Questions tagged [voice-leading]

The craft of writing multipart music such that all notes are transitioned to in a "smooth" or "harmonious" manner consistent with common practice harmony.

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What are "apparent octaves and unisons"?

In the workbook for "Harmony and Voice Leading" (5th edition), there is an exercise on page 14 for which I need to write an accompaniment. As you can see in the instructions, octaves and ...
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5 votes
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Are parallel diminished 5ths allowed in 4 part harmony?

This is a figured bass exercise I just completed and towards the end you will see a IV65 going to a V65. This progression has two diminished 5ths in parallel motion. Is this acceptable part writing ...
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Why do tonal composers prepare dissonances when the dissonant chord is inverted?

ii65 is a good example. According to my textbooks, the dissonant ^1 in this chord requires a more strict preparation than the ^4 of the V7 chord in common practice harmony which many times is not ...
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3 votes
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Why do the parallel fifths work in Schumann's Op. 15 No. 1?

In Robert Schumann's "Von fremden Ländern und Menschen" ("Of Strange Lands and People"), he composed parallel fifths in measure 13, highlighted in red in the below illustration. ...
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4 votes
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What are inner and outer voices in music of late 20th century and 21st century?

In many textbooks voices are classified as inner and outer. Outer voices are the highest voice (soprano) and the lowest voice (bass), and the inner voices are all the other voices that are between the ...
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Is there such a thing as a tonic 42 chord and how would it work in a functional chord progression?

For a melody harmonization, I wrote a 2 bar bassline using half notes with scale degrees ^1 ^7 3^ and ^5 and wanted to write chords for these bass tones. For the first bass note I chose the I chord. ...
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3 votes
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How to part write I6 to IV with parallel 10ths in the outer voices

In this first phrase of a part writing exercise I have been given ( "Harmony and Voice leading 5th edition") a figured Bass and the few soprano tones marked with red dots. I am stuck right ...
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Can a soprano leap 2 times in a row in the same direction?

Here is a bar where my soprano leaps a 5th then a 3rd in the same direction. the 5th is on the same chord but it doesnt change direction after. What are the guidelines for two consecutive leaps in ...
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1 vote
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Are unequal 5ths going from i to ii°6 acceptable in 4 part harmony?

Im major this wouldn't work but in minor usually a P5 to a D5 is permitted right?
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When ^6 is raised in minor can it be approached by leap?

At the end of this passage I have realized a figured bass with an ascending line using melodic minor. I am instructed to use 10ths in the outer voices for bar 5 so I obviously will have ^6 in the ...
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Are perfect intervals in the outer voices approached by similar motion acceptable within the same harmony?

Here is a V6 to V with 5ths in the outer voices approached by leap in both the voices. Is this ok so long as it is in the same harmony?
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Does a rest in a harmony exercise make consecutive parallels acceptable?

In bar 4 there is a rest after the C which I have harmonized with V. In bar 5 there is a leap up to F which I would like to harmonize with I but that would give me parallel 5ths in the outer voices. ...
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2 votes
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Can a chordal skip double another voice?

Here the soprano skips to the alto's C# on the second beat forming a unison. Is there anything wrong with this kind of skip or would it be perfectly correct voice leading?
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How to eliminate parallel 5ths with chordal skips

This is kind of the opposite of my other question Can 16th notes cause parallel octaves?. If chordal skips are able to cause parallel intervals then surely they are able to eliminate them as well. In ...
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Can 16th notes cause parallel octaves?

In another post I learned that an 8th note chordal skip can produce consecutive parallel intervals even when the parallel interval happens off the beat. But what about a 16th note descending line like ...
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4 votes
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Do metrically weak chordal skips cause parallel 5ths and octaves?

I am trying to decorate a descending fifths sequence by using chordal skips and passing tones. As you see the skip to the 3rd of the C chord creates parallel octaves in the outer voices when moving to ...
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2 votes
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What does it mean when a continuo player completes a chord?

In this passage by Handel on the downbeat of bar 2 there is an incomplete subdominant chord. It says in the text of my textbook "Harmony and Voice Leading" page 330 that "a continuo ...
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Is there such a thing as an ascending 5th descending 3rd sequence?

So basically moving up a 5th and then down a third, up a 5th and down a third etc. My figured bass exercise by David Ledbetter has it but my other textbooks make no mention of such a sequence.
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-1 votes
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Should a bass pattern in a harmony exercise be carried through the entire exercise?

In this exercise the bass pattern is indicated below the melody in bar 2 and 3 but should this pattern be carried through the entire exercise or should all other notes be harmonised note for note (...
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When changing from 4 to 3 voices for a series of parallel 63 chords how do you go back to 4 voices?

I am trying to go back to 4 voices on the last beat as you can see but this seems strange. When you go back to 4 voices can you just use a 4th voice wherever you want? I chose to use the tenor in this ...
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3 votes
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Does the 7th of iiø7 in minor need to be prepared even used in a sequence? [closed]

I am writing a descending 5th sequence in minor and want to use a iiø7 (half diminished NOT diminished chord) instead of a ii° at the cadence. My textbook says in the chapter on supertonic 7th chord ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Voice Leading and chords without naming

I have the hobby of playing the bass guitar since 4-5 months, and for deeper knowledge of music I'm studying harmony. I have no formal education on music so please be patient. I've choosen Autumn ...
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Ascending bass and chord progression in harmonic minor (example)

Hello again! Here is another simple harmonic minor progression with ascending bass. Questions: Is bar4 viio in second inversion? In bar6 there seems to be VI (Fmaj7) but at downbeat there is b and d. ...
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Does vi6 exist?

My textbook "Harmony and voice leading 4th edition" (by Aldwell/Schachter) says that vi6 chords do not exist and that any such chord should be seen as a tonic chord with a non chord tone. ...
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1 vote
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Is this diminished II7 or VII in harmonic minor?

1: [] Hi, I have some problems to analyze 2nd and 4th bar chords in this example in A minor (harmonic). For my understanding, 2nd bar chord can be either diminished chord in ii or vii. What about the ...
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In a major key does the progression IV iii vi mean that vi is being tonicized?

I am doing an exercise in which I was asked to write a part of the descending 5th sequence in a progression. I wanted to start the 5th progression on a chord other than I and this is what I came up ...
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3 votes
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In major can ii V I support ^6 ^7 ^8?

Is there any reason why this progression should be a problem in major keys? The other harmonizations I have for this soprano according to "Harmony and Voice Leading" by Edward Aldwell and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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In a sequence do all voices need to be sequential?

In the examples I have in my text book all the voices seem to move in a sequential pattern except maybe at the cadence where there might be an alteration in the soprano but what if an iteration of the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to write a chord analysis when tonicizing vi

I wanted to write a short harmony exercise in 4 parts where there is a brief tonicization or modulation to the relative minor and then back to the original major key. I am not sure if I have labelled ...
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4 votes
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Is it ok to harmonize a descending soprano with V for ^7?

I am trying to compose some music and practice my 4 part harmony skills. I have been taught that a leading tone as shown here in my soprano should ascend or be harmonized with a iii if descending but ...
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2 votes
2 answers
172 views

The importance of a parallel fifth that occurs in a weak beat

You will see here that the last eighth note/quaver of the fourth beat forms consecutive 5ths between soprano and alto. Would something like this be wrong in four-part writing or is the fact that the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
129 views

How to harmonize ^3 ^2 ^1 in minor while tonicing III

Obviously if I was in minor and this was a cadence then a dominant chord would be used for ^2 and a i chord or i6 chord for ^1 but I cant use this because then the progression is going to make i ...
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-1 votes
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When writing an accompaniment, should the melody appear in the soprano of the accompaniment?

In a normal harmony exercise you are given the melody on the treble clef and you are supposed to fill in the other voices. When writing an accompaniment however you are given a melody and need to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is a voice exchange in 4 part harmony possible with 6ths in the outer voices?

In this harmony exercise I was asked to harmonize an unfigured bassline. In bar 3 I got stuck and opted for a voice exchange but instead of the standard with 3rds in the outer voices I had a skip of a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How low can you go in keyboard style harmony exercises

In chorale style I know you have vocal limits but with keyboard style you can move lower and higher as needed. However, in keyboard style you play the upper 3 voices in the right hand and write them ...
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1 vote
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How to write the progression V iv6 V6 i

I am struggling to make this progression work in the measure marked with the red arrow. The soprano I ended up on at the cadence in measure 4 was ^3. From there I thought the best soprano would be ^2 ^...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How to harmonize repeated ^3 in the soprano

I have not yet learned the iii chord so my only options for harmonizing the repeated ^3 in the shown exercise is to use I, I6, vi or V64 (because the soprano does not descend to ^2 I am only really ...
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0 votes
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Can VI become iv6 after a deceptive cadence?

In this exercise I was given the melody and I found that this harmonization produces the smoothest voice leading but on the second chord I had to use V7 to go into iv6 because, had I used V , I would ...
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1 vote
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How to harmonize a bassline with a scalar soprano

Here is an exercise I am working on and I can't figure out the second bar that has a bass that goes ^4 ^6 ^5. If I am right, the scalar soprano should start on ^6 and work its way down to ^3 over the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Are big inner voice leaps permissible in the vi - V progression?

I am harmonizing a melody and that ^1 in m. 2 is supposed to be harmonized with a chord other than a tonic so I figured it must be a vi chord. The ^1 ^2 ^3 in the soprano usually works well with vi V ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Does the leading tone have to resolve in V-vi and V-VI progressions?

Sometimes, in an ordinary perfect cadence the leading tone doesnt resolve but moves to ^5 if it is in an inner voice. So why does it have to resolve to ^1 in a deceptive cadence or V-VI progression?
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1 vote
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Does the 7th of IV7 need to resolve if it moves to ii7?

My textbook has stressed that 7ths in supertonic and subdominant chords need to be prepared and resolved in the same voice. I am trying to do this in the following progression but since my IV7 doesnt ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can a V6/4 chord come after a V chord?

My harmony book has not covered this kind of progression and annoyingly, it appears in this figured bass which I am supposed to harmonize. I am stuck on this V chord that appears to become a V6/4 (or ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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How can I distinguish between a full 7th chord and a 7th chord without a 5th in figured bass?

The standard figured bass is usually just a 7 for a 7th chord in root position, right? If this is correct, the 5th and 3rd are assumed. But what about if the 7th chord should omit the 5th and double ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Which notes can you double in a IV6 chord built on raised ^6?

In the progression from IV6 to V65 in minor you need to raise both scale degree 6 and 7 but what notes can you double in the IV6 chord? Could the raised note be doubled in the upper parts or is this ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to harmonize ^1 ^2 ^3 with VI V i in minor

I tried my best to harmonize this in minor and the best I could come up with was a VI without a 5th and a doubled 3rd. I am not sure if this is right. And did I write the doubled F correctly in the VI ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to resolve a vii°6 to root position I chord

When resolving a vii°6 chord to I6 I am allowed to resolve the D5 to a P5 but my book makes it clear not to do this if I am resolving the vii°6 to I in root position. Now today I was writing this ...
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1 vote
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How to harmonize ^2 - ^4 - ^3

I have at my disposal I, I6, V and V7 and inversions as well as ii, ii6 and IV to harmonize this melody. I am also allowed to use the cadential 64. I am stuck on the beginning part on how to harmonize ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to write I vii°6 I6 with the outer voices in parallel 10ths

I know that V43 is a better option but the exercise I am doing does not allow me the option of inverted 7 chords. Can someone please correct me if I have made a mistake?
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3 votes
1 answer
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Under what circumstances can a diminished 5th move to a perfect 5th in voice leading and harmony?

There seems to be some exceptions to when the diminished 5th does not resolve and moves to a perfect 5th. The progression with parallel 10ths I V43 I6 with ^3 ^4 ^5 in the top voice seems to be the ...
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