1. Didja accidentally blow through the whole, "We're using our real names" thing on registration? No problem, just send me (Mike) a Conversation message and I'll get you sorted, by which I mean hammered-into-obedient-line because I'm SO about having a lot of individuality-destroying, oppressive shit all over my forum.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. You're only as good as the harshest criticism you're willing to hear.
    Dismiss Notice

Stupid Chord Progression Question

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks & Talk' started by Rohann van Rensburg, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. #1 Rohann van Rensburg, Oct 2, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
    I'm sure this is an obvious thing for some, but I don't think I've heard stacked diminished chords like this before. If I had to say it reminded me of anything, it would probably be Django Reinhardt, which is why I think this is probably an obvious trick I'm just not familiar with.

    In any case -- is this a common idiom of any particular genre? The song uses the Arabic and (I think) Hungarian minor scale a decent amount.

    Not totally sure of the voicings (and dim chords obviously overlap) but I hear D#dim, Adim, Gm, Gdim, then D#dim, Adim, Bbdim, Bdim.

  2. It's similar In effect to special function dominants used in some jazz and fusion—if you just leave out the roots. Used like this there is no expectation of resolution, their “special function” being color chords, on account of the ambiguity of their symmetrical intervals. Until the Bdim, the root movement holds together pretty well since all of the roots are components of the same octatonic scale.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  3. The funny thing about these wholediminished chords is that they act as a root-less dominant-flat9. So a D#-diminished has the same function as a B7(b9). But because of the symmetry of the chord (every note sounding a minor 3 from the next), it also has the same function as D7(b9), F7(b9) and Ab7(b9). So the first two chords really are just inversions of what functions as a D7(b9) leading to Gm. Then you can use the same two diminished chords to lead to Bb because they can also act like F7(b9).
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  4. Thanks for the responses!

    Ah, interesting! Forgive my stumbling, but: a static diminished chord (i.e. F#dim) functionally acts as part of the dominant chord of the adjacent diminshed chord's roots, i.e. D, F, Ab, B? How does that Edim (or Bbdim) chord function in between the "D7b9" and that final chord? Is it just moving chromatically?
  5. You're a strange cat.

    That is Martino 2.0 (You have to know his life story to get that joke)

    Check out 1.0. Not for anything to do with your question, but he was so fuckin bad ass.

    Almost any composition in the baroque and classical era are going to feature passages or measures of diminished chords.
    They were also used (in the 18th-early 19th century) in lace of dominants for voice leading purposes.

  6. A byproduct of being a pre-1400 millenial.

    Also a byproduct of being largely "self-taught", which (at this stage) usually ends up meaning you know a disproportionate amount about some topics and embarassingly little about others.

    This would fall into the "embarassingly little" category, but Wikipedia is my friend. Crazy story, what a hurdle he had to get through.

    Much better way of conceptualizing it than I previously did, thanks for that video!

    I know I had definitely heard this elsewhere but couldn't place a specific example, and not in a context like this. So it's essentially just replacing stacks of dominants for the sake of building more tension?

    I'm just trying to figure out if there's a "functional" way they are ordered if you "convert" them into dominants to figure out why it "works" (or rather, resolves satisfyingly). D7(b9), D7(b9), Gm, A7(b9), D7(b9), D7(b9), A7(b9), G7(b9), Dm. It sounds like they were probably just going for the chromatic ascension, and the Bdim to D works because it "feels" like a 4-1?

    It may seem excessive to overanalyze but if I can simplify the concept in my mind I'm more likely to remember and utilize it.
  7. First notice the upper part of a dominant chord.

    Say A7. (I put the upper voices an octave apart for visual clarity)


    See how C#,E,G are a diminished tried.

    The diminished 7th chord has 4 notes. 3 of the 4 will be the same as a dominant. If you lower any pitch you will get 4 possible dominants each a min 3rd apart.
    (see the video above for the demonstration and explanation)

    Yes, they are always on the 7th degree of any major scale. BUT, the most important part in the "Common practice era". was that the tritone resolve by contrary motion.

    upload_2020-10-10_11-14-35.png ]

    See how the tritone moves in opposition



    Also it allowed the tonic triad to move outward and fold inward.


Share This Page