How to Analyze Chromatic Lament-Bass Harmonizations (Without Tears)

Authored by: Jason Britton

The Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138585010
eBook ISBN: 9780429505584
Adobe ISBN:


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When it comes to analyzing harmonizations of lament basses that descend by half step from tonic to dominant, our students are understandably perplexed by the apparent seventh chords that arise when embellishing tones join forces. But what if we turn things around and construct one of these intricate progressions ourselves from the bottom up? Perhaps our students would then see how such complex harmonizations could be understood as elaborations of simple models.

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