Here's what I understand about it.
The tune is in the key of D minor. It's relative major key is F Major.
The chords of the first four bars (Emi7b5-A7b9-Dmi) are a minor iimi7-Vb9-imi progression in D minor. Bars 5 through 7 (Gmi7-C7-FMA7) are a major IImi7-V7-I in the relative major key of D minor, F Major. Bars 8 and 9, do the D minor ii-V-i again, Emi7b5-A7b9 in bar 8 and a Dmi6 in bar 9.
The first half of the tune just alernates standard harmonic ideas in an unadorned state.
Wilder stuff happens in the second half starting with bar 9. You should really think of bars 8 through 11 as a unit. Bar 9 reestablishes the D minor sound using Dmi6 rather than the Dmi that would be more usual if this I chord were a resting point in the progression. The added major 6th is a signal that the harmonic phrase has not come to an end and will suprisingly continue for awhile longer, violating the expectation set by the first use of this idea. The scale that you would choose to play over this chord would be D Dorian, the least minor of the minor modes you could choose.
The chord of bar 10, Gmi7, takes the major 6th played in and flattens it to minor 6th. All of the other notes in the chord fit the original D Dorian scale. Flatting the 6th to Bb, gives the feeling that the mode has changed from D Dorian to D Aeolian, a darker minor feeling than Dorian.
The chord of bar 11, Bb7, might actually be a Bb7(b5) chord because the melody note E is held across the entire bar contributing the b5 interval. The flatted 7th of this chord makes it feel like the 5th of the previous D Aeolian mode, A, has been flatted to Ab, converting the accompanying scale from D Aeolian to D Locrian#2. The E of a Bb7(b5) would be the #2 of the D Locrian#2, an even darker feeling than D Aeolian.
The overall feeling across bars 9 through 11 is of a minor feeling that deepens and turns ever darker as it progresses (D Dorian-D Aeolian-D Locrian#2).
Bar 12 is a major II-V pattern (Emi7-A7) from the parallel major key of D minor, D Major. Most frequently, this would lead to a D MA7, but in bar 13, the first bar of the first ending, Dmi is reestablished letting us know that D minor rules here. The mood has brightened a bit here and we've oscillated back into D Dorian.
Bar 14, the second bar of the first ending, is G7#11. The notes of G7#11 fit inside of the D Dorian scale except for the #11, C#, which raises the 7th of D Dorian by a half step. Raising the Dorian 7th by a half step transforms the scale to a D melodic minor, a different expression of the D minor feeling.
Bars 15 and 16, Emi7(b5)-A7b9, invoke the minor ii-V in D minor which will be repeated again in bars 1 and 2 as we wrap back to the top for the A section again.
We play the 12 bars of the A form again as before and travel into the first bar of the second ending (bar 13 of the second repeat) using Dmi, just as we did for the first ending.
In this bar 14(second bar of the second ending) , we do Bb7-A7. The Bb7 is an echo of the dark colored Locrian #2 flavor we encountered in bar 11 of the A form. This instantly slides down a half-step to A7, the V7 of the parallel D major key, which takes us back deceptively to the two bars of D minor which mark the end of the second ending and the end of the tune.
Harmonically and emotionally, these changes are a portrait of a desparate love, with the lover's overall mood getting ever darker with faint momentary flickers of hope coming into play along the way.
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Last update: Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 11:25 AM.