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Edited

Hello again! Here is another simple harmonic minor progression with ascending bass.

Questions:

Is bar4 viio in second inversion? In bar6 there seems to be VI (Fmaj7) but at downbeat there is b and d. Are these just passing tones which resolve to a and c?

Is there a name for this kind of generic sounding progression with ascending bass? Is this characteristic particularly for Baroque style?

Thanks!

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  • Using Roman numerals - 'capitals' (V) for major, lower case (vi) for minor. viio in minor key? The diminished chord is going to be iio. Need to re-do most of this, I'm afraid!
    – Tim
    Feb 19, 2022 at 12:48

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I'd say Bar 4 is for vii°4/3, a.k.a. vii°7 in 2nd inversion. This interpretation assumes that the pattern of the previous 3 bars continues and the first melody note of Bar 4 is similarly the only nonchord tone in the measure. (Note that Bar 2 is actually VII6/5 or V6/5-of-III with that pattern interpretation.)

The first right-hand notes of Bar 6 are similarly also nonchord tones - all 3 of them are suspensions in this case. (The right-hand notes of the second half of Bar 6 are problematic - the best I can come up with is that Bar 6 is harmonized as VI7 and that the last right-hand notes are nonchord tones: anticipations of the starting right-hand notes of Bar 7.)

I know of no name for either the bassline or the chord progression beyond "ascending bassline". I don't previously recall hearing such ascending basslines in Baroque music at all, but then I'm kinda terrible at hearing basslines.

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Many of these exercises are handled by modeling them on the "Rule of the Octave" (which has been used for 500 years or so.) The following link is to a counterpoint site (I just found which looks pretty good.) The first is to the link of the octave in major. https://musictheory.sites.gettysburg.edu/unit-4-1/the-rule-of-the-octave/ This page has a link to the minor key version (very similar.) There is also at the same site, a "rule of the octave" realization with attention paid to parallel fifths and octaves.

The point is to be able to accompany an unfigured bass line for a few measures. It's not bad to uses similar rules when sketching out a composition then making changes as needed.

Here's another link with a nice discussion of the rationale. http://www.danielnistico.net/the-rule-of-the-octave.html

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