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13-2  DOMINANT OF THE DOMINANT CHORD

4. Dominant of the Dominant Chord.

The most common secondary dominant chord is the V/V chord. The V/V chord is used in root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion.

a. Dominant of the Dominant Chord in Major. In Major keys, the V/V chord can be thought of as a chromatically altered supertonic chord. It is written by raising the third of the diatonic chord by one half step to form a Major chord (measure one, Figure 13-8). The altered third functions as a secondary leading tone and normally resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. The relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/V) and the dominant chord is a temporary dominant to tonic function (measure two, Figure 13-8). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the dominant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 13-8).

Figure 13-8. V/V Chord in Major

b. Dominant of the Dominant Chord in Minor. In minor keys, the V/V chord can be thought of as a chromatically altered supertonic chord. It is written by raising the third and the fifth of the diatonic chord by one half step to form a major chord (measure one, Figure 13-9). The altered third functions as a secondary leading tone and normally resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. The relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/V) and the dominant chord (V) is a temporary dominant to tonic function (measure two, Figure 13-9). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the dominant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 13-9).

Figure 13-9. V/V Chord in Minor

c. When the dominant of the dominant (V/V) chord is used within a phrase, it adds greater harmonic drive to the progression (Figure 13-10).

Figure 13-10. V/V Chord Within a Phrase

d. The dominant of the dominant (V/V) chord serves a special function at a half cadence. It strengthens the drive to the dominant chord (Figure 13-11).

Figure 13-11. V/V Chord at a Half Cadence

e. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/V chord in root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion forms the V7/V, V/V, V /V, and V/V chords. Figure 13-12 shows the V7/V chord in root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 13-12. V7/V Chord in Root Position and in Inversions

SELF REVIEW EXERCISE 13-1

Write the dominant of the dominant (V/V) chords in the following keys (Figure 13-13). Write your answers on the staff provided.

Figure 13-13. Write V/V Chords

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Answer Key

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015