There is a chord progression in Nasty Majesty (Track 2 in Octotune, from Splatoon 2) that I am having trouble analyzing. It is: Gminor Bflat Cminor D7 Gminor and I am not sure how to analyze it.

I tried analyzing it with the “negative harmony” approach, and I got:

  • Gminor: tonic
  • Bflat: tonic-parallel
  • Cminor: dominant
  • D7: dominant, from major

Something did not feel right about this (why would a C be dominant in G?), so I tried an approach similar to analyzing in a major key:

  • Gminor: tonic
  • Bflat: ambiguous (is it the dominant-parallel? or the tonic-counterparallel? likely the tonic-counterparallel because it follows a tonic)
  • Cminor: subdominant
  • D7: dominant

I am not sure how to analyze this. Does anyone have a solution?

  • 1
    The progression seems to be in G min. Relative to that key Gmin is i, Bb is III, C- is iv and D7 is V7. Seems to be the most direct way to analyze it.
    – user50691
    Feb 17, 2020 at 13:05

3 Answers 3


i III iv V7 i - assuming the key is in G minor

It looks like a simple Tonic - Predominant - Dominant - tonic progression

For Negative theory (Neo Riemannian to take place, I would expect a chord to take place with a Db tonic, thus expanding on the m3 difference between Gm's tonic and BbM's tonic. Whether Db major or Db minor / respelled to C# minor were to appear, I would then assume to also see E major or minor appear, thus completing an octatonic cycle based on Gdimo7 pitches (though enharmonically spelled at times.)

Hope that helps!

  • Yes, I know that is an “i-flatIII-iv-V7”. Also, we have TWO predominants (Bflat, Cminor). Feb 17, 2020 at 2:42
  • @1gr8penguin what additional information are you looking for?
    – Peter
    Feb 17, 2020 at 5:08
  • What the functions are exactly (T/D/S) Feb 18, 2020 at 13:45

Gm, B♭, Cm, D7. Let's say it's in key B♭.

Gm= vi submediant

B♭ = I tonic

Cm = ii supertonic

D7 = V7/vi secondary dominant (of submediant).

Putting it into key Gm

Gm = i tonic

B♭ = III mediant

Cm = iv subdominant

D7 = V dominant

B♭ and Gm are relative major/minor. Parallels will have the same tonic.

  • I'm aware of that, but I know it is in G minor. Feb 18, 2020 at 13:45
  • What exactly are you aware of? Terms like 'dominant-parallel' and 'tonic counter-parallel' are not known to me. That Bb is the relative major - mediant in key Gm, R.N. III.
    – Tim
    Feb 18, 2020 at 15:37

No need for 'negative harmony' or any other complicated explanation. It's just the hoary old '4 chord trick' - that 'Heart and Soul' thing that your kid sister bashes out interminably on the piano with her friend - modified for minor tonality.

In a major key it's I, vi, IV, V7. The three Primary Triads plus the Relative Minor.

In a minor key it's still tonic, subdominant, dominant 7th. That's Gm, Cm, D7. But the additional chord is now bIII, the Relative Major.

For hundreds of years, V of a minor key was almost ALWAYS major. Not quite so inevitable now, but you shouldn't be surprised when it is!

(And, as @Tim has pointed out, your chord-naming is shaky. The parallel major has the SAME root. Bb is the relative major of G minor.)

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