Common Questions about Functional Analysis

Here I can answer questions you may have. Leave a comment! 

Common Questions:
– What makes Functional Analysis different from Roman Numerals?
_____ Overall, the biggest difference is that RNs are scale oriented, and FA is cadence oriented, highlighting fifths and thirds as intervals. Additionally, inversions are shown from the root instead of from the bass.
– Why did you choose the IV chord over the ii chord for the primary predominant?
_____ Partially because the consistency of having all primary functions the same quality, so that P is major when T is major. Partially because in my experience, it is more common. Partially because it feels more stable. Partially because historically it’s been that way.
– What makes this different from your German precedents, Funktionstheorie?
_____ I think I’d have to have an outside observer tell me, because this information has been in my brain for so long I don’t know what I’ve made up or what I learned from someone else. I’m pretty sure I added the idea of using # and b for chromatic pitches in the sub/super-scripts. I know that the method for sequences is new (week 7 post). I’m pretty sure that I added the focus on multiple levels of analysis. I think I’m handling slash-Ds different than some sources. Generally, the things I’ve changed are to make it simpler.
– What if the piece I’m analyzing doesn’t function the same?
_____ If we’re analyzing a piece that doesn’t function, or doesn’t use vertical means to create coherence, we’re probably better off finding a different system to use to understand it. If you feel the piece functions and has strong pulls to tonic, but doesn’t use IV and V as primary functions, I’m working on that. There will be eventually a post on different things I’m thinking about for that.
– Are you trying to get rid of Roman Numerals?
_____ No. I’m trying to provide an alternate system for those who feel RNs are non-intuitive, prohibitively difficult, clunky, or otherwise unhelpful. If a large majority of people find themselves of these opinions, then maybe we’ll all use RNs less, but I don’t think they’ll go away, and certainly not any time soon.

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