Music Theory Resources

Pivot Chords

There are two basic types of pivot-chord modulations: diatonic and chromatic.

Here are possible pivot chords for each:


Major Minor
Most Possible ii, iii, IV, vi III, iv, VI
Less possible I i
Never V, viio, viio7 V, VII, viio7, iio

Exception: sometimes viio can equal viio, or viio can equal iio (or the reverse).

Chromatic (includes Enharmonic):

							Possible: 		borrowed chords: bIII, iv, bVI, i		borrowed chords: IV

											N						N

							Ge+6 = 			V7 or secondary V7 only		Ge+6 = V7 or secy. V7

											viio7 = viio7 					viio7  = viio7
											secondary viio7  = viio7  or secondary viio7 	same
											augmented triad = augmented triad 		same

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