On a nostalgic whim, I was playing around learning this piece of music from Final Fantasy 7, as I was interested in the chord changes that happen (specifically, the first two chords in the tune).

What's going on here? From what I've figured out on the piano, it starts out in Fmaj (might not be F, haven't got perfect pitch), and then seems to go to a Bbmin before going back to Fmaj again.

But the "correct" chord in F major is Bbmaj. Is this simply a temporary key change for this chord? I'm aware of parallel modulation, but is there something special about using the subdominant chord to do this? If this isn't parallel modulation, what is it?

closed as off-topic by Caleb Hines, Dom Jan 27 '16 at 1:19

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  • "Basic analysis questions, such as "What key is this song in?", are off-topic. Questions should be substantial and refer to a well-defined work or subsection, including a concrete reference (sheet music, etc.)." – Dom
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    There's no such thing as a "correct" chord in a key/scale. You can have chords that are squarely in the key/scale and chords that are borrowed from outside it. This case from the relative minor. – Dom Jan 27 '16 at 0:11
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    This isn't a modulation or key change, but rather a "borrowed chord" -- you are right that it is borrowed from the parallel minor. Bb is the subdominant (the chord on the fourth scale degree), and using a minor subdominant, instead of the usual major subdominant, is a fairly common type of borrowed chord (though not the only kind), as is mentioned in the answer to the following question: music.stackexchange.com/questions/20386/… – Caleb Hines Jan 27 '16 at 0:26
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    @Dom - you probably meant parallel minor? – Tim Jan 27 '16 at 8:03
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    Thank you, that's what I wanted to know. In terms of my question, I'm not sure I understand why it was marked off-topic. Am I not asking the same question as the one Caleb Hines linked to in his comment? – semiserious Jan 27 '16 at 10:36
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    @semiserious FWIW, I didn't vote it as off-topic, but rather as a duplicate of the question I linked. Unfortunately, SE only tells you a single reason when the question is closed. – Caleb Hines Jan 27 '16 at 13:48

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