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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1answer
47 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 ...
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2answers
103 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; ...
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1answer
88 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
22 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
76 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
52 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
57 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
81 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
142 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
80 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, ...
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3answers
69 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
130 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 ...
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1answer
278 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
51 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
44 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
57 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
893 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 ...
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1answer
180 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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3answers
213 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
652 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
148 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
216 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 ...
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7answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
108 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
818 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 ...
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1answer
139 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 ...
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5answers
2k views

“Only open voicing below middle C!” Really?

Every resource I've seen and person I've talked to has said that putting low voices, usually trombones, in close spacing anywhere below C4 is to be avoided at all costs, due to muddiness. As I arrange,...
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1answer
85 views

minor ii-7 moving to I-6

In traditional hymn writing, can I move from a ii-7 in root position to the I chord in first inversion in the middle of my hymn, then continue to the V as a half cadence?
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1answer
105 views

In minor, can the neapolitan sixth chord resolve to the diminished seventh chord on the leading-tone (of the same key)?

What would that look like voice-leading-wise? I'm assuming more or less traditional common-practice harmony rules. Examples from the literature would be much appreciated.
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1answer
400 views

What’s the voice leading error?

I am looking for a voice leading error or chord construction error in this example but can’t seem to find one. Any pointers would be great!
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2answers
217 views

Geometric Voice Leading Presentation

I'm coming from a non-academic background and just trying to understand the rules of voice leading for pursuing a future composing career. I've always found difficulties in understanding this topic on ...
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8answers
2k views

Doubling the third of a root position major chord in four-part harmony

In a manual for four-part harmony that I am reading, it is suggested to avoid doubling the 3rd of a root position major chord, as it sounds harsh. On a minor root position chord however, it is ...
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3answers
84 views

What does Satb theory say about moving octave C into a perfect fiftth?

On a piano you could play octave C moving to G-D. The high C moves up to D and the lower C moves up to G. X:1 L:1/2 M: K:C %%score B V:B clef=bass % 1 [V:B] [C,C] [G,D] What would four-...
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1answer
822 views

How do I write “piano style” cadences?

I'm currently undertaking the AMEB theory grades. I'm up to grade 4 and am working on different types of cadences but I STILL don't understand how "piano style" (the one with the bass note in the bass ...
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2answers
53 views

is this a part interrupt?

at measure 6 , the soprano starts with the G so shouldn't the alto not go over the G till the next measure ? but you could see the alto is getting higher then the G through the measure.. is this a ...
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4answers
450 views

Do 4-part harmony rules also apply to piano arrangements?

Does rules in 4-part harmony also apply to piano arrangements ? Like for example no doubling the 3rd note of the chord, or moving in parallel 5, etc.
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1answer
945 views

4-part Harmony exercise 2

The exercise was to make the tenor alto soprano for the bass note given. is there any rules I violated ? any feedbacks will be welcome thanks !
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2answers
248 views

Is there any rule I violated in my 4-part harmony exercise?

The exercise was to make the harmony for the bass notes. I'm studying with a book by myself so I'm not sure if I am doing this right.
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4answers
608 views

Parallel fifths and power chords

Don’t power chords, used frequently in rock and pop songs, break the voice leading rule of no parallel fifths? As long as one of the other instruments (second guitar, bass) is playing the thirds of ...
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2answers
178 views

How should six-four chords be resolved?

In the point deduction section of the AP Music Theory exam guidelines, it says: The 6th or 4th of a 6 4 chord is unresolved or resolved incorrectly. What exactly does this entail?
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1answer
230 views

Can voice overlap occur in different phrases?

Is it possible for voices in one phrase to overlap with voices in another in SATB chorale style? For example: the alto sings middle C in one phrase and in the next phrase the tenor sings D. This ...
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2answers
3k views

Are consecutive 3rds allowed in harmony?

In harmony, is it okay if there are consecutive 3rds in ii-V progression in two different bars?
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1answer
186 views

Do SATB part-writing rules apply during repetition or when additional stanzas are sung?

If you have an SATB piece of music that begins with, say, "DFAD," and ends with "GBDG" (picardy third in this case), and if this piece is repeated (e.g., stanzas in a hymn), would the tenor be ...
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2answers
360 views

Consecutive fourths in melodic motion

Context: My theory book is elaborating on some rules for melodic motion to be applied to the soprano voice when Writing in Four Parts. In the screenshot below, I'm trying to digest the quote: Two ...
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2answers
734 views

Diatonic harmonic function of chord inversions

I'm trying to make my way through the classical harmony, and I'm making good progress, but since my last composition lesson there's been something which is not entirely clear to me. So my teacher is ...
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1answer
159 views

Reason for voice-crossing in Mahler's Symphony 1

I was reading through the full score of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 today to see how it's orchestrated and hopefully learn a few things from it. This particular bar from the first movement interested me: ...
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1answer
187 views

Is there a standard non-Fux counterpoint method?

The OP for this question refers to a rule for second-species counterpoint which isn't mentioned in Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. The answer confirms it, and adds yet another rule, referring to "strict ...
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1answer
102 views

Voice crossings and voice leading measures

In "The Geometry of Music", Dmitri Tymockzo discusses voice crossings in measures of voice leading sizes: "I consider a measure of voice-leading size to be “reasonable” if it satisfies two basic ...
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2answers
864 views

What determines if counterpoint is good or bad?

I am currently reading through the Complete Musician and the current subject is second species counterpoint. I've written about 5 or 6 counterpoints so far in first and second species. That said ...