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Aeolian cadences, etc.
by Andrew W. Rogers (some corrections by Chuck Anderson)

 
(Refered to in this article are musical terms of some complexity which
have excited the minds of Beatlemaniacs. Two previous articles may
help you get your bearings: William Mann's "groundbreaking" review
of Beatles' music, which came out in the London TIMES at the end of
1963 and is reprinted in "The Lennon Companion", and Wilfred Mellers'
book (referred to later in this article) called "Twilight of the Gods",
a longer tome analyzing the Beatles' contribution to music.)

Definition of Aeolian Cadence:
Aeolian is one of seven basic musical modes. It is also known
as the natural minor mode.

Other modes: mixolydian, lydian, dorian, ionian etc. Some sound happy
some sad, and some mysterious.

You think the *names* are hard to remember - back in ear training class we
had to learn to *sing* each of 'em!  And then there are the hypo- and
super-variations on the basic seven, all of which (fortunately) I've
forgotten!  It's been 15+ years since then, but I'll give it a try...

The basic ("ecclesiastical") modes are essentially permutations of the major
("diatonic" - do-re-mi-etc.) starting somewhere other than on "do".  Here is
a brief table listing a) the scale step, b) its name in solfeggio (the
"do-re-mi..." notation you learned in kindergarten), c) the corresponding
note in the C major (white keys) scale, d) the canonical name of the scale
step, e) the name of the mode starting on that note and played only on the
white keys, and f) the resulting sequence of whole-and half-steps:

	1	do	C	tonic		Ionian		WWHWWWH
	2	re	D	supertonic	Dorian		WHWWWHW
	3	mi	E	mediant		Phrygian	HWWWHWW
	4	fa	F	subdominant	Lydian		WWWHWWH
	5	sol	G	dominant	Mixolydian	WWHWWHW
	6	la	A	submediant	Aeolian		WHWWHWW
	7	ti	B	leading tone	Locrian		HWWHWWW

Sit down at a keyboard and play around with these if you'd like.  The Dorian
mode will probably sound familiar to you since it incorporates the flatted
third and flatted seventh (F and C, with respect to D) that you've heard
countless times in blues and blues-derived rock.  Grass Roots fans will
recognize the Mixolydian mode immediately ("Things I Should Have Said").
Others may sound exotic (or just plain weird - especially the Locrian, which
is so weird that it was at one time illegal!).  Play around with chords,
too; you can construct the following triads using just the white keys.
These are commonly referred to by the name of the scale step they start on
(see above):

	C major		C-E-G		tonic
	D minor		D-F-A		supertonic
	E minor		E-G-B		mediant, etc...
	F major		F-A-C
	G major		G-B-D
	A minor		A-C-E
	B diminished	B-D-F

Now see if you can pick out some familiar tunes using just the above chords
(hint: try Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" or Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone".)

"Cadence" describes a pair of chords and how the first leads into
the second. The best-known examples are the perfect cadence (dominant->tonic
- the real important one) and plagal cadence (subdominant->tonic - the "A -
men" at the end of countless hymns).  I couldn't find "Aeolian cadence"
listed anywhere, but my guess is that it refers to the dominant->submediant
chord change (G -> Am in C), since the Aeolian mode starts on the submediant
(A) and the Beatles (not so sure about Mahler) do indeed use this in "Not A
Second Time":

	Dm
	You hurt me then - you're back again
	Em       G                 Am
	No, no, no - not a second time

(transposed from G major to C major for clarity)

another example:

	F6           C
	You say yes, I say no
                  G       Am          G	      Am
	You say stop, and I say go-go-go...  ohhh...

("Hello, Goodbye", already in C)


OK, now some other fancy names for things that every rock-n-roller knows
intuitively - starting with the "flatted submediant key change":

The flatted submediant is what the name implies: A-flat (instead of A) in
the key of C.  The Beatles used the flatted submediant *chord* change a lot:

	C		 Ab		C
	Every night when everybody has fun

("It Won't Be Long", transposed from E)

	Dm      G       Ab          C
	Oh, you know, I will...   I will.

("I Will", transposed from F)

	C                              Ab
	Honey Pie, you are driving me crazy

("Honey Pie", from G)

	G           Ab
	P.S. I love you...
	     Bb    C
	You, you, you

(transposed from D)

Needless to say, the Beatles weren't the first to do this by a long shot;
check out Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't" or Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue".  In
a radio interview, George Harrison admitted that he was incredibly impressed
when he first heard BH play:

	C		      Ab			   C
	Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue, pretty-pretty-pretty-pretty Peggy Sue

(transposed from A)

Back to the Beatles: they occasionally even ventured into staying in the
flatted-submediant key for a couple of bars:

	      Bb                            F
	I get by with a little help from my friends
		                   Ab      Fm     C
	With a little help from my frie - eeeee - ends.

(transposed from E)

or:

	F                         Ab
	I don't know why you say goodbye, I say
	Ab     Cm/G  F#dim   F    C
	Hello -  o  -  o  -  o, Hello.

(end of "Hello, Goodbye")

(An example of a true flatted-submediant key change - one lasting more than
a couple of bars - can be found in Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl":  The verses
are in E major, while the "And when she's walking" chorus is in C major,
the flatted submediant relative to E.  Then it goes to A ("She'll see I'm
not so tough") briefly before returning to E.)


"Clusters of pandiatonic whatevers":

I remember that this was a reference to the three-part harmonies in "If I
Fell" (transposed from D):

	     C    Dm  Em	
	If I give my heart...

Actually, the most intersting feature of "If I Fell" is not the simple
diatonic harmonies but the chromatic key modulation at the beginning:

	     C#m				|	we're in
	If I fell in love with you		|	B major here...
		   C				|
	Would you promise to be true		|
	    B         G#m			|
	And help me understand			|
		    C#m				|
	'Cause I've been in love before		|
	        C				|
	And I found that love was more		|

	     Dm           G			|	now we're in C
	Than just holding hands			|


"Unresolved leading tones":

Well, the "leading tone" (see above) is called that because it wants to
"lead" back to the tonic.  If you don't believe this, sing "do-re-mi..." and
stop on "ti".  You *really* want to hear that high "do" next, don't you?
That's what "resolving" means, and in some Beatle song (damned if I know
which one off the top of my head) they didn't do that; they either stayed on
the leading tone or went to some scale step other than the tonic.


Other:

Wilfred What's-his-name, in that damn book of his, was particularly
impressed by the Beatles' modulating to the subdominant key - in other
words, a song whose verses were in, say, C, would have choruses in F:

	F       G          C
	I wanna hold your hand.
	Gm          C               F      Dm
	And when I touch you I feel happy inside...
				    ^ new tonal center here

(transposed from G)

This is hardly a new idea; it was a common feature in Tin Pan Alley songs
40-50 years earlier and probably made its way into the Beatles' tunes via
the Brill Building pop (e.g. Goffin/King) which J&P cited as inspiration:

	C	 Am   F            G                C
	One fine day, you're gonna want me for your girl...
	Gm	  C		  Gm	  C    F
	Though I know you're the kind of boy / who only wants to run around

("One Fine Day", the Chiffons, transposed from F)


Finally, I should cite "From Me To You", which incorporates *nearly all*
of the above (and which I don't even have to transpose 'cause it's already
in C :-) ):

	       F		  Am
	Just call on me and I'll send it along
	       C	G    C   C7
	With love from me to you
	
		  Gm                C
	I've got arms that long to hold you
	    F
	And keep you by my side
		  D7
	I've got lips that long to kiss you
	     G            G+    <---  G-augmented: G, B, D# (try it!)
	And keep you satisfied

		    C		     Am
	If there's anything that you want
		    C		  G
	If there's anything I can do
	      F			  Am
	Just call on me and I'll send it along
	      C        G     Am      Ab       G
	With love from me to you, to you, to you...


How many can *you* spot???


--
Thanks to Andrew W. Rogers
--

>From the keyboard of Chuck Anderson, in reference to the above:

   The corrections could make playing along with these examples an easier and
   more enjoyable experience.

   The ??? indicate questions about the original sentence, and the
   ">" suggested correx.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

    F6           C
    You say yes, I say no
???           G       Am          G	  Am            - this is the error
>   G                 Am          G       Am              that is probably
    You say stop, and I say go-go-go...  ohhh...          due to tabs,
                                                          therefore not really
("Hello, Goodbye", already in C)                          an error.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

???       Bb                            F
>         Eb               Bb           F      
    I get by with a little help from my friends
                               Ab      Fm     C
    With a little help from my frie - eeeee - ends.

(transposed from E)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

??? F                        Ab
>..C..           F               Ab          
    I don't know why you say goodbye, I say
    Ab     Cm/G  F#dim   F    C
    Hello -  o  -  o  -  o, Hello.

(end of "Hello, Goodbye")

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, I should cite "From Me To You", which incorporates *nearly all*
of the above (and which I don't even have to transpose 'cause it's already
in C :-) ):

	       F		  Am
	Just call on me and I'll send it along
	       C	G    C   C7
	With love from me to you
	
		  Gm                C
	I've got arms that long to hold you
	    F
	And keep you by my side
		  D7
	I've got lips that long to kiss you
	     G            G+    <---  G-augmented: G, B, D# (try it!)
	And keep you satisfied

		    C		     Am
	If there's anything that you want
		    C		  G
	If there's anything I can do
	      F			  Am
	Just call on me and I'll send it along
???	      C        G     Am      Ab       G
>             C        G     Am      Ab       C                       Am
        With love from me to you, to you, to you  >...da..da..dum..dum..dum

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