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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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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 ...
LeoAn's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
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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....
angryavian's user avatar
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3 answers
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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 ...
tox123's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
Basstickler's user avatar
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8 votes
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 ...
Juan Luis's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Quaerendo's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
658 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,...
klutt's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Oliver G's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
Albrecht Hügli's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
Caleb Lee's user avatar
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5 answers
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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 ...
286642's user avatar
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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 ...
lbbl59's user avatar
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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 ...
OprenStein's user avatar
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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 ...
Esteban G.'s user avatar
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 ...
Karlo's user avatar
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4 votes
6 answers
761 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. ...
286642's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
275 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 ...
Caters's user avatar
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