Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Analyses of individual works for Classical Guitar and general discussions on analysis. Normal forum copyright rules apply.
stevel
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by stevel » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:04 pm

Jack Dawkins wrote:If the reason for the raised 7th is to alter the quality of the chord on the dominant, do we still expect to find it in other chords?


Only if they have a Dominant *function*.
If we are still in Am for example, do we expect to find an augmented C chord?
Not typically actually. You may find them but they are actually pretty rare. Usually in that case, the G# would be a melodic move, and not a harmonic one (that's why the concept of Melodic Minor and Harmonic Minor exist).
I think I know the answer to this, because I have played a few pieces in minor keys and I don't think I've come across any augmented chords
Yeah you probably won't. Most times Augmented chords are an alteration of either the Tonic or the Dominant chord. In fact, a strong case can be made that an altered Tonic is in many cases acting like an Altered Secondary Dominant. So instead of V-I, we'd get V+ to I. And instead of V/IV - IV, we'd get V+/IV to IV (in fact, it kind of needs the alteration to be considered a secondary chord).

The purpose of the G# is to lead to A, so putting it on III in minor would make it resolve back to i, but as it already has two notes in common it's not a very strong resolution and just sounds like the one note moving up - and again that points to more of a Melodic move than a Harmonic one.


Would we expect to find G# dim then, in Am, or does the logic behind the sharp only apply if we are talking about a chord of E? That would seem to point in favour of the E7 analysis. I tried tuning my 4th string up to E and adding that to the chord, and although this did sound fuller, to my ears it didn't change the harmony.
Yes, and that gives viio a Dominant *function*.

So V and viio (and V7 and viio7) are the *default* state of those chords in Minor Keys.

A "minor dominant" (minor v) and a plain VII (bVII) are used not to point towards the Tonic, but to another chord/Key center.

So basically, i7 is not changed to a mM7, and III is rarely changed to III+, but V and viio are *commonly* (exclusively when the composer wants dominant function) made into those chords - they use the raised 7 scale degree where i7 and III use the standard, natural scale degree.

If you encounter a raised 7 in those latter two chords, it's more likely not a *functional* appearance, but a melodic element that doesn't affect the function of the chord itself.

HTH,
Steve

Jack Dawkins

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by Jack Dawkins » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:52 pm

stevel wrote:So basically, i7 is not changed to a mM7, and III is rarely changed to III+, but V and viio are *commonly* (exclusively when the composer wants dominant function) made into those chords - they use the raised 7 scale degree where i7 and III use the standard, natural scale degree.
The more I find out about this the more convincing the idea becomes that many times viio is really V, just without its root. I have ordered the Piston book on the back of a comment you made about that in another thread.
stevel wrote:Most times Augmented chords are an alteration of either the Tonic or the Dominant chord. In fact, a strong case can be made that an altered Tonic is in many cases acting like an Altered Secondary Dominant. So instead of V-I, we'd get V+ to I. And instead of V/IV - IV, we'd get V+/IV to IV (in fact, it kind of needs the alteration to be considered a secondary chord).
I had a similar thought about the augmented sixth chords you described in the functional analysis thread - if we were starting from scratch it looks as though the simplest analysis would be that the French version is really an altered V7/V with a flat 5, and the Italian version is the same but (once again) without the root. The fact that the 5th has been flattened forces it to resolve down, to the root of V. Alterations often seem to work this way - i.e. the altered note is already on its way to a possible resolution, and having got half-way there, it can no longer go anywhere else.

stevel
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by stevel » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:44 pm

Jack, re the Piston - I enjoyed the book, but let's say the notions are a bit maybe to 1960s and 70s, and modern texts seem to have built on his (and Schoenberg's, etc.) Harmony texts and presented them in a more scholarly manner. I'd also recommend Kostka/Payne, Aldwell/Schacter, and Robert Gualdin. The "Musicians Guide" series is also quite good (maybe the most non-university student friendly besides the Piston) - Clendenning/Marvin wrote that series.

The Piston will be informative though - and one of the more "readable" texts IMHO.

The notion of the "rootless" chord is not wholly Piston's invention (it had been around since chordal thinking began, with Rameau in the 1720s) but I have to caution: IMHO it's pretty clear in music that not every viio or viio7 is a "rootless V7 (or 9 or b9). Even ones with dominant function often appear in a distinct context.

So while the notion may be appropriate for some contexts, it's not in all, and I prefer to maintain the distinction between the two.

The "nation" names for the +6 family are certainly adhered to by a large number of texts. But there are a few who do try to think of them "in 3rds" and as inverted forms of altered chords.

One of the issues with this (and with chords like the Neapolitan, or even the viio things above) is it tends to remove some of the "special-ness" of the structure and degrade it to just "naming the chord" with a number and inversion.

That's part of the reasoning why authors have come up with "name names" instead of number names for them - it not only points to their uniqueness and specialized use, but also points to a "less chordal" origin and a "more linear" origin as many of these "chords" do. In fact, Kostka/Payne go so far as to favor the term "sonority" rather than "chord" for these structures in much the same way later theorists call things "simultaneities" to differentiate them from chords proper.

This distinction does because important because some chords that sound the same actually have quite different functions and because of that, a different name was deemed necessary.

But yes, b6 resolves down to 5, and #4 resolves up to 5 - and that's the whole notion of the +6 family. The "inner notes" are in a sense, simply "filler".

Best,
Steve

Jack Dawkins

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by Jack Dawkins » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:14 pm

stevel wrote:The notion of the "rootless" chord is not wholly Piston's invention (it had been around since chordal thinking began, with Rameau in the 1720s) but I have to caution: IMHO it's pretty clear in music that not every viio or viio7 is a "rootless V7 (or 9 or b9). Even ones with dominant function often appear in a distinct context.

So while the notion may be appropriate for some contexts, it's not in all, and I prefer to maintain the distinction between the two.
Thanks. I wasn't meaning to challenge your view in my earlier post - it is just that the idea seemed fairly implausible to me when I first came across it, but as time goes on it is becoming less so, and I wanted to read up on it and understand it from both sides. Often the points where experts on a subject disagree are the most interesting ones to look at when you come to explore it for yourself.
stevel wrote:The "nation" names for the +6 family are certainly adhered to by a large number of texts. But there are a few who do try to think of them "in 3rds" and as inverted forms of altered chords.

One of the issues with this (and with chords like the Neapolitan, or even the viio things above) is it tends to remove some of the "special-ness" of the structure and degrade it to just "naming the chord" with a number and inversion.

That's part of the reasoning why authors have come up with "name names" instead of number names for them - it not only points to their uniqueness and specialized use, but also points to a "less chordal" origin and a "more linear" origin as many of these "chords" do.
I get it - in that case it sounds as though the name may apply more to the progression than the individual chord.

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10108
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by lagartija » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:39 pm

Thank you so much for the work you put into this explanation. I followed it most of the way through, but will have to reread the part about the last chord in your analysis.
What a very nice pedagogical approach you have. :-D
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

User avatar
Hotsoup
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:11 pm
Location: Bellingham, WA (USA)

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by Hotsoup » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:19 pm

I'm so glad I found this thread. My instructor has started having me do this and I felt like I was back in high school trying to understand chemistry class lectures. Covalent bonds? Thermodynamic what now?

This is helping me bring it into focus better, thank you.

User avatar
Aucaman
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:15 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, California

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by Aucaman » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:03 am

stevel wrote:All of the Scale Degrees have Names. 1 is the "Tonic". 5 is the "Dominant".

We call the chord built on the Tonic note the "Tonic Chord". In a Major Key that's a Major Chord ("I") and in a minor key that's a minor chord ("i").

The chord that's built on scale degree 5 is called the "Dominant Chord".

But, in minor keys, we alter the 3rd of the Dominant Triad, which is the 7th scale degree, by raising it one half step. This turns the chord that's found on scale degree 5 in minor keys into a Major Triad (E-G#-B instead of E-G-B for example). This turns it into the same chord as found on scale degree 5 of a Major Key (so both the key of A Major and A minor have an E Major chord as their Dominant Chord).

With the V7 chord, we keep this practice, raising the 3rd of the 7th chord built on scale degree 5 in minor. This makes a chord that would otherwise be a minor 7th chord (E-G-B-D for instance) into the same structure as the same chord found in Major Keys on scale degree 5, which we call the "Dominant 7" (E-G#-B-D).

So when we talk about a "Dominant 7th" chord, we mean the 7th chord built on the 5th degree of a Major scale, and the same structure built on the 5th degree of a minor scale. To get that same structure though, we have to raise the 3rd of the chord (which is the Leading Tone).

As a result, we not only call the E7 in A Major the Dominant 7, but the E7 in Am the Dominant 7 as well.

But, we also say that this Structure is a "Dominant 7th Chord" and it also has a "Dominant Function".

The reason we do this is it's an important and unique structure, so sometimes we encounter chords that have a Dominant 7 *structure* but they don't actually have a dominant *function*, or are not built on the dominant scale degree.

So our G7 chord in the key of Am here has a Dominant *structure* (same intervallic content as the "real" Dominant chord, E7) but it's not "the" dominant (because it's not on scale degree 5).

HTH,
Steve
Thank you Steve,
I have now read again (and really studied!) the last section on the 7 chords. It finally clicked! :D
Great!!
Where do I go now for more stuff like this?
:merci:

stevel
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by stevel » Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:25 am

Aucaman wrote: Thank you Steve,
I have now read again (and really studied!) the last section on the 7 chords. It finally clicked! :D
Great!!
Where do I go now for more stuff like this?
:merci:
I did a couple of other ones (all have similar titles) and they're all now in this section.

I'm planning to do another one shortly, just haven't gotten round to it yet...

User avatar
Non Tabius
Posts: 920
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:00 am
Location: Philipstown South Africa

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by Non Tabius » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:03 am

Would it be correct to say that the 9th, 11, and 13th chords are generally extentions on the dominant 7th only Steve?
In the context of accepted tonal harmonic rules.Obviously in Blues, and other genres rules are there to be broken as the ear dictates.Classical as well of course, depending on the composer.

User avatar
Aucaman
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:15 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, California

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by Aucaman » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:51 pm

stevel wrote:
I did a couple of other ones (all have similar titles) and they're all now in this section.
Where are they exactly? I perused every entry in this section, but did not find it.
Thank you again for your wonderful pedagogy :merci:

stevel
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by stevel » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:08 pm

Non Tabius wrote:Would it be correct to say that the 9th, 11, and 13th chords are generally extentions on the dominant 7th only Steve?
In the context of accepted tonal harmonic rules.Obviously in Blues, and other genres rules are there to be broken as the ear dictates.Classical as well of course, depending on the composer.
When dealing with Common Practice Period harmony, it actually is probably better to get the concept of 11th, and 13th out of your head completely!

They are not "extensions" in the way we think of them today (as continuations of tertian stacking).

They are simply "non-chord tones", and more importantly, *dissonances*.

The 7th is unique in that it is both a chord tone and a dissonance, but beyond that, the remaining tertian intervals are all both non-chord tones and dissonances.

The 9th is maybe also unique in that it basically was "in the process of becoming a chord tone" throughout the CPP (unlike the 7th which had already achieved "chord tone status" by then). Beethoven was really starting to use "9th chords" as true stand-alone harmonies.

And that last statement is an important distinction:

A long time ago, in a musical style far away, they used consonances only. Then they began to allow dissonances, but only in very specific, controlled contexts. As time when on, the "consonance/dissonance" thinking moved more towards a "chordal/non-chordal" way of thinking. But like many things, the evolution meant that elements from the consonance/dissonance era were still evident in some places.

Originally, something that looks like a G chord could only include an F note if that F appeared in relatively specific situations as a non-chord tone - a passing tone, a suspension, etc. Non-chord tones like this (as dissonances) had to have three phases: Preparation, Dissonance, Resolution.

But as time went on, the 7th was "liberated" if you will such that the Preparation aspect of it became a holdover from the past at best. Thus a chord with a 7th added was seen as a "chord" - a "stand-alone chord" as I've called it. It didn't need the preparation and now the 7th existed not as a non-chord tone, but as a true chord tone, albeit still dissonant, and still needing Resolution.

In fact, this "acceptance of the 7th as a chord tone" merely allowed the chord to appear freely, but it didn't start resolving freely (or not resolving at all) until after the demise of the CPP.

What we'd call 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths evolved similarly (though the 13th is also special becuase while it might not be a chord tone, it wasn't a dissonance with the bass note, so it has its own special treatment). But the 9th held on to its "preparation" origin much longer than the 7th, not becoming a chord tone proper until much later into the CPP.

You are correct though in that while these non-chord tones could appear against any harmony, it seems that the "stand-alone chord" usage appears first, or at least most frequently, on the dominant harmony.

One interesting aspect of this is that while adding dissonance to a consonant structure surely enhances its dissonance and its need to resolve, it doesn't necessarily enhance its *function*. For example, adding 7th to I chord makes it a Tonic Major 7th. But the addition of the 7th *negates* the Tonic function completely.

So it's likely that 9ths tend to appear initially (or at least most frequently) on dominant chords because they *heighten* the dominant function (because the chord needs to resolve already, it makes it want to resolve that much more).

By the time of the Baroque, 7ths were already well-established as chord tones so we can't really determine if they appeared sooner on V chords than others, but they certainly appear most frequently on Dominant harmonies.

But otherwise, the majority of appearances of 9ths in this time period are purely as non-chord tones - think of them as extensions of *melody* not extensions of harmony! Even many 7ths still appear in that manner despite their having otherwise achieved "chord tone status". And definitely 4ths and 6ths are melodic contributions and are with extreme exception wholly melodic aspects and not harmonic. In fact, even conceptualizing them as 11 and 13 is not really helpful in terms of how they work in the style.

HTH,
Steve

stevel
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by stevel » Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:11 pm

Aucaman wrote:
stevel wrote:
I did a couple of other ones (all have similar titles) and they're all now in this section.
Where are they exactly? I perused every entry in this section, but did not find it.
Thank you again for your wonderful pedagogy :merci:
Here:

viewtopic.php?f=128&t=97871

viewtopic.php?f=128&t=97917

viewtopic.php?f=128&t=97932

viewtopic.php?f=128&t=97956

Have fun!

Steve

User avatar
Aucaman
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:15 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, California

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by Aucaman » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:46 pm

Thank you :merci:

I know I WILL have fun :D

markworthi
Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:33 pm
Location: Forest Hills, NY

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by markworthi » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:24 pm

Hi Steve,

I am reviewing this once again and find something new and helpful each time-- especially as others post follow-up questions. Can you please clarify one point? In this piece, we have two examples of secondary dominant chords: the G7, which is the dominant chord in C major and acts as a temporary "nod" to that key; and the fully diminished C# 7th chord, which is the leading tone in the key of D minor (and also acts as a nod to the secondary key of Dm).

The relation between the primary key of A minor and the secondary key of C major is obvious and explains why we normally expect to see G# rather than G for the dominant and leading chords in A minor, and why the G7 seems anomalous.

But is there a relation between A minor and D minor? Why is there this use of the fully diminished C# leading to D minor? Is it conceivable that we instead could see a fully-diminished leading tone chord from some other secondary key, or was the viio of iv the only possibility (for example, the fully diminished F# chord, viio of vii)?

Thanks once again for this!

stevel
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm

Re: Let's Learn How to Analyze a Piece!

Post by stevel » Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:06 pm

markworthi wrote: But is there a relation between A minor and D minor? Why is there this use of the fully diminished C# leading to D minor? Is it conceivable that we instead could see a fully-diminished leading tone chord from some other secondary key, or was the viio of iv the only possibility (for example, the fully diminished F# chord, viio of vii)?

Thanks once again for this!
H Mark, I'm sorry I missed your response and question so I hope you're still around and reading.

Tonicization of chords happens only to Major and Minor triads within the primary key.

So really, the only reason to Tonicize Dm is, it's in the key!

But, the composers were actually treating the chord being tonicized "as a tonic", meaning we can see it as "the viio7 of the key of Dm" when we see viio7/iv in the key of Am.

But, the "viio" chord (or iio chord in minor) can't be a tonic because there's no such thing as "the key of G#o".

So in Am, the only chords that can have a V(7) or viio(7) applied to them are:

C (G7 or Bo7)
Dm (A7 or C#o7)
E (B7 or D#o7)
F (C7 or Eo7)

And of course the A chord has it's own dominants - E7 or G#o7, but they're the "primary" dominants and already part of the key.

Now, you can't have a "V/viio" or a "viio/viio" because viio can't be a tonic.

But, if you use the natural "bVII" - that would be G Major in the key of Am, you could in fact tonicize that with D7 or F#o7.

There is a correlation between the chords in the key and what we call "Closely Related Keys" (keys that differ from the original by no more than one accidental in the key signature) but with tonicization it's really about the chord simply being in the key to begin with. There's probably a favoring of V, and IV as maybe the two most tonicized chords, but really any of them (as long as they're not diminished) are commonly tonicized.

Best,
Steve

Return to “Analysis of Classical Guitar Works”