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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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-...


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 ...


5

It's modulating ... or at least changing modes between C major and C minor, a commonly used thing. Changing between parallel major and minor keys. You can also see this as a movement of tonic by +/- 3 semitones, if you think Eb becomes the tonic in the three-flats parts. The chords could even be seen as diatonic, just in different keys. There are different (...


5

It’s not so much that it’s absent, as that it doesn’t really behave so much like a vi chord as like an alteration of the I chord. For example, Schenkerian analysts tend to analyze it entirely as a modification of the I, as can be seen in the recent Burststein/Straus textbook. Whenever they refer to it as a vi chord, they put it in scare quotes, like this: “...


5

There is a study of the subject here: https://www.gmth.de/zeitschrift/artikel/513.aspx There are also others. Some are used to build Markov chains for music simulation. Quinn's work referenced supra are a bit detailed. Just looking at major and minor triads, the split is about 63% root position and 32% first inversion and 5% second inversion.


5

I would say that your definition of a common-tone diminished seventh is too narrow. It's true that the CTo7 most often resolves to tonic or dominant, it's true that the common tone is typically the root of the chord to which it resolves, and it's true that this common tone is often found in the bass. But none of those things must be true; all that's ...


5

The ♭VII chord is a very common dominant substitute, especially in popular music. It's relatively uncommon in the 18th century, but starting around the time of Dvorak or so we start to encounter it more often. (Perhaps it's not completely unrelated that Dvorak liked incorporating popular music of the day into his compositions.) As such, your progression is ...


5

I have seen the basic "La Folia" described as a "double tonic" progression. The patterns i-V-i alternate with III-VII-III or i-V-i in the minor key followed by V-I-V in the relative major. Contemporary theorists mostly thought of this progression as a bass line with some stuff above it. The bass line is 1-V-1-7-3-7 with the melody 1-7-1-2-...


5

The basic harmony of the penultimate bar is Ab7 -- that is, the dominant seventh (V7) chord of Db major. This is seen most clearly in the left hand plus the final two right-hand notes. Chopin could have written the final three measures this way: X: 0 T: "Minute" Waltz Reduction #1 M: 3/4 L: 1/8 K: Db V:RH V:LH clef=bass [V:RH] y fedcBA | G4 C2 | D2 ...


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