The piece in question is 'Polish Song' by Hiller. I have labelled the bars from 1 to 11.

The piece is in A minor, and we seem to have A minor leading to V7 in the opening measures (I'm putting the C in the melody down as V13).

  • Bar 3: We have a G natural in the bass. I was tempted to sharp it, but there doesn't seem to be space for the A natural resolution at the beginning of the next bar, so perhaps this is minor chord v?

  • Bars 5/6: We have C E G, with B in the bass, which could imply a major chord III? (not augmented.) I flirted with the idea of this being V7 (with an added 13), but the melody notes in the next bar seem to suggest this does not resolve to the i chord. Any ideas as to what is going on here harmonically speaking?

  • Bar 9: seems to be V7 but in second inversion. If I put a G sharp underneath the B (to change it to first inversion) the texture becomes cluttered. As far as I know, this actually shouldn't be a legitimate place for a second inversion chord, as it is on the strongest beat of the bar and is obviously not part of a cadencial 6 4. So what is happening here?

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  • Which book is this? – Nabla Aug 31 at 18:29
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    ABRSM grade 8 Theory Workbook – EdB123 Aug 31 at 18:30
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    Thank you for your answer – Nabla Aug 31 at 18:31
  • I think bar 4 is III in root position, not i in first inversion. Does that change your thinking at all? – phoog Aug 31 at 19:52
  • Hello again! thanks for responding. Ah yes, I see. In which case it could go: bar 4- III, bar 5- III7, bar 6- minor v (or III7 again), bar 7- ii7, bar 8- Major V, bar 9- V7? Interested to know your opinion on that second inversion V7 in bar 9. – EdB123 Aug 31 at 20:05

m. 3

The G natural in the bass on beat 3 lets us know this is V/III.

mm. 5-6

Bar 5, beat 1 is V6/III, moving to III for beats 2 and 3. Bar 6 is most likely a C major echo of bars 1 and 2, so III on beats 1 and 2, followed by V#/i on beat 3.

m. 9

This is V7 in root position; however, the root happens to be delayed until the end of the measure.

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  • a whole load of thank you! – EdB123 Sep 3 at 19:24
  • Just given it a proper look. I'm sure you are correct, but was just going to ask your reasoning behind interpreting the end of bar 3 as V/III and not a major III back to chord i (although im aware thats not a very common progression). Would you say that this is essentially a key change to the relative major as of bar 3?i suppose bar 5 is a further clue? Or are we still in A minor? Also, are you calling it Vsharp/i to underline the point the G is now sharpened for this chord? Thanks very much for your help (yet again!) – EdB123 Sep 3 at 21:36
  • Bar 4 is a cadence in the relative major; very common in minor keys. And yes, the sharp sign is to clarify that the V chord includes G#. – Aaron Sep 4 at 2:43
  • Hi Aaron, just working through this piece again. Just wondering about your choice of major V of i on beat 3 of bar 6. If this was a 'C major echo' of bars 1 and 2, wouldn't the harmony be III for the first 2 beats, but V of III for the last beat, as opposed to V of i? I know the next chord isnt III, but it isn't minor i either- so just wondering how you arrived at this? thanks! – EdB123 Sep 7 at 19:55
  • @EdB123 Bar 7 is clearly back in A minor, so the "echo" ends in favor of a transition via V/i. – Aaron Sep 7 at 20:03

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