[Smt-talk] Subdominant versus Predominant

Dmitri Tymoczko dmitri at princeton.edu
Fri May 4 08:03:26 PDT 2012

On May 4, 2012, at 8:34 AM, Berry, David Carson (berrydc) wrote:

> Consider George Howard's Course in Harmony (1886) -- also published by Presser. He too calls the sixth scale degree the "super dominant" ("a note above the dominant"), and the dominant itself is similarly characterized as having its name because it is the "ruling tone" (see p. 43). 

It's worth pointing out that, statistically, the dominant note is often stated more frequently (and for a longer total duration) than the tonic note.  (This is to be expected since it belongs to both tonic and dominant harmonies, which are themselves the most frequent chords.)  So there may be a true perception lurking underneath this unfamiliar metaphor.


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

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list