I need an Dm chord in a song I'm analyzing, which is in C#m, however the software I'm using (Hookpad/Hooktheory) doesn't support key signature changes and thus I have to work around this by borrowing chords from other modes.

For example, earlier in the song, the key switches from C#m to Em, so I change the mode to major (Emaj), then borrow from the minor mode of it.

However, this method does not work in this particular situation, because D/F is not part of the C#m/Emaj scale. Is there a way to borrow 'Fm' in this situation at all?

EDIT: Here is the song section in question, and here is the analysis in question.

  • 1
    An “Fm chord” in a piece in C♯m is likely actually E♯m instead. That said... I really think you should ditch a “music theory software” that doesn't support something as important as key changes. Jan 5, 2018 at 0:16
  • That's so backwards. Modulation and chromaticism are basic parts of composing a software that restricts that is literally useless.
    – Dom
    Jan 5, 2018 at 0:19
  • @leftaroundabout The song is very much in minor, and the section I'm talking about switches keys 4 times: C#m - Em - D#m - Dm
    – bigyihsuan
    Jan 5, 2018 at 0:21
  • @Dom It's a limit to the software that the devs say will be removed in the next version, but it's been literal years since the idea was suggested. It's the only thing that's like it, though.
    – bigyihsuan
    Jan 5, 2018 at 0:23
  • It looks like from the site it's just Roman Numeral analysis on a midi piano roll. There's a lot more to theory than that and the fact you can't modulate means you can't even do decent analysis. E# minor would be in the parallel major key (C# Major) which may be borrowed, but if you are using it there's a good chance you're heading for at lease a temporary key change.
    – Dom
    Jan 5, 2018 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you need to dump this software. Theory doesn't tell you what you MAY write. It just attempts to explain what you (and others) DID write. 'Modal interchange' and 'borrowing' is ONE way of connecting chords. It isn't the only way. The Fm chord shares a note, Ab (G#) with the C#m chord. Perhaps this is just a colourful re-harmonisation of that note?

Maybe this software is 'the only thing that's like it' because it isn't much use?

  • Other than saying that I need to stop using the software, I don't think you're understanding the question. I need a Dm chord borrowed from some mode, in the C#m key signature. I'm trying to transcribe a song's chords.
    – bigyihsuan
    Jan 5, 2018 at 0:40
  • Why do you need a 'borrowing' justification for the chord? Lots of music isn't constructed on this sort of basis.
    – Laurence
    Jan 5, 2018 at 0:47
  • The song has multiple key changes and I need just this one. Look in the main post, I've linked to the song I'm analyzing and the analysis there.
    – bigyihsuan
    Jan 5, 2018 at 0:49
  • That's not an analysis, it's just a set of labels. Many of them describe a function that a chord MIGHT have, but in this instance doesn't. The software is useless. Dump it.
    – Laurence
    Feb 16, 2018 at 11:26

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