I've bumped into this very brief analysis in Structural Function of Harmony by Schoenberg and I've found that strikethrough V. Now, the chord is an D diminished seventh chord, leading to the dominant and the symbol seems the one used for secondary dominants, despite the (fallible) fact that I know one usually would write II instead of V, since we are in C major.

Where am I wrong? Is there a kind of Schoenberg's notation I'm missing? I searched through glossaries but I found nothing.

Roman numeral analysis in Schoenberg

  • A secondary dominant, as in D7 leading to G in key C, is more often named V/V. I like II, but it's not usual.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 18:29
  • The diminished chord is a B diminished, rather than D. It's the vii chord of C, not a predominant of G. A D diminished chord would be spelled D-F-Ab-Cb.
    – Aaron
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


V means altered V: Schoenberg is analysing this functionally, and there is no real change of function here. The diminished seventh here is acting both as an appoggiatura to V (A♭ to G, F to G in the bass), and as a form of V itself (dominant minor ninth with the root truncated).

Edit: He's also signalling that we're in C minor - that's what the lower case c means.

  • I'm no expert on the notation, but it strikes me (no pun intended!) that the first chord is functionally some sort of dominant chord, but it doesn't actually contain the dominant (i.e. the note G). Whatever it looks like, to me it doesn't sound like a supertonic chord or a "dominant of the dominant" - it's a dominant chord with some appoggiaturas, which by happenstance doesn't contain its root..
    – user19146
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 19:32
  • 1
    @alephzero, that's more or less what I said, no? :D More seriously, vii°7, when used normally, almost always acts like V♭9.
    – user16935
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 20:01
  • So, if I understand this correctly, it's like calling the typical IV-Ic-V-I cadence just IV-V(crossed)-V-I, to signify that the function is still that of a V chord, with little difference, am I right? Regarding that "c", I thought it is standing for a minor key, too, but then GMaj suggested me it was CMaj, but I think it's not so easy.
    – Alex Doe
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 21:55
  • 1
    I'm inclined to say not really. Generally Ic only shares the bass with V - you can consider it a double appoggiatura of sorts (which is maybe the best way of looking at it) or a kind of predominant, but Ic doesn't generally act like a dominant in its own right, so it is hard to call it altered V. In the Götterdämmerung example, the voice leading of vii°7 is set up as an appoggiatura (or accented auxiliary in the second instance, I suppose), but the notes are all part of a dominant ninth anyway - the only thing missing is the root. <*more*>
    – user16935
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 22:25
  • 1
    As for the key, I'd have to check the context to be 100% sure (although I think we can trust Schoenberg to get it essentially right), but the A♭ strongly suggests a move into the minor. Using the scale degree ♭6 in a dominant-style chord doesn't absolutely guarantee being in the minor mode, but I think we can trust that AS took the context into account. In minor mode cadences in classical music, V (rather than v) is the norm - it provides the leading tone (B♮ in this case) needed for a strong cadence to the tonic.
    – user16935
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 22:34

Look up Walter Piston's Harmony textbook; this is a "Rootless" Flat-Nine Chord, built upon a second inversion dominant.

  • I changed the end to "second inversion dominant"; feel free to roll it back if this is not what you meant.
    – Richard
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 17:56

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