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Ramones: Idiot Harmony


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Another thing in my mind that defines Johnny's style is that he seemed to have no knowledge of diatonic harmony, that is to say, he would regularly throw in a major chord in a position in a chord progression, which would strictly speaking be out of key. For example in a I-II-IV-V progression, if you're following the tones of any given key the II chord will always be a minor. But Johnny approach would do things differently and break the rules, using a major chord instead. Notice how just the simple act of using the major chord instead of the minor actually makes the progression more upbeat even though it has an "out" sound, it's out in a good way.
One more example would be to do the same thing with a I-III-VI-V progression. Again, the strict "in key" version would be the I chord major, the III minor, the VI minor and then the V as Major. Johhny would make each chord a major chord.
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