Which key?

I went through selecting my chords (D, F#7, Bm, F#7) and it seems as though the chord should be D major, however, the f#7 chord plays an a# rather than just an A. Can someone explain to me how I should go about writing this piece?

2 Answers


Hi There,

That III7 chord (F#7) is fairly common in major keys as that raised 5 (A# in this case) leads nicely up into the 6th (B in this case) or down into the 5th (A). So I think you can label this progression as D major.


Dec 12, 2015

To give you a more exact answer as to why this is okay. Sometimes you can borrow chords from other keys to establish a temporary tonal center. In this case F#7 is the chord that doesn't fit the key signature but resolves nicely to your Bm chord. In classical music the V7 chord is usually used to get back to the one because of the chromaticism involved. Ex. think about the key of C major. the V7 chord is G7 (G B D F). You should usually resolve the seventh (F) down and the leading tone (B) up. If you do that you get (G C D E) which isn't exactly a C major chord so you move the non-chord tone (D) to the nearest chord member (C or E)..... (G C C E). Now that you know about the V7 resolution, lets discuss borrowing. So in the progression above lets say you want to add some chromatic effect to your progression. The original iii7 chord if f#m (F# A C# E). The only chromatic element of F#m to Bm is the C# to D. So we borrow F#7 from the Key of Bm. Bm is the vi of D. F#7 is the V7 of Bm. So we call that a V7/vi. (F# A# C# E) seventh resolves down (F# A# C# D) leading tone (A#) resolves up (F# B C# D) now resolve the non-chord tone step wise (C# to D or B)... (F# B B D). Hope that helps. If not just shoot me an email. wrights@nsuok.edu

Jan 25, 2016

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