[Smt-talk] Sequences

Dmitri Tymoczko dmitri at Princeton.EDU
Mon Mar 2 06:52:38 PST 2009

Hi Everyone,

The last time I asked a question like this I got great responses, so  
I'm going to try again.

Recently, I've been thinking about triadic sequences that use  
stepwise descending voice leading.  If one restricts one's attention  
to sequences that use only major triads, there are six or seven,  
depending on how you count.  For instance,

1. (C, E, G)->(B, D, G)->(A, D, F#)->
	(ascending fifths; appears in Schubert all over the place)
2. (C, E, G)->(B, D, G)->(Bb, D, F)->(A, C, F)
	(ascending fifth, followed by ascending minor third, appears in  
Schubert's G major quartet, Quartettsatz, etc.)

It's interesting to note that sequence 2 can be generated by applying  
"major third substitution" to sequence 1: you replace the D major  
triad with Bb major, a major third away.  This is generally true.

So, here's my question.  Can anyone come up with good examples of the  
following sequences -- ideally, where the stepwise descending voice  
leading is pretty explicit?

A. (C, E, G)->(Bb, Eb, G)->(Bb, Db, Gb)->
	(ascending minor thirds)
B. (C, E, G)->(B, D#, F#)->(A#, C#, F#)->(A, C, F)->(G, C, E)
	(descending semitone followed by ascending fifth)
C. (C, E, G)->(B, D#, F#)->(A, D, F#)->(G#, C#, E#)->
	(descending semitone followed by ascending minor third)

I'll take the analogous sequences that use only minor triads; and  
I'll even take isolated progressions, if you have them.


Dmitri Tymoczko
Associate Professor of Music
310 Woolworth Center
Princeton, NJ 08544-1007
(609) 258-4255 (ph), (609) 258-6793 (fax)

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