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An etude and mnemonic for the Dominant 7 chord, with lots of other references that reinforce more basic musical concepts and presage coming attractions.


This is a I chord and a V in first inversion,
Then a vi, a passing I 64, then IV.
But this song might get boring and you’d prob’ly start ignoring me
If I tried naming every single chord.

But there’s one chord that’s terrific, and its function is specific,
And it hangs around in cadences for fun.
With solfege we can state it if we just arpeggiate it, and
Sol-ti-re-fa is a dominant 7, which brings us home to I.

Of course the IV chord (FA-LA-DO) can be pleasant to the ear.
Then there’s V7/V (RE-FI-LA-DO)
That’s a chord we’re going to learn about more next year!

We’re back to I now, and there’s that V in first inversion,
Just repeating what we’d played when we’d begun.
And this path that we had charted’s going to finish what we started
‘Cause SOL-TI-RE-FA is a dominant 7, which brings us home to…

OH NO! That cadence was deceptive!
It went to minor vi instead of I!
That sort of trick can be effective
At making things last longer when we thought that we were done!

So here we are again and moving toward the finish,
And I think, this time, we will not wait in vain.
Cause I’m tired of extending it, I’m ready for the ending.
And SOL-TI-RE-FA is a dominant 7, which brings us home again.
Yes, SOL-TI-RE-FA is a dominant 7, which brings us home again.
Fa-mi Sol-Sol Ti-Do. Woo!


from The Well Trained Ear: songs to strengthen aural skills, released May 20, 2019
David Newman - Voice
Jacob Rozmajzl - Drums, Bass
Danny Gibney - Guitars

Abby Wiegand
Cecelia Polvere
David Newman
Emily Swett
Maggie Hallauer
Manny Davis


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David Newman Harrisonburg, Virginia

Educational Songwriter, Classical Singer, Digital Creator and Innovator, Science Geek and Music Nerd.

Music Theory and Voice Faculty at James Madison University.

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