This post is NOT a debate on if the I 6/4 chord acts more of a tonic or dominant chord. Instead, we will be talking about the principle behind the chord and how to apply it to other practices.
While the analysis of the I 6/4 chord is up to debate, the function is not – the chord comes before the V chord, and then it usually resolves to the I chord from there. Why so? Well, looking at the shape as well as the voice movement of the I 6/4 chord to the V chord, it is a suspension of higher tones over the shared root resolving to the dominant chord.
Basically, we can learn from this is that by suspending voices over the dominant root, we create a delayed resolution to the V chord and then to I.
Not only can this be done with a I 6/4 chord, but it can also be done with a V sus4 chord, a V chord with upper tension tones, and variations:
Try them out – that by keeping the root the same, but changing the upper structure or voicing, you create a delay in the harmonic movement resolving back to I.
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