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Old 11-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
satch291
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Question How does this chord substitution work?

I've been playing a chord change between VI-I but playing them Both as major chords instead of the VI being a minor as is normal in the major/minor scale.

Ie, G major - Bb Major

G major - G, B, D
Bb Major - Bb, D, F

I have two lines of thought on this, But i don't know if one or both are correct.

1. It's just a substitution due to their common tone?

2. It's substituting the G Minor for a G Major chord?

I think its intrigued me because its moving up a minor third off a major chord.

Following that idea do songwriters substitute a Major chord for a Minor on the same root and vice versa? because they will obviously still share the root and 5th coz its just altering the 3rd?

If that is the case isn't it possible to write a song in a minor key which contains only major chords even including the tonic, because it certainly doesn't sound bad? If so what would you refer to the key or song as Minor or Major?

Ie. If im using the intervals of the G Minor scale to find the root of the chords but instead having ANY or ALL the chords major.

G maj, A maj, Bb maj, C maj, D maj, Eb maj, F maj.

Is that just a form of chord substitution?


Last edited by satch291 : 11-26-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:55 AM   #2
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You're perhaps overthinking it a tad. That's just a chromatic alteration of the VI chord. It's technically called a chromatic mediant, but that's not that important
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
satch291
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Thanks, Ive not seen chromatic mediant's before they seem really interesting for sort of outside/unexpected chords!

Am I right in understanding that there are 6 chromatic mediant chords to each key borrowed from parallel keys. So if we're in C major, you end up with biii, bIII, III from the thirds and bvi, bVI, & VI from the 6th chords.

Basically using both major/minor options for each b3/3 & b6/6 chord.... Thus resulting in eight total chords (but two are from the original diatonic key = iii & vi) leaving the 6 Chromatic mediants?
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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Using bIII, bVI, bVII, iv (minor) and v (minor) chords in a major song is very usual. They are all borrowed from the parallel minor. Also the major VI chord is pretty usual as well as major II and III chords.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:45 PM   #5
satch291
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It seems like there's a few things which can create these chords.

The first is borrowing chords from a parallel scale, which would account for using bIII, bVI, bVII, iv and v chords in a major key.

Then there's the Chromatic Mediant theory too, which also cover's anything from a major or minor 3rd away from the root in either direction. So b6 - 6 - R - b3 - 3.

Then you can use any of those intervals as both major or minor chords. This would then cover the III & VI which Marine mentioned.

That only leaves a major II which is neither in the major or minor scale... If i had to hazard a guess I think that substitutions (which usually replace one chord for a totally different one with some common notes) may also stretch to cover substituting a major for minor on the same root or vice versa as its basically got two common tones just like any other chord substitution.

Does that sound possible?
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satch291
Basically using both major/minor options for each b3/3 & b6/6 chord.... Thus resulting in eight total chords (but two are from the original diatonic key = iii & vi) leaving the 6 Chromatic mediants?

Yes, just in case you were seeking confirmation.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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That's Great, thanks guys.

Been pondering that one for the last few days.... I wasn't sure if I was missing something obvious.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:07 AM   #8
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I would see it as a modal exchange of chords, maybe the real problem here would be trying to see the real harmonic function of the chord, as you may know we have tonics, sub dominants and dominants.

On a major scale using the vi chord as a major would make it a tonic, that because it has the 3 of the scale that works as the function determinant for this chord.
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