The obvious one is using ii as a minor triad and IV as a major triad but are there some progressions where the raised ^6 is in the bass? I guess the ii and IV would be in inversions then but I can't make them seem to sound as good as when I use them in root position. What other common chord progressions are there in minor with the ^6 as a raised note.

  • This one has a nice progression in the final bars before each new verse youtube.com/watch?v=syercy760YQ There's a sharp 6 chord that's not an inversion of something else. You can look at the progression as V of V of V -> V of V -> V. Aug 29, 2022 at 14:40
  • @armani what specific of progressions did you try that didn't sound good to you, and what you disliked about them? Aug 29, 2022 at 20:04
  • I think I figured it out thanks to Michaels post. He said that usually when the bass goes from ^6 to ^5 the lowered form should be used so I think this is where I was getting a sound I didn't like. i - VII - IV6 sounds fine but then the move to V sounds not so good but if I turn the major IV6 into a minor iv6 before moving to V then it sounds good. This is easy since it is the bass note that determines whether the IV is major or minor so you can just descend from raised ^6 to b^6 and then to ^5 in the bass.
    – user35708
    Aug 30, 2022 at 8:16
  • similarly i going straight to IV6 also sounds good but I think the point is that you usually would use the IV6 as a major IV chord in 1st inversion only if you were going to go up to the leading tone after thereby using the melodic minor scale in its ascending form. If walking down the scale the natural minor scale sounds best.
    – user35708
    Aug 30, 2022 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


Sort of related question I posted a while back with some examples...

Should the dominant seventh sonority on the subdominant degree in minor get special attention?

I think that you want to look at the ^6 and ^7 degrees, in bass, in minor, from a linear perspective.

Also, while the ^6 degree is part of subdominant harmony (although it can be part of dominant harmony with viio7), you should also pay attention to the handling of the ^7 degree in relation to ^6 and whether ^7 is raised to a leading tone for a dominant chord.

Direction of the bass part is a big factor. If ^6 descends to ^5, then ^6 is usually the lowered form.

When ^7 is raised for a leading tone in dominant harmony the ^6 often is raised for an ascending or auxiliary move to ^7.

Sometimes ^6 is lowered and ^7 raised for dominant harmony, forming an augmented second, and you could say the harmonic minor scale is being used. But you can also look at it as chord tones ^2 ^4 ^5 ♯^7 with ^1 ^3 ♭^6 as various passing tones.

A concise way to see the bass in step-wise motions with common practice harmonization is the minor form of the rule of the octave.

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I guess the ii and IV would be in inversions then but I can't make them seem to sound as good as when I use them in root position.

Yes, like in the example rule of the octave the raised ^6 is in the bass, forming inverted chords, and giving IV6 V6/5 i in mm. 6-8.

If you used root position chords for IV V I, minor or major, the basic voice leading for IV V would be to move the upper voices in contrary motion to the bass, so those upper voices will descend, in which case the ^6 will go down to ^5 where the normal treatment is to make ^6 the lowered form for the descent to ^5, like in the last three measures of the example rule of the octave.

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