Voice Leading |
Chord Construction |
Principle of Proximity |
Voice leading in 4 parts
There are certain rules of voice leading that should be followed in order to write music according to the 18th century practice that Bach set forth.
1. Double the root in any root position chord.
2. Double the soprano in a first inversion chord.
3. Double the bass in a first inversion diminished triad.
4. Double the bass in a second inversion chord
5. Do not double the leading tone or any altered note.
6. Keep one octave between the soprano and alto and the alto and tenor voices. More than an octave may exist between the tenor and bass voices.
Voice Leading Rules
1. Repeat tones when possible.
2. Avoid perfect 5th, parallel unisons and octaves.
3. Resolve active tones to stable ones.
4. Do not cross voices.
5. Avoid large melodic skips with the exeption of an occtave leap in the bass voice.
6. Strive for a balance of similar, contrary, oblique, and parallel motion between parts.
Two or more voices are said to be in similar motion when they move in the same direction.
Two or more voices are said to be in parallel motion when they move in the same direction with the same interval.
Contrary motion occurs when one voice moves in one direction, and the second voice moves in the opposite direction.
Oblique motion occurs when one voice stays the same and another voice moves to it or away from it.
Principle of Proximity
The principle of proximity refers to moving each voice as little as possible.
Closed position results when the top three voices are found in one octave.
Open position results whent the top three voices are found outside of one octave.