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Section 10.2 Passing Tones

Passing tones are notes that pass between chord tones.

Figure 10.2.1. Jason Desrouleaux, Ian Kirkpatrick, Samuel Denison Martin, Lindy Robbins, Mitch Allan, “Want to Want Me” (2015)

In the first bar of the “Want to Want Me” example, the passing tone is unaccented. In the third bar, it is accented (on the beat). The non-chord tone in bar 2 is an appoggiatura.

There can be two consecutive diatonic passing tones in a descending scale segment from the root and fifth of a chord.

Figure 10.2.2. Herman Hupfeld, “As Time Goes By” (1931)

Here is an example with chromatic passing tones.

Figure 10.2.3. Thelonious Monk, “Blue Monk” (1954)

In the next section we discuss the neighbor tone.