I am reading this paper: Toward a Musical Analysis of World Music

On page 4 there is this statement:

All of the songs are syllabic and are subject to clear harmony (prototype degrees [I, V, IV] and “strong” progressions [Schoenberg 1954]): Song 1 has one chord (as a tonic [I]); song 3, I–V– I ; song 5, I–IV–V–I .

And on page 6 there is a picture visualising the statement.

So, my questions is: How one can see that "blocks" of notes, shown in pink rectangles belong to a claimed chord?

For example, in the song 3, the second block consists of "re" and "fa" notes, why is that chord V? Should chord 5 consist of "sol" "si" and "re" notes?

  • Could be considered as the top two notes of V7 - that chord is then sol, si, re, fa. Although the latter two notes do make a fair ii chord instead...
    – Tim
    Aug 16, 2019 at 8:50

1 Answer 1


With 2 notes a minor third apart, there are many possibilities in harmony. Maybe you think it cannot be the V because of the "Fa" but "Fa" is the 7th of the V chord. Here you have the 5th and the 7th of the V chord (bear in mind the V has a minor 7th). They could have written V7, I did not read the whole thing but generally when you harmonize a melody you look at 7th chords.

That is to say the chord will work over the melody as long as the notes on the strong beats (important) are in the 4 notes of a 7th chord. It does not matter if you don't play it a 7th chord and play a triad instead, the gist of it is that it will sound good over it.

It could have been harmonized with a "re" minor as well (ii) or a "si" diminished (viiº) but I think they are trying to stick to I, IV, V. That's all.

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