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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1answer
37 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
65 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
58 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
55 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
110 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
224 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
67 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
378 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
112 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
75 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
52 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
189 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
181 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
503 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 ...
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2answers
63 views

Hindemith's Traditional harmony Book 1, Chapter II, rule 1

I recently started working my way through Hindemith's Traditional harmony Book 1 on my own. The instructions are short and simple, but sometimes too much so for a self-learner. I have reached ...
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2answers
483 views

Functional analysis of the Pink Panther

I'm getting started on functional analysis and trying to understand the Pink Panther theme by Henry Mancini. These is the chord chart I got for the first part (from someone more musically competent ...
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1answer
194 views

Are there songs written using non-functional harmony

I have been trying to write music that does not resolve to a tonic. Would this be non-functional harmony? CMaj7 / Dbdim7 / BMaj7 / Eb7b5
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3answers
599 views

Can the leading note resolve down?

Would like to ask if the leading tone in chord V (G) could resolve downwards to Eb (fifth of chord I)? I’ve somehow recall reading that the rule (leading note MUST resolve to tonic) only applies to ...
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4answers
221 views

ii-V-I versus I-IV-V

The I-IV-V progression is used in a lot of blues, rock, folk, country and pop music, while jazz music tends to favor the ii-V-I. I am aware that the ii and IV chords are both subdominant and they ...
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3answers
275 views

Chromatic Functional Harmony (Musical Theory of Everything)

When I started studying music theory, I was fascinated by functional harmony. I loved learning why certain chords naturally tend to lead toward certain other chords and why so many chord progressions ...
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3answers
112 views

Can an augmented sixth lead straight to tonic?

So I am almost finished with my harmonic analysis of Rondo a Capriccio. But I came across a mysterious chord. I'm trying to figure it out. Here is the chord: I know from looking at it carefully, that ...
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1answer
151 views

Neo-Riemannian Theory, The Minor Plagal Cadence, and Chromatic Voice Leading

In my reading, a criticism that I have heard leveled against Neo-Riemannian theory is that it does not explain the smooth chromatic voice-leading possible in the iv - I instance of the plagal ...
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1answer
414 views

How does a minor major seventh chord have tonic function when it's so unstable?

In a minor key, the chord built on the tonic can be a minor sixth or a minor major seventh chord, both of which are supposed to have tonic function. To my ear, the minor sixth chord can feel like "...
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3answers
655 views

Guidelines for writing a chord progression

I am trying to understand how does notes relate to each other when writing a chord progression. I understand that when composing on a Major scale chords acquire a function depending on the degree of ...
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3answers
407 views

Why did the natural major scale and the minor scales come to dominate common practice music? [duplicate]

I suspect that it might have something to do with tonality and functional harmony. A diminished or augmented tonic chord, due to dissonance, would be less satisfying and conclusive as the final chord ...
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0answers
55 views

Is this an example of Modal interchange? [duplicate]

The section I'm referring to is circled in red. The piece is in D♭ major. And I think here it's in F mixolydian, as both Cmin7 and F7 are in F mixolydian. Also, this part is the end of a phrase and ...
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1answer
188 views

Diminished chord constructed over the tonic degree?

I have heard in certain songs the usage of a diminished chord in a major tonality which I think is not constructed over the seventh degree nor over the second degree. Moreover, in the two examples ...
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2answers
167 views

Letters m, n and v above roman numerals in functional harmony notation

I'm reading a functional harmony textbook and found the notation in the following passage confusing: Consecutive VI and VII degrees in melody are harmonised with chords IV-VII6 (in minor: IVm-VII6) ...
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2answers
60 views

Where is F7 in Elevation of Love by E.S.T. coming from?

I was looking at their official songbook. The key of the song is C minor. The progression goes Ab∆ (VI) C-7(I) Fsus4 (IV major???) F7 (IV dominant??) Ab∆. The F in C minor is F-7, and F7 is neither ...
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5answers
1k views

Why is the G major to Bb major resolution so strong?

So, about a year ago, I composed a nocturne in Bb. And I used this harmonic progression in the B sections of it: Bb -> Eb -> C -> F -> Gm -> G ->Bb Now, out of the 7 chords in this progression(6 ...
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2answers
104 views

What is the function of a C major triad on a B minor song?

I'm transcribing this short piece called Vampurity by Shinji Iwai (it's a soundtrack to one of his movies) as a mean to: learn how to transcribe analyse and try to comprehend the piece. Here's the ...
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2answers
178 views

Rationalizing this chord progression (I7-iii-IV)

Trying to expand my harmonic palette here, and came across this song. Chorus of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" (in E♭ minor, but temporary shift to ...
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6answers
779 views

Analysis of the progression: Dm, G, C, F, Bb, E, Am, A

I've been trying to analyze the progression: Dm, G, C, F, Bb, E, Am, A. The best I could come up with is ii, V, I, IV, bVII, V/vi, vi, V/ii in C major. I considered the Bb to be the VII from the ...
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1answer
106 views

What is the functional description of the I-III-VI(7) progression?

How do you functionally describe the I-III-VI(7) progression, when used as a substitute for I-V-vi? The bridge goes ii-V / I-V-vi / in the first two lines, then ii-V / I-III-VI(7), resolving to ii-...
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5answers
2k views

What does “function” actually mean in music?

I remember when the term function was introduced in math - y=f(x) - the teacher was a substitution and still himself a student. He used the term function as if we already knew of what he was talking ...
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6answers
252 views

How to choose between Cdim and C#dim?

I have noticed that there is a common chord progression that exists in a few variants: C, C#dim, Dm, G7. It's often changed by changing Dm to D to give the progression a little bit more spark. However,...
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1answer
112 views

Why do V6/V, V6/5/V, and vii°/V have subdominant (predominant) function?

In chord progressions like I - iii - IV - I64 - V - I, which occurs extremely frequently, the IV chord is sometimes replaced by a V6/V, V65/V, or viio/V chord. Regardless they are secondary dominant /...
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5answers
879 views

Trouble reading roman numeral notation with flats

I am working my way through an article on transformations in rock harmony, but I am getting stuck trying to read the author's roman numeral analysis. I would really appreciate some help understanding ...
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2answers
160 views

How to fill the harmonic gap?

So I have thought of almost the entire progression for my trio that goes from D minor to D major. Here is what I have of it so far: D minor -> C major -> B minor -> ??? -> A major -> D major And ...
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1answer
249 views

Alternative theories of harmony

Do you know of any alternative (to functional) descriptive theories of harmony or attempts at creating them? By that I mean attempts to explain both functional and non-functional harmonies in a ...
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2answers
110 views

Is a new tonal center established when I play a chord progression of more than two chords in the new key?

If I'm modulating between keys, say between major and its relative minor. Is the main way I establish a new tonal center is if I create a progression longer than two chords that lead to a cadence? So ...
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2answers
393 views

Harmony on measure 21/22 of Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu

On measure 21, Chopin uses a B major-minor chord followed by a D# minor chord. One might think we're in E major and that he's just borrowing the D# minor, but on measure 19, it seems Chopin has ...
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6answers
185 views

What are reasons to use the minor dominant in a minor progression, in particular i-VI-III-v?

I've learnt that in a minor key, the non-diatonic major dominant is basically always used instead of the diatonic minor dominant in order to get the leading tone in. Of course this is a trend but not ...
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1answer
161 views

Transposition to kalimba

I have this instrument called a kalimba or mbira, it has 7 tines. Notes from left to right are: e', g, d''', e, c', a, a' but from low pitch to hight it seems to be arranged in this form: E G A C D E ...
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3answers
2k views

Use of the VI and v chord in a minor key, subdominant and dominant functional use?

I have a couple of questions related to chord function in natural minor. I have been playing around with chord functions and how they relate to each other. The first chord I am confused by is the ...
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1answer
136 views

What are examples of non-Classical cadences?

Perfect/imperfect authentic cadences, half cadences, deceptive cadences, and plagal cadences have been around since at least Mozart. What are some either specific cadences or approaches to cadences ...
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6answers
2k views

Definition of Functional Harmony

In a recent conversation I had, there was a disagreement regarding the definition of Functional Harmony. As I've understood it, Functional Harmony would be defined by chords having a function and is ...