"Over The Rainbow" Harmonic Analysis

Hello everyone,

Im currently analyzing the chords of Over the rainbow numerically to be able to play it in a few keys and internalize the tune, im struggling doing it.
Can you help me please ?

Hi @Guillaume, I’m happy to help!

Can you send me the chords you try to analyze? Just because there are several ways we can play that song.

Here’s a lead sheet @Hayden sent me, with nice chords, let me know if these are the chords you’d like to analyze:


Good evening Tuomo :smiley: (well it is in France), glad you can give me some help ! I try to see where are the modulations and commons chords progressions which come back a lot in jazz standards. I learnt the song with the course on extended voicings, and i checked the version of iRealBook, also which version should i really focus on ?

Let’s work on the changes I sent earlier.

Can you send me an analysis of those chords? Just write anything you feel like, that’s a good place to start

i hope this is clear enough !

The written analysis above helped me. I was already analyzing over the rainbow. I’m a new guy to jazz but loving it. .
Is it worth it to write down each chords analysis… or just note the 251 and 36251 and movement up a fourth etc. for my level I need it all written down. … then I cal look for patterns. Probably mistakes … but…
The IM7 goes to iii back to IM7 then to the Ib7 to act as a V to the IV. also I see the iii VI ii V7 I… the iii VI is a ii/ii V/ii to the 251 of the 36251. I know this is a ramble… straighten me out as an end goal I am trying to know what I’m playing and also want to be able to transpose. I can’t figure out how to send you a picture of my mapping…
How do I send an image?

I wrote that wring. I6 goes to vi not iii

Looks good, here some comments…

Also I need you to ask questions about things that you find confusing in the song/analysis.

I like that you noticed that the G-7 C7 is a 25 to F-7, but also remember that F-7 Bb7 is a 25 to Ebmaj (I’m sure you know it, but just to double check :slight_smile: )

Check out all the other 25 connections you can find, for example A- - D7 - G-.

Also the first chord of the last A is A halfdim, not dim.

Are you familiar with the diminished chord, and how it can function?

Also guys, please check out Hayden’s tutorial on the song:

Concerning the A halfdim, my bad, but i know the difference between these 2 types of chords, also i know all my diminshed chords but didn’t really go into the theory of it yet, and im asking you these questions while going through Hayden’s tutorial of the song at the same time.

So how should we see G-7 C7 F-7 Bb7, more like 25 of F- and then 25 of EbMAJ or 251 in F- and the dominant (Bb7) of EbMAJ ?

Hi @Guillaume, thanks for writing!

I would think of it as 25 to F- (G-7 C7), then, F-7 would work as a 2 to the 251 in Ebmaj.

Chords can work as both, part of the tension (25) and at the same time as a temporary tonic. Here F-7 would be both, first as a temporary tonic with the 25 tension before, then as a part of the 25 to the Ebmaj7.

Let me know if you want to work on the diminished chords,



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Hello @Tuomo , i think i understand the thing with this 25 into another 251, i never tought about this like that !

Working on diminished chords sounds really exciting, learning more about jazz, in practice as much as theory is always a pleasure !


Hi David,

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  • Bar 2. EbM7 goes to Eb7… to be the V that leads to the 4(AbM7)?

  • Bar 3. Am7b5 D7. Gm7 minor 251?
    I play the Bb9 sus. Why does the Bb work?

  • Bar 4 ii V to Fm. The Tritone (F#) can be used instead of the V?

  • Bar 5. Where does the Db come from. I don’t see a 251 connection

Thanks. If this is not what you had in mind… let me know and I’ll not be offended

Correct. The Eb7 is the V7 of IV.

Yes we have multiple options here.

As you correctly point out, A-7b5 / D7 moving to G-7 is a 25 to iii-7.

For the Bb7sus… Sus chords and dominant chords indicate that the harmony is moving.

@Tuomo - what are you thoughts on that reharm of Bb7sus to G-7 ? Is there any theoretical underpinnings for that movement?

Yes correct.

We explore the tritone relationship in our course on Chord Substitution & Reharmonisation. This is one of my favourite theory areas to teach - there’s so much cool stuff we can do with tritones & sus chords when playing solo jazz piano:

This one took me a while to understand.

It’s based on the ‘diminished connection’ between the dominant chords.

If we play the following 4 dominant chords with a b9, and then drop the root:

  • Bb7b9
  • E7b9
  • Db7b9
  • G7b9

We see that each time we are left with the same diminished 7th chord (D - F - Ab - B).

You will already be aware of the tritone sub relationship (E7 to Ebmaj7). Well another option we have is the bVII7 into Imaj7 which in this case is Db7 to Ebmaj7.

I’ve heard this bVII7 into Imaj7 progression referred to as “the backdoor 251” and it appears in many jazz standards, for example:



There Will Never Be Another You:

@Tuomo - anything to add here? I know you have covered this relationship in your courses/lessons so perhaps reference them here.


For me, this keeps me from memorizing chords by understanding and looking for examples elsewhere
I don’t know why Bb sus leads to Gm7… will study sus chords.

About the Db…I need to study dim chords and make sense of that.

Any related lessons would be appreciated

What I thought before your post in misty was …Abm7 Db7. Was a ii. V to Gm… but actually used as a way back to Eb

Same here, ill have to get my mind into sus and dim chords

Hi guys, sorry if I’m missing some questions, you guys were active when I was not online haha!

@Tuomo - what are you thoughts on that reharm of Bb7sus to G-7 ? Is there any theoretical underpinnings for that movement?

-In this case, you can think of the Bb7 chord going to I (Ebmaj), which is replaced with III (G-7). Bb7 to G-7 works because G-7 is basically the same chord as Ebmaj7 (play G-7 with Eb in the bass and you’ll hear what I mean).

About the Db7 or Ab-7 Db7 in the key of Eb, @david3, @Guillaume

@Hayden covered it very well already, but if you are interested, I suggest to go to check out my course on harmony:

There I explain the diminished connection between different dominants, and cover the Db7 - Ebmaj7 function.

Thanks, let me know if I can help any way!