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When Sunny Gets Blue

948 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  JL
Hi - During lockdown I have been trying to learn songs (properly) by mapping out the chords/harmony. It's a slow process but it is certainly working. However, I am currently baffled by a chord sequence in the song 'When Sunny Gets Blue'. It's in the 5th bar of the song. The song is in G for me (tenor key). In bar 5 there is a C#7b5 (half dim) chord followed by C-7 (iv-7) F7 (bVII7) and then moving to G major in bar 6. I cannot work out what the function of this C#7b5 is doing in this instance. Apologies if this is really simple and obvious. Any help from you musical wizards out there would be appreciated. Thank you


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Sounds like a chromatic approach to the C minor. Dim and half dim are often used as chromatic passing chords. Same thing happens at the end of the next bar. The original changes for bars 5 and 6 would just walk the bass line down chromatically C# C B Bb A

But I’m no hardcore theory guy. So l’m also interested in what an expert would say.
Regarding the ii-V's just shifting key centers, that's exactly how you need to think of it when you're playing. There is no way you're going to analyze a chart on the fly and think, that's a iii-V/ii. Just think that's another ii-V a whole step up from the last ii-V. In fact, in the heat of the moment, I think even bigger picture - major, minor, dominant.

With the exception of about 4 chords, the whole tune is just a bunch of ii-V's like most standards. So I expect Simon's analysis to be far simpler than yours.

Check out Stitt's version. Absolute perfection. Many, many years ago, I memorized the whole thing and still use nuggets from it today.
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