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#1965866 - 09/28/12 04:09 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1203
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

So if this just makes your eyes glaze over, skip over it, and the next post will show more examples. It might be easier to pick this up just from examples rather than me trying to give this theoretical explanation first.


Actually, all clear so far.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

We end up in F, yes, briefly via Dmin, but in M26 the E nat makes it F7 the dominant of M27 Bb.


Not so clear; Fine with being back to Bb a measure sooner. But, how is (F,E notes) making it a F7 vs. Fmaj7?



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#1965871 - 09/28/12 04:23 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Agh! It doesn't. It's a mistake!

Sorry.
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#1965874 - 09/28/12 04:29 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Greener
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
The C#dim7 comes from the key of D minor, and is making the following Dm chord seem more inevitable. It is VIIdim7 in the key of D minor, and can also be seen as a rootless A7b9, a.k.a. V7b9 in the key of D minor.


Just seeing your new note now, PS88 re: series leading up to dim7 chords, but have not gone through it yet.

We had tossed about D minor before for this section. I chose it originally I think because of the Bb, C#. But we are certainly not there long.

Since this section is largely construed from development of movement 1, would it be safe to say that we are passing through D minor, shortly visiting F major and then heading straight home to Bb Major?

I haven't actually looked closely at any of the harmonies in this sonatina, so I based my "brief D minor" comment solely on the short snippet of chords that I saw posted.

I'm about to go on a business trip, and hopefully I'll remember to take my Sonatina scores with me on the plane, and catch up on the analysis you all have been doing.

Quote:
Sorry, but unfortunately I mostly think in Black and White and have a very difficult time with Grey.

Do you mean, the idea of briefly touching on a key, but not really being there? If so, I'm with you. I hate having to resort to just saying "accidentals for colour"; I always want to pin them down to some specific harmonic purposed, tonicizing a note being best of all. (Although I'll accept the stray Neapolitan sixth...). But I'm forced to admit that music doesn't always work that way, and I'm having to become more flexible in how I approach harmonic analysis.

Or do you mean some other Grey idea?
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#1965882 - 09/28/12 04:48 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Now rewrite these chords in this order:
F major, C major, G major
D minor, A minor, E minor

And of course that is simply F C G Dm Am Em. So good point.

Another way of looking at it, going the way music usually moves:

B° Em Am Dm G C. And that progression is not the least bit unusual, showing the circle of “fourths”, if you wish.

Then you can tack on F, then show a cadence at the end:

B° Em Am Dm G C F G (or G7) C.

VIIdim7 IIIm VIm IIm V I IV V or V7 I
Originally Posted By: PS88

Rewriting with roman numerals, which helps me see the general pattern:

IV, I, V
IIm, VIm, IIIm

So it shows that each of the primary chords of a key, except for VIIdim, can become the I or Im chord of a nearby key.

VIIdim can also become VIIm or VII (major), and this is the whole principle of secondary dominance. So in the key of C – I hope I am in the right key! – you can stick to comfortable RNs so long as you use any simple triad that belongs to the keys represented by I, IIm, IIIm, IV, V, IVm. It’s only when you go outside this limit that RNs get really clumsy. Thus a Ger 6th chord in C major, Ab7 or Ab(#6), suddenly leaves behind numbers, and that is my objection. “Ger” is English. We suddenly need something like bVI7 or bVI(#6) to stay in numbers.
Quote:

Does this show substitutes also? So IIm can substitute for IV, VIm can substitute for I, and IIIm can substitute for V? Also VIIdim can substitute for V?

I never thought of it that way. I would not call IIm a substitute for the simply reason that IIm V I is incredibly strong. Downward 5th movement. But it does also explain the duality of IIm/IV, and why EITHER chord going to V is about as common. It also intuitively hints at the fact that IIm7 contains IV – Dm7 = D **F A C**.

VIm really doesn’t substitute for I, which is why V to VIm is labeled a deceptive cadence. It’s horribly weak if mistakenly used for an ending, but it is great for delaying. Which is why Mozart and co. so often write G7, Am, Dm or F G(7) C. It’s musically the equivalent of “haha, just kidding, you’ll know where I’m going, and I’m going to make you wait.” laugh

Also, you will not normally hear IV VIIdim I, but you WILL hear VIIdim to I, and even more often VII°7 to I (or Im).

I hope I did not write something totally confusing.
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#1965891 - 09/28/12 05:01 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1203
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

Do you mean, the idea of briefly touching on a key, but not really being there?


No, I'm fine with that. Just mean when I look at, M21-M26 for example, I prefer to know the final conclusion, consensus and outcome of our analysis. Otherwise, I am likely to keep pestering with more questions.

So for example, when you say I think we are visiting D minor, but not saying we are in D minor and then not confirming my F major ... well, that just throws me into a tail spin. But, thankfully, Richard saved the day and confirmed we were pretty close. And VIOLA, my heart rate is back to normal smile
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#1966165 - 09/29/12 10:57 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Originally Posted By: zrtf90

The final movement is likely to be fast but not as intellectually engaging as a sonata form movement.


Rondo: a musical form in which the principal
theme is repeated several times, with short sections
based on different themes (called episodes) in
between each restatement of the opening theme;
sometimes one or more of the episodes is also
repeated, a common pattern being ABACABA. The
rondo was often used for the final movements of
Classical sonata-form works


allegro: cheerful or brisk; but commonly interpreted as lively, fast
vivace: very lively, up-tempo

I have just had a precursory glance at this final Rondo movement. On first glance it looked/sounded involved, but the Rondo definition (above,) explains a bit. There is some clear recognition to 1st movement, not so sure about the 2nd movement yet.

I have not had a chance to identify the sections, keys and where all the content is coming from yet. Starting out, we are back in F Major and in cut time (2/4.)

Unfortunately, I need to be away for a few hours now. But, anxious to move forward with this today and keen to see any further insight upon my return.

Are we all cool with movement 2 and fine to proceed?

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#1966603 - 09/30/12 12:02 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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I will take the overwhelming enthusiastic response as a resounding ... YES.

Best I can tell is that this is sonata-rondo form:

A - M1-M10
B - M11-M12
A - M13-M28
Development M28-M52; Key of C Major
A
B
A

Have not seen a movement like this before. It is quite different. But this is my preliminary assessment. It's late, so that is my excuse, if I am entirely off base.
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#1966687 - 09/30/12 07:49 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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What's a Sonata-Rondo?

A rondo is basically ABACADA etc. The sonata-rondo complements the sonata principle so B is in dominant, C is the development section (usu. in varied keys) and D is the B section in tonic. Most of the rondos I can think of off-hand have a coda section different to the closing cadence of A.

There are no fixed definitions, however. There are many, many variations.

The most famous rondos are probably the third movement of Beethoven's Pathétique, an excellent example of sonata-rondo, and Mozart's Alla Turca from his Sonata K.331, which is not strictly a Rondo. His Rondo an A minor, K511, is a much finer example of the form.

So what do we have here? The structure appears to be a da capo ternary, ABA, form. Here, M28-52 is clearly the development section.

M1-28 are the AB and AD (or AB') combined. M1-7 is our rondo theme, A. Our B section (in the dominant key) is M7-12. The A theme returnes in M13-19 and the remainder remains in tonic, M19-28 so must be our B in tonic.

I don't foresee a struggle finding out where the material comes from for the development section. Tying the piece up to the other two movements is a bit more of a challenge but needn't detain us if it's not obvious.

I'd be as happy with A = M1-12 and B = M13-28 but you do need to make sure you understand why B shouldn't start mid-phrase and if A = M1-10 (10 measures) then A = M13-28 (16 measures) must be wrong. B = M11-12 seems more like a change of phrase ending than a whole section (even without looking at the score). Does that make sense?

If I were to just listen to this, without looking at the score or listening to/for key modulations, I would call this a rondo as the theme is very distinctive and makes four clear returns.

I would treat the terms rondo and sonata-rondo as a vagaries or as a challenge to find the form in that particular instance. I would delight in finding a movement, like Beethoven's Pathétique, when the A section preceded every episode including the coda.
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#1966808 - 09/30/12 01:03 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

Platinum Supporter until July 22 2014


Registered: 05/29/12
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Originally Posted By: zrtf90
What's a Sonata-Rondo?


Rondo form is often combined with elements of sonata form to produce the sonata-rondo. The sonata-rondo has a development section similar to that in a sonata form and is outlines A B A -development section- A B A.

I wasn't so keen on the previous definition as I did not see how it would fit. So went searching and found this one, which seemed to me to fit better.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

I'd be as happy with A = M1-12 and B = M13-28 but you do need to make sure you understand why B shouldn't start mid-phrase and if A = M1-10 (10 measures) then A = M13-28 (16 measures) must be wrong. B = M11-12 seems more like a change of phrase ending than a whole section (even without looking at the score). Does that make sense?


Yes, making more sense. I had a big problem -- as is evident -- in trying to figure out where to put these labels. With the main theme returning I wanted to call this A again.

Can a second A have any extra/fewer measures? I believe we had a couple of extra in the 2nd movement, but it was just a repeat of 2 already used measures and was not as drastically out of whack as was the case here.

The development section is the C section? Would we just call it that "C" and not development at all?



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#1966811 - 09/30/12 01:17 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Yes, we should call it C. I got carried away the the sonata-rondo bit...
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#1966842 - 09/30/12 02:14 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Originally Posted By: zrt90
I would delight in finding a movement, like Beethoven's Pathétique, when the A section preceded every episode including the coda.


I would be keen to work on Beethoven's Pathétique. I have a rendition of, I believe the 2nd movement already, but as you can likely guess, it is nothing like Beethoven's smile.
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#1966851 - 09/30/12 02:34 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
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Loc: Ireland (ex England)
When we get to the end of Clementi we can look further afield (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven). We still have the Moonlight unfinished although I don't know what Jim's involvement is at present. He may have finished the first movement by the time we resume analysis of it.
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#1967223 - 10/01/12 08:56 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Originally Posted By: zrtf90

If I were to just listen to this, without looking at the score or listening to/for key modulations, I would call this a rondo as the theme is very distinctive and makes four clear returns.


I for one, certainly feel more educated in terms of what to look for in a Rondo. In my case though, I am also quite happy that they write it at the top. smile

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

I don't foresee a struggle finding out where the material comes from for the development section. Tying the piece up to the other two movements is a bit more of a challenge but needn't detain us if it's not obvious.


I'm good with the needn't detain us part. Turns out this is my least favorite aspect -- likely an indication of needing more attention -- of these analysis.

I will begin preparations for No. 5, understanding that questions for previous movements and/or Sonatinas will still be actioned.
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#1967249 - 10/01/12 10:23 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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#1967318 - 10/01/12 01:42 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Op 36. No. 5

M1-M34 Exposition; M1-15 G Major; M16 - M34 D Major

M35-M49 (half of M50) Development

M51 - M84 Recapitulation G Major and just skirting D Major

I need to look more at the development. There are lots of accidentals happening here, but unsure of any modulation change. I think we are likely to be skirting one key and shortly visiting another. But, final report pending, as I need to take to the bench for a bit to try and figure out.

Meanwhile, please advise if anything else is already of concern.




Edited by Greener (10/01/12 02:58 PM)
Edit Reason: Missed the D Major M16-M34

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#1967335 - 10/01/12 02:20 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Looking good so far, Jeff.

Going back to your earlier point, considering each movement and determining what ties them together isn't normally very important. It might help if you want to get into composition and you're concerned that your individual movements don't fit together.

It becomes much more important when a single idea is developed between two movements. Beethoven's Moonlight is a case in point where the same idea is used for the first and third movements.

Finding out WHY the movements of a symphony or sonata belong together has always been of interest to me.
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#1967342 - 10/01/12 02:47 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Originally Posted By: zrtf90

Going back to your earlier point, considering each movement and determining what ties them together isn't normally very important. It might help if you want to get into composition and you're concerned that your individual movements don't fit together.


No, not thinking of composing any time soon. So, thanks for this information and I won't tie myself in knots about it anymore.

Are you sitting down for this next part? This is what I think is happening ...

Development:
Start off in G Major but quickly move to G Minor then there is a transition measure at M40 through D Minor, this takes us to Bb Major. Then, another transition measure at M45 through D minor, and we are back to G Major. Tonic for the recap.
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#1967364 - 10/01/12 03:31 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2375
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Greener
Are you sitting down for this next part? This is what I think is happening ...
Quick! Somebody pass me a chair! smile

Have you sorted out the chords? What chord is that in M35? Is that chord in G major?

The development is not likely to be settling in any key but passing through them. It might be worthwhile naming the chords for each measure of the development - it's only 16 measures and one chord per measure for most of them. It would help identify possible keys (and rule some out).
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#1967442 - 10/01/12 05:39 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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I was dragging my heals on coming back here to see what you were going to think of it, as I was a bit frightened of what I might find.

OK, I will look at ALL the chords now. I've done some, but now will do them all.

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#1967486 - 10/01/12 07:08 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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M35 - D7/C
M36 - Gm/Bb
M37 - D7/A, Gm
M38 - Dmaj7/F#
M39 - CM6/F
M40 - Bb6/F
M41 - F7
M42 - Bb
M43 - G7
M44 - Cm, Cm/Bb
M45 - A7
M46 - D7
M47 - Gm/D
M48 - D scale / D
M49 - DITTO

The 7ths make me think we are moving through G major, Bb major, D major. Oh, and C major

The trouble I am having is where these (and other) chords may also fit within minor keys.

Question thus: Now that I have this list (if it is generally correct,) how do I make sense of it to tell me what's happening. I am using the chart you provided on the degrees, but it was all for major keys.

Am I over complicating this?


Edited by Greener (10/01/12 07:33 PM)
Edit Reason: Not 3 options(one) for major/minor chords
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#1967523 - 10/01/12 08:31 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
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Loc: Ireland (ex England)
The first movement ended with a ii-V-I cadence in D (M31-32). I guess the C natural in 35 could be read as back to G but...

Good read on the D7 for M35. It's not D7 until the last beat, of course, but C dim (C-F#-A) and functioning as a rootless D7. It's the dominant of G minor as well as G major and we're definitely on G minor here in both M36 and M37. This is true of all dominant 7 chords.

M38 I get the C# as colour over a D major.
M39 I get as F7 (F-A-C-Eb), I'd want a G to call it Cm6, closing into Bb for M40.

I see the visited keys as G minor, Bb major, C minor. M46 on I see as dominant pedal rather than being in D major.

We looked at the relation of chords to the scale degrees for major now we must do the same for minor. It's not essential here as he's not really going into minor keys for any length of time and all dom 7's are dominant to the minor and major keys alike.

It's late here so I'll prepare something for tomorrow.

Good work, Jeff.
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#1967524 - 10/01/12 08:34 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
I'll do the minor keys tonight. I have a particular order that I want to set things out in.
_________________________
Ebaug(maj7)

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#1967544 - 10/01/12 09:36 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine


A quick reminder of terminology:

  • Parallel major and minor keys: same key letter name.  E.g. D major and D minor.
    .
  • Relative major and minor keys: same key signature.  E.g. F major and D minor.


Roman numeral names for chords in a minor key

Reminder about roman numerals in a major key: Suppose we're in D major but we find chords Fmaj7, Bb, and C7.  These roots are all a half-step lower than the normal notes in D major: F instead of F#, Bb instead of B, C instead of C#.  In roman numerals, we call these bIIImaj7, bVI, and bVII.

We're going to borrow these "flat" roman numeral names for our minor key chords.

What I mean is this: remember that from a major scale, you find the notes of the parallel natural minor scale by lowering the third, sixth and seventh notes by a half-step.

For example:

  • D major notes are: D E F# G A B C#
    .
  • D natural minor notes are: D E F G A Bb C
    .
  • Triads built using notes of D natural minor: Dm Edim F Gm Am Bb C
    .
  • Roman numeral names: Im IIdim bIII IVm Vm bVI bVII

Notice the roman numeral names in D minor for F, Bb and C major triads are bIII,  bVI, and bVII.  That is, we name the roots exactly the same as if we were in the parallel major key, D major, and found the chords F, Bb and C.

Try it with types of seventh chords:

  • Types of sevenths built using notes of D natural minor:  Dm7, Em7b5, Fmaj7, Gm7, Am7, Bbmaj7, C7
    .
  • Roman numeral names: Im7, IIdim7b5, bIIImaj7, IVm7, Vm7, bVImaj7, bVII7


Connection to relative major key

Look at the letter names for the chords from the D natural minor scale again.  They may look familiar.  In fact, they're exactly the same as the chords in F major (which I used as an example for the major chords).  They're just all shifted in the list by two places.

  • F major sevenths: Fmaj7, Gm7, Am7, Bbmaj7, C7, Dm7, Em7b5
    .
  • D natural minor sevenths: Dm7, Em7b5, Fmaj7, Gm7, Am7, Bbmaj7, C7


Exercise which may help

  • Pick a major scale.  For example, Bb major.
    .
  • Find the notes in its relative natural minor scale.  For example, Bb natural minor.
    .
  • Form all triads and types of seventh chords from the notes of your minor scale.  Give them letter names.  For example, Bbm, etc.
    .
  • Give roman numeral names to the chords you just found.  For example, Im, etc.
    .
  • Find the relative major key to your minor key.  For example, Db major is the relative major key to Bb minor.
    .
  • Find the triads and types of seventh chords in your relative major key.  For example, Db, Ebm, etc.
    .
  • Compare the chords between the natural minor and the relative major scales.
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#1967552 - 10/01/12 10:06 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Suppose I have an F major triad.

I could be in D minor, I could be in F major, I could be in C major (not C minor). Is this correct? Are there others I could be in?

What I am trying to get my head around, is what is the least amount of information I would need to know in order to know what key I am in. Certainly, one F major triad would not be enough.

Would it be a number of chords that together, would mean the key could not be anything but? Or, am I going about this the wrong way.

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#1967555 - 10/01/12 10:18 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Resolution in a minor key

Remember in a major key, the tritones in the V7 and VIIdim chords contributed to the feeling of resolution in a V7-I or VIIdim-I progression?

Unfortunately, if we stick to the notes of a natural minor scale, we don't get the same effect.

Let's look at the type of seventh chord built on the fifth note of the natural minor scale.  For example, in D minor consider Am7 (Vm7 in roman numerals).  This has no tritone.  In D major, we get V7 = A7 = A C# E G, and a tritone C#-G.  But in D natural minor, we get Vm7 = Am7 = A C E G.  The result of lowering C# to C turns the tritone into a plain old perfect fifth C-G.

Let's look at the chords from D natural minor that do have a tritone: Edim (IIdim) and C7 (bVII7).  These both have the tritone E-Bb.  But they want to resolve to F (bIII), not to the tonic Dm (Im).

Plus, let's forget chords for a minute, and just look at what happens when you run up a natural minor scale, compared to a major scale:

Sing or play up a major scale, but only seven notes: D E F# G A B C#... many people find that it sounds very incomplete to stop at C#, and want to finish the scale by continuing up to D.  This note a half-step below the tonic, here C#, which leads so strongly to the tonic, is called the leading tone.

Sing or play up a minor scale, but only seven notes:  D E F G A Bb C... many people find that it doesn't sound nearly as incomplete as with the major scale.  There's not as much of a pull from C to D as there is from C# to D.  We say that D natural minor has no leading tone.

What to do?  Some people really like the sound of music wholly in a natural minor scale -- one of my choir directors, who was also a composer, loved the sound of that whole tone instead of semitone resolution.  But to get the same feeling of tension and resolution to the tonic that we found in major keys, we have to do something to our natural minor scale.

Harmonic minor to the rescue

Suppose we fix up D minor by using C# instead of C.  This gives us the D harmonic minor scale:

D E F G A Bb C#

In music, this will be written with a one-flat key signature, and lots of accidentals to keep changing C into C#.

This restores the leading tone.  Yay!

It transforms the listless Am7 (Vm7) (A C E G) back into the dynamic A7 (V7) (A C# E G) complete with tritone C#-G, resolving to the tonic Dm.  Yay!

It transforms the unruly C7 (bVII7) (C E G Bb) which wanted to resolve to F (III) into a more helpful C#dim7 (VIIdim7) (C# E G Bb) which is happy to resolve to Dm (Im).  Yay!

So by raising one note by a half-step, we have acquired a leading tone and two nice chords to use in resolutions (V7 and VIIdim7).  Actually, make that three chords to use in resolutions, because we can chop the top off of VIIdim7 and still have VIIdim with an appropriate tritone.  Quadruple yay!

Exercises that may help

Pick a minor key.  For example, E minor.

Practice forming the natural minor and the harmonic minor scale.  Play them up and down.  Listen to them.

Now practice forming the Vm7 and bVII7 chords, and the V7, VIIdim7, and VIIdim chords.  Follow each chord by the Im chord.  Listen to the effect.

Can you finds voicings which strengthen the aural effect?  (I haven't offered any advice on how to do this yet: pure exploration at this point.)
_________________________
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#1967565 - 10/01/12 11:09 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11691
Loc: Canada
Keys, as in - what key you are in:

Simplest first: the overall key that a piece is in which everyone probably knows.
If a piece is in F major, then you will have a signature with one flat, lots of V-I chords (C-F, C7-F), and the music will usually end on F, often with the melody note being F. The composer often "establishes the tonality" in the beginning by hovering around the tonic: V-I-V-I (C-F-C-F) or other chords that like to move to I.
- If the piece has one flat, but it's in D minor (the relative minor of F major), then the V-I will show as A-Dm or A7-Dm. Accidentals at the leading note (7 note) of D minor are strong clues: you'll see lots of C# for A and A7, and maybe C#dim. the piece will end on Dm, though occasionally you'll hear/see a "Picardie third" where the music suddenly becomes D major right at the end, with F being raised.

Modulations: We see modulations where music is definitely in a new key and stays there for a long time. A lot of the signs written above apply. We've encountered quite a lot of those. Especially in the older music you will expect it to modulate to a close key in the circle of fifths, say the dominant key or the relative or parallel minor (in Canada and maybe parts of Commonwealth countries we say tonic minor, not parallel).

There are briefer modulations that may only last a couple of measures or even one measure. I think it's a toss-up for the shortest ones whether you want to call the really short ones a temporary key. For certain you need more than one chord, probably at least something like V-I of that new key.

When music modulates to a new key it often does so gradually through a series of keys. I don't know if this is called "bridge" or "transition". I think that when that is happening you're not in any key.

In regards to V-I; you could have something like this going around the circle of fifths: G-C, C7-F; F7-Bb; Bb7-Eb - maybe with some other chords in between. The music is on the move toward a new tonality and hasn't settled down yet. I don't think I'd want to call these brief stops any kind of "key" unless it helps me in some way.

-- In four part harmony I learned to write the first chord, the final cadence (the V7-I) and then work toward the end from the end, backward, then knit front and back together. Doing something similar seems to help in analysis: finding where a new tonality is clearly established, finding the cadence, and then working backward to see how it was developed.

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#1967566 - 10/01/12 11:11 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11691
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Greener
Suppose I have an F major triad.

I could be in D minor, I could be in F major, I could be in C major (not C minor). Is this correct? Are there others I could be in?

What I am trying to get my head around, is what is the least amount of information I would need to know in order to know what key I am in. Certainly, one F major triad would not be enough.

Would it be a number of chords that together, would mean the key could not be anything but? Or, am I going about this the wrong way.

Keys, as in - what key you are in:

Simplest first: the overall key that a piece is in which everyone probably knows.
If a piece is in F major, then you will have a signature with one flat, lots of V-I chords (C-F, C7-F), and the music will usually end on F, often with the melody note being F. The composer often "establishes the tonality" in the beginning by hovering around the tonic: V-I-V-I (C-F-C-F) or other chords that like to move to I.
- If the piece has one flat, but it's in D minor (the relative minor of F major), then the V-I will show as A-Dm or A7-Dm. Accidentals at the leading note (7 note) of D minor are strong clues: you'll see lots of C# for A and A7, and maybe C#dim. the piece will end on Dm, though occasionally you'll hear/see a "Picardie third" where the music suddenly becomes D major right at the end, with F being raised.

Modulations: We see modulations where music is definitely in a new key and stays there for a long time. A lot of the signs written above apply. We've encountered quite a lot of those. Especially in the older music you will expect it to modulate to a close key in the circle of fifths, say the dominant key or the relative or parallel minor (in Canada and maybe parts of Commonwealth countries we say tonic minor, not parallel).

There are briefer modulations that may only last a couple of measures or even one measure. I think it's a toss-up for the shortest ones whether you want to call the really short ones a temporary key. For certain you need more than one chord, probably at least something like V-I of that new key.

When music modulates to a new key it often does so gradually through a series of keys. I don't know if this is called "bridge" or "transition". I think that when that is happening you're not in any key.

In regards to V-I; you could have something like this going around the circle of fifths: G-C, C7-F; F7-Bb; Bb7-Eb - maybe with some other chords in between. The music is on the move toward a new tonality and hasn't settled down yet. I don't think I'd want to call these brief stops any kind of "key" unless it helps me in some way.

-- In four part harmony I learned to write the first chord, the final cadence (the V7-I) and then work toward the end from the end, backward, then knit front and back together. Doing something similar seems to help in analysis: finding where a new tonality is clearly established, finding the cadence, and then working backward to see how it was developed.

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#1967568 - 10/01/12 11:19 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Originally Posted By: Greener
Suppose I have an F major triad.

You have anticipated my next series of posts! Before answering, I have to pull in melodic minor.

Remember that in music theory the melodic minor scale (ascending) is formed by lowering just the third note of the parallel major scale. For example, D melodic minor: D E F G A B C#. (What is melodic minor for? It smooths out the jump in harmonic minor between the sixth and the seventh notes: for example, Bb to C# becomes B to C#.)

Let's just look at any extra major triads and their roman numeral names:

G major triad (IV)

Oops, that's it for new major triads. We already saw A major triad (V) when we looked at harmonic minor.

OK, now to answer your question. In all the chords-in-a-key that we have labelled, where have we found major triads?

In a major key, as I, IV, or V.

In a minor key, as bIII, IV, V, bVI, or bVII.

So F major triad could be...

In a major key:
I of F major.

IV of... hmmm, if F is the fourth note, then the tonic is a perfect fourth lower. What's a perfect fourth below F? C! F could be IV of C.

V of... hmmm, the tonic would be a fifth lower: the key of Bb major.

In a minor key:

bIII... what's a minor third lower? D. F triad could be bIII of D minor.

IV... IV of C minor.

V... V of Bb minor.

bVI... bVI of ... hmmm, go down a minor sixth, that's like up a major third, that's A. bVI of A minor.

bVII... bVII of... go down a minor seventh, that's like up a whole step, that's G. bVII of G minor.

This is what I know from theory. Someone else can probably say which of these if some of these happen a lot more frequently than others.

This is one way of doing it, using what I've been laying out about the types of triads and seventh chords in major and minor keys.
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#1967571 - 10/01/12 11:28 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11691
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Greener
Suppose I have an F major triad.

I could be in D minor, I could be in F major, I could be in C major (not C minor). Is this correct? Are there others I could be in?

We had questions in theory rudiments where you were given a chord and asked "In what keys will you find this chord?" It seemed pointless, but for some nerdy reason I enjoyed it. I'm wondering whether there are ways other than what I use to get the answer.

FAC. We have to have F, A, and C occurring in that key signature. For major keys in flats, that happens for C major, F major, Bb major. But once we get to Eb major, there is an Ab in the signature, so that leaves us with 3 major keys where FAC is a chord:

C major, F major, Bb major.

In sharps keys, we're already stopped at G major.

The relative natural minor uses the same notes, which gives us

A nat min, D nat min, G nat min.

G harmonic minor and D harmonic minor are out, because of the raised F#, and raised C#, respectively. We can keep
A harm. minor

The top half of minor scales (degrees 6 & 7) is variable. If you take the natural minor as a default: C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C, you can raise Bb to Bnat for the "harmonic minor", or raise Ab and Bb to Anat & Bnat for the "melodic minor".

So we can add C melodic minor.

Is there a saner way to do this? Should we even care?



Edited by keystring (10/01/12 11:29 PM)

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#1967574 - 10/01/12 11:36 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
(ETA: I left out IV7 in a minor key, and maybe others. And I crossposted with keystring, and now I want to rethink my answers using her method. Plus this is all purely theory, meaning: what chords can you theoretically build in what keys? It's not based on practicalities of "what are you most likely to
meet (or meet at all, taking context into account)?". But thus is an attempt at showing the kinds of ways I use knowing chord types and scales, and roman numerals to help cement it for me as only a few patterns and not 30 patterns.)

Other possibilities: the composer is not settling on any of those possible keys, but is just passing through. Or the composer is fooling around with accidentals just for the heck of it (well, no I'm sure the fooling around is for some musical reason). So to determine key you really need more than just one chord, or at the least a bigger chord.

Suppose you had F7. Where have we seen this type of seventh chord? We've seen V7 in a major key, and V7 or VII7 of a minor key.

So F7 could be V7 in Bb major, and we'd expect it to resolve to I (Bb).

Or F7 could be V7 in Bb minor, and we'd expect to see Im (Bbm) pretty soon.

Or F7 could be VII7 in G minor, but we'd expect it to still resolve down a fifth, to Bb (bIII).

Or, since we have just seen that a 7 chord can resolve to either a major or minor chord, perhaps F7 will resolve to Bb (bIII) instead of Bm (bIIIm).

So we were most likely in the key Bb major, Bb minor, or G minor. At least, assuming we were in a key. Maybe we were just passing through a key (but what would we be passing through? Bb major, Bb minor, or G minor. And if it's G minor, we still might expect that a form of Bb chord will show up soon.


Edited by PianoStudent88 (10/02/12 12:39 AM)
Edit Reason: Comment, sigh
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