Harmony Book For Beginners - online book

Scales, Intervals, Common Chords, Dominant Seventh Chord and Melody Making.

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So far we have used the Second Inversionof the Tonic Chord only. We
have done so to avoid confusion, especially in view of the fact that the Tonic is by far the most important Chord to use in this manner.
Other Chords in any Scale which may be used with good effect in the Second Inversion are the Dominant and Subdominant Chords. All theseChords require special attention, since they are never satisfactory if allowed to stand alone. That is to say, they sound best when followed by certain other Chords, and, in some cases, when preceded by others. Young composers, and, for that matter, many who are old enough to know better frequently fail in the use of theChord. By following the few brief directions here given, one can never go astray in this matter.
We have already discussed the uso of the Tonic The Dominantsounds best when pre­ceded by the Third Position of the Zbnicand followed by the First Inversion of the Tunic, or the other way about. Analyze the following example and see how it is done. Play it too, and hear how smooth it is.
At (a) we have the Third Position of the Tonic Chord; at (b), the Second Inversion of
the Dominant Chord; at (e). the First Inversion (6) of the Tonic Chord. Taking it the other way about, we would have it thus:
Note that both Melody and Bass in either example move Diatonically and in Contrary Motion. This is the best and simplest way of harmonizing such passages. It should be easily remembered.
The Second Inversion of the Subdominant sounds best when preceded and
followed by the Tonic ( Root in the Bass ). Analyze the following example, play and listen.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III