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First Inversions: The Ii, Vi and IVi
The weighty and solemn effect of continuous root positions may be lightened by the substitution of first inversions. By their use a more flowing and melodious bass line may easily be secured, the frequent leaps in­volved by successions of root positions being now avoidable.
The I, IV and V take first inversions most readily; and when the third then appears in the bass the best note for the soprano is the root. This does not, however, exclude the fifth, which is also available, but the third will in general be avoided in the soprano—for obvious reasons.
With a view to lightening the music, first inversions will be placed on the accents; at cadences, where weight is required, root positions will be retained.
The following are typical of the use of first inversions:
at a, b, c, the root position and first inversion alternate. At d a leap to the leading-tone occurs in the bass; it should be noted that this is taken in a downward direction, opposite to the tendency of this sensitive note. At e, again, a leap downwards is taken from the sixth step, in order to follow the natural tendency of this degree. At/, the V goes to the IV; this is correct when the latter is inverted, because all the objectionable triad-progressions become satisfactory wh,€n the second chord is inverted.
Exercise 6.
(a)   Play the above groups in every major key.
(b)   Invent phrases, as usual, introducing first inversions of the I, V and IV.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III