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Something I don't quite understand


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The Roman numeral indicates which note of the scale the chord is based on. Capital letters indicate major chords, lowercase, minor. In the key of C, the I would be the C major chord, the IV would be the F major chord, the vi would be the A minor chord, etc. Arabic numbers after the roman numerals indicate color tones, so a V7 would be the fifth note of the scale (G in a C major scale), with a 7th, or G7. Is that what you were looking for?

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Um... I'm not absolutely sure they're teaching the Numeral number system in schools anymore...


So it might be worthwhile to note that the numbers you'll need to know are essentially 1 through 7 and they're:


I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII (and if you ever need an 8 it's VIII)*


Minor keys are typically shown in lower case Roman Numeral.


And then there's the more modern Nashville system, which uses regular old Arabic numbers...


BTW... if anyone's up for it, it looks like the Wikipedia page on Nashville Notation is in need of some beefing up:





Happily the Wikipedia page for Chord Progressions is much better and gives us a good view of Roman Numeral Notation:






* The Roman Numeral system, unlike our ten-based decimal system, is an integer system that uses characters for "landmark" numbers and then uses the other characters in relationship to that in order to build a complex number... I, of course is one. V is five. X is ten. L is fifty, C is 100, M is 1000. Numeral characters in front of a higher number, by convention mean those are subtracted from the larger character... numerals after a higher number are added to it -- to count to to five it's I, II, III, IV, V... to count from 6 to ten: VI, VII, VIII, IX, X...


Quite large numbers can be represented by Roman numerals and you'll still see them used in copyrights in movies or books (on rare occasions these days)... 1954 becomes MCMLIV... see... Isn't that logical? :D


Good thing the Arabs invented the ten based decimal number system or we'd still probably be counting our oxen with Roman numerals...

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