A V65 or ii65 have 3 upper chord tones that all form consonances with the bass so why did the chordal seventh require resolution in voice leading as it did in root position?

2 Answers 2


There is always a dissonance in V7 chords, regardless of inversion.

Thinking in the key of C:

  • root position G B D F has a dissonant diminished fifth between B and F.
  • first inversion B D F G has a diminished fifth. between B and F.
  • second inversion D F G B has an augmented fourth between F and B.
  • third inversion F G B D has an augmented fourth between F and B.

The tritone (augmented fourth / diminished fifth) is required to resolve. Thus, both the chordal seventh (F) and the scalar seventh (B) must resolve, regardless of the chord inversion.

Similarly, with ii7 chords, there's always a dissonance between the chordal root and chordal seventh: either a major second or a minor seventh, depending on the inversion.

  • Aaron Lets take ii42 in C major as an example voiced C F D A. When you play this chord, isnt it the 4th (F) and 9th (D) that require resolution as they are the dissonances against the bass. This is how a cadential 64 works so why should moving from C to Dm7/C be different. It is taught that the dissonance here is in the bass and that the bass must resolve down by step to the leading tone of of V in the progression I ii42 V65.
    – user35708
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 3:17

First off, play a few inverted dom7 shape chords and let your ear confirm that the 3rd and 7th of the chord still want to resolve!

Why? Because whatever inversion we're in, the 'chordal 7th' still IS a seventh, the 'chordal 3rd' still IS the leading note and they still jointly form a tritone.

  • Yes but it isnt a 7th against the bass right? lets say the ii65 chord which has no tritone... what then?
    – user35708
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 17:17
  • @armani Well, consider a ii7, V7, I 'cycle of 5ths' sequence. The ii7 isn't strictly a dom7 chord, but it certainly has a dominant relationship to the V7. Whatever inversion it's in.
    – Laurence
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 17:36

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