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10th on 6th, parallel movement? (Read 11402 times)

Offline Derek

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10th on 6th, parallel movement?
« on: January 07, 2011, 03:57:21 PM »
I know that 6/3 chords are the most common voicing you'll find moving stepwise up or down in baroque music. It contains a 4th, but the important thing is that in terms of the bass note, we've got a 6th and a 3rd, which produces a more pleasant voice leading than a 6th on top of a 4th (6/4 chord) moving in parallel, which I don't think one usually finds in baroque music.

I also know that parallel fifths are usually considered bad. If we voice a chord with a 10th on top of a sixth, playing at the keyboard if we move this voicing stepwise in parallel it looks like we've got a fifth moving in parallel (above the bass note). But this is just an inversion of a 6/3 chord, and is consistent with the idea of having each interval in terms of the bass note be some sort of inversion of a third. So, this should be allowed, correct? In other words, "internal fifths or fourths" are always allowed, so long as the voicing consists of a stack of thirds or inversions of thirds?

Just a note to whomever may read this, my guiding principle in studying these things is always sound. Using words such as "allowed" is just standard terminology that seems to be common amongst music theory pedagogs. I never feel "prohibited" when exploring the sound, myself, of course.

Offline ramseytheii

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Re: 10th on 6th, parallel movement?
«Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 10:09:36 PM »
I know that 6/3 chords are the most common voicing you'll find moving stepwise up or down in baroque music. It contains a 4th, but the important thing is that in terms of the bass note, we've got a 6th and a 3rd, which produces a more pleasant voice leading than a 6th on top of a 4th (6/4 chord) moving in parallel, which I don't think one usually finds in baroque music.

I also know that parallel fifths are usually considered bad. If we voice a chord with a 10th on top of a sixth, playing at the keyboard if we move this voicing stepwise in parallel it looks like we've got a fifth moving in parallel (above the bass note). But this is just an inversion of a 6/3 chord, and is consistent with the idea of having each interval in terms of the bass note be some sort of inversion of a third. So, this should be allowed, correct? In other words, "internal fifths or fourths" are always allowed, so long as the voicing consists of a stack of thirds or inversions of thirds?

Just a note to whomever may read this, my guiding principle in studying these things is always sound. Using words such as "allowed" is just standard terminology that seems to be common amongst music theory pedagogs. I never feel "prohibited" when exploring the sound, myself, of course.

By "10th on top of a 6th" do you mean a 6 3 chord with an added fifth of the scale, an octave higher?  IE E-G-C-G?

Walter Ramsey



Offline Derek

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Re: 10th on 6th, parallel movement?
«Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 12:21:11 AM »
I simply mean overlaying a 10th on a 6th, so something like C A E proceeding to B G D for example. What I'm wondering is, is the parallel fifth in the two upper voices (in 3 part harmony) considered bad, or is this an acceptable voicing?

Offline Bob

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Re: 10th on 6th, parallel movement?
«Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 04:17:16 PM »
Parallel fifths anywhere are bad I think.  A fifth is a fifth.  I think the reasoning is that it takes those two independent voices and makes them into one voice, so you lose a voice.  And sometimes it can really sound strange and stick out suddenly.  I would say it's unacceptable. 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline ramseytheii

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Re: 10th on 6th, parallel movement?
«Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 03:32:19 AM »
Parallel fifths are parallel fifths, regardless of the inversion whence they come.  You can also invert parallel fourths into parallel fifths, and it would be the same effect.

Judgments on whether that's bad or not are obviously theoretical, though they didn't call it bad for no reason at all.

Walter Ramsey