#1
How was amy winehouse able to follow an a7 after a b7 in the song Back to Black if it is in the key of F or D minor?

Other than it sounded good what is the theory behind it? Is there some sort of jazz substitution, turnaround, or something that I'm missing here?

The progression she used in Back to Black was
Dm, Gm, Bb7, A7 = 6, 2, 4, 3 progression

The A is the third note shouldn't it be a minor if it is in the key of F?
#2
In minor keys, the V chord (A) can be made major. This raises the 3rd of the chord (C) into C#, which is the leading tone of D, the root. A7 "pulls" toward tonic more strongly than an A minor chord.

The scale associated with that chord would be a harmonic minor scale, which contains the C# instead of the natural minor's C natural.

So basically, if we only used the natural minor mode, yes, A should be a minor chord. But the harmonic minor scale with its leading tone allows us to use an A major chord to lead back to tonic.
#3
Yes, the V chord is usually used in minor keys instead of the v. It comes from the harmonic minor scale.

As for the Bb7, which is also not in the scale (Bbmaj7 would be), I'd see it as a tritone substitution for an E7 chord, which would pull to the A7 as a secondary dominant. But that might be a bit too advanced for the level of theory you probably have.

Also, I don't really know the song, I just saw the progression written there and took into account the typical style of Amy Winehouse. So that second paragraph might be a bit off.
Last edited by sickman411 at Dec 2, 2011,
#4
^I would agree with the part about the tritone substitution, there's no other logical explanation for that working.
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