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sharp 5th

Posted by PostalJives 
sharp 5th
December 09, 2009 02:05PM
Hello! I'm looking at a piece of music in C minor. On some of the phrases in the melody, there is a G#, This is non-diatonic and does not seem to be part of the the melodic, harmonic, or pure minor scales. Could someone please leave an explanation? Thanks

-Tyler

P.S The bass line is on a C if you want to know the harmony.
Re: sharp 5th
December 09, 2009 03:31PM
G# is enharmonic to Ab which does belong to the key of C minor, but for it to be notated as G# suggests there may have been a modulation to another key, one to which G# belongs.


Re: sharp 5th
December 09, 2009 05:04PM
Fretsource Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> G# is enharmonic to Ab which does belong to the
> key of C minor, but for it to be notated as G#
> suggests there may have been a modulation to
> another key, one to which G# belongs.
>
>
>


Or, in addition to modulation, it could simply be what's called "unessential" or "non-essential" chromaticism or decoration.

In that case, the chromaticism is just melodic, and the spelling of the note often takes on the direction the note is going - so in an ascending line, the notes are often spelled with sharps.

However, usually in C minor, a run like G-Ab-An-Bb-Bn is spelled that way "contrary to the rule" I just mentioned because of the common use of Ab and An, and Bb and Bn in the key.


But the music could also be printed by someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

What is the piece - can you post an example?

Steve

Re: sharp 5th
December 09, 2009 11:03PM
Sure, Here is a link

[ichigos.com]

You will notice the run I am speaking about in measure 5 of the second page.



I think you may be on to something about the arranger not knowing what he/she is doing, seeing as they never actualy WROTE a key and just used accidentals.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2009 11:12PM by PostalJives.
Re: sharp 5th
December 10, 2009 02:13AM
PostalJives Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think you may be on to something about the
> arranger not knowing what he/she is doing, seeing
> as they never actualy WROTE a key and just used
> accidentals.


This. However, chromaticism is not uncommon, at all. Not every note has to be in the "key" of the piece. You could go through a dozen keys and use hundreds of chromatic chords, and still say a piece is in C minor. If you must know, though, that G# (which really should be spelled as an Ab; it makes no sense to write G# there) is an accented passing tone. It resolves in the next sixteenth note to a chord tone. The next chord is the same; F is a non-harmonic tone, resolving to that E.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2009 02:15AM by LuxembourgianSixth.
Re: sharp 5th
December 10, 2009 07:38AM
PostalJives Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sure, Here is a link
>
>
>
> You will notice the run I am speaking about in
> measure 5 of the second page.
>
>
>
> I think you may be on to something about the
> arranger not knowing what he/she is doing, seeing
> as they never actualy WROTE a key and just used
> accidentals.

Right! If this is supposed to be key of C minor, there should be a 3-flat key sig.

In measure 5, however, there is an F#, not a G# (in both treble and bass). This is the correct enharmonic, because the chord is a D7, a secondary dominant leading to the dominant chord, G in bar 6.

In bar 8 you also get F#s, but this time the D7 chord is over two octave Gs in the bass - part of a held "dominant pedal". (I'll let others expand on this if you need more explanation...)

There's a few other signs that this is amateur transcription; or done by software, probably from a MIDI file. Eg, the 8th notes alternating with 8th note rests, which would probably be better written as staccato quarter notes. (Likewise the 16ths written the same way, better as staccato 8ths - check bars 9, 10 and 14 especially - urgh!.)

Re: sharp 5th
December 10, 2009 07:47AM
Oops sorry, I just realised you were talking about page 2! duh...

The G# in bar 14 (5th bar of the page) should indeed be Ab as LuxembourgianSixth says.
As should the G# in the next bar, which is part of an Fm chord.
And the G#s in bar 16... (this is a real mess...)
Re: sharp 5th
December 10, 2009 12:16PM
stevel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> But the music could also be printed by someone who
> doesn't know what they're doing.
>


Ding ding ding.

Steve :-)
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