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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What is the function of C#7 in the key of D?

I'm trying to understand function of a chord in Miguel Llobet's arrangement of Canço del Lladre. I marked my interpretation of the chords in the excerpt below. The chord symbols in parenthesis are ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why isn't #i just called #i?

This answer to How to write functional chord symbols with accidental roots, basically claims that (and I paraphrase) "#i is not a thing" in functional harmony. But why not just call a spade ...
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Db - Ab - Abb - Fb: What is this chord?

In Chopin's Nocturne in Bb minor, Op. 9, No. 1, m. 19, b. 4-6, we have a left-hand arpeggio comprising, in order, Db2 - Ab2 - Db3 - Abb3, while the right hand plays Fb. This harmony sits between Db ...
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How to determine if a song is in F#Aeolian or D Lydian or Ab Locrian

Hello how are you? :) delighted to be here in my first post, I am a graduate of Sound Engineering and I am currently studying modern harmony in a self-taught way, I have been able to understand the ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Are the functions of substitute chords different in minor and major?

I am studying substitute chords, and secondary triads with two common notes can substitute primary triads. I know that a chord, in which the root and third notes are common, has a stronger surrogate ...
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6 answers
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Can V resolve to iii?

Would the iii be a substitute for I under such circumstances or does iii make another deceptive resolution kind of like when V progresses to vi? iii also has ^3 and ^5 which belong to tonic harmony ...
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Does vi ever progress to I in functional harmony?

From what I understand, vi is a lightweight predominant chord and usually leads to a stronger predominant chord and nowhere have I seen a progression from vi to I in my harmony textbooks. However IV ...
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3 votes
8 answers
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where does the dominant IV7 (ie; F7 in the key of CMaj) come from?

So, I'm learning to get "outside" chords, by borrowing from parallel scales. Other chords are available by taking the secondary dominants of different degrees. For example, to get EMaj while ...
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Why is there a vii˚6 of III but no vii˚ of III in the minor mode?

When tonicizing the mediant chord in the minor mode, you often use VII which acts as a secondary dominant of III and is very useful in tonicizing III if you are in the minor mode. Another option is to ...
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Why does ii˚ and ii˚6 lead to V in minor when all they really want to do is resolve to III?

In tonal harmony, in the minor mode the subdominant chords built on ^2 and ^4 are diminished chords. The root position ii˚ is usually not used in minor unless it falls on a weak beat but even when it ...
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what's the role of Ebmaj7 on this Ebmaj7 D7#9 Gm9 progression?

I'm trying to understand this chord progression: Ebmaj7 D7#9 Gm9 Ebmaj7 F#dim7 Gm9 Bb13 I know from D7#9 to Gm9, that's a V-i. But where's the Ebmaj7 coming from? Does it come from the relative major ...
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Harmonisation when ascending with melodic minor

I've just learned that baroque music often uses the melodic minor when ascending but the natural minor when descending. But what I don't understand is how the harmonisation is since I assume ascending/...
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1 answer
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Does moving from V to vii°7/ii count as a Deceptive Resolution?

I'm curious about this because I saw exactly this kind of thing in a Mozart piece I analyzed a while back when looking for Deceptive Resolution examples. The first cadence evasion was undoubtably a ...
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Unnecessarily convoluted analysis in Reger's modulations?

I am reading Reger's book of modulations, and his analysis does not seem to me to be the most consistent. This example (No. 72, from a minor to F♯ Major) comes across as particularly odd: Here is the ...
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1 answer
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Harmony exercise, enharmonic equivalence

I'm studying from Walter Piston's book Harmony (5th Ed) so that I'm prepared before the semester starts at UNA. Exercise 6.D asks: "For each one of the following intervals, name at least two ...
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5 votes
6 answers
720 views

Analysis of a jazz chord progression

Can you please explain the role of that Em7b5 in the following jazz progression in terms of functional harmony? | Cm7 | Em7b5 | Bbmaj7 | G7 |
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1 answer
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What did Schoenberg mean with this?

A couple of years ago I decided to formalize my harmony studies (I'm a mathematician) by reading Schoenberg's book Theory of Harmony, however I left it since it felt a little too difficult for my ...
7 votes
1 answer
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What do these up arrows/chevrons over numbers mean?

I've occasionaly seen these arrows over numbers, but I don't know what they're called or exactly what they mean. I'm assuming they have something to do with the motion, but I'm not sure.
3 votes
1 answer
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How would you write an inversion of a suspended chord with functional chord symbols? [duplicate]

Ex. Would the second chord be written as I7 - 6 or I62 - 1?
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6 answers
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How can I modulate the distance of a tritone using 3 secondary dominant chords?

So, I have been composing this "Requiem for String Quartet" on and off for a few weeks now. I call it a Requiem because of its dramatic arc through lamenting melancholy, painful harshness, ...
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4 answers
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Secondary dominant of a minor tonic?

While trying to analyze Mike Oldfield's Nuclear, I got stuck. The main chord progression is Fm-Cm-Bbm-C. Up until C, it looks like in Fm (natural) key, i-v-iv-.... C would look like a V (which Fm ...
5 votes
1 answer
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How to analyze mm. 5-8 in the first movement of Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 8

Everything makes sense until mm. 5. It looks like it moves from c minor to Eb major. Suppose we're in Eb major starting at mm. 5 From the end of mm. 5 to the very beginning of mm. 6, it's a vii°7/vi ...
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4 answers
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Name for chord progression in pop music

I've noticed a bunch of pop songs have the same four-chord progression running in a continuous loop: ii -> V -> I -> vi (or V/ii) -> (starts over on ii) Characteristics: One chord per bar ...
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How to harmonize ^2 - ^4 - ^3

I have at my disposal I, I6, V and V7 and inversions as well as ii, ii6 and IV to harmonize this melody. I am also allowed to use the cadential 64. I am stuck on the beginning part on how to harmonize ...
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1 answer
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How do I start a new phrase whilst modulating? [closed]

Hi guys, I have recently been composing and have run into an issue. I have finished a section with a perfect cadence (bar 52), and I would like to change to the subdominant key for the next phrase (...
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D Mixolydian key: is it possible?

About the song linked below, is it right to say that its key is D Mixolidyan? Verse: D Am C G D Chorus: D Am D Am C G D The reason I'm asking this ...
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1 answer
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Can V65 or V6 move down to V7 or do they usually resolve to I?

I understand that the bass of V65 or V6 wants to move up to I. My text book does have some double neighbor figures where V65 goes to V43 before resolving to I or I6. However, I am unable to find an ...
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1 answer
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What are idiomatic ways to harmonize ^5 ^4 ^3?

I have only learned a few chords in my harmony and voice leading book. I, I6, V, V6, ii, ii6, IV and the inversions of V7. I am now trying to harmonize this melody and so far the most idiomatic ...
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4 votes
2 answers
677 views

Does V42 only resolve to I6 or can it move to V7 forming a stepwise bass?

If the chordal 7th needs to resolve down by step then I understand why V42 should move to I6 but cant chords be expanded and the dissonant 7th in a 7th chord move to another voice for example from the ...
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13 votes
4 answers
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Is there a common labeling system for tritone substitutions?

Imagine the following progression: C F D♭7 C We typically just explain that third chord as a tritone substitution—and we stop there!—but this must be maddening for beginners, because we aren't ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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does the progression VII > III in minor mean you have modulated to the relative major key?

Is this progression possible in a modal minor chord progression or does it immediately make the III chord the new tonic via an authentic cadence?
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4 answers
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Should I use uppercase or lowercase roman numerals in Jazz harmonic analysis?

I know that there is not a fully defined specification for the language used in jazz harmonic analysis, as it has grown slowly and organically and has many variations. I have seen some textbooks use ...
7 votes
1 answer
271 views

In the common-practice style, did minor dominant chords (v) still function as a dominant?

In the common-practice style, usually dominant chords were always major, even in minor keys. Without the leading tone, how did minor dominant chords (v) function?
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3 answers
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Is the passing 6/4 also used as a passing chord between root position chords?

In almost all music theory websites and books I have read it defines a passing 6/4 chord as a chord that passes between the same root and 1st inversion triads (eg I to I6) but I have not seen much ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is this cadence an example of the German theory that the mediant chord can have tonic function?

From what I understand of German theory the mediant iii chord can have tonic function as the "tonic counter-relative." In this Bach chorale... ...the second cadence is on iii. The preceding ...
2 votes
3 answers
126 views

Harmonic sense of an Eb7 in a blues in E

In this image a blues ends with the tonic chord (E7) preceded by Eb7. Beyond the chromatic effect that can be perceived, is there any way to harmonically define such an Eb7? In other words, what is ...
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1 answer
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Harmonic functions in the minor scale

The picture above shows that the harmonic functions for chords as: Tonic: I, III, VI Dominant: V, VII Subdominant: IV, II Dp these same classification also apply to the natural minor scale?
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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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2 answers
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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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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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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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2 answers
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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
1 vote
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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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4 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
394 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
286 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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4 answers
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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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1 answer
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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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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?