LEXIS


Akkordfolge
Akkordprogression
Verbindung

和音進行(わおんしんこう)
和声進行(わせいしんこう)
コード進行(しんこう)
コード・チェインジ・パターン

Many songs and popular pieces of music contain characteristic, regular sequences of certain chords. They are based on the basic key of a piece and the scale degrees based on harmony theory (see ⇒ scale). The chords usually change after one half, one whole two whole measures.

Scale degrees

Degree
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
Name
Tonic
Supertonic
Mediant
Subdominant
Dominant
Submediant
Meaning
Base and target (quietness); major
Minor
Minor
Transition; major
Tension (interruption); major; often with seventh
Minor
Diminished
In C Major
C
Dm
Em
F
G
Am
B

Popular chord progressions

Structure
14
141541
1451
15641
16251
1625
1645
251
261
65431
Name

Blues cadence 1)
Major cadence
Pop cadence
Swing cadence
Rhythm Changes
Ice cream
jazz progression

Spanish cadence
Degrees
I-IV
I-IV-I-V7-IV-I
I-IV-V-I
I-V-vi-IV-I
I-VI-II7-V7-I
I-vi-ii-V
I-vi-IV-V
ii7-V7-I
II-vi-I
vi-V-IV-III-I
In C Major
C-F
C-F-C-G7-F-C
C-F-G-C
C-G-Am-F-C
C-A7-D7-G7-C
C-Am-Dm-G
C-Am-F-G
Dm7-G7-C
Dm-Am-C
Am-G-F-E-C
Remarks


Most common of all sequences. Often at the end of a piece.


Ballads
Popular in country and softrock
Popular in Jazz
Popular at the end of a song

I-x-V-I Progressions

The I-x-V-I scheme

A set model or scheme popular in many musical genres leads from the tonic (degree I) over a second chord to the dominant (V) and finally back to the tonic (I). The second chord can be the tonic itself (I), the subdominant parallel (II), the subdominant (IV), the dominant (V), or the tonic parallel (VI) – resulting in the following progressions:

1645

50s Progression / Heart and Soul / Eiscreme Changes

The chord progression I-vi-IV-V, which can often be found in classical music, has been used in numerous pieces of pop music since the 1950s (and therefore referred to in the Anglo-Saxon world as “50s progression”), some of which like “Heart and Soul” or “Stand by Me” have become standards. Well known variants are I-vi-IV-V7 and I-vi-ii-V (e.g. “Bohemian Rhapsody”).

In principle, it is a short form of the Pachelbel sequence.

Examples
  • C-Am-F-G, C-Am-F-G7, C-Am-Dm-G
  • F-Dm-Bb-C, F-Dm-Bb7-C, F-Dm-Gm-C
  • G-Em-C-D, G-Em-C-D7, G-Em-Am-D
How it Works

The working of this progression is often compared to an adventurous journey: from the safe home (the root note I) into the dark unknown (the minor parallel) until a sign of hope is heard (the subdominant) and the dramatic rescue (by the dominant) that takes us back home. The term “ice cream changes” alludes to this clichéd, “sweet” process.

274.jpg (Abbildung: Nate Sloan, Charlie Harding: Switched on Pop: How Popular Music Works, and Why It Matters, Oxford University Press, 2019, 42)

Pachelbel-Sequenz

Pachelbel sequence

The sequence invented by Johann Pachelbel for his Canon in D major is as follows:

1563-4145I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-IV-V7C-G-Am-Em-F-C-F-G7

A single change in the penultimate chord (replacing the repetition of the subdominants with their minor parallel) results in the modified Pachelbel sequence, which leads through all common chords and is therefore particularly suitable for practicing:

1563-4125I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-ii-V7C-G-Am-Em-F-C-Dm-G7

The Folia

One of the most popular chord progressions of the Baroque era was the folia.

  • La Folia

    15173715-151737151i-V7-i-VII-III-VII-i-V7 i-V7-i-VII-III-VII-i-V7-iDm-A7-Dm-C-F-C-A7 Dm-A7-Dm-C-F-C-Dm-A7-Dm

Exercises

6415 chordprogression in G major

Elementary progression in A minor

The following chord progression 2) contains a number of elementary ukulele chords. It begins with a major cadence (1451) and enters a softrock-like cadence (64751).

Chord Am Dm E7 Am F D G E Am
Degree i iv V7 i VI IV VII V i


1) Cadence: A chord progression, which, after building up a tension by dissonances, leads back to the tension-solving chord. Ulrich Kaiser: “In a cadence a tension comes to rest.”