Author Topic: Dream theater's songs that change keys  (Read 1141 times)

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Offline Beryl1803

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Dream theater's songs that change keys
« on: August 04, 2018, 06:05:25 AM »
hello all,
Im kinda trying to analyze a few dream theater's songs that change keys - but Im trying to find songs which are changing keys using modes
are there any songs that change with the use of mode? pls do comment and guide a really young keyboard player - also please do help me analyze (if possible ,else a song suggestion could do as well :) )

thanks  :) :biggrin:

Offline SebastiŠn Pratesi

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 10:08:14 AM »
Hi, Beryl. :)
The following are some recent songs which change keys - I'm not sure about modes, so you can check them out and see:
  • "Hymn of a thousand voices", from The Astonishing.
    It starts in E major, and it stays there until the short bridge ("Amazingly, the savior found his voice..."), which is in E minor. After that, the whole chorus is in G major.
  • "The bigger picture", from the self-titled album.
    It starts in Em and mostly stays there (or around G) until the guitar solo, which is in C#m. The bridge ("What if caught in a moment...") also starts in C#m and, at the end, makes you believe it's going to Emaj. But (of course!), it reverts back to Em. The outro is in Gmaj.
  • "Breaking all illusions", from A dramatic turn of events.
    The intro is in Am; quickly, it changes to Gm when the music gets softer for the verses ("With the Sun in place..."). It stays in Gm for a while, until the reprise of the intro riffs comes in - first in Em, then in Am. (This includes the "Searching out, reaching in..." chorus) Soon, the long instrumental section starts in Am, then moves to Dm for the guitar solo; the solo is followed by that crazy keyboard bit, which I think is in Gm and then Cm. The instrumental section finishes with that bit in 5/4, first in Gm and then in Bbm. There's a reprise of the "Searching out..." chorus, once again in Am, and then a new verse in Dm ("Embrace the days...").

Offline Evai

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 10:25:36 AM »
Disappear is mostly in A minor, but goes up to Bb minor at the end
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Offline Beryl1803

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 02:37:22 AM »
Hey thanks for the replies, I'll definitely be looking at those songs
pls do submit more songs that I cud analyze - really wanna get going with understanding music !
even if its something small, I'd really appreciate it :)


Offline danoz

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 06:22:12 AM »
Hollow Years modulates to a different key if Iím not mistaken. Also, this dying soul moves slightly but returns the original key it part plus it has that insane unison coda section


Offline millahh

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2018, 07:18:40 AM »
IWBY jumps up a whole step for the last chorus and the outro.
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Offline SebastiŠn Pratesi

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 07:47:44 AM »
Hollow Years modulates to a different key if Iím not mistaken.
That's right! The last pre-chorus ends in C, which is the V degree of the original key, and IV of G - the key of the last chorus.

Offline rumborak

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 08:14:46 AM »
IWBY jumps up a whole step for the last chorus and the outro.

Also known as the "truck driver's gear change" :lol

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TruckDriversGearChange
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Offline SebastiŠn Pratesi

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2018, 08:26:46 AM »
Hey thanks for the replies, I'll definitely be looking at those songs
pls do submit more songs that I cud analyze - really wanna get going with understanding music !
even if its something small, I'd really appreciate it :)
No problem!
These are a few examples that come to mind right now, which I think you'll be interested in:
  • "Stream of consciousness"
    There's a cool section that starts in 5:06. At that point, the key changes from C#m to G#m.
    Then, what you hear are arpeggios of the following chords: G#m7 / E7 / G#m7 / E7. The chord progression Im7 / VI7 / Im7 / VI7.
    Now, E is the IV degree of B; plus, the 7į note in E is D, which is the III of Bm.
    That way, the key moves once again, to Bm, and you get Bm7 / G7 / Bm7 / G7 - the same chord progression as before!
    In other words, the key ascended 1 tone and a half (or, a minor third).
    After that, there are some heavy rifs which also keep ascending 1 tone and a half; the song goes back to its original key (C#m),
    and you get G#m7 / E7 / G#m7 / E7 / Bm7 / G7 / Bm7 / G7.  Everything is repeated once again.
    The last time, you once again get the Im7 / VI7 chord progression in G#m and in Bm, but also in Cm and in Ebm.
    When it changes from Bm to Cm, the key ascends just a half tone (but it's OK, I guess, because the previous chord was G - the V of C).
    When it changes from Cm to Ebm, it ascends 1 and a half like always. The last chord is B7, and the key goes back to C#m.
  • There are a few other songs in The Astonishing which feature this "ascending by a minor third". You can find it in places such as the intro to "Three days" and the last chorus in "Moment of betrayal".
  • The Astonishing also includes some sections which keep changing keys every few bars. Pay attention to "Whispers on the wind" and the intro to "Begin again".

Offline nattmorker

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2018, 09:01:19 AM »
I don't remeber the specifics but "Finally Free" changes keys almost at the end, to F#minor IIRC.
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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2018, 02:41:03 PM »
I love how the Chorus to Outcry is first presented instrumentally in Bm, the first time it's sung it's in Em, and the second time at the end it's in Bm again. Note how the switch to Em on the first chorus gives it some hope, while the return to Bm at the end is much more somber, tying in with the subject of the song as well.
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Offline Evai

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2018, 03:21:31 PM »
I Walk Beside You has a typical 'off your stools' key change at the end (D to E)

When Your Time Has Come is mostly in D, but the solo changes key (F# minor/relative A major)

Brother Can You Hear Me is mostly in D, but when the 'road to revolution' lyrics start, it changes to C

Moment Of Betrayal's choruses are in Em, but at the end it goes to Gm
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Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2018, 06:02:26 PM »
Stream of consciousness is a really good one for this. Specially the middle section.

Lost not Forgotten changes keys on the second verse very drastically.

Metropolis Pt. 1: probably my favorite modulation of DTs entire discography. After the crazy instrumental section they give you a chord progression in D but never resolve it. After you think they gonna resolve they actually modulate to F minor(I think). But they donít resolve the chord progression of F either but instead give you the resolution to D.

Offline Max Kuehnau

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2018, 03:36:12 PM »
You'll find that a lot in quite a few Astonishing songs as well (Lord Nafaryus being one and A New Beginning as well)

Offline Ninjabait

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2018, 09:40:56 AM »
Some from the Astonishing according to the keyboard book (mostly ignoring modes other than major and minor):

Dystopian Overture: bmin - dmin - emin - B - D - F - A
The Gift of Music: D - G - C - D - gmin - emin - G
Lord Nafaryu: amin - dmin - A - f#min (there are a lot of really brief tonicizations in this song too)
When Your Time Has Come: D - f#min - A
A Life Left Behind: D - C - D - emin
Ravenskill: emin - cmin - emin - c#min - emin - A - D
A Tempting Offer: bbmin (Mostly Gb Lydian) - ebmin - Emaj - ebmin
A New Beginning: gmin - emin - gmin - Eb (really jut a mode change but whatever) - emin - Eb - Bb - emin - gmin
Moment of Betrayal: emin - gmin - emin
The Path That Divides: bbmin/Gb Lydian - c#min - bmin??? (your guess is as good as mine, I'd have to really look at this one) - f#min - ebmin - f#min - ebmin - E - c#min - Ebmin
My Last Farewell: cmin - bmin

Did this quick and dirty, so didn't analyze the passages myself to make sure what was labeled was the best analysis.

Offline SebastiŠn Pratesi

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2018, 12:44:54 AM »
The Gift of Music: D - G - C - D - gmin - emin - G
I remember being confused about this last month, when I went through the previews of the book on SheetMusicPlus.

Eventhough the key signature is that of D, the song is very clearly on A, albeit with G instead of G sharp... right?

(In other words - the notes are the same, but the root is different.)

Maybe the key signatures are not that reliable in some cases.

Offline Ninjabait

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2018, 07:28:56 PM »
Yes, that is correct. The first portion of the song (up until the shift to minor) seems to be in the Mixolydian mode of the D-major scale (or A). The key signature given is right, I just didn't list the modes outside of the basic major or minor since that can get pretty subjective at times and I was just doing a quick skim through the book and not really analyzing on a passage by passage basis.

Offline Ruba

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2018, 02:47:31 PM »
I'm not that good in musical theory, feel free to correct.

- Only a Matter of Time has several. I think it's mainly in C# minor, but the keyboard break is in F minor and the outro in E major. I think some of it is in F# minor.
- A Fortune in Lies begins in B minor, verses are in F# minor, chorus in A minor. There's also a riff in E minor.
- Learning to Live. Intro on F# minor, first verse and the chorus in E minor. Instrumental section has both. Outro in E minor.
- Metropolis pt.1 keeps shifting between E minor and B minor.
- The Mirror is in B minor, except for the chorus, which is in E minor.
- Blind Faith shifts between D minor (verse) and A minor (chorus). Instrumental section mostly in A minor.
- The Great Debate is mostly in E major, the heavy section in D minor.
- In the Name of God mostly in C minor, chorus in F minor.
- Repentance, intro in C# minor, verses and beginning of the chorus in E minor, solo and the post-verse/solo/outro in F# minor.
- Pull Me Under mostly in E minor, chorus in A minor. So as you might guess, it also applies to On the Backs of Angels. :lol

There are many more... they're progressive band after all... and you'll need someone sober and competent to figure them out :biggrin:.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 07:24:20 PM by Ruba »
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Offline Renzo

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2018, 05:33:19 PM »
TDOE

1. G Phrygian (root shifting from G to E)
2. D Phrygian
3. E Minor
4. E Phrygian
5. A Minor
6. D Eolian
7. Atonal

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Offline RoeDent

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2018, 01:28:05 PM »
One of my favourite unexpected modulations, and it still gives me goosebumps even though I know it's coming, is at the end of Bridges in the Sky. After the second chorus, it goes into a bridge section ("And at last the time has come...") and the end of that ("Shaman take my hand") goes into the expected D minor for the instrumental break. The return of that bridge, and it goes exactly as before, right up to the very end when it unexpectedly jumps to the B minor which is the main key of the song, for the coda. It shouldn't work, but it does. It's absolutely brilliant, and it's a fine example of the fact that DT know their way around music theory, and can pull off spectacular tricks like that!

- Only a Matter of Time has several. I think it's mainly in C# minor, but the keyboard break is in F minor and the outro in E major. I think some of it is in F# minor.


Until Illumination Theory in 2013, Only A Matter of Time had the only C major passage in a Dream Theater studio-album track.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 01:44:25 PM by RoeDent »
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Offline LCArenas

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2018, 09:08:46 PM »
The Ministry of Lost Souls also does key changes in the guitar-led outro.

Offline Ruba

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Re: Dream theater's songs that change keys
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2018, 02:08:47 PM »
The Ministry of Lost Souls also does key changes in the guitar-led outro.

Oh yes. There are a couple key changes in the instrumental section too.
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