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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2
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1answer
396 views

Is there a compilation of The Well-Tempered Clavier voice-leading reductions?

Reading about Voice leading on the Wikipedia I came across an example of two reductions of a part of the Preludium in C major (BWV 846a) and was puzzled to know if there is a compilation of those ...
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What led to the historical predominance of the four-part harmony in Western Music?

Introductory music theory heavily empasizes analysis and writing of music with four-part harmony, putatively the basis for music at the beginning of the common practice. Why did four-part voice ...
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How do “voice-leading”, “part-writing”, “polyphony” and “counterpoint” differ?

What are the differences in meaning and usage between “voice-leading”, “part-writing”, “polyphony” and “counterpoint”? According to Wikipedia: Voice-leading is “the term used to describe the linear ...
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1answer
187 views

What's voice leading and how does it work?

What's is voice leading and how does it work? I'd really appreciate a thorough answer. What I mean by how it works is how is it achieved and what's the basis of it?
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389 views

Homophonic Voice Leading (Hymns)

Apologies if this should be obvious (there's a related discussion here) But, I've only recently taken the plunge into learning music theory and an instrument. I've been reading up on harmony and voice-...
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1answer
218 views

What harmonic devices approach the tonic's root from a semitone above?

Usually, a dominant will have two voices approaching the tonic's root. Most traditionally, the leading melody comes from a semitone below, while the other (generally the bass) simply jumps between the ...
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3answers
533 views

What is the purpose of voice-crossing here?

I'm starting to work through Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum. For the two-voice, first-species, Phrygian-mode, lower-voice exercise (p. 36 on the first Google result for "Fux Gradus"), Aloys says that he ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the proper chord interpretation for the intro to Stairway to Heaven?

The opening sequence in Stairway to Heaven is an A minor chord followed by something strange followed by C/G, D/F#, and Fmaj7. I've seen the second chord notated as Am/G#, G#aug, and even Am/maj7/add2....
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2answers
629 views

Are parallel octaves okay in other styles of music?

In a musical theatre piece is it wrong to have lots of parallel octaves in the voices?
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Tonality and Rules

One can find many books on "tonality"during the common practice period. e.g., Piston. Tonality seems to be definable as the way in which composers express the chromatic scale in a organized way ...
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2answers
407 views

Voice leading/resolution of consecutive secondary dominant 7ths

What's the proper voice leading procedure when two consecutive secondary dominant seventh chords (with the same root chord) occur before the resolution to the root chord? For example V7/ii -> V42/ii ->...
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Is two singing voices occasionaly being unison “allowed”?

I was writing a lower harmony to an existing (rock) lead voice with a given chord progression and there is a point in time, where it seems like the two voices need to sing the very same note. The only ...
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813 views

Do the notes of a chord form parallel octaves, even when they are not played simultaneously?

Here is an example of what I'm trying to say The sample below is in Bb major. Do the notes of the bass and the alto form parallel octaves? On the alto voice I'm using delayed resolution. On the ...
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2answers
367 views

In Four Part Writing, is an augmented unison interval in a single voice allowed?

I'm composing a traditional four-part part-writing piece with a soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The song progresses from a F Major chord to an A Major chord. In the former chord, the bass is on C, and ...
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1answer
321 views

Smooth Voicing Leading Explanation

I know what smooth voice leading is, but I'm writing an OS X app that teaches my piano students how to play chords in a gamified way. Just before they play the first level where they have to play ...
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1answer
12k views

Voice parts singing

What does it mean to sing in unison and in parts...?! For example singing in unison, all voice parts might sing: do re mi fa so la te do but in voice parts soprano might sing: do re mi fa so ...
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74 views

Talking with the audience in a show [closed]

How long is most practical for talking to the audience to create interest? Why talking to the audience is important to create excitement? When is the best timing in a performance for talking to the ...
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3answers
817 views

Difference between a I7 - V resolution and I7 - IV resolution

I watched a video lesson on the Floyd Cramer style and the teacher said that resolutions of C7-G (I7-V) is no good. We have to use resolutions of C7-F (I7-IV). Why would that be? It was supposed to ...
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1answer
127 views

“Spoiled” suspension

What is the theoretical term for the voice-leading phenomenon whereby the note that a suspension is expected to resolve to appears in another voice on the same beat that the suspension begins? You can ...
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2answers
994 views

Voice-leading and Composition

This is a follow up to a post I made a couple of months ago regarding the way the four-part harmony voice-leading, taught in most harmony texts, is to be understood in relation to composition. In the ...
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3answers
812 views

Does the rule regarding consecutive octaves/fifths actually hold any weight?

I have a melody in which I am trying to write a chord progression for. One of the rules of thumb is to finish a chord progression on the tonic if it precedes a chord of a 5th, and especially of a ...
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3answers
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Chord progressions : which note resolves to which note

In the key of C , going from G to C, note B resolves strongly to note C. How should the note D resolve? (To note C or E? I guess it should be to note C, assuming the key note has higher "priority". ...
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Solfa to sing in a chord [closed]

What are the solfeggio notes for each voice part to sing in a chord.? For example playing a C-major, D-minor, A-minor, G-major in the scale of C major, what will tenor, alto and soprano sing in solfa ...
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3answers
1k views

Does the bass always have to harmonise with the lead?

I have written a half decent lead, at least for my level, and I am now trying to harmonise a bass with it. I am employing one of the most basic kind of methods to achieve this - playing the root note ...
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3answers
379 views

Voiceleading and piano

I have for a long time been very confused about how the principles of voice leading taught in 4 part Harmony writing relate to music in general. The dogma seems to be that virtually all tonal music is ...
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2answers
1k views

Are these parallel octaves?

I am writing a chorale in C flat major and I currently have a 3 chord going to a I6 chord. Stacked, the chords are EGEB to EGEC. Is this considered parallel octaves? HELP.
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Locked Hands Passing Chords

For the "locked hands" block chord style, I've noticed that diminished chords can be used as passing chords to get from one chord to another or one melody note to the next if staying on the same chord....
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4answers
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How to harmonize a melody for 4 voices

Recently I've started encountering a multitude of questions that ask for me to harmonize a melody. I've never really seen a question like that before, so I've been a bit lost as to where to start. I ...
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3answers
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Common Practice Music Theory - Easier method to memorize 4-part harmony doubling rules?

My main question is in the title above. Chords in Common Practice Style only have three notes, so in 4-part harmony (SATB), one note will be repeated. In music theory, there are a ton of doubling ...
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3answers
679 views

Harmonic Progression

I'm trying to figure out how to do this harmonic progression thing. What I did so far was write out the scale of all the roots. Now I'm trying to determine the common tones. I don't see any common ...
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2answers
1k views

Voice-leading with three chords in first inversion?

Hey guys just keeping my part writing skills sharp (not flat) for the long summer. I got this out of Assignment 9.4 of Robert W. Ottman's "Elementary Harmony." It's in G♭ major. I was already given ...
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2answers
825 views

Omitting the 5th in four part counterpoint

When writing four part counterpoint in context of the common practice period it is common to omit the 5th of a chord when in a jam. Is it always ok to omit the 5th and are there times when the 5th of ...
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4answers
3k views

Looking for software that checks for voice leading mistakes in MIDI, MusicXML, or MuseScore formats [closed]

I've been learning voice leading with a mixture of on-line classes and some reading. Receiving feedback for exercises can be troublesome sometimes. I was thinking if there is a way to cut that ...
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5answers
37k views

What is Voice Leading?

In both classical music and jazz, we often encounter the concept of voice leading. What is it?
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5answers
22k views

How to differentiate between a diminished fifth and an augmented fourth interval?

Both are a tritone appart, both sound the same. How can we differentiate when an interval is an augmented fourth or a diminished fifth? Context: In voice leading we learn that when the spelling of ...
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3answers
733 views

Is raising the flat 7th scale-degree of a mode to become a leading tone to the final still modal?

So for example, taking mixolydian mode, the third of the vm7 chord (the flat seventh of the mode) is raised to create a V7 chord (as commonly occurs in tonal music in a minor key) which is then ...
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1answer
7k views

What are the rules for using diminished chords in part writing?

If I use diminished chords such as ii diminished chord from the minor scale then do I according to the rules for proper part writing use the first inversion of ii diminished. What is the reasoning ...
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1answer
568 views

Octave apart voicing

Strictly speaking, can adjacent voices (aside from tenor and bass) be an octave apart from each other? They can't be more than an octave apart but is it a violation of principle to make them an octave ...
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3answers
632 views

Are minor sevenths allowed in baroque counterpoint?

Are minor sevenths allowed in baroque counterpoint? I ask because in the first measure of Bach's Invention No. 1 the upper voice and lower voice have an interval of a minor seventh (the upper voice ...
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1answer
594 views

Diminished Intervals in Voice Leading

I know that augmented intervals within part writing in both minor and major keys is forbidden but what about diminished intervals? For example if I we're in e minor and in 3/4 time and I'm writing a ...
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1answer
373 views

Are repeated octaves permissable in four-part SATB?

I am writing a four-part SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and wanted to know if repeated (that is, successive) octaves are permissible? I know that parallel fifths/octaves are not allowed, but what ...
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2answers
480 views

Harmonizing melody exercise question with specific parameters

I'm reading the book Harmony for the computer musician and there's an exercise where you need to harmonize 3 notes of a melody in D major, parameters are: you must use the same note length as the ...
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Voice leading confusion

I perfectly understand the theory of voice leading when explained in most theory books about moving voices between chords in the shortest possible manner to give a smooth connection between chords. ...

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