Definition of Interpolated Chord

When a chord appears in the middle of a “harmonic cliché”, it is called an interpolated chord. For example, in cliché II – V – I:

| Dm7 | G7 | C |

If we place the Ab7 chord before G7, it would be considered an interpolated chord:

| Dm7 | Ab7 G7 | C |

Note that Ab7 is acting as subV7. This is the most common occurrence of an interpolated chord.

Another example, this time placing the Db7 chord before C in cliché V – I:

| Am7 | G7 | C |

| Am7 | G7 | Db7 C |

In this case, many authors call this resolution an “indirect resolution“, because the tonic did not come automatically after the dominant V7.

The use of the interpolated chord can serve as a surprise factor due to the partial interruption of the harmonic cliché, or it can serve as an option to delay the resolution. It all depends on the associated melody and the arranger’s idea.

Go to: Borrowed chords

Back to: Module 10