I’m writing/editing a draft of an article tomorrow on my favorite topic: Functional Analysis! Here’s the intro:
Tonal analysis is the basic building block for multiple, more advanced theories and types of analysis. However, students often struggle with Roman numerals, become frustrated with Music Theory in general, and never meet the excitement of deep analysis. To counter student frustration and to clarify basic tonal analysis for those who use it on a day to day basis, I present a revised, more intuitive approach to harmonic analysis with functional labels as an alternative to Roman numerals.
This new system has the potential to decrease confusion and facilitate easy use. This article provides a brief historical perspective on Roman numerals, basic tonal analysis, and functional analysis, identifies some shortcomings of current Roman numeral practices, and then presents my revised system and demonstrates its advantages. Finally, I address the role this system can play in the undergraduate core curriculum and supply a samples from a class taught with this method.