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Thread: help on chord progression

  1. #1
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    help on chord progression

    Hey there everyone,

    first time poster long time reader.

    I came across a sweet chord progression in a song called 'only twin' by a band called Oceansize and for the life of me i can't figure out where some of the chords are being sourced from.

    Amin - E7/G# - G7 - Fmin6 (or Dmin7b5/F) - Gmaj - E7/G# - G#dim
    ---I--------V6------ ?--------?------------------------------bVII*-----V6-----------vii

    *borrowed from aeolian

    I've put my incomplete analysis under the chords, 4 out of the 7 chords seem to be from harmonic minor and 1 borrowed from the natural (aeolian) minor but the remaining 2 i have no idea about, i can't find any explanation for them and yet... they sound cool.
    I'd really really appreciate any thoughts you might have.

    Here's as link to the actual tune
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB0dEjr1tkg


    Ash

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodpeckersnake View Post
    Hey there everyone,

    first time poster long time reader.

    I came across a sweet chord progression in a song called 'only twin' by a band called Oceansize and for the life of me i can't figure out where some of the chords are being sourced from.

    Amin - E7/G# - G7 - Fmin6 (or Dmin7b5/F) - Gmaj - E7/G# - G#dim
    ---I--------V6------ ?--------?------------------------------bVII*-----V6-----------vii

    *borrowed from aeolian

    I've put my incomplete analysis under the chords, 4 out of the 7 chords seem to be from harmonic minor and 1 borrowed from the natural (aeolian) minor but the remaining 2 i have no idea about, i can't find any explanation for them and yet... they sound cool.
    I'd really really appreciate any thoughts you might have.

    Here's as link to the actual tune
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB0dEjr1tkg


    Ash
    Just a quickie, as I can't check the audio from this computer.
    The G7 is V/III, or dominant of the relative major (C). (It is diatonic to A aeolian, but looks like either a secondary dominant, or primary dominant of an approaching key change - which of course doesn't happen.)
    But there's a deceptive cadence to Fm6 (Dm7b5). In the light of a new C key centre, this looks like the minor iv (or half-dim ii) borrowed from C minor.
    Dm7b5-G(7?) is a ii-V in C minor - but again followed by a clever diversion: bass note Ab is diatonic to C minor, but becomes G#, 3rd of E7, V of previous key. (And remember that G#dim7 is enharmonic with Bdim7, vii of C minor.)

    When I get a proper listen to the track, I may come back if it suggests anything else to me.

  3. #3
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    Wow that's really interesting.
    I'd gone as far as thinking the chords might be modal or sourced from one of the alternative minor scales, i hadn't really considered a temporary modulation but your answer seems to fit really nicely, the diminished chord belonging to both keys is interesting.
    Oceansize has a real thing for symmetry within their compositions, i've seen several instances of palindromic rhythms, your explanation has 3 x Cmin chords book ended by 2 x Amin chords (potentially) on either side, giving a key symmetry within the progression. Pretty awesome.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Yes this one is interesting. I looked at it and felt it was trying to modulate, but, as it never did -- I left with out commenting waiting on what Jon would say.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 08-04-2011 at 04:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Just an additional comment having listened to the track. The most interesting thing to me is the time (metre).

    To begin with, the sequence sounds like it's essentially a slow 3/4: 5 bars of 3/4, a bar of 2/4 and 2 more bars of 3/4. (Some debate about where that 2/4 bar ought to go relative to the arpeggios, but it fits there with the chord changes.], made clearer)
    But then the drums come in playing spmething quite different. This turns out to be 9/8 cross rhythm: still 3 beats in the bar, but where the arps are dividing each beat into 2, the drums are dividing them into 3s.
    More than that, the snare plays a repeating 5/8 pattern in a 2-3 form, so it keeps hitting in different places. Here's how it works with the chords:

    Code:
                    Am                                  E7/G#       G       
             BEATS:|1  .  2  .  3  . |1  .  2  .  3  . |1  .  2  .  3  . | 
    ARPEGGIOS:(3/4)|x  x  x  x  x  x |x  x  x  x  x  x |x  x  x  x  x  x |
        SNARE (9/8)|. . x . x . . x .|x . . x . x . . x|. x . . x . x . X|
    
                    Fm6                                 G (2/4 - 6/8)        
             BEATS:|1  .  2  .  3  . |1  .  2  .  3  . |1  .  2  . |
    ARPEGGIOS:(3/4)|x  x  x  x  x  x |x  x  x  x  x  x |x  x  x  x  
        SNARE (9/8)|. . x . x . . x .|x . . x . x . . x|. x . . x .|
    
                    E7/G#
             BEATS:|1  .  2  .  3  . |1  .  2  .  3  . |
    ARPEGGIOS:(3/4)|x  x  x  x  x  x |x  x  x  x  x  x |
        SNARE (9/8)|x . . x . x . . x|. x . . x . x . X|
    (The capital "X"s show a double 16th fill, which breaks the 5/8 repetition.)
    Then the kick drum comes in, it's playing with the arpeggios - and it becomes maybe better to think of it as 18/16, or 9/8 at twice the tempo. That way, each arpeggio note and drum hit represents one of those 16ths (or 8ths).

    IOW, the above pattern assumes the beat count is a slow 66 bpm, with the snare thinking in triplets against the straight 8s of the arps. The following is how that first bar would look at 132 bpm - with everything fitting 9/8, the arps and kick drum both on the dotted quarter beats -while the snare (after its first hit anyhow) falling into a repeating pattern of 4 then 6 8th notes, regardless of bar lines:
    Code:
    132 bpm, 9/8
             BEATS:|1 . . 2 . . 3 . .|1 . . 2 . . 3 . .|
         ARPEGGIOS:|x . . x . . x . .|x . . x . . x . .| 
             SNARE:|. . . . x . . . x|. . . . . x . . .|
              KICK:|x . . x . . x . .|x . . x . . x . .|
    Compared with this stuff that chord sequence is pretty mundane!

  6. #6
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    Yeah the timing is amazing. The drummer playing a 5 count (or the odd 7) while at the same time playing in only the 3 component of a 3 over 2 poly-rhythm is ridiculously clever.
    The way the timing components are shared between sections is compositionally brilliant, AND ...Mike gets a seemingly regular sounding melody to just sit in there effortlessly.
    The other timing element i love in this track is that psuedo waltz feel that comes later in what i guess you'd call the chorus. The melodic instruments finally start treating those 3 note arpeggios as 3 (rather than 2 as you rightly pointed out) giving a confusing waltz feel, ...confusing mainly because the drummer is STILL hammering his 5/8 in the 3 over 2 polyrhythm.
    It's such a shame this band just broke up.

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