I spent a bit of time memorising the chords to A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square last night.
|Who walks with strides this big?|
It's a lovely tune but there are a few little things to watch out for. It's an A A B A tune but each A section has ten bars, the B section has eight.
The version I have has a lot of chords in the A section (here is the first A section):
| Ebmaj7 Cm7| Gm7 / Bbm7 Eb7| Abmaj7 / Dm7b5 G7| Cm Abm6| Ebmaj7/Bb Fm7|
| Ebmaj7/G / Abm7 Db9| Ebmaj7 Cm7| Fm7 Bb7| Ebmaj7 Cm7| Fm7 Bb7|
Okay, as you can see the tune is in Eb major. (The B section goes to G major.)
The first thing you notice when checking out a tune of this vintage is that there are a lot of II - V7 chords thrown in. These generally mean a modulation (move to another key) is about to take place or that we are going back to the I chord (Ebmaj7 in this case). Sometimes there are sort of 'trick' modulations.
For example, on the second half of bar 2, Bbm7 Eb7 leads us to Abmaj7 and a new key?
No not really because Abmaj7 is the IV chord of Eb major.
The chords in the last two bars (and in this tune it also happens at bars 7 & 8) are called a turn around - the chords lead you into the next section. Obviously the turnaround on the second A section is going to be different because we are going into G major - the B section. (|Ebmaj7 |Am7b5 D7 |)
The two chords that puzzle me a bit are the Abm7 & Db9 in the second half of bar 6.
I'd expect these two chords to resolve onto Gbmaj7 but they don't. Instead we get Ebmaj7 and it works really well. I guess it's just a little musical surprise and surprises are good in music.
'Nightingale' will be getting some intense practice on the violin today.