# Chord Succession vs. Chord Progression in Douglass Green's "Form in Tonal Music"

Douglass Green defines "chord succession" as a movement of chords that starts in a certain area and reaches the same area (I believe "area" means the classification as tonic, mediant, submediant, etc ... and the inversions don't matter). A movement from one area to another is defined as a "chord progression". The book proceeds analyzing what can happen harmonically inside a phrase (Chap. 2.5): the whole phrase can be just a cadence; the cadence at the end can be preceded by a single chord, the cadence can be preceded by a chord succession, by a chord progression, etc.

This is an example of a phrase with the cadence preceded by a chord succession:

This is an example of a phrase with the cadence preceded by a chord progression:

My question is: In this kind of analysis, what is the last chord to be considered? He considers the chord before the pre-dominant of the cadence when classifying the sequence as a chord succession (the sequence goes from I to I), but the last chord is elsewhere the pre-dominant of the cadence. If I were consistent shouldn't I say that the first sequence goes from I to ii6 being a progression and not a succession? Also, sometimes he pays attention to the bass instead of the roots of the chords, would this be the fundamental difference between both cases in his classification? Am I missing something?

• I accept Green can analyze this any way he likes, but to me the 5 beats bracketed together in the Scarlatti are simply tonic harmony with double appoggiaturas on each beat except the first. Often, trying to analyse and name every "combination of notes" as "a chord" is a beginner's mistake! The whole phrase is just a I ii7 V cadence IMHO.
– user19146
May 28, 2018 at 9:31
• @alephzero Agreed. I think some of his Roman numerals are questionable, too; I'd prefer an incomplete V65 over a root-position VII diminished. May 28, 2018 at 14:37