Table of Contents
Section 6: Bibliography
1. Borrowed chords are chords that are diatonic to the parallel key. For example, in the key of B minor, an E major triad is "borrowed" from B major, the parallel major of B minor.
2. Be careful, when analyzing, to ensure that the chord you are identifying as borrowed is not a secondary dominant. In the example above, the E major chord would be functioning as a secondary dominant if the following chord were A major or minor. The function in this case is the tonicization of A.
3. Conventional Roman numeral identification of borrowed chords indicates the scale degree upon which the chord is built and the quality of the chord. For example, the E major chord above would be shown as IV, indicating that the root of the chord is built on the E, the fourth degree of the B minor scale, and the upper case numeral indicating a major triad. If the chord were a D# minor triad, again borrowed from the parallel major key of B major, the Roman numeral would be #iii. Here, the three means D, the sharp means that the root is raised, and the lower case numeral means a minor triad.
A borrowed chord adds harmonic color and interest to music but still tends to
function according to its diatonic position.
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