Embedded Structural Modes: Unifying Scale Degrees and Harmonic Functions

  • Thomas NollEmail author
  • Karst De Jong
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11502)


The paper offers an integration of the theory of structural modes, functional theory and diatonic scale degrees. In analogy to the parsimonious voice leading between generic diatonic triads we study parsimonious function leading between embedded structural modes. A combinatorics of diatonic embeddings of structural modes is given. In four analytical examples we study the interaction of relative minor and major modes within an encompassing diatonic collection. Finally we discuss alternative possibilities for the interpretation of the diminished fifth as a fundament progression.


Structural modes Functional harmony Scale degree theory Hierarchy Diabolus in musica 



We wish to thank Jason Yust, David Clampitt and the anonymous reviewers for valuable feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departament de Teoria, Composició i DireccióEscola Superior de Música de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Royal Conservatoire Den HaagHagueThe Netherlands

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