TonalityGUIDE - basic tonal music theory and analysis for undergraduates
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Longer Progressions

introduction diatonic chromatic

introduction | fifths | seconds | thirds

introduction | chains of 5ths | modulation by 5th

short progs.
longer progs.

Fifths are crucial to understanding how tonal music works. Relationships and progressions by fifth are not only important in diatonic progressions (follow the links in the blue triangle), but also in modulations.

The two pages in this section discuss slightly longer extracts involving harmonic progression by fifth, first diatonic progressions and then modulatory ones. The difference between these can clearly be seen in the example below.

The two extracts involve the same basic harmonic progression by fifth. In the first, chain of fifths sticks to the notes of the diatonic scale of C major. In the second, however, there are series of apparent perfect cadences which each move another step flatwards on the circle of fifths.

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© Copyright Thomas Pankhurst

TonalityGUIDE - Tonal Harmony and Voiceleading - Table of Contents