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Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key

Posted by Bananaman31 
Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 21, 2017 09:35AM
In this chord progression: C#minor - F# - A - G#minor - F#minor, in the Key of C#minor, is F# a chord from the parallel major key?

I had to deliver a song using chords from a parallel Key and my tutor though I was a retard not doing so. I honestly thought F# was parallel major
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 21, 2017 05:48PM
Sorry to not be able to support you. Would be really satisfying to be able to go back to your tutor with a "no, no your wrong!", but the parallel major to C#m is E, not F#.
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 21, 2017 05:57PM
I'm not really sure I understand your assignment though. A key and its relative minor share the same seven diatonic chords, so I don't know what exactly what your tutor could mean by "chord from the relative major key." Maybe aomeody else will understand that and can give you an idea.
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 21, 2017 07:56PM
FWIW - I really like your progression. My ear needs a G#7 on the end to cement the key as you loop back around to the C#m at the beginning.

You may get a kick out of this video, www dot YouTube dot com/watch?v=YSKAt3pmYBs about film score chord changes. The guy call out your i - IV transition (the C#m to F#) as frequently used in film scores for scenes of 'Wonder, or Transcendence'.

Took me a minute to remember where I'd heard that change, but there it is at 7:45. He calls it m5M, but it's i - IV in more standard nomenclature.
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 21, 2017 08:35PM
jjjtttggg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'm not really sure I understand your assignment
> though. A key and its relative minor share the
> same seven diatonic chords, so I don't know what
> exactly what your tutor could mean by "chord from
> the relative major key." Maybe aomeody else will
> understand that and can give you an idea.

The song is in the key of C# minor. The parallel (not relative) major key to C# minor is C# major. The chord F# belongs to C# major so it's a chord borrowed from the parallel major.
F# major can also be formed from the notes of the C# melodic minor scale (ascending form) but that's a non-standard derivation given that the melodic minor was designed to reflect melodic chromatic alterations - not harmonic ones, which is what the harmonic minor is about.

@ the OP
In practice, the most common borrowing in minor keys from the parallel major is the tonic chord especially at the ends of sections, where it goes by the fancy name "tierce de Picardy". So stick a C# major at the end and your tutor will have to shut up.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 10:44PM by Fretsource. (view changes)
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 22, 2017 07:56AM
Ah yes, words do have meanings don't they? And now I feel sheepish! I was thinking of the relative major (perhaps that's obvious). Seems to me OP's F# isn't then really wrong after all. Maybe as you say it's not a commonly borrowed chord, but would you think the teacher is right in saying it isn't actually a correct answer to the assignment? Maybe there's some reason certain certain chords would be considered a modulation rather than "borrowing"? I'm really curious now what the tutor's beef is. If he/she is right I'd like to learn. If not I say let's break his/her arm! (a joke, of course)
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 22, 2017 09:01AM
Fretsource Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> jjjtttggg Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I'm not really sure I understand your
> assignment
> > though. A key and its relative minor share the
> > same seven diatonic chords, so I don't know
> what
> > exactly what your tutor could mean by "chord
> from
> > the relative major key." Maybe aomeody else
> will
> > understand that and can give you an idea.
>
> The song is in the key of C# minor. The parallel
> (not relative) major key to C# minor is C# major.
> The chord F# belongs to C# major so it's a chord
> borrowed from the parallel major.
> F# major can also be formed from the notes of the
> C# melodic minor scale (ascending form) but that's
> a non-standard derivation given that the melodic
> minor was designed to reflect melodic chromatic
> alterations - not harmonic ones, which is what the
> harmonic minor is about.
>
> @ the OP
> In practice, the most common borrowing in minor
> keys from the parallel major is the tonic chord
> especially at the ends of sections, where it goes
> by the fancy name "tierce de Picardy". So stick a
> C# major at the end and your tutor will have to
> shut up.


Thank you
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
April 22, 2017 10:25PM
jjjtttggg Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ah yes, words do have meanings don't they? And now
> I feel sheepish! I was thinking of the relative
> major (perhaps that's obvious). Seems to me OP's
> F# isn't then really wrong after all. Maybe as
> you say it's not a commonly borrowed chord, but
> would you think the teacher is right in saying it
> isn't actually a correct answer to the assignment?
> Maybe there's some reason certain certain chords
> would be considered a modulation rather than
> "borrowing"? I'm really curious now what the
> tutor's beef is. If he/she is right I'd like to
> learn. If not I say let's break his/her arm! (a
> joke, of course)

Yeah - I'm not sure what the tutor's beef is either. He/she may feel that F# is better explained as a native chord justified by taking notes of the C# melodic minor scale. I disagree with that. It's also not a secondary dominant and there's no modulation going on.

The purpose of borrowing from the parallel key is that it allows you to keep the same tonal function while varying the chord.
Major to minor borrowing is far more common, For example in the key of C major, the progression C - F - Fm - C is a classic example of parallel borrowing. It starts with the tonic, moves to the subdominant F then followed by the Fm, which is still subdominant but a different flavour of chord.

Come to think of it, the most classic example of borrowing is in fact minor borrowing from major. As you know, the (major) dominant 7th in minor keys is a result of borrowing from the major. Composers started raising the 7th scale note as a matter of course in order to get the same strong V - i progression that major keys offer. The practice became so widespread, however, that it became the norm, and the harmonic minor scale with the 7th already raised was devised in order to reflect this common practice of composers. So we no longer think of the dom 7 in minor being a chord borrowed from the major, but that's exactly what it is.
Re: Is F# a parallel major chord of the C#minor key
June 21, 2017 11:20AM
I am the OP but forgot my mail and password.

Very important update, turns out that the progression mentioned above (C#minor - F#major - Amajor - G#minor - F#minor) that I used for the verse is actually in C# aeolian and the second chord F#major is borrowed from the Dorian mode, so not from the parallel major Ionian as asked in the assessment briefing.

The important part is, if I just used the F#major without adding a 7, then it could technically come from both Ionian and Dorian since they both have a major IV. But in the context of the progression, the seven would have to be dominant, and not major seven because a major would sound completely out of place. So this forces the borrowed chord F# to come from Dorian, because the IV in Ionian is major and not dominant.

The question is, if I just played a triad F#major, and not a seven, can I argue that the seven would actually come from the Ionian and be a major seven despite sounding terrible?
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