I am trying to analyze the chord structure of a song (not for any real purpose, just for the sake of better understanding) from the Destiny Taken King Soundtrack called Traveler's Promise. I am trying to figure out what is going on at 2:05 in the link.

Just before this section, the song is playing around in D Dorian. With this section, we have this chord progression: Gm, G♭m, Am, A♭m, Bm, B♭m.

My question is two-fold:

  1. Should the penultimate chord more properly be referred to as Bm or C♭m?
  2. Is it still worth thinking about this in the key of D minor, or has it changed center, or has a center been entirely lost in the modulation?
  1. I think it's best to think of it as Bm. It's really just a chromatic sequence of minor chords ascending by major second (Gm–Am–Bm), with a minor chord a half step below mixed in (that's the G♭m, A♭m, and B♭m). There's a notion of parallelism in theory/analysis/composition/etc., and changing that Bm to C♭m destroys the clear ascending second relationship of Gm–Am–Bm. There's also the added benefit of G–A–B all being in D Dorian, whereas C♭ is not.

  2. This question is tougher, because there's nothing following this sequence to help orient ourselves tonally. As it is, I'm not sure we can really answer it. I see that this is Track 27; does Track 28 come immediately after it in the actual game? If so, Track 28 emphasizes D♭, in which case the concluding B♭m of the sequence at the end of Track 27 could be viewed as the relative of the D♭. If that's the case, the end of Track 27 would just be a transitional/modulatory space between D and D♭.

If there's no consistent track that comes after Track 27 in the game, then I say Track 27 just ends ambiguously, as this type of incidental music often does.

  • Ah yes, the ascending G, A, B is obvious in retrospect. Tracks 27 and 28 are unrelated, so I will agree with you that this ends ambiguously. Jun 7 '17 at 21:22

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