I don't know how to notate the first chord in bar 2. I am pretty sure it is an E major dominant seventh chord, although I have no idea on how I must indicate its degree. Overall key is A minor (these are the last two bars of Bach's BWV 895).

I am sorry if the notation I used is not exactly the same as the English one (I am French). enter image description here

1 Answer 1


V7 of V, 1st inversion. Just lump together all the notes in the first half of the bar, discounting the G♯ as merely decoration. Nice the way it pre-echoes the G♯ in the following chord though, isn't it!

  • Why should G# be merely decoration when it rightfully belongs in the E chord?
    – Divizna
    Jul 2, 2023 at 22:21
  • 1
    The underlying chord is a B7, not an E7. This is often notated as V/V (or V7/V7 or similar). It's the dominant of the dominant. The G# occurs because most lower neighbors are sharpened if not already a half-step below the main note. The melody goes B-A-G#-A so it's stylistic to sharpen the G. Were the melody to continue its descent, it would likely go B-A-G-F#.
    – ttw
    Jul 2, 2023 at 22:38
  • @Divizna The G# does indeed occur in the following chord, which is not completed until the very end of the bar. Using it as a lower neighbour in the B7 chord is a nice touch, isn't it? Clever bloke, that Bach.
    – Laurence
    Jul 2, 2023 at 23:50
  • Ah. I somehow missed the question was about the second bar, and then misinterpreted it to mean "E major, the dominant", rather than "the dominant of E major". Got it now.
    – Divizna
    Jul 3, 2023 at 0:06

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