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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6answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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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3answers
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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 ...
7
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1answer
697 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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4answers
637 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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5answers
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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 ...
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2answers
360 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 ...
6
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1answer
232 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
336 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
199 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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3answers
393 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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3answers
848 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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5answers
430 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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4answers
401 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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2answers
243 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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3answers
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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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3answers
428 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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3answers
251 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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2answers
307 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
95 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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4answers
325 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 ...
5
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1answer
434 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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6answers
430 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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5answers
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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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3answers
230 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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3answers
192 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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4answers
336 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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6answers
329 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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3answers
414 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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2answers
65 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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2answers
107 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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3answers
273 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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2answers
88 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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1answer
229 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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2answers
249 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 ...
3
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1answer
160 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
231 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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2answers
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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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4answers
178 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
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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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6answers
192 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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4answers
109 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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3answers
311 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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4answers
102 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
59 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
52 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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1answer
409 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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2answers
512 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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1answer
75 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
46 views

A chord progression from Leavitt: how to analyze it correctly

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 ...