Obviously if I was in minor and this was a cadence then a dominant chord would be used for ^2 and a i chord or i6 chord for ^1 but I cant use this because then the progression is going to make i sound like the tonic and I want to tonicize III. My thoughts are that ^2 would have to be harmonized by VII which has natural ^7 and implies the major mode but then what chord gets ^1? My harmony book shows that VII usually progresses to III and this chord cannot harmonize ^1. The only other chord from my notes that I can see that follows VII that has ^1 is iv6 but I am not convinced that this is the only option. Thinking outside the box, what about VI? Well I am not sure that can work because there would certainly be parallels in a progression like VII VI with ^2 ^1 in the melody. How can I harmonize this melody without sounding like I am going back to the minor mode?

FYI: I do not have access to the minor v chord yet which I believe would be helpful in harmonizing the ^2 but I wonder if I could label this chord as iii in the major mode which would justify its use? Then I could use I iii IV to harmonize the progression albeit in the major mode instead of calling the chords III v VI which is not a progression I have learned yet.

1 Answer 1


One approach to prolong this parenthetical sense of III as a temporary tonic is to begin, as you've suggested, with III followed by V/III (VII) to harmonize scale-degrees 3 and 2.

Then, for harmonizing 1, simply resolve this V/III deceptively to i, which is really functioning as vi/III here.

In other words, these three chords are all temporarily in the key of III: you have a I–V–vi progression in the relative major, which ends up to be III–VII–i in the global tonic. But I strongly recommend labeling the chords as temporary harmonies in III, because labeling them all in minor looks pretty strange.

  • That works thank you Richard.
    – armani
    Jan 26 at 10:59
  • So, tonicizing III the scale tones would then feel like ^1 ^7 ^6... I must be feeling a bit slow today, I just needed to see that written out :-) Jan 26 at 19:06
  • @Michael Perhaps a little odd with the non-resolved leading tone in the soprano, but in my experience that's relatively standard with deceptive resolutions (and also iii chords).
    – Richard
    Jan 26 at 19:34

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.