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


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?


  • 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

2 Answers 2


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.


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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