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Harmony & Tonality

prior to the Beatles (with the exception of perhaps the Beach Boys), there had been little innovation in harmonic or tonal aspects of rock


Listen to the Beatles' innovative use of harmony

Use of chromatic chords

I Saw Her Standing There

bVI on "Oh"

Penny Lane

starts like a typical I-vi-IV-V form, but on the second time through goes to minor tonic!!

Use the bIII chord, based on lowered third of blues scale

Back in the USSR


look at pp. 106-107 in the text


In My Life


the song is composed in a minor key, but it beings on aMAJOR tonic chord!!

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite

chords are so chromatic that the key is extremely ambiguous at beginning

Strawberry Fields Forever

worth noting that what seemed "fresh & innovative" in rock was "old hat" in classical music, jazz, & even show tunes

Ambiguity of Key

Can't Buy Me Love

intro & chorus in major key, but verses form a minor key version of the 12-bar blues

Come Together

minor almost throughout, but turns major on the words "Come Together"

She Loves You

Eb with considerable emphasis on Cm (relative minor) on "and you know that can't be bad"

Yer Blues

altered 12-bar blues (unusual form for the Beatles); used bIII instead of IV & insert two 4/4 bars

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