I have been given this chord progression I have to analyse:

Em9 | F#m7 F#7/G | Bm11 | Cmaj7 Dmaj7 | Em9 (loop around)

I've got around to set E as the root since it's the one that sounds the most stable. So the progression would go like this:

Im9 | IIm7 II7 | Vm11 | bVImaj7 bVIImaj7 | Im9

Excluding the colours, and taking F#7/G as a passing chord, I'd say this is in E aeolian (or E natural minor). But the 7ths are inconsistent and getting me confused.

How would you analyse this?

2 Answers 2


Without listening to the actual song it is hard to tell where the tonal center lies.

In E minor you wouldn't have neither F#m nor Dmaj7, but rather F#dim/F#m7b5 and D7.

If you look at it from a D major / B minor perspective, everything is diatonic besides the passing F#7/G and the Cmaj7, that can be seen as a bVII / myxolidian moment or as a simple planing back to D.

(btw in roman numerals notations you use small letters in favour of the m modifier, so v over Vm.)

  • I know there are two "schools" about roman numeral notation... This is how I've learned it so that's the way I usually write them :)
    – Iaka Noe
    Dec 8, 2019 at 23:17
  • Maybe I can get an audio sample or sheets... I'll try to get some.
    – Iaka Noe
    Dec 8, 2019 at 23:17
  • There are many types and styles of roman numeral notation, and none is "the right one". Some books don't use the "small letter" approach at all. Dec 9, 2019 at 1:33

I would view this as a chord progression in E minor (or, given the C#'s, could be in Dorian mode) which, put in Roman numerals, would be


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