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#1 2012-03-21 14:49:36

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

What's a turn around?

This is my first posting in the Music Theory thread.  I've been scared to come here, cuz I get all anxious and my heart pounds and I feel like a frightened puppy when I hear the words, "Music Theory."  But I'm going to have to deal with this dreaded topic eventually, and you guys have been real nice in other threads, so here goes.

Gosh, I don't even know if this is a music theory question, but I read a comment at the bottom of a song that said, "if you add a turn around ( D7 ) after each verse it sounds better!" The song is in G. Could someone explain what I'm supposed to do? Thanks!

Mary Beth

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#2 2012-03-21 17:15:58

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

I am not the go to person for Music Theory, but I'll try to answer your question anyway. D is the 5th note (or V note) of G Major. which means it's the next in line in the circle of 5ths (there's a chart in the link below). If you were playing in the key of C Major your V note would be G. Typically at the end of a verse you will play the V chord for two bars, but a common alternative - especially in Jazz and Blues - is to play the second bar a V7. (If you're playing in the key of G your V7 chord will be D7.) The reason songs are sometimes done this way is to sound unfinished, or to lead into the next verse.
But like I said, I'm not too good at all with Theory, so you will for sure want to ask someone else (I think Jerome or Baldguitardude would be a lot better at explaining. they both know theory.) Good luck!

http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/circle.html


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
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                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#3 2012-03-21 17:28:17

Baldguitardude
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From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
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Re: What's a turn around?

That's pretty darned close auxi!

In most popular music, chord progressions create tension and then resolve that tension...the end of a section or form usually is the "tense" moment and then as the form repeats you have a resolution.  As Auxi stated above, moving from the I chord (tonic) to the V chord (dominant), then back to the I chord creates tension and resolution. Now, you can make lots of stops in between the I and the V chord....here are some common ones in popular music:

I IV   I  IV   I  IV   V
I vi IV V
I iii IV V
I vi ii V

Very generally speaking, a turnaround is the portion of the chord change that goes from V-I, or from tension to resolution. In blues, the turnaround is the end of the 12 bar phrase....in the key of C, it's when you go from G7 back to C. In its simplest form, a turnaround the end of a form or section that leads to another section or a repeat in the form.

Turnaround can also refer to bass line patterns but we can probably skip that for now. wink

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#4 2012-03-21 17:48:26

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

Baldguitardude wrote:

That's pretty darned close auxi!

Thanks BGD!

Thanks also for explaining better.


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
                            ^
                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#5 2012-03-21 17:50:19

Baldguitardude
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From: Las Vegas
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Posts: 1191
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Re: What's a turn around?

I don't know about better, just differently. wink

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#6 2012-03-21 20:28:34

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
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Re: What's a turn around?

More is better, so by inference, so is different.  wink


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#7 2012-03-21 20:32:06

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

Absolutely! You're explanation of turnarounds Jerome???


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
                            ^
                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#8 2012-03-21 22:12:08

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

Re: What's a turn around?

Thanks Auxi and BGD for all the information. I've got a chord wheel handy, so I was able to play the different chords sequences you had described BGD, and I got a lot out of what you were saying about build, tension, and resolution. You can definitely hear it. So the D7 is like a suspension, almost as if the music is on tip-toe saying, "Don't-stop-listening-there's-more-to-come-"

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#9 2012-03-22 00:23:55

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

M.B. wrote:

So the D7 is like a suspension, almost as if the music is on tip-toe saying, "Don't-stop-listening-there's-more-to-come-"

LOL! Exactly!


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
                            ^
                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#10 2012-03-22 16:03:51

Baldguitardude
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From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
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Re: What's a turn around?

Yes exactly. Be aware that the word "suspension" means something specific in music theory, so be careful with that term. But you're right on in terms of understanding the idea.

Play a song and end it on the V chord. Just stop early and end it there. Listen and feel it. Your ears will be begging you to resolve to the I.

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#11 2012-03-22 17:26:28

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
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Re: What's a turn around?

Baldguitardude wrote:

Play a song and end it on the V chord. Just stop early and end it there. Listen and feel it. Your ears will be begging you to resolve to the I.

Yup.  To auxi's question, a turnaround is a little melodic line that takes you back to your resolution. In BGD's example, it would take you from the V to the I.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#12 2012-03-22 20:51:28

M.B.
Senior Member
Registered: 2012-03-12
Posts: 186

Re: What's a turn around?

Baldguitardude wrote:

Yes exactly. Be aware that the word "suspension" means something specific in music theory, so be careful with that term. But you're right on in terms of understanding the idea.

Play a song and end it on the V chord. Just stop early and end it there. Listen and feel it. Your ears will be begging you to resolve to the I.

So BGD, is this effect something we learn, like is it simply a convention of Western music, or is it part of, I don't know, some natural law of music?

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#13 2012-03-22 21:12:40

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
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Re: What's a turn around?

M.B. wrote:

Baldguitardude wrote:

Yes exactly. Be aware that the word "suspension" means something specific in music theory, so be careful with that term. But you're right on in terms of understanding the idea.

Play a song and end it on the V chord. Just stop early and end it there. Listen and feel it. Your ears will be begging you to resolve to the I.

So BGD, is this effect something we learn, like is it simply a convention of Western music, or is it part of, I don't know, some natural law of music?

That's some deep water there.  There are those that argue there is a biological reason for our desire for resolution. There is a guy out of Duke named Dale Purves who has done considerable research in this field.  I think there is something to it for no other reason than resolution is one of the few things that is common to cultures across the globe.  Everyone does it.

Edit:

This is Dr. Purve's paper.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Ad … 2FPLoSONE+(PLoS+ONE+Alerts%3A+New+Articles)

A Biological Rationale for Musical Scales


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#14 2012-03-22 21:18:20

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

^Like that. I think it's biological. (for what it's worth wink )


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
                            ^
                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#15 2012-03-22 21:20:11

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
Website

Re: What's a turn around?

That's a PhD level question. I'm not one of those. wink But I can tell you this: There are striking similarities in tensions and resolutions among the music of many different world cultures. Not all ethnic groups execute phrasing and composition the way we do, but there does seem to be some universality in the way the human ear and brain process musical tension and resolution.

Two quick examples:
1. The Beatles were waaaay influenced by Indian modality and instrumentation when they worked with Ravi Shankar.
2. Derek Trucks Band. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N65cP52NC8s (Skip to the 2:00 mark if you don't want to hear the intro)

One long example:
Here's an instrument I studied for a while. It's called the khaen, from certain tribal regions in NE Thailand and Laos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZcQIxaYJto

If you listen to this music you might think it harmonically resembles our bluegrass or folk music. In fact, the khaen was built before western musical influence came to this region of the world. Instrument makers had no method for absolute tuning such as a pitch pipe, so they tuned by ear using relative tuning. (Relative tuning just means that the instrument is in tune to itself but not tuned to an absolute pitch. For an example of this, turn your low e string down 1/2 turn, tune the rest of your guitar to it, and then try and play in tune with a piano. The guitar is tuned to itself but not to any absolute pitch, whereas the piano is tuned to a440.)

As it turns out these old Laotian dudes were tuning these khaens by ear SO CLOSELY to a western major scale that for a college project I wrote a songbook that transcribed portions of the Lomax anthology of folk music for khaen players (of which there are probably 3, counting me wink  ) I always found it striking that these river tribes were tuning to a relative scale that was almost identical to the one Mozart was using to write his first sonatas, at the exact same time he was writing those sonatas.

To get back to your question about whether this is a universal law of music, I'd say that your question isn't really possible to answer. But there does seem to be a lot of harmonic and scalar consistency among folk music of many different cultures.

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#16 2012-03-22 21:44:00

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
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Re: What's a turn around?

Baldguitardude wrote:

As it turns out these old Laotian dudes were tuning these khaens by ear SO CLOSELY to a western major scale that for a college project I wrote a songbook that transcribed portions of the Lomax anthology of folk music for khaen players (of which there are probably 3, counting me wink  ) I always found it striking that these river tribes were tuning to a relative scale that was almost identical to the one Mozart was using to write his first sonatas, at the exact same time he was writing those sonatas.

I think I may have mentioned this when you last talked about this, but it bears repeating... 

http://smiliesftw.com/x/big_bowdown.gif

Have you seen "Throw Down Your Heart?"   It's a documentary by Bela Fleck, wherin he goes to Africa to seek out the roots of the Banjo.  Bela is about as interesting as white bread without an instrument in his hand, but everything else is really interesting.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#17 2012-03-22 23:54:22

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
Website

Re: What's a turn around?

I have not seen that but now I want to. He's a fascinating dude. One of my high school bandmates plays with him. Here's what the band mate has been up to lately:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_V3AbRo … re=related 

The fiddler. You should go see him if he's in your area.

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#18 2012-03-23 00:49:40

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: What's a turn around?

Based on your man's bio  "He has built a following as both solo artist and collaborator, touring the world with artists such as Béla Fleck, Steve Earle, Darrell Scott, Zac Brown Band, and Tim O’Brien."

I've seen every single act listed multiple times, and am an official Tim O'Brien creepy stalker.    I've seen Bela half a dozen times over the years, so I'm sure I've seen your guy play at some point in my life. 

One of the best parts of hanging out in bluegrass circles is the people you meet, and the regularity with which you meet them.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#19 2012-03-24 22:38:50

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
Website

Re: What's a turn around?

The guy is a stud - based on the other acts you describe I'm sure you'll enjoy him.

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#20 2012-03-25 03:30:05

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

Your friend played for Zack Brown Band??


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
                            ^
                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#21 2012-03-25 09:04:04

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
Website

Re: What's a turn around?

With, not for.  Opener I think. I havent seen him since high school.

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#22 2012-03-25 13:36:57

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

Oh, gotcha.


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
                            ^
                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#23 2012-03-28 04:38:55

auxi
Senior Member
From: Arkansas, USA
Registered: 2010-12-20
Posts: 255

Re: What's a turn around?

^Spam???


"absolutely epic and really really loud" ~Zurf
                            ^
                      Life right?
Katie :p

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#24 2012-03-28 06:41:04

jerome.oneil
Moderator
From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3004
Website

Re: What's a turn around?

Yup.  Took me a minute to make the connection, because the post was topical and interesting.  I'm sad to report that I was really looking forward to clicking on that link and hearing some khaen.

I must be getting old in my slow age.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#25 2012-03-28 08:06:59

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1191
Website

Re: What's a turn around?

Huh?

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