Why E7 in the key of C (Imagine)?


dirkjcbs
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Joined: 05/17/22
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dirkjcbs
Full Access
Joined: 05/17/22
Posts: 3
07/01/2023 1:42 pm

@Anders Mouridsen @
@Mike Olekshy @
or anybody else who knows the answer:


In the song Imagine from John Lennon which is in the key of C, there is an E7 in the bridge. I find this strange as it is not the III7 secondary dominant leading to Am. So what is the theory behind this?


edited
# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,312
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,312
07/01/2023 9:59 pm
#1 Originally Posted by: dirkjcbs

@Anders Mouridsen @
@Mike Olekshy @
or anybody else who knows the answer:


In the song Imagine from John Lennon which is in the key of C, there is an E7 in the bridge. I find this strange as it is not the III7 secondary dominant leading to Am. So what is the theory behind this?

Chords don't have to resolve using functional harmony.  Some music uses them as colorful ways of adding tension or voice motion.


The bIII > IV chord motion is used in a few pop songs:  Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay, Ain't Nobody's Business, come to mind.  Plenty of other pop songs have chords borrowed from other keys added just for the flavor.


Sometimes it's just about the motion the inner voices of the chord creating tension.  In this case there a little chromatic line cliche with that g>g#>a.  And some contrary motion too!


C >E7 > F
c > d > c
g >g# > a
e >e > f
c > b > c


Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

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# 2
olenevivienne9025
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Joined: 07/13/23
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olenevivienne9025
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Joined: 07/13/23
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07/13/2023 2:25 am

Thanks for your piece of advice!


# 3

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