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Section 29.1 Voice Leading Secondary Chords

When voice leading secondary chords, one largely follows voice leading rules for seventh chords:

  1. Resolve the 7th of a chord down by step.

  2. Alternate complete voicings with incomplete voicings when voice leading successive root position seventh chords . Note that with secondary chords, the 3rd of the chord, typically a raised note, will resolve down by half step to the 7th of the chord, which is a diatonic note that cancels out the chromaticism of the previous note.

  3. Follow the principle for resolving \(\left.\text{vii}^{\circ}{}^{7}\right.\) and \(\left.\text{vii}^ø{}^{7}\right.\) when dealing with secondary \(\left.\text{vii}^{\circ}{}^{7}\right.\) and \(\left.\text{vii}^ø{}^{7}\right.\) chords.

    1. An important exception occurs when \(\left.\text{vii}^{\circ}{}^{7}\middle/\text{V}\right.\) or \(\left.\text{vii}^ø{}^{7}\middle/\text{V}\right.\) resolves to V. If the melody requires the 7th of the chord to be voiced above the 3rd of the chord, solve the example by writing parallel (unequal) fifths instead of the doubling of the leading tone, which is considered less acceptable.