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Q&A

In Kim Taeyeon's "I", why do the C7 and Six-Four Chords conceal the chord changes?

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  1. I don't understand the analysis and dialogue, starting at 15:04, between Kevin Wang BMus (Eastman) in Piano Performance and Jenny Yunyi Ji BMus (Eastman), MMus (San Francisco Conservatory of Music) in Piano Performance. Can anyone please encapsulate the key points and takeaways?

  2. In particular, how does the C7 chord obscure the chord progressions?

  3. What chord "like a Six-Four chord" is Kevin referring to?

I don't think this is official, but Musescore has a score. I edited Youtube's auto-generated transcript. Please don't hesitate to edit my transcript, because I don't have absolute pitch and can't hear what chords Kevin are playing. If you can identify them, please add them to my transcript.

15:04 Kevin The bass notes are [Kevin plays chords on the piano.] just very very [Kevin plays chords on the piano.] simple.
15:09 And most artists would do [Kevin plays chords on the piano.]
15:14 So we hear this chord [Kevin plays on piano.] we think it goes either to here [Kevin plays on piano.] or here [Kevin plays on piano.] because that's the dominant chord, it likes to go places. But in this song she substitutes it for [Kevin plays on piano.]
15:27 It's like a six four chord. And it doesn't want to go anywhere, it...Just the whole song just feels like, you know, it feels more mellow, it feels more vanilla and it feels like...not directionless because of the rhythm still leads it, but like it's just harmonically not as driven.

15:44 Yunyi Dude I didn't even hear chord changes in that song, I- I heard everything-
Kevin: Really it's because of the C of seventh.
15:48 Yunyi: Yeah I heard everything.
15:50 [Kevin plays on piano.] Yeah I heard everything as suspensions or appoggiaturas of the major seventh chord.
15:58 Yunyi: Cuz like the....root was like hammered in like the whole song.
16:04 Kevin: Root is one, but the chorus actually doesn't have the root. You see, the chorus just goes
16:10 Yunyi: In the instrumentals, it wasn't there.
16:13 Kevin: Because there's no dominant, everything feels like one.
16:15 Yunyi Or like, but the things is it's not like totally placid, because like again you know, Kevin: Sounds pretty placid to me, I think.
16:23 Yunyi: Well it's obviously not just one one one one one one one one. It's because like she sings on like, she sings on the appoggiatura and suspensions, which makes it feel like there's not a dominant.
Kevin: So maybe the whole piece is plagal, because it just goes foooouuurrrr. Like four is literally the only other chord. Well there is the minor, never mind.

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