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Topic: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

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  1. #1
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    Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    Music news in Science Daily: Mathematician Cracks Mystery Beatles Chord.


    It's the most famous chord in rock 'n' roll, an instantly recognizable twang rolling through the open strings on George Harrison's 12-string Rickenbacker. It evokes a Pavlovian response from music fans as they sing along to the refrain that follows:
    It's been a hard day's night
    And I've been working like a dog

    he opening chord to A Hard Day's Night is also famous because for 40 years, no one quite knew exactly what chord Harrison was playing. Musicians, scholars and amateur guitar players alike had all come up with their own theories, but it took a Dalhousie mathematician to figure out the exact formula.
    Then it gets into Fourier transforms and such. The conclusion:
    Dr. Brown deduces that another George -George Martin, the Beatles producer-also played on the chord, adding a piano chord that included an F note impossible to play with the other notes on the guitar.
    Here's an extensive Web page devoted to that chord: CHAAAAAAAAG.
    However, George Harrison has suggested an alternative based on the original Fadd9, but with the bottom E fretted with the thumb at the 3rd fret:



    E ----3----
    B ----1----
    G ----2----
    D ----3----
    A ----0----
    E ----3----



    Only the full band, with piano, can fully recreate that instantly recognizable sound.

    I'm waiting for Tony to read this and reproduce this on his banjo.




  2. #2

    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    I'm waiting for Tony to read this and reproduce this on his banjo.

    LOL!

    It's been a hard days night
    and I've been plucking like a dog

    Great article! If this is right, then I can cross this off the list of the questions I have for the Almighty someday. Back to questions about bigfoot, etc.

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  3. #3

    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    The chord written out as G B D F A C is G11 (I III V vii IX XI) also in some jazz notations as FM/GM meaning F triad over G triad as distinct from F/G meaning F triad on G bass. (Confusing isnt it)
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  4. #4
    Senior Member caher's Avatar
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    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    I sent the following to my staff a few years back when we were trying to diagnose a strange processing problem with VoIP traffic on our network. Note the I used the same basic technique mentioned in the article Gary posted!

    Guys,

    I think that I may have found the underlying problem with the OSP rating process! Looking at the minute by minute stats that Phil sent out on Friday, I noticed a certain periodicity with dips in processing aproximately every 12 minutes. I decided to plot this on a graph to see if any visual pattern emerged. The following is about 1 hours traffic:





    This is a very interesting plot. I noticed that it bore a striking resemblance to an audio signal! (Although with a frequency, 1.38 * 10^-3 Hz, well below the human hearing range, 20-20,000 Hz) I decided to run the data through a Fast Fourier Transform program, compressing the T axis by a factor of 10^6, to create a waveform which emulates an audio signal in the range of human hearing. I converted this to a wav file and lo and behold, when you listen to it, the problem becomes obvious.


    Attached audio file:
    http://www.box.net/shared/static/9pj3pmaxa4.wav

  5. #5

    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    I always played it:

    E ----3----
    B ----1----
    G ----0----
    D ----0----
    A ---------
    E ---------


    Always worked ok to me, I never really gave it a second thought.
    Didn't know there was a mystery to it

  6. #6

    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    Aaron - its probably still G 11. By the way I can't play the Harrison chord, Id need a right angled bend in my thumb
    Derek
    Things may come and things may go but the art school dance goes on forever
    NOW WITH Cubase 5, JABB,GPO, Fender Strat, Ibanez RG, Yamaha Fretless Bass, Framus Archtop, The Trumpet and Mr T Sax, together with GREEN SEALING WAX


  7. #7

    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan View Post
    I'm waiting for Tony to read this and reproduce this on his banjo.



    I don't play any Beatles songs, they didn't play any of mine...

  8. #8

    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernstinen View Post

    One of the songs was "A Hard Day's Night." That "Mystery Chord" WAS perplexing, so eventually I did what any good musician would do:

    I SAMPLED IT OFF OF THE CD!


    Quality! Thats what Id have done. Or just said "beep it" and ignored it.... Im amazed that someone has wasted so much time working out the exact way a chord was performed.....Use the time to make your own!

  9. #9

    Re: Music News: Beatles Mystery Chord Revealed

    With headphones, I hear two guitars. It sounds like an electric and an acoustic (12-string?), so they seem to be splitting it up somehow, which would account for the "voicing/playability" issues. Can't really hear a piano. If it's there, it's got to be almost completely out of the mix. The rest of the tune is basically guitar band, so the piano notion is a little suspect.

    The discernible chord tones cover nearly two octaves from bottom to top:
    D F A D F G A C.

    This chord is Dm7add11, and functions as the extended modal dominant of the ensuing verse's primary tonal plane of G-mixolydian, i.e.,

    G-mixolydian:
    v7add11.......
    I / IV /
    I / / /
    bVII / / /
    I / / / etc.

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