Guajiras no.4



This is a great theme for Guajira with some fun things happening in the harmony. Let’s take a look.

Measures 2-4: Starting with an A major chord in measure 2, he starts dropping the 7th of first to a major 7th (G#), then to a dominant 7th (Gnatural) which then resolves to the D major chord in measure 4 essentially playing a V7 of IV progression. By making the A chord dominant he is borrowing out of the key of D major to add importance to the D chord. You see this type of progression in a lot of pop music as it is one of the more common borrowed dominant uses.

Measure 4-5: In the second half of measure 4 Jose plays D# diminished chord over E which creates a nice resolution to the A chord. Diminished chords have many uses and resolve in many ways. If you look at the D# and the C natural they would both resolve up a half step to the 5th and 3rd of the A major chord. Jose doesn’t really play the chord but the resolution is implied.

Measure 6-7: Here we have a classic ii-V-I progression (C#m7(b5)- F#7(#5) – Bm9). The C# half diminished chord is borrowed from the key of Bminor as well the F#7 borrowed from B Harmonic minor. This is a fairly common progression that you find in Guajira being that the II chord generally gets a lot of action and is a great “go to” place in the key of A major.

Measure 8-9: Here Jose takes that B minor 9 chord and turns it into a Bm7(b5) which then goes to a straight E7 resolving to A. The interesting thing about this ii-V7-i progression is that this is a common progression for which usually resolves to A minor. If you look at measure 9, he plays both he major third (C#) and the minor third (Cnatural). So what really is it I ask? This is a common thing that Jose plays with in his Guajira, finding a common ground between both A Major and Minor.   

Measure 10: We see a recapitulation in part of his opening theme.

Measure 12-15: In measure 12 he resolves to D major again but this in first inversion with F# in the bass. He then starts his modulation to the Key of A minor by playing Dmin/F in the second part of this measure which leads to the almighty Bmin7(b5)/E chord which this time is going to lead to the E7 and finally to the A minor chord in measure 14. He then puts G in the bass as he walks down to that beautiful Fmaj7 chord in measure 15.

Measure 16-17: Here we have clearly modulated to the key of E phrygian / A minor (por Solea). Its brilliant this tonicization of the V chord but using it as the Phrygian home.

Measure 18-19: E7 to A minor again. Does the Aminor chord in measure 19 remind you of anything? It is the same used in the opening of Recuerdos de La Alhambra which everybody knows.

Measure 21: Modulates right back to the one key of A major and into the classic Guajira lick.