Harmonic Functions

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What are Harmonic Functions?

    The Tonic

    The Dominant and Subdominant

    An example using I, IV and V

    Identifying the I, IV and V degrees

    The II and VII Degrees

    The III and VI Degrees

    Harmonic Functions in Minor Keys

    Harmonic Analysis

Nonharmonic Tones

    Passing Tone

    Neighbor Note

    Suspension

    Anticipation

    Appoggiatura

    An Example

Secondary Dominants

    Secondary Dominants Examples

    Using Secondary Dominants

Modulation

    The Dominant Chord

    The Pivot Chord

    Two Examples

    An Example from Bach

    Modulation to Distantly Related Keys

Augmented Sixths

    Types

    Major Keys

    Harmonic Function

    Tritone Substitution

    Musical Examples

Neapolitan Sixth

    Construction and Identification

    Major Keys

    Musical Examples

Other Tutorials:

Reading Music

Intervals

Scales

Chords

Musical Forms

Related Exercises:

Harmonic Progresssions Dictation

Construction:

  Triads

  Seventh Chords

  Secondary Dominants

  Secondary Diminished Sevenths

  Augmented Sixths

  Neapolitan Sixth

Identification:

  Triads

  Seventh Chords

  Secondary Dominants

  Secondary Diminished Sevenths

Augmented Sixths

We will start by transforming the iv degree chord of the A minor key into an augmented sixth chord.

1Below is the i - iv - V - i progression in A minor:

2now, we set the iv degree chord in first inversion:

3by raising the root of the iv degree chord a half-step (D# in this case) we get an augmented sixth chord:

The chord receives the name of Augmented Sixth chord because of the augmented sixth interval between the bass and the chromatically raised note. By raising this note we increase the harmonic tension. The augmented sixth interval resolves by moving the higher note up (D# - E) and the lower note down (F - E) by half steps. Listen to both examples:

Very often the Augmented Sixth chord is followed by the tonic chord in 2nd inversion before resolving to the dominant chord:

© 2011 J. Rodríguez Alvira

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