#1
Whenever composing myself I've always just had a 'some chords resolve better then others and thats that' approach. But I was talking to some pianist the other day and he was telling me about dominant and tonic chord progressions. I'll cut to the chase:

For the Major scale

l - lll - Vl = Tonic family
lV - ll = Sub-dominant family
V - Vll = Dominant family

He didn't really elaborate much more then that aside from saying cadences are built off the relationships of these families.

Can anyone extend on this theory? Am I also to understand that these families would shift accordingly in different modes?

Sorry for being vague again I just don't have much information to build off.

EDIT: should probably provide an example for discussion.

C Major

C Major - E minor - A minor = Tonic
F Major - D minor = Sub-dom
G Major - B diminished = Dom
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Last edited by Serpentarius at Jun 25, 2010,
#2
Yes that is true, just reviewed this the other day in harmony class.

What is (to my understanding, never use this concept much) is that these chords are related because of the notes that are familiar between them. Let's use G (since everyone uses C):
Just to lay them out (using 7ths)
I - G, B, D, F#
ii - A, C, E, G
iii - B, D, F#, A
IV - C, E, G, B
V - D, E, F#, C
vi - E, G, B, D
vii - F#, A, C, E

Now see how the relationships occur? I, III, VI are related by at least 3 notes, therefore the VI chord can have a tonic function, sounding similar to the I chord. Etc. Etc.

That help a little? I wouldn't worry too much bout their relationships to the modes, if anything write it out like I did above and you can find out on your own.

And one thing to think about is that when you're using the 7th chords, that's one more note in common to strengthen their relationship.
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#3
Quote by Blurry 505


Let's use G (since everyone uses C):



lol funny because I was editing my post the same time you were posting.

So does that mean the general idea is to avoid using chords of the same family in succession because it would sound monotonous? And that the reason dominants pull better to the tonic is because they are more unrelated?

Hope I'm getting the right idea o_O
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#4
Quote by Serpentarius
lol funny because I was editing my post the same time you were posting.

So does that mean the general idea is to avoid using chords of the same family in succession because it would sound monotonous?
Well they won't necessarily sound monotonous, but there won't be as much harmonic motion as there would be moving between groups.

Quote by Serpentarius
And that the reason dominants pull better to the tonic is because they are more unrelated?

Hope I'm getting the right idea o_O
Not necessarily because they're more unrelated. More so because they contain notes that will resolve stepwise to a chord tone. Take the classic authentic cadence:

You have V I. In terms of single notes (in relation to the tonic), you have 5 7 2 in the dominant and 1 3 5 in the tonic. Overlooking the 5, you see that the 7 will resolve by a half-step to the root, and the 2 will resolve step-wise to either the root or the 3 (although more strongly to the root, but that's kind of irrelevant in this context). If you extend the V to a V7, that adds the 4 in the mix there. The 4 wants to resolve by a half-step to the 3. That's three intervals in one chord that want to resolve. (plus the V7 and the viio/viio7 have unstable intervals such as tritones and stacked minor thirds which want to resolve somewhere else).
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#5
Thanks man it's starting to sink in now, I never even thought of using viio7 before, how does that resolve?
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#6
Against the tonic the most dominant sound is the dominant (hence it's name). The next is the sub dominant which is the dominant below the tonic (hence the name sub dominant).

The dominant is the first overtone apart from the octave. So when we go from the dominant to the tonic it just feels right as though we are returning to the fundamental. Also the major dominant chord contains the leading tone which moves stepwise to the tonic root. etc etc as mentioned by food 101.

Because of these reasons the dominant pulls us toward the tonic reinforcing it.

The SubDominant works in exactly the opposite way pulling us away from the tonic.

Chord families are a form of chord substitution and more specifically a form of common tone chord substitution. As mentioned in earlier posts chords of the same family share common tones.

I and iii share tones 3 and 5 of the major scale.
I and vi share tones 1 and 3.
IV and ii share tones 4 and 6.
V and viidim share tones 5 and 7.

You will notice iii also shares two tones with V (tones 5 and 7) however as the tonic is the stronger of the two chords the similarity between iii and I over rides that of iii and V.

Quote by Serpentarius
So does that mean the general idea is to avoid using chords of the same family in succession because it would sound monotonous?
Absolutely not. It means that the chords of the same family will fulfil the same basic harmonic function.

So the typical function of IV pulls us away from the tonic while the typical function of the V pulls us toward the tonic creating a sense of dynamism or movement in the music. Chords of the same family following from each other will provide a more static harmony with less movement while still maintaining interest. You might have eight bars in which you want the harmony to remain fairly static but find that just banging away on the tonic chord gets too monotonous. So you see using chords from the same family can be one way of keeping the harmony where you want it while also breaking up the monotony.

It is my opinion that a good chord sequence will have a balance of dynamic vs static harmony and though chord families can help in achieving it's really a different topic. So back on task...

A common way to use chord families is to substitute chords of the same family in order to "reharmonize" a chord sequence. To do this we can analyze a basic structure using these families and then reharmonize the chord sequence to create a new sequence that sounds different but still has the same underlying harmonic structure.

As an example I will show you one way in which you could use chord families to reharmonize a harmonic structure that has been proven to work time and time again I IV V.
[edit]just colour coding the families tonic=Blue; subdominant=red; dominant=purple [/edit]
Let's play this three chord trick in a standard four bar structure
| I \ \ \ | I \ \ \ | IV \ \ \ | V \ \ \ |

Now we can use the chord families to replace the entire bar with a chord from the same family - or we can replace just half of the bar... So in this case it is pretty obvious which bar belongs to which family. Bars one and two are the tonic family bar three is the subdominant and bar four is the dominant.

Using chord families to substitute some of these chords we might come up with...

| I \ \ \ | vi \ \ \ | IV \ ii \ | V \ \ \ |

or we could have done it like this...
| I \ iii \ | I \ vi \ | ii \ IV \ | V \ V7 \ |

or like this...
| I \ \ \ | vi \ \ \ | ii \ \ \ | V \ \ \ |

Notice that these progressions all sound different yet you can still hear how their underlying harmonic structure is the same? The way in each of the examples the music kind of pulls when you move to the third bar in a way that wasn't present before and then in the fourth bar you feel that heightened tension that is released with a shift back to the tonic. Of course that was exactly what we deliberately and systematically set out to do - create a new sounding chord sequence that has the same underlying harmonic structure, otherwise known as Reharmonization, using chord families.

This is just one aspect of harmony. There are so many great and interesting ideas to explore but this is a fairly simple and useful one to know and it would pay to spend some time messing around with it.

I hope that was easy enough to follow.

Best of Luck

Edit1 - added some colour
Edit 2 - changed some wording slightly - fixed the quote
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jun 25, 2010,
#7
Lets see if I can do this. Im going to use C major, because I'm completely unoriginal xD

the vii*7 contains the notes B D F Ab (seeing as you asked for a diminished 7th, which isnt completely diatonic to C major). We will use a vii*7 to I (which contains C E G). The extreme dissonance from the vii*7 makes it want to resolve, mainly because its full of stacked minor thirds, which creates tritones. This dissonance will make the B want to resolve a halfstep up to C, F will resolve a halfstep to E, and Ab will resolve a halfstep to G. The D in there can resolve either to E or C seeing as it has an equal distance of a wholestep to either said notes.

EDIT: ^^ Ok he pretty much destroyed my information haha
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Last edited by Zinnie at Jun 25, 2010,
#8
^yes that's right. - That is voice leading. The way in which each individual voice moves from one chord to the other. It's also a useful thing to study and understand but it's not essential in order to grasp the concept of chord families.

Though if you were using chord families you would most likely use a half diminished seventh chord as a member of the dominant family as opposed to a fully diminished seventh. The half diminished in C (not because I'm unoriginal but because it has no sharps and flats to worry about) would be Bø7 (B half diminished) B D F A. There is a tritone between that B and the F. The same tritone from the V7 chord.

Moving to C major C E G the B would move up a half step to resolve to the tonic while the F moves in the opposite direction down a half step to E. This forms the strong major third tonality of the major tonic and gives us a strong sense of resolve. But it's only one of the reasons the dominant to tonic is such a strong progression.

Voice leading and understanding the difference between progressions and regressions, static vs dynamic harmony are also interesting topics to wrap your head around. Learning and understanding those principles will give you a stronger sense of how harmony works and help you get a handle on taming harmony. But they are different avenues of harmonic investigation than Chord Families, which is a topic more about understanding how chords that share common tones can be substituted for each other and still fulfill the same basic harmonic function.
Si
#9
Quote by 20Tigers

I hope that was easy enough to follow.


Yeah thanks man, killer post. Now I'll have something to experiment with tonight.
Another thing I've gotta get straight though is the modal shift.

Would this be A minor?

Amin-Cmaj-Fmaj=Tonic
Bdim-Dmin=SubDom
Emin-Gmaj=Dom

Probably wrong.
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#10
Close and I can see your logic. When I first learned chord families that's how I thought it would go. I figured that because it shared two notes with the subdominant (iv) and two notes with the tonic (i) surely the tonic is the more powerful relationship ~because it is the tonic.

But I was wrong what matters is how the chord functions. In a minor key the ♭VI functions as a sub dominant. It pulls away from the tonic and leads into the dominant. A good example of this is the common minor key progression i - i -♭VI -♭VII. (in Am = Am Am F G) in which we can quite clearly hear the ♭VI pulling away from the tonic and setting up the G which acts as the dominant chord.

In fact in some ways ♭VI and ♭VII could be viewed as the "modal subdominant" and "modal dominant" of the minor key. However from a harmonic overtone perspective the subdominant whenever A is the root is D rooted chord and the dominant is an E rooted cord. - But I'm starting to make shit up now so I better get back to what's what...

The ♭VI is subdominant. That's just how it functions so that's where it belongs.

So the families in a minor key are
Tonic = i, ♭III
Sub Dominant = iv, ♭VI, iidim
Dominant = v (V), ♭VII

In Am that would be
Tonic = Am, C
SubDominant = Dm F Bdim
Dominant = Em (Emaj), G

E major is in brackets because when the dominant chord is used to function as a dominant (i.e. for that tension filled chord that leads back into the tonic Am) it is almost always a major chord even in a minor key

So the minor key has a few peculiarities to it. But it was a pretty good guess.

Peace.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jun 25, 2010,
#11
Quote by Serpentarius
I never even thought of using viio7 before, how does that resolve?
Just like a viio does. It's just extending it to the seventh to add some more tension, as it makes the interval between every set of congruent notes a minor third:
1  b3  b5  bb7  1, etc...
 b3  b3  b3   b3
In other words, these chords are very unstable because of their symmetrical, repeating pattern, plus every note forms a tritone with another note (1-b5, b3-bb7, b5-1, bb7-b3 are all tritones).

Edit: My bad, extending the viio (diatonically in a major key) to the seventh gives you a half-diminished (viiø. The half-diminished leading tone does still add a bit more tension than the basic triad. Just not as much as the fully diminished.
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Last edited by food1010 at Jun 25, 2010,
#13
I just learned a lot from this thread. Thanks guys!

I have a question though. When 20Tigers started talking about how chords of the dominant family tend to lead towards the tonic, I started playing around with a couple of chords:

Bm7b13 (I think that's right; B, G, A, D, F#) to a Cmaj7 (C, G, B, E)

When I play the first chord, my ears naturally want to hear the Cmaj7. So at first I thought that this could be explained by a Dom to Tonic movement in the Cmaj Scale (vii to I). But because of the F#, this doesn't fit in Cmaj, and rather in G maj.

So would this be a ii to III in G maj? If it is, then it would be a Sub-Dominant to Tonic movement. But why does the first chord seem resolved by the second?

Could someone explain please?
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#14
Quote by Jimmy_Page_Zep
I just learned a lot from this thread. Thanks guys!

I have a question though. When 20Tigers started talking about how chords of the dominant family tend to lead towards the tonic, I started playing around with a couple of chords:

Bm7b13 (I think that's right; B, G, A, D, F#) to a Cmaj7 (C, G, B, E)

When I play the first chord, my ears naturally want to hear the Cmaj7. So at first I thought that this could be explained by a Dom to Tonic movement in the Cmaj Scale (vii to I). But because of the F#, this doesn't fit in Cmaj, and rather in G maj.

So would this be a ii to III in G maj? If it is, then it would be a Sub-Dominant to Tonic movement. But why does the first chord seem resolved by the second?

Could someone explain please?
Firstly, that sounds more like a Gmaj9 (first inversion) to me. That's a much more logical name for it.

So we have Gmaj9 - Cmaj7. This is diatonic to G major because of that F#, so looking at it in terms of G major we have a I IV progression. I IV is a pretty strong motion because it employs dominant motion from one major chord to another (dominant seventh/extension chords have a stronger pull, but major ones still work because of the major triad base.

The pull is made even stronger by inverting the Gmaj9, with B as the bass. This B (the third) is the main reason dominant motion is so strong. Putting it in the bass makes this even stronger.

Play Gmaj9/B Cmaj7 D7 (or D9 or something) and listen to how that works. The Gmaj9/B is a very weak tonic, it pulls to the Cmaj7, but then the D7 pulls very strongly back to G.

It's not possible to say any of this with complete certainty though. In context, this could be in C major. The diatonic dominant in C major would be G(9), 5 7 2 (4 6) in relation to C, but if you make it a Gmaj9 you get 5 7 2 #4 6. This is a neat little alteration. If you look at the G9, it contains that natural 4, which resolves down to the 3 in the tonic very nicely. #4 doesn't resolve down to the 3 as nicely. It does, however, resolve very nicely up to the 5. So the key of C major is a possibility. G major just seems a bit more likely based on no context.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#15
Quote by 20Tigers
Close and I can see your logic. When I first learned chord families that's how I thought it would go. I figured that because it shared two notes with the subdominant (iv) and two notes with the tonic (i) surely the tonic is the more powerful relationship ~because it is the tonic.

But I was wrong what matters is how the chord functions. In a minor key the ♭VI functions as a sub dominant. It pulls away from the tonic and leads into the dominant. A good example of this is the common minor key progression i - i -♭VI -♭VII. (in Am = Am Am F G) in which we can quite clearly hear the ♭VI pulling away from the tonic and setting up the G which acts as the dominant chord.

In fact in some ways ♭VI and ♭VII could be viewed as the "modal subdominant" and "modal dominant" of the minor key. However from a harmonic overtone perspective the subdominant whenever A is the root is D rooted chord and the dominant is an E rooted cord. - But I'm starting to make shit up now so I better get back to what's what...

The ♭VI is subdominant. That's just how it functions so that's where it belongs.

So the families in a minor key are
Tonic = i, ♭III
Sub Dominant = iv, ♭VI, iidim
Dominant = v (V), ♭VII

In Am that would be
Tonic = Am, C
SubDominant = Dm F Bdim
Dominant = Em (Emaj), G

E major is in brackets because when the dominant chord is used to function as a dominant (i.e. for that tension filled chord that leads back into the tonic Am) it is almost always a major chord even in a minor key

So the minor key has a few peculiarities to it. But it was a pretty good guess.

Peace.


Is this the case for the other minors too? (Dorian and Phrygian)
Also while I'm posting I may as well ask about the others; Lyd Mix Loc
I assuming the first two would follow the major rules but I have no idea about Locrian (probably wouldn't use it anyway, but it would be interesting).
Sorry for being demanding, but google did not satisfy my needs.
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#16
Quote by Serpentarius
Is this the case for the other minors too? (Dorian and Phrygian)
Also while I'm posting I may as well ask about the others; Lyd Mix Loc
I assuming the first two would follow the major rules but I have no idea about Locrian (probably wouldn't use it anyway, but it would be interesting).
Sorry for being demanding, but google did not satisfy my needs.
Those aren't keys, those are modes.
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#17
My bad, I'm trying to figure out how the families shift in different modes.
Probably shouldn't have said 'other minors' I meant modes rooted on a minor triad.
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Last edited by Serpentarius at Jun 28, 2010,
#18
Interesting question / idea. Making chord families in a modal context...hmm. I've never really thought that much about it to be honest. You're opening a huge can of worms so beware you are likely to receive some dismissive responses.

In answer to your question - I don't know. And so can not help you much.
Si
#19
Quote by Serpentarius
My bad, I'm trying to figure out how the families shift in different modes.
Probably shouldn't have said 'other minors' I meant modes rooted on a minor triad.
Ah.

I'm not sure if this idea transfers very well into modal harmony, because modal harmony is, well... very different. It doesn't quite follow the same rules as common tonal tertian harmony.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#20
Quote by Serpentarius
My bad, I'm trying to figure out how the families shift in different modes.
Probably shouldn't have said 'other minors' I meant modes rooted on a minor triad.


that is indeed a huge can of worms to open. but i don't know much about the idea of chord families (i prefer to think of things in terms of functions - pre-dominant, dominant, etc.). but tonal harmony and modal harmony are fairly different entities. still, a lot of the restrictions on modal harmony are no longer in effect thanks to the brilliant composers of the last 125 years.

i mean, i suppose you can classify them similarly:

e.g. D dorian

tonic - Dm Bº Fmaj
subdominant - Em Gmaj
dominant - Cmaj Am

but i don't like this system, because i don't see any chord pulling off a true tonic function other than I (or i). not to mention i don't really see its use, but maybe that's just because i prefer thinking of functions rather than families.

ordinarily, i'd be one of the first to provide a dismissive response, but hell, try it -- see where you get. i'm honestly doubtful there's much to gain in doing so, but at least you'll walk out of it with a better understanding of modes. but who knows, i could be wrong.
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#21
Quote by AeolianWolf
i mean, i suppose you can classify them similarly:

e.g. D dorian

tonic - Dm Fmaj
subdominant - Em Gmaj
dominant - Cmaj Am
You can see how it starts to get a bit out of sorts here though. A diminished chord won't take on a tonic function very well because of its dissonance/symmetry. The tritone and stacked minor thirds make it want to resolve elsewhere.

This is also why the Locrian mode is really considered only a "theoretical" mode, it's natural tonic is a diminished chord, which makes the mode very difficult to resolve.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#22
Quote by food1010
You can see how it starts to get a bit out of sorts here though. A diminished chord won't take on a tonic function very well because of its dissonance/symmetry. The tritone and stacked minor thirds make it want to resolve elsewhere.

This is also why the Locrian mode is really considered only a "theoretical" mode, it's natural tonic is a diminished chord, which makes the mode very difficult to resolve.


like i said, modes aside, i really don't care for this system. forgetting about Bº, i don't even see Fmaj taking on a tonic function in D dorian, because then it wouldn't be D dorian. and the same goes for tonal music, as well. i mean, a key change is a key change, but if you want to treat it as such, then ANY chord could potentially hold the tonic function.
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#23
Probably best for me to put aside that idea for now (if not forever lol).
I'm interested in the way you guys know chordal harmony so well in general (functions etc), where would be the best place to start?
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#24
Quote by griffRG7321
TS this video explains it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycpPTmejaSM


It hasn't explained it to me, but my god that is a great video. You can still learn a lot from it. It's really inspired me!
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#25
Quote by Serpentarius
Probably best for me to put aside that idea for now (if not forever lol).
The only quarrel I have with it is the "tonic" family. Like AeolianWolf, I feel that only one chord can be legitimately placed in that group: the tonic.

That said, the other two families DO have some degree of credibility.

Considering the harmonized major scale, ii and IV can function as predominants (mainly to the V though) and V and viio function very well as dominants. I don't see how iii and vi have tonic characteristics aside from the fact that the vi is the tonic of the relative minor.

Then if you look at minor keys, this gets thrown off a bit. Assuming the "diatonic chords" of a minor key to be the harmonized natural minor scale with the harmonic minor alteration on the V (i iio bIII iv V bVI bVII), I don't think iv works as well as a predominant, nor bVII as a dominant.

I think this system is very limiting if anything. Obviously a chord can have multiple different functions, so I don't think it's good to group them like that.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#26
Quote by food1010
The only quarrel I have with it is the "tonic" family. Like AeolianWolf, I feel that only one chord can be legitimately placed in that group: the tonic.

That said, the other two families DO have some degree of credibility.

Considering the harmonized major scale, ii and IV can function as predominants (mainly to the V though) and V and viio function very well as dominants. I don't see how iii and vi have tonic characteristics aside from the fact that the vi is the tonic of the relative minor.

Then if you look at minor keys, this gets thrown off a bit. Assuming the "diatonic chords" of a minor key to be the harmonized natural minor scale with the harmonic minor alteration on the V (i iio bIII iv V bVI bVII), I don't think iv works as well as a predominant, nor bVII as a dominant.

I think this system is very limiting if anything. Obviously a chord can have multiple different functions, so I don't think it's good to group them like that.


precisely.

keep in mind that a chord doesn't HAVE to have a labeled function. if i give you the progression I vi IV V, I is clearly the tonic, IV is clearly a predominant, V is clearly a dominant, but what is vi? it is certainly not the tonic. it is simply part of the progression.

Quote by Serpentarius
I'm interested in the way you guys know chordal harmony so well in general (functions etc), where would be the best place to start?


well, the reason we know it well is just experience. we've been dealing with this stuff for a while, and the more you deal with it, the more it just sticks.

if you haven't already, check out musictheory.net. you seem to have a basic grasp of theory down, so start a little further down the line.
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Last edited by AeolianWolf at Jun 29, 2010,
#27
Quote by AeolianWolf
precisely.

, but what is vi? it is certainly not the tonic. it is simply part of the progression.


it's called the sub-mediant, which is part of the tonic family.


Quote by food1010
The only quarrel I have with it is the "tonic" family. Like AeolianWolf, I feel that only one chord can be legitimately placed in that group: the tonic.

That said, the other two families DO have some degree of credibility.

Considering the harmonized major scale, ii and IV can function as predominants (mainly to the V though) and V and viio function very well as dominants. I don't see how iii and vi have tonic characteristics aside from the fact that the vi is the tonic of the relative minor.

Then if you look at minor keys, this gets thrown off a bit. Assuming the "diatonic chords" of a minor key to be the harmonized natural minor scale with the harmonic minor alteration on the V (i iio bIII iv V bVI bVII), I don't think iv works as well as a predominant, nor bVII as a dominant.

I think this system is very limiting if anything. Obviously a chord can have multiple different functions, so I don't think it's good to group them like that.


Well it's fun to make up your own theory, but I'm not so sure id place my own conjecture above what I know to be common usage.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 29, 2010,
#28
Quote by GuitarMunky
it's called the sub-mediant, which is part of the tonic family.


thank you, but i actually do happen to know what a sub-mediant is. but what is the function of vi in the progression? "sub-mediant" is not a function, it is a scale degree.
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#29
Quote by AeolianWolf
thank you, but i actually do happen to know what a sub-mediant is. but what is the function of vi in the progression? "sub-mediant" is not a function, it is a scale degree.
Exactly. Just as "predominant" is not a scale degree, "submediant" is not a function.

Quote by GuitarMunky
it's called the sub-mediant, which is part of the tonic family.

Well it's fun to make up your own theory, but I'm not so sure id place my own conjecture above what I know to be common usage.
What do you refer to as "my conjecture" and "common usage"?

I myself do not believe that my point was all that removed from "common" understanding. I may have stated it a bit differently, but I'm not rejecting common practice, unless of course my knowledge of common practice is skewed.
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Last edited by food1010 at Jun 29, 2010,
#30
Quote by AeolianWolf
thank you, but i actually do happen to know what a sub-mediant is. but what is the function of vi in the progression? "sub-mediant" is not a function, it is a scale degree.


depends on the context. anyway, like I was saying. Making up your own theory before accepting common practice doesn't seem like a great idea to me. Thinking it is one thing.... preaching it is another.

this is what I mean..

Quote by food1010
The only quarrel I have with it is the "tonic" family. Like AeolianWolf, I feel that only one chord can be legitimately placed in that group: the tonic.

That said, the other two families DO have some degree of credibility.

.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 29, 2010,
#31
Quote by GuitarMunky
depends on the context. anyway, like I was saying. Making up your own theory before accepting common practice doesn't seem like a great idea to me. Thinking it is one thing.... preaching it is another.


no, no, you misunderstand. this is hardly my conjecture -- it is common logic. IV and ii are very often predominants. V and viiº are very often dominants. modulations aside, how often are iii and vi tonics?

it's not that i don't accept common practice. and personally, i think that forming your own conjecture before understanding common practice leads to error.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#32
Quote by GuitarMunky
depends on the context. anyway, like I was saying. Making up your own theory before accepting common practice doesn't seem like a great idea to me. Thinking it is one thing.... preaching it is another.

this is what I mean..
I was not aware this "chord families" idea was common practice. In fact, I've never heard chord functions explained this way before. Do they teach this in harmony & theory classes?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#33
Quote by AeolianWolf
no, no, you misunderstand. this is hardly my conjecture -- it is common logic. IV and ii are very often predominants. V and viiº are very often dominants. modulations aside, how often are iii and vi tonics?

it's not that i don't accept common practice. and personally, i think that forming your own conjecture before understanding common practice leads to error.


They are considered part of the tonic family, thats all I'm saying.

read 20tigers post and/or the article linked after foods quote


Quote by food1010
I was not aware this "chord families" idea was common practice. In fact, I've never heard chord functions explained this way before. Do they teach this in harmony & theory classes?



Sure, I've been taught the idea of "chord families" in a theory class, as well as in private lessons.

not too hard to find online documentation of it.

This is pretty good...

http://www.guitar-chord-theory.com/chord-substitution.html

particularly this part:

"Chord Family Substitutions:
It is helpful to know the functions of the chords in order to make successful chord substitutions. The diatonic structure consists of three families of chords: tonic, subdominant, and dominant.

"The tonic family expresses the tonal foundation of a key. The subdominant family expresses movement away from the foundation. And finally, the dominant family expresses harmonic tension. This tension is released with chords that move the harmony back to the tonic. Chords belonging to the same family can often be substituted for each other."
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 29, 2010,
#34
Good info there Munky, Joe pass shows examles in the vid i linked but i don't think many people looked at it
#35
Quote by griffRG7321
Good info there Munky, Joe pass shows examles in the vid i linked but i don't think many people looked at it


Thanks =)

that video was actually played for us in my 1st Jazz Improv class. It was over my head at the time, but the inspiration of hearing him play was very motivating.
shred is gaudy music
#36
oh, we're talking about substitutions. i see now. alright, i see how that could work.

as far as substitutions go, i generally prefer using bartok's principle of inter-tonal exchange. i can't really find anything that explains it well, so i'll try to.

basically it means that any chord can be substituted for another chord which has a similar function in another key. take F major and B major for example. in F major, the iii is Am. in B major, the iii is D#m. using the principle of intertonal exchange, i can borrow the D#m in the key of F major in place of an Am chord.

really, it means that any chord can be substituted for any other chord. the trick is using it well. here's an example i saw recently: take the key of C major - we're going to borrow chords from Gb major.

take this progression in C major:

| Cmaj | Dm | Fmaj | Gmaj | Cmaj | Em | Am | Dm | G7 | Cmaj ||

in roman numeral notation, this is a I ii IV V I iii vi ii V7 I. but i'm going to borrow the functional equivalents of Em (iii) and Dm (ii) from Gb major, which are Bbm and Abm respectively. so the progression becomes:

| Cmaj | Dm | Fmaj | Gmaj | Cmaj | Bbm | Am | Abm | G7 | Cmaj ||

that could make for an interesting bassline (C - Bb - A - Ab - G - C). of course, the melody must still be taken into account.

then again, with good voice-leading, any chord can really be substituted for any other chord.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#37
Quote by AeolianWolf
oh, we're talking about substitutions. i see now. alright, i see how that could work.

as far as substitutions go, i generally prefer using bartok's principle of inter-tonal exchange. i can't really find anything that explains it well, so i'll try to.

basically it means that any chord can be substituted for another chord which has a similar function in another key. take F major and B major for example. in F major, the iii is Am. in B major, the iii is D#m. using the principle of intertonal exchange, i can borrow the D#m in the key of F major in place of an Am chord.

really, it means that any chord can be substituted for any other chord. the trick is using it well. here's an example i saw recently: take the key of C major - we're going to borrow chords from Gb major.

take this progression in C major:

| Cmaj | Dm | Fmaj | Gmaj | Cmaj | Em | Am | Dm | G7 | Cmaj ||

in roman numeral notation, this is a I ii IV V I iii vi ii V7 I. but i'm going to borrow the functional equivalents of Em (iii) and Dm (ii) from Gb major, which are Bbm and Abm respectively. so the progression becomes:

| Cmaj | Dm | Fmaj | Gmaj | Cmaj | Bbm | Am | Abm | G7 | Cmaj ||

that could make for an interesting bassline (C - Bb - A - Ab - G - C). of course, the melody must still be taken into account.

then again, with good voice-leading, any chord can really be substituted for any other chord.



Well, I was talking chord families. Substitution is a good way to illustrate their functions.
shred is gaudy music
#38
Quote by AeolianWolf


take this progression in C major:

| Cmaj | Dm | Fmaj | Gmaj | Cmaj | Em | Am | Dm | G7 | Cmaj ||

in roman numeral notation, this is a I ii IV V I iii vi ii V7 I. but i'm going to borrow the functional equivalents of Em (iii) and Dm (ii) from Gb major, which are Bbm and Abm respectively. so the progression becomes:

| Cmaj | Dm | Fmaj | Gmaj | Cmaj | Bbm | Am | Abm | G7 | Cmaj ||

that could make for an interesting bassline (C - Bb - A - Ab - G - C). of course, the melody must still be taken into account.

then again, with good voice-leading, any chord can really be substituted for any other chord.


Never tried this before and never realized Bartók was such a breakthrough composer, looks like there's a lot of Harmonic theory I'm yet to learn.
lol guitar