I was playing the chords from Pyramania by The Alan Parsons Project. In the verse from 0:17 the chords are E, Bm7, E, Bm7, C#, A#, G, B. I get the first four chords, E and Bm7 fit in the same scale. But I don't understand how they can go from there to the following C# and the other chords. Please help? I want to understand how to write these genius progressions.

Here is a link to the song


As you said, the first four chords can be understood as chords from E mixolydian. Note that from then on the chords follow a downward movement in minor thirds (at least enharmonically): E => C# => A#/Bb => G and from there to B, the V of E. The downward movement in minor thirds is equivalent to going from a minor scale to its relative major scale (and that's also the way I hear it). Note that C# minor is the relative minor scale of E major; so by moving from E major / C# minor to C# major you effectively change from minor to major. This same 'trick' is done 3 times in a row.

  • The parallel scale/key of E maj. is Emin. Do you mean the relative ? Move from E to C#m = relative, then across to C# = parallel.I wonder if you can have a 'relative/parallel' change !! – Tim Jul 9 '14 at 7:29
  • @Tim: you're right, it's a language confusion (these terms are used differently in different languages). I'll fix it, thanks! – Matt L. Jul 9 '14 at 7:31
  • Thank you for the answer. I think I get it, but not totally. It still seems completely random to change from a minor chord to the parallel major chord, or am I seeing this wrong? – teije99zz Jul 10 '14 at 12:42
  • @teije99zz: No, moving from minor to major or the other way around is very common, in classical music as well as in popular music. – Matt L. Jul 10 '14 at 14:01

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