Chord Progressions: i-V7-i Theory & Ear Training

Study the i-V7-i Chord Progression (the minor counterpart of the major I-V-I) and you will understand the harmonic tension and release formula that makes an incredible amount of music tick…

Using the i-V7-i Chord Progression in the key of C Minor as an example, we are going to integrate reading, roman numeral analysis, solfege, and ear training…


Listen, be receptive to the sound-feeling of each chord as a whole, and notice:

  • The Cm chord (i) establishes the minor-ness and home key.
  • The G7 chord (V7) creates harmonic tension.
  • That tension is released with the return back to the Cm chord (i).

Ear Training

Singing out loud is a very effective way to get musical sounds into your mind’s ear. Singing is an active process that excites many sensory and memory and motor pathways in your brain. This broad-based activation leads to much faster and deeper learning than passive listening alone.

Listen to Frank model how to do the following ear training studies in order to maximize learning…

Sing the bass line…


Be receptive to how each and every note sounds and feels with respect to the key center Do.

Sing the chords as root position arpeggios…


Very Important: It is absolutely essential that you sing all of these studies out loud and at your own pace, a pace that allows you to sustain each note long enough to make an impression on your mind’s ear. If you can’t sing them, you don’t know them!

Sing the chords as voiced arpeggios…


Sing the “Do-Ti-Do” voice…


Notice the very strong pull that Ti has to resolve back to Do. This is a particularly strong attraction, so strong that B (Ti) is referred to as the leading tone, because it so strongly leads the ear back to the tonic C (Do).

Sing the “Do-Re-Do” voice…


Notice the very strong pull that Re has to resolve to Do.

Sing the “Me-Fa-Me” voice…


Notice the very strong pull that Fa has to resolve Mi.

Sing the “So-So-So” voice…


Notice that G (So) is common to both chords.


About Frank J Peter

A uniquely burdened and blessed citizen of the world thinking and acting out loud!
This entry was posted in Aural Comprehension, Chord Progressions, How to Read Music, How to Study-Practice, Music Theory and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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