Skip to main content

Section 20.2 Examples of the Neapolitan Chord

Figure 20.2.1 Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2, I (1802)

For comparison, play the example above from the Moonlight Sonata and try other pre–dominant chords in its place, like \(\left.\text{iv}\right.\) (\(\left.\text{F}^♯{}\text{m}\right.\)) or \(\left.\text{ii}^{\circ}{}^{6}\right.\) (\(\left.\text{D}^♯{}^{\circ}{}\middle/\text{F}^{♯}\right.\)), while noting the difference in effect.

The next example is a well–known movie theme.

Figure 20.2.2 John Williams, Raiders of the Lost Ark, “Raiders March” (1981)

As with the example from the Moonlight Sonata, try other pre–dominant chords (like \(\left.\text{IV}\right.\), \(\left.\text{iv}\right.\), or \(\left.\text{ii}^ø{}^{6}_{5}\right.\)) in place of the Neapolitan chord in the example above, and notice the difference in effect.

The next example shows the harmonic progression from main theme of the recent Star Trek movies.

Figure 20.2.3 Michael Giacchino, Star Trek, “End Credits” (2009) (chords only)
Figure 20.2.4 Hans Zimmer and Antonius Tom Holkenborg, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, “The Red Capes are Coming” (2016) (chords only)