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Unit 4

4.4 Voice Leading with Seventh Chords

1 min readโ€ขseptember 12, 2020

mickey21339893

Mickey Hansen


AP Music Theoryย ๐ŸŽถ

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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:
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โžก๏ธ Chordal sevenths should be approached by common tone OR by step
When the voice-leading context doesnโ€™t allow this, chordal sevenths may be approached by ascending leap or, rarely, by a descending leap of a 3rd.
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โžก๏ธ 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.
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โžก๏ธ 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.
๐Ÿฆœ Polly wants a progress tracker: how do you resolve a seventh chord?

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