Show off your theory chops with my weekly challenge! You’ll find a new question here every Monday. Please comment to post your reply.
This week’s challenge:
Below is a German Augmented Sixth Chord resolving to V in the key of C or C minor. Can you spot the voice-leading problem? What is it, and what’s the best way, in classical music, to avoid it?
Reply to post your answer, and check back on Friday, August 20th to see if you’re right!
ANSWER for 8/16/21
Go to Cadential 6/4 First!
The German 6th is the only augmented 6th chord that contains a perfect 5th (seen here in the bass and tenor voices). Going straight to the V chord results in a nasty case of parallel 5ths. For this reason, the German 6th typically does not resolve directly to V.
The most common solution, in classical music, is to resolve the German 6th to I 6/4 (the cadential 6/4). As seen above, this ensures that the perfect fifth in the bass and tenor is broken up before finally resolving to the V chord. This eliminates the parallel 5ths seen at left.
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