Predominant chord

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V of V in C, four-part harmony About this soundPlay .
A cadential progression[1] showing I6
as a predominant chord.[2] About this soundPlay 

In music theory, a predominant chord (also pre-dominant[3]) is any chord which normally resolves to a dominant chord.[3] Examples of predominant chords are the subdominant (IV, iv), supertonic (ii, ii°), Neapolitan sixth and German sixth.[3] Other examples are the secondary dominant (V/V) and secondary leading tone chord.[citation needed] Predominant chords may lead to secondary dominants.[4] Predominant chords both expand away from the tonic and lead to the dominant, affirming the dominant's pull to the tonic.[5] Thus they lack the stability of the tonic and the drive towards resolution of the dominant.[5] The predominant harmonic function is part of the fundamental harmonic progression of many classical works.[6] The submediant (vi) may be considered a predominant chord or a tonic substitute.[7]

The dominant preparation is a chord or series of chords that precedes the dominant chord in a musical composition.[dubious ] Usually, the dominant preparation is derived from a circle of fifths progression. The most common dominant preparation chords are the supertonic, the subdominant, the V7/V, the Neapolitan chord (N6 or II6), and the augmented sixth chords (e.g., Fr+6).

The circle progression features a series of chords derived from the circle of fifths preceding the dominant and tonic.

In sonata form, the dominant preparation is in the development, immediately preceding the recapitulation. Ludwig van Beethoven's sonata-form works generally have extensive dominant preparation — for example, in the first movement of the Sonata Pathétique, the dominant preparation lasts for 29 measures (mm. 169-197)[citation needed].



ii-V-I turnaround in C (About this soundPlay ): the supertonic (Dm) leads to the dominant (G7), which leads to the tonic (C).
The French sixth chord; distinguishing tone highlighted in blue. About this soundPlay 
The German sixth; the distinguishing tone is highlighted in blue. About this soundPlay 
–I About this soundPlay midi  or About this soundPlay ogg  (About this soundPlay ogg  of IV–V–I progression as usual, without Neapolitan sixth chord in place of IV).
Three examples

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Adapted from Piston W (1962) Harmony, 3rd ed., NY, Norton, p. 96.
  2. ^ a b c d e Berry, Wallace (1987). Structural Functions in Music, p.54. ISBN 0-486-25384-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Benward & Saker (2009). Music in Theory and Practice: Volume II, Glossary, p.359. Eighth Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-310188-0. "Any chord in functional harmony that normally resolves to the dominant chord."
  4. ^ Benjamin, Thomas; Horvit, Michael; Koozin, Timothy; and Nelson, Robert (2014). Techniques and Materials of Music, p.149, 176. Cengage Learning. ISBN 9781285965802.
  5. ^ a b Cleland, Kent D. and Dobrea-Grindahl, Mary (2013). Developing Musicianship Through Aural Skills: A Holistic Approach to Sight Singing and Ear Training, p.255. Routledge. ISBN 9781135173067.
  6. ^ Bartlette, Christopher, and Steven G. Laitz (2010). Graduate Review of Tonal Theory, pp.73-6. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-537698-2
  7. ^ a b Caplin, William E. (2013). Analyzing Classical Form: An Approach for the Classroom, p.10. Oxford. ISBN 9780199987306.
  8. ^ Benjamin, Horvit, Koozin, and Nelson (2014), p.253.
  9. ^ Forte, Allen (1979). Tonal Harmony in Concept and Practice, p.95. 3rd edition. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. ISBN 0030207568. "Similarly, VI often serves as a stepwise dominant preparation."
  10. ^ Benjamin, Horvit, and Nelson (2007), p.239. "A progression analogous to IV-V."
  11. ^ Caplin, William E. (1998). Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, p.23. Oxford. ISBN 9780199881758.