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Unformatted text preview: The Leading-Tone Chord (viiº) By its very nature, the leading-tone triad exhibits some unusual characteristics. First, its root should never be doubled because it is, of course, the leading-tone — an inherently unstable note. Instead, we almost always double the third of the chord because this is the only chord member that is consonant with both of the other chord members. Second, the leading-tone triad is rarely found in root position because, as a general rule, we dislike the sound of root-position diminished triads. Instead, the chord is almost invariably used in first inversion. Placing the third in the bass softens the chord’s dissonance because each upper voice will be consonant with the bass. The viiº 6 chord is used frequently, often as a passing chord. Its weak dominant function makes it ideal for leading to the tonic chord (either in root position or in first inversion) in the middle of a phrase, but inappropriate for a strong cadence. The leading-tone triad is strongly associated with smooth bass lines (although small leaps are not...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MUT 1112 taught by Professor Suzzanejamir during the Spring '08 term at FSU.
- Spring '08