Modulation

Do you ever grow attached to a key and find yourself resisting modulation into a new key?

I have spent the past several hours working on exercise #244, (page 142) from Patterns For Jazz by Jerry Coker et. al.

I started by putting the exercise into Band in a Box in all 12 minor keys.  (This track sounds beautiful:  I’ll send you a MIDI file on request.)

As the speed gradually increased, i found it necessary to loop each 4-bar section.  But just now, it dawned on me that it is no longer playing the phrase which is the problem – it is the modulation.  Every 4 bars, i ‘migrate’ up a half-step.  This means i jump from the ending LA (the root of the old minor key) to TI (the second degree) in the new key up a half-step.  That jump is a minor third.

The minor third is not difficult to calculate on the fly;  it is the modulation which is hard to negotiate.  So now i have begun looping the modulation (bar 4 and bar 5). 

Is this really that difficult technically?   Or is the challenge emotional?  In performing the 4 measure figure, i become attached to the old minor key, especially since the passage has that gorgeous, Parisian minor mysterious ambience (like the theme song to the PBS show Maigret).  It is hard to let go and embrace the new key.   Can this ability be learned, or will modulation always be an emotional struggle?   

2 thoughts on “Modulation

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