For instance, recently I have seen the use of parallel fifths in Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C♯ minor, The Bells of Moscow:

enter image description here

I thought they were completely forbidden. Then, under certain conditions, are they allowed in classical music? Which conditions are these?

  • 3
    I think this post might be worthy of it's own answer for two reasons: Pachebel and Rachmaninoff are very different styles, this example is trying to suggest the sound of bells. I think their are acoustic reasons why fifths might suggest bells. Feb 8, 2019 at 15:34
  • 3
    I think composer's name and music title in the post title will make clearer you question isn't a duplicate. Feb 8, 2019 at 15:46
  • 3
    IMO, this still looks like a reasonable duplicate of music.stackexchange.com/questions/74129/…
    – Dekkadeci
    Feb 8, 2019 at 16:23
  • 2
    We have a lot of questions about parallel 5ths and when it makes sense to forbid them and when it doesn't. I don't think we should look at every example of a parallel 5th as a new question, but instead focus on the generic answer to this question so we can help as many as possible. These two dupes while not being perfect explain the general phenomenon of perfect 5ths in compositions outside of voice leading.
    – Dom
    Feb 8, 2019 at 17:28
  • 1
    I think these questions arise so often due to the emphasis of parallel 5ths being taught as rules to be obeyed, but not understood as conventions that arose from the stylistic intentions of the composers. I tried to make this point in a quite detailed answer to a related question, but unfortunately it's been deleted as it was apparently against the community guidelines. But I still think if this point was emphasised more it would naturally resolve this issue for many people. Mar 22 at 16:35


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.