The ever-popular I-VII-IV progression

Mr Perch

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In the beginning, there was "Gloria" by Them. Also, "Dear Mr Fantasy" by Traffic, "Morning Dew" by the Grateful Dead, and "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones. Millions of other, dumber songs have used this progression. Have I left out any important ones? My personal fave is "Addicted To Love."
 

JDB2

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Here's one. I don't know how "important" this song is, but it really hits you over the head with its I VII IVness. I think of it as some kind of weird tribute to Sympathy for the Devil.

 

JDB2

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I'm new to thinking about music theory so please bear with my likely clumsy discussion of theory concepts. I noticed that in the songs that use I-VII-IV, the VII is played as a major chord, rather than diminished, which means the VII is not being played as a diatonic chord. So it's outside the scale of the key. Not sure of the significance of that but it's an interesting observation and presumably contributes to the particular feel of those lines.
 

loopfinding

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I'm new to thinking about music theory so please bear with my likely clumsy discussion of theory concepts. I noticed that in the songs that use I-VII-IV, the VII is played as a major chord, rather than diminished, which means the VII is not being played as a diatonic chord. So it's outside the scale of the key. Not sure of the significance of that but it's an interesting observation and presumably contributes to the particular feel of those lines.

it's technically a bVII, and you could argue it's modal interchange with minor. BUT, i feel like you actually see bVII > IV > I more (like, idk, polythene pam, something like open D > open A > open E). so in that scenario it's two plagal cadences in a row...kind of the anti ii-V-I.
 

JDB2

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it's technically a bVII, and you could argue it's modal interchange with minor. BUT, i feel like you actually see bVII > IV > I more (like, idk, polythene pam, something like open D > open A > open E). so in that scenario it's two plagal cadences in a row...kind of the anti ii-V-I.

I had to look up “plagal cadences” but now I see exactly what you mean.

Interesting discussion of progression here: https://music.stackexchange.com/questions/29817/why-do-many-songs-in-major-keys-use-a-bvii-chord
 

loopfinding

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SPUDCASTER

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Didn't Waylon make it almost a standard in the outlaw country phase?

1-b7-4

Guess I'm not so much into the Roman numerals.
 

jaxjaxon

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I have been studying scale degrees and how they can be used to make tension and how they can be used to resolve the tension created. And the use of the vii is one of the more important ones to use weather it is in the major or the minor or if it is natural or flat. And when you use the progression I, VII, IV. Yhe tension created by going I to Vii is noticeable and normally would be resolved with I or V but when the IV comes after it the tension is somewhat resolved and when you come back to the I again it becomes fully resolved. You could do I, VII, IV, V and get a resolution that way. One of the things I have read state the farther away the chords are from each other the more tension gets created So from I to VII would create more tension and will sound more resolved going to the IV.
 




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