The Tonic and Subdominant Triads in First Inversion

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THE TONIC AND
SUBDOMINANT TRIADS IN
FIRST INVERSION
Chapter 11
The I6 and IV6 as Embellishing Chords
Tonic and Subdominant Triads


Root position triads built on ^1, ^4, & ^5
First inversions triads add ^3 & ^6
 Helps
create interesting melodic lines by using various
embellishing tones between essential bass notes
Partwriting with

6
I
and
6
IV
Rules are not as hard and fast as with root position
 Seek
the smoothest connection between different voice
parts
 Avoid
perfect parallels, awkward melodic leaps, and
questionable doublings

Standard doubling: Double the soprano voice,
either at the unison or octave. If this leads to a
partwriting error, double a different voice.
Partwriting with
6
I
and
6
IV
Ex. 11.2
Partwriting with




6
I
and
6
IV
11.2A Doubling the soprano at the unison or
octave
11.2B Often an O/O structure serves as a link
between close and open structure or vice versa
11.2C The chordal 3rd of a I chord (^3) may
appear in both the soprano and bass. Do not
double the 3rd of a IV chord (active scale degree
^6).
11.2D You may double an inner voice if a
suspension is placed in the soprano of a iv6
Partwriting with

6
I
and
6
IV
Promoting good doubling practices:
 Safest
 ^1,
scale degree doublings:
^4, ^5
 Questionable
 ^3,
^6
 Never
 ^7
doublings
double the leading tone
The Use of

6
I
Occurs in two contexts
 I6
can extend tonic harmony through three-note
arpeggiations; I - I6 – I or I6 – I - I6
 I6
may be used either to approach or depart from the
V, V7 , or IV chords. In this case I6 would be an
essential chord. Ex. 11.4
The Use of
6
I
Ex. 11.4
The Use of the

6
IV
Occurs in 3 basic contexts
 May
extend IV harmony through arpeggiation, allowing
passing tones to be used
 IV6 provides stepwise approach to V
 Phrygian
 IV6
 I6
half cadence
is sometimes linked to I6
to IV6 or IV6 to I6

this involves two inversions; voice doubling in one of the triads
will need to be adjusted to avoid possible parallels
The Use of the
6
IV
IV6 extending IV
harmony through
arpeggiation
Phrygian Half Cadence



Derives from the
characteristic voice leading
used in the Phrygian church
mode
Occurs frequently in the
minor mode
Outer voices move stepwise
by contrary motion to the
dominant (^6 – 5) in bass
and (^4 - ^5) in soprano
Phrygian Half Cadence


^7 - ^6 suspension
over the bass
embellishes this
progression
Double the inner
voices of the iv6
avoids parallels
The IV as an Embellishing Chord



Subdominant may function as an embellishment of
the tonic; embellishing chordal neighbor
Subdominant is shorter in duration and metrically
weaker than the tonic is embellishes
Embellishment occurs early in the phrase – long
before the cadence point
The I as an Embellishing Chord

Melodic motion between two subdominant or
dominant chords may create a consonant passing or
neighboring harmony that embellishes V or IV
 This
embellishing chord usually ends up being I or I6
 Does
not function as tonic – elaborates a weaker harmony
Melody Harmonization – A how to…

Harmonic rhythm

#1 – Determine preliminary harmonies
 Opening
harmony – downbeat
 Cadential formula – Roman numerals & scale degrees
 Chords

 Let
will normally be in root position, unless:
Phrygian cadence
the soprano have ‘typical’ scale degrees
Melody Harmonization – A how to…

#2 – fill in the phrase interior
 Smart
chord choices and a good bass line are a MUST
 Consider
 The
what chords are supported by the melody
Bass Line
 Good
mixture of contrary and similar motion in outer parts
 Stress the use of imperfect consonances between S & B

Reserve perfect intervals (5ths and 8vas) for the opening and
cadence
Melody Harmonization – A how to…
Presently available chords to support different scale degrees in the soprano
Melody Harmonization – A how to…


#3 Fill in the inner voices to create a 4 part texture
#4 Elaborate your note – against – note setting by
various embellishing tones
 Be
careful not to over-do the non-harmonic tones
 Beware any parallels that may be created by the
addition of your non-harmonic tones
Melody Harmonization – Conclusion




#1 – Prep opening harmony and cadence formula
#2 – Choose soprano notes, appropriate chords,
and a solid bass line to fill the interior
#3 – Fill in the interior voices using good
partwriting practices
#4 – Add embellishing tones.

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