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#1967591 - 10/02/12 12:31 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
keystring, although I used natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales as stages to build the types of chords in minor keys, ultimately I mostly just use the resulting ensemble of notes and chords:

D minor easily includes D E F G A Bb B C# C. It might have IVm or IV, Vm or V, bVII or VIIdim. Among other possibilities. And I'm usually combining a lot of information, more than just one chord, to determine key, or tonicization.

I like those kinds of exercises too, about what scale a chord might occur in. And I might approach the solution in various ways, depending on the chord quality and even the exact notes. There are larger, more contextual questions to ask, so it might be easy to dismiss the exam-type questions as irrelevant theoretical busy-work. But I think the exam-type microscope-vision questions are trying to foster the learning of skills that can be components of answering the larger, more interesting questions. But that's me; I'm a hopeless optimist about exams, and I think easily in terms of rules and symbols. There are probably ways to build someone's skills at the larger questions, by a different route.

Look at what I've been laying out. A lot of detail about roman numerals, a lot of repetitive exercises in building a restricted set of chords (triads and types of sevenths) from restricted sets of notes, suggestions to practice with yet more repetitive exercises on order to learn certain patterns that occur over and over. And all this is premised on knowing scales and chords, which if I had laid that out would have included a whole nother set of detail and repetitive exercises to get the patterns ingrained.

And all of this is merely prep work to set the stage for a few simple principles that help orient me in harmonic analysis of music that is not too chromatically complex.

Could I have laid it out differently? Perhaps. Although, since I'm trying to lead up to how *I* think about dim7 chords, I think I get at least half a pass on laying it out in this way, because I think this is the underpinnings of how I think about harmonic analysis. It's not a complete story even now; I suspect there are lots of things I use in harmonic analysis that I haven't mentioned yet.

There are other kinds of approaches -- aural, kinesthetic, inductive rather than deductive, etc. -- to reach the same endpoint of being able to understand music in the way we're trying to learn on this thread. And maybe (probably?) some of those approaches are better for some (most?) people, and sidestep or avoid or reach in a more intuitive way how to understand and talk about harmony. But unless we want to completely ditch any connection between chords and keys, what interests me about a question with an answer like "F7 could be IV7 in C melodic minor" (*) is "what underlying skills is it trying to foster, where do we use those skills, and are there alternate ways to teach and evaluate those skills, and perhaps even how to answer this kind of question, other than what might seem tempting, to teach a memorized meaningless routine?"

(*) rats, I left out a place where a 7 chord can appear: as IV7 in a minor key.  So F7 above might be IV7 in C minor.  I think that's the last of the possibilities, but I'm not sure: that will teach me to leave unfinished the cataloguing of chords in harmonic and melodic minor!
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#1967606 - 10/02/12 01:50 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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OK, what I have been leading up to: among all the chords we have seen as we named types of triads and seventh chords formed from notes in various conventional scales, where have we seen dim7?

Answer: in exactly one place. As VIIdim7 in a minor key. For example, C#dim7 only appears (in our restricted set of chords) as VIIdim7 of D minor.

OK. That's really it about dim7 chords. But let me expand:

This is the first way I learned about dim7 chords. I have learned other things, like how a dim7 chord can slip and slide in many directions (perhaps notated with enharmonic spellings), and that there are essentially only three dim7 chords, and that on lead sheets dim7 chords are named by their lowliest note, and that the spelling can be a clue for where a dim7 chord is going.

But when I see a dim7 chord, I start with what were my first fundamentals. I rearrange the notes so it stacks up as an official series of actual skip-a-letter minor thirds, I name it by the bottom of the stack of thirds, (and specify inversion) and then I start expecting to see the minor key or minor chord a half-step up.

For example, if I see the notes (from lowest to highest) F G# D B, I shuffle them around until I have a stack of formally named minor thirds: G# B D F. (This is actually what I do with every chord I see; there are some patterns I've learned that help me do this faster than when I first learned it, and there's a whole nother art to working things out when notes are missing, but this is how I started: with examples of complete four-note chords.). Anyway, I've stacked my chord up in thirds. Then I figure out what type of chord it is. This is when I first discover that I have a dim7 chord on my hands. G#dim7, or G#dim7/F if I'm keeping track of inversions, which I didn't use to much care about, but come to find out they're interesting and have important patterns for analysis. So what is G# the leading tone of? Half-step up: A. So I expect to find the key of A minor, or maybe just an Am chord, or maybe other important chords from the key of A minor -- perhaps E7 -- or maybe this is just part of a big continuous circle-of-fifths style progression, and I'm going to find Am but already jazzed up with a seventh to lead somewhere else as Am7.

Or maybe, I'm told VIIdim7 can go to I as well as Im (I haven't actually noticed any examples of this yet to register them consciously, but I'm keeping an eye peeled) so maybe A major chord is coming instead of A minor. But my basic expectation is A minor, or something related to that key.

Now, this might not always be what a dim7 chord does. But I think that in the music we've analyzed, this is what has happened, a lot. Not to say that we're always IN that minor key, so dragging out the roman numeral notation VIIdim7 may not be appropriate. And there are other ways to get to the same final result, and over time I may get more comfortable using those other ways first. And in particular, learning other ways to think about dim7 chords might help with my sight-reading of them (and I do mean sight-reading, not just plain reading).

But essentially, once I find a stack of thirds that I can name dim7, I'm expecting "minor, a half-step up".

And this is one of the reasons why I love dim7 chords.
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#1967628 - 10/02/12 03:01 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Another reason I love dim7 chords -- actually dim triads -- is that I like underdogs. And I see dim chords as underdogs. "Learn all the triads in a key, but, ick, don't bother with the last chord, it's wierd. Ignore it for now.". "Modes are interesting, but, ick, don't write in Locrian, because it's nasty."

And another reason is that I find the sound interesting.

I know, it's completely backwards. First theory, then foolish personification, and only last, sound.
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#1967630 - 10/02/12 03:20 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

I know, it's completely backwards. First theory, then foolish personification, and only last, sound.

Heck, first time I heard the "melodic minor scale" the way it is officially taught, I instantly saw a character that had a personality disorder. I saw this rather literally. Going up: "I'm minor, you can hear that, right?" Half ways up he changes his mind (it's a he, and he wears a straw hat), "As I said, I'm as major as I can be." Then he tilts his straw hat, descends, and says "I never said such a thing. I am a very natural minor, and always was." grin

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#1967672 - 10/02/12 08:10 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Ooh, there's been a lot written since I finished last night!

Now let me throw a spanner into the works while heads are still spinning.

The natural minor shares the same key signature as the relative major but the leading note being a tone down no longer functions as a leading note. For the music to function at a cadence the seventh note must be sharpened. The harmonic minor scale uses the sharpened seventh (nat min key sig, 7 sharpened by accidental).

The interval between the sixth and seventh then becomes an augmented second. It's uncomfortable to sing so when the melody is rising to tonic the sixth is also sharpened to make the melody smoother. When the melody is descending it no longer needs the leading note for the 7-8 effect so both sixth and seventh notes revert to their natural (minor) pitches. This is the reason for the melodic minor scale; flatted third rising, flatted third, sixth and seventh falling (nat min key sig, 6 & 7 sharpened by accidentals).

For harmonic analysis (where harmony needs to be functional) I use the harmonic minor scale plus a bit of natural. Natural minor key signature plus sharpened seventh. I don't follow PS88's convention with Roman Numerals. If you're defining a cadence or a simple harmonic progression, RN's work nicely to show function but if you're modulating and changing keys RN's are a minefield.

C minor: B nat, Eb, Ab [+ Bb].

I C Eb G: C minor

II D F Ab: D diminished

III Eb G Bb: Eb major or
III Eb G B: Eb augmented

IV F Ab C: F minor

V G Bb D: G minor or
V G B D: G major

VI Ab C Eb: Ab major

bVII Bb D F: Bb major or
VII B D F: B diminished

The augmented chord on III was seldom used before the late nineteenth century (Liszt and Debussy) - the minor III is seldom used in major keys either. The chord on the seventh degree was mostly used, as in the major scale, as a rootless dominant seventh or a transpositional device.

How does it fit on the circle of fifths? Recall the major scale for C major:

Major ring: F maj C maj G maj/7
Minor ring: D min A min E min
Dim/7 ring: B dim(G7)

The minor scale for it's relative minor, A minor:

Major ring: F maj C maj/aug
Minor ring: D min A min E min/maj/7
Dim/7 ring: B dim ----- ----- G# dim(E7)

It's not as nice a fit to the circle of fifths but it's workable.
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#1967675 - 10/02/12 08:17 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Online   content
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Richard, are you leaving out the possibility of the melodic minor? For the melodic minor, where the 6th is raised from Ab to Anat, you'd also get:
IV: FAC major
VI: ACEb dim

Btw, in England do you say "parallel minor key" or "tonic minor key"?

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#1967684 - 10/02/12 08:54 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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In England we say tonic minor most of the time but I have heard parallel minor as well.

I'm not intentionally leaving out the melodic minor I was just focussing on the harmonic which is most commonly appropriate for harmonic analysis.

I see I left F major and D minor on the circle of fifths so it's there indirectly. F minor isn't in the neighborhood but all the diminished's are in the vicinity of course, depending on spelling.

Thanks for your vigilance! smile
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#1967719 - 10/02/12 10:32 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Online   content

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

Other possibilities: ... 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).


Perhaps they just wanted to confuse the heck out of Greener.

Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

And all this is premised on knowing scales and chords, which if I had laid that out would have included a whole nother set of detail and repetitive exercises to get the patterns ingrained.


Among my biggest challenge at this point are the minor scales. Since every major scale has it's relative minor and share the same key signature, only a natural minor applies in terms of the key signature. Is this correct so far?

Melodic, harmonic -- and understand many others -- are of help in further understanding cadences. Is this also correct.

There is a lot to digest from the overnight posts, so hope no quizzes forthcoming today. So far have just read through everything. It is all great but will be sinking in I think over time.

So, just want to further inquire on a few things at a time as we move along. There will be more ...
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#1967728 - 10/02/12 11:03 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Online   content

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I was holding out a bit as I wasn't quite done reading. So some of my previous questions, already confirmed.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

The natural minor shares the same key signature as the relative major but the leading note being a tone down no longer functions as a leading note. For the music to function at a cadence the seventh note must be sharpened. The harmonic minor scale uses the sharpened seventh (nat min key sig, 7 sharpened by accidental).
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#1967896 - 10/02/12 06:44 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Originally Posted By: zrtf90
Ooh, there's been a lot written since I finished last night!
The natural minor shares the same key signature as the relative major but the leading note being a tone down no longer functions as a leading note. For the music to function at a cadence the seventh note must be sharpened. The harmonic minor scale uses the sharpened seventh (nat min key sig, 7 sharpened by accidental).

The interval between the sixth and seventh then becomes an augmented second. It's uncomfortable to sing so when the melody is rising to tonic the sixth is also sharpened to make the melody smoother. When the melody is descending it no longer needs the leading note for the 7-8 effect so both sixth and seventh notes revert to their natural (minor) pitches. This is the reason for the melodic minor scale; flatted third rising, flatted third, sixth and seventh falling (nat min key sig, 6 & 7 sharpened by accidentals).

Just an additional point. The melodic minor scale, as it is often taught (see Hanon) assumes 6 and 7 ascending as it is in a major scale but lowered when descending.

From this it is easy to assume that “melodic” can not go “down” the same way. But a melodic minor scale, as I am defining it here, with the same degrees used both ways, is VERY common when a dominant is used, and you find it all over the place in Bach, for instance, this way:

LH plays G or G7 in key of C minor. RH plays D C B A G F Eb D C...

A good piece to examine this in would be CPE Bach Solfeggio, obviously not by THE Bach, but CPE Bach was trained by “Dad”. wink
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#1967909 - 10/02/12 07:11 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: Greener]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Greener
I was holding out a bit as I wasn't quite done reading. So some of my previous questions, already confirmed.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

The natural minor shares the same key signature as the relative major but the leading note being a tone down no longer functions as a leading note. For the music to function at a cadence the seventh note must be sharpened. The harmonic minor scale uses the sharpened seventh (nat min key sig, 7 sharpened by accidental).



Relative minor shares the same key signature. In the harmonic minor the 7th is raised, which creates a leading note, and gives us a real dominant seven chord (G7 instead of Gm7). Example of relative minor: C major, A minor.

Tonic or Parallel minor has the same tonic note. Example: C major, key of C minor. You can still figure out the key signature as per above. C minor has the key signature of Eb major. This also tells you which notes are lowered when comparing C major and C minor. C minor has Eb, and Ab, but the "Ab" of Eb major tends to stay B because of the harmonic minor. You can go back and forth either way.

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#1967916 - 10/02/12 07:24 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
Gary D. Online   content
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
For example, C#dim7 only appears (in our restricted set of chords) as VIIdim7 of D minor.

I just wanted to chime in and mention that this so-called VIIdim7 chord is just as likely to show up in a major key. And because even somewhat sophisticated music does not stay strictly in major or minor, I use a different system from the traditional one, but we should define it:

Traditional, major:

Using upper and lower case: I ii iii IV V iv vii I. Some people write vii°, but that is not necessary.

Traditional, minor:

i ii (ii°) III iv v OR V, VI VII

For me this is system is NUTS because of minor, which is not a dependable concept but rather a set of pitches that is in continuous flux.

And that is why I drive traditionalists nuts, always using major as my default, then referring to chords within a major scale framework. For me in the key of Cm we can have a I chord, since obvious C may move to Fm. In traditional thinking we have to name C as V or IV, and although that is logical, it always short-circuits my brain.

I am mentioning this because if we call Eb bIII in the key of C minor, many people are going to be confused. I wanted to bring this out before we run into problems. I use my own system, which is really very close to at least one jazz system, but it could throw people here directly to Mars!!! wink
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#1967932 - 10/02/12 08:01 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Gary, I was trying to present the roman numerals as you use them, because I have come to think of them as the most powerful and flexible system I know for music that may borrow notes from outside the scale of the key. If you think we should use another system on this thread, let me know and I'll correct what I've written. The qualities of the chords stay the same (the part after the roman numeral). What changes is whether the roman numeral has a flat, sharp, or nothing in front of it. At least, if we're at least agreed on all upper-case roman numerals.

In the system I originally learned, in Dminor, C7 is VII7 and C#dim7 is vii°7. Fine for certain kinds of music, but there are weaknesses in this system.

Richard, keystring, any thoughts on roman numeral system to use?

I like that Gary's system allows me to say Cdim is VIIdim in C major, and it is also VIIdim in C minor. I don't have to say something like "it's #VIIdim in D minor" or "it's VIIdim in D harmonic minor".


Edited by PianoStudent88 (10/02/12 08:05 PM)
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#1967935 - 10/02/12 08:18 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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The main reason I introduced the roman numerals was two-fold:

1. So I could point out the general pattern of chords in a minor key. There are other ways I could have pointed out the patterns, but for me roman numerals are the perfect shorthand for exhibiting a pattern, and I hoped that their role as pattern shorthand would be comprehensible to others.

2. So I could refer specifically to VIIdim7.

~~~~~~

I don't recall meeting a dim7 chord in a major key, unless it was heading towards the expected minor chord, but I haven't been paying close attention for this. I'lll keep my eyes peeled. Gary, I did expect that you would mention it.
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#1967987 - 10/02/12 10:16 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Having laid out all the patterns, I'm going to walk through the first movement of the Clementi Sonatina #4 showing how the dim7 orients me.

Imagine me identifying the chords throughout.  I don't trust my ear enough to tell me all the interesting places to look at harmonies.  Plus, I enjoy identifying dead-simple patterns like F F F or G7 C G7 C G7 C.  Again, this is because my ear doesn't always identify these, at least not with an associated name for the quality of what is going on.  So making the names is part of a long-term project for me to understand what I hear better, and also in the short-term allows me to, say, talk about whether a piece is harmonically simple or complex at any given point: again, because I don't trust my ear to give me full answers on that.

But for this post, I'm going to focus on just the parts where I spot a diminished, half-diminished, or fully diminished chord.

m. 3, Em7b5.  Remember from our chord types that this shows up in only a few places.  It shows up as VIIm7b5 in a major key, and as IIm7b5 in a minor key.  I think I'm more used to seeing it in a major key, but maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention.  It also turns out it shows up as VIm7b5 and VIIm7b5 in a harmonic minor scale, but I really don't remember seeing that in music before.  I'll be on the lookout now, though.  So, in letters Em7b5 might signal F major, D minor, or F minor.  But since we're in F major already, and I'm (perhaps sloppily) used to expecting half diminished chords in a major key pretty much all the time, in fact I just think: "Em7b5, expect F major, oh yes we're IN F major, and the next chord is F, nice familiar pattern."

m. 6, Bdim.  The next chord is C.  Another nice familiar pattern, from VII dim to I in a major key.  I'm not saying we're actually IN C major here, but what I'm basically thinking is "dim triad, therefore major or minor chord a half-step up will be familiar.".  (Diminished triads show up in other places in the types of chords -- IIdim in natural minor, VIdim and VIIdim in melodic minor -- but I'm not so used to those.). Actually, omitting the Bdim for a moment, the progression from m.7 to m.9 is Gm/Bb C F.  This is a IIm V I progression in our home key of F major.  The brief Bdim before C serves to "tonicize" C: to make it seem inevitable.  But then we  perhaps don't really change keys to this inevitable C; we continue back to F.  This is a very interesting progression because it crosses the division between phrases, or maybe it glues two phrases together by overlapping them on F in m.9.

m.32, Bdim/C.  The C is a pedal, appearing in each of mm.31-33.  Bdim makes me expect C major or C minor, and it's true that m.31 is C major; indeed here we are at the start of the exposition appearing, perfectly normally, to be in C major, just where the exposition left us.  But wait, m.33 is C7, which, while it is a type of C chord, is unexpected.  And the tritone F-B of Bdim doesn't resolve outward as expected to E-C.  It resolves inward to G-Bb.  And starting in m.34 we get a flurry of A, A7, and inverted Dm chords.  Since A is a fifth above D, something D minor-ish is going on, although the lack of a cadence on a root position Dm chord might lead some to deny that we're actually in D minor.  Not me, though, I like having a key to give me moorings.

Thinking Dm, I recall from melodic minor that Bdim might be VIdim (and there I just said I haven't seen these!), where the root, B, appears in the melodic minor scale.  And then C7 can be bVII7, using notes from the natural minor scale.  So from m.32 to the first beat of m.35, I have VIdim bVII7 V Im (with some inversions, which I'm ignoring).  Hmm.  Six, five, and one are familiar to me when associated in a six-two-five-one progression.  Aha!  If I rewrite m.33 as Edim/C, and treat C as a pedal point, I now have a sort of 6-2-5-1, even if the dim chords are unusual qualities for the 6-2.  VIdim IIdim V Im (ignoring inversions).

I'm not sure if this is actually what it sounds like to people who can hear these things instead of just juggle symbols on paper.  Indeed, way back at the Bdim, who would think we're in D minor?  Nobody!  We expect to still be in C major.  The Bb in m.33 signals that it's not C major any more.  The next most likely expectation might be that we're going back to our real home, F major, with a C7 F (V7 I) progression.  Although if we realize we're starting a development section, we would be disappointed by returning home so soon, and Clementi doesn't disappoint, by taking us to the relative minor of F major, D minor.

m.38, F#dim7.  I expect G minor.  Sure enough, we get D7 (reduced to the bare minimum C D) and then in m.39 Gm.  A lovely familiar two-five-one, in minor: IIdim7-V7-Im.

mm.40-41, Edim7.  Expect F minor.  Sure enough, we get (almost) the same thing as mm.38-39, a whole step lower: Edim7, a minimal pair of notes Bb and C to represent C7, and then... oh wait a second, the A naturals (instead of Ab) at the end of m.41 tell us that we're in F major.  This to me is a surprise, because the Db of Edim7 belongs to F minor, not F major.  On the other hand, C7 can quite respectably go to F instead of Fm.  Plus Gary has been telling me that VIIdim7 can lead to either Im or I.  So I'll chalk this one up to experience. And right after the previous post where I said I didn't remember meeting one of these!

Written out like this, I'm afraid it makes my process look long and tedious. But it doesn't feel long and tedious to me. To me it feels comfortable and fun and like making sense out of random strings of notes and turning up occasional jewels to surprise and delight.
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#1967994 - 10/02/12 10:29 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
Gary D. Online   content
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Gary, I was trying to present the roman numerals as you use them, because I have come to think of them as the most powerful and flexible system I know for music that may borrow notes from outside the scale of the key. If you think we should use another system on this thread, let me know and I'll correct what I've written. The qualities of the chords stay the same (the part after the roman numeral). What changes is whether the roman numeral has a flat, sharp, or nothing in front of it. At least, if we're at least agreed on all upper-case roman numerals.

In the system I originally learned, in Dminor, C7 is VII7 and C#dim7 is vii°7. Fine for certain kinds of music, but there are weaknesses in this system.

Richard, keystring, any thoughts on roman numeral system to use?

I like that Gary's system allows me to say Cdim is VIIdim in C major, and it is also VIIdim in C minor. I don't have to say something like "it's #VIIdim in D minor" or "it's VIIdim in D harmonic minor".
You know why I prefer this system. smile I’ll continue to use it, but I am also used to “translating” to other systems that people know better. As you perfectly summed up, there are severe limits to the traditional RN system. In fact, there are limits to any numbering system, and that is why sometimes an “it is what it is system” is most handy. For me usually that means using letters! wink
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#1967995 - 10/02/12 10:29 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Originally Posted By: keystring

Relative minor shares the same key signature. In the harmonic minor the 7th is raised, which creates a leading note, and gives us a real dominant seven chord (G7 instead of Gm7). Example of relative minor: C major, A minor.

This whole subject drives me nuts as a teacher. I’ve never known how to teach it.

The REAL story is that our key signature conventions are based on a very pure set of pitches or notes. Minor is simply major, starting on a different degree of the scale. So C major, C D E F G A B C

Becomes A minor, A B C D E F G A

Same key signature, and what could be easier?

Except as we ALL know, it has not been that simple for several centuries, and at any point in a piece in A minor it is just as likely that we will see a G# as a Gnat. The second most common chord in A minor will be the V chord, E G# B. So the key of A minor could be just as easily one sharp, G#, or two sharps, F# and G#. In other words, the key signature we have inherited is logical and works best for natural minor, but in the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, that form of minor no longer was the default.

I continue to teach that minor is major with “toggles”. We can depend on 3 being lowered most of the time, since it is on the tonic chord, but 6 and 7 are like little switches that continually flip up and down. smile
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#1968022 - 10/02/12 11:05 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
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Way back when, I had a flute book which tried to teach the three firms if minor scales. Natural, harmonic, and melodic. It illustrated with C minor, and maybe a few other keys, and talked about forming these scales by lowering third sixth and seventh degrees.

I hated it.

I thought it was the most dad-blasted useless thing I'd ever met. I refused to learn them.

I'm not sure when I finally learned about minor keys, but eventually I did, via the key signature as relative minor, and look at the last note to figure out which key is, the major or the minor. The accidentals didn't bother me. I was used to having accidentals in music and never wondered why they were there, just took them as instructions for what to play.

A long time later, I got Edly's Music Theory For Practical People and was introduced to the explanations for natural minor (Aeolian mode, so it's a logical choice to lower three six and seven, it's not just randomly made up for the heck of it), harmonic minor (to provide a leading tone), and melodic minor (to fix up the melodically jagged augmented second).

Lights went on!

What had been a complete mystery before, now made sense.

Several years later, I took a college course in harmonic analysis and when we learned about secondary dominants and changes of tonality and key, even more lights went on. Those apparently random accidentals all had a purpose!

I should say that I somehow managed to avoid a possible pitfall in learning about natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales: I never expected that minor key music was somehow supposed to only use notes from one of the scales. And at some point I observed that the raised sixth and seventh from melodic minor were sometimes used descending, and that didn't bother me either.
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#1968055 - 10/03/12 12:15 AM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Way back when, I had a flute book which tried to teach the three firms if minor scales. Natural, harmonic, and melodic. It illustrated with C minor, and maybe a few other keys, and talked about forming these scales by lowering third sixth and seventh degrees.

I hated it.

I thought it was the most dad-blasted useless thing I'd ever met. I refused to learn them.

That sounds like a cookbook. Music Theory for Dummies. To me it sounds anti-intuitive, non-playful, and it reminds me of almost everything I experience in public school.

I think that the flaw I any such approach is that it separates scales from harmony, and even the word “harmony” does not convey the idea that I love most, “playing with chords”.

I also don’t know why we do not see it suggested more often that scales, any of them, are suggested BY chord structure. This is not the only factor, but it is huge.

I'm not sure when I finally learned about minor keys, but eventually I did, via the key signature as relative minor, and look at the last note to figure out which key is, the major or the minor. The accidentals didn't bother me. I was used to having accidentals in music and never wondered why they were there, just took them as instructions for what to play.
Quote:

Several years later, I took a college course in harmonic analysis and when we learned about secondary dominants and changes of tonality and key, even more lights went on. Those apparently random accidentals all had a purpose!

I know you wrote more, but for me this begins to bring it together. Secondary dominance is a start at seeing how much we can move, seeming to go everywhere, yet we still retain the feeling of “home”, and “home” is the key we are in, with all its complexities. smile
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#1968212 - 10/03/12 12:14 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Online   content

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

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.


Clearly F7 in M39

The Recapitulation M51-M84 very closely matches Exposition M1-M34, so no question of where coming from and ALL is accounted for.

Development starts out very similar to M1-M4, the next three measures are a melodic variation of M5-M7, then I think new material up to M48. M49 could be coming from M16.
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#1968221 - 10/03/12 12:40 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Loc: Maine
Which sonatina and movement are we in?
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#1968226 - 10/03/12 12:55 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Online   content

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No 5., movement 1. Following previous pattern of analysis, this information had not been presented. So, I assumed you were all anxiously awaiting it.

But, if ready to move along I am fine with that as well.
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#1968229 - 10/03/12 01:05 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Earlier, I just wrote out the triads and sevenths for the natural minor scale, and then adopted the raised leading tone from the harmonic minor scale and looked only at the fifth and seventh degrees of the scale, giving chords V7 and VII7.

I decided to do something I've never done before, which is write out all the triads and seventh chords in all three types of minor scales. (I have seen this done for triads in the Robert Pace method book.) Hey, you have to entertain yourself somehow when flying from Washington to Maine. Only Washington, D.C. though. If it had been from Washington State I'm sure I would have found time to compose a few sonatinas in classical form as well smile .

I discovered some interesting things. I'll start with major as a comparison point, and I'm doing this in C so I don't confuse myself with too many accidentals.

The way I learn, this is hard to learn by reading someone else's results, and easier to learn by getting the general idea of the exercise and then working it out myself, possibly multiple times to get more comfortable with it. But in this text based medium, all I can do is say, "here's what I've found, play with it yourself if you find it interesting."

C major:
notes: C D E F G A B
triads: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
sevenths: Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5

C natural minor:
notes: C D Eb F G Ab Bb
triads: Cm Ddim Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb
sevenths: Cm7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7 Fm7 Gm7 Abmaj7 Bb7

C harmonic minor:
notes: C D Eb F G Ab B
triads: Cm Ddim Ebaug Fm G Ab Bdim
sevenths: Cm(maj7) Dm7b5 Ebaug(maj7) Fm7 G7 Abmaj7 Bdim7

C melodic minor:
notes: C D Eb F G A B
triads: Cm Dm Ebaug F G Adim Bdim
sevenths: Cm(maj7) Dm7 Ebaug(maj7) F7 G7 Am7b5 Bm7b5

I find this fascinating. Looking across all three types of minor scales -- since any of these notes can easily occur in minor key music and not really count as out of key.

We find the min(maj7) chord, and the aug chord, and the intriguing aug(maj7) chord.

We find three diminished triads, at IIdim (natural, harmonic), VIdim (harmonic), and VIIdim (harmonic, melodic).

We find three half-diminished chords, at IIm7b5 (harmonic), VIm7b5 (melodic), and VIIdim7b5 (melodic).

We still only have one fully diminished chord, at VIIdim7, and this only within the harmonic minor scale.
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#1968230 - 10/03/12 01:12 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Please let me know if you find any mistakes in the above.

Here are some more ideas from the above:

It highlights the small vocabulary of chords/harmonies used in the music we've been working with. How many augmented major seven chords have we met, compared to the number of dominant seventh or even diminished triads that we've met?

To me, it suggests a use for the exam-type question, about what type of scale contains a given chord. Suppose you've fallen in love with Ebaug(maj7) and want to write some music containing it. If you can figure out that this appears in the C harmonic minor and C melodic minor scales as bIIIaug(maj7), you have an idea of which notes you might try to build around it to create a melody and a harmony. Maybe real composers never think that way, and just look for things that sound good, or think in terms of "Eb G B D, what would lead up to that and what would lead away from it" and then later discover that the whole thing is feeling like C minor. Anyway, just an idea. This is the kind of way I think, but I am miles, nay, parsecs, away from being a real composer.

I don't think I'll remember the exact pattern of all these chords (note I didn't even write the lists out in roman numerals, and just eyeballed the pattern off the letter name chords). But they give me something to keep in mind: in a minor key, dim and m7b5 can occur more than just at scale degree VII. And something to wonder about: VIdim or IIm7b5... how might that actually be used in music? Where would it be progressing from and to?

Hmmm, maybe on my next flight I'll write out the roman numerals and start getting more familiar with these patterns.
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#1968238 - 10/03/12 01:30 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
PianoStudent88 Offline
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Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 3181
Loc: Maine
Doing this kind of thing, starting from rules and working out what can be concluded from the rules, is something I love, and probably a big part of why I got my degree in mathematics. It's the epitome of deductive logic.

Then the next application for me is to look at music and name these.

It's a later add-on for me to start caring about what do composers actually tend to do the most, and what is less common? (*)

And still a mostly foreign concept to wonder how these things sound, and not only in isolation, but especially one after the other.

I seem to have everything backwards.


(*) When I started to care about what composers do, is when I started to care about inversions, because I started to notice that there were patterns they used that depended, not just on the chords used, but on the specific inversion used. For example, a ii-I6/4-V7-I progression.
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#1968242 - 10/03/12 01:37 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: PianoStudent88]
Greener Online   content

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Registered: 05/29/12
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88

I decided to do something I've never done before, which is write out all the triads and seventh chords in all three types of minor scales.

C major:
notes: C D E F G A B
triads: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
sevenths: Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5

C natural minor:
notes: C D Eb F G Ab Bb
triads: Cm Ddim Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb
sevenths: Cm7 Dm7b5 Ebmaj7 Fm7 Gm7 Abmaj7 Bb7

C harmonic minor:
notes: C D Eb F G Ab B
triads: Cm Ddim Ebaug Fm G Ab Bdim
sevenths: Cm(maj7) Dm7b5 Ebaug(maj7) Fm7 G7 Abmaj7 Bdim7

C melodic minor:
notes: C D Eb F G A B
triads: Cm Dm Ebaug F G Adim Bdim
sevenths: Cm(maj7) Dm7 Ebaug(maj7) F7 G7 Am7b5 Bm7b5


This will definitely come in most handy, PS88. When multiple accidentals are at play, labeling the chords has not been of tremendous value to me in identifying the key. This will help. Thanks
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#1968245 - 10/03/12 01:48 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
When we left this to explore the minor keys we weren't sure what keys we were moving through in the development.

We finished the exposition at M34 in D major.

M35 looked like being F# dim until the last beat when it became an actual D7 instead of a rootless one and closed into G minor.

M39 F7 closed into M40 Bb

M43 G7 closed into M44 C minor

M45 A7 closed into M46 D major, which turned out to be the dominant pedal to return to G major for the recapitulation.

If you look at his path around the circle of fifths you'll find it's quite adventurous. He's achieved it using minor keys and playing on the fact that a dominant seventh closes into both major and minor tonics.

He's not toyed much with the material while he's done this either so it's much easier to follow.
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Originally Posted By: PianoStudent88
Richard, keystring, any thoughts on roman numeral system to use?

I need to read RNs in a number of conventions I wouldn't restrict myself to writing in just one. Use whichever one you're most comfortable with.

When the chords are diatonic VII7 tells me all I need to know even if I'm in an unfamiliar key, like G-flat. When the music get more complicated letter chords tell me how the chord relates to other local keys in the circle of fifths - RNs don't.

I frequently use lower case Romans for minor chords, but I'm just as likely to use upper case and know from the key whether it's major or minor but when a piece is modulating, Romans make life harder rather than easier.

____________________________

Eb G B D: I'd either stick with Eb aug or move to G major.

_____________________________

With all the possibilities of added secondary sevenths I'd want to practise designing something like the London Underground Map first.

Look at the possibilities of primary triads centred on A minor:

--------------- C aug
F maj --------- C maj ------- G maj
D min/maj ----- A min ------- E min/maj -- B min
B dim (G7) ---- F# dim ------
G# dim (E7)
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#1968263 - 10/03/12 02:33 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
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Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

Eb G B D: I'd either stick with Eb aug or move to G major.

Richard, that's a VERY interesting chord, and by itself it just doesn't sound like it is part of C minor. But in fact you can find it somewhere in Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, although I forget what key it is, and it resolves like this:

Eb G B D--->>>Eb G C

Also a great favorite of Liszt.

It has a VERY powerful dominant sound, and I've never understood why it works, it just does. smile
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#1968264 - 10/03/12 02:41 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4801
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

I need to read RNs in a number of conventions I wouldn't restrict myself to writing in just one. Use whichever one you're most comfortable with.

This is exactly what I do. wink

For something strictly diatonic, minor and natural minor,
something like III is just fine. C minor, III does the job for Eb. But when things become more complicated,then I need bIII, in case I want to move to Ebm to do a quick modulation. Then I can go bIII to bIIIm, then move somewhere else, then zip back to Cm, which I would make explict with Im.

All upper case is more flexible when combined with the same symbols we use for LCs (letter chords), because then we can do X, Xm, Xdim, Xaug, Xm7b5, and we can also show root with a number.

So i6/4 (Cm/G in C minor) becomes Im/5. This is what I teach. I don't care if it is standard because we don't READ RNs in charts most of the time. wink
When the chords are diatonic VII7 tells me all I need to know even if I'm in an unfamiliar key, like G-flat. When the music get more complicated letter chords tell me how the chord relates to other local keys in the circle of fifths - RNs don't.

I frequently use lower case Romans for minor chords, but I'm just as likely to use upper case and know from the key whether it's major or minor but when a piece is modulating, Romans make life harder rather than easier.


Edited by Gary D. (10/03/12 03:35 PM)
Edit Reason: iii should be III
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#1968265 - 10/03/12 02:42 PM Re: Classical Sonata Analysis [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2370
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Thanks, Gary. I just played it at the piano and figured I wouldn't want to write a song around it. I'm sure it would be quite different in context. I was very rash! smile
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