Author Topic: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions  (Read 2205 times)

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bear

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How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:57:31 AM »
I'm trying to remember the way to approach first and second inversions.

Can you approach as first inversion by skip if it isn't the same chord? I seem to have in my head that for good wriiting (voice leading) I have approach all inversions in the bass by step wise motion. But, something tells me this is just for the 6/4 chord?

In 20th, 21st century music do these rules still apply.

Michel.R.E

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Re: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 10:59:18 AM »
it has nothing to do with whether the music is 20th/21st century or not. it has to do with the context. if the music is heavily, traditionally tonal, then yes, all the rules of tonal harmony apply. if the music is not traditionally tonal, then the rules of whatever system you are using apply.

The simplest way to remember is this:

no parallel octaves.
never leap to a leading tone.
never leap to a non-chord tone unless you are then turning inwards and resolving that non-chord tone on the very next beat.
resolve dissonances by step.

6/4 chords are particular in much older tonal music. the point of the rules regarding 6/4 chords had mostly to do with a 2nd inversion on the tonic. this was considered to be, in essence, a double appoggiatura of the dominant chord. Play a simple closed-position 6/4 on the tonic, then resolve to a simple closed position dominant chord. (use 3-note chords, it's easier to see). You'll understand where the "double appoggiatura" idea comes in.
The 6/4 was used ONLY within the context of a final cadence as a preparatory chord to the dominant.

There's a bit more freedom with more recent tonal music.

Voice leading is voice leading, regardless of the harmonic inversion.
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bear

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Re: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 01:05:10 PM »
Hi Michel,

thank you for the explanation. Just need some clarification:

"The simplest way to remember is this:

no parallel octaves.
never leap to a leading tone.
never leap to a non-chord tone unless you are then turning inwards and resolving that non-chord tone on the very next beat.
resolve dissonances by step."

These rules per above are in reference to notes at the bottom of the chord, correct? Not the Soprano, Tenor or Baritone parts.

Ron

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Re: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 01:22:26 PM »
The rules apply to all the voices.
Ron
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Rules are for people who have no understanding of music, so they invent something to mask their ignorance.

bear

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Re: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 01:44:04 PM »
Thanks Ron

perpetuo studens

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Re: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 01:52:24 PM »
As an introduction to uses of assorted inversions etc. in the baroque and classical periods I strongly recommend Aldwell & Schachter's Harmony and Voice Leading I (http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13402271938&searchurl=an%3Daldwell+edward+schachter+carl).

It's far from a fun or easy read, but gives a great overview of how composers in these periods worked, and thus by proxy, how to carry these principles into more modern contexts. It's been used as an intro theory text in universities for years, so there are lots of cheap copies available.

Vol 2 gets into all sorts of interesting stuff like the "proper" usage and treatment of diminished 7ths, augmented 6th chords, voice leading for sequences, etc., etc.

I'm also currently working my way through Piston's treatise on classical harmony. It's a much easier read, and has more practical advice and the exercises will allow you to produce more musical results, but is perhaps less thorough.

Anyway, thought you might find this useful...

Jamie
The perceived object...is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element's existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it.

That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and its shape, and be no further ahead than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces...

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bear

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Re: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 03:13:50 PM »
Thank you Jamie, good to know. I'll look into getting the book

Jamie Kowalski

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Re: How to approach 1st and 2nd inversions
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 06:42:42 AM »
I always think of the I64 chord as the "Now the soloist is going to play a very long cadenza" chord.