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Help with Roman Numerals & Analyzing Tough Chord Progression in minor...
Old 25th August 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Help with Roman Numerals & Analyzing Tough Chord Progression in minor...

hey guys, I have a song I'm learning, and it has a tricky chord progression. I wonder if anyone here knows how to analyze it...

It's in Em but a bit of modal sounding, with the G and the lack of an actual Em chord blurring things. it goes

B C | G | B C | F7 G | B C .... etc
V VI III V VI ??? III

The part I don't get is the F7. How do I analyze that?

F7 has an Adim chord in it, which would suggest a Bb or Bbm chord...

but neither belongs to Eminor... F would be a Neapolitan chord in Em, right? but F7 is a dominant 7... can Neapolitan chords have dominant 7s on them?

Or is it the V7/bIII in Gmajor? (I've never come across anything like this in studying secondary dominants...)

It seems like the F7 is implying G minor somehow by wanting to resolve to the Bb. Of course, then the piece doesn't go there, it goes to the G major.

There is chromatic movement from the E of Cmaj to the Eb of F7 to the D of Gmaj... it's very pretty. Just.. what the hell IS it? Just a passing chord?

I don't know, I'd just never seen anything like this in my theory classes or jams and I want to understand this composition so that I can use similar functionality in my own compositions and songwriting

thanks guys
Attached Thumbnails
Help with Roman Numerals & Analyzing Tough Chord Progression in minor...-screen-shot-2019-08-25-11.44.55-am.png  
Old 27th August 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I think this is hard to answer correctly without context. Link to song?
Old 1st September 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 

You could think of the F7 as a tritone substitution for B7 if you like.
Old 1st September 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beeboss View Post
You could think of the F7 as a tritone substitution for B7 if you like.
Holy crap that is totally it. I had forgotten all about tritone substitution, I just looked it up for a refresher, thanks for enlightening me on that. Music theory class was a looong time ago LOL

The F7 is just in such a weird spot, you usually see that in the middle of a ii V I, but you're right, that analysis fits...
Old 2nd September 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiobuild View Post
hey guys, I have a song I'm learning, and it has a tricky chord progression. I wonder if anyone here knows how to analyze it...

It's in Em but a bit of modal sounding, with the G and the lack of an actual Em chord blurring things. it goes

B C | G | B C | F7 G | B C .... etc
V VI III V VI ??? III


thanks guys
It is:

V bVI bIII V bVI bII7 bIII V bVI

Peace,
A.
Old 2nd September 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexvdbroek View Post
It is:

V bVI bIII V bVI bII7 bIII V bVI

Peace,
A.
not quite bro

Notes in E minor scale: E F# G A B C D

Harmonized in Triads: Em F#dim G Am Bm* C D
i iidim III iv v VI VII

*notice v chord is naturally minor in minor keys
usually V dominant is used ("borrowed" from the parallel major key: E major) to be able to use the leading tone of B major's D# to resolve back to Em (i) chord

my progression I'm analyzing:

B C | G | B C | F7 G | B C
V VI III V VI bIIdom7 III V VI

the confusion was about the bIIdom7, as you're calling it

but the functionality is closer to the B(V) chord.

as someone above pointed out, B7 is the dom7 V chord of Em and the F7 is a tritone substitution for B7 (the 3 & 7 of B7 are D# and A, the 3 and 7 of F7 are A and Eb/D#) so the functionality is VERY similar to a dominant V7 chord in Em, except it's a tritone sub, so you get the flavor of the V7 but the F (which ought to be sharp in Em) adds some excitement/uniqueness/flavor to the chord progression
Old 2nd September 2019
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiobuild View Post
not quite bro

*notice v chord is naturally minor in minor keys
usually V dominant is used ("borrowed" from the parallel major key: E major) to be able to use the leading tone of B major's D# to resolve back to Em (i) chord

the confusion was about the bIIdom7, as you're calling it

as someone above pointed out, B7 is the dom7 V chord of Em and the F7 is a tritone substitution for B7
Yep, I agree with the tritone dominant and the fact that chord V is major. No need to go over it anymore.

For clarity, chord degrees are often compared to the major scale. Hence my bVI rather then VI anaylsis. Chord VI in Eminor could be C#.

Congrats on finding your answers.
A.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexvdbroek View Post
Yep, I agree with the tritone dominant and the fact that chord V is major. No need to go over it anymore.

For clarity, chord degrees are often compared to the major scale. Hence my bVI rather then VI anaylsis. Chord VI in Eminor could be C#.

Congrats on finding your answers.
A.
C# major chord in Em would function as V/iidim, which isn't really useful... tension of a tension... or it could be a pivot chord to a new key related to F#....

the problem with your analysis is that you're mixing keys.

bIII and bVI and bVII refer to the parallel MAJOR key, E major, which contains F#, G#, C#, and D#...

So if we had a progression in E major bIII would be G and bVI would be C and bVII would be D

bII is known as neapolitan chord, which would be F in E major


if we were to analyze the initial progression in G major it would go:

B (V/vi) C(IV) | G (I) |

B (V/vi) C(IV) | F7 (functions as V7/vi) G (I) |

B (V/vi) C(IV) |


I'm not trying to be a jerk. Honestly just trying to help you and/or anybody reading this in posterity to have a better understanding, I love music theory
Old 3rd September 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studiobuild View Post
C# major chord in Em would function as V/iidim, which isn't really useful... tension of a tension... or it could be a pivot chord to a new key related to F#....

the problem with your analysis is that you're mixing keys.

bIII and bVI and bVII refer to the parallel MAJOR key, E major, which contains F#, G#, C#, and D#...

So if we had a progression in E major bIII would be G and bVI would be C and bVII would be D

bII is known as neapolitan chord, which would be F in E major


if we were to analyze the initial progression in G major it would go:

B (V/vi) C(IV) | G (I) |

B (V/vi) C(IV) | F7 (functions as V7/vi) G (I) |

B (V/vi) C(IV) |


I'm not trying to be a jerk. Honestly just trying to help you and/or anybody reading this in posterity to have a better understanding, I love music theory
Agreed on all. That said I'd love to know why the piece is considered by the OP to be in Em in the first place! Nothing in the chord sequence specifically points to Em per se!
Old 3rd September 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiobuild View Post

bIII and bVI and bVII refer to the parallel MAJOR key, E major, which contains F#, G#, C#, and D#...

So if we had a progression in E major bIII would be G and bVI would be C and bVII would be D


if we were to analyze the initial progression in G major it would go:

B (V/vi) C(IV) | G (I) |

B (V/vi) C(IV) | F7 (functions as V7/vi) G (I) |

B (V/vi) C(IV) |


Sweet as. Yep, you ain't wrong. But often the roman numerals in minor keys are related to the major just so the root note is clear. This is most often used in jazz and pop music analysis. That is the only point I want to make.

For instance chord VI in Eminor could have a C or C# as its root. Most commonly Cmaj or C#mi7b5. So using the bVI or VI can just make this more clear.

Check out the pic I attached. It is from the wiki page which includes both types.

Distinguishing between the two makes this sort of thing easier to anaylize.

Em | D#dim | D7 | C#mi7b5 | C | B7
I or i | VIdim | bVII | VImi7b5 | bVI | V7

If you like theory, check out my blog about the jazz arranger Gil Evans.
https://gilevansinsideout.wordpress.com/

Peace,
A.
https://alexvdbroek.co.nz
Attached Thumbnails
Help with Roman Numerals & Analyzing Tough Chord Progression in minor...-scale_degree_roman_numerals_minor.jpg  
Old 6th September 2019
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexvdbroek View Post
Sweet as. Yep, you ain't wrong. But often the roman numerals in minor keys are related to the major just so the root note is clear.
https://alexvdbroek.co.nz
Isn't that also the case with the standard Nashville Number System - the numbers (roman numerals) always refer to the major equivalent key?
Old 10th September 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by creegstor View Post
Agreed on all. That said I'd love to know why the piece is considered by the OP to be in Em in the first place! Nothing in the chord sequence specifically points to Em per se!
+1

In absence of the melody, one cannot truly be certain of the
true function/key centre(s) of a selection of chords.

Melody can change the reference and perspective.

I can stitch together the same set of chords with a different melodic threads to achieve different harmonic blankets and "perceived" key centres.

A chord that "appears" to have a certain harmonic function, when on hearing the melody may have it's character re-cast in a role previously not considered in the absence of the melody - I find harmonic ambiguity to be half the fun of writing music.

I look for the melodic plug hole not the harmonic one when seeking which way the river is flowing.

Is the progression A - G - D in the key of A, G or D ?!!

You cannot prescribe function/degree letters to this progression in the absence of the melody as the function of the chords are unknown.

Only on hearing the melody can you solve the puzzle.

Last edited by thehightenor; 10th September 2019 at 03:20 PM..
Old 13th September 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
+1

In absence of the melody, one cannot truly be certain of the
true function/key centre(s) of a selection of chords.

Melody can change the reference and perspective.

I can stitch together the same set of chords with a different melodic threads to achieve different harmonic blankets and "perceived" key centres.

A chord that "appears" to have a certain harmonic function, when on hearing the melody may have it's character re-cast in a role previously not considered in the absence of the melody - I find harmonic ambiguity to be half the fun of writing music.

I look for the melodic plug hole not the harmonic one when seeking which way the river is flowing.

Is the progression A - G - D in the key of A, G or D ?!!

You cannot prescribe function/degree letters to this progression in the absence of the melody as the function of the chords are unknown.

Only on hearing the melody can you solve the puzzle.
the melody is in E minor, mostly pentatonic (it's a solo).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiobuild View Post
the melody is in E minor, mostly pentatonic (it's a solo).
Can you post a clip so we can hear the melody (solo) and harmony together.
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