I don't know why, but to me, this whole jazzy approach is seriously confusing:

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  • There's nothing very "jazzy" about that chord progression. You could find plenty of examples of it in Haydn or Mozart, or even Bach - but I'm not going to spend my time looking for specific references.
    – user19146
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


This excerpt seems to be in E minor because of the use of raised D. With that in mind, the chords would be:

i (Emin) - vii (D#dim6/5) - i (Emin) - V/ (E6/5)

Without the next measures we can't know for sure what that E7 dominant in first inversion (G# in the bass) is functioning as, but I am guessing it will function as a secondary dominant, maybe to iv (Amin).

  • 2
    The second chord is actually just D#dim6; there's no seventh (C-natural) in the chord.
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 15:40
  • 2
    I--viio6--I6 (or minor, in this case) is such a ubiquitous progression in tonal music that we might as well call it what it is. The middle chord definitely has some sense of a dominant function, that's for sure. But if we already have a term for it (viio6), why make it more confusing by saying it's something else with something missing? Why call it "a tricycle with one wheel missing" when we already have the word "bicycle"?
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 18:15

It's the voicing that makes it sound so. The bass line rises in steps, while the top line drops in the opposite way. In Em, (F# key sig.) it's Em, B7/F#, Em/G, E7/G#. The second chord is a little ambiguous, and the last one majors up, more than likely leading to Am in the next bar.

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