A chord progression, as its name implies, is a series of chords played in an order. Part and parcel of this action is the idea that the chords relate to each other in some way, whether closely or distantly, and they as a whole become an entity in themselves as a section, movement, or any other hypothetical name for a piece that to the ear can become familiar because of the harmonic progression used. Chord progressions are central to most modern European-influenced music. They may also be referred to as harmonic progressions. Compare to a simultaneity succession.
Chord progressions are usually associated with a scale and the notes of each chord are usually taken from that scale. Melodies and other parts usually comply with the chord changes in that their notes are usually taken from the chord currently playing. Notes which are not taken from the chord are called nonchord tones and usually resolve quickly to a chord tone.
|Table of Common Progressions|
|I, i||May progress to any other triad. May interrupt any progression.|
|Major keys||Minor keys|
|iii||iii-ii6, iii-IV, iii-V, iii-vi||III||III-ii6°, III-iv, III-VI|
|IV||IV-I, IV-ii, VI-V, IV-vii6°||iv||iv-i, iv-ii6°, iv-V, iv-VII|
|V||V-I, V-vi||V||V-i, V-VI|
|vi||vi-ii, vi-IV, vi-V, vi-iii-IV||VI||VI-ii6°, VI-iv, VI-V, VI-III-iv|
|* ii and IV in minor used with an ascending #6; v in minor used with a descending 7. See the article chord (music) and chord symbol for an explanation of the notation used in this table.|
- Walter Piston -- Harmony, 1969. ISBN 0393954803.
- Vincent Persichetti -- Twentieth Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice, 1961. ISBN 0393095398.
- Olav Torvund's Chord progressions for Guitar website