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Divine revelation of truth or just "Let it be" ?

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earlyprog View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 17 2013 at 19:47
I saw a program discussing the popularity of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and it's chords were traced back to "Let in be" (Beatles ofcourse) over Elton John and many (like 120+) others' hits over the years following 1969.
 
Funny thing is that I recently finally got around to Elton John and his albums in full (not just what I hear/heard accidentially on radio) and immediately linked the intro of "Don't stop believing" to Elton when discussed in the program.
 
I seem to remember another program where Lous Armstrong described "Let it be" as a psalm. Which psalm/psalms would that be?
 
Or is "Let it be" just as generic and a pattern for a majority of hits following it as the program wants it to be?
 
 


Edited by earlyprog - March 17 2013 at 19:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2013 at 20:15
Let It Be makes use of the Plagal Cadence, (IV to I) which is also known as the "Amen" Cadence because of its frequent used for the word "Amen" in hymns, and it maintains that in the chord progression  I-V-IV-I through the song - the song's melody also stays in one key, which another feature of hymns. This gives the song a hymn or psalm like quality. Paul McCartney used this often because hymns formed part of how he learnt music - he did not know music theory nor could he read music, but he knew how hymns were played. The Beatles certainly didn't invent this, but they may have been the first to use it in a non-gospel pop tune.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote earlyprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 16:34
Your take on this much appreciated, Dean.
 
I was listening to the album The Captian & the Kid by Elton John last night and couldn't help singing let it be on top of it and the theory appears to be valid. I ended up getting annoyed by it and I wish I had continued being ignorant on this idea! I even heard Harrison's (post let it be) slide guitar on the album....and Paul's distinct bass lines.
 
I'm not a music conservatory literate but this hymn-like song - in Beatles context - seems to go back to Hey Jude.
 
What do you think?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 18:21
I don't know how far it goes back but Eight Days A Week would be an early example.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geneyesontle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2013 at 20:59
Green Day, U2, The Offspring, Toto, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Rolling Stones, Blink 182, Adele, James Blunt, Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Nicki Minaj, Mika and Taylor Swift (many of them are pop artists we don't care) also used this chord progression.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote earlyprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2013 at 11:13
Axis of Awesome - 4 chord song:
 
 
 
Now I get it:
 
Four Chords That Made A Million (Steven Wilson)
 
 


Edited by earlyprog - March 20 2013 at 11:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2013 at 11:59
Originally posted by earlyprog earlyprog wrote:

Axis of Awesome - 4 chord song:
Now I get it:
Four Chords That Made A Million (Steven Wilson)
Weeelll... sort-of, those 4-chords ( I - V - vi - IV) do not involve the plagal cadence, therefore the songs won't be so psalm-like as Let It Be. 
 
The ( I - V - vi - IV) progression does appear in Let It Be, but that isn't what gives the song it's hymn/psalm like quality, it's the I-V-IV-I progression that does that and it is also used by Argent in God Gave Rock And Roll To You (features Psalm 57 in the lyrics) and by 10cc in I'm Not In Love and by Oasis in Don't Look Back In Anger... three songs that also have psalm-like qualities.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2013 at 12:38
Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

... 
The ( I - V - vi - IV) progression does appear in Let It Be, but that isn't what gives the song it's hymn/psalm like quality, it's the I-V-IV-I progression that does that and it is also used by Argent in God Gave Rock And Roll To You (features Psalm 57 in the lyrics) and by 10cc in I'm Not In Love and by Oasis in Don't Look Back In Anger... three songs that also have psalm-like qualities.
 
Sometimes I wish I knew music more intimately ... that's really far out Dean!
 
And, no doubt, someone like Jeff Lynne would probably know something like that!


Edited by moshkito - March 20 2013 at 12:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2013 at 16:03
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by Dean Dean wrote:

... 
The ( I - V - vi - IV) progression does appear in Let It Be, but that isn't what gives the song it's hymn/psalm like quality, it's the I-V-IV-I progression that does that and it is also used by Argent in God Gave Rock And Roll To You (features Psalm 57 in the lyrics) and by 10cc in I'm Not In Love and by Oasis in Don't Look Back In Anger... three songs that also have psalm-like qualities.
 
Sometimes I wish I knew music more intimately ... that's really far out Dean!
 
And, no doubt, someone like Jeff Lynne would probably know something like that!
I would hope every musician knows something like that, even if they don't know the technicalities of music theory in the academic sense. Fortunately the theory and terminology is a lot more confusing than the practice, so even musicians can do it in practice even if they cannot explain it in theory.
 
In basic terms each chord made of three or more notes from a scale based upon the root note of the chord, (so if the first chord "I" is an E[major] the scale is E-major); a chord progression is formed by taking subsequent chords that have a harmonic relationship to the preceding chord. With the basic three-chord trick (I-IV-V) the progression uses every note in the ("I" chord) scale so will fit with any melody written in that key, for example
 
the scale of E-major = E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#
 
A major chord is created by taking the first, third and fifth note of that scale and playing them together.
 
E is the 1st note in the E-major scale so the I chord is E =  [ E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#] <- 1,3,5 in the scale of E-major
A is the 4th note in the E-major scale so the IV chord is A =  [A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G#]  <- 1,3,5 in the scale of A-major
B is the 5th note in the E-major scale so the V chord is B =  [B,C#,D#,E,F#,G#,A#] <- 1,3,5 in the scale of B-major
 
putting those chords on the E-major scale looks like this:
I (E)   = [E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#,E,F#]
IV (A) = [E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#,F#] <- I've shown the E coming from the next octave up here
V (B)  = [E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#,F#<- I've shown the F# coming from the next octave up here.
 
Note that chords A[maj] and B[maj] both share a note with the E[maj] chord (E and B respectively)
 
 
What this means is the song's melody can be written using any of the notes of the E-major scale and still be harmonious with the three chosen chords - essentially if you stick to those three chords you cannot mess it up no matter what you do.
 
The basic four-chord progression [ I - V - vi - IV] introduces a minor chord "vi" (lowercase denotes a minor chord)
C# is the 6th note in the scale so the vi chord is C#[minor] = [C#,D#,E,F#,G#,A,B,C#] <- 1,3,5 in the scale of C#-minor
 
Which in E-major scale  = [E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#,E,F#,G#
 
...so you can see that still uses notes from the E-major scale (and shares two notes with the E[maj] chord), if the progression had used a VI major chord then the three notes would have been C#, F, G#, and here the "F" note is not in the E-major scale so would be "wrong" if we are playing a melody in E-major.
 
/edit: note that the C#-minor scale uses all the same notes as the E-major scale, because of this C#-minor is called a relative key of E-major
 
~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+~+
 
Contrary to popular belief, Prog (and Jazz) doesn't throw all that out the window and ignore this basic format. In the above example you can use an VI major chord in the progression, you just need to find a trick to deal with the "F" note to resolve the dissonance.
 


Edited by Dean - March 20 2013 at 18:41


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote earlyprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2013 at 18:41

^of course, you took the words right out of my mouth! tell me somethimg I don't know LOL



Edited by earlyprog - March 20 2013 at 18:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2013 at 19:03
sorry for wasting your time. It won't happen again. Stern Smile


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote earlyprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2013 at 10:29
Apologies, Dean Embarrassed
I broke rule #1 for a Dane: be careful if using irony.
 
Your chord analysis is very helpful even for an ignorant fool like me Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2013 at 10:33
In English 'tell me something I don't know' is sarcasm, not irony. Tongue


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote earlyprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2013 at 10:52
Embarrassed feeling even more as an ignorant fool Embarrassed
 
Wikipedia links irony to sarcasm:
 
Sarcasm is "a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter gibe or taunt", usually conveyed through irony or understatement. Most authorities distinguish sarcasm from irony; however, others argue that sarcasm may or often does involve irony or employs ambivalence.


Edited by earlyprog - March 21 2013 at 10:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2013 at 06:55
My dad played the harmonica and was self-taught in the truest sense of the word, he never had a lesson, was never shown what to do; one day if found an old mouth-organ and experimented with it until he could produce a tune that sounded right to his ear. He would hear a tune on the radio he liked and out would come the harmonica, within a few minutes he would be playing the basic melody. If you ever asked him what notes he was playing he wouldn't have a clue, he would sound a note on the mouth-organ and say "that one".
 
He once told me (sometime in the 1960s) that if I wanted to learn to play I should start by playing hymns because they were simple and easy to pick-up, his rationale was they had to be simple so untrained people could sing them in church. He'd also noticed that you could sing the words to one hymn to the tune of another.and this was something they shared with folk music, [again - simple tunes that anyone could sing]. It was obvious to him that Lennon and McCartney had learnt music this way because of what he could pick-up "by ear" in their songs (hymns and folk music), another truism he said at the time was "pop and rock'n'roll was just folk music played on modern instruments".
 
Later in life, once I'd learnt a small amount of music theory, I could understand from theory all those things he'd observed "by ear".
 
 /eidt PS: This link between folk music and hymns can be heard in Steeleye Span's Fighting For Strangers - an old folk song sang to the tune of the hymn "To Be A Pilgrim"
 
 
 
There is a long-running BBC radio programme called I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (known as ISIHAC) that features a section of popular songs sung to different tunes - Tiny Hawks singing "Girlfriend In A Coma" to the tune of "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" is something to be heard to be believed.LOL
 


Edited by Dean - March 22 2013 at 07:07


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote earlyprog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2013 at 16:29
^Great post, Dean, linking past to present Thumbs Up
 
((Collect all posts similar to this and you may end up with a prog related self biography - perhaps a blog?))
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