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Why does the Four Chord Pop Song sound so good?
#2716565 02/23/18 03:01 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 46
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BB666 Offline OP
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Hi All,
Just a quick video explaining why the 4 chord pop song progression (I - V - vi - IV) sounds so good using a bit of harmonic analysis. Check it out if you're interested.
Why does the Four Chord Pop Song sound so good?

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Re: Why does the Four Chord Pop Song sound so good?
BB666 #2716624 02/23/18 10:18 AM
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Lol


Czerny's Piano School Vol. 1, now at #77 and giving it a break.
Re: Why does the Four Chord Pop Song sound so good?
BB666 #2722403 03/18/18 11:37 PM
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I promised my students I would flunk them if they brought me a song using that progression. Thankfully it worked, and none of them did. Modern pop music has largely devolved from tonal music into modal music, with Ionian being the mode and no acidentals, just diatonic droning. I start to fall asleep on the 3rd bar.

FYI, The Beatles "Let It Be", although it does use this progression, also has a ii chord in the verse and, importantly, a bVII chord in the instrumental bridge. That brief moment of Mixolydian saves it from the fate of so many other songs. But just barely. I think it's not one of their best, and of all of the ballads they wrote it's one of only two that has a verse-chorus form. All the others use the much stronger (for a ballad) classic AABA form. And great chords with lots of non-diatonic notes, modulations, etc. All of these are elements passed down from classical music, through the American Songbook tunes, to The Beatles. These classic elements have a lot to do with why their songs sound so inevitable yet surprising, and will live on and on.


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