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Section 26.11 Types of Six-Four Chords

When you are harmonizing melodies and writing music, there are three situations where it is appropriate to use a \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\) chord.

  1. Pedal \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\)

  2. Passing \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\)

  3. Cadential \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\)

The pedal \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\) typically occurs in the patterns I–IV\(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\)–I or V–I\(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\)–V.

Figure 26.11.1. Examples with the Pedal Six-Four

The passing \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\) typically occurs in the patterns I–V\(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\)–I\(\left.\text{}^{6}\right.\) (or its retrograde) and IV–I\(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\)–IV\(\left.\text{}^{6}\right.\) (or its retrograde).

Figure 26.11.2. Examples with the Passing Six-Four

In an earlier section we discussed the Cadential \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\) chord. Please refer to that section to review the cadential \(\left.\text{}^{6}_{4}\right.\) chord.