Questions tagged [functional-harmony]

For questions to related to the accepted uses of harmonic progression within the common-practice period. Questions may also necessitate the chord-progressions tag.

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2answers
101 views

Can dominant chords be specified independently of a tonic (of a key)? [duplicate]

The dominant chord is defined in relation to the (5th) scale degree on which it is built. This definition can often be found alongside other chord types, such as the major triad, whose definition ...
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2answers
43 views

Complex chord progression (secondary dominants) with simple step-wise melody?

In many musical pieces, complex harmonic relations can be identified in the chord progression even when the melody can intuitively be "felt" to progress in a very simple step-wise manner. ...
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3answers
134 views

Why Should I always follow the rules of functional harmony? [closed]

I have used functional harmony many times in my compositions to write chord progressions with success, however there are times when using functional harmony doesn't sound good to me and others when I ...
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2answers
336 views

How do you define Harmonic Retrogression with regard to intensity?

I was doing some practice problems in the AP Barron's Music Theory book, and one of the practice problems asks: “When harmonies within a phrase move from a strong intensity to a less strong intensity [...
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2answers
111 views

Is there such a thing as a stable or unstable tone in scales?

I'm writing a song in 4/4 in A major, and my melody ends first on the 7th degree leading tone (G#) and then the second time on the 6th degree (F#). These are supposed to be unstable tones, yet if I ...
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2answers
59 views

How to approach Iminor - VIImajor progression in a functional harmony way

I am wondering how one would approach a Iminor - VII major progression. In a simple form something like: Am Am G# G# (just triads) The idea rose from practicing melodic minor (in a jazz way, so same ...
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2answers
64 views

2 atypical cadences, are they half cadences?

So, I analyzed the harmony and structure of Grande Valse Brilliante op. 18, and most of the cadences make perfect sense to me, but there are 2 cadences that don't really, one on the tonic, which I can ...
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3answers
64 views

Ascending and descending chord movement and its effect on harmonic function

Is the cadence I to V the same regardless of its position relative to the tonic? E.g In C major C4 E4 G4 --> G4 B4 D5 vs C4 E4 G4 --> G3 B3 D4 The thing that has made me question this is the ...
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2answers
120 views

How to (decently) harmonize the modes of the “darkest scale ever”?

I was hearing this very interesting video by Rick Beato and Nahre Sol about the 7 modes of the "darkest scale ever" (the double harmonic major scale): The 7 ...
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2answers
214 views

Missing I (1st) chord in the progression: an example

Could you indicate an example of a song in a certain key that doesn't express the tonic chord (I chord) in its progression? Are harmonic progressions of this type possible in pop music?
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4answers
455 views

How to recognize harmonic intervals?

I've been doing some ear training, I'm quite at ease when recognizing melodic intervals, whether they are ascending or descending intervals, yet when it comes to harmonic intervals, I don't know how ...
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1answer
49 views

Music theory - secondary dominants

Do i still have to use 1st inversion when using secondary diminished triads or sevenths? I've been watching some videos but it didn't go over this.
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4answers
103 views

Incomplete spelling of vii dim7 and vii half dim7

For the two chords above, diminished 7th (viio7) and half diminished 7th (viiø7), are they usually spelled complete or incomplete? Or both?
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2answers
103 views

Is my SATB harmonisation correct in this example?

I am so paranoid about SATB harmonisation, because there are so many rules, and I feel overwhelmed. I literally feel like I have a hundred hidden mistakes in this question.
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1answer
99 views

Can we understand subdominant/dominant chord functions in terms of them being tonics of other keys?

Does anyone know a textbook or some music theorist explaining subdominant/dominant chord functions in terms of the two chords being the tonics in subdominant/dominant keys? Background: I was thinking ...
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3answers
433 views

Understanding function of diminished chord in Paganini's 4th caprice

I'm trying to understand this simple progression in the middle of Paganini's 4th caprice. This seems like I-?-I-V7-I in Eb major, but I am unable to figure out what the function of the second chord is....
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1answer
83 views

What's going on functionally/structurally in these four bars of Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto?

From Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto 1st movement 2nd subject: I've been trying to understand what's going on structurally in this passage but I'm having trouble figuring out what's going on. In ...
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1answer
122 views

Identifying chord and understanding its function in Loco's “Can't Sleep” [closed]

I am trying to identify the four chords in the beginning of this song. My guess is Emaj7, C#m11, C#m/G#, B11sus4 Is my guess correct? I am must uncertain about the third chord. I am having trouble ...
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1answer
54 views

Relevant literature on Mathematical and neurological theories for functional harmony?

I’m interested in finding out what are the current proposed theories surrounding the expectation + release behaviour of functional harmony. From what I reckon, functional harmony seems to be a human ...
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3answers
239 views

The 2nd flat in a minor chord progression

If I have the following chord progression in a song in key of Bm: Bm G A Bm and then in the bridge a C major chord jumps in the progression, as below: ... D G A (C) Bm.... (C introduces the ...
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2answers
144 views

Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 (Appasionata): harmony of the 2nd movement

I'm trying to identify the harmony used in the main theme of Beethoven's Appassionata's second movement, and I would like someone to review the analysis I have done, and help me identify a couple of ...
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5answers
989 views

Can I use the chord progression i - v - VII - iv? (Am - Em - G - Dm : in A minor scale)

I'm currently studing and learning about functional harmony and chord progressions. I tried the chord progression i - v - VII - iv (A natural minor scale : Am - Em - G - Dm7/A) and get a nice and ...
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1answer
73 views

A chord progression from Leavitt: how to analyze the diminished chord

The question below is referred to W. Leavitt - Getting up there (duet), Vol. 2 The piece is in key of C. In the last system, upper staff, we have the following chord progression: C A-6 A-7 F Gdim ...
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2answers
371 views

Esus4 in the key of C. How can I use it?

Recently I've discovered that Esus4 chord can be built by using notes from C major scale (Esus4 notes: E-A-B - no 'sharps' or 'flats'). But I don't know how can I use the chord in the keys of C or Am ...
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2answers
91 views

How to construct functions and chords of a scale?

For example I ii iii IV V vi vii ____________________________________________________ Cmaj Dmin Emin Fmaj Gmaj Amin Bdim ...
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3answers
369 views

What is the harmony of this bar from Chopin's Minute waltz?

Consider following excerpt from Chopin's Minute waltz in D flat major. The last bar is the chord of D flat major (tonic). What is the chord of the penultimate bar? Why is there an A flat and A natural ...
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4answers
121 views

How does the concept of functional harmony help me pick the next chord while composing?

I'm trying to understand the concept of functional harmony as it pertains to composing chord progressions, in order to compose my own progressions. I've read a few articles and watched some videos, I ...
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2answers
363 views

Is there a functional interpretation for VIIb in La Follia?

La Follia chord peogression is usually written as: i - V7 - i - VII - III - VII - i - V7 (first eight bars) i -V7 - VII - III - VII - i,V7 - i (second eight bars) I can understand how this progression ...
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4answers
351 views

How is Db major functioning here? Subdominant Prolongation? Some kind of Dominant?

While improvising for a piece in Eb major, I came across an interesting progression. Eb -> Ab -> Db -> Eb But something that I couldn't figure out was the function of the Db. Here is the ...
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3answers
269 views

Diminished seventh spelling but functioning as an Augmented Sixth?

I know that there are many ways to resolve a diminished seventh chord, but only a few ways to resolve an augmented sixth chord. I have done modulations from the minor tonic to the major subtonic using ...
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4answers
198 views

IVm6 or IVm7? (in major)

(Note: using the key of C major as generic instead of roman numerals.) Yesterday I was reading the book "Hearin' the Changes" (by Coker, Knapp and Vincent), which discusses Fm7-B♭7-C as an ...
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6answers
487 views

flattened-seventh chord function [duplicate]

I this post, I received some information on the usage of a flattened-seventh chord in progressions, which, along with the flattened-third, seem to be popular choices in the rock world to add flavor. ...
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4answers
102 views

Functional harmony: extending the minor triads in Minor Swing

I was having a go at this tune Minor Swing which solo sections follow this utterly simple changes: I've been soloing over that using a backing track and also I've been playing simple voicings of the ...
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3answers
647 views

What is the functional role of the subtonic chord?

In this chart the subtonic major chord can come before the mediant and submedian chords. Does this imply that it has a tonic functionality? If so that seems counter-intuitive; it seems to share more ...
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3answers
86 views

Use cases for modulating keys?

So I'm just learning how to modulate keys and first of all I want to make sure I understand the concept correctly.... the way I've learned it is basically using a chord function in one scale and ...
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2answers
68 views

Is functional harmony considered homophonic?

Sorry if this is an obvious question, but I just want to clear this up. As far as I understand about voice leading, there are essentially two main types. Homophony and polyphony. Functional harmony ...
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1answer
58 views

What percentage of the time did Bach and others use chord inversions in chorales?

I know the frequencies of his "Normal Fundamental Harmonic Progressions" i.e., the progression of chord roots. I'd like to know the percentage of time that he used 1st or 2nd inversions in his ...
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3answers
132 views

What determines the function of a chord?

I’ve been trying to learn about functional harmony and I keep asking myself the above question. Each chord seems to have a general function (with exceptions) within scales, but why is that so? Were ...
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4answers
364 views

Why is vi6 (submediant chord in first inversion) rarely used?

I read that vi6 is almost completely absent – is there a reason for this?
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3answers
83 views

Can anyone confirm or discredit the term “Prime Scales” when dealing with the modern modes

http://www.tonalcentre.org/Scales.html In the linked webpage the author speaks of "prime scales" and says "Remarkably enough, out of all possible scales there are only five prime scales, in which ...
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1answer
155 views

Ranking Diatonic Chords by Stability [closed]

So in functional harmony there are 3 categories. Tonic, Predominant and Dominant. The following are the chord numbers that belong to each category.. Tonic = 1, 3 and 6 chords. Predominant = 2 and 4 ...
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5answers
237 views

What's the point of diatonicism if we don't follow it? [closed]

I'm 2 years into music theory. Today, in class, I was part writing in the key of Cm. When I got to the V7 chord, I was corrected because I wrote a Gm7 (Vm7). Now, I'm aware that the V chord in a major/...
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1answer
74 views

Can you help me analyse some Baroque playing?

im trying to make serious study of Ted Greenes Baroque improvisation lessons on Youtube, and am hoping someone more experienced can tell me the function of a particular two chords; The section of the ...
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4answers
454 views

What is the function of the non diatonic chords in this intro?

I am trying to understand the harmony of this intro of a song but I can't seem to make sense of it. The song is in C and the intro is four bars: | C | Ebmaj7 Dm7 | C | Ab Gm7 And then ...
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4answers
239 views

When do we use other chord qualities? [closed]

If an harmonized chord scale (don't know if it's the right term) is : I ii iii IV V vi vii° ( we see they are restricted to maj/min/° ) how/where/when does one use the other chords qualities ? like ...
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1answer
166 views

Function of Minor sixth chords

What are the precise harmonic functions of the Minor sixth chord? I remember that I read somewhere that they play often the role of the I degree in a chord progression (like the often used 6/9 chord) ...
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2answers
63 views

How do the alternating C and Db function in this modulation?

So I am writing a rondo in Eb major and there are 3 different key areas used. Those key areas are Eb major obviously, C minor, and Eb minor. For the modulation to C minor, I simply did this: ...
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1answer
709 views

When does one omit the fifth in V7 chord in classical harmony?

The textbooks on classical harmony that I have read (Leo Semlek, "Klassikalise harmoonia lühiõpik" ["A Short Textbook on Classical Harmony"] and "Klassikalise harmoonia õpik" ["A Textbook on Classical ...
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3answers
294 views

How to determine the degree to which diminished seventh chords and half-diminished seventh chords belong in major scales?

I would like to know how to determine to which degree belongs diminished seventh chords and half-diminished seventh chords in major scales, and which function do they exert. As the fully diminished ...
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4answers
722 views

Characteristic scale degrees

Came across an article at openMsicTheory.com about harmonic function. Below excerpt was about finding function of a chord Each of the three harmonic functions — tonic (T), subdominant (S), and ...