13 votes

Should I use uppercase or lowercase roman numerals in Jazz harmonic analysis?

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 ...
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12 votes
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Diminished chord constructed over the tonic degree?

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 ...
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12 votes

Should I use uppercase or lowercase roman numerals in Jazz harmonic analysis?

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/...
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11 votes

Definition of Functional Harmony

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 ...
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11 votes
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What does "function" actually mean in music?

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 ...
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9 votes

Can the leading note resolve down?

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 ...
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9 votes
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Is there a functional interpretation for VIIb in La Follia?

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 ...
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9 votes

what's the role of Ebmaj7 on this Ebmaj7 D7#9 Gm9 progression?

EbM7 is the VI chord in G minor, a standard predominant chord. VI - V - i is a common progression. F#dim7 is the leading-tone chord (vii) in G minor — it's standard to raise the seventh degree in ...
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8 votes

What does "function" actually mean in music?

"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 ...
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8 votes

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

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 ...
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flattened-seventh chord function

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 ...
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8 votes
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Understanding function of diminished chord in Paganini's 4th caprice

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 ...
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8 votes
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Is there a common labeling system for tritone substitutions?

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. ...
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7 votes

Definition of Functional Harmony

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 ...
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7 votes

Guidelines for writing a chord progression

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 ...
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7 votes

Characteristic scale degrees

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, ...
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7 votes

Can I use the chord progression i - v - VII - iv? (Am - Em - G - Dm : in A minor scale)

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-...
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7 votes

How do you define Harmonic Retrogression with regard to intensity?

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 ...
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In the common-practice style, did minor dominant chords (v) still function as a dominant?

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 ...
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7 votes

Should I use uppercase or lowercase roman numerals in Jazz harmonic analysis?

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 ...
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7 votes
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D Mixolydian key: is it possible?

Any mode or scale can be built on any tonic. So, yes, you can have D mixolydian... or D flat mixolydian, C mixolydian, etc. etc. If you have analyzed the song to have a D tonic and is mixolydian in ...
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Trouble reading roman numeral notation with flats

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 ...
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6 votes
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Guidelines for writing a chord progression

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 ...
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6 votes

flattened-seventh chord function

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 ...
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6 votes

The 2nd flat in a minor chord progression

...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 ...
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6 votes

How to recognize harmonic intervals?

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 ...
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6 votes
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Analysis of a jazz chord progression

Even in tonal music every chord does not need to have a functional role. Beside the possibility of mixing tonal and non-functional harmony, the obvious case would be a passing chord. | Cm7 | Em7b5 | ...
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Harmony exercise, enharmonic equivalence

You should respond according to the original interval. Responding according to the enharmonic equivalent will give an enharmonically equivalent answer, so nothing is gained in that sense. Piston is ...
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6 votes

where does the dominant IV7 (ie; F7 in the key of CMaj) come from?

Long answer. I guessed and extrapolated what you might mean, so this could be off by a mile. If by "F7 in the key of C major" you mean a style like blues where everything is a dominant-...
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5 votes

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

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 ...
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