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




    An Example

Secondary Dominants

    Secondary Dominants Examples

    Using Secondary Dominants


    The Dominant Chord

    The Pivot Chord

    Two Examples

    An Example from Bach

    Modulation to Distantly Related Keys

Augmented Sixths


    Major Keys

    Harmonic Function

    Tritone Substitution

    Musical Examples

Neapolitan Sixth

    Construction and Identification

    Major Keys

    Musical Examples

Other Tutorials:

Reading Music




Musical Forms

Related Exercises:

Harmonic Progresssions Dictation



  Seventh Chords

  Secondary Dominants

  Secondary Diminished Sevenths

  Augmented Sixths

  Neapolitan Sixth



  Seventh Chords

  Secondary Dominants

  Secondary Diminished Sevenths

Neapolitan Sixth Musical Examples

The Neapolitan Sixth chord is commonly used in 1st inversion. Yet, we find examples in 2nd and even root position. This is an example of the chord in root position from Chopin's Prelude #20. The key is C minor so the Neapolitan sixth chord is Db major.

Sometimes the Neapolitan Sixth chord is followed by an auxiliary diminished 7th chord of the V degree. Bach's G minor choral Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh' darein offers a good example:

The following excerpt is from the Andante of Mozart's Concerto K 488. Click the measure were you find the Neapolitan Sixth chord. The Neapolitan Sixth chord appears in two measures, can you find those measures? Ask yourself, if the key of the piece is F# minor, what major chord is half-step above? You will probably find the chord in first inversion:

Click the measures where you see a Neapolitan Sixths...

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© 2011 J. Rodríguez Alvira

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