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enter image description here I have been told that the 7th of a scale in most cases is a leading tone. In Du gamla du fria we start the melody with what one could call the 3rd of the scale. The first phrase would then end on the 7th. I cannot hear this note as the leading tone. It could be that we are using two scales here. The melody ends on 1(Do) in the scale of the tonic but we actually start in 6 (La) in the scale of the dominant. We could even say that the whole tune ends on Fa and is in Lydoan mode. What is going on?

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    The 7th of a scale is only the leading tone if it can function as such - this mainly means that it's a semitone lower than the tonic. Phrygian, for example, has a flat 7 and doesn't have a leading tone. – scatter Sep 23 at 13:56
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This is definitely in G Major overall, and the first phrase ends on a V chord, with the melody on the leading tone. However, the A Major chord right before it is obscuring the tonic, making the D Major sound more tonic than it is (overall.) The second phrase is traveling quite a bit harmonically with all the accidentals, though most of them seem to be serving chromatic non-chord tone movement than a harmonic function. Phrases 3&4 are clearly in G Major and the end resolves soundly in G Major.

  • "sound more tonic than it is" ... this is confusing. :) In music, things are only what they sound like. I'd say, the A major + D major and the melody notes together make the tonic slightly ambiguous for a couple of bars. But then it goes back and the ambiguity is cleared. When you hear music, you can't be sure what will happen in the end, and you should be able to do the analysis by only looking backwards, not having to peek at the end of the song. If don't continue the song but just repeat the D chord at the point in question, after about 20 seconds it will sound like a tonic for sure. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Sep 23 at 11:15
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    It has modulated to the V (D) at the end of the first phrase, using V/V to get there. Then stays for a short while on the V. – Tim Sep 23 at 11:31
  • @piiperi, Tim is right. But in terms of "what it sounds like is what it is" - I don't agree. One phrases does not determine the entire section or piece. Even if it modulates to the V briefly, D is still the V in the context of the entire piece. – Heather S. Sep 23 at 14:05
  • @HeatherS. At every point in time, you have expectations of what might come next, but you haven't heard the rest yet. What happens next might be what you expected, or it might be something unexpected. For example a dominant seventh chord makes you feel a certain way and expect certain things, regardless of whether the expected tonic actually comes or not. A chord does what it does, even if the next second the power goes out and you don't get to hear what would have happened next, or if that was indeed the end. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Sep 23 at 14:22
  • Btw, I wouldn't say the A - D completely modulates to D yet. It's a temporary flirt with a tonic change, but it goes back to the original key so fast, I haven't forgotten it yet at that point. Maybe 10x time-stretch it would feel different. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Sep 23 at 14:25
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As Tim says this is an modulation to D - we'd better call it an extension - and the leading tone is now C# of D.

Look at the 2nd pharse: it is completely in D (and seems to imitate the initial motif: the F# is now the 3rd of the new key and ends on D (again c#=leading tone).

The 3rd phrase starts with an upbeat of a 4th again in G and subito modulates to D again (mind the C# in the Alto and Bass!)

The 4th phrase is repeated and in the last ending has a short extension to the relative key E minor but the final ending is clearly G (leading tone F#).

What do you mean with this?

The melody ends on 1(Do) in the scale of the tonic but we actually start in 6 (La) in the scale of the dominant.

Do you mean the first tone of the song? If this B in your opinion is the 6th of D you're wrong. This is the majord 3rd of the triad of the tonic G: GBD

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It is easy enough to "analyze" the OP's version as common practice harmony but (like the OP?) I don't find it very convincing musically. It's far too "fussy" - J S Bach could get away harmonizing a simple folk tune with transient key changes on almost every note, but not this composer.

The tune is only "in G major overall" if you want to hear it that way. It works just as well in E aeolian, except I put a G chord on the last note. That way, the problem F# isn't a leading note at all.

BTW if your harmony textbook says the 6/4 chords in this version are "wrong", the check if your ears agree with the book, and if not, find a different book :)

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