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Chapter 14. The Pre-dominant II and II 7 Chords. The Supertonic Family. Major mode : supertonic sounds minor and its seventh chords is a minor seventh (m7) Supertonic occurs as ii and ii 6 Seventh chord occurs as ii 7 ii 6/5 ii 4/3 and ii 4/2

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Chapter 14

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chapter 14

Chapter 14

The Pre-dominant

II and II7 Chords

the supertonic family
The Supertonic Family
  • Major mode: supertonic sounds minor and its seventh chords is a minor seventh (m7)
  • Supertonic occurs as ii and ii6
  • Seventh chord occurs as ii7 ii6/5 ii4/3 and ii4/2
  • Minor mode: supertonic sound diminished and usually occurs as iio6 - avoid using this in root position
  • As a seventh chord is becomes half-diminished and appears in all four inversions iiø7 iiø6/5 iiø4/3 and iiø4/2
  • Avoid using a minor triad built on supertonic using a raised 6th. This is theoretically possible in the minor mode but sounds horrible and is almost never used
the supertonic family1
The Supertonic Family
  • The various inversions of the supertonic seventh chord almost always use suspension figuration for the preparation and resolution of the chordal 7th. An occasional passing motion may occur.

I6 ii7 V I

I6 ii6 ii7 V I

partwriting with supertonic chords
Partwriting with Supertonic Chords
  • The progression of ii – V and ii6 – V represent diatonic transpositions of V – I and V6 – I; because their roots are a 5th apart
  • Use the same doublings you would in a V (V6) – I progression (Major keys)
    • Double the bass in a root position chord
    • Double the soprano in first inversion (ii6)
partwriting with supertonic chords1
Partwriting with Supertonic Chords
  • Doubling the bass in minor iio6 chords can produce parallel octaves (^4 - ^5) or a melodic skip of an augmented 2nd (^b6 - ^#7) Ex. 14.3c
  • When approaching a ii or ii6 from a I6, be wary of using open structure; parallel 5th may occur
  • Root position I – ii progression will also give you parallels: move the upper voices in contrary motion to the bass or double the third in the ii chord
partwriting with supertonic chords2
Partwriting with Supertonic Chords
  • All four tones should be present in a ii7 chord
    • Make sure the chordal 7th is prepared and resolved correctly (by suspension)
  • In root position ii7 to root position V7, one of the chords must be incomplete, otherwise you will get parallel 5th
    • Omit the chordal fifth and double the root of the V7 or else do the same with the ii7
ii 6 and ii 6 5 at the cadences
ii6 and ii6/5 at the Cadences
  • ii6 and ii6/5 can be considered close relatives to the root position IV; they are both pre-dominants and share the same ^4 in the bass
    • This is important at the authentic cadence
  • The IV has a 5th and 3rd above the bass, the ii6 replaces the 5th with a 6th and keeps the 3rd

C: IV ii6ii6/5

ii 6 and ii 6 5 at the cadences1
ii6 and ii6/5 at the Cadences
  • I – ii6 – V(7) – I or its seven chord inversion is one of the most frequent cadential formulas
    • Strong conclusivity due to the stepwise descent of the soprano to the tonic (^3-^2-^2-^1) and the ^1 (or ^3) ^4-^5-^1 in the bass
  • The supertonic seventh requires preparation of its seventh by suspension (^8-^8-^7)

^3 ^2 ^2 ^1

^3 ^2 ^2 ^1

c: i iiø6/5 V i

I6 ii6 V I

supertonic harmony in embellishing progressions
Supertonic Harmony in Embellishing Progressions
  • Supertonic often occurs in short embellishing progressions in tonic expansion
    • I – (ii – V7) – I or i – (iiø6/5 – V7) – i6
    • These progressions avoid the cadential tonic formula and frequently originate and end on a weaker, inverted I chord
    • These progressions should have parentheses placed around their Roman numerals
supertonic harmony in embellishing progressions1
Supertonic Harmony in Embellishing Progressions

C: I (ii V6/5) I I6 ii7 V I

c: i (iiø6/5 V4/2) i6 (V6) i iiø4/3 V

supertonic harmony in embellishing progressions2
Supertonic Harmony in Embellishing Progressions
  • Consider your options when doing a chordal Roman numerals analysis…things aren’t always what they seem.


The viio6 is the most likely option for chordal motion to the tonic. Direct motion of ii to tonic is very rare. This motion is usually used at the opening of a phrase.

C: I6 (viio6) I I (ii) I6

Not ii

prolongation of the pre dominant function
Prolongation of the Pre-Dominant Function
  • Triadic and seventh-chord forms of supertonic harmonies can be extended the same way tonic, dominant, and subdominant are in a phrase.
  • Supertonic can be extended by using different inversions of the same chord; i.e. ii6 – ii
    • These inversions are usually bridged by using a first-inversion tonic chord
prolongation of the pre dominant function1
Prolongation of the Pre-Dominant Function
  • See Ex. 14.16D for the voice leading reduction
  • The orange Xs show the voice exchange between the right and left hands

C: I ii6/5 (6 ii7) V I

Schumann: “***” (No.21) from Album for the Young Op. 68