Skip to main content

Roman Numerals

Lesson 19 from: Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

J. Anthony Allen

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

19. Roman Numerals

Lesson Info

Roman Numerals

So now that we know the alterations of the major and minor chords court quality, we call that we call. Sometimes we call whether or not something is major or minor. We call that the quality of the cord. Is it a major quality or a minor equality? Um, I want to talk a little bit about some notation here now, not notation in terms of like, you know, the dots on the staff and stuff like that. But how we write down the names of chords. Ah, traditionally, in music theory, this is done with Roman numerals, which is kind of weird if you think about it. But, um, that's the way we do it. This is just kind of an old, you know thing. This is the way it's been done for, you know, centuries used Roman numerals, and what we do is we use a capital Roman numeral to show a major chord and a lower case Roman numeral to show a minor chord. And this is useful. Now, this is not something that Ah, I'm going to go in a huge amount of depth in in this class. We're not gonna be doing like big analyses where we'...

re like picking apart Beethoven using Roman numerals. But, um, so I thought I just devote a video to it will probably be talking more about some of the Roman numeral stuff later. Um, so I like to talk in terms of just court dames like saying, See major and d minor instead of saying, you know a one chord and see major. But, ah, I do think it's good for you to know. So, um, here's how this works. So when we're looking at this diatonic chord progression right here, we know the major and minor qualities of all these chords. But let's look at Let's see what that looks like in Roman numerals. So what we would call this is what we call this a one chord, and it's a major one chord. We call this, um, a minor to cord, so it just looks like an II. But the reason is this is a minor chord, and it's built on the second scale degree. Okay, that's important. Um, three. This this e is the third scale degree few three and accord built on. It is going to be a minor three chord, a chord built on the fourth scale to G degree F in our case is going to be major. A court built on the fifth scale degree is going to be major. So that gets a capital Roman numeral Capital five and Roman numerals Accord built on the sixth scale degree is going to be minor. So that gets a lower case, Roman numeral And this diminished chord, which is the super ugly cord. We do that in lower case because remember, I said a diminished chord is kind of like a super minor chord. So we do that lower case and then we put this little symbol after it just the symbol for diminished. So when you see that, that means diminished chord, that little tiny zero there Ah, in the corner. Ah, and then this is going to be a major chord. And we're going to call this not eight. We're gonna call this one because this is the same court. Is this? We have no such thing as eight when it goes when it comes to Roman numeral analysis, Um, we only count up to seven, Then it starts over because effectively, they're the same chords. We don't count the octaves when we're talking about Roman numerals, whatever activites in doesn't matter. Ah, it's on Lee. The quality and the route that we're talking about and remember the route is what's giving it the number in this case. So here the route is E. So it gets the Roman numeral three because it's built on the third scale degree. Now, in our case here, their roots are at the bottom. All of the rooms are the bottoms of the cord, the lowest note of the court because that's how he built them, that we talk about inversions that's not going to necessarily be true. That's what inversions are, in fact, is kind of shuffling the deck of your notes so that the root isn't always on the bottom, but more on that shortly. So that's how those Roman numerals work. So let's put that into practice now and let's look at a song, Um, and we'll write it down in terms of its Roman numerals, and I think you'll see how this could be valuable. Ah, once we use them in context. So a simple way to a new video and, um, pick apart a song

Ratings and Reviews


this is great and very helpfull class, i make and wirte music for more than 2 decades and never gave much about theory, i trusted my feelings to what sound good and what not. Bu t recently i became interested but it all seemed very difficult to me and i didnt got the points behind music theory and how everyhing works together. This class was a game changer for me.. music theory is so simple if you have somebody to explain it in words so that you finally can understand it, and thats Anthony, he is a brilliant guy and he explains it in a simple way that you can easily understand whats going on. This is perfectly the case with this course, the sections are short and to the point, not much talking around and leaving the path, you can make fast progress end learn how music theory works, this is a 5 Star ***** course and hopefully there is more to come

Emane Filali

Fabulous course. As a person with dyslexia, trying to remember the notes and chords as letters only is impossible. I love the visual way the chords are demonstrated and explained. I was originally put off by the "electronic" aspect, thinking it was only for learning how to use piano edit roller. However, as a beginner in playing the piano, this course is applicable to all who want to learn and understand music theory in an interesting visual way. Looking forward to next lesson. Will definately be purchasing the course after. Fantastic tutor and course.

Giulio Lazaretti

Very good class!! Makes it much easier to understand and apply the rules of theory. Anthony is also very wise to suggest to trust your ears, even if what you've written doesn't fit into those same rules. I am so very grateful for you putting this together, Anthony, and for making it available for the general public, Creative Live. I am also very glad I was given the opportunity to learn english in my home country (Brazil), in which many barely know how to read and write in our own native language (portuguese) due to our public education being so bad (which, by its turn, has to do with the myriad of vile creatures that inhabit our representative chambers). Tks XoXo!

Student Work