#1
I'm trying to figure out what's going on in this song called Prequel to the Sequel by Between the Buried and Me.

Here's a link to the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fB04xoUq3o

At around 59 seconds into the song, this chord progression starts.. and this is what I found the chords to be:

Bbmin | Bbmin7 | Bbmin6 | Ebmaj | Fmin | Cmaj | Abmaj | Ebmaj
  i       i       i        IV      v     ?..     VII     IV


I have two questions:

1. What is that C major chord doing there? It isn't a borrowed chord (from parallel major), and the C chord in Bb minor is usually diminished. Anyone know why it's there?

2. The beginning of the song starts off in Db major, and around 55 seconds in I'm pretty sure it modulates to the relative minor (Bb minor). I was just wondering if anyone could could confirm this?
#2
I think it's a 'secondary dominant', which is chord V of the dominant. If you were to modulate to the dominant of this key, it would be chord V of that key (The dominant of Bm is F, & the fifth chord in F is C). The reason that the fifth chord of the tonic is a major instead of minor is because of the use of the harmonic minor scale, which changes chord V from a minor to a major. This also applies to the dominant scale - chord V is a major regardless of whether it's in a minor key or not, assuming the use of the harmonic minor.

I think you're right about the modulation - it definitely sounds like it modulates to the relative minor.
Rock [James] Roll
Last edited by Jiimmyyy at Jun 20, 2011,
#3
I think I see what you're trying to say, but the progression for one is in Bb minor, not B minor. Also what you said about secondary dominants isn't correct. A secondary dominant is a dominant chord that resolves to a chord other than the tonic. For example if I have a I IV V progression in the key of C major, I have C major, F major, G major. I could add a secondary dominant to the IV chord, which would be C major. You might already know that but the way you worded it sounded like a secondary dominant had to be the dominant of the dominant chord.. which it doesn't.

The chord that comes after the C major in this progression is Ab major, so C major can't be a secondary dominant (the chord would be D# major, and probably D#7).

Also the progression isn't "in" harmonic minor, hence the VII chord and v chord.

Any other ideas? :/
#4
Okay well I think I'm wrong then. In terms of the harmonic minor, the minor seventh chord is still common. The harmonic minor isn't so strict, you can use the major seventh from the harmonic minor or not at will. This is common in classical music. For example, it was common in the classical era to keep chord III as a major chord instead of an augmented chord. The harmonic minor, if used strictly, would create an augmented chord III, however it is often ignored in order to keep chord III a major. It depends on context, but generally, when the harmonic minor is being used in harmony, the composers generally don't strictly keep to the major seventh if it doesn't compliment the piece harmonically.

Have you considered the possibility of the Cmaj being a pivot chord?
Rock [James] Roll
#5
Quote by Jiimmyyy
Okay well I think I'm wrong then. In terms of the harmonic minor, the minor seventh chord is still common. The harmonic minor isn't so strict, you can use the major seventh from the harmonic minor or not at will. This is common in classical music. For example, it was common in the classical era to keep chord III as a major chord instead of an augmented chord. The harmonic minor, if used strictly, would create an augmented chord III, however it is often ignored in order to keep chord III a major. It depends on context, but generally, when the harmonic minor is being used in harmony, the composers generally don't strictly keep to the major seventh if it doesn't compliment the piece harmonically.

Have you considered the possibility of the Cmaj being a pivot chord?


the VII chord isn't actually too common in classical music. bach liked it a lot, but it's not much used except as approaching the III chord through a descending fifths progression. you're right about the III -- it's usually kept as III rather than III+. however, the issue is not about strictly using the leading tone, but rather of using the leading tone at cadences -- using the V and the viiº.

you're actually right, though. except you said Bm instead of Bbm. Fmaj is not the dominant of Bm, it's the dominant of Bbm.

but the secondary dominant deal isn't entirely correct. you could analyze it as a non-functioning secondary dominant if you need to, but i think it's best just taken as an altered chord. the voice-leading between Cmaj and Abmaj is actually quite smooth:

C -- C
E -> Eb
G -> Ab

so it's probably put in there for some kind of similar function.

either a non-functioning secondary dominant or an altered chord. either one works, really.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#6
Quote by AeolianWolf

but the secondary dominant deal isn't entirely correct. you could analyze it as a non-functioning secondary dominant if you need to, but i think it's best just taken as an altered chord. the voice-leading between Cmaj and Abmaj is actually quite smooth:

C -- C
E -> Eb
G -> Ab


Absolutely. I'll take it a step further back.

C -> C -> C
Ab -> G -> Ab
F -> E -> Eb

A very sweet transition moving from Fm to Ab using the C as an intermediate chord; notice the simplicity of the motion: C is a common tone to all three, while the other voices move purely by half-step. That Ab then sets up a couple of descending fourths to land us back at the tonic. Nice progression, really.
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