# Secondary dominants/slash notation in Elton John

Please see the section labelled "chorus" in the screenshot below:

My textbook labels these same chords as follows:

I V(2-4)/IV vi7 V(6-5) I(6-4) V11 V I

I have questions regarding the second and third chords (I haven't looked any further than that).

So, the second chord is the third inversion of the fifth of IV. In C, this would be a C chord with an G note in the root. If that is the case, then where did the b-flat note come from? I understand that b-flat is the minor 7th of C, so then would this be a dominant 7 chord? If so, then I am wondering why my textbook didn't notate it as such.

Moving on, this third chord is a vi7. A seventh from A is G, no? So, following my textbook, I would play A in the bass and something that included the g note in my right hand. But, in the screenshot, the youtuber just plays an F major chord in his right hand. Keep in mind that in the video (link:

(go to 29 seconds in)) these chords all sound accurate.

Any attempt to clear up my confusion is appreciated.

• The analysis in your textbook does not match the chords shown in the image and video. For example, F/A and vi7 are not the same thing. I found the first page of some sheet music for this song with Google, and there is no justification there for vi7. Mind you, vi7 could be played, I just haven't heard a version yet that does that.
– user48353
Apr 9, 2019 at 0:58
• The third inversion of a triad is equivalent to the root position as there are only three notes present, so the term is not used. Normally, speaking of a third inversion implies a seventh, which would be the Bb in your example. This matches the notation C/Bb. The notation V(4-2)/IV, combining Roman numerals with figured bass, represents the same thing. The third inversion seventh figuring 642 is conventionally reduced to 42.
– user48353
Apr 9, 2019 at 1:01

So, the second chord is the third inversion of the fifth of IV. In C, this would be a C chord with an G note in the root.

No, third inversion (4/2) puts the seventh as the bass note of the chord (the root note of a C chord is always C, the bass note of a chord is its lowest sounding note). C/Bb = V4/2/IV in the key of C. (4/3 of a seventh chord is second inversion, and 6/5 is first inversion).

Moving on, this third chord is a vi7.

F/A is IV6 in C. There is a discrepancy between your textbook and the video.

So, following my textbook, I would play A in the bass and something that included the g note in my right hand.

Yes, if you were following your textbook (and not the video) you would play A-C-E-G. However, if you were following the video, you would play A-C-F (or some voicing similar). You will notice that you can fudge the resolution of the C/Bb chord to the Am7 if you wanted to because Am and F are somewhat interchangeable chords. So while normally a V4/2/IV would naturally lead to a IV6, you could substitute a vi7 (Am7) if you wanted to do so. If that's what your textbook (or teacher) is telling you to do, then that's what you should do for now.

• regarding the first point--V4/2/IV--where does the IV appear? I dont see an F in the bass? May 9, 2019 at 1:38