#1
I'm trying to analyze this progression from a song called Sleep Shake (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5CO6M5Gpb8)

The key (I think) is C minor, so C D Eb F G Ab Bb are the notes.

The chords at the very beginning are:

C min / G maj 1st inversion / E min / G min 2nd inversion

My question is the G major chord.. The notes are G B and D, and B isn't in C minor (it is in C harmonic minor though). Is this a borrowed V chord from the parallel major scale (C major), or is there another reason why it's used here?
#2
Yeah, you could call it a borrowed chord. The history of harmonic minor as a scale comes from the raised 7th degree of a minor key to create a major (and dominant) V chord. In minor you commonly see the V chord as a major to fulfill the dominant function.
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#3
It's not borrowed, the minor tonality is defined by the V- i cadence. The harmonic minor scale is the basis for minor harmony (you will find guitarists who say otherwise, but they're people who recycle **** they've read off the internet and have taken as fact).
#4
But this is a i-V-biv-v progression? why would it need to be V instead of v?
#5
Minor key chord progressions are almost always based on the harmonic minor scale, even if the melody or lead still comes from the natural minor. In the harmonic minor scale, the seventh degree is raised a half step, making the minor/major pattern for minor keys into:

i ii° III iv V VI #vii°

If anything, the E minor chord would be more out of place in the harmonic minor scale than G major.
#6
V is used in minor keys because it possesses the raised 7th, the leading tone to the tonic. The basis of tonal harmony is the V-I (or V-i) progression.

This progression doesn't really make sense in terms of traditional harmony though. i-V6-iii-v6/4. E-minor here is like an unexpected and distant substitute for the i chord. A 2nd inversion g-minor chord resolving to a c-minor is quite weak harmonic motion, especially for the ending of a progression.

There are reasons why I think this progression works though.
1) G is played as a common tone in the same register in each chord. It unifies the apparently distant harmonies.
2) The bass line, (C-B-E-D) is well directed around the tonic note C.
3) The unexpected E-minor chord weakens our sense of C minor as the tonic, though the G-minor chord brings us back to C with pitches that are diatonic in the C natural minor scale.
Last edited by RobinTrower12 at Jun 15, 2011,
#7
Quote by ibz120
I'm trying to analyze this progression from a song called Sleep Shake (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5CO6M5Gpb8)

The key (I think) is C minor, so C D Eb F G Ab Bb are the notes.

The chords at the very beginning are:

C min / G maj 1st inversion / E min / G min 2nd inversion

My question is the G major chord.. The notes are G B and D, and B isn't in C minor (it is in C harmonic minor though). Is this a borrowed V chord from the parallel major scale (C major), or is there another reason why it's used here?


When you are talking Minor key's, that V is borrowed from C Harmonic Minor. Any minor key could be pulling chords from Natural Minor, Harmonic and Melodic Minors, and all of those are collectively still seen as in the same C Minor key. We don't say "this is the key of C Harmonic minor", there isn't a key called that, it's just C Minor, and it can incorporate chords built from all three scales.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jun 15, 2011,
#8
Quote by ibz120
But this is a i-V-biv-v progression? why would it need to be V instead of v?


Just first of all, it's a i - V - iii - v. The iii is a mediant borrowed from parallel major.

Onto your actual question, though. You're probably confuzzled about natural minor/harmonic minor. The harmonic minor (emphasis on the word 'harmonic') was developed almost exclusively for the V chord as it provides stronger resolution, even to a minor tonic. As Robin pointed out, this is due to the presence of the leading tone in the chord.

Most classical music uses the V (or V7) - i cadence in minor keys, which as I--and others--have mentioned, is based on harmonic minor. However, modern popular music generally uses the natural minor in minor keys. This is why you learned v - i is appropriate for minor keys. Plenty of popular music still uses the V in minor keys, but it is no longer the automatic choice as it once was.
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#9
Quote by griffRG7321
It's not borrowed, the minor tonality is defined by the V- i cadence. The harmonic minor scale is the basis for minor harmony (you will find guitarists who say otherwise, but they're people who recycle **** they've read off the internet and have taken as fact).


It depends where you live and whos teaching you. Some theory teachers at colleges teach that the V is a borrowed chord. It doesnt really matter either way

The Emin is the more interesting borrowed chord anyways