How the Beatles used the dominant chord in their studio recordings through "A Hard Day's Night"
Paul has made comments about the use of a minor dominant chord in "From Me To You". Those comments have prompted me to create a song-by-song index to see exactly how the Beatles used the dominant chord.
Title: tonality of song, use of dominant chords with particularly interesting or unusual instances italicized.
Love Me Do: G major, only D major chords (no D minor chords)
P.S. I Love You: D major, only A major chords (no A minor chords)
Please Please Me: E major, only B major chords (no B minor chords)
Ask Me Why:F E major, only B major chords (no B minor chords)
I Saw Her Standing There: E major (although D naturals suggest E mixolydian), only B major chords (no B minor chords)
Misery: C major, only G major chords (no G minor chords)
Anna (Go To Him): D major, only A major chords (no A minor chords)
Chains: B-flat major, only F major chords (no F minor chords)
Boys: E major, only B major chords (no B minor chords)
Baby it's You: G major, only D major chords (no D minor chords)
Do You Want to Know a Secret: E major, mostly B major chords but a few B minors in the middle 8. B minor hinted at in introduction.
A Taste of Honey: F-sharp minor, ?. I'm gonna come back to this one.
There's a Place: E major, only B major chords (no B minor chords)
Twist and Shout: D major, only A major chords (no A minor chords)
From Me To You: C major, G major in verses but minor in middle 8 (plus one G+)
Thank You Girl: D major, only A major chords (no A minor chords)
She Loves You: G major, D majors and D7 (with a flat 6th), no D minors
I'll Get You: D-flat major, mostly A-flat (7), occasional A-flat minors
It Won't be Long: E major, only B major (7) chords, no B minors
All I've Got to Do: E major, not a single dominant chord is used
All My Loving: E major, all B and B7 chords
Don't Bother Me: E minor, mostly B major and B7, a few B minors
Little Child: E major (mixolydian?), all B7 chords
Till There Was You: F major, all C major chords except one C+ and a few either Gm7/C or C11(-3)
Please Mister Postman: A major, all E chords are major (no E minor chords)
Roll Over Beethoven: D major, all A chords are major (in fact, every single chord in the whole song is major - there are no minor chords at all!)
Hold Me Tight: F major, all dominants are dominant seventh chords
You've Really Got a Hold on Me: A major, all E chords major, and sometimes 7
I Wanna Be Your Man: E major (mixolydian?), all B chords major, and sometimes 7
Devil in her Heart: G major, all D's are dominant 7 chords
Not a Second Time: G major, dominants used sparingly, all D majors, and sometimes 7
Money (That's What I Want): E major (mixolydian?), every single B chord is a V7
I Want to Hold Your Hand: G major, D chords are major in the verses and choruses, but minor in the middle 8s. (Just like "From Me To You".)
This Boy: D major, every A chord is a V7
Long Tall Sally: G major, every D is a V7
I Call Your Name: E major (mixolydian?), every B is a V7
Slow Down: C major, all G chords are V
Matchbox: A major (mixolydian?), all E chords are V7
A Hard Day's Night: G major, the famous first chord functions (sort of) as a dominant. But it could also be a tonic with the 5th in the bass. Rather similar to the "Appalachian Spring Chord" in that the sense of harmonic propulsion is attenuated by elements of both tonic and dominant chords sounding simultaneously. Throughout the verses, choruses, and middle 8, the dominant is used quite sparingly - always as V or V7.
I Should Have Known Better: G major, lots of D chords - all V or V7
If I Fell: D major, several A chords - all V7
I'm Happy Just to Dance With You: E major, several B chords - V, V7, V7+, Vadd6
And I Love Her: tonality ambiguous. I'm gonna come back to this one
Tell Me Why: D major, standard V7 chords until coda which features a V11 and V13
Can't Buy Me Love: C major, several V7 chords and a smattering of Vadd6 chords
Any Time At All: D major, standard V and V7
I'll Cry Instead: G major, a couple V7 chords and a great many V11(-3) chords - the same chord found in "Til There Was You"
Things We Said Today: A minor during verses but A major in the middle 8; v7 common in verses, V7 used in middle 8.
When I Get Home: C major,all V7
You Can't Do That: G major (mixolydian?), all V7 but lots of bent thirds, making major/minor difficult to discern
I'll Be Back: A major (could make a case for minor), the dominant (always V - never V7 always resolves to A major
A few brief conclusions: The dominant chord, so integral to common-practice functional tonality and classical harmony, is really not that important in the Beatles' oeuvre. Far more significant are chords rooted on the fourth and sixth scale degrees. Perhaps some time I'll do an index for them, too.
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This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.