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Music Theory:
Harmonic Analysis and Minor Key Theory


HARMONIC ANALYSIS AND MINOR KEYS:

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Q: I have subscribed to your channel and watched a lot of your videos. My background is limited in theory, but Ive learnt enough theory to have questions. I will limit them to the following it would be great if you could answer them. They are

#1). Are there different rules for Harmonic Analysis? I have noticed that you always write all of the roman numerals as upper case. I see other teachers write minor chords as lowercase and major chords as upper-case. Can you please clarify this.

#2). I can hear major keys just fine in music, but I have difficulty understanding how to hear and know if a song is in a minor key. Are there any basic rules for understanding when songs are in minor keys?
- Thanks, Wayne Calgary, AB.

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A: Thanks for writing in! First, to answer your question about Harmonic Analysis... this can vary depending upon where you went to school. Berklee, Musicians Institute and University Programs, incl. the Departments and Professors/ Instructors can (and will) teach analysis differently. In the video lesson, I cover the most popular types. These include; Classical Analysis, Jazz Analysis, Nashville notation and Contemporary. On my Blog Website, I cover each type in a little more detail.

When it comes to Minor Key Theory, it is important to know what establishes a tonality of minor. A large part of this has to do with the Harmonic Minor Scale. In the video lesson, I cover important principles of Minor Key resolution. These include the use of the following situations.

DOMINANT 7th V CHORDS:
The major and Dominant 7th five chords create the solid resolution necessary to anchor the minor key sound.

THE MINOR II - V7 JAZZ TURNAROUND:
The common jazz turnaround of Mi7(b5) to Dom.7 as a II - V progression results in a solid resolution into minor.

THE #VII dim.7 CHORD:
This use of the leading tone promotes a solid resolution into the tonic family chord establishing a color of minor tonality.

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