Could someone please explain what it means to say, "the harmonic context of V/V-V-I".
How should one read this? It would be nice if you could also give two or three examples if you think it would help understand this better.
That is a roman numeral analysis of harmony where I is the tonic chord of a key, V is the dominant chord of a key and V/V is a secondary dominant. This secondary dominant functions as a dominant of a dominant chord and is outside the key.
For example in the key of C major this progression would look like this :
D - G - C. D major is not in the key of C, but functions as a dominant chord to the G.
In the key of G major this progression would look like this :
A - D - G. A major is not in the key of C, but functions as a dominant chord to the D.
I feel that II-V-I makes more sense. V/V is, as Dom says, the secondary dominant, or 'dominant dominant'. There is no confusion here. If the sequence was ii-V-I, then the chords would be (in C) Dm-G-C, as Dmaj. is not contained within the key of C. However, what if the sequence was (and sometimes is) A-D-G-C ? Would the Roman numerals have to go V/V/V-V/V-V-I? It starts to get unwieldy. What simpler than VI-II-V-I ? Capitals for maj.,as opposed to lower case for min.Rather like the NNS.