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Modulation Techniques Part 2

Continuing on from last week post on music modulation techniques, I will be presenting you with additional 5 methods which can also be used to modulate key centers in a piece of music. Please keep in mind that these are essential concepts you should be using when composing and arranging a song or a track. Please make sure you watch the video which illustrates each case, as per the link provided at the end of this post.

  1. Method #5: It’s referred as Pivot Chord Modulation. This modulation technique is based on finding a common diatonic chord for the original and target key centers to be used as a pivot chord in the sequence towards the transition. In the video example, A – has been selected as the Pivot Chord since it is a diatonic chord for both C and F Major Key centers.


  1. Method #6: Minor Key Borrowed Chords technique is typically used when we would like to modulate using chords which are diatonic in the Minor chord Key center. These three target “borrowed” major chords are the b3, b6 and b7 of the original chord. In the video example these chords are

Ab, Db and Eb, as referred to b3, b6 and b7 of F respectively (Original Key center).


  1. Method #7: ii-V-I preceded by diminished chord is a technique which uses a half step below target diminished chord to a ii-V-I progression built on the new key center. In the video example we can see that Ab Diminished is preceding the A- chord, which is the ii chord of the new key center.


  1. Method #8: Different Quality Pivot Chord Modulation is a technique which principles are the same as



in Method #5, however, the pivot chord quality (i.e. whether it is Major, Minor, Dominant) may change in order to transition diatonically towards the new target key. In the video example we see that the pivot chord is F, however the quality of the F Major chord has been moved to Minor to transition diatonically to the Ab center.

  1. Method #9: Deceptive Resolution Modulation. Generically speaking Deceptive Resolution is when a dominant chord does not solve itself in its tonic (Key center chord). This resolution technique provides us with a tool to modulate to different keys by still using the original key center dominant chord. By watching the different examples in the video, the simple explanation of this method is that our ear waits for G7 to resolve to C. If, after G7, another chord is played which is not C, we would have a deceptive resolution, in other words, it would be a surprise to our ear! .There are several types of deceptive resolutions depending on which target chord the dominant chord resolves to, however they all meet the basic music resolution definition onto either the guide tones or the root.

  1. Check the video for a few examples of deceptive resolution technique used for modulation purposes. You can watch the Modulation Techniques Part 2 Video in the link below:


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