Harmonic function and modality in classic heavy metal1
This article explores harmonic function, modality and guitar distortion in so-called classic heavy metal. I suggest a dual framework for analysing heavy metal, including such mirror-symmetries as ‘major’/‘minor’, ‘sharp’/‘flat’, ‘bright’/‘dark’, ‘dominant’/‘subdominant’ and ‘authentic’/‘plagal’. My central aim is to demonstrate that heavy metal harmony tends towards plagal systems and darker modes, and yet has constant major elements added from the distorted power chords.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2019
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- Metal Music Studies is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.
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