#1
I just discovered a song yesterday that sounds amazing and has an interesting chord progression.

Here is the song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wa7dFR09vU&ob=av3e

And here is the tab:
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/civil_twilight/letters_from_the_sky_ver2_crd.htm

The intro chord progression is
D# - B - C# - G#

All four of these are major chords, and diatonically we know that there are only three major chords in a key (I - IV - V).

So what is going on here?
#2
Quote by XxBAMFxX
The intro chord progression is
D# - B - C# - G#


I can't listen at work, but if the key is G#, then B is just a chromatic mediant borrowed from G# minor.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#3
Quote by soviet_ska
I can't listen at work, but if the key is G#, then B is just a chromatic mediant borrowed from G# minor.


Yeah just explained this perfectly. Rules are meant to be broken and all that (not sarcasm, we would end up repeating everything so much with nothing standing out after long if we stuck entirely to theory)

Think of theory as the guidelines that should be used, but don't have to be
#4
Quote by JackOSF
Yeah just explained this perfectly. Rules are meant to be broken and all that (not sarcasm, we would end up repeating everything so much with nothing standing out after long if we stuck entirely to theory)

Think of theory as the guidelines that should be used, but don't have to be


Music theory is what is used to describe what is happening musically, and soviet used it to explain what happens in the song. There are no 'rules' being broken, at all.
#5
I just wanted to elaborate a little more on why the composer might have picked B over B#m, the diatonic mediant (still assuming we're in G# until someone who hears this thing tells me otherwise.) Let's take a look at what the voice leading for D# -> B#m might look like:


D# - D#
A# - B#
Fx - Fx
D# - B#


Notice that the only non-bass note that is changing is the A# -> B# movement, which moves by major second. The transition is smoothed by carrying the Fx and D# over into the second chord. What about D# -> B?


D# - D#
A# - B
Fx - F#
D# - B


Now, there are two non-bass changes: A# -> B and Fx -> F#. Both of these are a minor second apart from each other--minor seconds being the strongest possible movement (think leading tone -> tonic,) which creates a stronger, more pronouned change into the second chord.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#6
Quote by XxBAMFxX
I just discovered a song yesterday that sounds amazing and has an interesting chord progression.

Here is the song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wa7dFR09vU&ob=av3e

And here is the tab:
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/civil_twilight/letters_from_the_sky_ver2_crd.htm

The intro chord progression is
D# - B - C# - G#

All four of these are major chords, and diatonically we know that there are only three major chords in a key (I - IV - V).

So what is going on here?


Here there is a very common progression

vi - IV - V - ii but I think that they thought about secondary dominants

secondary dominants are used to create a very tense or a very smooth chord progression

so they change the minor grades of the progression vi and ii

and they create that kind of an epic sound playing the sixth and the second grade as mayor chords

VI - IV - V - II
D#- B - C#- G#

now that is one option,
the other option is that they modulate "change tonality" throug the chord progression there are two choices the D# shares the same tonality as G#
and B shares the tonality whit G#

#1
here you can se the chords D# - B - C#- G#
here the "tonality or scale" of each chord as I see it G# F# F# G#
the progression will be V IV V I
#2
here you can se the chords D# - B - C#- G#
here the "tonality or scale" of each chord as I see it D# F# F# D#
chord prog I IV V IV
#7
I would call this Eb Cb Db Ab (why would you want to deal with double sharps?). The tonic is Eb; the Cb and Db come from the Eb natural minor. So it's I VI VII IV.
#8
Quote by Harmosis
I would call this Eb Cb Db Ab (why would you want to deal with double sharps?). The tonic is Eb; the Cb and Db come from the Eb natural minor. So it's I VI VII IV.


+1
shred is gaudy music
#9
Quote by Harmosis
The tonic is Eb.


So you were actually able to hear the song?

It's not surprising: bVI and bVII are very frequently borrowed from minor keys, but I usually see something like bVI - bVII - I or bIII- bVI - bVII - I.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#11
Yeah, I listened to it One of the reasons this progression works well is because of the common tones between the Eb-Cb and the Db-Ab.
#12
I THINK it is resolved at The last chord of the intro progression.
I said the last chrd of the intro because your tab says E en you say G#.
E A and B (assuming the tab is right) are the diatonic chords, the G and F# are the non diatonic ones, also Bmin is a non diatonic chord too.
E=I
A=IV
B=V
G=bIII
F#=II
Bmin=v
The G chord is borrowed from the parallel minor scale (E minor).
The F# chord is just some chord I guess.
Bmin is also borrowed from the parallel minor scale.
#13
Quote by liampje
I THINK it is resolved at The last chord of the intro progression.
I said the last chrd of the intro because your tab says E en you say G#.
E A and B (assuming the tab is right) are the diatonic chords, the G and F# are the non diatonic ones, also Bmin is a non diatonic chord too.
E=I
A=IV
B=V
G=bIII
F#=II
Bmin=v
The G chord is borrowed from the parallel minor scale (E minor).
The F# chord is just some chord I guess.
Bmin is also borrowed from the parallel minor scale.


1st chord of the progression = tonic

the Ab = IV
shred is gaudy music
#14
Quote by Harmosis
Yeah, I listened to it One of the reasons this progression works well is because of the common tones between the Eb-Cb and the Db-Ab.


Absolutely. It seems really strong, I can't wait to get home and play it on the piano.

EDIT: Oh, and liam, the tab says to have a capo at the fourth fret. The chord names are based on the shapes you play on the guitar, you just have to knock it up by a major 3rd.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Aug 18, 2011,
#15
Quote by Harmosis
I would call this Eb Cb Db Ab (why would you want to deal with double sharps?). The tonic is Eb; the Cb and Db come from the Eb natural minor. So it's I VI VII IV.


That's exactly what I was thinking, when I started seeing the double sharps...B#m, yea its the ii of A# major, but...Bb to Cm sounds a lot more legit.

Best,

Sean
#16
Thanks for the great answers guys. I have yet to totally comprehend the ideas you are presenting, but I will look into your posts more into depth when I have some extra time.
#17
Quote by soviet_ska
Absolutely. It seems really strong, I can't wait to get home and play it on the piano.

EDIT: Oh, and liam, the tab says to have a capo at the fourth fret. The chord names are based on the shapes you play on the guitar, you just have to knock it up by a major 3rd.

okay then.
But I was wrong anyway, it really sounded resolved to Ab.