Friday, January 11, 2013

Linear tonics, continued

I've described "linear tonics" before, and I've mentioned this example, but I thought I'd break it down a little bit. Yes, if you think that a tonic requires some sort of harmonic event--that a tonic is only as good as its dominant--then yes. I'm full of crap. But it you believe it's possible to write a piece of music in a key without some sort of cadence on a tonic chord then maybe you'll agree with me on this. My basic argument is that this song is written in and "around" A minor/C major, without any sort of cadence on either. Until someone tells me otherwise, I'm referring to this phenomenon as "linear tonic."


The verse consists of an A minor/C major melody accompanied by F and G major chords.

The chorus is basically the same, the melody harmonized with simple triads (C, F, A-), resulting in various major-ey, diatonic-ey harmonies.
The rest of the tune works basically the same way. This is a song in A minor and C major. If you think a "key" requires a "cadence," then let's not argue. We won't get anywhere. But. If you agree that the melody means more than the chords (chords are NOT synonymous with harmony), then let's talk. And if you think the chord at 1:50 sounds like the tonic, then yes. I think you're right.

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