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Tchaikovsky`s chords still loved today

Posted December. 02, 2014 08:35,   


A college friend who first bought a guitar seemed confident. He began to sing with a few simple chords. “Your silence and my dry lips.”

When I said “Good,” he said, “I practiced it overnight, haha.” It was a song loved by beginner guitar players because the song needed only four chords -- C-a min-d min-G.

“Don’t sing. Just play the guitar,” I told him. “Am I such a bad singer?” he said while playing the guitar. I started singing some different songs in tune with the play with the same chords. “In the midst of leaves falling…” He stared with surprise. “Wow! All are harmonious. It’s amazing!”

There is a familiar chord progress, which is particularly loved by composers and listeners. So is the chord progress mentioned above. Do Mi Sol – Ra Do Mi – Re Fa La – Sol Ti Re. It is I-ⅵ-ii-V in chord symbols. “Heart and Soul,” a music played by Tom Hanks with his feet in the movie “Big” is also familiar because it repeats the chord.

Why is the chord progress loved in particular? I searched on the Internet and found more than I expected. Even an Internet encyclopedia has a separate category for it. It says, “A chord progress particularly loved by the 20th century pop music.”

Why did I think of this? At the end of every year, Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” is put on the stage across the country. When “Waltz of the Flowers,” which is familiar to everybody, is over, the chords of a harp are heard on the silent stage. It is the I-ⅵ-ii-V progress again. It is the “Grand pas de deux,” the highlight of the ballet. It is tearfully beautiful.

This chord progress was not often used in the era of Tchaikovsky in the latter part of the Romanticism. So to speak, it was an “advanced chords” for some time back then. Why do the chords sound so comfortable to me who mostly listen to the music of the classical and romantic era? It is because I am familiar to several chords of the 20th century pop music? Maybe Tchaikovsky would have had a foresight to find chords that his descendants would feel comfortable.