💫 Summary
The video explores Japan's favorite chord progression, known as the Royal Road progression, and its popularity in Japanese music, particularly in anime, Jpop, and video game soundtracks. This chord progression (4-5-3-6) creates a melodramatic sound that is bright yet moody, adding a sense of movement and story to the music.
✨ Highlights📊 Transcript
The Royal Road chord progression is popular in Japan, often found in anime, Jpop songs, and video game soundtracks.
The chord progression in Japan is similar to the one in Western pop songs (1 5 6 4).
The Royal Road chord progression (4 5 3 6) is not as popular in the West.
Many Western pop songs are based on the same chord progression (1 5 6 4).
The video mentions that although the chord progression is more common in Japan, there are some Western pop songs that use it.
"Leave the Door Open" and "Never Gonna Give You Up" are given as examples of songs that use the chord progression.
"Never Gonna Give You Up" actually has a slightly different chord progression with a two chord and a minor 7 instead of the four chord.
The two chord progression in "Never Gonna Give You Up" sounds very similar to the four chord progression.
The popular chord progression in Japanese music is known as the Royal Road progression, which creates a sense of melodrama effortlessly.
The chord progression starts on the fourth chord of the key, which introduces tension to the tonality of the music.
It sounds dramatic, bright, and moody, but not mournful or dangerous.
The Royal Road progression is commonly used in anime and J-pop music.
The Royal Road chord progression in Japan is popular because it creates tension and momentum, never fully resolving.
The chord progression starts with the one chord, which wants to go somewhere.
It then moves to the fifth chord, which creates the most tension in the key.
The progression continues to the three chord, which has tonic function but not the same weight as the one chord.
Finally, it resolves to the six chord, which is at rest but not fully satisfied.
The video discusses the popularity of a specific chord progression in Japan and mentions two Western songs that use it.
The chord progression is popular in Japan even though it is based on Western music.
Two songs by Rick Ashley use this chord progression.
The video thanks its supporters on Patreon.
00:00this is the Royal Road chord progression
00:03chords 4 5 3 and six of the key now
00:09although there are some examples of
00:10Western pop songs using this core
00:12progression as I'll show you in a minute
00:14it's not an abundantly popular core
00:16progression in the west however despite
00:18this over in Japan it's a very different
00:21story I'm sure you remember the famous
00:23actors of awesome video where they show
00:25that tons of Western poppets are based
00:27on the same core progression one 5 6 4
00:32well this cor progression is Japan's
00:35version of that take any anime Jpop song
00:38or even video game soundtrack and you're
00:40bound to find this core progression in
00:57somewhere you
02:28I know
02:34now as I mentioned before although this
02:35progression is nowhere nearest common
02:37place in the west as it is in Japan we
02:39can find some Western pop songs that use
02:45it girl I'm going leave my door open I'm
02:50leave the door
02:53open I do never SE enough for
03:01tomorrow living on
03:05feelings you show
03:08me but I
03:10won't I
03:13am of
03:17yesterday another western song that is
03:20often cited as an example of this cor
03:28is however Rick asley is never going to
03:30give you up actually uses a subtly
03:33different chord progression in the place
03:35of the four chord we actually have a two
03:37chord with a minor 7 on
03:49it as you can hear this is a very
03:52similar sound it's actually only one
03:54note different if the Baseline was
03:56playing a g flat note here the fourth
03:58note of the scale then we would actually
04:00have a four chord here but with the bass
04:03playing the second note of the scale
04:04instead E flat it turns this G flat
04:07major chord into an EF flat minor 7
04:09chord but although Never Going To Give
04:11You Up doesn't actually use this exact
04:13same chord progression Rick Ashley's
04:15other billboard number one hit song
04:18together forever does actually use
04:30so what is it about this core
04:31progression that has made it so popular
04:33in Japanese music what makes this core
04:35progression work in Japan they refer to
04:38this cor progression by this name which
04:40translates directly into English as the
04:42Royal Road progression and what they
04:44mean here is not the road in the sense
04:46of a road you would walk down but more
04:49the more abstract idea of a route of a
04:52way this translates effectively as the
04:54easy way because it's the chord
04:56progression that just without much
04:58effort creates that sense of melodrama
05:02that they want for their anime and and
05:17music so what is it about this chord
05:19progression about 4 53 6 that gives it
05:22that melodramatic sound it sounds
05:25dramatic there's a sense of movement and
05:28story but it's c not serious it doesn't
05:30sound um mournful or there's there's not
05:33really a sense of danger it's
05:38yet Moody
05:40somehow one of the key aspects of what
05:43makes this coration sound the way it
05:44does is the fact that it starts on the
05:46fourth chord of the
05:47key the fourth chord of the key is
05:50referred to as having subdominant
05:52function Now subdominant function is a
05:54fancy way of saying that the chord
05:56introduces some tension to the tonality
05:59of the music it's not as tense as
06:02possible but it's certainly not a point
06:04resolution our point of resolution would
06:06be there the one chord four
06:10chord wants to go
06:13somewhere and in the Royal Road Road
06:16progression it goes to the fifth chord
06:19now the fifth chord has dominant
06:21function which is the most tension we
06:23can have in the key so we're going from
06:25some tension to more tension so now we
06:28definitely need to go somewhere and
06:30where we go is the three chord now the
06:33three chord is considered to have tonic
06:35function but it doesn't have the same
06:38weight of tonic
06:39function as the one chord would have the
06:41chord that we call the
06:43tonic the three chord is at rest but
06:47it's not necessarily
06:49satisfied it could still do with going
06:52somewhere and we actually then do go to
06:55another tonic function chord the six
06:57chord which is is certainly at rest now
07:01but in a sort of wistful way not the
07:05fully satisfied way that we'd have if we
07:07went to the one chord as you may have
07:09noticed this progression never actually
07:10goes to the one chord so it's like it
07:13never resolves it's just a ongoing
07:22story so that gives it momentum it gives
07:25it a sense of
07:27drama emotion
07:40now I don't think there's any particular
07:42reason why this core progression out of
07:44all of the potential core progressions
07:45that are has caught on so much in Japan
07:48you could ask the same question about
07:50why the Axis of Awesome progression the
07:521564 progression is so popular in the
07:55west I think it's just Trend it's just
07:58habit once the idea has been established
08:00as a Trope other songwriters can draw
08:03from it it's an easy thing to do the
08:05easy way the Royal Road right but it's
08:08certainly interesting how a chord
08:10progression that c certainly Works
08:12within the parameters of western music
08:15has become so much more
08:17popular in another
08:21country and it's odd that of all of the
08:24western songs that use this cor
08:26progression two of them bye Rick
08:50Ashley and a big thank you as always
08:52goes to everybody who supports me on
08:54patreon including an extra special
08:56thanks going to these wonderful people
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FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What is the Royal Road progression in Japanese music?

The Royal Road progression in Japanese music is a popular chord progression known as 4-5-3-6. It is known for creating a melodramatic sound that is bright yet moody, adding a sense of movement and story to the music. This progression is widely used in anime, Jpop, and video game soundtracks.

2. How does the Royal Road progression contribute to the music in Japanese anime?

The Royal Road progression, also known as the 4-5-3-6 chord progression, contributes to the music in Japanese anime by creating a melodramatic and emotional atmosphere. It adds a sense of movement and story to the music, enhancing the emotional impact of the anime scenes and connecting with the audience on a deeper level.

3. What role does the Royal Road progression play in Jpop music?

In Jpop music, the Royal Road progression (4-5-3-6) is widely used to create a bright yet moody sound, adding depth and emotion to the music. It contributes to the storytelling aspect of Jpop songs, captivating the listeners and conveying a sense of nostalgia and sentiment.

4. How does the Royal Road progression influence video game soundtracks in Japan?

The Royal Road progression, 4-5-3-6, has a significant influence on Japanese video game soundtracks, adding a melodramatic and captivating element to the music. It enhances the gaming experience by evoking emotions and creating a sense of adventure and narrative within the gameplay.

5. Why is the Royal Road progression considered a distinctive feature of Japanese music?

The Royal Road progression, with its 4-5-3-6 chord sequence, is considered a distinctive feature of Japanese music due to its ability to create a unique blend of brightness and moodiness. It has become synonymous with the emotional storytelling in Japanese music, making it a recognizable and integral part of the country's musical landscape.

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