I've been trying to analyze Heart of Pandaria by Russel Brower which is a World of Warcraft song, And I'm having problem decoding what chords are being used to create a surprise and aggression in 00:17. if you know any information about these kind of movements (any harmonic rule or suggestion) please help me.



It sounds to me like a chromatic mediant relationship, with a melody note on the top of the chord that "escapes" at 0:17 to create an effect of surprise. the chromatic mediant relationship is used a lot in film scores, I suppose because it is still a somewhat surprising shift in tonality.


Chandrew is most of the way there; it is a chromatic mediant relationship.

The opening chord is F minor; the chord at 00:17 is Af minor. In F minor, this Af chord would usually be major (Af--C--Ef), but here the composer uses a Cf (with some crunchy non-chord tones in there) to surprise the listener and make it minor, creating a particular mood for the piece.

In terms of Roman numerals, this would be a motion from i--iii. Again, this is a little out of the ordinary because it would normally be i--III.

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