I wonder if there exists such kind of editions: with the chords written down together with their function in roman numerals, the structure of the piece, the analysis, etc.

More precisely, I'm looking for Chopin's studies edited this way, but I would also find interesting to see any other piano composer's analyzed sheet music.


This may be a bit of a non-answer, but you might be a little hard pressed to find exactly what you are looking for. I did a little digging around and couldn't come up with anything great, besides some analyzed snippets of Chopin works. The closest thing I could find were actually youtube videos (Chopin - Nocturne in Eb (op. 9 no. 2) - with Roman Numerals & Popular Chords) that cover a decent portion of the piece (no etudes though, sorry!). (This entire channel has a number of similar analyses and other useful theory visualizations though so it might be worth checking out.)

I think the reason this kind of thing is hard to find (an entire collection of pieces with full harmonic analysis included) is because this practice is so academic in nature. The point of harmonic analysis is the actual analysis itself, not the result. What is beneficial to a musician is the ability to sit down and analyze the piece, not just read someone else's analysis (which may deviate slightly from our own). I believe this is why most of the examples that exist are snippets from well known pieces or completely made up to illustrate an idea. Once we have studied enough of these short examples we will have all the tools necessary to analyze an entire work if we so choose.

That said, I too would LOVE to see entire pieces (or complete collections!) transcribed with full harmonic analysis included, simply because it would be fun to look through and I wouldn't have to put all that work in myself! If anyone else knows of anything, I'd love to hear about it!

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  • Thanks for the channel! I'm looking for analyzed editions cause I have tried to analyze some of those studies, but I don't know if my analysis is correct, and I'm not able to analyze some parts... – Quaerendo Sep 12 '19 at 15:54
  • @Quaerendo Chopin's Etudes can be incredibly challenging to analyze in this way due to their speed, complexity and chromaticism . More often they are analyzed in terms of color and texture. I found a really cool paper analyzing Chopin's Tristesse and Aeolian Harp Etudes in terms of quantum coherence and symmetry! :D Definitely worth a read if you're into that sort of thing: arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1703/1703.06765.pdf – WillRoss1 Sep 12 '19 at 16:27

I don't know of any published scores with Roman-numeral analyses (or, as I somewhat pretentiously call them, Roman-numeral labels—they're hardly true analyses!), but there are some editions of piano sonatas with formal labels.

Consider, as one example, this Schirmer score of Beethoven's "easy" G-minor sonata (Op. 49, No. 1). On the score you'll see labels like "M.T." and "S.T." for "main" and "secondary theme," respectively.

But I'd advise some caution: I often find myself in disagreement with these scores. If you're looking for published analyses, you'd likely be much better off looking in journals like Music Analysis. But keep in mind that these are scholarly publications; they're rarely light bedtime reading!

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    Love this. Roman-numeral labels. Exactly! And those are just one person's opinion of how it should be labeled. The fun of analysis comes when nerdy music theorists get together and argue about what to call it. – Heather S. Sep 13 '19 at 2:56

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