Unlock the Season

Keys symbolize opening and closing powers and they provide security. In any transition, I get a sense of security when I recognize what I am opening in the next phase and what I am closing from the past one. I feel confused or unstable when these are blurred, when I’m not embracing new things, and when I can’t let go of old things. I know there is power in locking what is to be closed and freedom in unlocking what is to be open.

In music, the process of changing keys is called modulation. It creates structure in many songs and adds interest and variety. Modulations “provide a sense of forward propulsion and drive the music into new levels of energy.” In the same way, moving through transitions builds momentum in our lives and makes them interesting.

There are various types of modulations and accompanying methods to transition smoothly, and I’m highlighting a few that have been key for me in distinct moments:

-Method 1 is moving to the “dominant” chord of the new key to make it your new home key where it sounds like you are at rest: Decide what is dominant in your new season: What’s your main purpose and what’s most important to you? Prioritize making it home and finding rest in your decisions.

-Method 2 is using a note common to the root chords of both keys: Find things in common, or things that work well, in the old and the new that will help the changes not feel as drastic. What have you experienced or learned that can be applied again?

-Method 3 is playing melodically and gradually using more notes from the new key: Don’t feel rushed to be fully adapted to changes. In which areas do you feel ready or not ready for something different? Allow yourself to enjoy the simple things while you progressively incorporate new things.

You want to own each season and you don’t want to get trapped looking back or feeling stuck in between a transition. Trust that this season has something for you and absorb it because it won’t last forever. And, know that it is in your transitions that opportunities are birthed, to find your groove again and to reset your rhythm.

Modulation is the essential part of the art. Without it there is little music, for a piece derives its true beauty not from the large number of fixed modes which it embraces but rather from the subtle fabric of its modulation.
— Charles-Henri Blainville

Creating Good Transitions from One Key to Another
How and Why to Modulate to New Keys
Creating Smooth Key Changes

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