Tip #169 – Finding Place for the #iv Chord

The #iv chord…

A minor triad (or minor seventh chord if you choose to expand the harmony) built on the #4 scale degree… which is a tritone away from the tonic.

One use for it is as a loose chromatic approach from the IV to the V. For example, take the following harmonic progression:

Now, let’s insert the #iv chord in between the IV and V of the progression. Notice the chromatic lines and how it makes this interesting chord less “out-of-place” with the key:

It does soften the blow of the cadence because the ear is trying to figure out what key we are in, but it can be used for coloristic effect.

On the same idea of chromatics, we can substitute the IV with a #iv chord in a vi-IV-V-I progression with the use of chromatic voice-leading:

Play around with it and see how it sounds!

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Tip #132 – The 373 or 737 Voice Leading

In situations where you want to use smooth voice leading over progressions that utilize the circle of fifths movement, the 373 (or 737) voice leading can help.

It can be used as a melody or inner voice. Regardless of what you choose, you start by putting the 3rd (or 7th) of the chord in the top voice. From there, place below the 7th (or 3rd), and then repeat the top note.

Usually, the lowest note is the root, and occasionally the 5th or 9th of the chord can be added for extra color.

From there, you resolve the chord into the next harmony within the circle of fifths progression by doing as such:

Try it out and feel how it sounds. This words great for open parallel movements.

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