What is a basic idea, and how does it work if you use, say, statement-response in which for the second bar you go to V, then go from V to I in the repetition? I thought a basic idea prolonged tonic function
The text book answer is:
“An initiating function consisting of a two measure idea that usually contains several melodic or rhythmic motives constituting the primary material of a theme.”
Most often, basic ideas prolong tonic, meaning that they naturally move back to tonic at the end of the basic idea, or the beginning of the next. However, this isn’t a necessity.
I generally restrict basic ideas at the beginning of the 101 course to tonic prolongation, because it makes things a little easier to get your head wrapped around – basic ideas become complete thoughts that focus on tonic.
It is also a more “Classical” way of writing. As you move further into the romantic and early twentieth century periods, these restrictions obviously loosen.