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At the 4th measure from the picture, Starting of the [B] section, there is a question mark.

  • the notes are G, Eb, C, and F# .

What is this chord? It also appears in the 3rd measure of the [B] section.

  • and at the 5th measure there is also a G, Bb, C#, E and after that G, A, C, F#

What are these this chords too? I think the (G, Bb, C#, E) is supposed be G dim but when (G, A, C, F#) appears I can't completely figure out what it is.

2 Answers 2


Always remember to be on the lookout for non-chord tones!

The measure with G E♭ C F♯ is, in my view, a vii°7 above a G pedal. This measure is bookended by tonic chords, so the vii°7 serves its typical function of expanding tonic. And the chordal third (A) appears at the end of the measure to fill out the chord: F♯ A C E♭.

Your second example of G B♭ C# E is a bit trickier, but I think it's mainly the result of voice leading. Notice that the tenor line (the higher voice in the bass clef) is just a descending line from the start of the bottom system: E♭–D–C–B–B♭–A–G. Also notice that your soprano line is mostly an ascent that starts one measure later than the bass's descent: B–(E)–D–E–F#–G. So in my opinion the G B♭ C# E chord is really just what happens when you:

  • Have a G pedal in the bass.
  • Have a descending tenor line that happens to hit B♭.
  • Have an ascending soprano line that happens to hit E.

With those three pitches, a fully diminished seventh is really the only possibility. You could understand it as a type of vii°7/V; C# is spelled as the root, so the chord is in 4/3 inversion. The only oddity here is that it doesn't technically resolve to a V chord; beat 3 of that measure doesn't have a D! But the D is pretty strongly implied, so this seems one valid analysis.

Another possibility is to view that downbeat as what we call a common-tone diminished seventh. These chords are just fully diminished seventh chords that share a common tone with the surrounding chords. Here, that common tone is G!

  • good answer (regarding the voicings too) Feb 25, 2019 at 13:27

the notes are G,Eb,C,F#

  • this is the 3rd inversion of the vii°7 (or VIIdim) of G => F# A D Eb

above the pedal note of the tonic G major

(a very common practice - also in almost every piece by of Bach)

and at the 5th measure there is also a G,Bb,C#,E and after that G,A,C,F#

this is quite a similar progression and function:

  • the 2nd inversion of C# E G Bb = (vii) to D7 is G Bb C# E

D7 would be D F# A C => the dominant7 of G major

but here is F# A C without the root tone D

above the pedal point G

  • mind that the triad F# A C is actually the vii of G (as chord notation F#mb5)

so G Bb C# E = (vii) is the 2nd inversion of C# E G Bb

which is the secondary vii of the vii (=> the vii/vii with dominant function) of G

above the pedal tone G.

read more about secondary chords:


in this example you see the pedal note and the with vii and also borrowed (or secondary) vii chords: notice pedal point = pedal note = pedal tone mean the same.


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