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Chord Progressions - The iii-chord (mediant)

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Previous page: Pr_I-vi-ii-V-variations Next page: Chord Progressions - The vii-dim chord

The iii-chord (mediant)

The iii-chord, called the mediant is the least significant of the of the three secondary minor chords. It shares two notes with the I-chord and two notes with the V-chord. If we stick to C-major, the iii-chord is E-minor. E-minor has the notes E-G-B, C-major has C-E-G and G-major has G-B-D.

In theory this should mean that the iii-chord can subistitute both the I and the V chord. But in practise it does not work this way. It may be that the chord is too weak to fill the role of the V. It does not have the power needed to be a dominant. And as it does not have the root of the scale, it is not an obvious choice as a substitute for the I-chord either. I can't really explain this. But this is how it sounds to me.

I-ii-iii
I-ii-iii-IV
I-ii-iii-vi-IV-V
I-iii-ii-V
I-iii-IV-V
I-iii-V
I-iii-vi-IV
I-iii-VIIb
I-IM7-iii-ii-V7
I-IV-ii7-iii7-IV-iii7-V7
I-V-iii-II
I-vi-iii-ii-iv
I-vi-iii
I-vi-iii-ii-V
I-vi-iii-V
iii-IV
IV-V-iii-vi-V
vi-iii-IV-V

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