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Here is a part of Hisaishi Joe's "Village in May":

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This song is in the key of C major. See bar 2, section [E], where the chords are Dm C7. After C7, it goes to Gm7, and I don't get this. How could you go from C7 to Gm?

Is this some kind of deceptive resolution?? Could somebody explain this chord progression for me?

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I think your confusion will go away once you realise that this section is pretty firmly in the key of F. The broad harmonic scheme is F, Dm, Gm7, C7,(and then, probably) F - perhaps the most clichéd progression in all of tonal music!

  • Thanks for your quick reply ! I did kind of thought that the key would've changed to F Major but what do you mean by "The broad harmonic scheme is F, Gm7, C7" ?? – Hyun Yoo Park Feb 24 '18 at 14:04
  • Four bars, four main chords. – Laurence Payne Feb 24 '18 at 14:12
  • so your saying from beginning of the [E] part to the end the main chord is F (1st bar) Gm (3rd bar) C7 (4th bar) and the 2nd bar doesn't really matter? – Hyun Yoo Park Feb 24 '18 at 14:40
  • Sorry, I left out Dm. Answer edited. – Laurence Payne Feb 24 '18 at 14:46
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Laurence has provided a nice answer, and he's pointed out the crucial fact that the E section is in the key of FMaj rather than CMaj. I would add that the chords you've included in your original posting seem slightly incorrect to me. Here's how I would name the chords if I were doing the transcription:

| FMaj FMaj/E | Dmin Dmin/C | Gmin Gmin/F | C7/E C7 |

Perhaps there is a misconception that every bass note requires a different chord. I don't think that's true: the bass will often "walk a bass line" and change bass notes while the chord stays the same. And in a stride style (as we have here), the bass will often contain scalar passing tones that transition to the next chord. In measures 1 and 2, we hear a new bass note on beat 3. But those bass notes are simply scalar passing tones that move the song from the prior chord to the next chord. The piano never plays a C/E chord in measure 1, and it never plays a C7 chord in measure 2. The only chord we hear the piano play in measure 1 is FMaj, and the only chord we hear the piano play in measure 2 is Dmin. Additionally, in the second half of measure 2, the melody surrounds an A (Bb-A-G-A), and the A is a chord tone of Dmin (not C7).

So using a Roman Numeral analysis, I would analyze this progression as:

I-vi-ii-V7 in the key of FMaj, which is an extremely common progression.

As a side note, there is a deceptive cadence of sorts that occurs in the next measure (measure 5) of the E section. The V7 chord doesn't resolve to the I chord as we might expect, and instead, it moves to a III7 chord, which then resolves to the vi chord.

For reference, I'm looking at your sheet music and listening to this version of the song.

  • Wow !! Your answer was so perfect and detail just like I wanted !! Thank you so much !!So basically its a simple I-vi-ii-V7 chord progression with some inside movements right??awesome! and I was about to ask that other deceptive cadence you pointed out at the end in another question after this with some more detail on how does that actually work.Your so awesome !! – Hyun Yoo Park Feb 24 '18 at 18:57

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