Harmonic analysis of the jazz standard “All the Things You Are” by Jerome Kern.
All the Things You Are was composed by Jerome Kern in 1939. The song follows an AA₁BA₂ form and is originally in the key of Ab. This is an analysis of the harmony in All the Things You Are and an explanation of the concepts used in the analysis. The image above shows my full analysis, which I will walk through below. You can refer to the conventions page to explore the analytic concepts used or get the PDF for free.
There are several things to note about this piece before we get into a granular analysis of each section. The first is that the song modulates between key centers frequently. The primary key is Ab. Measures 1–5 and all of section A₂ are in this key. However, measures 6–8 are in C, measures 9–13 are in Eb, measures 14–20 are in G, and measures 21–24 are in E. These rapid modulations can seem difficult but the same pattern repeats in multiple keys. This is why we use the subscript notation to mark the various “A” sections; they are following the same harmonic pattern just in a different key than the original.
Section A begins in the original key of Ab with a diatonic progression of vi-7, ii-7, V7, IΔ7, IVΔ7. The IV shifts up a semitone to a ii-7b5, V7, IΔ7 in C. Something to note here is that C is related to the original key of Ab by a major third.
Next, the C moves to minor and modulates into the key of Eb. The vi-7, ii-7, V7, IΔ7, IVΔ7 pattern repeats here and the IV again shifts up a semitone to a ii-7b5, V7, IΔ7 in the new key of G. Eb is a perfect fifth away from the original key and G is a major seventh away from the original key.
This section begins with a ii-7, V7, IΔ7 in G followed by a ii-7b5, V7, IΔ7 in E. E is an augmented fifth away from the original key. The next chord (C7b13) is an interesting transition chord that I see as the V7/vi in Ab.
A₂ goes back to the vi-7, ii-7, V7, IΔ7, IVΔ7 progression in the original key of Ab followed by a modal interchange iv-7, a diatonic iii-7, and a passing diminished biiio7. The piece ends with a ii-7, V7, I6 in the key. On repeat, the last measure has a ii-7/vi, V7/vi turnaround to lead back to the top.