Harmonic Analysis - Partial Diatonic

A Partial Diatonic chord is defined as a chord that has its root in the harmonized chord chart but its species is NOT in harmoni

Published: 06 Apr 2012 Updated: 22 Feb 2023Visits: 65Code: MLRMAe-5

Topic: Theory Instruments: ANY Guitar Music Ukulele Bass Banjo Mandolin Harmonica Drums Piano Lapsteel Subjects: Theory • Intermediate • Advanced • Progressions

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Partial Diatonic is defined as a chord that HAS its root in the - "Harmonize Chord Chart," but its species or chord type is NOT in the Harmonized Chord Chart. Partial Diatonic chords are used to link chords without leaving the current key center.

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Secondary Dominant, partial diatonic, chords are a big part of this the Partial Diatonic harmonic principle.

This series, is the book Harmonic Analysis for Chord Substitution and Scale Selection by Curt sheller broken out into individual lessons with additional examples and content. Always, the latest version of the book.

WORKSHEET NOTATION: Label these chords with UPPERCASE roman numerals and the tonality or key center using an uppercase letter. Example: I7, IVm6, I°7, etc. There is no change of tonality or key center.


4-Part Jazz Chords


Using the above chord progression and the Major harmonized chord chart we see a II V I , full diatonic chords in the key of C major. But what about that D7. The root D is the second degree or II in the key of C major but the chord type is not correct. The II chord in a major key is minor or m7, not a 7th chord. This is a Partial Diatonic chord. We label this chord as a II7 a * V of II chord. This chord is traditionally called a secondary dominant chord which are covered later. For the purpose of Root Movement Analysis a secondary dominant chord can be considered a partial diatonic chord.

* A Secondary Dominant chord cover later in this lesson.

Harmonic Analysis - Partial Diatonic…

Download the PDF file to explore the Partial Diatonic Major & Minor chord progressions in various keys using the Major & Minor Harmonic Chord Charts .

Secondary Dominants

V of …

A common function of a partial diatonic chord in Tonic-Dominant harmony is to act as a Secondary Dominant, a linking chord.

A Secondary Dominant chord is defined as any seventh chord built on a scale root that resolves up a perfect fourth (P4) or down a perfect fifth (P5) to a Full Diatonic chord. These chords function as a dominant V chord to the next chord, serving to temporarily tonicize the following chord having it act as a I chord. For any secondary dominant chord its II chord can also precede it. Secondary Dominant chords fall under the Partial Diatonic harmonic principle and are labeled as such.

Here are the possible Secondary Dominant chords as defined by the above definition for both Major and Minor tonalities.

VI7 → V of II

NOTE: Major only, Minor does not fit our definition as Ab7 would resolve to D♭maj7 which is not a Full Diatonic chord in the key of Cm.

VI7 → V of III

NOTE: Major only, Minor does not fit our definition as B7 would resolve to Emaj7 which is not a Full Diatonic chord in the key of Cm.

VI7 → V of IV

NOTE: Major and Minor Tonalities

VI7 → V of V

NOTE: Major and Minor Tonalities

VI7 → V of VI

NOTE: Major and Minor Tonalities

The I7 , II7 , III7 are possible in BOTH major and minor tonalities. The VI7 and VII7 are possible in major tonalities only.

Chained Secondary Dominant Cycles

When several Secondary Dominant chords are used in a row and resolve up a fourth or down a fifth to a seventh chord, this is called a chained secondary dominant cycle or sequential dominants. Functioning as a dominant of a dominant V of… .

Chained Secondary Dominant Cycle

These Secondary Dominant chords can be preceded by there II chords.

Chained Secondary Dominant Cycle with Their II Chords

For scale selection treat these Chained Secondary Dominant chords as series of Unresolved V chords or unresolved II V chords.

Chained Secondary Dominant Cycles Examples

I Got Rhythm (Bridge)


Scrapple the Apple (I Got Rhythm Changes Bridge)



Contains two Secondary Dominant cycles in the bridge.

Stompin' at the Savoy

Contains a Secondary Dominant cycle in the bridge starting on the IV7 chord.

Diminished Chords?

°7 vs. 7♭9

Some diminished chords are actually functioning as Disguised Secondary Dominant chords. So…

Q. When is a Diminished Chord NOT a Diminished Chord?

To determine if a diminished chord is functioning as a Disguised Secondary Dominant write out all four notes of the diminished chord: C Eb Gb Bbb (A) .

Drop each note 1/2 step and make each a root of a 7th chord:

C7 , Eb7 , Gb7 , A7

If the next chord is a major 7 or minor 7 chord, which if it was a I chord and the preceding chord could be its V chord. Then the diminished chord is really a 7 flat 9 chord — A Disguised Secondary Dominant. This is a common notational practice to insure that a specific chord tone is played as the lowest note of the chord voicing. Slash chord notation could and should have been used.

Examples in the Key of C

♯I°7 (♭II) = VI7♭9 • V of II

C#°7 = A7♭9/C♯

♯II°7 (♭III) = VII7♭9 • V of III

D♯°7 = B7♭9/C♯

♯IV°7 (♭V) = III7♭9 • V of VI

F♯°7 = E7♭9/C♯

♯V°7 (♭VI) = II7♭9 • V of V

G♯°7 = D7♭9/C♯


When a Diminished Seventh chord resolves to a chord 1/2 step above its root it is functioning as a Disguised Secondary Dominant chord.

Song Examples

Jazz Classics

God Bless The Child

bar 1


Have You Meet Miss Jones

bar 2

I#dim7 Disquised Secondary Dominant

Hello Dolly

bar 6

Idim7 (A True Diminished Chord).

Lover Man

bar 5


bar 6



bar 3


bar 8


Satin Doll

bar 5


bar 7


The Shadow of Your Smile

bar 4


Someday My Prince Will Come

bar 2


Take the 'A' Train

bar 3


The Girl from Ipenama

bar 3


Killer Joe

bar 2


Checkout the Songs section of LearningUkulele.com , as many of the songs examples above are available.

Download the PDF file for the latest, complete, and most up-to-date version. As well as additional information not presented on-line.

End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

Related Lessons, Videos, Lesson Series, Songs, Books & Reference Charts, Resources & Assets, Workshops are below.

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Updated: 06 Jan 2020

Harmonic Analysis ( HA ) is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and has a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's root to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality. Once a chord's function is identified, scale selections along with chord and scale substitutions can be made. This process is called Root Movement Analysis ( RMA ). This series of lessons are extracted from my book for use with individual private and on-line students. Each lesson directly corresponds the chapters in my book Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution by Curt Sheller (me).


Harmonic Analysis - Major and Minor Harmonized Chord Charts

Updated: 06 Apr 2012

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There is a load of information in traditional "Key Signatures." Unlocking the principles in this circle leads to a better understanding of music and how things work. A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes.


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Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song, or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution. This lesson covers the Internal Modulation harmonic principle.


Harmonic Analysis - Modes Harmonized Chord Charts

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The triads and 4-part chords for ALL 15 major and minor keys.

Related Songs

Related Songs for Harmonic Analysis - Partial Diatonic.


A Foggy Day

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A Foggy Day is a song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film A Damsel in Distress. It was originally titled "A Foggy Day (In London Town)", and is often still referred to as such.



Updated: 10 Mar 2023

Jean “Toots” Thielemans was born in Brussels, Belgium on April, 29 1922. He played accordion at the age of 3 and started playing harmonica as a hobby. His first guitar, won on a bet.


Fly Me to the Moon

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Fly Me to the Moon is a popular standard song written by Bart Howard in 1954. It was titled originally “In Other Words”, and was introduced by Felicia Sanders in cabarets. The song became known popularly as “Fly Me to the Moon” from its first line, and after a few years the publishers changed the title to that officially.


Girl From Ipanema

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