10

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 ...


10

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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


5

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' ...


5

Don't get stuck in the idea that you're restricted to chords built from the natural minor scale. You'll find plenty of major V chords in the repertoire, and plenty of major IV ones too. As you say, if you want dominant functionality rather than modal meandering (though that's nice too!) a major V or V7 is very useful. That's why the form of minor scale ...


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

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

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

It is in Em, but there is never a song in E 'natural' or E 'melodic' or E 'harmonic' minor. Simply E minor. Since Em could have E, F♯, G, A, B, C, C♯, D, D♯ in it, and chords containing these notes would all sound fine, thus acceptable, and explainable. The key to a lot of pieces is the chord at the place where it feels at rest, or the end....


5

I guess, he means the following: (I will do it on the example of Tonic characteristic scales) 1, 3 and 5 are obviously characteristic degrees of a tonic, right? The other two triads, namely on the 6th degree (6, 1, 3) and on the 3rd degree (3, 5, 7) have an intersection of two notes each with the tonic triad (1, 3, 5), and apart from that each one has an ...


4

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 ...


4

IV has basically a pre-dominant function. Take a look at this harmony chart... The minor v will not be a dominant, because it doesn't have a leading tone. Here is one typical way it is used... ...notice how the second chord is the minor v in first inversion and then the fourth and fifth chords are the dominant V, first inversion and use the leading tone. ...


4

EDIT I'm revising my answer, because from OP comments I now understand the question isn't simply about Riemann function. I see potentially three definitions for "function": Riemann function, mathematical function, function meaning purpose. ...But I wonder how you would explain it to a curious student... To the extent there is a problem, that problem ...


4

Is there something else, other than a consonant tonic chord and the high 7th degree, that makes the major scale and harmonic and melodic minor scales particularly suited for tonal music - and this something is lacking in other scales? One thing is that to establish the tonic, it's useful to have the perfect fourth and perfect fifth in the scale - these are ...


4

It's more than just the scales (and their notes) that makes it so. It's the blending of those notes. As in harmony, particularly chords, mainly triads, (based on stacked thirds). The blend of those notes, giving three major chords - I, IV and V - work best in the Ionian mode - aka major tonality. I, IV and V (and/or minors) don't work as convincingly to our ...


4

First of all the I IV V is also very common in Classical music, not just rock and other modern pop genres. It is a very old progression that I see in pre-classical era music. From a chord substitution perspective the ii is (relatively speaking) the relative minor of the IV, as the iii is to the V, and the vi to the I. So in a very real sense ii-7 --> V7 -->...


4

One thing to address that I haven't seen yet covered: The C9 chord. You correctly identified that the piece has kind of a blues thing going. Blues music is full of nonfunctional dominant seventh chords, as you're probably aware. One of the notes commonly found in the E blues tonality is B♭ (or A♯, for spelling purposes). If you're wondering how I knew it ...


4

The doubled tone in these exercises will always be the root of the chord. For now, since you're only using root-position chords, this pitch will always be in the bass. But as you progress, you'll need to learn the distinction between the root and the bass. The bass is simply the lowest sounding note, and it can be any member of the chord (root, third, fifth,...


4

It looks like the author is drawing this from Riemann's functional theory. In it, each of the triads built with scale degrees has a function: T, D, or S. I, III and VI are all T, II and IV are S, and V and VII are D. T: I, III, and VI have (1, 3, 5), (3, 5, 7), and (6, 1, 3), which gives the set (1, 3, 5, 6, 7). S: II and IV have (2, 4, 6) and (4, 6, 1), ...


4

When a fully diminished appears, it is considered as the vii degree of the chord to which it resolves? YMMV, but my usual first-try idea for trying to "understand" a dim7 is to try and see it as a dominant chord for something. G#dim7 could be an E7 or G7 or Bb7 or Db7 in disguise. The expected something may not actually appear, but it doesn't mean that my ...


3

I wondered about this myself, actually. The following is my opinion as to the workings of these chords in tonal harmony. The C♯°7 leads very well to Dm (vii°/ii). It is fundamentally a different chord than the I, and it resolves up to the Dm. This chord is much more "directional"; it can't really return to the I. It also can be seen as a substitute for A7 (...


3

All the above chords emphasize scale step 4, perhaps sharpened. The path 1-4-7-1 seems to be common through many pieces; actually, the pattern of scales steps 4, 7, and 1 often marks a cadence of some sort. (These scale steps need not appear in the same voice.) While I tend to think that most music patterns are learned (cultural), it can be noted that scale ...


3

The similarity is likely due to the fact that both can be heard as passing diminished chords formed by chromatic voice leading. The C#dim is formed from an upward motion (C - C# - D), while the Cdim is formed from two downward motions (E - Eb - D; G - Gb - F). As the other answerers have noted, the C#dim also has a functional interpretation (as an ...


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