Chord progression

Chord progression

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A chord progression is a series of musical chord
Chord (music)
A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. These need not actually be played together: arpeggios and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords...

s, or chord changes that "aims for a definite goal" of establishing (or contradicting) a tonality
Tonality
Tonality is a system of music in which specific hierarchical pitch relationships are based on a key "center", or tonic. The term tonalité originated with Alexandre-Étienne Choron and was borrowed by François-Joseph Fétis in 1840...

 founded on a key
Key (music)
In music theory, the term key is used in many different and sometimes contradictory ways. A common use is to speak of music as being "in" a specific key, such as in the key of C major or in the key of F-sharp. Sometimes the terms "major" or "minor" are appended, as in the key of A minor or in the...

, root or tonic
Tonic (music)
In music, the tonic is the first scale degree of the diatonic scale and the tonal center or final resolution tone. The triad formed on the tonic note, the tonic chord, is thus the most significant chord...

 chord. In other words, the succession of root
Root (chord)
In music theory, the root of a chord is the note or pitch upon which a triadic chord is built. For example, the root of the major triad C-E-G is C....

 relationships. Chords and chord theory are generally known as harmony
Harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

.

A chord progression can be thought of as a harmonic simultaneity succession
Simultaneity succession
In music and music theory a simultaneity succession is a series of different groups of pitches or pitch classes, each of which is played at the same time as the other pitches of its group...

: it offers an ongoing shift of level that is essential to the music of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 (at least since 1600), Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 and South/West Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. A change of chord, or "chord change", generally occurs on an accented
Accent (music)
In music, an accent is an emphasis placed on a particular note,either as a result of its context or specifically indicated by an accent mark.Accents contribute to the articulation and prosody of a performance of a musical phrase....

 beat
Beat (music)
The beat is the basic unit of time in music, the pulse of the mensural level . In popular use, the beat can refer to a variety of related concepts including: tempo, meter, rhythm and groove...

, so that chord progressions may contribute significantly to the rhythm
Rhythm
Rhythm may be generally defined as a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions." This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or...

, meter
Meter (music)
Meter or metre is a term that music has inherited from the rhythmic element of poetry where it means the number of lines in a verse, the number of syllables in each line and the arrangement of those syllables as long or short, accented or unaccented...

 and musical form
Musical form
The term musical form refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections...

 of a piece, delineating bars
Bar (music)
In musical notation, a bar is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats of a given duration. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the top number of a...

, phrases
Phrase (music)
In music and music theory, phrase and phrasing are concepts and practices related to grouping consecutive melodic notes, both in their composition and performance...

 and sections
Section (music)
In music, a section is "a complete, but not independent musical idea". Types of sections include the introduction or intro, exposition, recapitulation, verse, chorus or refrain, conclusion, coda or outro, fadeout, bridge or interlude...

.

Basics


A chord may be built upon any note of a musical scale
Musical scale
In music, a scale is a sequence of musical notes in ascending and descending order. Most commonly, especially in the context of the common practice period, the notes of a scale will belong to a single key, thus providing material for or being used to conveniently represent part or all of a musical...

, therefore a seven-note scale allows seven basic chords, each degree of the scale becoming the "root" of its own chord. A chord built upon the note A is an A chord of some type, major/minor/diminished/etc. The harmonic function of any particular chord depends on the context of the particular chord progression in which it is found. (See Diatonic function
Diatonic function
In tonal music theory, a diatonic function is the specific, recognized role of each of the 7 notes and their chords in relation to the diatonic key...

)

The diatonic harmonization of any major scale
Major scale
In music theory, the major scale or Ionian scale is one of the diatonic scales. It is made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first an octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables "Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, ", the "Do" in the parenthesis at...

 results in three major triads
Triad (music)
In music and music theory, a triad is a three-note chord that can be stacked in thirds. Its members, when actually stacked in thirds, from lowest pitched tone to highest, are called:* the Root...

. They are based on the first, fourth
Perfect fourth
In classical music from Western culture, a fourth is a musical interval encompassing four staff positions , and the perfect fourth is a fourth spanning five semitones. For example, the ascending interval from C to the next F is a perfect fourth, as the note F lies five semitones above C, and there...

, and fifth
Perfect fifth
In classical music from Western culture, a fifth is a musical interval encompassing five staff positions , and the perfect fifth is a fifth spanning seven semitones, or in meantone, four diatonic semitones and three chromatic semitones...

 scale degrees (the tonic
Tonic (music)
In music, the tonic is the first scale degree of the diatonic scale and the tonal center or final resolution tone. The triad formed on the tonic note, the tonic chord, is thus the most significant chord...

, subdominant
Subdominant
In music, the subdominant is the technical name for the fourth tonal degree of the diatonic scale. It is so called because it is the same distance "below" the tonic as the dominant is above the tonic - in other words, the tonic is the dominant of the subdominant. It is also the note immediately...

 and dominant
Dominant (music)
In music, the dominant is the fifth scale degree of the diatonic scale, called "dominant" because it is next in importance to the tonic,and a dominant chord is any chord built upon that pitch, using the notes of the same diatonic scale...

 – see three-chord song
Three-chord song
A three-chord song is a song whose music is built around three chords that are played in a certain sequence. Perhaps the most prevalent type of three-chord song is the simple twelve bar blues used in blues and rock and roll....

). These three triads include, and therefore can harmonize
Harmonized scale
In music, harmonization is the chordal accompaniment to a line or melody: "Using chords and melodies together, making harmony by stacking scale tones as triads"....

, every note of that scale.

The same scale also provides three relative minor
Relative key
In music, relative keys are the major and minor scales that have the same key signatures. A major and minor scale sharing the same key signature are said to be in a relative relationship...

 chords, one related to each of the three major chords. These are based upon the sixth, second and third degrees of the major scale and stand in the same relationship to one another as do the three majors, so that they may be viewed as the first, fourth and fifth degrees of the relative minor key. Separate from these six common chords there is one degree of the scale, the seventh, that results in a diminished chord
Diminished chord
A diminished triad chord or diminished chord is a triad consisting of two minor thirds above the root — if built on C, a diminished chord would have a C, an E and a G. It resembles a minor triad with a lowered fifth....

.

In addition, extra notes may be added to any chord. If these notes are also selected from the original scale the harmony remains diatonic. If new chromatic intervals are introduced then a change of scale or modulation
Modulation (music)
In music, modulation is most commonly the act or process of changing from one key to another. This may or may not be accompanied by a change in key signature. Modulations articulate or create the structure or form of many pieces, as well as add interest...

 occurs, which may bring the sense of a change of tonal center. This in turn may lead to a resolution
Resolution (music)
Resolution in western tonal music theory is the move of a note or chord from dissonance to a consonance .Dissonance, resolution, and suspense can be used to create musical interest...

 back to the original key, so that the entire sequence of chords helps create an extended musical form
Musical form
The term musical form refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections...

.

Although all this allows for a large number of possible progressions (depending upon the length of the progression), in practice progressions are often limited to a few bars' length and certain progressions are favored above others: there is a certain amount of fashion in this and a chord progression may even define an entire genre.

In western classical notation chords built on the scale are numbered with Roman numerals. A D chord will be figured I in the key of D, for example, but IV in the key of A. Minor chords are signified by lower case Roman, so that D minor in the key of C would be written ii. Other forms of chord notation have been devised, from figured bass
Figured bass
Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervals, chords, and non-chord tones, in relation to a bass note...

 to the chord chart
Chord chart
A chord chart is a form of musical notation that in addition to writing out non-embellished melody, describes harmonic and rhythmic information. It is the most common form of notation used by professional session musicians playing jazz or popular music. It is intended primarily for a rhythm section...

. These usually allow or even require a certain amount of improvisation.

Simple progressions


Diatonic scales such as the major and minor
Major and minor
In Western music, the adjectives major and minor can describe a musical composition, movement, section, scale, key, chord, or interval.Major and minor are frequently referred to in the titles of classical compositions, especially in reference to the key of a piece.-Intervals and chords:With regard...

 scales lend themselves particularly well to the construction of common chords because they contain a large number of perfect fifth
Perfect fifth
In classical music from Western culture, a fifth is a musical interval encompassing five staff positions , and the perfect fifth is a fifth spanning seven semitones, or in meantone, four diatonic semitones and three chromatic semitones...

s. Such scales predominate in those regions where harmony is an essential part of music, as, for example, in the common practice period
Common practice period
The common practice period, in the history of Western art music , spanning the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, lasted from c. 1600 to c. 1900.-General characteristics:...

 of western classical music. On the other hand Arab and Indian
Music of India
The music of India includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop, classical music and R&B. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several eras. It remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as...

 music, though they use diatonic scales, also have a number of non-diatonic scales available because the music has no chord changes: it remains always upon the key-chord, as does a certain amount of hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

, hip hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

, funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

, disco
Disco
Disco is a genre of dance music. Disco acts charted high during the mid-1970s, and the genre's popularity peaked during the late 1970s. It had its roots in clubs that catered to African American, gay, psychedelic, and other communities in New York City and Philadelphia during the late 1960s and...

, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, etc.

Alternation between two chords may be thought of as the most basic chord progression. Many well-known pieces are built harmonically upon the mere repetition of two chords of the same scale. For example, many of the more straightforward melodies in classical music (e.g., Jeremiah Clarke
Jeremiah Clarke
Jeremiah Clarke was an English baroque composer and organist.Thought to have been born in London around 1674, Clarke was a pupil of John Blow at St Paul's Cathedral. He later became organist at the Chapel Royal...

's Trumpet Voluntary
Trumpet Voluntary
Trumpet Voluntary is the name given to some English keyboard pieces from the Baroque era. A trumpet voluntary is most commonly played on the organ using the trumpet stop, hence the name...

) consist entirely or mostly of alternation between the tonic (I) and the dominant (V, sometimes with an added seventh
Dominant seventh chord
In music theory, a dominant seventh chord, or major minor seventh chord,is a chord composed of a root, major third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh. It can be also viewed as a major triad with an additional minor seventh...

), as do folk songs such as "Polly Wolly Doodle
Polly Wolly Doodle
"Polly Wolly Doodle" is a song first published in a Harvard student songbook in 1880."Polly Wolly Doodle" appears in the existing manuscript for Laura Ingalls Wilder's These Happy Golden Years exactly as it is used in the published version. It was not mentioned in any of the Pioneer Girl...

" and popular songs such as "Achy Breaky Heart
Achy Breaky Heart
"Achy Breaky Heart" is a hit country music song written by Don Von Tress. Originally titled "Don't Tell My Heart", its name was later changed to "Achy Breaky Heart" and was recorded by Billy Ray Cyrus on his 1992 album Some Gave All. As Cyrus' debut single and signature song, it made him famous and...

". Erik Satie
Erik Satie
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde...

's first Gymnopédie
Gymnopédie
The Gymnopédies, published in Paris starting in 1888, are three piano compositions written by French composer and pianist Erik Satie.These short, atmospheric pieces are written in 3/4 time, with each sharing a common theme and structure...

for piano and the Velvet Underground's "Heroin
Heroin (song)
"Heroin" is a song by The Velvet Underground, released on their 1967 debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Written by Lou Reed in 1964, the song is one of the band's most celebrated compositions, overtly depicting heroin use and abuse...

" are both built upon a repeated I - IV, while The Isley Brothers
The Isley Brothers
The Isley Brothers are a highly influential, successful and long-running American music group consisting of different line-ups of six brothers, and a brother-in-law, Chris Jasper...

' "Shout" and Bob Marley
Bob Marley
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley, OM was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the ska, rocksteady and reggae band Bob Marley & The Wailers...

 and King Sporty
King Sporty
King Sporty is a Jamaican DJ, reggae musician, and record producer for the Tashamba and Konduko labels. He is best known for co-authoring the Bob Marley song, "Buffalo Soldier".-Biography:...

's "Buffalo Soldier
Buffalo Soldier (song)
"Buffalo Soldier" is a reggae song written by Bob Marley and Noel G. "King Sport" Williams from Marley's final recording sessions in 1980. It did not appear on record until the 1983 posthumous release of Confrontation, when it became one of Marley's best-known songs.The title and lyrics refer to...

" both use I - vi (the former throughout, the latter for the verses).

Three-chord progressions



Three-chord tunes, though, are more common, since a melody may then dwell on any note of the scale. Often the chords may be selected to fit a pre-conceived melody, but just as often it is the progression itself that gives rise to the melody.

The three-chord I - IV - V progression, a particularly popular kind of circle progression
Circle progression
In music, the circle progression is a chord progression named for the circle of fifths, along which it travels. It is "undoubtedly the most common and the strongest of all harmonic progressions" and consists of "adjacent roots in ascending fourth or descending fifth relationship", with movement by...

 (see below), can be placed into a four-bar phrase in several ways that have been put to endless use in popular music. Ottman gives examples of favoured progressions:
  • I - IV - V - V. (The basis of Ritchie Valens
    Ritchie Valens
    Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter and guitarist....

    ' "La Bamba
    La Bamba (song)
    "La Bamba" is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, a top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs...

    ", this progression also provides the refrain
    Refrain
    A refrain is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the "chorus" of a song...

     of Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

    's "Like a Rolling Stone
    Like a Rolling Stone
    "Like a Rolling Stone" is a 1965 song by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Its confrontational lyrics originate in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England...

    ", The Isley Brothers
    The Isley Brothers
    The Isley Brothers are a highly influential, successful and long-running American music group consisting of different line-ups of six brothers, and a brother-in-law, Chris Jasper...

    ' "Twist and Shout
    Twist and Shout
    "Twist and Shout" is a song written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell. It was originally titled "Shake It Up, Baby" and recorded by the Top Notes and then covered by The Isley Brothers. It was covered by The Beatles with John Lennon on the lead vocals and originally released on their first album...

    ", and The Beatles
    The Beatles
    The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

    's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a song written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney, for The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band...

    ".)
  • I - I - IV - V. (Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop
    My Boy Lollipop
    "My Boy Lollipop" is a song written in the mid-1950s by Robert Spencer of the doo-wop group The Cadillacs, and usually credited to Spencer, Morris Levy, and Johnny Roberts. It was first recorded in New York in 1956 by Barbie Gaye...

    " (usually credited to Robert Spencer, Morris Levy
    Morris Levy
    Morris Levy was an American music industry executive, best known as the founder and owner of Roulette Records...

    , and Johnny Roberts), "Heartbeat
    Heartbeat (Buddy Holly song)
    "Heartbeat" is a rockabilly song written by Bob Montgomery and Norman Petty and recorded originally by Buddy Holly in 1958. The B side of the single was "Well.....

    " (written by Bob Montgomery
    Bob Montgomery (musician)
    Bob Montgomery is an American singer, songwriter, and music producer/publisher.Montgomery was born in Lampasas, Texas. He was a songwriting partner and best friend of Buddy Holly, performing together as the duo "Buddy and Bob" while teenagers in high school...

     and Norman Petty
    Norman Petty
    Norman Petty was an American musician, songwriter, and pioneer record producer who helped shape modern popular music, including pop and rock....

     for Buddy Holly
    Buddy Holly
    Charles Hardin Holley , known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll...

    ), The Rolling Stones
    The Rolling Stones
    The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

    ' "Get Off Of My Cloud
    Get off of My Cloud
    "Get Off of My Cloud" is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was written as a follow-up single to the successful " Satisfaction"...

    " (refrain), Paul Simon
    Paul Simon
    Paul Frederic Simon is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.Simon is best known for his success, beginning in 1965, as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached number one on the US singles...

    's "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes", Van Morrison
    Van Morrison
    Van Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely...

    's "Madame George
    Madame George
    "Madame George" is a ten-minute song by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It appears on the album Astral Weeks, released in 1968. The song features Morrison performing the vocals and acoustic guitar...

    ", The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop
    Blitzkrieg Bop
    "Blitzkrieg Bop" is a song by the American punk rock band Ramones. It was released as the band's debut single in April of 1976 in the United States...

    ")
  • I - IV - I - V. (Common in Elizabethan music (Scholes 1977), this also underpins the American college song "Goodnight Ladies", is the exclusive progression used in Kwela
    Kwela
    Kwela is a happy, often pennywhistle-based, street music from southern Africa with jazzy underpinnings and a distinctive, skiffle-like beat. It evolved from the marabi sound and brought South African music to international prominence in the 1950s....

    , and Solomon Linda
    Solomon Linda
    Solomon Popoli Linda , also known as Solomon Ntsele , was a South African Zulu musician, singer and composer who wrote the song "Mbube" which later became the popular music success "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and gave its name to the Mbube style of isicathamiya a cappella popularized later by...

    's "Mbube"/"Wimoweh"/"The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", also known as "Wimoweh" and originally as "Mbube", is a song recorded by Solomon Linda and his group The Evening Birds for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939. It was covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including The Weavers,...

    " among many others.)
  • I - IV - V - IV. (Chip Taylor
    Chip Taylor
    James Wesley Voight , better known by his stage name as Chip Taylor, is an American songwriter, who is noted for writing the songs "Angel of the Morning" and "Wild Thing." He is the brother of actor Jon Voight and geologist Barry Voight...

    's/The Troggs
    The Troggs
    The Troggs are an English rock band from the 1960s that had a number of hits in UK and the US. Their most famous songs include, "Wild Thing", "With a Girl Like You", and "Love Is All Around"...

    ' "Wild Thing", "Louie Louie
    Louie Louie
    "Louie Louie" is an American rock 'n' roll song written by Richard Berry in 1955. It has become a standard in pop and rock, with hundreds of versions recorded by different artists...

    ", etc.)


This basic harmonic pattern occurs in many other pop songs—the output of Phil Spector
Phil Spector
Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector is an American record producer and songwriter, later known for his conviction in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson....

 might also be cited. Similar progressions abound in African popular music
African popular music
African popular music, like African traditional music, is vast and varied. Most contemporary genres of African popular music build on cross-pollination with western popular music. Many genres of popular music like blues, jazz, salsa zouk, and rumba derive to varying degrees on musical traditions...

. They may be varied by the addition of sevenths (or other scale degrees) to any chord or by substitution of the relative minor of the IV chord to give, for example, I - ii - V. This last is heard, for example, in The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

' "Good Vibrations
Good Vibrations
"Good Vibrations" is a song by American rock band The Beach Boys. Composed and produced by Brian Wilson, the song's lyrics were written by Wilson and Mike Love....

" ("Got to keep those...."). This sequence, using the chord based on the second scale degree, is also used cadentially
Cadence (music)
In Western musical theory, a cadence is, "a melodic or harmonic configuration that creates a sense of repose or resolution [finality or pause]." A harmonic cadence is a progression of two chords that concludes a phrase, section, or piece of music...

 in a common chord progression of jazz harmony
Jazz harmony
Jazz harmony is the theory and practice of how chords are used in jazz music. Jazz bears certain similarities to other practices in the tradition of Western harmony, such as many chord progressions, and the incorporation of the major and minor scales as a basis for chordal construction, but...

, the so-called ii-V-I turnaround, on which are based the more ornate Coltrane changes
Coltrane changes
In jazz harmony, the Coltrane changes are a harmonic progression variation using substitute chords over common jazz chord progressions...

.

Such progressions provide the entire harmonic foundation of much African and American popular music, and they occur sectionally in many pieces of classical music (such as the opening bars of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony). Any of these progressions may be transposed
Transposition (music)
In music transposition refers to the process, or operation, of moving a collection of notes up or down in pitch by a constant interval.For example, one might transpose an entire piece of music into another key...

 into any key so that, for instance, the progression I - IV - V in the key of A will be played A - D - E, while in the key of C the chords will be C - F - G.

Where such a simple sequence does not represent the entire harmonic structure of a piece, it may readily be extended for greater variety. Frequently an opening phrase of the type I - IV - V - V, which ends on an unresolved
Resolution (music)
Resolution in western tonal music theory is the move of a note or chord from dissonance to a consonance .Dissonance, resolution, and suspense can be used to create musical interest...

 dominant
Dominant (music)
In music, the dominant is the fifth scale degree of the diatonic scale, called "dominant" because it is next in importance to the tonic,and a dominant chord is any chord built upon that pitch, using the notes of the same diatonic scale...

, may be "answered" by a similar version that resolves back onto the home chord, giving a structure of double the length:
  • I - IV - V - V
  • I - IV - V - I


Additionally, such a passage may be alternated with a different progression to give a simple binary
Binary form
Binary form is a musical form in two related sections, both of which are usually repeated. Binary is also a structure used to choreograph dance....

 or ternary form
Ternary form
Ternary form, sometimes called song form, is a three-part musical form, usually schematicized as A-B-A. The first and third parts are musically identical, or very nearly so, while the second part in some way provides a contrast with them...

 such as that of the popular thirty-two-bar form
Thirty-two-bar form
The thirty-two-bar form, often called AABA from the musical form or order in which its melodies occur, is common in Tin Pan Alley songs and later popular music including rock, pop and jazz...

 (see musical form
Musical form
The term musical form refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections...

).

Blues changes



The twelve bar blues
Twelve bar blues
The 12-bar blues is one of the most popular chord progressions in popular music, including the blues. The blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics and phrase and chord structure and duration...

 and its many variants use an elongated, three-line form of the I - IV - V progression that has also generated countless hit records, including the most significant output of rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

ers such as Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" , "Roll Over Beethoven" , "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B...

 and Little Richard
Little Richard
Richard Wayne Penniman , known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the 1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and...

. In its most elementary form (there are many variants) the chords progress as follows:
  • I - I - I - I - IV - IV - I - I - V - V - I - I



Again, blues progressions have formed the entire harmonic basis of many recorded songs but may also be confined to a single section of a more elaborate form, as frequently with The Beatles in such songs as "You Can't Do That
You Can't Do That
"You Can't Do That" is a song written by John Lennon and released by The Beatles as the B-side of their sixth British single "Can't Buy Me Love".-Composition:...

", "I Feel Fine
I Feel Fine
"I Feel Fine" is a riff-driven rock song written by John Lennon and released in 1964 by The Beatles as the A-side of their eighth British single. The song is notable for the use of feedback on a recording for the first time by any musician...

", and "She's A Woman
She's a Woman
"She's a Woman" is a song by The Beatles. It was released as the B-side to "I Feel Fine" in 1964, their last single release that year. It reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 from frequent airplay.-Composition:...

". They have also been subjected to densely chromatic elaboration, as in the work of Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charles Parker, Jr. , famously called Bird or Yardbird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer....

.

Steedman (1984) proposed that a set of recursive rewrite rule
Rewrite rule
In linguistics, a rewrite rule for natural language in generative grammar is a rule of the form A → X where A is a syntactic category label, such as noun phrase or sentence, and X is a sequence of such labels and/or morphemes, expressing the fact that A can be replaced by X in generating the...

s generate all well-formed
Well-formed
Well-formed may refer to:* Well-formed element, an element in webpage design; see also well-formed XML* Well-formed formula, a string that is generated by a formal grammar in logic* Well-formed outcome, a Neuro-Linguistic Programming concept...

 transformation
Transformation (music)
In music, a transformation consists of any operation or process that may apply to a musical variable in composition, performance, or analysis. Transformations include multiplication, rotation, permutation In music, a transformation consists of any operation or process that may apply to a musical...

s of jazz, both basic blues chord changes and slightly modified sequences (such as the "rhythm changes
Rhythm changes
In jazz and jazz harmony, "rhythm changes" refers to the chord progression occurring in George Gershwin's song "I Got Rhythm". This pattern, which forms the basis of countless jazz compositions, was popular with swing-era musicians: It is found in "Shoeshine Boy" and "Cotton Tail" written by...

"). Important transformations include:
  • replacement of (or addition to) a chord with its dominant, subdominant or the tritone substitution
    Tritone substitution
    In classical music, a substitute dominant is "a chord sufficiently akin to the dominant to be reasonably set against the tonic, and yet remote enough to give a chromatically expressive, large-scale dissonance to the structure"...

    .
  • use of chromatic passing chords.
  • extensively applying the ii-V-I turnaround.
  • chord alterations such as minor chords, diminished sevenths, etc.

50s progression




Another common way of extending the I - IV - V sequence is by adding the chord of the sixth scale degree, giving the sequence I - vi - IV - V or I - vi - ii - V
I−vi−ii−V
I−vi−ii−V is a very common "chord pattern" in jazz and popular styles of music. It is often used as a turnaround, occurring as the last to two bars of a chorus or section. I−vi−ii−V typically occurs as a two bar pattern in the A section of the rhythm changes....

, sometimes called the 50s progression
50s progression
The 50s progression is a chord progression and turnaround used in Western popular music. As the name implies, it was common in the 1950s and early 1960s and is particularly associated with doo-wop...

.


In fact this sequence had been in use from the earliest days of classical music (used often by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

), but after generating popular hits such as Rogers and Hart's "Blue Moon
Blue Moon (song)
"Blue Moon"'s first crossover recording to rock and roll came from Elvis Presley in 1956. His cover version of the song was included on his self-titled debut album Elvis Presley....

" (1934), Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
Jerome David Kern was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A...

 and Dorothy Fields
Dorothy Fields
Dorothy Fields was an American librettist and lyricist.She wrote over 400 songs for Broadway musicals and films...

' 1936 "The Way You Look Tonight
The Way You Look Tonight
"The Way You Look Tonight" is a song featured in the film Swing Time, originally performed by Fred Astaire. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936. The song was sung to Ginger Rogers as Penelope "Penny" Carroll by Astaire's character of John "Lucky" Garnett while Penny was busy...

" and Hoagy Carmichael
Hoagy Carmichael
Howard Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichael was an American composer, pianist, singer, actor, and bandleader. He is best known for writing "Stardust", "Georgia On My Mind", "The Nearness of You", and "Heart and Soul", four of the most-recorded American songs of all time.Alec Wilder, in his study of the...

's "Heart and Soul" (1938), it became associated with the black American vocal groups of the 1940s, The Ink Spots
The Ink Spots
The Ink Spots were a popular vocal group in the 1930s and 1940s that helped define the musical genre that led to rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and the subgenre doo-wop...

 and The Mills Brothers ("Till Then
Till Then (1944 song)
"Till Then" is a popular song written by Eddie Seiler, Sol Marcus, and Guy Wood and published in 1944.The song was a plea to his sweetheart to wait for him until he could get back home...

"), and thus later became the entire basis of the 1950s doo-wop
Doo-wop
The name Doo-wop is given to a style of vocal-based rhythm and blues music that developed in African American communities in the 1940s and achieved mainstream popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s. It emerged from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and...

 genre, a typical example being The Monotones
The Monotones
The Monotones were a six-member African American doo-wop vocal group in the 1950s. They are considered a one-hit wonder, as their only hit single was "The Book of Love", which peaked at #5 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1958....

' "The Book of Love
The Book of Love (song)
"The Book of Love" is a rock and roll song, originally by The Monotones. It was written by three members of the group, Warren Davis, George Malone and Charles Patrick, and it peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.Lead singer Charles Patrick heard a Pepsodent toothpaste commercial with the line...

".

Taken up into the pop mainstream, for example with Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant were an American husband-and-wife country music and pop songwriting team best known for songs such as "Rocky Top," "Love Hurts" and numerous Everly Brothers hits, including "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "Bye Bye Love".-Beginnings:Boudleaux was born Diadorius...

's "All I Have to Do Is Dream
All I Have to Do Is Dream
"All I Have to Do Is Dream" is a popular song made famous by the Everly Brothers, written by the husband and wife songwriting team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, and published in 1958. The song is ranked No...

", a hit for The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing...

, in the 1960s it continued to generate records as otherwise disparate as The Paris Sisters
The Paris Sisters
The Paris Sisters were a 1960s girl group from San Francisco, best known for their work with producer Phil Spector. The group consisted of lead singer Priscilla Paris; her older sister, Albeth Paris; and their middle sister Sherrell Paris...

' "I Love How You Love Me" (written by Mann
Barry Mann
Barry Mann is an American songwriter, and part of a successful songwriting partnership with his wife, Cynthia Weil.-Career:...

 and Kolber) and Boris Pickett's "Monster Mash
Monster Mash
"Monster Mash" is a 1962 novelty song and the best-known song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett. The song was released as a single on Gary S. Paxton's Garpax Records label in August 1962 along with a full-length LP called The Original Monster Mash, which contained several other monster-themed tunes...

".

It continued to be used sectionally, as in the refrain of The Beatles' "Girl", and also to form the harmonic basis of further new songs for decades ("Every Breath You Take
Every Breath You Take
"Every Breath You Take" is a song by The Police on the band's 1983 album Synchronicity, written by Sting and Andy Summers . The single was one of the biggest hits of 1983, topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight weeks and the UK Singles Chart for four weeks. It also topped the...

" by The Police, "Don't Get Me Wrong
Don't Get Me Wrong
"Don't Get Me Wrong" is a song released by the pop-rock group The Pretenders. It was the first single taken from the group's 1986 album, Get Close. It can also be found on the band's The Singles album, released in 1987....

" by The Pretenders
The Pretenders
The Pretenders are an English rock band formed in Hereford, England in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde , James Honeyman-Scott , Pete Farndon , and Martin Chambers...

).


Circle progressions


Introducing the ii chord into these progressions emphasises their appeal as constituting elementary forms of circle progression
Circle progression
In music, the circle progression is a chord progression named for the circle of fifths, along which it travels. It is "undoubtedly the most common and the strongest of all harmonic progressions" and consists of "adjacent roots in ascending fourth or descending fifth relationship", with movement by...

. These, named for the circle of fifths
Circle of fifths
In music theory, the circle of fifths shows the relationships among the 12 tones of the chromatic scale, their corresponding key signatures, and the associated major and minor keys...

, consist of "adjacent roots in ascending fourth or descending fifth relationship"—for instance, the sequence vi - ii - V - I ascends with each successive chord to one a fourth above the previous. Such a motion, based upon close harmonic relations, offers "undoubtedly the most common and the strongest of all harmonic progressions". The succession of cadences gives an impression of inevitable return to the key-note of the piece.
Short cyclical progressions may be derived by selecting a sequence of chords from the series completing a circle from the tonic through all seven diatonic chords:
  • I - IV - viio - iii - vi - ii - V - I (in C major)
  • I - V - I
  • I - IV - V - I


This type of progression was much used by classical composers, who introduced increasingly subtle inflections. Particularly, substitution of major for minor chords giving, for example, I - VI - II - V allowed a more sophisticated chromaticism
Chromaticism
Chromaticism is a compositional technique interspersing the primary diatonic pitches and chords with other pitches of the chromatic scale. Chromaticism is in contrast or addition to tonality or diatonicism...

 as well as the possibility of modulation
Modulation (music)
In music, modulation is most commonly the act or process of changing from one key to another. This may or may not be accompanied by a change in key signature. Modulations articulate or create the structure or form of many pieces, as well as add interest...

. These harmonic conventions were taken up by American popular entertainers, giving rise to many variations on those harmonic staples of early jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 that have been dubbed the ragtime progression
Ragtime progression
The ragtime progression is a chord progression typical of ragtime music and parlour music genres though its use originated in classical music and spread to American folk music:and its close variants.In C major this is:...

 and the stomp progression
Stomp progression
In music and jazz harmony, the Stomp progression is an eight-bar chord progression named for its use in the "stomp" section of the composition "King Porter Stomp" by Jelly Roll Morton, later arranged by Fletcher Henderson...

. All such progressions may be found used sectionally, as for example in the much-used "rhythm changes
Rhythm changes
In jazz and jazz harmony, "rhythm changes" refers to the chord progression occurring in George Gershwin's song "I Got Rhythm". This pattern, which forms the basis of countless jazz compositions, was popular with swing-era musicians: It is found in "Shoeshine Boy" and "Cotton Tail" written by...

" of George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

's "I Got Rhythm
I Got Rhythm
"I Got Rhythm" is a song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and published in 1930, which became a jazz standard. Its chord progression, known as the "rhythm changes", is the foundation for many other popular jazz tunes such as Charlie Parker's and Dizzy Gillespie's Bebop...

".

Harmonizing the scale


As well as the cyclical underpinning of chords, the ear tends to respond well to a linear thread; chords following the scale upwards or downwards. In the 17th century, descending bass lines found favour for "division
Division (music)
Division in music refers to a type of ornamentation or variation common in 16th and 17th century music in which each note of a melodic line is "divided" into several shorter, faster-moving notes, often by a rhythmic repetition of a simple musical device such as the trill, turn or cambiata on each...

s on the ground", so that Pachelbel's canon, the Bach orchestral suites (the famous Air on a G String), and Handel
HANDEL
HANDEL was the code-name for the UK's National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. It consisted of a small console consisting of two microphones, lights and gauges. The reason behind this was to provide a back-up if anything failed....

's organ concerti all contain very similar harmonisations of the descending major scale. When this was reintroduced into mid-20th century pop music, it brought with it many baroque trappings (The Beatles' "For No One
For No One
"For No One" is a song written by Paul McCartney that originally appeared on The Beatles' seventh album, Revolver. A baroque pop song about the end of a relationship, it was one of McCartney's most mature and poignant works upon its release...

", Procol Harum
Procol Harum
Procol Harum are a British rock band, formed in 1967, which contributed to the development of progressive rock, and by extension, symphonic rock. Their best-known recording is their 1967 single "A Whiter Shade of Pale"...

's "A Whiter Shade of Pale
A Whiter Shade of Pale
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" is the debut song by the British band Procol Harum, released 12 May 1967. The single reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 8 June 1967, and stayed there for six weeks. Without much promotion, it reached #5 on the US charts, as well...

", and The Steve Miller Band's "Dear Mary" and "Baby's House").

At its simplest, this descending sequence may simply introduce an extra chord, either III or V, into the I - VI - IV - V type of sequence described above. This chord allows the harmonisation of the seventh step, and so of the bass line I - VII - VI.... This strategy underlies Percy Sledge
Percy Sledge
Percy Sledge is an American R&B and soul performer who recorded the hit "When a Man Loves a Woman" in 1966.-Early career:...

's "When A Man Loves A Woman
When a Man Loves a Woman (song)
"When a Man Loves a Woman" is a song recorded by Percy Sledge in 1966 at Norala Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama. It made number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts. It was listed 54th in the List of Rolling Stone magazine's 500 greatest songs of all time...

" and Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry
No Woman, No Cry
"No Woman, No Cry" is a reggae song by Bob Marley & The Wailers. The song first became known in 1974 through the studio album Natty Dread. The live version from the 1975 album Live! is perhaps best known — it was this version which was released on the greatest hits compilation Legend. The original...

". The baroque examples descend for an octave, while "A Whiter Shade of Pale
A Whiter Shade of Pale
"A Whiter Shade of Pale" is the debut song by the British band Procol Harum, released 12 May 1967. The single reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 8 June 1967, and stayed there for six weeks. Without much promotion, it reached #5 on the US charts, as well...

" manages a stately two octaves, before "turning around" through the dominant chord to recommence upon the key note.

Ascending major progressions are not as common but many exist: the verse of "Like a Rolling Stone" ascends by steps to the fifth, I-ii-iii-IV-V before descending again to the key-note, IV - iii - ii - I—the latter being another common type of harmonisation of a descending major scale. The Four Pennies
The Four Pennies
The Four Pennies were an English, 1960s pop group, most notable for their 1964 UK chart topping song, "Juliet". The group's name came after a meeting above the Blackburn music shop owned by Mary Reidy, the shop being situated on 'Penny Street' where it is still located today as "Reidy's Home of...

' hit "Juliet" and The Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere
Here, There and Everywhere
"Here, There and Everywhere" is a song written primarily by Paul McCartney , recorded for The Beatles 1966 album Revolver. In his biography Many Years From Now, McCartney said the song is one of his favourites. Beatles' producer George Martin has also mentioned it as one of his favourite McCartney...

" both use similar ascending progressions.

The descending chromatic scale has also formed the basis of many progressions, from the "Crucifixus" of Bach's B Minor Mass, through Beethoven's Thirty-two Piano Variations
Variations, WoO. 80
32 Variations on an Original Theme in C minor, WoO. 80, is one of the solo piano works of Ludwig van Beethoven. It was composed in 1806.-Analysis:...

, to songs such as Bob Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate
Simple Twist of Fate
"Simple Twist of Fate" is a song by Bob Dylan, released on his 15th studio album Blood on the Tracks in 1975.It was first covered by Joan Baez on Diamonds & Rust , and has been reinterpreted by several artists since: by the Jerry Garcia Band on their 2-disc live album Jerry Garcia Band and Run for...

", George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

's "Something" and Lucio Battisti
Lucio Battisti
Lucio Battisti was an Italian singer-songwriter . He is considered to be one of the best-known and most influential musicians and authors in Italian pop/rock music history....

's "Paradiso", a hit for Amen Corner
Amen Corner (band)
Amen Corner were a successful Welsh rock group, formed in late 1966 in Cardiff, Wales.-Career:The band was named after The Amen Corner, a weekly disc spin at the Victoria Ballroom in Cardiff, Wales, where every Sunday night Dr...

 when translated as "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice
(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice
" Half as Nice" is a popular single by Amen Corner.Originally written by the Italian singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti for La Ragazza 77, alias Ambra Borelli, in 1968 as "Il paradiso della vita" , and later in 1969 for Patty Pravo as "Il Paradiso" , it was translated into English by Jack Fishman...

".

Minor and modal progressions



Needless to say, similar strategies to all the above work equally well in minor modes: there have been one-, two- and three-minor-chord songs, minor blues from the time of Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benjamin David “Benny” Goodman was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader; widely known as the "King of Swing".In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America...

 ("Why Don't You Do Right?
Why Don't You Do Right?
"Why Don't You Do Right?" is an American blues- and jazz-influenced pop song – now a standard – written in 1936 by Kansas Joe McCoy. It is a twelve-bar minor key blues form with a few chord substitutes, it is considered a classic "woman's blues" song....

") to The Doors
The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger...

 ("Riders On The Storm
Riders on the Storm
"Riders on the Storm" is a song by The Doors from their 1971 album, L.A. Woman. It reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, number 22 on the UK singles charts and number 7 in the Netherlands.-Overview:...

"). A notable example of a descending minor chord progression is the four-chord Andalusian cadence
Andalusian cadence
The Andalusian cadence is a term adopted from flamenco music for a chord progression comprising four chords descending stepwise. It is otherwise known as the minor descending tetrachord...

,
i - VII - VI - V, which appears in Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Ray Charles Robinson , known by his shortened stage name Ray Charles, was an American musician. He was a pioneer in the genre of soul music during the 1950s by fusing rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles into his early recordings with Atlantic Records...

' "Hit the Road, Jack", the verse of "Good Vibrations", the instrumental section of David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

's "Moonage Daydream
Moonage Daydream
"Moonage Daydream" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 and first released as a single under the name Arnold Corns. A rerecorded version was released in 1972 on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars....

", etc. Similar descending minor sequences are heard in Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

's version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower
All Along the Watchtower
"All Along the Watchtower" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The song, which has been included on most of Dylan's greatest hits compilations, initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding. Over the past 35 years, he has performed it in concert more...

", Dire Straits
Dire Straits
Dire Straits were a British rock band active from 1977 to 1995, composed of Mark Knopfler , his younger brother David Knopfler , John Illsley , and Pick Withers .Dire Straits' sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest...

' "Sultans of Swing
Sultans of Swing
"Sultans of Swing" was the first single release of the British rock band Dire Straits. First released in 1978, its 1979 re-release caused it to become a hit in both the UK and USA....

" and Neil Young
Neil Young
Neil Percival Young, OC, OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter who is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation...

's "Southern Man
Southern Man
"Southern Man" is a song by Neil Young from his album After the Gold Rush. The album was released in 1970.The lyrics of "Southern Man" are vivid, describing the racism towards blacks in the American South. In the song, Young tells the story of a Southern white man and how he mistreated his slaves...

".

Folk and blues tunes frequently use the Mixolydian scale, which has a flat seventh degree, altering the position of the three major chords to I - Flat VII-IV. For example, if the major scale of C, which gives the three chords C, F and G on the first, fourth and fifth degrees, is played with G as the tonic, then the same chords will now appear on the first, fourth and seventh degrees. These "Mixolydian" harmonies also appeared in the pop music of the 1960s, notably with The Beatles' album Help!
Help! (album)
Help! is the title of the fifth British and ninth American album by The Beatles, and the soundtrack from their film of the same name. Produced by George Martin for EMI's Parlophone Records, it contains fourteen songs in its original British form, of which seven appeared in the film...

and The Rolling Stones' Beggar's Banquet.

The minor-third step from a minor keynote up to the relative major encouraged ascending scale progressions, particularly based on an ascending pentatonic scale
Pentatonic scale
A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave in contrast to a heptatonic scale such as the major scale and minor scale...

. This is audible in Huddie Ledbetter's "Black Girl" and was taken up into the British pop of the sixties with such recordings as The Animals
The Animals
The Animals were an English music group of the 1960s formed in Newcastle upon Tyne during the early part of the decade, and later relocated to London...

' version of the traditional "The House of the Rising Sun
The House of the Rising Sun
"The House of the Rising Sun" is a folk song from the United States. Also called "House of the Rising Sun" or occasionally "Rising Sun Blues", it tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans...

" and Graham Gouldman
Graham Gouldman
Graham Keith Gouldman is an English songwriter and musician who is a long-time member of British band 10cc.-Early life and 1960s pop career: 1946–1968:Gouldman was born in Broughton, Salford, England...

/The Yardbirds
The Yardbirds
- Current :* Chris Dreja - rhythm guitar, backing vocals * Jim McCarty - drums, backing vocals * Ben King - lead guitar * David Smale - bass, backing vocals...

' "For Your Love
For Your Love
-Album reissues:The Yardbirds' 2001 compilation album Ultimate! contains eight of the eleven tracks from the original album. For Your Love has been reissued by several record labels, including JVC, Castle, and Repertoire...

". Typical of the type is the sequence i - III -IV (or iv) - VI.

According to Tom Sutcliffe:
This came about partly due to the similarity of the blues scale
Blues scale
The term blues scale is used to describe a few scales with differing numbers of pitches and related characteristics. See: blues.The hexatonic, or six note, blues scale consists of the minor pentatonic scale plus the 4th or 5th degree...

 to modal scales
Musical mode
In the theory of Western music since the ninth century, mode generally refers to a type of scale. This usage, still the most common in recent years, reflects a tradition dating to the middle ages, itself inspired by the theory of ancient Greek music.The word encompasses several additional...

 and partly from the characteristics of the guitar and the use of parallel major chords on the pentatonic minor scale. This phenomenon is also linked to the rise in the use of power chords. Progressions of the general type I - Flat III - IV are audible, for example, in Deep Purple
Deep Purple
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members believe that their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre...

's "Smoke on the Water
Smoke on the Water
"Smoke on the Water" is a song by the British hard rock band Deep Purple. It was first released on their 1972 album Machine Head. In 2004, the song was ranked number 426 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, and in March 2005, Q magazine placed "Smoke on the Water"...

" and Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac are a British–American rock band formed in 1967 in London.The only original member present in the band is its eponymous drummer, Mick Fleetwood...

's "Green Manalishi".

Chord progressions in classical music


Early European art music developed through embellishment of a single line of melody
Organum
Organum is, in general, a plainchant melody with at least one added voice to enhance the harmony, developed in the Middle Ages. Depending on the mode and form of the chant, a supporting bass line may be sung on the same text, the melody may be followed in parallel motion , or a combination of...

 and classical theory still emphasizes the correct "horizontal" progress of single-note parts, sometimes known as "voice-leading". Generally, to the melody in the upper part is added first a bass line and then two inner lines to complete the chords in four part harmony suitable for a choir or string section, terminating with cadences, avoiding some chord inversions and favoring others, maintaining an orderly and melodic conjunct, contrary and oblique motion of each part relative to the others in order to achieve unity of texture by avoidance of inappropriate intervals, parallel fifths and octaves etc. Much practice is given to the art of harmonic transition and development that is essential to classical music's use of harmony as a means of achieving unity in a large-scale form. Although, as noted above, classical music has its cliche progressions these are seldom named and discussed: perhaps only Schoenberg among the authors of popular text-books of harmony has made some attempt to do so. Chord tablature for chord-playing instruments such as keyboard and guitar by and by gave way to fully notated parts.

See also

  • Cadence (music)
    Cadence (music)
    In Western musical theory, a cadence is, "a melodic or harmonic configuration that creates a sense of repose or resolution [finality or pause]." A harmonic cadence is a progression of two chords that concludes a phrase, section, or piece of music...

  • Chord chart
    Chord chart
    A chord chart is a form of musical notation that in addition to writing out non-embellished melody, describes harmonic and rhythmic information. It is the most common form of notation used by professional session musicians playing jazz or popular music. It is intended primarily for a rhythm section...

  • Chromatic mediant
  • Coltrane changes
    Coltrane changes
    In jazz harmony, the Coltrane changes are a harmonic progression variation using substitute chords over common jazz chord progressions...

  • Ear training
    Ear training
    Ear training or aural skills is a skill by which musicians learn to identify, solely by hearing, pitches, intervals, melody, chords, rhythms, and other basic elements of music. The application of this skill is analogous to taking dictation in written/spoken language. Ear training may be...

  • Functional harmony
  • Harmony
    Harmony
    In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

  • List of chord progressions
  • Montgomery-Ward bridge
    Montgomery-Ward bridge
    In jazz music, the Montgomery-Ward bridge is a standard chord progression often used as the bridge, or 'B section,' of a jazz standard. The progression consists, in its most basic form, of the chords I7 - IV7 - ii7 - V7. Oftentimes, some or all of the dominants are substituted with ii-V...

  • Passamezzo moderno
    Passamezzo moderno
    The Gregory Walker or passamezzo moderno was "one of the most popular harmonic formulae in the Renaissance period, divid[ing] into two complementary strains thus:"....

  • Passing chord
    Passing chord
    In music, a passing chord is, "a nondiatonic chord that connects, or passes between, the notes of two diatonic chords." "Any chord that moves between one diatonic chord and another one nearby may be loosely termed a passing chord...

  • Ragtime progression
    Ragtime progression
    The ragtime progression is a chord progression typical of ragtime music and parlour music genres though its use originated in classical music and spread to American folk music:and its close variants.In C major this is:...

  • Sequence (music)
    Sequence (music)
    In music, a sequence is the immediate restatement of a motif or longer melodic passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice. It is one of the most common and simple methods of elaborating a melody in eighteenth and nineteenth century classical music...

  • Sixteen bar blues
  • Tonality
    Tonality
    Tonality is a system of music in which specific hierarchical pitch relationships are based on a key "center", or tonic. The term tonalité originated with Alexandre-Étienne Choron and was borrowed by François-Joseph Fétis in 1840...


Further reading

  • Middleton, Richard (1990/2002). "Studying Popular Music". Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-15275-9.
  • Nettles, Barrie & Graf, Richard (1997). The Chord Scale Theory and Jazz Harmony. Advance Music, ISBN 389221056X.

External links