In 4-part harmony, isn't the Ⅴ7's 7th note supposed to resolve by going a step down? If so, because the ⅶ is the substitute of the Ⅴ, shouldn't the ⅶ's 5th note (Ⅴ7's 7th note) also resolve down?

ex: A7's (Ⅴ7) G should resolve to F♯ (F natural if it's in D minor), so shouldn't the G of C♯m-5's (ⅶ⁰) resolve to F♯ (or F) as well? But in this example it doesn't, the 5th of ⅶ resolves upwards.

score snippet

( second bar's ⅶ )

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    Is there an F♯ accidental missing, or is the mistakenly capitalized? – leftaroundabout Jun 26 at 9:42
  • Yes, you are right. There are parallel unequal fifths, which some composers avoided. These are not in the top or bottom voices though, so the crime is a small one! – Old Brixtonian Jun 26 at 9:54
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    @leftaroundabout It's surely not meant to be an F#! Must be a mistake. – Old Brixtonian Jun 26 at 9:58

Generally speaking yes, and in particular if this were in the bass then you would have to have quite strong arguments to not resolve it downwards. But in a middle voice, the leading-tone qualities always stand out much less strikingly, so that's usually where the rules are bent in order to smoothen voice leading elsewhere. Presumably, the start of the next bar relies on the soprano coming from the F note (or, d-e-f is simply what the main melody does, can't change that just to cater to some small middle-voice issue!), and another rule is not to double thirds except as a deliberate effect, so that's why you don't give the alto an F there. You could pull it all the way down to D, but both bass and tenor have D already so that's not a good option either. Therefore, the best compromise in this case is to have the alto go up instead of the in itself more natural down direction.

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  • I noticed that there is a lot pratice examples in this book that the vii's 5th going upwards. I guess it is allowed because its in vii chord rather then V7 ?.. – Hyun Yoo Park Jun 27 at 3:39

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