Help with the theory behind this chord progression

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by piggins411, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. piggins411

    piggins411 Regular

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    Jun 23, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    I was listening to this song and was playing along a bit with it, and I realized how much I enjoyed the chord progression. As I started figured out the chords, I couldn't really figure out what key it was in and was wondering if someone here could help. Here's the song:

    I'm mainly talking about the intro chord progression. To me it sounds like

    Fm - Gb - C# - Ab - G/Ab - F

    I know those may not be the proper names based on the key btw. They could fit in C# I guess but when the F comes along it resolves really well to it, so I don't think that's right. Could anyone help me out because it's really eating at me now. Thanks!
  2. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Fm G♭ D♭ A♭ F = i IV/♭VI ♭VI ♭III I

    What you have as G/A♭ sounds like plain old A♭ to me. B♭ is in the melody for that chord, which I hear as a melodic-harmonic divorce, meaning that the melody note has a structural or harmonic role that is not supported by the harmony (in this case, implying the seventh of C7, or the root of B♭).

    Other weird things: G♭ could be analyzed as ♭II, but I hear the plagal relationship it has with D♭, so I am calling it a secondary plagal chord. Notice that G♭ is a fourth above D♭, and that D♭ is even a fourth above A♭. Further in the background, this reduces to Fm A♭ F, and A♭ is prolonged by a chain of plagal relationships.

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