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Help writing harmonic progresses (Read 2188 times)

Offline saritmiki

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Help writing harmonic progresses
« on: October 22, 2009, 10:33:29 PM »

Hi guys :)

I'm trying to write harmonic progress I'm working with the book of Walter Piston- Harmony

I have to write V-VI of E minor it says to write in 3 different arrangements I found it pretty complicated to do 3 different forms since there are the rules of the parallel octaves and fifths and sometimes tritone.

On the second measure I wanted that F# will be on the sopran but then I'm getting a tritone with the bass C so if I left this F# in the sopran out and now I have B in the sopran I'm getting direct octave with the B in the bass…

On the third measure: I started with writing in the bass B- C
and that the notes in the sopran will be B C but I guess it's all wrong I break all the rules here of the direct and parallel octaves fifths.. so any ideas what I can do?

For IV-V in scale of D+ on measure one is that ok that I didn't make contrary motion so the upper and the lower voices move up?
On the second measure I have D in the sopran and G on the bass so its direct fifth right?
I think that it's ok to write this way because my 2 voices in the sopran goes in a step :)

Regarding the tritone- I have to be careful with the tritone only with the voices in the bass- sopran?

When are the cases when I can use in hidden octaves and fifths?

Well I'll be glad to hear any advices you have I'm really breaking my head with this


Offline schartmanovich

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Re: Help writing harmonic progresses
«Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 06:40:57 PM »
Hi Sarit,

I haven't got time to respond to your entire message, but hopefully a few comments will help.

1) When moving from V-VI there is a very simple "rule" to follow for voice-leading which goes something like this: two voices rise and two voices fall, double the third of VI.

2) The F# in your "problem" case doesn't form a tritone with the bass because C only sounds in the next chord. If you want F# in the soprano, simply move to E afterward against a B-C motion in the bass.

3) Your first instance of IV-V has parallel 5ths between the bass and tenor.

4) It is perfectly fine for the bass and soprano to form a fifth in a single chord, you just don't want that combination to repeat in the next chord (i.e. parallel 5ths)

5) Your second example of IV-V is good

6) The tritone is usually avoided melodically because it is difficult to sing. Harmonically, however, it is very common (e.g., it occurs in the V7 and VII chords, just to name two). A tritone between bass and soprano of the same chord is fine, just note that it must resolve properly and that the exposure in this case creates more of a harmonic accent than if it were present in an inner voice.

7) Hidden octaves and fifths are permitted in many textbooks; however, you should be focusing on what these things sound like, not on "rules". When hidden octaves or fifths occur between the bass and soprano they are more accented than when they occur in an inner voice. Also, hidden 5ths/8ves are less accented if the soprano moves by step. I would avoid cases where both bass and soprano leap to form a hidden 8ve/5th.

I hope this helps somewhat.