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Guitar Minute Study #4: Black Hole Sun - Chris Cornell // arrangement for solo guitar

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Modal Subversions - Exceptional Harmonic Language in Popular Music.

"Black Hole Sun" – a tune that is a prominent example of modal subversion:

As opposed to common harmonic practices in popular music (e.g. I-IV-V or II-V-I-progressions) groups like Soundgarden, Nirvana or the Beatles also use 'modal subversions' in their compositions. This specific way of combing chord-textures (simple chordal sonorities, triadic structures and clusters) and chord progression (third cross-relations, e.g. bar 1 in ‘Black Hole Sun” G∆ - Bb∆) blurs the lines between established tonal centers:

A tonality established by a 5th sonority and a major triad in the melody might be contradicted by the next chord's tonic or melody note. There are several combinations of this technique on small and large scale level fostering an ambiguous sound.

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@fl3k   2 years ago
I like! I love Soundgarden and this is a great instrumental cover of one of my favourite songs from them.

Thanks for posting!
@pauljones   2 years ago
Very nice! I wonder, what would be the difference between modal interchange and a modal subversion? Modal subversion also include constant structures?
@janjakut   2 years ago
Thanks! Constant structure is another concept relating to the internal structure of the chord's voicing. The concept coined as 'modal subversion' refers to shifting tonal centers in a way that creates modal ambiguity. Modal interchange is more about superimposing modes on common scale degrees (e.g. Iº vor I∆) whereas MS adds harmonies outside of the common scale degrees (e.g. In Bloom: Bb - Gb - Eb - B // I - bVI - IV - bII). Check out Chris McDonald's paper on the topic: http://docslide.net/documents/modal-subversion-in-alternative-music.html
@pauljones   2 years ago
Ok, I think I get it now. I will check the paper! Thanks for sharing!