6 measure piece

Is the chord progression of this short piece C-G7-C? I'm new to music theory and want to confirm my understanding.

3 Answers 3



The first two measures outline a C major chord. Since there are no other notes involved, C major is the interpretation.

The next two measures outline a G7 chord, even though the B is excluded. Since the previous two measures were G major, G7 is the principle option here.

The final measure is again C major for the same reason as the first two measures, reinforced by the fact that C major would be the expected destination of the G7 chord.

  • Yes, although to be precise, the G7 chord appears in second inversion. Just mentioning so the OP realizes that their basic analysis is correct, but there is a further nuance to be aware of!
    – nuggethead
    Aug 27, 2022 at 2:44
  • @nuggethead That's an interesting thought. Since the B isn't present, it's not obvious which inversion is being used. Since the C is always the lowest pitch in the C major chord, the presumptive inversion for the G7 would be first. For second inversion, the B would have to be above the G, and the leading tone resolving downward in an outer voice would be uncharacteristic (if not forbidden).
    – Aaron
    Aug 27, 2022 at 2:50
  • fair enough! Perhaps a better way to respond is for me to say, "yes it is C-G7-C, but be aware of the fact the the G7 is missing a pitch and not in root position. "
    – nuggethead
    Aug 27, 2022 at 2:57
  • Of course there's nothing wrong with omitting the B nor avoiding root position
    – nuggethead
    Aug 27, 2022 at 2:57
  • @nuggethead I think these comments make a nice supplement to the answer. Since OP is clearly a very beginning beginner, I'd prefer to leave discussion of inversions to another question.
    – Aaron
    Aug 27, 2022 at 3:01

It is basically I - V7- I, C - G7 - C. As bourn out by the triad notes of C major (C E G) and G7 (G D F). It's rather unusual, though, to omit the 3rd of a chord - this tells whether it's major or minor. That missing B♮ would make the chord definitely G7, although it could have been B♭, making Gm7, often heralding an F chord. So it's a little ambiguous as it stands.

From a beginner point of view, though, C - G7 - C will suffice. Not sure whether inversions are relevant here, as the notes are not in chord form, only sort of arpeggiated. The V7 chord usually contains notes 4 and 7, which make the tritone that sounds like it needs resolving. Interestingly, those are the two notes left out of the scale , when making the 'safe' pentatonic.

  • Not really relevant to OP's question, but how did you get the flat and natural symbols to appear in-line with text?
    – nuggethead
    Aug 27, 2022 at 10:11
  • @nuggethead - ♮ ♯ ♭.
    – Tim
    Aug 27, 2022 at 10:24
  • @Tim What do you mean by "Gm7, often heralding an F chord."?
    – xrosaber
    Aug 28, 2022 at 4:10
  • @xrosaber - the chord Gm7 contains G Bb and D - all components of C9, the dominant of chord F. It's often used (by me at least) instead of C7, as a precursor of F.
    – Tim
    Aug 28, 2022 at 7:18

C (3rd inversion) and a G5add7.

  • Third inversion? For a triad?
    – Aaron
    Aug 27, 2022 at 18:44
  • CEG is 1st inversion, EGC is second inversion, GCE is third inversion. Since the melody start with a G C E I'd say the underlying chord was C third inversion.
    – Chris Pope
    Aug 28, 2022 at 19:07
  • And the transition from C third inversion to the G5(add 7) is very easy. You only have to move your fingers from G C E to G D F.
    – Chris Pope
    Aug 28, 2022 at 19:14
  • CEG is root position; EGC is first inversion; and GCE is third inversion. The chord position is named according to the lowest pitch, not the order of pitches, so this is root position, as C is the lowest pitch.
    – Aaron
    Aug 28, 2022 at 19:34
  • Sorry, you're right. 2nd inversion. So, replace 3rd with 2nd. I'm still fine with my answer. I agree the underlying chord is C. I'm just saying you should use the 2nd inversion rather than the root position. I'm playing it on the piano. The chord progression requires moving 2 fingers a whole step in either hand.
    – Chris Pope
    Aug 28, 2022 at 20:51

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