How can just 8 chords put you into beachy bliss?
Analyzing songs can reveal hidden characteristics within them. Here, falling chromatic notes help the listener feel drugged and relaxed.
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Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!The Beach Boys had an uncanny ability to write catchy pop songs that also contain complicated and unexpected elements from their use of a theremin in Good Vibrations to the confusing chords and Melody of God only knows the Beach Boys demonstrated real musical maturity and complexity without sacrificing listen ability in this video. I want to explore a small little interesting musical mechanic that sort of hidden in the verse of their number one hit Kokomo. But before we dive into that, I need you to listen to these four notes now out of this list of words pick two that describes the feeling that those four notes give you If you picked mystery or suspense, you're not alone.
These four notes are known as a minor major 7th chord and when played alone, they almost always elicit this sense of suspense and mystery for little notes that can instantly transmit an emotion directly into your brain good composers will collect cards like this and memorize their emotional context.
So whenever they're in need of that specific emotion, they can just call up the appropriate chord, but it's not just chord types that can transmit an emotion tempos themselves can create an emotional context all on there. For example faster tempos usually associate with anxiety or activity or a slower tempos can create the feeling of depression or lethargy. So what if we were looking to induce a more complicated emotion that just happy sad or mysterious but something very specific like relaxing on the beach with a coconut my tie with Bay by your side listening to Sweet tunes and translate that into eight measures of Music. Well, that's precisely what the beach boys did with this incredible set of chords. So, let's take a look the chord progression for the verse shows as follows.
Now if we write out the notes of each one of these chords we can find a simple relationship hidden between them the first chord contains the notes C the second chord contains the note right beneath it be and the third chord contains the note beneath that be flat and so on and so on and so on this pattern of descending notes continues all the way until we get to the note F but music we call these notes chromatics notes that are one half step or one note apart from each other now, normally we don't use chromatics unless we're writing about bumblebees.
Clowns, here's what those notes sound like all on their own.
And here's how those notes fit into the chord progression now, although this chromatic descent from C is barely audible on the surface. I think it has a profound effect on the emotional content of the chord progression. The use of falling notes has a subconscious effect on your And whether you like it or not and the wise words of Harry Plunkett, you might not have noticed it but your brain did and I personally think it's a perfect musical Counterpoint to instruments like these playing underneath lyrics like these ultimately affecting your mood like a drug putting you into a state of calming relaxation and pure Euphoria.
It's also worth noting that taking chromatic notes and cramming them into a chord progression and having them sound good isn't necessarily an easy task. There's a million ways to incorporate these descending notes into a chord progression. And most of them will sound bad. For example, here's the exact same chromatic descent stage through just regular minor chords with nothing revolving around a specific key as you can see, there's not much Melody here. The reason that the Kokomo chord progression works is that it does revolve around. Stay very closely tied to the key of C major. And if we analyze the chords within this chord progression will see that they're all just varieties of either secondary dominance or borrowed chords. So it goes without saying that music can make you feel a certain way, but it's pretty astounding at how efficient music can be at describing and translating very specific and nuanced emotions. I think another great example is the theme for Back to the Future. I describe it as scientific discovery tainted with uncertainty yet overpowered by Goodwill and Triumph.
All of that wrapped up in just a few chords and notes. Now. You don't have to know music theory to compose music that translates an emotion, but it certainly helps when you're trying to write complicated emotions like this for me music theory is only one half of writing music but making a listener feel a certain way takes almost zero musical training, for example, you don't need a musician's help to teach you how to write a happy song. You can probably guess that you would use things like Beat tempos positive words and happy sounding instruments like the banjo or ukulele and likewise if you're writing a song about the devastating loss of a loved one or pet. You probably wouldn't use these exact same instruments tempos and words for the song and prayer Monsoon.
She got frame tubers in the back of her head. And now her body is gone.
Her body is gone gone gone, however with Knowledge of Music Theory you're spending a lot of time trying to find a way to get the notes to work with each other and sound good and ultimately it'll act as a roadblock to getting your song done. So my advice is take the Middle Road he creative and use your own life experiences to help guide and inform your music composition choices, but maybe you should learn a little Theory to help fit those complicated ideas into easy to consume packages or don't that's fine too Graham. I said, he got brain tumors in the back of her head.