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THAT Hans Zimmer Chord Progression

lfu

New Member
If you've listened to any amount of Hans Zimmer, chances are you've heard this progression before: it's powerful, heroic and almost exclusively in D minor.

It's most commonly a four part stepwise progression - i - iiø7 - ib - iv.

Zimmer progO-2.png

Through extensive (and sometimes deafening) Zimmer listening, I've found and transcribed (by ear) some examples to share:

It's my perception that the progression is first heard in Crimson Tide (1996)

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Hans Zimmer. Crimson Tide - 'Roll Tide' (2:10-2:15)

Reappearing 4 years later in one of my favourite Zimmer scores: Gladiator (2000)

Zimmer GLAD-2.png
Hans Zimmer. Gladiator - 'The Battle' (0:23-0:28)

Much slower, but no doubt the progression in The Last Samurai (2003)

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Hans Zimmer. The Last Samurai - 'Red Warrior' (0:06-0:19)

And again, in one of the more musically developed scores of the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)

Zimmer Pirates.png
Hans Zimmer. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - 'One Day' (1:13-1:24)

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lfu

lfu

New Member
Thread starter
To no surprise, the progression has rubbed off on some 'Remote Control' composers:

In Steve Jablonsky's score to Transformers (2007)

Zimmer Jablonksy Soccent-2.png
Steve Jablonsky. Transformers - 'Soccent Attack' (0:05-0:17)

And again, the progression, with an added step to VI, is in Trevor Rabin's score to The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010)

Zimmerrabin grim-2.png
Trevor Rabin. The Sorcerer's Apprentice - 'The Grimbold' (0:00-0:05)

This is in no way a criticism of Zimmer's work: I'm a huge fan, especially of his work ethic. My list of examples is by no means exhaustive, so have you heard it elsewhere, or in a key that isn't exclusively D minor? Or have you found another progression that is always being recycled! I'd love to know your thoughts and findings.
Liam
:geek:


(Part 2/2)
 
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chillbot

Sock Muppet
Since you asked, reminds me of a staple chord progression of the "Reality TV Tension Track". (Not meant to be demeaning.) If you watched an hour of people yelling at each other on some cable station you would hear that exact progression in your first example 2-3 times at least. Steal from the greats, eh?

And another more common variation, for example: Dm --> C#dim7/E --> Dm/F --> C#dim7/G
 

cygnusdei

Active Member
It's too short of a fragment I think, it can appear anywhere, even 300 years ago :P
IMO the second harmony is functionally a iv, just with a passing tone in the bass line.

From BWV 1056
bwv1056.jpg
 

Traz

Active Member
What does the the "b" mean for the "ib" and "Vb" chords? I don't think I've ever seen that before.

I can see the "ib" chord, for instance, is a Dm/F. Is the "b" another symbol for a first inversion rather than putting "i6"?

If so then I'm also confused by the "Vb7".
 

Traz

Active Member
Yes, that's right. Both ways of labelling are acceptable. 'c' would be a second inversion.

That should read 'V7b'. Whoops! :confused:
Ah, gotcha!! That's interesting, I've never seen or heard of that before.
 

KEM

The TENET Guy
I really suck at understanding roman numerals when it comes to chord progressions and my notation skills aren’t up to par either. Could you give me the chords names instead so I can follow along better?
 
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lfu

lfu

New Member
Thread starter
I really suck at understanding roman numerals when it comes to chord progressions and my notation skills aren’t up to par either. Could you give me the chords names instead so I can follow along better?
The general idea is that the progression is Dm - Edim - Dm/F - Gm. Some variations are Dm - Gm/E - F - Gm, sometimes it's Dm - Gm/E - D/F# - Gm. Hope that helps :)
 

KEM

The TENET Guy
The general idea is that the progression is Dm - Edim - Dm/F - Gm. Some variations are Dm - Gm/E - F - Gm, sometimes it's Dm - Gm/E - D/F# - Gm. Hope that helps :)
That makes a lot more sense to me, thank you!!
 
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ed buller

Senior Member
A good resource here for more traditional Chord progressions

http://openmusictheory.com/schemataSummary.html
Best

ed
 
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