In Scarlatti Sonata in D minor K. 141 the piece starts off with a sus4 chord and then voice leads to an A major triad. Normally a suspended 4th resolves to the third of a tonic chord (in this case the suspended 4th, G, should step down and resolve to the third which is F, a chord tone of the i chord) but in here the voices of the Dsus4 chord literally leap to an A major chord which puzzles me. I have no idea on how to analyze this. Could someone please elaborate? Thanks.

Audio: (sheet music is in the video)

Measures with the voice leading of the two chords: https://imgur.com/a/PBdSLq0


You HAVE analysed it. It's a Dsus chord that leaps directly to an A chord. The two chords are in different registers and there's no attempt at voice leading. That's a full and correct analysis.

Guitarists do this sort of thing all the time. Scarlatti lived in Spain, and is often mentioned as being infulenced by Spanish guitar music. This could be considered an example of such infulence.

  • Just curious, is there any specific term for a neglect for smooth voice leading? – user45266 Oct 24 '18 at 15:30
  • 1
    Not that I know of, in general use. I'm sure someone will concoct one for us! There are generally more names for DOING a thing than for NOT doing it. – Laurence Payne Oct 24 '18 at 16:07
  • Just to add to Laurence's answer: Scarlatti is one of the first composers to write really idiomatically for the keyboard, and to often completely ignore any attempt at voice leading or even harmonically "sensible" chords, in favor of creating color. This must be taken into account when analyzing his work. – Scott Wallace Nov 6 '18 at 11:14

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