Chord Connection Chart (Four-Part Textures)
Applied Harmony and Counterpoint II
MUS 91, Fall 2000

Chords in Root Position

A. Repeated Roots (p. 91)

B. Roots a 4th (5th) Apart (p. 92)

C. Roots a 3rd (6th) Apart (p. 95)

D. Roots a 2nd (7th) Apart (p. 97)

1. Retain same open/close position.

1. Keep the common tone and move the remaining two upper voices by step in the same direction

1. Keep the common tones stationary and move the remaining voice by step

1. Move upper three voices in contrary motion to bass

2. Change open/close position

2. Move all three upper parts in the same direction (similar motion), with no leaps larger than a 3rd


Exception: V-vi or V-VI. See p. 97

Note: In the above cases you can arpeggiate upper voices freely following spacing conventions found on pp. 78-80. In addition, the bass may arpeggiate an octave

3. Keep the common tone and move the voice with the 3rd of the first chord to the 3rd of the second chord


See chapter 6 (pp. 91-98) for more information

Chords in First Inversion

No new "rules" are need for first-inversion chords. However, with first-inversion chords, to maintain good voice leading (and write good parts) we extend the rules for which note can be doubled:

  1. Any tone but the leading tone can be doubled. The preferred doublings (in order of preference) are:
    1. Inner voice doubles Soprano
    2. Inner voice doubles Bass
    3. Soprano and Bass are doubled
    4. Inner voices are doubled
  2. In a contrapuntal texture, the doubling to use is the one that results from the best voice leading
  3. In a homophonic texture, the doubling selected should be one that provides the desired sonority

Overall the choice of which note to double should be decided on the basis of context, and as usual, the inner voices should move as smoothly as possible, retaining common tones and proceeding by steps and small skips

See Chapter 8 (pp. 130-131) for more information