Chord Progression

A series of chords played in sequence that all work around a key

Chord progression refers to a series of chords played in a specific order, forming the harmonic foundation of a musical piece or section. It is the sequence of chords that creates the harmonic movement and contributes to the overall structure and emotional impact of the music.

Chord progressions are commonly used in various musical genres, including classical, jazz, pop, rock, and many others. They provide a framework for melodies, harmonies, and improvisation, guiding the tonal and harmonic direction of a composition.

Chord progressions are typically described using Roman numerals to represent the scale degrees on which the chords are based. For example, in the key of C major, a common chord progression may be represented as I-IV-V, which corresponds to the chords C major, F major, and G major. This progression is often used in many popular songs due to its pleasing and familiar sound.

Different chord progressions can evoke different emotions or moods in music. For example, a I-V-vi-IV progression (such as C-G-Am-F) is frequently found in pop music and creates a sense of familiarity and catchiness. On the other hand, a ii-V-I progression (such as Dm7-G7-Cmaj7) is commonly used in jazz and creates a more sophisticated and harmonically rich sound.

Chord progressions can be simple or complex, and they can vary in length and structure. They can repeat throughout a song or change in different sections to create tension, release, and variety. Musicians and composers often experiment with different chord progressions to create unique and expressive musical compositions.

Understanding chord progressions is important for musicians, as it helps in composition, improvisation, and understanding the underlying harmonic structure of a piece of music. By analyzing and studying different chord progressions, musicians can gain insight into the principles and techniques used in various musical styles.

Example of Chord Progression

How Chord Progressions Work