Tierce de Picardie

Could you explain the chord progression used in this image? Please enlighten me thanks

closed as unclear what you're asking by Tim, Dom Dec 26 '18 at 19:19

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  • 1
    What do you mean by "explain"? – Kresimir Dec 25 '18 at 13:11
  • Tierce de Picardie. – Tim Dec 25 '18 at 15:02
  • So why is "V 6 5 / V" in the title, then? – Dekkadeci Dec 25 '18 at 15:37
  • I'm sorry I was using mobile phone. It's figured bass – Yau Qi Herng Dec 26 '18 at 7:04

I assume from the title of your question that the part of the chord progression you want explained is the V65/V part. The terms that you should read up on are “applied dominant” or “secondary dominant” (either term works, although “applied dominant” seems to be preferred by a majority of current theorists).

There are already numerous questions about applied dominants on the site that will be helpful. Briefly, the idea is to build a chromatic harmony that will lead more intensely or dramatically to the following chord than a diatonic chord would. The Roman numeral before the slash should be thought of as a V chord “borrowed” from the key of the Roman numeral after the slash. Your example is in e minor and is an inverted V7 chord borrowed from the key of the V chord. The symbol is pronounced “V six five of five.” In e minor, the V chord is a B major chord. The V OF the V chord is therefore the V7 in the key of B major, which is F# dominant 7. This requires the addition of a C# and an A#, because they aren’t in the key signature for the actual key of the chorale. If you look at the notes in the chorale, you’ll see that the chord is indeed an F# dominant 7 that moves straight to its “I” chord. Back in the original key of e minor though, that’s the V chord.

For the briefest of moments the chorale kind of pretends like the V chord is a I chord, but then immediately remembers the original key. This trick can be used for most harmonies, for example V/IV and V/VI are also relatively common applied dominants. V/V as your example is definitely most common of all though, and is in fact the most commonly used chromatic chord period.

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