Larger Forms and Analytical Decisions (week 9)

This week we didn’t introduce new concepts, but instead worked with material that we know to understand larger spans of music. Some of the types of things we were talking about: –when music is tonal on a large scale, but not a small scale (Chopin op 28 #4 in e minor) –comparing variations to a…

Borrowed Chords and Altered Predominants (week 8)

The last type of chromaticism we will cover this quarter is modal borrowing, often referred to individually as borrowed chords. This phenomenon arrises when a composer borrows chords from the parallel major or minor for heightened emotional effect. (Parallel major and minor keys are those that share the same name: C major and c minor.)…

Applied Dominants (week 6)

Having covered diatonic chords, we now move to chromatic (having sharps or flats outside of the key signature) chords. Applied dominants (sometimes called secondary dominants – from which I will refrain because of secondary functions, week 2) are one of the most straightforward chromatic concepts. Since we define Dominant function by its sound and resolution, almost…

Week 5 – review and quiz

This week we continued discussing concepts from the last several weeks with new music. Here is a summary handout: Midterm handout Here is an extra practice spelling worksheet: extra practice midterm For practice analyzing music we looked at Beethoven op 14#1 mvt 1 opening theme, and Beethoven op. 28 mvt 3, mm1-30. Here’s the quiz: midterm

Prolongations and Embellishments (week 4)

This week we continued working with concepts from the last two weeks, putting them together to look at the details of musical phrases. Remember, different analysts are looking for different things. There is more than one right answer. Prolongation begins with the idea that T, P, and D are more stable or structural chords than…

Inversions and Added tones (week 3)

This week we added arabic numeral superscripts and subscripts to our functional letter labels. These numbers represent interval relations to the root of the chord. To review, the root of each chord in solfege and scale degree numbers: Primary functions, major and minor    Major keys          Minor keys T, t –…

Secondary Functions (week 2)

This week we secondary or substitute functions. These are chords that can stand in for primary functions (tonic or predominant) for various purposes – most often variety, voice-leading, or to keep the phrase moving forward. The quality of a chord (major or minor) is always shown by the last letter of a functional label. These chords…

Primary Functions (week 1)

Functional Analysis is a system of harmonic analysis that has the cadence as the basis. Functions are determined aurally; each has its own sound – sometimes we talk about chords having desire (this chord wants to go here). The principle contributor to each chord’s function is its root – at this point the bass pitch. (In…