Songs that key change up a minor 3rd

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Modulating up or down a minor 3rd is a crucial change that provides the music a good dosage of energy and contrast whilst also not sounding too disjointed or obvious.

My re-uploaded Chromatic Mediants video:

Jeff Schneider's video on the 'Disney' crucial change:

The outro music to this video is my track "Clap" which you can hear completely on Spotify:.

And, an additional unique thanks goes to Douglas Lind, Vidad Flowers, Ivan Pang, Waylon Fairbanks, Jon Dye, Austin Russell, Christopher Ryan, Toot & Paul Peijzel, the channel's Patreon saints!.


0:00 Introduction.
1:10 Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavinge.
2:15 Here, There & All over by The Beatles.
3:30 Stacy's Mommy by Water fountains of Wayne.
4:00 Battle of the Fates from Star Wars.
4:27 Summertime of '69 by Bryan Adams.
5:18 Bad Day by Daniel Powter.
5:41 Rescuer Complex by Phoebe Bridgers.
6:38 Livin' On A Prayer by Bon Jovi.
7:16 A Whole New World from Alladin.
8:08 Uniconverter.
9:09 How does this essential change work?
10:49 modulating DOWN a minor 3rd.
11:30 Chromatic mediant and outro.

Songs that up a minor 3rd

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About the Author: Virtual Piano Online


  1. Check out UniConverter’s range of music and video tools: 🖥️🎶

    🔑 let me know what your favourite key changes are and perhaps I’ll talk about them in a future video 😊

    1. All hail the Mighty Algorithm!

      Always there to ensure that content creators make the videos they didn’t really want to make, for an audience that didn’t ask for it.

      Ask a comment section what videos they’d like to see, and they’ll say that they most enjoy the ones that the content creator clearly enjoyed making – where their passion is apparent and their presentation genuine. An audience actually likes some variety, which the Algorithm punishes. They like videos where the content creator has clearly taken their time to make something really good – no, can’t be having that, publish every day or your ratings will instantly die.

      Human ingenuity. Always finding a way to masochistically automate our own misery.

    2. The key change you cover in this video is my favorite, probably because I have so much childhood nostalgia for those Disney renaissance movies. 🙂

  2. If you ever make a future video on chord progressions, I recommend the “I-iii-IV-V” progression used the the verse section of “Crocodile Rock”.

  3. Great video, very interesting, but I think you might need formant correction on those pitch shifts

  4. You can actually hear the Sk8er Boi chorus without the key change in L8r Boi by Ashnikko which is a remake of the song

  5. Are there any songs that key change by a major 3rd like the Thomas the Tank Engine theme?

    1. Rhythm changes bridges start on the major third, modulating back eventually to the tonic, although it’s seen as more of a V/V/V/V -> V/V/V -> V/V -> V progression. The jazz standards All of Me and On the Sunny Side of the Street use the major III, but both as a key of the moment. Same with The Suburbs by Arcade Fire.

  6. Avril’s Sk8r Boi ALSO goes to Dminor for the bridge! A young Bach, really.

  7. David, I’ve seen that statistic about how modern music doesn’t use modulation as much, but what kind of key changes are they usually talking about? I noticed in the past that it was a cliche to change the key in the final verse (Livin on a Prayer, Hello, I Love You, et cetera). Is that typically what that stat means when it comes to modulation?

  8. Your Chromatic Mediant video received a copyright strike from Radiohead’s label despite you using cover versions? Blimey. You only used a few seconds and your use of it for analysis couldn’t be more clearly allowed under ‘Fair Use’ law. What a set of absolute arseholes!

  9. 6:53 nightwish uses a lot of 3 semitones modulation, mostly in the last chorus of their songs. My favorite example is Ever Dream, that does it similar as Living on a Prayer. It starts in Gm and ends in Bbm. But the transition is so cool because it uses the F as the changing pont. The usual chorus ends with F making a backdoor resolution to Gm, but when it modulates, the resolution is a nice V-I to Bbm. This 3 semitone modulation repears is Sleeping Sun, Nemo, Élan. You can find 5 semitons modulations in While your lips are still red and Hows the heart. By the way, great vid

  10. My Heart Will Go On from Titanic and Do You Realize?? by the Flaming Lips also use this modulation.

    1. Also Sitting on the Dock of the Bay is an interesting one because in my opinion it belongs in both G and E major simultaneously in a state of “quantum tonality”

  11. A lot of Disney songs do this key change too, not just A Whole New World. 🙂

    Also, love your videos, David. They’re always helpful.

  12. Sk8er boi is “not working fine” without the key change for me because this represents the intensity of a teenage girl’s love. Great video as always.

  13. Wow! I almost posted about how great Jeff Schneider’s video is, before I realized you mentioned it in your video. I love his channel and yours. 🙂

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