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14-1  LESS COMMON SECONDARY DOMINANT CORDS

1. The Dominant of the Supertonic Chord (V/ii).

a. In Major keys, the V/ii chord can be thought of as a chromatically altered submediant (vi) chord. It is written by raising the third of the diatonic chord by one half step to form a Major chord. Measure one of Figure 14-1 shows the vi chord and the V/ii chord. The altered third functions as a secondary leading tone and resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. For the purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/ii) and the supertonic chord (ii) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-1). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the supertonic chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-1).

Figure 14-1. V/ii Chord in Major

NOTE: In minor keys, the V/iio chord is not considered as a possible secondary dominant chord. The diminished supertonic chord cannot function as a temporary tonic.

b. The V/ii chord can be used in root position. Figure 14-2 shows the V/ii chord in root position.

Figure 14-2. V/ii Chord in Root Position

c. The V/ii chord can also be used as a passing chord. Figure 14-3 shows the V/ii chord used as a passing chord.

Figure 14-3. V/ii Chord as Passing Chord

d. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/ii chord in root position, first inversion, and third inversion forms the V7/ii, V/ii, and V/ii chords. The V/ii chord is not used. Figure 14-4 shows the V7/ii chord in root position, first inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 14-4. V7/ii Chord in Root Position and in Inversions

NOTE: When the seventh of a secondary dominant seventh chord occurs in an upper voice, and the dominant seventh chord progresses to a first inversion temporary tonic chord, an irregular resolution must occur. The bass voice has taken the note of resolution (third of the temporary tonic chord) and the seventh of the secondary dominant chord ascends to the fifth of the temporary tonic chord (measure one, Figure 14-4). This irregular resolution can result in unequal fourths or fifths, which is acceptable.

2. The Dominant of the Mediant Chord (V/iii) in Major.

a. In Major keys, the V/iii chord can be thought of as a chromatically altered leading tone (viiO) chord. It is written by raising the third and the fifth of the diminished (diatonic) chord by one half step to form a Major chord. Measure one of Figure 14-5 shows the viiO chord and the V/iii chord. The altered third functions as a secondary leading tone and resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. Both the altered third and the altered fifth resolve upward. For the purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/iii) and the mediant chord (iii) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-5). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the mediant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-5).

Figure 14-5. V/iii Chord in Major

b. The V/iii chord is used in root position. Figure 14-6 shows the V/iii chord in root position.

Figure 14-6. V/iii Chord in Root Position

c. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/iii chord in root position, first inversion, and third inversion forms the V7/iii, V/iii, and V/iii chords. The V/iii chord is not used. Figure 14-7 shows the V7/iii chord in root position, first inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 14-7. V7/iii Chord in Root Position and in Inversions

3. The Dominant of the Mediant Chord (V/III) in Minor.

a. In minor keys, the V/III chord is identical to the unaltered subtonic (VII) chord. The subtonic chord is a diatonic chord in the natural minor and the descending melodic minor scales. Measure one of Figure 14-8 shows the VII chord and the V/III chord. The third of the chord functions as a secondary leading tone and resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. For the purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/III) and the mediant chord (III) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-8). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the mediant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-8).

Figure 14-8. V/III Chord in Minor

NOTE: In the key of C Major, the mediant is E; therefore, the root of the V/iii chord is B. In the key of C minor, the mediant is Eb; therefore, the root of the V/III chord is Bb.

b. The V/III chord usually occurs in first inversion as a passing chord. Figure 14-9 shows the V/III chord in first inversion used as a passing chord.

Figure 14-9. V/III Chord in First Inversion Used as Passing Chord

c. The V/III chord occasionally occurs in root position. Figure 14-10 shows the V/III chord in root position.

Figure 14-10. V/III Chord in Root Position

d. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/III chord in root position forms the V7/III chord. Figure 14-11 shows the V7/III chord in root position.

Figure 14-11. V7/III Chord in Root Position

4. The Dominant of the Subdominant Chord (V/IV) in Major.

a. In Major keys, the V/IV chord is identical to the unaltered tonic (I) chord. To distinguish the dominant function of the V/IV chord from that of the tonic chord itself, a minor seventh is added to the V chord, thus making the chord a V7/IV chord. Measure one of Figure 14-12 shows the I chord and the V7/IV chord. The third of the chord functions as a secondary leading tone and resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. For the purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/IV) and the subdominant chord (IV) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-12). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the subdominant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-12).

Figure 14-12. V7/IV Chord in Major

b. The V7/IV chord is used in root position. Figure 14-13 shows the V7/IV in root position.

Figure 14-13. V7/IV Chord in Root Position

c. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/IV chord in first, second, and third inversion forms the V/IV, V/IV, and V/IV chords. Figure 14-14 shows the V7/IV chord in first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 14-14. V7/IV Chord in Inversions

5. The Dominant of the Subdominant Chord (V/iv) in Minor.

a. In minor keys, the V/iv chord can be thought of as a chromatically altered tonic (I) chord. It is written by raising the third of the diatonic chord by one half step to form a Major chord. Measure one of Figure 14-15 shows the i chord and the V/iv chord. The altered third functions as a secondary leading tone and resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. For the purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/iv) and the subdominant chord (iv) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-15). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the subdominant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-15).

Figure 14-15. V/iv Chord in Minor

b. The V/iv chord is used in root position. Figure 14-16 shows the V/iv chord in root position.

Figure 14-16. V/iv Chord in Root Position

c. The second inversion of the V/iv chord is used as a passing chord. Figure 14-17 shows the V/iv chord used as a passing chord.

Figure 14-17. V/iv Chord Used as Passing Chord

d. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/iv chord in root position, in first inversion, and third inversion forms the V7/iv, V/iv, and V/iv chords. The V/iv chord is not used. Figure 14-18 shows the V7/iv chord in root position, first inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 14-18. V7/iv Chord in Root Position and in Inversions

6. The Dominant of the Submediant Chord (V/vi) in Major.

a. In Major keys, the V/vi can be thought of as a chromatically altered mediant (iii) chord. It is written by raising the third of the diatonic chord by one half step to form a major chord. Measure one of Figure 14-19 shows the iii chord and the V/vi chord. The altered third functions as a secondary leading tone and resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. For purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/vi) and the submediant chord (vi) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-19). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the submediant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-19).

Figure 14-19. V/vi Chord in Major

b. The V/vi chord is used in root position. Figure 14-20 shows the V/vi chord in root position.

Figure 14-20. V/vi Chord in Root Position

c. The second inversion of the V/vi chord is used as a passing chord. Figure 14-21 shows the V/vi chord used as a passing chord.

Figure 14-21. V/vi Chord Used as Passing Chord

d. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/vi chord in root position, first inversion, and third inversion forms the V7/vi, V/vi, and V/vi chords. The V/vi chord is not used. Figure 14-22 shows the V7/vi chord in root position, first inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 14-22. V7/vi Chord in Root Position and in Inversions

7. The Dominant of the Submediant Chord (V/VI) in Minor.

a. In minor keys, the V/VI chord is identical to the unaltered mediant (III) chord. To distinguish the dominant function of the V/VI chord from that of the mediant chord itself, a minor seventh is added to the V chord making the chord a V7/VI chord. Measure one of Figure 14-23 shows the III chord and the V7/VI chord. Although the third of the chord is not altered in the secondary dominant chord, its function changes from that of a tonal degree (5th scale degree) to the function of a secondary leading tone that resolves to a diatonic note of a chord. For purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V7/VI) and the submediant chord (VI) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-23). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the submediant chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-23).

Figure 14-23. V7/VI Chord in Minor

NOTE: In the key of C Major, the submediant is A; therefore, the root of the V/vi chord is E. In the key of C minor, the submediant is Ab; therefore, the root of the V/VI chord is Eb.

b. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/VI chord in root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion forms the V7/VI, V/VI, V/VI, and V/VI chords. Figure 14-24 shows the V7/VI chord in root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 14-24. V7/VI Chord in Root Position and in Inversions

8. The Dominant of the Subtonic (V/VII) in Minor.

a. In minor keys, the V/VII chord can be thought of as a chromatically altered subdominant (iv) chord. It is written by raising the third of the diatonic chord by one half step to form a Major chord. Measure one of Figure 14-25 shows the iv chord and the V/VII chord. The altered third functions as a secondary leading tone and resolves upward by half step to a diatonic note of a chord. For purposes of voice leading and doubling, the relationship between the secondary dominant chord (V/VII) and subtonic chord (VII) is a temporary dominant to tonic (V-I) progression (measure two, Figure 14-25). Root movement between the secondary dominant chord and the subtonic chord is a descending perfect fifth (measure three, Figure 14-25).

Figure 14-25. V/VII Chord in Minor

NOTE: In a major key, the V/viiO chord is not considered as a possible secondary dominant chord. The diminished leading tone chord cannot function as a temporary tonic.

b. The addition of the minor seventh to the V/VII chord in root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion forms the V7/VII, V/VII, V/VII, and V/VII chords. Figure 14-26 shows the V7/VII chord in root position, first inversion, second inversion, and third inversion.

Figure 14-26. V7/VII Chord in Root Position and in Inversions

SELF REVIEW EXERCISE 14-1

Identify the following secondary dominant chords and their temporary tonic chords (Figure 14-27). Write your answers in the spaces provided below the staff. Use root position analysis for each chord.

Figure 14-27. Identify Secondary Dominant Choice

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Answer Key

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015