Questions tagged [chord-progressions]

For questions about sequences of chords, and the relationship of one chord to the next. Typically questions about chord progressions should also be tagged harmony if asking about in depth concepts about them. Questions that are about abstractions of chord progressions use Roman Numeral analysis should also be tagged with Roman-Numeral and analysis if applicable.

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39
votes
12answers
19k views

Why do many songs in major keys use a bVII chord?

Based on my understanding of chord theory, the chords used in most modern popular songs are comprised of notes that occur in the scale of the tonic key for that song. So the I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, ...
23
votes
6answers
67k views

What is a secondary dominant chord?

What is a secondary dominant chord? What's the theory behind them? How are they used in composition?
7
votes
3answers
11k views

How to make a song with chords and scales?

I play acoustic guitar and have been learning a bunch of chords and scales. I can play many progressions already, and I am starting to write music. I am wondering how you would bridge chord ...
54
votes
4answers
35k views

What are some chord substitutions for a I-IV-V blues progression?

I was watching a video of SRV and one of the things that really stood out was the fact that he seemed to have a different iteration of the I-IV-V turnaround - and made it look/sound effortless. Any ...
18
votes
6answers
6k views

Why is IV-iv-I an effective chord sequence in a major key?

An example of this is the song Nobody Home by Pink Floyd. The last line of the intro is, in a C major key: F Fm C % I think this sounds great, and in fact I often use such passages when ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Alternative Analysis for Non-Functioning Secondary Dominants

I've been reading though my Pocket Music Theory book and in the chapter on secondary dominants there is a concept that confuses me. The book says there can be non-functioning secondary dominants that ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
21
votes
2answers
17k views

What is a “Circle of Fourths” chord progression?

Are there any examples of songs that employ a Circle of Fourths that I might be able to practice along with? How does the progression tie in with different scales?
13
votes
4answers
14k views

Why are four-chord songs (I-V-vi-IV) so prevalent?

Over time, many musicians have experimented with various chord progressions, but none has stood the test of time as the four-chord song. What is it about this progression (and its variations) that ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How would you describe F G A chord progression?

I like the sound of F G A chords progression on a guitar, three major bar chords. Do these chords fit any scale? Am with an added 3 in it? Does it make it a 6-7-1 progression? When I solo over this ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a name for the progression ♭VI–♭VII–I?

The so-called Andalusian cadence occurs when one harmonizes the descending tetrachord from tonic down to dominant with I–♭VII–♭VI–V. Yet the progression ♭VI–♭VII–I seems just as common. It's ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What kind of chord progressions am I using?

I taught myself music theory mostly by playing with chord progressions and writing music based on what I like. (I've since learned music theory proper.) As a result, I prefer to use some chord ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the different ways of adding non-diatonic chords? [closed]

I'm trying to add more detail to what I'm playing by using non-diatonic chords. So far the main ways I have found are: Borrowing chords from parallel key (mode mixture) Chromatic Mediants (playing ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Must a tritone substitution use a dominant functioning seventh chord?

The tritone substitution has been discussed in several questions here, perhaps most notably What is tritone substitution? and Why is bII 7(b5) considered a dominant? (I believe my question is ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Analyzing an unfamiliar Roman numeral analysis: Cm/G-G notated as V6/4-5/3?

I was following a question, Tips on how to add non-diatonic chords to my music, and one of the answers introduced a chord progression involving different non-diatonic chords, with an audio sample. As ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does the chord progression (i-)#IV-i sound acceptable?

The (i-)#IV-i chord progression is somewhat common in heavy metal from my experience--listen to 0:19-0:25 of this, 1:09-1:12 of this, 0:08-0:13 of this, and 0:16-0:24 of this for heavy metal examples ...
3
votes
4answers
328 views

Do “augmented-six” chords always have to be bVI?

Suppose we are in the key of C: Ab7 would be the "augmented-six" chord. But doesn't any 7th chord have the same intervals as the bVI7? Why does bVI7 only have the particular name of "augmented six"?...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Simple chord progression question

I am learning the piano online. I am trying to learn chord progressions. In this simple example the chord progression is supposed to be C F G C (I, IV, V, I). However, in the third part (G) the ...
35
votes
5answers
45k views

How to turn any (pop) song into a jazz song?

Quite often there are pop songs wich get covered in a jazz style. These covers are seen from youtube to tv. Now I tried doing something like this, with for example Bad Day by Daniel Powter. It's ...
20
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5answers
4k views

Guide-lines for creating a simple chord-progression?

I am working on a computer program that generates a simple melody, based on a simple chord progression of four chords taken from the 7 triads of the C Major scale. The program is also supposed to ...
20
votes
6answers
32k views

Do all chords in a progression usually fit within a scale

I am wondering if when writing a chord progression, all the notes fit within a single scale. If not, what is the logic behind chord progressions?
20
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5answers
2k views

Can one measure the “distance” between chords? If so, how?

I was reading an article an the author gave the following sequence of chords: C A7 Dm G C I would like to measure the "distance" if there is such a thing between C and A7. Can this be done? In ...
10
votes
9answers
8k views

Is it necessary to use only notes and chords that belong in a specific scale?

I used to think it is necessary to at least follow the chords of a scale until I came across the Nirvana song "Lithium" and I realized the notes and chords he used in the song don't fit in any scale! ...
12
votes
8answers
17k views

Theory behind the change from a major chord to the same in minor

In many songs I hear the change from a major chord to the same, but minor. For example F A Bb Bbm. It sounds really nice to me and I'm wondering if there is a theory behind it. Is there a genre ...
11
votes
5answers
10k views

How do I correctly borrow chords from one key to another?

So how does one decide to borrow chords? Let's say I am in the key of C Major. Can I borrow chords, say, from the G Major key? How does this work?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What music theory helps me to understand an Em - Cm progression?

I find this progression quite beautiful to improvise with. I would really love to know if there is a theoretical way to understand it. It is outside of any tonality that I know about. What is the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is bII 7(b5) considered a dominant?

I am using Ear Master for ear training and at the Chord Progression exercises, there is an exercise called "Various dominant-tonic combinations". These are the chord progressions that are being ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Old Books with chord progression charts or matrices?

I've heard that there are old books with chord progression charts that tell you which chords are likely/plausible to come after a given chord. A music teacher said there are charts that can get quite ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

What is it about the blues chord progression that makes the blues feel?

I was reading a book and I saw that in a common 12 bar blue chord progression which is I7 , I7 , I7 , I7 IV7 , IV7 , I7 , I7 V7 , IV7 , I7 , I7 You're allowed to change other chord except the 5th ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why the chord on the third degree is major in this progression?

I came across with this video The chords are E - G♯ - C♯m - B My question is: why is G♯ a major chord in this progression? I thought that since ...
6
votes
4answers
844 views

Is there a specific name for the use of IV chord over the V in the bass, e.g. F/G in the key of C

You see this chord a fair amount, usually leading to the tonic as a sort of souped-up plagal cadence (plagal in the treble, perfect in the bass). Is there a specific name for this, other than "4 over ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

iii9 - I progression in Bach?

In the last of his 15 Sinfonias (aka Three-Part Inventions), Bach uses quite a daring approach to the tonic chord. Occurring in a sequential progression by downward thirds, it can be described most ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Modal chord progressions for Rock music

I need some solid understanding on modal chord progressions. I would be glad if you can explain and give examples this especially from a rock or blues music perspective
5
votes
2answers
371 views

Functional analysis of chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' BWV 244/46

I did some analysis of the chorale 'Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe' (from Matthew Passion BWV 244 no.46), see below. But how would I analyse the first chord in measure 2? Obviously, it's an E ...
5
votes
3answers
592 views

Why do most children's songs use I-IV-V?

I'm talking about Christmas songs, Nursery Rhymes, and so forth. It seems to mainly be I-IV-V in a major key. Not necessarily that progression, I mean just those chords. Why such a strong bias ...
4
votes
3answers
74 views

Analyzing Tschaikowsky's “Wintermorgen 2”

At measure 2 from the [B] section. (starting at 00:18 ) I don't know what chord it is. The notes are B,D,G, E#. Is this G7 ? The same chord also appears on the 4th measure with a different ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Minor key and its chords [duplicate]

I am trying to learn the scales and its relative chords. I am confused with Minor scale. Lets take A minor key for an example. A minor key has following notes: A B C D E F G and its relative chords ...
3
votes
2answers
604 views

Analyzing Ryuichi Sakamoto “Merry Christmas, Mr. Laurence”

The original song is not in C Maj key but the sheet I Have is in C Maj so let just see as the key is in C maj (The [B] part starts 1:50) How does the Gm (Vm) come ...
3
votes
3answers
439 views

Key signature and chord progressions

I was studying a blues song (Bessie's Blues) in all keys and I seem unable to understand something that seems quite basic. So, in the typical progression for a Bb organ we have C7-F7-C7-C7-F7-F7 etc. ...
-2
votes
2answers
708 views

♭II6-I Cadence: Plagal or Authentic?

Chopin's Etude No. 16 in A minor, Op. 25 No. 4, ends with a cadence like this: B♭/D - A In Roman numerals, we write as: ♭II6 - I Is this cadence viewed as Plagal (N6 - I), or Authentic (tt - ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I generate nice-sounding random chord progressions?

I'm trying to write a computer program to generate simple random chord progressions. Is there a way of ranking chords based on how nice they will sound after the previous ones? Any advice would be ...
16
votes
6answers
36k views

How to make songs with chords that don't belong in a scale?

I've always wondered how come there can be a chord progression with some chord that doesn't belong in the particular scale... Moreover, how can it be possible that this progression is in any key at ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

How to algorithmically find a chord progression for an infinite arbitrary melody?

My question is primarily about this piano performance: The number Pi is played with the right hand by mapping each digit to a note in the A minor scale: 0 1 2 3 ...
24
votes
3answers
7k views

What are the four chords that so many pop songs are based on?

Apparently, a lot of pop music is based on the same four chords, the video does not say which those may be. Any idea what four chords they are talking about?
12
votes
3answers
814 views

What are some good/interesting ways to exit a circle of fifths section?

Circle of 5ths is in tons of chord progressions, sounds nice and 'easy', etc. But if you keep going on it the song can sound unreasonably predictable. What are some good ways to use a little bit of ...
19
votes
8answers
33k views

How to improvise a walking bass line

When improvising or writing a walking bass line the bass note (usually the root of the chord) is played on the chord change, but how do you choose the other notes for a walking bass line? Is there a ...
13
votes
4answers
9k views

The Chords in this progression sound great but don't belong together - so why do they work?

I am a songwriter and compose my own music to go with my lyrics. Most of my chord progressions follow common patterns like using a I V IV or I IV V with an occasional ii or iii or vi chord thrown in ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Beatles - Because: Chord progression

I am currently looking at this tune but I'm a bit confused by a part of the progression. It seems to be using chords built mostly from the C# harmonic minor scale. So, my current understanding ...
12
votes
10answers
8k views

How common is the complete circle of fifths progression?

A complete circle of fifths progression would go (I)-IV-VII-III-VI-II-V-I, and it's taught that way in textbooks, but it seems to be rare in actual music. Could you give me any examples of songs that ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

I-IV-V blues progression

I'm currently learning a 12 bar blues rhythm and am getting confused by it. The solo is played over the A minor pentatonic scale. And the underlying chord progression is A - D - E. But isn't this ...