1

From Tchaikovsky's harmony textbook, "Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony", page 121:

Concerning example 323 (image below) in the 9th bar bass voice (red circle):

Why is this jump from "a" to "f" allowed for strict part writing in four-division time? It's clearly not a passing tone, so by elimination it must be a changing tone. But how can this be? Changing tones he uses correctly in the blue circles in the image based off of the rules he provided. Is this just a changing note entering by a skip which is listed in the examples of page 113? It doesn't seem to match what Tchaikovsky provided in his example.

The rules for four-division time are included below the score segment image for reference (section 122).

enter image description here

enter image description here

1

This circled F is neither a passing nor a changing tone; instead, it's just a member of the chord!

Starting with the soprano, the voices have C, F, and A—an F-major chord. So the bass is allowed to leap from A down to F because that F is a chord tone. As long as the leap isn't too large, there aren't really any stipulations for how to move to this F since it's a member of the chord and doesn't need to be treated with special care (as a dissonant non-chord tone would be).

2
  • I see that, but that seems to contradict what he says in section 122 “ The unaccented beats are devoted to the resolutions of suspensions, and to passing and changing notes.” (It’s the first paragraph under the score image).
    – Oliver G
    Feb 23 at 18:21
  • 2
    @OliverG My reading is that it's understood that any beat can also be a chord tone. And since every beat can be a chord tone, he only really discusses instances where something is not a chord tone. In Example 322, for instance, note that beat 4 is always a member of the chord.
    – Richard
    Feb 23 at 18:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.