#1
Hmm...

so I feel I understand chord functions in major key...for example the I, iii and vi chord have a tonic like function whereas the ii and IV have a subdominant function and V and vii(dim) have a dominant function.

But what happens in minor key? So for example, in A minor...Dmin is the predominant and Emin (or often E major) is the dominant. But what about the others (iidim, III, VI, VII)...

I realize there is also melodic minor and harmonic minor...but before delving into those, can someone explain to me what kind of substituions would work in chord progressions for the natural minor scale? For example, what chords in the key of A minor could I use in place of D minor (a predominant).

Thanks so much if anyone can help
#2
I think you're using terms wrong...
Yes, I has a tonic function, as it is the tonic.

However, I have never heard it said that iii and vi function as a tonic in a Major key.
iii usually leads into the IV or vi.
vi is used normally as a deceptive cadence following the V (Like I vi ii V vi). It also leads into ii.

To answer your question, the iidim can be used as a predominant in the minor.
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
#3
Quote by King Of Suede
I think you're using terms wrong...
Yes, I has a tonic function, as it is the tonic.

However, I have never heard it said that iii and vi function as a tonic in a Major key.
iii usually leads into the IV or vi.
vi is used normally as a deceptive cadence following the V (Like I vi ii V vi). It also leads into ii.

To answer your question, the iidim can be used as a predominant in the minor.


Ok thankyou, what about the III, VI, and VII?
#4
VII is hardly ever used in minor (In a classical sense... You see it in every Iron Maiden song). It's normally substituted for the viio (fully diminished)
III is tricky because it's the relative major and if used too much ends up bringing the listener into this weird plane of "is it major or minor?" and becomes sort of ambiguous.
III however, using the circle of 4th progression leads to VI - iidim - V - i

I should say, all of these reasoning's are in a Classical sense and are guidelines.
And as Kiera Knightly said in Pirates Of the Caribbean.. Guidelines are meant to be broken

Or something.
Quote by Banjocal
sht up u flthy librl foogit stfu u soo mad n butthurdt ur ass is an analpocolypse cuz ur so gay "my ass hrts so mcuh" - u. your rectally vexed n anlly angushed lolo go bck 2 asslnd lolol
Last edited by King Of Suede at Mar 20, 2012,
#6
Quote by dvm25
Hmm...

so I feel I understand chord functions in major key...for example the I, iii and vi chord have a tonic like function whereas the ii and IV have a subdominant function and V and vii(dim) have a dominant function.

But what happens in minor key? So for example, in A minor...Dmin is the predominant and Emin (or often E major) is the dominant. But what about the others (iidim, III, VI, VII)...

I realize there is also melodic minor and harmonic minor...but before delving into those, can someone explain to me what kind of substituions would work in chord progressions for the natural minor scale? For example, what chords in the key of A minor could I use in place of D minor (a predominant).

Thanks so much if anyone can help


Ok, you're not wrong about those "groups" of functions, but most would call the 2nd group "predominant" rather subdominant.

The minor key has inherently more complicated harmony, because it borrows a lot of ... "things" to make it as functional as the major key. There's no naturally occuring V in the minor key - and that chord is integral to functional harmony...so we create synthetic scales to explain the notes that commonly appear outside of the diatonic scale of the key.

Think less about harm/mel. minor as distinct scales that you're harmonizing the minor key with...it will just make it more confusing for you.

Ok. So in a major scale you have these chords:
I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viiº, and like you said
TONICS
[IV, ii] PREDOMINANTS
[V, viiº] DOMINANTS

So, let's just look at the naturally occurring chords in a minor scale:
i-iiº-III-iv-v-VI-VII

- TONICS
[iiº, iv] PREDOMINANTS
[v-VII] - OTHER

We don't have anything with a dominant function in that scale...the dominant needs to contain the leading tone of the tonic...so that's when we start using chromatic harmony to make the minor key functional...

So, let's add a V chord to the list...and like in the major scale...a viiº on the raised 7th degree.
i-iiº-III-iv-v-V-VI-(b)VII-viiº
- TONICS
[iiº, iv] PREDOMINANTS
[V, viiº] DOMINANTS
[v-VII] - OTHER

Looks pretty similar now, right? Now, just realize the v is very uncommon - though it's perfectly fine to use, it has more a modal sound and function...you could probably even consider a tonic chord if you had to group it. The VII built on your flat 7 tends to occur as a V/III (a secondary dominant - let me know if you need further explanation), and so we can really just think of it as the approach of a tonic chord as well.

Now...if this makes sense to you it's time to spin everything upside down and look into modal mixture and borrowed chords from parallel keys as well as secondary functions of dominant chords.
Last edited by chronowarp at Mar 21, 2012,
#7
Quote by chronowarp
VII gets used a lot, it just functions as V/III.


this.

listen to chronowarp -- that's pretty much what you need to know to conceptualize this.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#8
In the minor key, depending on how far you care to harmonize a scale degree, the i and III chord have a somewhat special relationship, particularly if you harmonize the III in harmonic minor to maj7♯5.

The common tones with these two chords form an augmented triad from the V degree.

By playing i - IIImaj7♯5, it can evoke a i - V feeling.

S'all context though
#9
Ok, you're not wrong about those "groups" of functions, but most would call the 2nd group "predominant" rather subdominant.

The minor key has inherently more complicated harmony, because it borrows a lot of ... "things" to make it as functional as the major key. There's no naturally occuring V in the minor key - and that chord is integral to functional harmony...so we create synthetic scales to explain the notes that commonly appear outside of the diatonic scale of the key.

Think less about harm/mel. minor as distinct scales that you're harmonizing the minor key with...it will just make it more confusing for you.

Ok. So in a major scale you have these chords:
I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viiº, and like you said
TONICS
[IV, ii] PREDOMINANTS
[V, viiº] DOMINANTS

So, let's just look at the naturally occurring chords in a minor scale:
i-iiº-III-iv-v-VI-VII

- TONICS
[iiº, iv] PREDOMINANTS
[v-VII] - OTHER

We don't have anything with a dominant function in that scale...the dominant needs to contain the leading tone of the tonic...so that's when we start using chromatic harmony to make the minor key functional...

So, let's add a V chord to the list...and like in the major scale...a viiº on the raised 7th degree.
i-iiº-III-iv-v-V-VI-(b)VII-viiº
- TONICS
[iiº, iv] PREDOMINANTS
[V, viiº] DOMINANTS
[v-VII] - OTHER

Looks pretty similar now, right? Now, just realize the v is very uncommon - though it's perfectly fine to use, it has more a modal sound and function...you could probably even consider a tonic chord if you had to group it. The VII built on your flat 7 tends to occur as a V/III (a secondary dominant - let me know if you need further explanation), and so we can really just think of it as the approach of a tonic chord as well.

Now...if this makes sense to you it's time to spin everything upside down and look into modal mixture and borrowed chords from parallel keys as well as secondary functions of dominant chords.


That was exactly the explanation I was hoping for! thankyou so much!

If you dont mind, could you elaborate on that part where you said the VII built on a flat 7 as occuring as a secondary dominant. I understand everything up to there it gets a bit shaky....thanks again!
#10
Well, do you understand what a secondary dominant is? If not...

You understand how a dominant works - it wants to resolve up a fifth (V-I). A secondary dominant is simply the V of another chord in the key...besides I. The basic principle is that it tonicizes & increases the strength of the movement to that chord. It also offers a lot of modulatory options.

So in C major. The V is G, and wants to resolve to I (C).
In C major our vi is Am...let's say we had a chord move like E-Am in C major. We'd label that V/vi. Because E is the V of Am(vi). The same with any other chord in the scale.

G-C: V/I or just V!
A-Dm: A is V/ii
B-Em: B is V/iii
C-F: C is V/IV
D-G: D is V/V
E-Am: E isV/vi

...doesn't work for Bº, because you can't tonicize a diminished chord. And obviously all of these extend out to a dom7...like any other dominant , in fact, that's probably more common than just seeing them as a triad.

But back to the example V/III in Am. G is the VII of Am, right? The way this chord functions though...is that it is almost always followed by III (C). G moving to C...V-I...but since we're in Am, it's V/III.
#11
Now...if this makes sense to you it's time to spin everything upside down and look into modal mixture and borrowed chords from parallel keys as well as secondary functions of dominant chords.
#12
The vi and iii are tonic-like functionally because they are stable harmonies and don't beg for resolution unless you raise the third and turn them into secondary dominants.

If you were doing a large scale functional analysis of a piece that went C - Am - F - D7/F# - G7, you would put the C and Am in "Tonic", the F and D7 in subdominant, and the G7 in dominant. When you simply drop the bass from C to A, it doesn't really sound like change in the harmony. It's almost like a I6 chord, drawn out rhythmically.

Now, if you did C - E7 - Am - F - G7, you would give that vi its own function - submediant - because it's been tonicized by the E7. When tonicized, vi has its own function because it actually sounds like its own harmony.

A great example of the Tonich-ish function of vi is the plethora of rock music that contains the C Am F G pattern. None of those songs really evoke the Minor sound, but the IV and V actually sound like distinction harmonies.

Quote by dvm25

I realize there is also melodic minor and harmonic minor...but before delving into those, can someone explain to me what kind of substituions would work in chord progressions for the natural minor scale?


Part of your hang up is that harmonic relationships do not derive from scalar relationships. Rather, those scales are derived from the harmonic progressions.

There are literally no pieces of ye olde classical music written entirely with natural, harmonic, or melodic minor. Those scales exist simply to quantify what notes you typically find in various harmonic functions. The harmonic and melodic are specifically found on Dominants resolving to a minor chord and almost nowhere else in classical music. The natural minor contains the notes found everywhere except the dominant.

Make sure you are certain of the distinction between key and scale: Key refers to the root of the chord of resolution - the root of your I chord - and nothing else. Scale refers only to a set of notes, and in no way implies that those notes are the only 7 notes you'll find a piece of music. Look through some simple Bach scores and you'll probably find all 12 notes, no matter the key, but if you analyze the piece harmonically, you'll see very clear patterns relating the harmony to scale usage.
Last edited by cdgraves at May 15, 2013,
#13
Necrobuuuuuuuump
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#15
Quote by cdgraves
The vi and iii are tonic-like functionally because they are stable harmonies and don't beg for resolution unless you raise the third and turn them into secondary dominants.

If you were doing a large scale functional analysis of a piece that went C - Am - F - D7/F# - G7, you would put the C and Am in "Tonic", the F and D7 in subdominant, and the G7 in dominant. When you simply drop the bass from C to A, it doesn't really sound like change in the harmony. It's almost like a I6 chord, drawn out rhythmically.

Now, if you did C - E7 - Am - F - G7, you would give that vi its own function - submediant - because it's been tonicized by the E7. When tonicized, vi has its own function because it actually sounds like its own harmony.

A great example of the Tonich-ish function of vi is the plethora of rock music that contains the C Am F G pattern. None of those songs really evoke the Minor sound, but the IV and V actually sound like distinction harmonies.


Part of your hang up is that harmonic relationships do not derive from scalar relationships. Rather, those scales are derived from the harmonic progressions.

There are literally no pieces of ye olde classical music written entirely with natural, harmonic, or melodic minor. Those scales exist simply to quantify what notes you typically find in various harmonic functions. The harmonic and melodic are specifically found on Dominants resolving to a minor chord and almost nowhere else in classical music. The natural minor contains the notes found everywhere except the dominant.

Make sure you are certain of the distinction between key and scale: Key refers to the root of the chord of resolution - the root of your I chord - and nothing else. Scale refers only to a set of notes, and in no way implies that those notes are the only 7 notes you'll find a piece of music. Look through some simple Bach scores and you'll probably find all 12 notes, no matter the key, but if you analyze the piece harmonically, you'll see very clear patterns relating the harmony to scale usage.


Good clear info you provided here cdgraves
I was wondering how you apply this same concept to other variant scales in the way you described here of Dominant Cadence on the Minor Tonic generating the Harmonic Minor and on the Minor Subdominant generating the Melodic Minor. For example with the Neapolitan or Harmonic Major, or maybe a few others ?
Can some of these types of variant scales maybe be generated from a minor Subdominant 6 to a Major Tonic also?
#16
Well go for it cdgraves, it's your thread now.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#18
Scales have nothing to do with chord functions. Those other minor scales are derived from the dominant harmony, not the other way around. There just isn't music where a scale dictates the root movement or function. You can build a progression on roots from the Melodic Minor if you want, but then your chord functions depend totally on context.
Last edited by cdgraves at May 19, 2013,