Suomeksi | In English

Chord relationships

Functional harmony also involves the relationships between the root notes of consecutive chords; in a key, there can be three types of relationships: third, fourth, and second.

Descending third relationships are more common than ascending relationships; in third relationship movements, the bass often progresses in passing notes with quicker note values than the chord progression (bars 3-4). As for voice leading, two notes of the triad remain the same; this creates soft chord movement, especially if inversions are used (bars 6-9).

Fourth relation progressions are typical in cadences and various chord sequences. While one of the chord notes always remains the same (bars 11-13), voice leading often involves a contrary motion. If this principle is given up, all tones occasionally progress in the same direction (bars 16-17), and an augmented second progression is also created in minor keys (bar 18).

In second relationship progressions, there are no shared notes, and this creates wider variations than the progressions discussed above. Continual second relationships in chord progressions are rare; progressions often include third and fourth relationships as well. Voice leading often requires a contrary motion; in that case, the bass line typically progresses in a different direction from the other tones.

A fifth relationship is the same as a fourth relationship, a sixth relationship is the same as a third relationship, and so on (see Inverted intervals), so the only one remaining is the tritone relationship. It is common in consecutive dom7 chords. Notation may observe the pile of chords (bars 25-26) or ignore it (bars 27-28) and thus avoid several of the chromatic signs.

While keeping to triad harmonies, non-diatonic third relationships may appear (bars 30-34). Due to shared notes, chord movement still feels relatively soft.