/* CSS Document */ NEW Leading-Tone Chords
Home Theory Aural Skills Arranging Composition Counterpoint About

Theory II: Leading-Tone and Leading-Tone Seventh Chords

The leading tone triad, and by extension the leading tone seventh, is built on the leading-tone of the scale which makes it a diminished triad. Because of this, the chord is typically found in first inversion. All three notes of the the triad are tendency tones, and have specific resolutions (7-1, 2-1, 4-3). However, in order to have a complete tonic chord, the fifth of the diminished triad may move up by step (4-5). When resolved strictly, the triad leads into an incomplete tonic triad. The leading-tone chords all typically resolve to the tonic triad, with the exception of the third inversion seventh chord which can easily move to the domniant.

The leading-tone seventh chord adds the sixth scale degree as the seventh of the chord. Again, as a tendency tone it moves down by step to scale degree 5, easily giving the tonic chord a fifth. The leading tone chord is often found in inversion, functioning as a tonic expansion.

Note that when the third of the chord is below the seventh, it will lead to parallel 5ths if the voices move in the same direction (see the 6/5 example)