Once you established an “earworm” melody in the listener’s… ears of course, you have the ability to pull out the rug from underneath them and do a key change.
Well, first take a look at the composition below:
Say that the first four measures is the original motif/chorus/theme… whatever you want to call it. We know that on every repeat the second measure of the four measure pattern the melody is an A4.
However, that pitch can be harmonized in a multitude of ways. Looking back at the example above, the pitch is now harmonized with an A major triad instead of an A minor triad. This chord then acts as a IV chord in a IV-V-I progression taking us to the key of E Major.
This sounds smooth to the ear because we were already expecting that A to happen… just not the other notes around it.
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