13

Having looked at many analyzed scores, I find the lower case for minor and diminished and upper case for major and augmented much easier to read. The most common places I found hard to read were in music that uses both major and minor of the same key (tangos come to mind). (As far as I can tell from looking at older books, the use of both cases is an earlier ...


12

This technique is called a "common tone diminished chord." As the name implies, this is a diminished chord that shares note ("common tone") with the chord preceding it and the chord after it. Common tone diminished chords are used purely as a chromatic embellishment of the harmony; as opposed to traditional diminished chords that act as a dominant and can be ...


12

As long as you use the two systems with the degree of specificity that you've done in your question, it ultimately won't matter, because they tell you the exact same thing. As you've mentioned, major/augmented chords use uppercase Roman numerals while minor/diminished chords use lowercase. But note that in your system of using uppercase Roman numerals, ...


11

A complete explanation of what functional harmony is seems too broad, so instead I will merely assert as an answer that, as mentioned in a comment, the presence or absence of cadences does not seem to have any effect on whether a piece can reasonably be analyzed as functional harmony. The core element of functional harmony is the idea that each chord has a ...


11

See also: Definition of Functional Harmony In functional harmony, simultaneous notes are interpreted as chords and the analysis is based around how the chords relate to the overall key and the preceding and following chords. The relationship any one chord has in the context around it (i.e., the key and other chords) is called the chord's function. Another ...


9

You're absolutely right! The typical rule is that the leading tone must resolve up to tonic when it is in an outer voice (that is, the soprano or bass). If the leading tone is in an inner voice, it can resolve down a third to the fifth of the tonic chord (a so-called "sprung" or "frustrated" leading tone). Bach occasionally leaps the leading tone up to the ...


9

In a relative major key, VII - i would become V - vi which can be viewed as a deceive cadence. Because of this, you can think of certain sections of this progression dipping into the relative major where VII - III can be looked at as V/III - III and the deceptive resolution as a non functioning secondary dominant V/III - i which is expecting to have the V - ...


8

"Function" means "role" or "responsibility"; it's closer to the ordinary meaning, different from the specialized math term which means "mapping between two sets". Western music theory works by identifying and classifying certain recurring patterns in music, such as certain chord cadences. When we say that some chord has a function, we are stating (the ...


8

I think you need a better reason to call the penultimate chord a dominant than 'It comes before the tonic'! You're trying very hard to explain this sequence in functional terms. Why? I think it just meanders around. Most of the chords have a note in common with the one before. It gets back to where it started, which I suspect is the main reason the final ...


8

This is an interesting progression, and that move from D♯ minor to A major is pretty jarring! I understand this in at least two ways: First, as you said, is the obvious result of the chromatic voice leading in the bass. We call this a lament bass, and although this is an uncommon harmonization of it, it's not completely unheard of: a famous prelude ...


8

This is basically a better-phrased version of Albrecht Hügli's answer, but I'd treat the chord progression as this, with the diminished chord in bold: Isus4 - I - vii°7/V - I6/4 - V7 - I Yes, I'd treat the diminished 7th chord as a secondary dominant, especially since it resolves its root by step to I6/4, then V7. The I6/4 chord is so strongly associated ...


8

This is often notated as sub(V), spoken as "sub five". The "sub" is short for "substitution", and it is understood as specifically the tritone substitution of the chord. The chord in (sometimes omitted) parentheses is the chord which is being replaced by the substitution, as in "sub of five" or "substitution for ...


7

Reimann is apparently the original source for tonic, subdominant, dominant definition of functional harmony... ...that seems to be the basis of talking about 'functionality' on other levels. Like this introduction from Schoenberg... Those screen shots are from the Harvard Dictionary of Music and Structural Functions of Harmony. Back to your question: "...


7

Honestly you will find many explanations and I would say that you should not overthink it, otherwise it will block you more than anything else. I would like to give you just 2 simple pointers, but remember nothing is entirely scientific. Like a lot of people, I often go back to "if it sounds good to me, then it's good". Some people find sus2 chords dissonant ...


7

It's saying that each harmonic function is built up using different notes of the reference key, or tonic scale. Those are the notes that are used to build harmony that satisfies those functions. So, if you want to imply an harmonic function, or find the function of a set of notes, you'll be using those notes in some form and extent. In other words, it's ...


7

To add a bit to the other answers, the minor dominant is fine in a minor (or major) key. The pattern v-i does not have the same cadential effect as V-i. Many composers use v rather than V in non-cadential progressions; one example is a repeated cycle of fifths in a minor key. One often sees i-iv-VII-III-VI-ii0-v-i-iv-VII-III-VI-ii0-V7-i. For that matter, ...


7

Interesting. I think the problem lies in a pretty poor definition. As you've said, there are all kinds of ways to understand "intensity," so it's not hard to come up with examples that seem to defy the definition. It seems that they mean "intensity" as something like "tendency to resolve towards tonic," but presumably the tonic ...


7

These minor v chords are not typically viewed as dominant in function, no. Instead, they most often function as passing chords. Imagine we pass from i through v6 down to VI (or even iv6). In these cases the v chords very clearly do not reach the hierarchical level of a "real" dominant and instead are just voice-leading conduits leading from one ...


7

My preference, and I think it's the more contemporary style, it to user upper/lower case to show chord quality. Using all upper case (and sometimes only Roman numerals) seems to be an older analysis style. At least, I see it more often in theory books from the first half of the twentieth century. I have always assumed this style took for granted people knew ...


6

TLDR; a sharp or flat before numeral mean raise or lower the chord root from its normal diatonic spelling In the usual Roman numeral analysis we have these conventions: First we have to give a label for a key like E: for E major or Em: for E minor. Then we have these points... capital numeral means major triad lower case numeral means minor triad 'o' ...


6

It sounds like you're trying to find some general musical rules, and make music according to those rules. That's an interesting exercise, but it's not generally how people write music, partly because such rules can be quite specific to the style of music you want to write. As an example - you've mentioned I, IV, V, and the V->I motion. But there are some ...


6

The bVII is probably the most used non-diatonic chord in music. So much so that it’s the only non-diatonic chord included in Apple’s GarageBand chord palette. As for its function there are many different and valid explanations as to why it works. For me one of the most important reasons it works so well is it mimics the parallel whole step movement between ...


6

...interpreted in terms of harmony I suppose you mean an interpretation according to common practice or functional harmony. But that isn't the only way to analyze harmony. I think it might help to think of what's going on in mostly linear terms. You have one step-wise line ascending to Bm in G A Bm. If you regard some of the chords in the next part as an ...


6

Should I be able to sing each note of the melodic interval in order to recognize it? Or... Should I be able to recognize them only by their unique flavour? Both. Moreover singing what you hear is a very good method to learn. I guess you're practicing with recordings or some training app, but try also practice with an instrument (e.g. piano, guitar): play ...


5

When you write that you "feel [VI] sounds like it is working in more of a subdominant role", you have good reason: VI's triad contains ^6 and ^1, and so does iv. The whole of VI's triad is part of the iv7 chord. One key closely related to any minor key is its relative major key III. VI is IV of III. One factor which makes v seem like not a dominant is that ...


5

Chopin was of course very good at harmony, and one of his specialties were chromatic progressions. The particular bars you picked are quite complicated, so I will explain a few different concepts first, before explaining the progression in question. (Very) broadly speaking, there are two ways to connect chords in a progression: through functional harmony ...


5

The pentatonic scale you've identified is A pentatonic minor. The force theme uses scale degrees outside of this scale. It's not really going to be possible to adapt any given melody to your kalimba's scale, but many melodies do use only pentatonic scales anyway.


5

Dmitri Tymoczko's books on geometric harmony are one attempt. They are an extension of neo-Riemannian harmony based on the Tonnetz. (Editorial: I found these more useful for laying out accordion buttons than for explaining tonal or other relations.) Older (pre-1800) works on figured bass try to explain things from a non-functional viewpoint; they suffer from ...


5

I would hesitate to call this VI chord a substitute dominant. Submediant triads often function to connect tonic and predominant, or they can function as their own predominants. As such, if we want to call this VI chord anything, I think it's best to call it a predominant (or a substitute of one, if you wish). As for the voice leading to B♭, it's very ...


5

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 cadence, often played IV - iv - I. I'm not sure what "explain" means here, but I'm assuming from the phrasing of the question that it is limiting the concept of "Neo-...


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