Handel. Preludes, Air, and Lesson...
I was complete off the mark with this. The only excuse I can make is that I analyzed the ending before playing the piece.
V4/2 i6/3is a kind of motif in this music. When it gets to the chord in question (circled red) I does sound like a
V4/2 with the expectation of resolving to
Bb major. But it deceptively resolves to
G minor with a
D7 inserted before the
G minor. It's a tricky way of getting to the subdominant (a deceptive progression in the relative major) before the final ending in
If we used RNA...
| F: I | Bb: V4/2 | V7/vi vi D: V4/2 i6/3 i5/3 | i6/4 V7 | i |
My original post...
In the bar with the upper voices circled in red, the total collection of tones is
F A C Eb. But functionally the chord doesn't move like a dominant chord. It's not
V4/3 of a
I analyzed it as a
G minor with the chord 5th omitted. In which case the upper voices hold
C from the previous bar through to the next bar. The
F natural moves up a half step...
III | iv6/iv | V7/iv iv V4/2 i6 i5/3 | i6/4 V7 | i
Basically the inner voices move contrapuntally in half steps:
E Eb D and
F F# G.
The functional harmony is clear. I think this is just a wonky question of terminology: should I call those circled voices pedal tones?
Pedal seems a bad, misleading choice. Normally the pedal tone is the defining harmonic tone! When we have a dominant pedal, the harmony is clearly dominant and whatever tones the other voices move through are decorative to the dominant.
If a pedal is a held harmonic tone, then this Handel example doesn't quite fit that description. The tones
A are held, but I'm saying they are non-chord tones. Being held the tones are also like the first stages of a suspension, but they don't resolve as a suspension.
I recognize how the music is functioning. It's essentially contrapuntal movement. The tendency tones move as expected. I'm only wondering about a label. If there is a historical term or perhaps a German term, I would especially like to know.
I also don't want to take the cop-out attitude of just saying it's just counterpoint, no harmony involved. This is homophonic music.