I'm working through examples in my Harmony 9 book from the RCM Celebration series and I stumbled across a SATB harmony question that I am unsure of.

the red is what is given, you have to choose the chords to use and complete the SATB voicing. So far we've only been introduced to root position chords I, IV, V and V7.

If anyone has tips and corrections please let me know

2 Answers 2


There is one "really bad" mistake. If you are only using chords in root position, you can't harmonize 5 4 in the soprano with V iv, because you have parallel octaves between soprano and bass. You will have to repeat the i chord in the third bar from the end.

The first bar is a bit clumsy, but it's hard to see how to improve it if you are so restricted in your choice of chords. The tenors aren't going to thank you for making them start singing a part that sound like it starts in C# major (C# E# C# C#) while the rest of the choir is putting them off by singing in a different key!

A smoother sounding version would have the first inversion of V on the second beat with E# in the bass, but you said you aren't allowed to write that yet!

  • thanks, good tips! I'm going to try and work on it again.
    – user53401
    Jun 19, 2019 at 2:04

guest's answer is technically right, but I actually believe the "correct" solution is different.

I see that you are allowed to use passing tones - and using them more liberally would solve most of problems in your exercise, including the highly unfortunate first bar.

Not to mention, it will sound much better - just try it :-)

I suggest that you harmonize the exercise like so:

i   | V   | i    | V   | V7   | i    | iv   V | i
  • Thanks, I didn't think about using more passing tones, that's a good idea! Thanks for the chord suggestions too
    – user53401
    Jun 22, 2019 at 5:04
  • @saf: I looked at the exercise again. I am quite sure it was created with the above harmonization in mind, it doesn't make much sense otherwise.
    – fdreger
    Jul 16, 2019 at 12:14

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