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Why does this chord sound so good?

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by IamGroot, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Its been too quiet around here lately.

    LBS-bass, DirtDog, jallenbass and 5 others like this.
  2. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Re: The explanation (in the video above, as espoused by Ernest Levy), of "Negative Harmony" - This is a good example of why I would hesitate to ask a Theory Major for simple directions to the closest Dunkin Donuts. (jk!)

    (I hear it as a simple Minor iv - Major I cadence. And...I also hear it as an incomplete bVII7 chord that resolves strongly to I. In the first example, in Ab, in the YT - Put a Gb in the bass voice under that Bbmin7b5 chord, and you get a beautiful Gb Dominant 7th chord that has a strong Harmonic gravitational pull BACK to the Abmajor. See/Hear C. Parker's "Yardbird Suite" - chords in m.1 & 2.)
    But that's me...
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  3. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    In New England there is no escape from either.
    daniel9.7, Jason Hollar, lurk and 2 others like this.
  4. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    So, it sounds like a "self-correcting problem"?!
  5. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    What makes a girl pretty? There’s no theory that really explains it because as soon as you think you have one you find a case that breaks the theory. Music theory is mechanical. But, it takes an artist to make it compelling and no theory explains how to do it.
  6. It doesn’t. Not by itself, anyway. It only sounds good because of where it goes to next. How it resolves. Because of the cadence it creates.

    A V7 to I is a two point cadence (the B up to C, and the F down to E)
    The IVm6 to I is a 3 point cadence (F down to E, Ab down to G, D up to E).
    In fact, try an F dim7 to a C, for a complete 4 point cadence (D, F, and Ab down to CEG, and B up to C).
  7. What about the D to C in the V7 - I? Doesn't make that a 3-point cadence?

    And if you mean only half tone steps, then your last example contains a whole tone step.

    And anyway, what does it mean at all.
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Watched the video only to learn that, in a major key, the iiØ7 chord is actually the evil bearded Spock in a parallel universe. And that the Parallel universe of C Major, the "upside down", if you will, is actually the Parallel minor disguised as G Phrygian and it's called the "T7i" inversion.


    And here all this time I just thought it was simple mode mixture.

    Eggo waffle, anyone?
    J_Bass, IamGroot and CayGee like this.
  9. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Getting caught up in justifying the relationship of the chord to key or any of that nonsense about "borrowing" this or that is just non-sense.
    Chords are tools or parts. You can use a Shimano brake lever that connects to a diacomp brake on the same bike. All that matters is that it functions and makes the sound or effect you want in the music. What it sounds like, how it is done, how many was are there to do it are all useful. Justifying it by nonsensical rules are not interesting or helpful. It is like feeling weird about having a beer in 2018 because of Prohibition.
    Also, DD is vile.
    IamGroot likes this.
  10. I am glad to see it wasn't just me.....
  11. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    I was using these concepts long before I knew what they were; just followed my ear.
    But just this year, I discovered the vii 7 substitute for the iv series of chords.
  12. I think the reason way the final third really shines so bright is that there are four consecutive wholetone steps from minor third of the IVm to the final major third of the I. The minor seventh from the I or perfect fourth from the IVm is not in the chords and also not in the I major scale, but I'm sure everyone would use the minor seventh/perfect fourth and not the major seventh/augmented fourth if you play the passing note on IVm from minor third to the root on I.

    Example in C
    [Fmin:] Ab - Bb - C - D - [Cmaj:] E

    It's the same with these steps in melodic minor from minor third to major seventh. And indeed if you look from the IVm it is IV melodic minor as the scale (and if you prefer the sight from the I it is just the fifth mode of melodic minor).

    I won't go further arguing, because then it is a psychoacoustic thing to look at, why this is recognized as bright/good or whatever you would like to name it.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  13. I like that effect. Often use it in tunes with such progressions, like the last eight bars of Out of Nowhere.

  14. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    That was one of my favorite episodes. And a perfect explanation of the video’s explanation of ... wait, what were we talking about again?

    Live Long And Prosper

    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  15. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I think that's the bridge for Lick My Love Pump.

    ugly_bassplayer likes this.
  16. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    It's a mix of Bach and Mozart..... I call it Mach
    DirtDog likes this.

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