Disguised chord is like a police officer in plain clothes (nobody expects that he is who he really is). This kind of chord normally is a chord inversion that, by its structure, doesn’t let clear by the first sight its harmonic function in the song.
See the following example:
| F7M | Gm6 | A7(b9) | Dm7 |
In this case, Gm6 is disguised as Em7(b5). Notice that these two chords have the same notes:
- Gm6 notes: G, Bb, D, E
- Em7(b5) notes: E, G, Bb, D
By the previous progression, Gm6 was appearing to be the 2nd degree of F, when actually it was the 2nd degree of D (IIm7). It is interesting to highlight that, in this case, we had an imperfect cadence.
Using disguised chords to do non usual cadences
Disguised chords are interesting when you wish to do a non usual cadence. You can try to play with chord inversions in many contexts creating cadences that don’t indicate to the listener the real intention of the movement.
Go to: Tone vs Tonality
Back to: Module 7