I got in an argument with a buddy of mine over whether the chord progression I had written was in C Major, or A Minor. I've read up on what makes it one or the other, and I strongly feel it is C Major.

F(add9) Dm7 Am G Csus4 C Am G



You give us neither the G7 > C or E7 > Am cadences that would answer your question conclusively. Which way will you choose to end the piece of which this is an excerpt? Neither you or you friend is wrong, or right!

  • I agree with you Laurence. It could go in either direction and end up in either key from where the snippet is as shown. – Rockin Cowboy Apr 12 '16 at 0:56
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    Yep. In addition, saying that a piece is "really" in C major or "really" in A minor is applying a dualism that is not necessarily useful. In my field, medieval music, there's a common mode where a melody shifts having its emphasis between two notes a third apart- for instance, A and C, and you really cannot say that it's "in" A or "in" C. The world doesn't always divide up into black and white. – Scott Wallace Apr 12 '16 at 6:28

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