Hi everyone,

I have been studying jazz harmony but I usually have some problems in understanding how certain rules are applied in compositions. For example, I have written down a lot of common chord progressions in jazz music, but modern composers seem to break these rules and often do what they want. In this case I propose a video game analysis.



I have analysed this composition, you can find a clear and detailed score with chords names and numbers.

my questions are in part referred to this and in part very general.

Beat 1: You can see I- IV (2nd inversion) I-: I know that in modern harmony inversions are "rare", but this clearly a classical harmony progression. What do you think? When it's possible to use inversions in modern harmony?

Beat 4:How do you explain bII-VI6 in beat 4?

Beat 7:Do you think that in beat 7 there is a modulation to Ab? If so, why is it so direct, without any pivot chord or similar?

Beat 17: VI - bVII. I have never seen this before, why did the composer used this?

Beat 21: VI - bVII-7 (3rd inversion). Classical or modern harmony? If so, why the 3rd inversion?

Beat 23: I- - II-7(3rd inversion). How do you explain this?

Any advice is welcome, thanks.


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  • Hi Bob, thanks.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I learned from my jazz analysis book, in jazz music chords are often in root position, you can find "similar" things like slash chords or polychords.

    Instead, in classical music, inversions can be used only in very specific harmonic progressions and sound very different from their root position counterparts.

    I probably still need some more knowledge in order to be able to perfectly analyse modern music, so I still do not understand when using inversions is allowed. I can only say that, unlike classical music, this piece (and others) sounds almost the same even if I play the chords in their root state, that's something I cannot explain.

    The handwritten harmonic analysis was made by me. The problem is that I have been writing a long list of common chord progressions in jazz music (all of them are well explained) and none of these appear in this composition. But this piece works smoothly, so all these "new" chord progressions must work. Even when a composition is modal, the chords progressions follow some simple rules that I cannot see here.

    If doesn't modulate, what does it do? Is the Ab a secondary dominant?


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