Ran into some confusion when trying to work out the harmony of this keyboard piece, I have labelled the problem bars, '3, 4 and 5'.

In the second half of this piece, we seem to rolling through the circle of fifths starting from DMajor. We go through A7-D7-G7, and resolve on CM in 'bar' 4.

Shortly after in the same bar, an F sharp is reintroduced (the home key of the piece is G major), which leads to a tied G, which immediately made me think we were heading back to G major. However, along with the 'resolution' note G, there is an A in the bass and a C at the top of the melody. I have tried looking at this from various angles but still no luck.

So, does anybody know whats going on here?

Any help very gratefully received!


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2 Answers 2


Here's my "solution" to the exercise.

X: 1
T: Hummel exercise
M: 3/8
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
%%score (V1 V2) V3
[V:V1] ||d| DFA   | A z e  | ABc  | d z d  | G  A2  | B2 c | d e2- | ed z  |
[V:V2] ||x| x3    | x3     | F3   | =F z z | E2 ^F- | F G2-| G2 A  | G^F z |
[V:V3 clef=bass]
       ||z| z z D | ^CB,A, | =CDA,| G,A,B, | C3     | D2 A,| B,C^C|D z D,, |

This agrees with your "circle of fifths" answer (note: your D7 should be F#o, but same function), making use of what amounts to a series of parallel thirds in mm. 5-6.

  • 1
    A few voicing nitpicks on this solution: 1) The movement by 5th in the melody in m. 2 (and also m. 7) is awkward. 2) The 7th should never be doubled (and the 3rd rarely), so the C in the bass of m.3 beat 3 should be an A. Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 6:05
  • @AlexanderWoo Would like to know if my changes to the score sufficiently address your comments.
    – Aaron
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 7:05
  • yeah I think so. Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 7:43
  • hi Aaron- yet again thanks for your input! would you mind spelling out the harmony/changes for me?? this is my interpretation- although I'm not sure I've got it right, as a couple of the changes don't seem to make much sense (with my current knowledge, at least). DM-A7-fsharpdim/(D7)-G7-CM-D7-GM-AM-DM. Regarding the D7 being fsharp dim, that would make it a second inversion chord but i dont think that is allowed here? being on the strongest beat of the bar??
    – EdB123
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 16:47
  • 1
    @EdB123 I'm allowing that the initial D is strong enough to carry over in the listener's ear.
    – Aaron
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 21:24

Are you saying that bar 4 is C minor from your post? It’s an e natural rather than a flat so if it implies a C chord it would be a major rather than a minor. Given the piece is in Gmajor would an E and a G not be likely to imply an E minor with the F sharp acting as the 9th over that chord?

The end of bar 5 also appears to conclude with an A in the bass clef and a C in the treble clef which would imply an Aminor rather than A7

If so the chords would G7, Em (relative minor of G), Am (moving through circle of 4ths from Em), major change to A7, then to D7 (circle of 4ths again)

  • Hi Raagjazz. Welcome to SE Music:Theory and Practice. I think your answer here needs some further consideration. Not clear how you concluded the piece is in E major.
    – Aaron
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 22:31
  • Sorry typo - G major! Now edited, thanks for spotting
    – Raagjazz
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 7:15
  • thanks for your input! Yes, the CM means C Major. With regards to the E and the G, I saw them as C Major because the previous chord is G7, and we had been moving through the circle of 5ths. Regarding the end of bar 5- yes, this would definitely imply A minor, the ''A7'' written above it and to the right doesnt actually apply to that bar but an earlier one. I think your interpretation is very strong! Just one thing: Is a move from G7 to Em legitimate? Although its the relative minor, is preceding the target chord/key with a V7 chord of the relative major a legitimate way of modulating?
    – EdB123
    Commented Aug 22, 2020 at 17:06

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