4 July 2004

Transcription: "Ritual" (coda) by Yes

In a previous entry, I transcribed the 1st bridge of Yes's song "Ritual" from Tales from Topographic Oceans. This entry contains a transcription for the coda lasting from 19:50 to 21:33, the end of the piece. I was interested in this section because of its freeform melodic development and harmonic structure similar in style to the bridge.

The full MP3 is here and an excerpt with only the coda is here.

The chord progression begins from a G chord bridge and continues as follows:

Bmin Gmin C# Amin Eb Bmin F C#min Gmin Eb Amin Fmin Bmin F#min

There is some repetition of chords, but no strong sense of key:

  • Bmin occurs three times,
  • Amin, Eb, Gmin occur two times,
  • C#, F occur once in each of the two modes,
  • F#min occurs once as the final chord

A pattern emerges when we look at the root relationships as descending intervals:

Bmin [maj 3rd] Gmin [aug 4th] C# [maj 3rd] Amin [aug 4th]
Eb [maj 3rd] Bmin [aug 4th] F [maj 3rd] C#min [aug 4th]
Gmin [maj 3rd] Eb [aug 4th] Amin [maj 3rd] Fmin [aug 4th]
Bmin [perf 4th] F#min

Ignoring enharmonic differences, we see a pattern of major 3rd and augmented 4th jumps until the penultimate and ultimate chords. Following the pattern, the Bmin should have moved to G and begun the cycle that started the coda (Bmin Gmin C# Amin, etc.). Instead, it drops to F# minor acting as a plagal cadence in the minor mode and closing the song cycle.

MIDI transcription

[ posted by sstrader on 4 July 2004 at 12:10:54 PM in Music | tagged yes ]