SJPitrellifan
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#1
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
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#2
It's in Bm. G A and Bm are diatonic, and the F♯ is the V, which comes from the harmonic minor.
SJPitrellifan
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#3
Quote by isaac_bandits
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
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#4
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.
Last edited by MapOfYourHead at Jan 9, 2010,
isaac_bandits
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#5
Quote by SJPitrellifan
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
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#6
Quote by isaac_bandits
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.
Last edited by SJPitrellifan at Jan 9, 2010,
guitarviz
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#7
Quote by MapOfYourHead
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
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#8
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
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#9
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
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#10
Quote by guitarviz
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
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#11
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?
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isaac_bandits
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#12
Quote by turtlewax
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
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#13
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.