TonalityGUIDE - basic tonal music theory and analysis for undergraduates
  Startcentre  |  Reference Guide  

Short Progressions

introduction diatonic chromatic

introduction | fifths | seconds | thirds

introduction | falling | rising

The falling third from I to vi is often found at the beginning of major key music, particularly Bach chorales. The effect of the example below is of a further descending third between the strong first and third beats of the bar - vi to IV. The progression I - vi is the opening of very common progression in tonal music from Bach to the Beatles: I - vi - ii - V - I - a descending third followed by three descending fifths.

The second example shows the same progression of two descending third - this time without any interpolated chords. The i - VI opening is not so common in minor keys as it is in the major, at least as far as Bach is concerned.

The Tonality GUIDE tonal music analysis tool kit
information and orientation as you browse around
chord identification
understanding voice-leading
style awareness

© Copyright Thomas Pankhurst

TonalityGUIDE - Tonal Harmony and Voiceleading - Table of Contents