Cmaj7 to Abmaj7 to Gmaj7.

The G seems like a resolution, it feels like the tonal center changes to G when you do such movement. The Abmaj7 almost begs for it. What is the explanation? For example G7 gravitates to C because of the dissonance formed by the 3rd with flat 7th of it, and C resolves that dissonance.

  • Tts if it was Ab7.
    – Tim
    Feb 28, 2018 at 16:36
  • 1
    What does tts stand for? Feb 28, 2018 at 16:44
  • tritone substitution
    – user39614
    Feb 28, 2018 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't consider the overall tonal centre moves from C - particularly if the G7 leads on there. Beware of treating every secondary dominant as a change of tonal centre, music generally analyses more usefully on a broader architecture - let the tonic go on being the tonic! But Abmaj7 makes a good 'dominant of the dominant'. Ab7 would be the classic 'b5 substitution', but Abmaj7 contains G already, which gives an element of G(very)sus!


Also if you think on the bass line , melodically, in terms of scale degrees that's a flat 6 going to 5 a very strong tendency and if the 5 (G) is major seven then it's not dominant hence why it tricks your ear.

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