The most elegant key change in all of pop music

Objavljeno 16. apr. 2021
All By Myself features an incredible key change from G major to Cb major, let’s talk about it!
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0:00 Introduction
1:21 Part 1 - Song Analysis
7:57 Part 2 - The Key Change!!
11:33 (interlude - mom cameo)
15:27 Part 3 - Narrative and Metaphor
Scott J. Hanenberg Rock Modulation and Narrative
Andrew Huang’s very excellent Harmonic series video
Feb 2016 All By Myself Performance
Some other All By Myself Performances
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  • Watch the extended version of this video on Nebula! It features an extended interview with my mom, lol. . . (oh, and if you want the CuriosityStream/Nebula bundle, here it is! Less than $1.25 a month!)

    • At 6 minutes, you show the harmonic field of G (I) and the Bm chord (IIIm), but in Dm6/F as IVm/II and E7sus4 as V7/II. Is correct? The harmonic field of G is: G (I) Am (IIm), Bm (IIIm), C (IV), D (V), Em (VIm) and F#º (VIIº).

    • Cool mom. You're blessed bruv.

    • @Brian Santero I agree regarding Mahler. And in addition one should also go for the 1st, 5th, 8th and 9th. Oh, I forgot the 6th..;-))

    • The reinterpretation of the eb is so touching because the eb becomes a third at that moment. The third is by far the most sensitive tone of a chord (provided, it’s built on thirds), since it determines its gender, color, etc. The (empty) fifth is unambiguous and stable, the octave is almost a unison due to its high degree of fusion - but the third! And in this case it is the radiant, bright major third. Just listen to Schubert's Bb major sonata, where in the first movement the previously almost boringly stable Bb (octave on Bb) of the main theme becomes a third by sinking the bass to Gb .... Tipp: Listen to all of Schuberts last three piano sonatas. It‘s worth doing so.

    • "We're going to have to go deeper". Ha! You must be watching @secretbase and Beef History and Moment in Time.

  • I came upon this video completely by accident. (I was searching for a downloadable “Kung-fu Fighting” LOL) In fact, it couldn’t have been a less convenient time because now I am LATE! It was long and I never expected it but - I am your newest fan! I was stuck to my iPad and have such a new understanding for music ... well, music theory, that I feel a push toward going back to school to learn more about it! And I’m a recording engineer! So, thanks for this! And thanks to your mom too! Looking forward to watching more of your videos. Just NOT NOW, IM LATE!

  • I think this is literally one of the best music theory videos I’ve ever seen.. masterfully weaving together the technical aspects of music with concise and clear demonstrations and then linking that knowledge with the emotional response on a physiological, cultural and emotional level! Very very eloquent and nice that you bring your Mum into the conversation.. Bravo! 👏🙌

  • Hi Adam, I'm a music teacher and a vocal coach. I learned a lot through watching your video. Please say hello and thanks to your mom. She knows her stuff. Singers are smart too... In a different way.... :) Thanks for your video!

  • I know nothing about music, or music theory, but watched this elegantly explained video nonetheless. What your mother conveyed about performing at 22:07 struck a chord. Brillant.

  • LOVE this video! Great dissecting!

  • Does anyone credit the orignal songwriter and composer (Eric Carmen and Sergei Rachmaninoff, respectively) from the original "All By Myself"? Celine Dion's version is a cover.

  • How can I have vocal coaching from you mom. I love how she describes this song.

  • Ive learned and still learning more from you than most theory books ive had.. Salute!

  • 23:57 I started full-throttle ugly-crying

  • This video is so amazing, it almost makes me appreciate Celine Dion as a singer :p

  • Dont the owning rights of an artist end 50 years after their death or something? Rachmaninov died in 1943 so the song should be royalty free for Celine anyways

    • The song was released by Eric Carmen in 1975. He/his label had to pay royalties, apparently for copyright protections outside the US. No idea what arrangement Celine has.

    • Google told me its 70 years, so too bad.. guess we can use his songs now ;)

  • I dunno - I've always thought this song pretty cheesy - an XFactor standard your mum would like. It seems to be very clever in its construction and all that, but compared to anything say Bacharach penned in this genre, it sounds obvious and generic - to my untrained ear anyway. Also, I know people love CD - and she's probably the perfect vehicle for this song - but there's little subtlety in her OTT delivery and voice flexing. I'm not trolling - this is my honest opinion!! xxx

  • Adam Neely, this is brilliant. All your videos are fantastic, but this one may just top them all. Thank you.

  • Very deep

  • Celine is a staple of my childhood. Thanks for the analysis! Best Modulation in film scores was in John Williams Duel of the Fates for Star Wars. Make sure it's the original score from Episode 1. You should take a listen to that. There's a soprano in there too who can hit a high e flat (E flat 6 I believe) on one of the choir climaxes.

  • My only problem with this channel is that my attention span is too short to watch the videos all along, otherwise I would learn a lot

  • I loved this, Adam! Your research is fabulous! The edits were also just so spot on--White Christmas and Muppets--loved it! Most importantly, your passion for what you are learning and sharing is palpable. Thank you!

  • Would you analize Luis Miguel? I think he has an amazing voice. Would love to hear your take on it.

  • Aside from the muppet story-bomb, an otherwise wonderful video.

  • Oh ya, I was just thinking the same thing.....🤓

  • Saw you when you gave a concert in South Africa, Somerset West. Sat so close to you , I could have touched you, but your music surely touched me and my broken heart. Thank you so much!!!!

  • I clap really well... This is just an insane level of music theory!

  • Fantastic Celine !! I can relate to your pain as I am also All By Myself ,since my only child ,my son Brett died, years ago ...

  • Ok I didn’t except to well up in a music theory video. That was exceptionally well-explained; I feel like I understood the areas I’d never heard of before. Thank you!

  • Did I just pass a music theory class?

  • are a wonderful musicologist, and the video is great....the funny thing are a bit of a ham, aren´t you?...

  • I Loved this. Thank you! My body was shaking when Celine sang that tonal change... Wow.

  • @5:30, you’ll be glad to know my band director takes our ritardandos very seriously! We make them sound as grand as we can.

  • Excellent vid that brings so much understanding. Thank you! Could you please break down why the chord/key changes, progressions and angelic harmonics in "Home" by Zero 7 are so emotionally evocative? It's had me mesmerized for days and I can't get it out of my head.

    • For anyone interested - here's Home by Zero 7 ft. Tina Dico - it's angelic: Live:

  • Awesome video!

  • Great video. Your explanations enlightened me!

  • Now look here, Neely... Everybody (in my head) knows that G major is light yellow while G minor is slightly darker and more tanned (in my head)...

  • Adam, your craftsmanship is out of this world. I am not a real musician but I love music, and I love watching your videos. The level of intellect that you put in your narration is just mind blowing. Watching your videos stimulates the same amount of neurons in my brain as when I listen to a Keith Jarrett or Pat Metheny improv. Thank you soo much

  • Ha - love the vintage 'nostalgia' cuts! Defo gut-wrencher of a song!

  • As a hack musician (me) this is wonderful but painful. I understand the basics of this stuff, but that only enables me to see more clearly the heights that people like this occupy. The average fan wouldn't hear THAT much difference between what I do, and what they do but that difference is VERY real and it matters. I sing and play, but when I watch Celine and Foster do their thing, (and hear the hidden intricacies explained) it becomes very clear why they're playing to packed halls. I love music with all my heart, but nothing makes me want to smash all my guitars more than having that great gap between us so clearly defined. Ah well! Gotta gig Saturday I need to practice for. Great video and your mom is cool as hell.

  • I know practically nothing about music theory, but this was an absolutely fascinating video. Your delivery is flawless. I hope you are teaching somewhere!

  • I am not a musician and yet, I watched this entire thing. What does that say about Me? Or Adam? Or Celine? :-)


  • OMG So enjoyed tripping upon your video. Been singing my whole life. At 65 I am just now realizing the power of musical knowledge. And shit, you have some awesome knowledge to deliver. Thank you!

  • Brilliant! Thank you :)

  • And I thought the best key change in all pop music was Chicken Attack by Takeo Ischi :-o

  • I hope this isnt all about Celine

  • The best explanation. Now I know C# and Db are not the same based on theory. This song was the most notable song when it was released and it was like chilled-bomb to repeat again and again to get goosebump. But I guess John Lennon's Happy Christmas (War is Over) and Michael Jackson's Heal the World also has beautiful melody shifting.

  • In all my years of writing orchestrations and vocal arrangements I've never had a problem working with enharmonics, and just keeping it simple. If we're moving from Eb Minor to B Major, there's no sense calling it Cb Major... In My Opinion, no one should ever use obtuse enharmonics for a key signature when a more simple example is available.

  • Lots of great knowledge. But the most annoying video I've ever seen. You're so clever aren't you?

  • you featured Cottleston Pie. Subscribing

  • BTW, where did you get your training, Adam. Just found you today. What is your exact musical degree(s)? I appreciate your expertise. Thanks for sharing/teaching. We can never learn enough.

  • Nothing better for a classical pianist to play or listen to Rachmaninoff. I am a romantic also and think I play Rachmaninoff better than the man himself...(All in my mind😉). In competition, I was dissed for playing Bach too romantically. So be it! Then to hear Eric Cs performance and then hear Celine belt out that amazing key change; that is what we musicians live for.

  • Adam, that modulation is very famous, but how about if there's no modulation on that climactic part. How does it sound ahhahahaha

  • I don’t really understand a thing being said here, but this guys kinda hot! 😍 I never knew about the Rachmaninov connection. Also Celine is a goddess!!

  • You are incredibly handsome. Love this content! Epic key change!

  • Well informed, engaging tutorial. Thank you, Adam Neely.

  • huh?

  • This was a terrific piece and very informative. but I'd like to offer an alternate translation. From Johnny B. Good on, pop music has been the modern version of myth tales: succeeding against all odds, battles against dark forces, winning the love of an unattainable god/dess. If you look at it that way, the key change here is not "elegant" it's audacious. And the thing that makes it so powerful is that she heroically takes the key of the song out of the realm of humanity to make her petition directly to the gods. Or is that stupid?

  • I’m only about 8.5 minutes in, but I must correct that Dolly Parton wrote and first recorded the song “I Will Always Love You” which Whitney Huston also recorded for her film “The Bodyguard” and which reached and remained at the top of the popular music charts for quite some time.

  • Not did I learn so much this video made see singers like Celine Dion (who of course I love and admire her as a singer) with a different light and appreciation now learning the nuances of planting herself and tapping... It was like having a aha moment.

  • This was a treat...thank u!! Xx

  • Sensational💫

  • ◀️ 18+ ≧(◕ ‿‿ ◕)≦ ! #今後は気をライブ配信の再編ありがとうです!#この日のライブ配信は、#かならりやばかったですね!🧒 1万人を超える人が見ていたもん(#笑)#やっぱり人参最高!#まさかのカメラ切り忘れでやら1かしたのもドキドキでした, #在整個人類歷史上,#強者,#富人和具有狡猾特質的人捕食部落,#氏族,#城鎮,#城市和鄉村中的弱者,#無`'#守和貧窮成員。#然而,#人類的生存意願迫使那些被拒絕,#被剝奪或摧毀的基本需求的人們找到了一種生活方式,#並繼續將其 融入不斷發展的人類社會。.#說到食物,#不要以為那些被拒絕的人只吃垃圾。#相反,#他們學會了在被忽視的肉類和蔬菜中尋找營養。#他們學會了清潔,😜切塊,#調味和慢燉慢燉的野菜和肉類,#在食品市場上被忽略的部分家用蔬菜和肉類,並且學會了使用芳香的木煙(如山核桃,山核桃和豆科灌木 來調味食m!💓

  • What the fuck is a key change

  • Adam, this was brilliant. Admittedly, at the end I cried myself (at least a bit).

  • We love David Foster🔥

  • Fantastic video. Very well researched.

  • Thanks for sharing. If you have a second, I recorded a cover of Tones and I. As a fellow music fan, I'd love if you'd check it out. It's on my page. Hope you like it!

  • Very deep and clever explanation of the compex subject matter. Thank you, Adam!

  • Incredible insights !

  • I dunno.... it seems quite clunky. You have to stop and start again with a big drum roll to really get away with it, otherwise the listener spends a few seconds wondering where the hell you've gone. If I was sitting next to someone playing it on the piano, hearing it for the first time, I'd think they'd overcooked it and tried too hard to find a killer chord or something. Mmmmmeh.

    • That said, a wonderful video about it!. Thanks.

  • Ignorant af BeepSmile: Why, yes. This is splitting hairs. Why does the same physical note have different names? Adam Neely: It will become clear later Later: Narrative and Metaphor section arrives and BeepSmile's mind experiences illumination. Edit: Like; Woah! Edit Edit: Also: CATTTTTTTTTT!

  • This is not something I would normally share, especially with complete strangers on the internet. But here goes. My father requested, in his will, that the slow movement from Schubert's String Quintet in C major be played at his funeral. We assembled a group of musicians and I played the first cello part. Personally I have long regarded this as the most beautiful piece of music ever written. It plumbs depths of emotion like nothing else I have ever heard. And here's the funny thing: I poured my heart and soul into that performance, but somehow, never let my own personal grief in, until the final chord - at which moment I broke down. How would I be honouring my father if I lost it during the performance itself? So I just immersed myself in the music, forgot who I was, and gave it the best that I could. I don't think it was any better than I could do on any other day, and I doubt that Celine hit her high note any more spectacularly than she usually does. The point I'm making, like Adam's mum, is that during the performance, you can't afford to feel the emotion in the music. What's important is to communicate that emotion to the listener.

    • I hope you and your family are doing well. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  • I enjoyed this video so much!! I wish I could read music. Thank you

  • I have no idea what he's talking about but I find it fascinating. I never realized how much knowledge is involved.

  • I have always held a great deal of respect for the power of her voice

  • Adam, I was absolutely captivated by your magnificent deep dive into that most elegant key change, and your amazing wit and expert commentary were the cream on the cake. Thank you :-)

  • Imagine spending hundreds of hours in studio recording something that won't make people's ears bleed then spending all your time faking it live. Technology at its best

  • ❤❤❤❤❤

  • What Bing Crosby movie was that ?? and what tune?

  • Nah. Eric Carmen's post-Raspberries stuff was lame. The Beatles and The Hollies did better than this, and much earlier.

  • Wow man. This is flawless.

  • Best video about music that I ever saw. So good

  • Adam wears Sennheisers? Pog.

  • This is a wonderful dissection and presented in a fun way. I could do without the Celine dramatics though.

  • She did it almost every show, it's an affectation. I don't think she ever gets truly emotional, she is something of a singing robot to be honest.

  • Excellent.

  • I think this woman was born with a wonderful talent which she has perfectly honed but I simply can't stand her singing, no matter in what key. I react the same towards Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Eydie Gormé, even Barbara Streisand. For the last two, I thought it was their choice of music - it was my parents' music. I was into Led Zep, Stones and etc. but it wasn't that, it was their voices - or rather their style of singing. Like opera, I may like all of them in a live performance but as background music; I just want to slam the radio shut. I feel the same about screaming guitar solos; they're fun in a live setting but awful for mood or working music... I find it unfortunate that so many businesses don't understand that blasting commercial radio in the background can be a repellent to many.

  • Nice with that Schenkerian hint!!

  • If you take much of what he says seriously you'd be a fool - he gives examples of uses of a note in a key and gives it a term. Its such a bullshit ... there is tension and timing and 4 part harmony involved. Like saying 321 melody has any meaning when it ... comes from every key and any use ... its only got meaning in this context (which is extremely narrow in scope because of the song in general). There is no reason this is any more powerful than an inner chord movement like "Time in a bottle" ... The people who think they are wise are fools indeed. What can i say, got click baited into this - he does a nice presentation ... memes etc - music theory is fun but ... this is just subjective being objectified

  • Sorry, but I disagree with adding John Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer". That is an example of a super cheesy and unartful modulation. I much prefer hidden modulations, much like The Beatles, "And I Love Her". Which leaves the listener not even knowing that a modulation has taken place. Thank you for the video though, well done.

  • Bull crap


  • I don't care how many videos I've watched, how many books I've read, Music Theory is a complete mystery to me.

  • 6:24 All by my shelf

  • "If you want to watch me talk to my mom..." Just teasing. Also, in my opinion Legal Eagle is a moron who pretends to know stuff but gets things horribly wrong all the time.

  • Shit, this is way too interesting

  • Happy Mother’s Day mama Neely

  • damn boy u made me cry

  • so Rachmaninoff was a genius

  • The part where he describes the technicals behind it at @0:28 ish gave me a WAP because I can't process music theory worth a damn. 🤣🤘💕

  • "until one night it doesnt" i literally burst into tears oh my god bro

  • Adam... I just stumbled across this video - so glad I watched. I am an amateur musician and can't begin to follow everything you touch on but I believe I "feel it" more than most - thank you for your content! Inspirational!