Example: Modulation by common-tone

The Beatles’ You’re Gonna Lose That Girl [audio on YouTube]

Third chorus (“You’re gonna lose that girl, you’re gonna lose that girl”):

E | C#m | F#m7 | B7 | F#m7 | D |

Bridge (“I’ll make a point,” etc.)

G | C | G | – | G | C | F |

Guitar solo

E | G# | F#m7 | B7 (etc.)

The first modulation uses a common-tone: Lennon sings A while McCartney & Harrison step up from the C# and E of the F#m7 chord to the D and F# of the D Major chord, which functions as dominant of the bridge’s key.

The second modulation returns the music to E Major. Notice the progression by perfect fourths from I to IV to bVII (common in rock, uncommon in music theory class) that moves from G to C to F, which pivots to E using a bII-I cadence that elides with the guitar solo.

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