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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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0 votes
2 answers
54 views

VII7 to I in romantic era harmony

In the opening bar of Emil von Sauer's Etude de Concert no. 1, he starts on G flat major, then transitions to an F major 7 that resolves back to G flat major (VII7 to I). I know this is late romantic ...
13 votes
1 answer
257 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
73 views

Purpose of interlude in Bach WTK II, Fugue 16

This is an excerpt of Bach WTK II, Fugue 16 (mm. 15-20). The part I have marked red is (in my opinion, hope not be mistaken) an interlude between the last entrance of the theme in the bass and the ...
8 votes
2 answers
281 views

Why Bb7#9 in 'Michelle' and not Bbm7?

The second chord in the first Verse of the song 'Michelle' by the Beatles is often interpreted as Bb7#9. Isn't that a bit of an overkill? I actually don't really hear the major triad dominantly and if ...
2 votes
2 answers
139 views

Enharmonic Mediant

In mixolydian mode, does the major chord on the subdominant lowered by a half step have any name? For example in E-mixolydian it is Ab-major and enharmonically, it would be the mediant. But what ...
3 votes
4 answers
168 views

Is there a name for raising the v chord to a dominant V

From what I've understood from other questions, the dominant chord is always major. So in a minor key, the v chord is not considered dominant. Considering that, is there a name for when we're in a ...
8 votes
3 answers
443 views

Why prolongational instead of cadential progression

I have some questions regarding Mozarts piano sonata K. 283. According to Hauser, "these four measures prolong tonic. Measures two and three are contrapuntal chords that are surrounded by the ...
5 votes
1 answer
150 views

How to analyze introduction of Rachmaninoff's Paganini variation?

I'm trying to analyze the introduction of Rachmaninoff's Paganini variations (picture below). I'm thinking the whole thing is a sequence and I only have to analyze the first two measures. The F# makes ...
6 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
160 views

F#m7 chord in “Misty” in C major

I'm analyzing the accompaniment for 'Misty' in C major. In measure 16 (“how hopelessly I am lost”) there's an F#m7 chord accompanying the B in the melody. Although F#m7 seems unusual in C major, it ...
4 votes
1 answer
204 views

How can I write a complex composite chord in Noteflight?

In functional harmony analysis, the provided image demonstrates a method of representing (one of) the true function(s) of the diminished chord: a dominant seventh flat ninth with no root note and the ...
3 votes
1 answer
321 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 ...
5 votes
3 answers
517 views

Usage of sharpened subdominant in minor key: what is the diatonic function?

The piece Für Elise uses a D♯ in the key of A minor in the first bar, which is the sharpened subdominant. (I'm focusing on the first part, up to halfway through bar 23 in this score.) D♯ and G♯ are ...
3 votes
3 answers
300 views

Can the subdominant move to the tonic in simple functional harmony?

I'm working on making a progression using solely functional harmony for my music lessons. At the end of my progression, I have a V-iii-ii-I. Is this at all justified? I ask because (as far as I ...
2 votes
3 answers
185 views

What's the role of a bVI chord preceding a ii V I?

I'm talking about the chord progression of The Beach Boys' "Heroes & Villains" outro ("Bridge to Indians"). The progression is the following: I I7 IV bVI7 I bVI7 ii7 V7 I (C# C#...
4 votes
2 answers
256 views

is iii7 a dominant chord with scale degree 3?

As a mediant chord the iii chord has scale degrees ^3 ^5 and ^7. If we add the 7th (^2) it will have all degrees of the scale the serve a dominant function. Can it be said then that iii7 is actually a ...
3 votes
1 answer
160 views

Notes for simple progression

I struggled a bit to find a good title for this question since I can only really describe it with an example. I have been spending some time on chord progressions and improvising and would think that ...
1 vote
1 answer
111 views

Unusual chord progression: I7-VIImaj7 (#VIImaj7 ?)

So I came up with this little tune that roughly follows the standard 12-bar blues form but it substitutes the subdominant (IV7 chord) with VIImaj7. It sounds unusual but quite smooth and not jarring ...
6 votes
4 answers
765 views

Lydian harmony: What chords are tonic (T), subdominant (S), and dominant (D)?

The Lydian mode is the brightest-sounding mode and I am interested in how to utilize it. Diatonic chords in Lydian = I, II, iii, ivø, V, vi, vii What chords are tonic, subdominant, and dominant, in ...
6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 [...
-2 votes
2 answers
103 views

Harmonic functions of these chords

I found this classical chord progression. What are the harmonic functions of these chords, especially the Adim. 1Amin Bdim Amin A Bb Adim Amin E Amin I got it from here youtube.com/watch?v=zgBPiHTPCdg....
5 votes
5 answers
771 views

Bach prelude in C major: unresolved suspension?

I know that in the common practice style, even in free composition where guidelines don't apply strictly, a dissonant suspension must resolve. In the WTC 1 prelude in C major, bar 20 is a C dominant ...
2 votes
1 answer
132 views

Can anyone help me understand F#ø7 - F7 - Asus - AM7 - D7 - Em?

I'm trying to understand what's going on in this small piece written for Genshin Impact game, the song's name is "Pure Sky" is about 1min long and you can listen to it here (the part I'm ...
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Roman numeral slash notation meaning and function? (V/iii)

When trying to find the function of the B major chord in C major I found that it was listed as a "V/iii" chord in this online calculator. I have never seen this before and don't know what ...
4 votes
5 answers
249 views

Harmony: why does transforming a ii minor chord into II major chord work?

I accidentally composed a song that uses the same harmony "trick" as the song The Odyssey from Symphony X. Both are in the key of Eb (I know it's C minor, but I like to think major for ...
4 votes
8 answers
732 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
62 views

Harmonic accuracy check [closed]

I would like a harmonic accuracy check for a variation that I composed based on a section of the first movement of Brahms's Violin Concerto. I am concerned with whether or not the notes of Bars 18 - ...
4 votes
3 answers
808 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
72 views

Does ii°/ iim7b5 in minor have 2 different functions?

Because the chord has ^2 and ^6 and because this is a tritone interval it would normally resolve to to ^3 and ^5 pointing to III as tonic. But in minor we overide this function and because of the 5th ...
2 votes
2 answers
309 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
233 views

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 ...
18 votes
7 answers
5k views

How to escape the C Major trap when improvising on the piano

I play/practice the piano for some decades and when improvising (Jazz, Romantic, and sometimes even Baroque), I observe a certain magnetism of the C Major key. I'm able to play scales, arpeggios, ...
1 vote
2 answers
270 views

What does a Roman numeral 1 with a superscript 6 mean? [duplicate]

The image above is a functional chord symbol. But what does the number mean?
2 votes
1 answer
539 views

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 ...
0 votes
4 answers
549 views

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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
940 views

is '4 minor' sub-dominant?

Of the 3 'functions' - Tonic / Sub-dominant / Dominant, which is '4 minor'? Is '4 minor', like 4, sub-dominant, or is it dominant? (Obviously, it's not a 'proper' dominant - but then, neither is iii, ...
6 votes
2 answers
571 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
94 views

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
196 views

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 ...
8 votes
6 answers
1k views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
59 views

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
104 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
62 views

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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
501 views

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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
214 views

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/...
3 votes
1 answer
89 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
160 views

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 ...
6 votes
6 answers
858 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 |
5 votes
1 answer
216 views

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
858 views

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.