## Section9.6The Subtonic VII Chord in Popular Music

Although we will discuss mode mixture and the Mixolydian mode later, the ubiquity of the subtonic chord (♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$) in rock and popular music makes it important to discuss here.

The ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$ chord can precede tonic, dominant, and pre-dominant chords, which means it can substitute for any function except tonic.

Notice also that movement from $\left.\text{IV}\right.$–$\left.\text{I}\right.$ (from the plagal cadence) is common in the following examples from popular music.

Here are examples ending with ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$–$\left.\text{IV}\right.$–$\left.\text{I}\right.$, where $\left.\text{IV}\right.$ progresses to $\left.\text{I}\right.$ (a plagal cadence) and is preceded by ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$.

Consider the following questions: When a phrase ends on the $\left.\text{IV}\right.$ chord, does it have dominant function (i.e, is it a half cadence)? Does $\left.\text{IV}\right.$ have dominant function in popular music when it progresses to $\left.\text{I}\right.$? If so, does ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$ have pre–dominant function in the above progression?

Notice that ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$ begins the phrase in the following example, and proceeds to a $\left.\text{IV}\right.$–$\left.\text{I}\right.$ conclusion.

The following example has ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$ preceding and following the $\left.\text{IV}\right.$ chord. Does the ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$ chord have tonic prolongation as labeled, or is it “pre pre–dominant” in function?

Here is an example with ♭$\left.\text{VII}\right.$ cadencing to the $\left.\text{I}\right.$ chord in the first four bars then progressing to the $\left.\text{vi}\right.$ chord in a deceptive cadence in the second four bars.