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Section 17.4 Analyzing Secondary Dominants

When you encounter a chord with a chromaticism and suspect it is a secondary dominant, use the following process.

  1. Stack the chord in thirds to determine the root and quality. If the chord quality is major (if a triad) or a major–minor seventh chord, go on to step 2. If the chord quality is not major or major–minor seventh, the chord is not a secondary dominant.

    The chord in question is an F♯ major triad in first inversion.

  2. Determine the note that would be a perfect 5th below the root of the chord you are analyzing. If this note would be the root of a diatonic chord, the chord you are analyzing is a secondary dominant.

    Since B is \(\hat{5}\) , the F♯ major chord in first inversion is tonicizing \(\left.\text{V}\right.\). Therefore the chord is \(\left.\text{V}^{6}\middle/\text{V}\right.\).