Euro asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicJazz · 3 months ago

What do you people think of this progression?

A6 Cm7 E7 B7 Cadd9 Dsus2 Cmaj7

I can't be fxcked with keys, half of these chords probably aren't in E minor but I just used the numberings for them (like C is note 6 of the E minor scale).

If this was written as IV6 VIm7 I7 V7 VIadd9 VIIsus2 VImaj7 in E minor would any of you advanced musicians just know exactly what to play?


I can't reply on this too so I don't know how I'd answer any questions or address how I fxcked something up. I'm not so advanced in theory but I like using colorful chords.

1 Answer

  • 3 months ago

    You don't have to write "in a key". Most music *is* written in a key, just as most novels are written in either 1st or 3rd person, or in sentences. That isn't to say that there aren't novels written in 2nd person or in one long sentence/stream of consciousness.

    I think you would benefit from learning more about nonfunctional harmony, it seems like you don't like or care much about FUNCTION (i.e subdominant/dominant/tonic), or the setup of tension and release and prefer to just put some nice chords together. And there's nothing wrong with that! Although most music before the late 19th century was functional since then composers have broken free of the strict "you gotta have a cadence at the end" stuff and just written what they felt was best. Sometimes they took it even further and didn't write stuff that was tonal *at all*.

    8 bit music theory did a really good video on precisely this topic, which you should watch.

    Youtube thumbnail

    it doesn't go much into the theory side of things, so it's pretty accessible.

    Looking at your sequence it seems like a challenging path. The chords are non-functional and most of the time are also unrelated. You may be able to thread your way through this minefield with a carefully chosen melody, although this may be tricky to pull off. Another way is through repetition. As Adam Neely says many many times "repetition legitimises". Repeat sections - not only will it give your listener time to hear your weird progression it will also give them time to process it.

    If I saw that progression I would struggle to improvise anything with it - not just because it's usually hard to do with nonfunctional harmony, but because there are a LOT of chords. Less is more. As for your "IV6 VIm7 etc in Em" - that is just nonsense. You only have one chord that can be found in Em!

    If you want to stay with nonfunctional harmony that's great - it can be really interesting. However I would stay away from writing so many chords at once. It is the mark of an amateur to throw everything at a composition. Be restrained and write less - or at the very least make sure that the scenery doesn't change so quickly. Perhaps you could write something like

    Speed - slow 

    A section

    A6 Cm (4 beats each) repeat 4 times

    B section

    E13(#11) Bmaj7 repeat 4 times <-- I chose these chords because they have something in common - the A#. It contrasts with your A section.

    A section again

    And so on. 

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.