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My harmony book has not covered this kind of progression and annoyingly, it appears in this figured bass which I am supposed to harmonize. I am stuck on this V chord that appears to become a V6/4 (or I64 as it is sometimes called) which then moves to a IV chord. Now I have been told, for the level on which I am, that from V the only place I am allowed to proceed is to a I chord. In the following chapter I learn about deceptive resolutions etc but for now I am supposedly supposed to only be able to go to another inversion of V or to resolve to I or I6. But to resolve to I6/4 has not yet been covered. Is this progression common in common practice harmony? I thought the I6/4 cam before the V and resolved to the V at a cadence. Here it seems to be evading a cadence by moving to IV.

  • 2
    Could you be more specific about where you think the 6/4 chord should be (e.g., measure and beat)? I don't see one anywhere in the excerpt shown.
    – Aaron
    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:20
  • Aaron On beat 4 of bar 1. Is this still supposed to be a V chord from beat 3? If so then how does it move to a iv chord?
    – armani
    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:35
  • 1
    I see Beat 4 of Bar 1 as the same V (of B minor) chord as Beat 3 of Bar 1. I agree that this V chord moving to Beat 1 of Bar 2's iv chord looks suspect, and V-iv is one of the chord progressions forbidden by my Royal Conservatory of Music theory books.
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:50
  • 1
    A skim of Aldwell & Schachter doesn't reveal a justification for this progression, but the IV(7) chord could perhaps be viewed as an expansion of the V chord. In playing through a realization of these measures, it certainly sounds fine to the ear. "Fine", meaning no obvious violations of basic common practice harmony rules or expectations.
    – Aaron
    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:55
  • Thanks... hmmm that is very annoying since there is no such progression presented thus far in the text that relates. And I dont see any such IV chord expanding V. So just out of curiosity, can V64 come after V?
    – armani
    Nov 17, 2021 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


The answer to the literal title question is "yes". A V6/4 could come after V when there is a V chord over a descending arpeggiated bass.

The answer to the intended title question is "sort of". By definition a cadential 6/4 chord comes at the cadence — i.e., before the V chord. So while a V6/4 chord could certainly come after a V chord, it would be a cadential 6/4 chord only if the following chord(s) comprise a cadence.

This issue is also addressed from a slightly different perspective in Can an expanded dominant precede a cadential 6/4 chord?.

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