2018HSSL_FlipBooks

Flipbook2018_Roig_Harmony in Context_3e

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161 Chapter 4 Triads in First Inversion In this chapter we study triads in first inversion in their harmonic and musical contexts. We will see that by using triads in first inversion we increase the available options for both chordal sonorities and bass notes. We can create richer harmony, more varied voice leading, and more melodic bass lines. EXERCISE To practice writing isolated triads in first inversion from given Roman numerals, refer to Exercise 2 in Worksheet 4 at the end of this chapter. THE TRIAD IN FIRST INVERSION: USES AND FUNCTION First-inversion triads may be used to provide for better voice leading, to increase the number of available pitches for the bass (and thus allow for a more melodic bass line), or to provide variety to the types of chordal sonorities in a texture. In "Was Gott tut," we just saw that the chords in first inversion introduce an element of variety in a pas- sage that contains basically only three triads. In Example 4.1, on the other hand, we can see the logic of voice leading as a reason to use inverted triads. The I 6 in m. 14 is the tonic chord keyboard position closest to the IV in m. 13 (following our voice- leading guideline 1 in Chapter 1), whereas the tonic at m. 16 is approached through a V 6 (also the closest dominant position), thus stressing the 7ˆ–1ˆ voice leading by ex- posing it in the bass. Because triads in first inversion are less stable than root-position triads, composers have used them for expressive or formal purposes, when the stability of a root position triad is not desired. In a PAC, for instance, both V and I are in root position. If the composer wants to have a V–I cadence without a fully conclusive effect, one of the two chords may be used in first inversion. The V 6 –I or V–I 6 cadences, known as imperfect authentic cadences (IACs), are often used for this purpose because they are less con- clusive and stable than a PAC. We study IACs in more detail in Chapter 10.

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