# Music theory? Parallel chords [duplicate]

I hope someone can clarify me this(Borrowed chords) Let's say I'm in the key of C# minor so i can use the home chord which is A major but if change it as parallel borrowed chord it becomes A# minor which is Key of C# major but what if i use A minor (1st inversion) instead of A# minor and it sounded good? But A minor is not in the scale of either C# major or C# minor how can it work in the scale of C# minor? Thanks in advance take care.

• If it sounds good then it is good. If you use A minor instead and you like it then there you go. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 15:28

I think you may be mixing up the terminology of English and German music theory along with confusing borrowed chords and parallel keys.

If you are in the key `C#` minor, the tonic chord will be a `C#` minor triad. I think when you say "home" chord you mean tonic chord. The basic idea is the first degree of the scale is the root of the tonic chord. That tonic chord will be a triad, and it's quality of major or minor matches the mode of the scale either major or minor.

In English theory parallel described keys whose tonics are the same but the modes change. So, for example `C#` major and `C#` minor are parallel keys. You would say `C#` minor is the parallel minor or `C#` major, and vice versa.

In English theory you can "borrow" chords from a parallel key. By far, the most common borrowing is to be in a major key and borrow keys from the parallel minor. For example, if in the key of `C#` major you might borrow the `F#` minor chord from the parallel minor key of `C#` minor.

In English theory relative keys are those which share the same key signature but differ by mode and tonic. For example, the key signature of `C#` minor is four sharps, the major key with four sharps is `E` major. `C#` minor and `E` major are relative keys. You can say `C#` minor is the relative minor of `E` major, and vice versa, `E` major is the relative major of `C#` minor. By extension it is common to talk about chords sharing relative relationships rather than keys. A `C#` minor triad is the relative minor of a `E` major triad.

When you switch over to German theory the terminology sort of flips the English theory meaning of parallel and relative. In other words, in German theory, parallel is used to describe what is a relative relationship in English theory. For example, using German terminology an `A` major triad is the tonikaparallele of a `C#` minor triad.

Let's say I'm in the key of C# minor so i can use the home chord which is A major but if change it as parallel borrowed chord it becomes A# minor which is Key of C# major...

I would restate that using English terminology as: in the key of `C#` minor an `A` major triad is the counter-relative of the tonic `C#` minor triad, if the key is changed to the parallel `C#` major the relative minor will be `A#` minor.

(Note, the plain relative of `C#` minor_would be `E` major, the major chord above. But you can refer to the major chord below and call it the counter-relative is not a frequently used term, but the idea is clear enough. German theory calls it gegenparallelklang.)

...but what if i use A minor (1st inversion) instead of A# minor and it sounded good? But A minor is not in the scale of either C# major or C# minor how can it work in the scale of C# minor?

You can combine any chords you like, and "sounding good" is a completely different issue than clarifying music theory terms. You would need to see notation of an actual passage of music to say anything meaningful about why "it works" or "sounds good."

• Yes this is what i wanted to know.. Sorry english is not my native language... I just wanna know that using A minor chord instead of A major in the scale of C# minor is that something wrong? Because C# minor scale have A minor and C# major have A# minor but what if i use A minor instead Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 15:17
• It isn't a right/wrong matter. Objectively you would just say an `A` minor chord is not diatonic to `C#` minor. How you use the `A` minor chord is the big question. You could do something like `Cm E E7/D Am` to bring in the `A` minor chord. Using diminished seventh chords is another "trick" to bring in chromatic chords. Or you could use chords in an untraditional way. That's fine too. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 16:39
• Make the music first, then analyze it. Or, if you want to follow some traditional style, do a lot of theory study and score analysis, before emulating a style. It seems like you worry that you can't use non-diatonic, chromatic chords, because they aren't "in the key." Harmony doesn't work that way. Many, many harmonic styles are chromatic. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 16:43

The 'home chord'? A is the home chord in key A, C♯ is the home chord in key C♯ - majors or minors.

It appears you're trying to follow some sort of 'rule', but which one isn't clear. And what has the 1st inversion to do with anything?

• No sorry i was confused... What I'm asking is if using C# minor scale then replace the A major chord to A minor which is not in the scale of C# minor is this called borrowed chords? Or is there something wrong Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 15:14
• You seem to be also confusing scales and chords - and keys!! In key C#m, there is an A major chord diatonically. In C# major the A chord doesn't exist - it's A#m, so it's NOT borrowed. Nothing wrong with it - how do you determine wrong?
– Tim
Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 15:20