars play chords. So how did The Beatles expand on their knowledge of Chords, Key Changes, and Harmonies?

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Re: Chords, Harmonies, Key Changes and Music Theory

Postby Brian007 » 15 Jun 2020 07:55

Hi Hugh,

A very interesting video and thanks for posting it ,

For what its worth my opinion is, they were 4 young lads passionate about music, not frightened to experiment and try new things, but also there was not a lot of this kind of pop music about at the time so there was nothing to compare it to or against. Also the internet was not that widely available if at all so knowledge had to be learned from books or friends or simply by experimenting and trying things out. So my theory is they learned as they went along and went on to create great music that still keeps us interested long after they stopped writing songs. There is perhaps too much theory and not enough just sitting down and trying things out for yourself but sadly its a sign of the times instant gratifications is required in today's society and if there is not an app for it people cant be bothered to learn things the hard way as we had to.

All the best, Brian007
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Re: Chords, Harmonies, Key Changes and Music Theory

Postby mikeg » 15 Jun 2020 20:33

Hi Hugh and Brian I found the video interesting and it reminded me of the famous Russian composer Israel Beilin alias Irving Berlin who died at the age of 101 years. He composed approx 1500 Songs and most lyrics for Top Singers, Stage Shows, Film, Musicals .. could not read or write music and played all his songs in the Key of Fsharp and had a custom piano fitted with a lever to change key. From a very early age he employed others to put his songs on to sheet music. Formed his own music company. Twice in his stage musicals he composed two different songs where the male and female could start and finish together and harmonise right through. These were I hear singing and You don't need analysing Best Regards mikeG.
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Re: Chords, Harmonies, Key Changes and Music Theory

Postby Hugh-AR » 15 Jun 2020 22:55

Thanks for those observations Mike. I didn't know any of that!
From Wikipedia:
It is commonly believed that Berlin could not read sheet music, and was such a limited piano player that he could only play in the key of F-sharp using his custom piano equipped with a transposing lever.

Here's one that Mike mentioned.

I Hear Singing/You're Just in Love, Irving Berlin



Here's the other one Mike mentions.

You don't need analyzing, it is not so surprising



And here's an old television clip showing Irving Berlin himself and his piano 'with the lever' Mike mentions.

Irving Berlin- on television (very RARE clip)



I've also found a YouTube clip of Irving Berlin's first major international hit, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" played here on piano by Adam Swanson in the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest in 2011. Several key changes in this one!

Adam Swanson performing "Alexander's Ragtime Band" by Irving Berlin

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Re: Chords, Harmonies, Key Changes and Music Theory

Postby Brian007 » 16 Jun 2020 09:03

Hi Hugh and Mike,

Some interesting facts and videos that I was not aware of in your posts, just goes to show that hands on and just do it is the best way

All the best, Brian007
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