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Someone please help me out with chord progressions?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by fsf347, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. fsf347


    Mar 28, 2008
    Okay, i have to work on 2 exercises and give them a "Roman Numeral Analysis" in correlation to their spot on the chord scale.


    here is my teachers example. this one i understand. starts out in Am, goes to a Dm then an E7 to a Am.

    Then Am goes to its relative minor of C Major, going to G, C, then to B (the V of V in Am, i think thats called a secondary function?...), then to E.


    sorry that this one is a bit hard to read. i know that this exercise is either in G Major or Em, but im not sure which one.
    If i were to say Em, then goes to a I,IV,VI, but then it gets to the B. There is no ****ing B minor in a E minor scale. What am I supposed to do.

    The same thing happens if I start in G Major, i get stuck somewhere because one of the chords does not exist in the chord scale.


    Last one. I think i did this one correctly. Right?

    Someone please help me out, i would really really appreciate it!
  2. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    This is why I teach not to think of these chord progressions in terms of major and minor "keys" because it totally misrepresents whats going on.

    Firstly, when you say major and minor key in these progressions, you are referring to an Ionian tonal centre (major key) and an Aeolian tonal centre (minor key)

    They are really both using the key of G major, which is just an arbitrary title. It could be the key with F#.

    Secondly I dont bother renaming the Aeolian mode as "I min". In simple progressions its not really a big deal, but in more complex progressions its just crazy to rename everything around a new tonal centre.

    Now thats out of the way, Bmin and B7 in the same progression is no big mystery. B7 is really a chord substitution for when you want a strong sense of tension and release. The chord is "borrowed" from E harmonic minor, but youre not playing E harmonic minor all the time over the other modes.

    Take your first example in C major, where you have E7 going to A min. Easy enough, E7 is borrowed from A harmonic minor (it could even be borrowed from melodic minor), but then in the next bar, which is A minor, you can see the melody note G. Its really going back to an Aeolian mode, its not continuing to play A harmonic minor.

    i would analyse the first 8 bars in the second pic this way:

    vi- | % | ii- | %
    IVmaj | iii- | vi - | iii-

    i know some people will disagree with labelling the Emin as the vi min chord as i know its starting with it as the tonal centre, but time and time again I explain this to confused students because some high school teacher has poorly explained it in the first place

    i would analyse the first 8 bars in the first pic this way:

    vi- | % | ii- | %
    V7/vi- | % | vi - | %

    V7/vi- means "V7 of the vi minor chord". You could call them secondary dominants, as they are non diatonic chord approaching a diatonic chord down by a 5th, or up by a 4th.

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