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#299486 - 06/13/15 04:07 AM [Off-Topic] Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ?
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
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Hi all,

In my music study, I've been learning to analyze and hear what key a song is in, modulations to other keys, substitute chords, etc. The rules take some decision making - but for the most part they are applied in structured ways, ways that can be programmed.

Has anyone run across a program that can do this, or is there nothing like it yet ?

P.S. - I would find it extremely helpful, in my study of theory, to have BB songs that list such information under the scores - is there any way to have this type of information displayed, or to look into selected files to extract it oneself ?

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#299507 - 06/13/15 09:20 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
Jim Fogle Offline
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The Audio Chord Wizard detects key signature, tempo, chords and slash chords (bass notes) but it's up to the user to put it all together.
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#299548 - 06/13/15 06:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
raymb1 Offline
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Registered: 05/24/05
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Loc: Sterling, Va
Originally Posted By: Joe V
Hi all,

In my music study, I've been learning to analyze and hear what key a song is in, modulations to other keys, substitute chords, etc. The rules take some decision making - but for the most part they are applied in structured ways, ways that can be programmed.

Has anyone run across a program that can do this, or is there nothing like it yet ?

P.S. - I would find it extremely helpful, in my study of theory, to have BB songs that list such information under the scores - is there any way to have this type of information displayed, or to look into selected files to extract it oneself ?


Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ?


What you're asking for is what you learn with more study. There are no short cuts or apps to learning music or to be a good musician. Study more and learn more.
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#299550 - 06/13/15 06:27 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
eddie1261 Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4390
Because if you are a musician you are supposed to be able to recognize that stuff when you hear it. If you don't know a major scale from a minor scale or a pentatonic or a mixolydian, take some theory classes. It will truly help your song writing when you are looking for something that doesn't sound cookie cutter.

Chances are you already PLAY all the different scales. You just don't know the theory behind them to know you are playing them.

Think about chord structure for a minute and how much voicing means. If you play a Dm (with the A on the bottom) with your right hand over a B bass, you are playing a Bm7b5 and you don't know it. An F chord on your right hand over a G in the bass is an F9 because G is the 9th note on the F scale. I am sure you have played that chord. Maybe you didn't know it was an F9. Stuff like that is examples of how different things become second nature by virtue of hearing them and finding them on the keyboard and not knowing what they are. You don't have to know what they are, but it helps you write (not better, but often) faster if you do. If you know the theory, your writing will seem easier when you are looking for chords.

So the non-long winded answer is "Because that's the kind of thing musicians are supposed to know."
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#299600 - 06/14/15 05:19 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1020
Loc: NYC
I was thinking more of this as an effective ear training tool - I simply do not have the time given my full-time (non-music) job and personal responsibilities to reach this point the way 'traditional' musicians do, and thought this would be a great ear training tool that works on specific songs....learning these things out of song context is great - what separates the 'men from the boys' is being able to apply and hear them in real songs.


....but all your answers are well-received and valid to me...

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#299781 - 06/15/15 11:20 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 2366
Loc: Sacramento, California
First of all, there's a basic barrier to use. In order for a program to analyze the progression, you'll need to enter in the chords and melody. That's probably a lot more work than the analysis itself. Sort of like Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine.

Next, there's the problem that there's often more than one analysis possible, and often there may be parallel functions happening. Displaying all these options would be confusing - which are the right ones? Although a program can select a likely analysis, that doesn't mean it's right.

Finally, the analysis doesn't mean anything by itself. You have to understand what those underlying harmonic functions represent. And if you knew that, you'd probably not need the analysis software in the first place. Basically, what Eddie was alluding to.
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#299794 - 06/15/15 01:56 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
GHinCH Offline
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Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 1486
Loc: Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
A fast way is to look for the last note. It usually, but definitely not always, is the root of the key. If your key shown by accidentals is "C" and the last note is "D", then it could be Dorian. This needs to be verified by the chordal structure. A software could be created to do that for you. But I guess that a proficient musician could see that fast enough without software.

For BIAB, write that mode into the filename. Then you can even search for it in the file explorer.
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#299813 - 06/15/15 04:41 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: dcuny]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11354
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: dcuny
First of all, there's a basic barrier to use. In order for a program to analyze the progression, you'll need to enter in the chords and melody. That's probably a lot more work than the analysis itself. Sort of like Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine.

Next, there's the problem that there's often more than one analysis possible, and often there may be parallel functions happening. Displaying all these options would be confusing - which are the right ones? Although a program can select a likely analysis, that doesn't mean it's right.

Finally, the analysis doesn't mean anything by itself. You have to understand what those underlying harmonic functions represent. And if you knew that, you'd probably not need the analysis software in the first place. Basically, what Eddie was alluding to.


JoeV, read dcuny's note very carefully. It is spot on. Even with the same chord structure there are many ways to get from one chord to another and IMHO learning theory is the only way to determine those paths.
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#299853 - 06/16/15 03:52 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
Joe V Offline
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1020
Loc: NYC
I agree with all of you - but I still feel - at least for me, this would be a great practice and study tool.

For the record - I bet the very program we use for accompaniment was once considered similarly in terms of complexity and utility.

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#299871 - 06/16/15 05:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Why is there not yet a program to analyze the modes, scales used in songs ? [Re: Joe V]
pghboemike Offline
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Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 2460
Modal Chord Progressions

you could try plugging these progressions into biab and generating random melodies to get a feel for how the modes sound



modes in music



Edited by pghboemike (06/16/15 06:01 AM)
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