Aretha's "Respect" in C - sax break starts over a Gbminor - unique move?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by billy logan, May 13, 2021.

  1. billy logan

    billy logan Tele-Meister

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    [online called it F#minor - I'll call it Gb minor, thinking that C is a key like F, Bb. Eb etc. where you call the accidentals by the flats]

    Do you know any other songs where a bridge, or whatever, sax break, starts on the minor chord name of the b5 up from the key note, the I?

    Very cool move ime.
     
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  2. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Gd quest.

    When I play tonight I'll play around going up to the flatted 5th
    To see if that brings to mind any other songs with what you're asking.
     
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  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    First of all, the whole song is weird, in the compositional sense. It largely avoids melodic resolution up front, and it feels like its chordal center is shifting periodically. It's actually rather jazzy. It's a very playfully modal song, composed and originally recorded by Otis Redding.

    His version also has an interesting bridge (different from the Aretha version). His bridge modulates to the bVII of the main key...but it's mixolydian, not major...while the verses themselves are trickily playing with mixolydian-major relativism. However, his long and dramatic intro vamp, and the MGs' more caveman-like rhythmic feel makes it more clear that the song is actually in the major key presented up front. In the Aretha version, that is less clear, due to the shorter pre-verse vamp and more laid back rhythm groove, without the long, dramatic crescendo on the I before the vocals start. The Aretha version doesn't entirely firmly anchor itself in C until the break near the end of the song ("R-E-S-P-E-C-T..."), followed by the long I-IV outro vamp. That's when it finally stably hits the resolution of harmonic tension that had existed through most of the song.

    In a vacuum, on paper, it seems like you'd say the song is modulating to the bv of the original key. But use your ears. Yes, it does indeed modulate, and it does indeed go to an F#m chord...however, to my ear, the bridge is completely unresolved, avoiding its own tonic chord. It's on F# minor, but it's not in F# minor, in other words. It's a bit unclear whether it's a vi-II in A, or a ii-V in E...but I hear it as definitely not being a i-IV. King Curtis is riffing on F# minor and B major...but neither of those chords "feel" like the tonic of the new key to me. It can be difficult to say for sure, when a brief modulation occurs, consisting of nothing melodically but an improvised instrumental solo. If there were lyrics with a clear vocal melody during that section, it would be easier to say. However, my ear leans most toward it being a vi-II in A.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  4. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Nice find.

    That F#m is leading to the B it alternates with, might make sense to call it F#m that way. (But so would Gb and Cb? :D)
     
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  5. billy logan

    billy logan Tele-Meister

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    How about a pretend-thought-exercise about Aretha's version sax break sound if Gbminor (= F#minor) to B is a ii V move in the key of (hold on to your hats) E? That would argue in favor of using sharps #'s, not flats b's, too :)

    I don't think of it that way. I think of the chords under the sax as just a new, minor key tune (however brief)
    i (minor one) to IV (MAJOR IV)
    just like old the Em - A | Em - A

    (relative to key of C: F#m - B | F#m - B .... (Oye Como Va?) (She's Not There, Zombies)(Exodus)

    then, without logic (except good sound!) it sneaks back into the home key, C, through the V7 of C, G7

    I just listened 2x to Otis Redding's now. Key of D. the section that corresponds to Aretha's (ok King Curtis) sax break,
    I def hear a G note in the first chord - Im not disagreeing, it could well be part of a C chord, as you said EsquireOK, bVII.
    to be continued
    [need to listen again with better bass than on my laptop]

    I think Aretha's is clearly in C, though it sure does start off from an unusual point, whole buncha V - IV

    My original question stands: Are there any other songs on Earth that shift to the bV minor for their bridge? or b-section or whatever you'd like to call it. or shift to the bV MAJOR for that matter.

    Like, maybe the commonest bridge is just to go park on the IV till you get sick of it, then come back to the I. Or, go to the vi and come back. or go to the iii and come back: Elvis "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" Some show tunes go to the bVI and come back Street Where You Live. I think My Blue Heaven, if in G, goes to Bb for the bridge and back.

    But Respect is the only one I know of that goes: key of C then start the instrumental break over that enharmonic haha minor.F#m or Gbm sheesh :)

    y'all forgive if my examples aren't accurate, ok?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  6. Nahtabot

    Nahtabot Tele-Holic

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    Ima gonna listen to the song and try and figure out what you all are talkin' about.

    I think you cats are talkin' about intervals ;)
     
  7. soul-o

    soul-o Friend of Leo's

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    Now check out the bridge to “Knock On Wood” which is kinda that backwards.
     
  8. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire

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    Composers can and do write bridges in different keys from the verse and/or chorus all the time. It doesn't really matter what key it goes to as long as the bridge ends up resolving back to the verse's key. In RESPECT, we have a song in C, bridge goes F#m B F#m G. No orthodox theory would lead one to these chords in this order starting in the key of C, and yet, they work. The G at the end of the bridge turns into the the G of the verse and none of it sounds "wrong." To ask why the #iv to start the bridge can really only be answered, "Why not?"
     
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  9. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I was playing with a band in the 80's that covered Steve Winwood's Roll With It. That song has a similar move in the bridge (sax solo at 2:17). That solo is arguably an interlude in another key. The Beatles did this a lot in what they'd call the "middle eight section".

     
  10. billy logan

    billy logan Tele-Meister

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    watch mnaicck tutorial on "Knock On Wood". skip up to 6:50 for the bridge. Key of E: bridge

    F# |G# |A |CC BB ... then back to A, the IV of E.

    fwif On a grainy Eddie Floyd TV performance I thought I heard F#7 G#7 A (btw CC BB is the bomb-bomp, bomp-bomp before the A where you're back in the verse)

    What your teacher didn't cover bomp-bomp - bomp-bomp?

    EDIT! You may prefer Eric Blackmon's tutorial: watch "Knock On Wood"

    jbmando - totally agree. also #iv? -sharp little 4?- ok!

    ??? My question still stands - Name a tune, besides R-E-S-P-E-C-T that visits the bv for its contrasting section

    Call it whatever the bv :) call it bbbvi triple flat the funk!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can't think of another off hand...but remember that the song is either moving between the V and the VI, or the I and the IV, and the bridge comes off of the IV, not the I. It's not that odd to move up 1/2 step from the original tonic, or from last chord you were on, in order to start a bridge or a modulation. It doesn't at all feel dissonant the way it is done in "Respect," because of the fact that it is coming off the IV, not the I. The bridge simply fits in there as a brief interlude that's slipped in there chromatically between the IV and the V...which is where the song was headed anyhow, in the expectations of the listener, based on the previous patterns established in the song. In other words, it only seems weird to you because you are over-intellectualizing the idea that, "The bridge goes to the bv." Again, it might sound strange on paper, but in musical context, and using your ear, it is not.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
  12. billy logan

    billy logan Tele-Meister

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    IF Cb is B * then this gives support to my offhand statement "What if the sax break is in E? (without ever going to E)" referring to a song, Respect, in the key of C

    Because over at YouTube they're throwing around superlatives because a song starts in G and changes key to Cb (sic) *

    Celine Dionne and Rachmaninoff are involved somehow. I haven't watched it "the most elegant key change in music"
    You're on your own. Maybe watch it and tell your findings here. It may be great; too much hype for me.

    watch
     
  13. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lower case iv means minor. F# is sharp IV of C. Hence, #iv is F#m in C. I don't look at it as bv. I see it as #iv. Remember, the bridge starts right after a IV chord: IV>#iv>VII>#iv>V>back to verse. Kinda makes sense in a weird way.
     
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