Theory Component: Harmonic Movement


The basic harmonic movement most prevalent in tonal jazz is II-V-I. This stems from the most basic form of this: V-I. Up a fourth, or down a fifth. You can stretch this all the way to: VII-III-VI-II-V-I. In all cases, the defining motion is V-I, and the strongest form of it is the dominant chord to a major or minor chord.

Theory – Harmonic Movement