Analysis of Rush-Subdivisions?


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SJPitrellifan
01-08-2010, 11:51 PM
So I was listening to Subdivisions by Rush and I thought the chord progression was an interesting one.

The chords in this song are F#, G, A, and Bm.

My question is, which key is this song in? Would this be F# Phrygian?

isaac_bandits
01-09-2010, 12:08 AM
It's in Bm. G A and Bm are diatonic, and the F♯ is the V, which comes from the harmonic minor.

SJPitrellifan
01-09-2010, 12:19 AM
It's in Bm. G A and Bm are diatonic, and the F♯ is the V, which comes from the harmonic minor.


So its B natural minor with an F# borrowed from harmonic minor?

MapOfYourHead
01-09-2010, 12:26 AM
For the V chord, the 7th degree of the parent scale is raised (which will be the 3rd of F#). This will make the V chord major instead of the, diatonic to B minor, minor.

So basically, you are using the V chord of B hamonic minor, instead of the v chord of B natural minor.

isaac_bandits
01-09-2010, 12:43 AM
So its B natural minor with an F# borrowed from harmonic minor?

That's where the chords are from. However, a song is just in B minor, not natural minor, or harmonic minor. Those are just scales, and minor keys can use all three minor scales together. Typically you would just say its all in B minor, and all the chords fit.

SJPitrellifan
01-09-2010, 12:58 AM
That's where the chords are from. However, a song is just in B minor, not natural minor, or harmonic minor. Those are just scales, and minor keys can use all three minor scales together. Typically you would just say its all in B minor, and all the chords fit.

Ah, right. I was referring to the chords.

guitarviz
01-09-2010, 02:36 AM
For the final V chord, the 7th degree of the parent scale is raised (which will be the 3rd of F#). This will make the V chord major instead of the, diatonic to B minor, minor.\.

The "final V chord"? What are you talking about? The final time in the song a V chord appears? This doesn't make sense.

The simplistic for dummies approach is the verses are in F#. The song starts off in F#. The whole feel is F# until as several people above point out, it becomes apparent the song is in the key of Bm, and F# is the V chord of Bm.

In theory the V chord in a minor key is minor. (so in theory, the V chord of the key of Bm should be F#m). In practice it is often major. Even in a basic minor blues. e.g. The Thrill is Gone, or Since I've Been Loving You. the V chord is major, not minor.

Anyway, the chord progression during the guitar solo is G - A - Bm. If we are in the key of Bm this is a typical minor key progression (IV - bVII - i) e.g Stairway outro, Layla, etc. -- another clue you are really in Bm and not F# major.

guitarviz
01-09-2010, 02:38 AM
OK, a moment's reflection says take back "Since I've Been Loving You" as an example of V chord being major, it is not major in that song, it is minor (song is key of Cm, eventually winds up on a Gm chord, not G major).

But many other examples including Thrill is Gone of V chord in a minor key being major, not minor.

guitarviz
01-09-2010, 02:50 AM
You know, the problem with quick postings is that they encourage people including yours truly to type before they really think things through. And another mistake of mine I notice above is saying that the verses feel like they're in F# - yes maybe for about two bars but after that it sure sounds like Bm.

MapOfYourHead
01-09-2010, 02:55 AM
The "final V chord"? What are you talking about? The final time in the song a V chord appears? This doesn't make sense.


I was just talking about the V chord in general, the "final" is not supposed to be there.

I corrected it.

turtlewax
01-09-2010, 03:10 PM
Ok, so a song can't be said to be in harmonic minor, but i thought to play that scale the raised step needs to be reflected in the progression?

isaac_bandits
01-09-2010, 03:28 PM
Ok, so a song can't be said to be in harmonic minor, but i thought to play that scale the raised step needs to be reflected in the progression?

You can play a harmonic minor scale over a natural minor progression. Usually the progression will have the raised seventh in some places (usually for the V, but not for the ♭III). The point is that the song is in just minor. It's not in natural minor or harmonic minor or melodic minor.

JakdOnCrack
01-09-2010, 11:42 PM
Raising the 3rd of the v chord in a minor key to make it a V chord is considered fine. Classically it's rare to find a minor v chord, it's normally major to give a stronger pull to the tonic chord.

TS, B Minor seems to be your answer.