The Beatles’ chromatic trifecta

In teaching chromatic harmony, music theorists typically focus on three categories:

  1. “Secondary” or “applied” dominants and leading-tone chords
  2. Modal mixture or “borrowed” chords
  3. “Neapolitan” chords and augmented-sixth chords

Of these, the first two categories are plentiful in virtually all styles of music, while the third is pretty specific to Classical and Romantic (and some Baroque) style. I’m not going to say you’ll never find them in pop or rock, but they’re extremely rare.



Colin O’Dwyer
Common chord progressions using ii iii and vi as well as I IV and V. Progressions covered are I V vi IV, I V ii IV and how Vertical Horizon uses the iii chord in Everything You Want.

John Lennon·10 videos


August 17, 2013