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

Olli Väisälä ovaisala at siba.fi
Tue Jan 19 11:27:23 PST 2010

> For instance, here are some interesting chord-progression counts from 
> the Mozart piano sonatas:
> 	I -> V6/4 -> I6 appears 4 times (including the retrograde 
> progression, I6->V6/4->I)
> 	IV6 -> I6/4 -> [IV or ii6 or ii6/5]: appears 51 times (including the 
> retrograde progression)
> In other words, the second progression is more than *twelve times* 
> more popular than the I->V6/4->I6 -- even though I->V6/4->I6 is 
> harmonically unobjectionable and uses textbook-approved "passing 6/4" 
> voice leading.

> 	3. Music professors and textbook authors have strong, but not 
> necessarily reliable intuitions about what happens in tonal music.  
> For instance, Aldwell and Schachter write: "Of the various types of 
> passing 6/4's the most important is V6/4 connecting I and I6."  This 
> is false, at least if "important" is taken to mean "common" and if 
> Mozart's Piano Sonatas are taken as representative.  To me it's a bit 
> embarrassing that one of the leading textbooks can be so flatly wrong 
> about such a basic matter.

Interesting figures! But to the defence of Aldwell and Schachter, I 
would like to add that they also state that "a passing 6/4 between IV6 
and II6/5 (less often II6) is very frequent." (P. 311, emphasis 

Olli Väisälä
Sibelius Academy
ovaisala at siba.fi
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/enriched
Size: 1336 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20100119/7a683bec/attachment-0004.bin>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list