I was talking with a student the other day and we got into the subject of diminished seventh chords and how they are used in jazz. It got me thinking about how many different ways this chord can be resolved based on how it is used by composers of jazz as well as classical music. Most of us think of this chord as having a leading-tone function or wanting to resolve up a semi-tone to another chord. This seems to be the most common usage. But what about the other situations where we find the chord moving down…Read more
Maybe I'm Amazed: Analysis
Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney: Harmonic Analysis
I’ve always been intrigued by this harmonic progression. What’s going on here? It doesn’t seem to follow anything I’m familiar with. After a sleep in my hammock and a few beers I think I got it.
Take note of the borrowed chords from the parallel minor (c minor) in the verse: Bb major, Fm and Eb major. Also note the inversions in measures 7-8 that create the chromatic bass line that really ties this progression together.
Notice the progression in the last line. With the use of inversions another chromatic bass line is created between the G (IV) and Em (ii). The one borrowed chord (Dm, first inversion) completes the chromatic bass line. The A7 resolves deceptively to Bb major to return to the verse. Ingenious!
One other thing, the phrases alternate between four bars and five bars which I didn’t notice until just now.
Chords on top and Roman numeral analysis underneath.
Verse: C Major
4/4 Bb F/A |C G | Bb F/A | C |
bVII IV |I V | bVII IV | I |
Bb F/A |C G | Bb F/A |Fm/Ab Eb/G | C |
bVII IV |I V | bVII IV | iv bIII | I |
Chorus: D Major
D DMaj7 |D7 | G | D |
I IMaj7 |V7/IV| IV | I |
D DMaj7 |D7 | G |D/F# Dm/F |Em7 A7 |
I IMaj7 |V7/IV | IV | I i | ii7 V7 |