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3

Linear (Embellishing)
Diminished Seventh Chords

I. Simultaneous nonharmonic tones frequently form diminished seventh chords. Like other linear chords, these
linear (embellishing) diminished seventh chords are analyzed in brackets. Since these chords occur with
various enharmonic spellings, they are best analyzed simply by chord quality (dd7) along with the category
of nonharmonic tone use.
II. Neighboring (auxiliary) chords.
A. Embellished major triads.
1. The root remains stationary.
2. The third moves to the raised lower neighbor.
3. The fifth moves to the upper neighbor and/or to the raised lower neighbor.

B. Minor triads rarely have neighboring chords. When they do, both the root and third remain stationary,
and the fifth moves up a major second and/or down a minor second.
C. For dominant seventh chords the voice leading is as in the major triad, with the seventh also moving to
its lower neighbor.

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D. When an inverted triad is embellished, the stationary root will be in one of the upper voices.

III. Passing chords. When two voices move in parallel sixths or tenths, passing chords may result. Note that in the
first example, the first of the passing chords is diatonic and the second chromatic.

IV. Linear diminished seventh chords may result from combinations of other kinds of nonharmonic tones.

V. Consecutive stepwise diminished seventh chords may be analyzed either as a series of secondary dominants
or as a series of passing chords. Because of spelling discrepancies, however, the latter is generally preferable.

*This chord may also be analyzed as a misspelled vii7/V chord.

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CHROMATIC MATERIALS

Analysis
Analyze the examples in Unit 20 of Music for Analysis. In addition to matters discussed thus far, consider the
following:
1.

Where does the chromaticism occur?

2.

Is the chromaticism embellishing or essential?

3.

If it is embellishing, are linear chords formed?

4.

What is the quality of the linear chords?

5.

What is their melodic relationship to the chords they embellish?

Exercises
1.

Embellish the given chords with neighboring diminished seventh chords where indicated by an asterisk.
Analyze completely.

2.

Add passing chords of any appropriate type where indicated by an asterisk.

LINEAR (EMBELLISHING) DIMINISHED SEVENTH CHORDS

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3.

Where indicated by asterisks, interpolate consecutive stepwise diminished seventh chords between the
two chords given. Spelling will be dictated by line. Analyze completely.

4.

Embellish the given chords with linear diminished seventh chords where indicated by asterisks.

5.

Complete the following for two solo instruments with accompaniment. Use linear diminished seventh
chords where appropriate. Edit fully, including phrasing, articulations, and dynamics.

CHROMATIC MATERIALS

6.

Harmonize the following melody in the indicated texture, using linear diminished seventh chords where
indicated by an asterisk:

LINEAR (EMBELLISHING) DIMINISHED SEVENTH CHORDS

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7.

Compose an original piece for piano or instruments in a small form. Employ a thick texture containing
multiple doublings. Refer to Part V, Units 17, 20, and 22, on texture, form, and composition.

8.

The following patterns may be used for composition or improvisation. Add linear diminished seventh
chords where appropriate.

a. A major:

b. Ef major:

9.

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Compose a double period for an instrumental combination available in class, employing the period,
phrase, and cadence structure outlined here. (Refer to Part V, Unit 23, for information on instrumental
ranges and transpositions.)

CHROMATIC MATERIALS