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Unit 4

4.4 Voice Leading with Seventh Chords

1 min readnovember 2, 2020

mickey21339893

Mickey Hansen

caroline49234295

Caroline Koffke


AP Music Theory 🎶

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4.4: Voice Leading with Seventh Chords

Remember those rules of part-writing we need to follow? Introducing seventh chords into the harmonic mix requires us to follow three main rules:
https://media.giphy.com/media/PguU1kL6HgQpGhO5eh/giphy.gif
➡️ Chordal sevenths should be approached by common tone OR by step When the voice-leading context doesn’t allow this, chordal sevenths may be approached by ascending leap or, rarely, by a descending leap of a 3rd.
https://media.giphy.com/media/2sZbftUrT0Y55QAMp3/giphy.gif
➡️ All chordal sevenths should resolve by a descending step, to avoid an unresolved seventh. The chordal seventh in a V-4/3 chord may move up by a step when appearing in a I-(V-4/3)-I6 progression. In some cases, the chordal seventh may stay in the same voice before resolving down by a step.
https://media.giphy.com/media/LYteZEhAz0OkLV8HX0/giphy.gif
➡️ The fifth of a root-position dominant seventh chord may be omitted if it helps the voice leading. When the fifth is taken out in a root position 7th chord, the root should be doubled. All inverted 7th chords, however, must be spelled completely in writing the chord.
🦜 Polly wants a progress tracker: how do you resolve a seventh chord?

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