How do I determine the key of this given only an E7 secondary dominant chord?



Asked by: Cindy Thompson

What is the secondary dominant of E7?





Let’s say that we want to figure out the secondary dominant for the Target Chord Am. In the key of Am the dominant, or V chord, is E. We also said that a secondary dominant is a Dominant 7th chord, so the secondary dominant of Am is E7.



What is a Secondary Dominant?

Target Chord Secondary Dominant
V7/V G D7
V7/iv Am E7

How do you resolve a secondary dominant chord?

Writing Secondary Dominants

  1. Find the the root of the chord after the secondary dominant (the Roman numeral under the slash). It is a major or minor triad.
  2. Find the pitch a P5 above the root. …
  3. Build a dominant seventh chord or major triad on this pitch. …
  4. Resolve the chordal 7th (down) and the secondary leading-tone (up).


How do you identify a secondary dominant chord?

Determine the note that would be a perfect 5th below the root of the chord you are analyzing. If this note would be the root of a diatonic chord, the chord you are analyzing is a secondary dominant. Since B is , the F♯ major chord in first inversion is tonicizing V . Therefore the chord is V V V 6 / V .

What is a secondary 7th chord?





Definition of secondary seventh



: a seventh chord based on a scale degree other than the dominant.

Is there a V7 of VII?

However, there is rarely a V7/VII chord so don’t worry about that one. Secondary dominants will often be used in the middle of a progression or at the end to transition to a new section. Secondary dominants are also used to modulate to a new key by becoming the new primary dominant of the new key.

What is G7 chord?

The G7 chord is comprised of the same three chords that make up the G major chord (G, B, and D), plus the addition of a seventh interval – the F note. When strumming a G7, listen for these four notes that are blended together to form the full chord: G, B, D and F.

Are secondary dominants always major?

No, secondary dominants aren’t required to be seventh chords. They can be plain triads (e.g. V/vi). They also aren’t required to be major or have a major triad–I’ve heard plenty of vii°7/V chords, and those are diminished 7th chords. The “vii°7” would be the Barry Harris style dominant.

How do you use secondary dominant?

Secondary dominants are often used to anticipate the natural dominant of the song. For example, in the previous case, the natural dominant of the song was G7, so we could play another dominant before it to prepare going into G.



How do you set up a secondary dominant?

To write a secondary dominant, use the following procedure.

  1. First determine the note that is the root of the chord being tonicized (the chord to the right of the slash).
  2. Determine the root of the V in the key of B♭ (the Roman numeral after the slash): F.
  3. Build a major–minor seventh chord on F: F–A–C–E♭