[Smt-talk] Passing and Neighboring 6/4s

Panayotis Mavromatis pm68 at nyu.edu
Tue Jan 19 08:36:21 PST 2010

Hi Dmitri,

> Does anyone have any thoughts about this?  When you teach  
> "neighboring" and "passing" 6/4 chords, do you teach the specific  
> idioms or general principles?

Actually both.  Specific idioms are obviously necessary, as you point  
out.  In addition, I find that the idioms sharing some structural  
similarity are important to associate as such.  So in my mind,  
"neighboring 6/4" is a useful abstraction, even if it does not  
uniformly apply to all scale degrees.

Note that most abstract voice-leading patterns are not as exclusive as  
the one you are choosing as an example.  For this and other reasons, I  
do think that the general concept of an abstract voice-leading pattern  
is useful for students to know, even if there are some quirky patterns  
among them.

> And if you do the latter, how do you prevent students from  
> overgeneralizing to nonsyntactic progressions like vi->iii6/4->vi6  
> and so on?  And do you feel any tension between "this is just a  
> neighboring chord"

I am not a fan of the word "just" in this context!  :-)  I'd simply  
say "this is a neighboring chord"


% ===================================================
%  Panayotis Mavromatis
%  Assistant Professor, Director of Music Theory
%  Music and Audio Research Lab
%  Department of Music and Performing Arts
%  The Steinhardt School, New York University
%  35 West 4th Street, Room 627
%  New York, NY 10012
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%  http://theory.smusic.nyu.edu/pm
%  http://marl.smusic.nyu.edu
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