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Old 11-15-2019, 10:47 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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I actually disagree about how well the chords flow. I find the sequence sounds a bit disjointed, with some changes sounding arbitrary. But I think that's mainly the harmonic rhythm (rate and pattern of chord changes) which is definitely lop-sided.

The interesting thing is that verse and chorus both come in at 16 bars (of 3/4) each, but it doesn't sound like the usual 4 lines of 4 bars, because the changes are offset by one bar. I.e., if you take those 16 bars and split them 4x4, it looks like this:

Verse
|D - - |C#m - - | - - |G# - - |
|G# - - |F# - - | - - - |A - - |
|A - - |E - - | - - - |D - - |
|D - - |A - - | - - - | - - - |

Chorus
|B - - |E - - | - - - |A - - |
|A - - |E - - |D - - |A - - |
|A - - |E - - | - - - |G - - |
|G - - |A - - | - - - |- (break)|

So the chords hang on from one line to the next, and then change in odd places.

But make that opening bar (of both sections) a pick-up bar, and it makes a whole lot more sense:

Verse
|D - - |
|C#m - - | - - |G# - - |G# - - |
|F# - - | - - - |A - - |A - - |
|E - - | - - - |D - - |D - - |
|A - - | - - - | - - - ||

Chorus
||B - - |
|E - - | - - - |A - - |A - - |
|E - - |D - - |A - - |A - - |
|E - - | - - - |G - - |G - - |
|A - - | - - - |- (break) |(D - - |)

So, the key is A major, although it takes a while to become clear. The chords function as follows:

D = IV

C#m = iii

G# = V/iii, i.e., secondary dominant of C#m. Normally this chord would precede the C#m, because that's the whole point of the chromatic major 3rd (B#), to lead up to C#. Then again, it's quite common rock to find V chords following I instead of leading to them.

F# = V/ii, another secondary dominant, this time of the ii chord, Bm. Except it doesn't go to Bm. There is no Bm! (This is one of the reasons I find the sequence clunky. Not "wrong", just takes a while to get used to.)

A = I

E = V

B = V/V, secondary dominant of the V chord. This one does resolve as expected, to E; and (even more expected) goes on to A.
The second line of the chorus is then like the last line of an A blues.

G = bVII, borrowed from A mixolydian or A minor. bVII chords are standard in rock, although it feels a little unusual in this context. It adds "darkness", contrasting with the "brightness" of all those secondary dominants. But the move from E to G does echo the move from F# to A in the verse.
The other effect of the G chord is to make the end of the chorus (G - A) sound a little like IV-V in D major, which kind of sets up the following D as a potential new tonic. Except it isn't because it drop to C#m straight away.
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