#1
I was playing a little "Ode to Joy" melody (the first 4 bars) and was curious as to what the chords were beneath the melody.

Looking online, I noticed that most transcriptions have the progression as I-V-I-V for the first 4 bars. I started messing around with these chords and ended up doing a I-V-vi-V-I progression and it sounded very nice to me.

My question is, would changing the chord progression for the first few bars drastically affect the rest of the song as well? And also, would this chord progression work out? Would it clash with the melody?


(And please don't attack me with the "You think you know more than Beethoven!?" act, because every time I ask this question the classical fanatics rage at me. I could use any song in my question, so it has nothing to do with that.)
#2
Beethoven was the man. He used to mess with stuff all the time from a very young age, his dad would get pissed off when he would add his own stuff to a song but he would be confused - but dad doesn't it sound better? It's that experimentation that is probably what made him so awesome later. Anyone that rages you over experimenting with variations of old ideas is a moron.

So are you replacing the I chord with a vi chord?
This is known as diatonic substitution and is very common. I and vi share two tones in common, in the key of C the I is C major (C E G) and the vi is Am (A C E) and they serve the same tonic function.

I recently wrote a big post on chord substitution. Rather than repost it you can find it in this thread: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1614437

That thread questions the use of seventh chords but the post I wrote in reply is about chord substitution and much of it would apply to your question also.

In short: Yes you can do that. The answer to all your questions is pretty much here:

Quote by wheelz1045
...it sounded very nice to me.

...
that's really the most important thing.

Beethoven loved his I V I
Si
#3
Quote by wheelz1045
(And please don't attack me with the "You think you know more than Beethoven!?" act, because every time I ask this question the classical fanatics rage at me. I could use any song in my question, so it has nothing to do with that.)

That would be rather stupid of us to do...

Anyway, I don't know if you intended it, but as 20Tigers said...you used chord substitution. The only I'd add is 1) read the link he posted (it's excellent) AND 2) I suggest messing with extended chords as well.