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9-1 OVERVIEW

1. The Submediant Triad.

a. Two common tones link the submediant and the tonic triads (Figure 9-1).

Figure 9-1. Common Tones, I-vi6

b. The submediant triad in first inversion (vi6) is rarely an independent chord. It is the same as a tonic chord with a melodic non-harmonic tone resolving down to the fifth of the chord (Figure 9-2).

Figure 9-2. Non-harmonic Tone

2. Triad Positions.

a. The submediant triad normally appears in root position (Figure 9-3).

Figure 9-3. Root Position Submediant Triad

b. The submediant triad in first inversion (vi6) occurs in a scalewise succession of first inversion chords (Figure 9-4).

Figure 9-4. vi6 in a Succession of First Inversion Chords

c. The submediant triad can be used in first inversion in a harmonic sequence (Figure 9-5).

Figure 9-5. vi6 in a Harmonic Sequence

d. The submediant triad is not normally found in second inversion.

3. Doubling.

a. In Major keys, the root or third of the submediant triad can be doubled (Figure 9-6).

Figure 9-6. Doubled Root or Third, vi

b. In minor keys, the root of the submediant triad is usually doubled because of the Major quality of the triad (Figure 9-7).

Figure 9-7. Doubled Root, VI

c. In minor, the third of the submediant triad is doubled when part writing VI V or V VI. Augmented melodic intervals, parallels, or large leaps occur if any other note is doubled (Figure 9-8).

Figure 9-8. Doubled Third, VI

SELF REVIEW EXERCISE 9-1

Write the missing voices for the following submediant triads (Figure 9-9).

Figure 9-9. Part Writing for vi and VI

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Answer Key

4. Use of the Submediant Triad

a. The submediant triad can be followed by the supertonic or the dominant triads. It is sometimes followed by the subdominant or the mediant triad. When the submediant triad is followed by the mediant triad, the mediant triad progresses to the subdominant. The submediant triad is less often followed by the tonic triad. The leading tone triad rarely follows the submediant triad (Figure 9-10).

Figure 9-10. Usual Root Progressions

b. The submediant triad is preceded by the tonic or dominant triad and less often by the mediant triad (Figure 9-11).

Figure 9-11. Triads that Precede Submediant

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015