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Resolution of Seventh Chords

A. Dominant Seventh Chords (V7)


a. Resolve the seventh of the chord (Fa) down by step to Mi or Me.
b. Deal with the leading tone (the 3
rd
of the chord).
i. Always resolve up by step to tonic if in an outer voice.
ii. May resolve either up by step to Do or down if in an inner voice.
c. Move the other two voices as stepwise as possible to create ideal doubling.
d. Some interesting facts:
i. In a V7 I circle progression (in which both chords are in root position),
one of the two chords must be incomplete if the seventh resolves down
(which it always should) and the leading tone also is resolved upward by
step.
ii. A V42 chord moving in a circle progression must resolve to a I6 or i6
chord.
iii. With the V65, V43, and V42 chords moving to the tonic chord, one
common tone should be maintained and all other notes moved by step.
iv. With the V7 vi (or VI) progression, the third of the vi (VI) chord must
be doubled.

B. Leading Tone Seventh Chords (vii7 or vii7)
a. vii7 i
i. Resolve the seventh of the chord (La or Le) down by step to Sol.
ii. Resolve the leading tone (the root of the chord) up by step to tonic.
iii. Resolve the tri-tone involving the bass note by step in contrary motion.
iv. Deal with the other tri-tone.
1. Resolve in contrary motion if it is a d5 tri-tone.
2. Resolve either in contrary or parallel motion if it is an A4 tri-tone.
v. Interesting fact: One may have to double the third of the chord if both
pairs of notes (root/fifth or third/seventh) resolve in contrary motion.
b. vii7 I
i. Resolve the seventh of the chord (La or Le) down by step to Sol.
ii. Resolve the leading tone (the root of the chord) up by step to tonic.
iii. Deal with the pair of notes involving the bass (root/fifth or third/seventh).
1. If a tri-tone, resolve it by step in contrary motion.
2. If a P5, resolve it by step in contrary motion.
3. If a P4, resolve it by step in parallel or contrary motion to create
ideal doubling.
iv. Deal with the other pair of notes (root/fifth or third/seventh).
1. If a d5 or P5, resolve it by step in contrary motion.
2. If an A4 or P4, resolve it by step in parallel or contrary motion to
create ideal doubling.
v. Interesting facts:
1. Watch out for parallel fifths.
2. One may have to double the third of the chord if both pairs of
notes (root/fifth or third/seventh) resolve in contrary motion.
c. vii7 V7 or vii7 V7
i. Resolve the seventh of the chord (La or Le) down by step to Sol.
ii. Maintain common tones in the remaining three voices.

C. Non-Dominant Seventh Chords (I7, ii7, iii7, IV7, vi7, i7, ii7, III7, iv7, or VI7)
a. Resolve the seventh of the chord downward by step.
b. Move the remaining voices as smoothly and stepwise as possible.