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I am looking for a voice leading error or chord construction error in this example but can’t seem to find one. Any pointers would be great!


1 Answer 1


The error is a so-called "hidden fifth", or, "direct fifth". Your outer voices are moving into a perfect consonance by similar motion. Even in strict voice-leading this is often allowed except in cases like this where the soprano voice leaps, rather than steps, into the consonance. This sheet is a pretty good guide for voice-leading if you're in a theory class, but keep in mind that strict voice-leading presupposes a specific set of goals. Exercises like this are great practice, but when you're actually writing music you get to set your goals for yourself, and that's half the fun of it! :—)

  • OK, now we have two conflicting answers. Which is correct, or are both of them? Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 14:08
  • @CarlWitthoft This is the correct answer.
    – Ben I.
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 19:10
  • Yep. I've always found the prohibition of hidden fifths to be pretty picky, because it doesn't really seem to reduce the independence of the voices to me, but in strict voice leading it is indeed a no-no. But of course, as wskerpan says, if you are writing music, you will not be thrown in jail for using hidden fifths. Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 9:35

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