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V of V in C, four-part harmony About this sound Play .
Secondary leading-tone chord: viio7/V - V in C major About this sound Play . This may also be considered an altered IV7 (FACE becomes FACE).[1]

In music, tonicization is the treatment of a pitch other than the overall tonic as a temporary tonic in a composition.

A tonicized chord is a chord to which a secondary dominant progresses.[2] For example, if chord ii comes after V/ii it has been tonicized. Only major and minor chords may be tonicized. Though perceptions vary [3] as a general rule if a chord is treated as the tonic for longer than a phrase then the treatment is considered a modulation.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.270. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
  2. ^ Bartlette, Christopher, and Steven G. Laitz (2010). Graduate Review of Tonal Theory. New York: Oxford University Press, pg 137. ISBN 978-0-19-537698-2
  3. ^ Kostka, Stefan and Dorothy Payne (2003). Tonal Harmony, p.289. "The line between modulation and not clearly defined in tonal music, nor is it meant to be." ISBN 0-07-285260-7.
  4. ^ Gauldin, Robert (1997). Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music New York: W.W. Norton & Company, pg 366. ISBN 0-393-97666-1