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15-1 STRUCTURE AND ANALYSIS

1. Structure.

a. Any Major or minor triad can be preceded by its secondary leading tone chord. In the key of C Major for example, the dominant chord (G) can be preceded by its secondary leading tone chord which is a diminished triad built on F# (Figure 15-1).

Figure 15-1. Secondary Leading Tone Chord

b. The secondary leading tone chords include the diminished triad, the half diminished seventh chord, and the fully diminished seventh chord. Figure 15-2 shows the structure of the secondary leading tone chords. The seventh of the diminished seventh chord is often spelled enharmonically as the sixth (measure four, Figure 15-2).

Figure 15-2. Secondary Leading Tone Chord Structure

NOTE:In jazz harmony, the half diminished seventh chord (vii 7) is commonly called the minor seventh (flat five) chord (min7(b5)).

c. Secondary leading tone triads usually occur in first inversion (measure one, Figure 15-3). The half diminished seventh and fully diminished seventh secondary leading tone chords occur in root position as well as in any inversion (measures two through five, Figure 15-3). The fully diminished seventh secondary leading tone chord has the same sound harmonically no matter which inversion is used.

Figure 15-3. Secondary Leading Tone Chords in Inversion

2. Function.

a. The secondary leading tone chord functions as a temporary leading tone chord to a temporary tonic chord. The root of the secondary leading tone chord functions as an artificial leading tone to a temporary tonic (Figure 15-4).

Figure 15-4. Temporary Leading Tone Chord

b. Root movement between a secondary leading tone chord and its chord of resolution is an ascending half step. Figure 15-5 shows the root movement between the secondary leading tone (viiO/V) chord and the dominant (V) chord.

Figure 15-5. Secondary Leading Tone Root Movement

c. The secondary leading tone triad, half diminished seventh secondary leading tone chord, and the fully diminished seventh secondary leading tone chord are all used with varied frequency. Usage of a particular chord is the decision of the composer.

3. Analysis.

a. Diminished leading tone triads are commonly called incomplete dominant seventh chords with the root omitted. Figure 15-6 shows the comparison between the viiO/ii chord in first inversion and the V7 chord.

Figure 15-6. Incomplete Dominant Seventh Chord

b. Diminished seventh leading tone chords are commonly called incomplete ninth chords with the root omitted. Figure 15-7 shows the comparison between the vii7/ii chord and the V9 chord.

Figure 15-7. Incomplete Dominant Ninth Chord

c. The viiO/ii triad in C Major is spelled C#-E-G. It is commonly analyzed as a viiO/ii (Figure 15-8).

Figure 15-8. Analysis of Secondary Leading Tone Chords

NOTE:The symbol viiO/ii is used throughout this lesson to represent the Roman numeral analysis of secondary leading tone triads.

d. Figured Bass. When a triad is altered to become a secondary leading tone chord, the scale degrees that have been altered are shown in the figured bass. The diminished supertonic triad (occurring in minor keys) is the only secondary leading tone chord without chromatic alteration. All other alterations are written in the figured bass (Figure 15-9).

Figure 15-9. Figured Bass for Secondary Leading Tone Chords

e. Complete Analysis. Complete analysis includes both the Roman numeral and the figured bass and shows any inversions that are used. For the purpose of this lesson, simplify these symbols by representing chords in root position only (Figure 15-10).

Figure 15-10. Complete Analysis

NOTE:For the purpose of this lesson, the symbol vii7 is used to represent half diminished seventh secondary leading tone chords and the symbol viiO7 is used to represent fully diminished seventh secondary leading tone chords.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015