I am reusing a harmonic progression I wrote a few years ago, in a different context than the original. Here there is the new passage:

Sheet music of the mentioned chord progression

The first two bars are around Dm (dorian). There is a modal interchange in the Fm7 chord. The rest is standard. The other two bars are around Gm. The last four chords are preparing the following section in Am.

I doubt that the chord selection is right in this context. There are two points where I think the harmonic rhythm makes some chords to be not suitable here:

  • The Dadd9 at the end of the 2nd bar
  • The Gadd9 at the end of the 3rd bar

I think they can suit within another harmonic rhythm, but not in this context, as they are a kind of passing chords here. In particular:

  • The Dadd9 seems here to be preparing the Gm section, so I think omitting the 7th is not correct.
  • Same stuff with the Gadd9 chord. Not clear its function in this context; I think it should be replaced by any chord with dominant function, preparing the succeeding Gm.

Regarding the Eb9 chord in the middle of the 3rd bar, I think it could be ok, depending on the melody. It seems to be preparing the Dm(add9) chord, as a substitute of the dominant. The 9th could also be b9, but it is not a mistake, provided that the melody suits it.

What do you think? any other suggestions for improvement?

  • 1
    You could post your mp3 on SoundCloud, or some other website, then add a link to that url. Feb 25, 2019 at 8:00
  • Yeah, I agree with @PhilFreihofner. audio.com is another good and free site for sharing audio.
    – Ryan McKay
    Sep 13, 2023 at 2:10

1 Answer 1


The Dadd9 at the end of the 2nd bar

As written, the piano A part is color tones, which the piano B part has the main chords. Within the piano B part, the two chords preceding the Dadd9 are both triads, so it doesn't bother my ear that there is also a D triad (with the 9 — the "color tone" — in piano A) leading into the 3rd bar.

However, if you want to include C, I can suggest two possibilities:

  1. In piano B, change the D to a C, making the chord F#m7b5/A. It will still serve to lead to the Gm6, but has the added benefit of improving piano B's "alto" voice leading starting from the Am chord.: C Bb C Bb.

  2. As above, change the D to C in piano B, but also change piano A to include a D. I prefer a D octave, rather than retaining one of the Es. This gives you a D7/A, and includes a nice "surround" of the E on bar 3's downbeat: F D E.

The Gadd9 at the end of the 3rd bar

To my ear, the problem here is that the voice leading doesn't work. The A doesn't function as a 9th in this context, and the stepwise G A motion doesn't lead anywhere. My choice would be to omit the 9th altogether and stay on G in the bass: i.e., just a plain G chord. This moves very nicely to the Gm6 in the next measure.

If the 9th is a necessity, then I'd switch the G and A within the chord. Put the G on the bottom and the A on the top line.

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