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jdykerman

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have been playing alot of IV - bVII7 - I (or iv - bVII7 - I) type chord progressions lately and have been wondering why they work and how they work harmonically.

My best understanding of the progression is thinking of it as a plagal cadence (IV-I) with the bVII7 being the related dominant of IV, similar to how ii and V7 are related.

Does anybody have any other ways of understanding the IV - bVII7 - I or how Ted personally looked at this harmonic progression.

Jon.

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bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Jon:

I agree; that combination has always sounded very plagal to me, too (by the way, the dominant of IV is a tonic dominant seventh, not bVII7). If you leave off the root of the bVII7, though, it starts to look (and sound) a bit more like a minor iv with added sixth. Make it a bVII9, leave off the root, and you've got a complete minor iv with added sixth (in C, that would be F-Ab-C-D), which has a strong plagal pull toward the tonic. Also, the scale that fits with the bVII7 would be a lydian b7 scale (one of its names; the notes, assuming C to be the tonic, are Bb-C-D-E-F-G-Ab-Bb), which can also be viewed as the "real" F minor scale (F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D-E-F). I've always wondered why some refer to the bVII7 as a "dominant substitution" when it really seems more like a "subdominant substitution."

I'd be very interested to hear Ted's take on this, too, if any of you out there who were lucky enough to take lessons with him would chime in.

David

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David Bishop
Tucson, AZ
jdykerman

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks David.  I like your theory of the rootless bVII9 being a minor iv with an added sixth.

I probably didn't make myself clear.  I do understand that the V7 of IV is I7 not bVII7.  The idea I was trying to get across was that a IV (or iv) - bVII7 progression acts like a ii-V7 going into the key of bIII (although it doesn't actually resolve to bIII).  

Since a ii-V7-I could just simply be written or played as a V7-I as ii and V7 are interchangable chords it would also make sence that a IV and bVII7 could be viewed as interchangable chords as well.  So if you had a chord progression of IV-bVII7-I, you could simplify things and get rid of the bVII7 and we have ourselves a simple IV-I plagal cadence. (You mabye wouldn't want to play the progression that way, but at least it helps in understanding how it works).



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bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, I did completely misunderstand.  Should have read your message more carefully.  Mea culpa...

David



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David Bishop
Tucson, AZ
Bob

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Reply with quote  #5 

These were the kind of questions Ted loved. If my memory serves me, Ted would first talk about the evolution of the bVII chord in popular music (the Beach Boys, the Beatles, 60's pop, the blues etc...).. All the while playing very cool examples from each genre. It was while listening to Ted play these spontaneous examples where one got to witness the depth of his knowledge and his love of music. Ted would explain that the strength of a chord progression was based on its voice leading.

E.g.

Bb7 to C =

Ab---G  1/2 step

F-----E  1/2 step

D         whole step

    < C

Bb        whole step

The smoothest resolution a voice can have is by half step. The bVII7 to I has two such resolutions. Note in the example the resolution of the b7th of Bb7 to the 5th of C and the resolution of the 5th of Bb7 and the 3rd of C. The next smoothest or strongest resolution is by step and again in our example there are two. The 3rd of Bb7 to the root of C and the root of Bb7 to the root of C. In short, based on the structure of the two chords the ear is going to have a fairly easy time hearing and accepting the movement of bVII 7 to I..


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Bob Holt
jdykerman

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Reply with quote  #6 
I had a good chuckle from that Leon.

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Bob

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Reply with quote  #7 

John Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows"... John banging a C chord quite earnestly. This would be a good example of the C to C progression. Or lack there of.


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Bob Holt
barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #8 
J.S. Bach actually wrote a perpetual canon in C, using only C.
I can't recommend it for any listening value.

As for Jon's original question, the progression IV or iv to bVII7

Ted did not write any studies specifically focusing on that progression, however he did have a lot to discuss regarding chord substitution, which I think you might find applicable in this case and will probably answer other questions as well.

The entire study is 9 pages, would you like me to post this for you?
Barbara

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Barbara Franklin
jdykerman

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Reply with quote  #9 
I and I'm sure others would love to have those studies.  9 pages is a decent amount of work to scan and upload so I thank you for your offer.

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bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #10 
Leon:

Maybe you're thinking of Terry Riley's "In C"?

David




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David Bishop
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tedstafford

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Reply with quote  #11 
Barbara,

I'd sure love to see those 9 pages on chord substitution. Even one at a time in the Lessons would be most appreciated.

thanks,
ted


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music is the best
barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #12 
I will post them in the April Lessons section under Chords.
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Barbara Franklin
hal9001

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Reply with quote  #13 

a IV - bVII7 - I,  can  sometimes be considered  a modal  progression or a modal key.  If the I was C major  you would then be in the key of C mixolydian.  The diatonic harmony would be built around  the pitches C,D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C

barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi Hal O! It that you?

OR in a similar way of thinking, you could consider it in Natural minor (or Aeolian)

say, C mi : b3, b6 b7




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Barbara Franklin
hal9001

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Reply with quote  #15 

yeah, it's me

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