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Secondary leading-tone chord

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Secondary leading-tone chord



In music theory, a secondary leading-tone chord or secondary diminished seventh, as in seventh scale degree[3] or leading-tone, is a secondary chord but rather than being a dominant it is a leading-tone seventh chord or triad, which are similar in function to dominant chords. Also similar to secondary dominant chords they are altered chords.[1] In contrast to secondary dominant chords they do not move in circle progressions but rather resolve up by half step.[4] Fully diminished seventh chords are more common than half-diminished seventh chords[1] and one may also find diminished triads [without sevenths].[3]

Secondary leading-tone chords may resolve to either a major or minor diatonic triad:[1][4]

In major keys: ii, iii, IV, V, vi
In minor keys: III, iv, V, VI

For example viiø7/V or viio7/iv. Especially in four-part writing, the seventh should resolve downwards by step and if possible the lower tritone should resolve appropriately, inwards if a diminished fifth and outwards if an augmented fourth.[5]

In harmonic analysis secondary sevenths are expressed in the following format:

\frac{vii^{ox}}{y}

where x = the correct inversion symbol [ figured bass], and y = the root of the chord of resolution as a roman numeral.[3]

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