I–V–vi–IV progression

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The I–V–vi–IV progression is a common chord progression popular across several genres of music. It involves the I, V, vi, and IV chords; for example, in the key of C major, this would be: C–G–Am–F.[1] Uses based on a different starting point but with the same order of chords, include:

  • I–V–vi–IV, C-G-Am-F (optimistic)
  • V–vi–IV–I, G-Am-F-C
  • vi–IV–I–V, Am-F-C-G (pessimistic)
  • IV–I–V–vi, F-C-G-Am

The 50s progression uses the same chords but in a different order (I–vi–IV–V), no matter the starting point.

Variations[edit]

A common ordering of the progression, "vi–IV–I–V", was dubbed the sensitive female chord progression by Boston Globe Columnist Marc Hirsh.[2] In C major this would be Am–F–C–G. Hirsh first noticed the chord progression in the song "One of Us" by Joan Osborne,[3] and then other songs. He named the progression because he claimed it was used by many performers of the Lilith Fair in the late 1990s.[2]

Dan Bennett claims the progression is also called the "pop-punk progression" because of its frequent use in pop punk.[1]

The vi–IV–I–V progression has been associated with the heroic in many popular Hollywood movies and movie trailers, especially in films released since 2000.[4]

The chord progression is also used in the form IV–I–V–vi, as in songs such as "Umbrella" by Rihanna[5] and "Down" by Jay Sean.[6] Numerous bro-country songs followed the chord progression, as demonstrated by Greg Todd's mash-up of several bro-country songs in an early 2015 video.[7]

A 2009 song by the comedy group The Axis of Awesome, called "Four Chords", parodied the ubiquity of the progression in popular music. It was written in D major (thus using the chords D major, A major, B minor, and G major) and was subsequently published on YouTube.[8] As of August 2016, the most popular version has been viewed over 40 million times.[9]

Examples[edit]

Examples of use of the I–V–vi–IV progression include:

Songs using the vi–IV–I–V progression:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bennett, Dan (2008). The Total Rock Bassist, p. 63. ISBN 978-0739052693
  2. ^ a b c Hirsh, Marc. "Striking a Chord", The Boston Globe, December 31, 2008.
  3. ^ Rundown 3/4: "Sensitive Female Chord Progression", Here and Now, March 4, 2009, wbur.org.
  4. ^ Murphy, Scott (2014). 'A Pop-Music Progression in Recent Popular Movies and Movie Trailers', Music, Sound, and the Moving Image 8.2 (Autumn): 141-162.
  5. ^ "Unsupported Browser or Operating System". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-10-20. (subscription required) Gbmaj7, Db(add2)/Ab, Fm7, Bbm9.
  6. ^ "Down", MusicNotes.com. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Brian Mansfield. "Six songs, same tune? Mashup shows country music's similarities". USA Today. 
  8. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (2010-12-17). "Don't Stop Believin': the power ballad that refused to die". The Guardian. p. 3 (Film & music). Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  9. ^ "4 Chords". YouTube. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  10. ^ U2. "U2 "With or Without You" Sheet Music in Eb Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2017-01-23. 
  11. ^ "Someone Like You", MusicNotes.com. (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Head Over Feet", MusicNotes.com. Chords marked. (subscription required)
  13. ^ Miers, Jeff (4 May 2007). "Pop power; All-American Rejects wildly accepted in gig in Buff State arena". The Buffalo News. p. G26. Factiva BFNW000020070505e35400007. 
  14. ^ "Let It Go by Idina Menzel". hooktheory.com. 
  15. ^ "Don't You Wanna Stay", MusicNotes.com. (subscription required)
  16. ^ "Happy Ending", MusicNotes.com. Chords marked. (subscription required)
  17. ^ "Perfect", MusicNotes.com. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Anselmo Ralph. "Não Me Toca chords - Anselmo Ralph". ultimate-tabs.com. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  19. ^ Beyoncé. "BeyoncĂŠ "If I Were a Boy" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  20. ^ Bon Jovi. "Bon Jovi "It's My Life" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  21. ^ Mars, Bruno. "Bruno Mars "Grenade" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  22. ^ The Cranberries. "The Cranberries "Zombie" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  23. ^ "“Danza Kuduro” (Don Omar)". Foreign Language Music. 
  24. ^ "Save Tonight", MusicNotes.com. (subscription required)
  25. ^ Eminem. "Eminem "Not Afraid" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  26. ^ Rihanna. "Eminem "Love the Way You Lie" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  27. ^ Enrique Iglesias. "Bailando chords by Enrique Iglesias". ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved 2014-09-24. 
  28. ^ Flo Rida (2012-09-26). "Flo Rida "Whistle" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  29. ^ Sebastian, Guy. "Guy Sebastian "Battle Scars" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  30. ^ Jessie J. "Jessie J "Nobody's Perfect" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  31. ^ Bieber, Justin. "Justin Bieber "Love Me" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  32. ^ "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)", MusicNotes.com. Chords marked. (subscription required)
  33. ^ Lady Gaga. "Lady Gaga "Poker Face" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  34. ^ The Lonely Island. "The Lonely Island "I Just Had Sex" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  35. ^ "Never Gonna Leave This Bed". Musicnotes.com. 
  36. ^ "Just a Dream", MusicNotes.com. (subscription required)
  37. ^ "Marilyn Monroe", MusicNotes.com. (subscription required)
  38. ^ The Offspring. "The Offspring "The Kids Aren't Alright" Guitar Tab - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  39. ^ Toto. "Toto "Africa" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  40. ^ Train. "Train "Drive By" Sheet Music - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]