CHARLES FRANCIS LEINBERGER, PH.D.
Chord Functions for Musical Analysis

Use this table to determine possible functions of a chord once you know the type of chord, its root, and on what scale degree the root is located.
For many chords, there is more than one possible function. Which one is best depends on the chord's resolution. How does that chord fit into its harmonic context?
If I forgot any, please let me know at CHARLESL@UTEP.EDU!

  Triads Seventh Chords  
Scale Degree + M m d M7+5 (+M7) Mm7+5 (+m7) M7 (MM7) 7 (Mm7) 7♭5 (Mm7♭5) or Fr7 (Fr+6) mM7 (mM7) m7 (mm7) ø7 (dm7) °7 (dd7)
1 Tonic   I i       IM7 V7/IV   iM7 i7     1
I  
V/iv V7/iv
♯1 Raised Tonic       vii°/ii                 vii°7/ii ♯1
♭2 Lowered Supertonic   N (♭II)         NM7 (♭IIM7) Gr+6/I, It+6/I           ♭2
2 Supertonic   V/V ii vii°/♭III       V7/V Fr7 (Fr+6)   ii7 viiø7/♭III vii°7/♭III 2
ii° iiø7  
vii°/IIIviiø7/III vii°7/III
♯2 Raised Supertonic       vii°/iii                 vii°7/iii ♯2
♭3 Lowered (Minor) Mediant ♭III+ ♭III     ♭IIIM7+5   ♭IIIM7 V7/♭VI           ♭3
III+ III IIIM7+5 IIIM7 V7/VI
3 Mediant   V/vi iii vii°/IV       V7/vi     iii7 viiø7/IV vii°7/IV 3
vii°/iv vii°7/iv
4 Subdominant   V/♭VII iv       IVM7 V7/♭VII   ivM7 iv7 Till Eulenspiegel   4
IV   IV7
V/VII iv V7/VII
♯4 Raised Subdominant       vii°/V               viiø7/V vii°7/V ♯4
5 Dominant V+ V v vii°/♭VI   V7+5   V7 Fr7/I (Fr+6/I)   v7 viiø7/♭VI vii°7/♭VI 5
vii°/VI viiø7/VI vii°7/VI
♯5 Raised Dominant       vii°/vi                 vii°7/vi ♯5
♭6 Lowered (Minor) Submediant   ♭VI         ♭VIM7 Gr+6, It+6, V7/N (V7/♭II)       Tristan   ♭6
VI VIM7
6 Submediant   V/ii vi vii°/♭VII       V7/ii     vi7 viiø7/♭VII vii°7/♭VII 6
♯vi° ♯viø7  
vii°/VII viiø7/VII vii°7/VII
♭7 Subtonic   ♭VII           ♭VII7           ♭7
V/♭III V7/♭III
VII VII7
V/III V7/III
7 Leading Tone   V/iii   vii°       V7/iii       viiø7 vii°7 7
Fate vii°7
Scale Degree + M m d M7+5 (+M7) Mm7+5 (+m7) M7 (MM7) 7 (Mm7) 7♭5 (Mm7♭5) or Fr7 (Fr+6) mM7 (mM7) m7 (mm7) ø7 (dm7) °7 (dd7)  
  Triads Seventh Chords

Blue cells indicate diatonic functions in major keys. Some of these chords also have a chromatic function in minor keys.
Yellow cells indicate diatonic functions in minor keys only (natural, harmonic, or melodic).
Green cells indicate diatonic functions in either major or minor keys (blue + yellow = green).
Therefore, major keys include diatonic functions in Blue and Green. Minor keys include diatonic functions in Yellow and Green.
Purple cells indicate chromatic functions in major keys only. All chromatic functions are dependent upon the chord resolving logically.
Orange cells indicate chromatic functions in minor keys only. All chromatic functions are dependent upon the chord resolving logically.
Dark gray cells indicate chromatic functions in either major or minor keys. All chromatic functions are dependent upon the chord resolving logically.
Therefore, major keys include chromatic functions in Purple and Gray. Minor keys include chromatic functions in Orange and Gray.
Light gray cells include functions for chords that are traditionally non-functional, but have been given programmatic meaning, such as Fate (Tchaikovsky: Fourth Symphony in F Minor), Till Eulenspiegel (Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche), and Tristan (Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde).
Empty cells indicate that there are no logical functions for particular chord types on a those scale degrees.

Abbreviations used on this table:
ChordIntervals Above the Root
Third Fifth Seventh
+ = Augmented Triad Major Augmented  
M = Major Triad Major Perfect  
m = minor Triad Minor Perfect  
d = Diminished Triad Minor Diminished  
M7+5 = Augmented-Major seventh chord (+M7) Major Augmented Major
Mm7+5 = Augmented-minor seventh chord (+m7) Major Augmented Minor
M7 = Major-Major seventh chord (MM7) Major Perfect Major
7 = Major-minor seventh chord (Mm7) Major Perfect Minor
7♭5 = Major-minor seventh chord with diminished fifth (Mm7♭5) or Fr7 (French seventh), often appears in second inversion as Fr+6 Major Diminished Minor
mM7 = minor-major seventh chord (mM7) Minor Perfect Major
m7 = minor-minor seventh chord (mm7) Minor Perfect Minor
ø7 = diminished-minor seventh chord (half-diminished) (dm7) Minor Diminished Minor
°7 = diminished-diminished seventh chord (fully-diminished) (dd7) Minor Diminished Diminished

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Modulation Types for Musical Analysis
Examples of Modulation Types for Musical Analysis (PDF)
Dr. Edward Murphy's "Sonata Form" Essay
Instrument Transpositions for Musical Analysis
CHARLESL@UTEP.EDU
This page was updated 21 October 2013.
UTEP Department of Music UTEP