Modulation Tips for Composers Part 2 of 3: 2nd Degree of Kinship - Designing Music NOW
Review In the first article of this 3 part series "Modulation Tips for Composers", we discussed modulating to closely related keys (keys derived from the initial key's set of diatonic triads). This key relationship is referred to as being on the "first degree of kinship". In part 2 we will discuss modulating to keys that are not derived from diatonic triads of the initial key, but are still within 5 "signs of difference": "Signs of Difference" “Signs of difference” means the number of changing accidentals between two key signatures. For example, the keys of C major (no accidentals) and D major (2 sharps) would be said to have 2 signs of difference. The keys of Gb major (6 flats) and A major (3 sharps) would be considered to have 9 signs of difference and would not be a 2nd degree key relationship. Throughout this article, I will use the abbreviation S.O.D. to refer to "signs of difference". Let's further break down what constitutes a 2nd degree key relationship: Second Degree of Kinship Any given key has exactly 12 keys that are said the be in second-degree relation. The process of finding these 12 keys is dependent on whether you are modulating from a major key or minor key. Major Key Modulations Each major key has 8 major keys plus 4 minor keys in second-degree relation. The major keys can be found following this rule: 4 keys are situated above the given major ascending by half steps in the range of a major 3rd, and 4 more major keys below the given major, descending by half-step in the range of a major 3rd.