Harmonic Resources Used by Chopin

We will discuss several of the harmonic resources used by Chopin in this chromatic transformation.

Passing Diminished Seventh Chords

In measures 4 and 5 we find a C# diminished seventh chord (C# - E - G - Bb) resolving to an A minor seventh chord (A - C - E - G):

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In the following example we show these chords as written by Chopin in number 1. In number 2 we show the same chords but rewritten in root position. Finally in number 3 we see an example of how this chord is often used in Jazz and some other styles to pass from a minor seventh chord to another.

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We can find this chord in Antonio Carlos Jobim song Wave. The chord appears written as a Bb diminished seventh chord (Jobim was an admirer of Chopin's music):

Augmented Ninth Chord

Traditional harmony books seldom talk about the augmented ninth chord, but it is a common term in jazz music theory. Chopin offers an early example of this chord in measure 12. The B dominant chord first appears and Chopin plays with two appoggiaturas (the G and the C). At the end of the measure he finally presents the augmented ninth (C double sharp written as D natural):


© 2001 José Rodríguez Alvira. Published by teoria.com


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