A chord progression
, made famous by Antonín Dvořŕk
's piano solo piece "Humoresque", in which this features in the middle section.
The original progression is in a minor key
, and runs as follows: i VI VII III. The effect is a temporary toniciziation of the relative major key—in other words, the music temporarily sounds like it's going to the relative major key. This is frequently followed a chord like v or VII, and even if not, repeated instances of this progression. This progression is used in ways similar to the use of the first four chords of the Circle of Fifths
in a minor key (i iv VII III).
However, that may be hard to distinguish from its relative major key, and would in fact count as vi IV V I if in major, making this a variant of The Four Chords of Pop
. In this case, this functions as a derivative of the Authentic Cadence
(V I). And again, it tends to be repeated a lot...often using the same transition chord, too (iii, which is the same as v in the relative minor).
Variations that substitute VI for iv (in minor) or IV for ii (in major) are common.
Tends to show up a lot in Anime Theme Songs
and Japanese Pop Music
. Has its own list of examples on this page. Relative minor (i VI VII III) and relative major (vi IV V I) examples are also noted.
Examples in Anime/Japanese Music
- Cruel Angel's Thesis from Neon Genesis Evangelion
- The opening theme of Stellvia of the Universe, "Asu e no Brilliant Road" by Angela, right at the beginning and subsequently the beginning of each chorus.
- Ayumi Hamasaki uses this chord a lot. Examples: Dearest, Moments, Moon, Green, Last Minute
- Every Heart by BoA, ending of Inuyasha. Relative Major example
- The chorus of Fukai Mori by Do As Infinity, another Inuyasha ending
- AAA has "Blood on Fire" and "Music!!!"
- Fripside loves this chord! Found in Only My Railgun, Black Bullet, fortissimo-the ultimate crisis, and many more
- The first half of the verse of "Time After Time" by Mai Kuraki.
- The beginning of the verse of "Take a Shot" from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.
- Near the beginning of "Koi no Minoru Densetsu" from Lucky Star, when the guitars come in. (But not the song it's a parodying, "Koi no Mikuru Densetsu" from Haruhi.)
- The verse of "Forever", the opening theme of Elemental Gelade, by Savage Genius.
- All My Love by Yui Horie, opening for Mao-chan
- The ending theme of Kiddy Grade, "Future", features this in the chorus.
- The ending theme of Slam Dunk, "Anata Dake Mitsumeteru"
- The Tales of Symphonia animé theme "Starry Heavens" has this at the beginning of the song and of the chorus.
- Sukisugite Baka Mitai by Def. Diva of Hello! Project.
- Near the end of the first boss battle theme of the Magic Knight Rayearth SNES RPG.
- In the Mega Man Legends soundtrack, the insert song "Your Wind is Blowing", combines the Humoresque Progression with the Circle of Fifths, by changing one chord of the latter so that the former is embedded in it.
- The theme tune of the two Ef series.
- Final Fantasy X: When the main melody of "To Zanarkand" comes in.
- From the Mega Man X4'' soundtrack:
- apple41: "Puzzle", composed for vocaloid Miku Hatsune: intro and chorus, relative major example
- The fourth (and final) ending theme of Eureka Seven, "Canvas" by COOLON. Relative major example
- Utada Hikaru's "Can You Keep a Secret?", a relative major example (vi IV V I).
- The velvet room theme in the Persona games has this progression.
- EXEC_REBIRTHIA=PROTOCOL/. from Ar Tonelico 3 does it as well, sounding suspiciously similar to the Velvet Room theme as a result.
- The second ending theme of 'Your Lie in April'', "Orange" by 7!!.
- The Poloy Forest theme from Tails Adventure (starting at 0:08).
- No one's brought up the Super Mario World Athletic theme yet? In this one, however, The first two chords are major and minor, respectively, instead the other way around. (Relative major example)
- Kanako Itou - "Star Crossed" (bridge, relative major example)
- The Marble Zone music from Sonic the Hedgehog (1991).
- Mari Iijima and Robbie Ford - "Eternal Summer"
- "Give a Reason", the Slayers NEXT opening song (chorus)
- The chorus of Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble
- Selena Gomez 's Love You Like a Love Song
- The trope namer is Dvořák's "Humoresque" #7 in G flat major. This link goes to the middle section of the piece, where it most famously appears.
- Briefly in the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's violin concerto, when the second theme temporarily goes to minor.
- Mike Oldfield includes this progression in his famous song "Moonlight Shadow". Listen to the first four chords when the voice comes in. Listen to them repeat.
- "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young, when the harmonica comes in, and again when the voice comes in.
- Two phrases (1:21 and 3:06) in the middle of the "Chess" piece from Chess uses this progression. At other times it follows the traditional Circle of Fifths and uses iv instead of VI.
- Talk Talk's "It's My Life" in the prechorus; the chorus uses the Circle of Fifths.
- The chorus of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer".
- The beginning of the title theme of Monster Tale, though it uses a major I chord rather than a minor i chord as is standard (Amaj Fmaj Gmaj Cmaj, rather than Amin Fmaj Gmaj Cmaj).
- "Where I Come From" by Montgomery Gentry (verses)
- Dido - "Thank You" (verses), and by extension, Eminem - "Stan".
- The Real McCoy - "Another Night"
- Basshunter - "Boten Anna", and by extension, "Now You're Gone"
- Cascada - "Bad Boy" (chorus)
- Deborah Cox - "I Never Knew" (except for the bridges)
- "So Serious" by Electric Light Orchestra: chorus (Relative major example)
- "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews Band. (Relative major example)
- "Time Is Love" by Josh Turner. (Relative major example)
- Examples from contemporary Christian music: the choruses of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Avalon and "Facts Are Facts" by Steven Curtis Chapman.
- The chorus of "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" by Phil Collins (Relative major example)
- The chorus of Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" (Relative major example)
- Toni Braxton - "I Love Me Some Him" uses the Circle of Fifths variant (iv instead of VI) (Relative major example)
- The first part of the chorus to REO Speedwagon's "Take It on the Run." (Relative major example)
- Electric Youth - "The Best Thing"
- Lolita - "Goin' On" (synth and chorus; the former is relative major)
- Anders Lundqvist - "Mission to the Stars"(riff)
- Cyber Space - "Die Zeit (Back to Mars)"
- The A-section of "Gypsy Bard" from Friendship is Witchcraft.
- Luianne - "Liveliness" and "Dawning"
- The Whispers - More of the Night (verses) (Circle of Fifths variant)
- Luxor - Megaforce Theme (B section)
- Savage Garden - "To The Moon and Back" (chorus)
- Project Pitchfork - "Lament" (verses, relative major example)
- Jessica Simpson - "Where You Are" (verses, combined with Circle of Fifths)
- Ian van Dahl - "Castles in the Sky"
- "Daytime Drama", a production music piece used in Spongebob Squarepants.