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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3
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2answers
101 views

Are there two leading tones?

I always took the leading tone to be the 7th degree (the "subtonic") scale degree. According to author David Neumeyer (The Music of Paul Hindemith), there is another? See the following ...
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3answers
103 views

Why is it called a Gm7/C when C is not even in the chord? [duplicate]

In Louis Armstrongs song "What a wonderful world", the part where he actually sings this phrase happens on what is written as a Gm7/C > C7 > F... so in other words a ii V I progression....
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6answers
76 views

In major keys, since the 7th scale degree resolves up to the 8th, does descending through the scale degrees 8-7-6 violate the leading tone rule?

I need to understand how the leading tone (7th scale degree) functions in major keys. I see that the 7th scale degree (leading tone) resolves up to the 8th (the tonic) because the leading tone is a ...
3
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3answers
370 views

Are “direct 5ths” only a problem if they occur between the same voices?

I am studying part writing and there is an example of what is considered good and bad part writing. One that confuses me a little is this one: The reason cited for this being bad is: "Leading-...
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2answers
49 views

Complex chord progression (secondary dominants) with simple step-wise melody?

In many musical pieces, complex harmonic relations can be identified in the chord progression even when the melody can intuitively be "felt" to progress in a very simple step-wise manner. ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Unresolved, non-dominant sevenths in SATB chorale harmony

I'm working on taking some chorales and their soprano lines out of Bach, and making my own harmonizations/compositions — somewhat more elaborate ones than the typical, straight quarter note exercise. ...
12
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1answer
414 views

Chord voicings used by backup trios in Motown girl groups?

On songs like Be my baby by the Ronettes or Will you love me tomorrow? by the Shirelles (a Carole King tune), there seems to be a standard style of arrangement where you have the lead vocals sung by ...
4
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2answers
102 views

How do I fix a last chord that has a doubled leading tone?

The chord is "V6 (i.e., first inversion) in Bb major", and has a "2/4" time meter. So far I have been able to set up the four different voice parts as follows: -Soprano: C -Alto: F ...
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2answers
72 views

Forbidden/shunned harmonic progressions in 18th cent. counterpoint

I'm going through Kent Kennan's book on 18th century counterpoint, and early on he touches upon some finer points concering agreeable or not-so-agreeable chord progressions. Only a handful of ...
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1answer
106 views

Why is this jump allowed in four-division time strict part-writing?

From Tchaikovsky's harmony textbook, "Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony", page 121: Concerning example 323 (image below) in the 9th bar bass voice (red circle): Why is this jump from ...
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2answers
121 views

Chromatic Passing notes in Tchaikovsky's Harmony book

From Tchaikovsky's harmony textbook, "Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony", page 98: In the image below, why are the bars contained in the red box of example 258 considered good? The ...
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1answer
42 views

Is there a rhythmic counterpart to voice leading? Is counterpoint supposed to fulfill this role?

I have been studying voice leading and I feel like rhythm is unaddressed in voice leading theory. Here's an example of the types of voice leading rules I'm referring to: Resolve 7->1 in a V chord ...
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1answer
172 views

“Consecutive/parallel 5ths are bad” - does this rule apply to vocals? Or just piano, etc.? [closed]

If I use a vocoder to play the same note as a vocal + a perfect 5th above each note, is that a consecutive 5th? Is this "bad"? Also, if I play C1 and program the vocoder to play a perfect ...
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4answers
78 views

Single Step Voice Leading on Piano

I'm trying to figure out how to "properly" use voice leading. Specifically, I'm wondering how to progress by a single step (is that the correct way of saying it?). For example, say I want ...
4
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2answers
41 views

RCM Harmony 9 - Neighbour 6/4 with an incomplete triad?

I am not sure what to do here - resolving the V7 chord results in the next I chord being incomplete, so I can’t write the 5-6-5 neighbour motion since there’s no fifth. I can’t write an incomplete V7 ...
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2answers
115 views

Allowed hidden parallel octaves [duplicate]

I have read that hidden direct octaves between two voices are not always forbidden, but that there are some circumstances in which they are acceptable. As I have understood it, the following general ...
6
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2answers
988 views

Voice leading: is it allowed to move from a perfect fifth to an augmented fourth?

I understand that it is allowed to move from a perfect fifth to a perfect fourth, even if it is not the most preferable solution. However, would it be valid to move from a perfect fifth to an ...
7
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3answers
162 views

Why are there particular “rules” for using triads in second inversion but not for using seventh chords in second inversion?

In the Classical style, there are three correct uses of the six-four triad (or sometimes four; see When, if ever, are arpeggiated six-four chords really "real"?). The logic is that the ...
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2answers
160 views

What is cantus firmi?

As I understand cantus firmi means that fixed songs and it is used in counterpoint melodies but I could not understand why is it called cantus firmi and its function. Does anybody know why is it ...
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3answers
1k views

Should the comping instrument ever double the bass player?

I was taught that when comping along with a bass player, I should (generally) avoid playing the same note as the bass. Are there times when this is desirable, recommended, or even necessary? If yes, ...
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1answer
42 views

Are there rules for voice-leading? How do you approach splitting a chord progression into different instruments? [closed]

So I write pop/hip-hop music and I'm trying to split my chord progression across instruments. How do you approach doing this well? Cheers, A
2
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1answer
107 views

Voice-leading issue - Can you split your chords across instruments?

is thi sa voice leading issue? I'm running into issues when creating my harmony section for pop songs, I can create melodies, chord progressions, basslines and percussion but I'm running into issues ...
2
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1answer
56 views

4part harmony, secondary dominant's deceptive cadence

Is it a rule that in a secondary dominant's deceptive cadence the root note goes upper one step to the target chord's root note and the 7th note goes down one step to the 5th note ? Is this a rule ...
2
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2answers
125 views

2nd opinion on voice leading program

I recently discovered @greghmerril's program for detecting common errors in traditional four-part harmony. The following rules of voice leading are checked: Vocal Range; Spacing Between Voices; ...
6
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1answer
274 views

Counterpoint with more than 4 parts

In Rachmaninoff Prelude in B Minor Op. 32 No. 10 I've noticed that not all voices are 4 parts. In fact I've noticed that in 19th century and 20th century music there's more than 4 parts in a harmony. ...
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1answer
68 views

Soprano melody in PAC

When it comes to part-writing in a V7-I cadence, I understand that the leading tone in an outer voice must resolve to the tonic (^7->^1) and that the chordal 7th of the V7 (^4) should resolve down by ...
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3answers
273 views

Chromatic parallel six-three chords

I am trying to follow Aldwell and Schachter’s analysis of Chopin’s Impromptu, Op. 29. I wanted to learn about chromatic voice leading techniques, but I ended up getting stuck simply with their ...
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2answers
98 views

How exactly do the rules of traditional voice leading apply to broken chords?

In Gore Ouseley's Treatise on Harmony (p. 194 of the 1868 edition), the author states: When chords are broken, care must be taken, first, that every note requiring any fixed progression or ...
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2answers
68 views

Is functional harmony considered homophonic?

Sorry if this is an obvious question, but I just want to clear this up. As far as I understand about voice leading, there are essentially two main types. Homophony and polyphony. Functional harmony ...
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4answers
411 views

Why is vi6 (submediant chord in first inversion) rarely used?

I read that vi6 is almost completely absent – is there a reason for this?
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4answers
652 views

Why is ii6 always used instead of ii?

I've noticed in ii-V-I that it is almost always ii6-V-I or ii6/5-V-I. Why is this the case? Should the descending fifth in the bass of ii-V be a very strong progression?
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1answer
87 views

Chord Scale Voice leading question for guitarists

I've recently been practicing voice leading chord scales, trying to keep the bass note within a range of 2-3 frets, playing through all the diatonic 7th chords in a scale. So ill start off in say, ...
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2answers
1k views

Expanding the I-IV progression

I wanted to make the I-IV progression a little more interesting by having the I fall a third to its relative minor, vi, before moving to IV (so, I-vi-IV). I do like the melodramatic I-vi progression, ...
2
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3answers
120 views

Voice Leading with Octave Leaps

In a piece I'm working on, the climax of the melody line consists of an upward octave leap followed by another step upward--from G4 to G5 and then to A5. (I realize this is generally discouraged, but ...
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3answers
295 views

Do parallel octaves “count” across multiple voices?

I'm really not sure of a better way to phrase my question. If the tenor and alto voices are both on a B, and the tenor voice moves down to A, does it count as parallel octaves if the soprano voice ...
5
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1answer
753 views

When does one omit the fifth in V7 chord in classical harmony?

The textbooks on classical harmony that I have read (Leo Semlek, "Klassikalise harmoonia lühiõpik" ["A Short Textbook on Classical Harmony"] and "Klassikalise harmoonia õpik" ["A Textbook on Classical ...
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0answers
93 views

Voice leading options for 12 bar blues

Here is a rootless voicing, 12 bar blues from Jerr Coker, Jazz Keyboard... ...it presents the typical A/B voicings. In this case 7/3/13 and 3/7/9. In a roots by descending fifth progress the A and B ...
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0answers
46 views

Transcribing Take It To The Head By Dj Khaled [closed]

I know you all are pitch-perfect, and can literally discern the note of a hi-hat being played next to white noise so I had some questions about transcribing the highlighted areas on the gyazo links.. ...
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2answers
81 views

Voice leading rules for more than four voices?

When writing songs with more than 4 voices, or with chords which contain more than 4 notes, how would harmonic leading rules apply? Cause quite often it won't be possible to avoid parallel motion in ...
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3answers
2k views

Can the leading note resolve down?

Would like to ask if the leading tone in chord V (G) could resolve downwards to Eb (fifth of chord I)? I’ve somehow recall reading that the rule (leading note MUST resolve to tonic) only applies to ...
6
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1answer
293 views

Neo-Riemannian Theory, The Minor Plagal Cadence, and Chromatic Voice Leading

In my reading, a criticism that I have heard leveled against Neo-Riemannian theory is that it does not explain the smooth chromatic voice-leading possible in the iv - I instance of the plagal ...
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2answers
117 views

Is it even possible to to add voices to this 2-part harmony?

Soprano: C-B-A-A-G (descending) Bass: A-B-C (ascending), then down to D and up to G. Can you even add tenor and alto without breaking the rules of harmony? It seems like it is impossible. So are there ...
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3answers
347 views

Is there a rule in SATB writing regarding the Soprano & Bass moving in contrary motion?

While writing a melody over a bass line, it is generally advised to have the melody & the bass line moving in contrary motion to each other. I want to know if such a rule also exists when you ...
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3answers
1k views

Maximum interval between Alto & Tenor, & intervals when writing for SATB

What is the maximum interval permitted between the Alto & Tenor when writing for SATB? I have read it should not be more than a 10th, whereas another source said it should not be more than an 8th. ...
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1answer
208 views

Tenor part written higher than the Alto part in SATB

I have read that Bach in his chorales wrote the tenor part high (frequently using ledger lines for this). Another source said that the Tenor part would be written higher than the Alto part - for ...
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3answers
234 views

Does the 7th major scale note resolve more strongly to the lower tonic (note 1) than the higher tonic (note 8)? [closed]

Does the 7 resolve more strongly to the 'lower' tonic (1) than the 'higher' tonic? I used the word resolve as the octave notes are different despite being the same name. My ear says going from B ...
15
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7answers
4k views

How do you voice extended chords?

If I have a Cmaj13 chord, it uses 7 notes. Basically all the notes of the scale. In a previous question, I was told that you rarely play all 7 notes for a 13th chord. So how do you know which ones to ...
5
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1answer
135 views

Parallel octaves in left hand chords

In classical / romantic harmony, are parallel octaves allowable in left hand chords? When and why? For example, in Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, right at the beginning, there are parallel G-A-G. ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it wrong to have two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave?

I had a teacher once tell me that although not forbidden, it is not advisable to have the same two voices move from a perfect fifth to a perfect octave (specifically referring to a four-part chorale ...
2
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1answer
159 views

chord voicing to improve overall sound

I have the following phrase: I like the progression and the tension that builds during the VII and V7. I also like the melody in the top staff, but I am happy to change it if necessary. Here's the ...