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The chord that goes on the fourth and fifth bars of my attachment above looks like a Neapolitan chord. The excerpt is the second movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3: Marcia funebre Adagio assai. (The C at the end of the fifth bar as a passing tone) In fact, the chord progression appears as if it is I - N - V6 in C major. (C - D♭ - G/B) Am I right?

  • @DavidBowling // ks.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg/1/11/… – user53472 Mar 17 '19 at 13:03
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    Thanks for the link! For other viewers, that link is the Liszt piano transcription of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major "Eroica", and this excerpt is of the funeral march movement's transition from the trio back to the minor-key outer march section. – Dekkadeci Mar 17 '19 at 13:28
  • what do you mean by "outer march"? Is it "inner march" - "trio" - "outer march"? (As it is written in A - B - A structure) – user53472 Mar 17 '19 at 13:30
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    @MaikaSakuranomiya - No, I mean "outer march"-"trio"-"outer march", with the trio being the "inner march". – Dekkadeci Mar 17 '19 at 13:35
  • Oh... I see. (The trio (inner march) sounds like a waltz to me, and is brighter and more heavenly compared to the outer march, which is sorrowful and tragic - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beethoven_and_C_minor) – user53472 Mar 17 '19 at 13:37

Yes, it's a Neapolitan chord. Because of the arpeggio, it's not in the usual position (F-A♭-D♭-F). The last three notes are D♭-C-B which is a common melodic figure over a N6-V transition.


I'd say yes: Beethoven is kind of on the nose here and outlines a D flat major chord in the 5th bar of the excerpt. It's followed by dominant-function leading tones. Right after that and outside of the excerpt, G's play, and then the rest of the piece continues with C minor chord figurations. Sounds like a Neapolitan chord that properly resolves to me.

Interpretation ambiguity can still reign, though: the 3rd and 4th bars of that excerpt can easily be interpreted as outlining an F minor chord, IMO, as long as you ditch the E in the third bar early in.

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