My textbook "Harmony and voice leading 4th edition" (by Aldwell/Schachter) says that vi6 chords do not exist and that any such chord should be seen as a tonic chord with a non chord tone. Yet here in this exercise from the same book I am supposed to harmomize a chord which seems to me to be a VI6. What is this chord if not a VI6?

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  • Does your textbook argue that vi6 does not exist or only VI6 (or bVI6) does not exist?
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 12:41
  • VI6 nor vi6 exist... if by bVI you mean the bVI borrowed from a parallel minor key then I dont know as I am not in that chapter yet
    – user35708
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


Have you discussed tonicization or modulation yet? I would argue that this chord here is a tonicization of G. Instead of this being a VI6 in E, it's really functioning as a IV6 in G. Looking at the bigger picture, the end of m. 5 begins a prolonged dominant in G: the last beat of m. 5 is a V chord, then m. 6 has a IV6 that moves through a V65 to I of G.

One could also view this as a "common-chord modulation" (or "pivot-chord modulation"), in which a chord in the first key is also a chord, typically a predominant, in the new key. In this reading the downbeat of m. 5 is a i chord in E minor, but it's also understood as a vi chord in G major.

  • Aaaa yes.. I get it now. Ok so that is actually a iv6 chord... sneaky that.
    – user35708
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 12:26

For a start, that isn’t a vi6 in E minor, it’s a IV6 in G. Like @Richard said.

But, more generally, vi6 exists the same way an augmented 7th interval exists. A valid theoretical concept, but you’re going to have to show me an example where it sounds and acts that way!

  • Please could you show an example?
    – user35708
    Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 17:59

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