I wanted to write a short harmony exercise in 4 parts where there is a brief tonicization or modulation to the relative minor and then back to the original major key. I am not sure if I have labelled the chords correctly in bar 3 and if I should name the soprano as ^5 in d minor or as ^3 in the original key and I also am not sure about the return to F major in bar 4. The move from the A to Bb is like a deceptive motion but I never resolved the temporary leading tone in the A chord and am not sure if this is a problem. It sounds fine to me but would it perhaps be better to lead the C# and E in the tenor and alto both to D in the Bb chord of bar 4? This will reduce the smoothness of the voice leading I have now so not sure. If anyone has some other tips, please do tell.

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1 Answer 1


This is, by and large, very good! I see only one flat-out error, which is the tenor C♯ at the end of m. 3 moving down to the B♭ on beat one of m. 4. This is an augmented second, which is really common with these deceptive resolutions. When in a minor key (since this is V–VI deceptive motion in the local key of D minor), you will double the third of the VI chord (here, B♭). This is the only way to voice lead this progression without parallels or an augmented second. As such, your intuition to move both the tenor and alto to D was correct!

As for identifying that A in m. 3, even though you're tonicizing D minor, I still hear that functioning as scale-degree 3 in the global F. But frankly, people will know what you mean whether you say it's 3 or 5.

As for the Roman-numeral labels, I would personally propose a third option, even though both of your current options are also correct. I would keep beat 1 of m. 3 as I in F, but then on beat 2 I'd start a segment in D minor:

I  V43 i V VI  IV V I

The above is a shorthand for what we call an "extended tonicization" of a secondary key, here vi (D minor in a global F). This

  • prevents excessive fractions and arrows while also
  • clarifying how that A chord moves to B♭ and
  • how the tonicized vi functions to ultimately move to IV of F.
  • Thanks Richard. Your analysis option is great. Very clean and informative.
    – user35708
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 13:15
  • IMHO that second C# looks like a typo. Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 20:48

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