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The excerpt is in C# minor.

C# is present in what is apparently a dominant seventh chord in m.14.

How should I interpret presence of tonic in the dominant chord?

Is that what's called a pedal tone? (Pedal tones I have encountered so far were sustained with tied whole notes and visually quite distinguishable unlike this example)

1 Answer 1


Yes, it's a pedal tone. Formally, pedal tones are sustained, but interpretively and functionally they don't need to be. And in a piece like this in which pedal is almost certainly used, there will be a great sense of a sustained pedal tone that is evident looking solely at note durations.

  • @Sean "Pedal" obviously comes from organ, which can sustain a tied note. But on instruments that can't, repeating it often amid the other notes is effective. A well-known example is actually in an organ piece: youtu.be/y3AiGw8mkq0?t=88 Commented Jun 20 at 15:11

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