This voicing of the Neapolitan is rare because composers usually tend to avoid accentuating tritones in this manner. In what measure does the root-position dominant seventh arrive? As a pre-dominant chord, the Neapolitan’s typical function is to lead to the dominant. The following example replaces the D§ with a diatonic C# in m. 142: With C# sustained through m. 142, the resultant sonority would be a iv chord in root position. We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, so I’ll summarize it here. (Note that despite the key signature, this passage is in the key of A major. On the other hand, the root of this chord (F) lies a perfect fifth above—or a perfect fourth below—the root of the Neapolitan that follows. You would then play the V and I chords as written. Example 31–10 and Example 31–17 show Neapolitan chords following VI. Save my name, email, and site URL in my browser for next time I post a comment. For our purposes, we label the chord N6 and refer to it as the Neapolitan. The chord that comes right before the V or V7 chord. If you want to add a Neapolitan chord where there isn’t one already, look for a place in the piece where a ii6 or IV chord is being used as a predominant. Of the two, the latter is more common today since the usual notation of the Neapolitan more readily resembles a bII6 chord than a iv chord with an altered fifth. Function: The Neapolitan chord is a pre-dominant chord (i.e., it leads to a dominant function chord). As you can hear, the chord brings dramatic weight to the ensuing cadence and intensifies the passage in a way that a diatonic pre-dominant chord cannot. Composers will occasionally expand this sort of tonicization by modulating to the key of the Neapolitan for extended passages. Nonetheless, it is important for analysis that you be able to conceive of the Neapolitan in both ways. It often does this directly—moving to V or V7 without delay—though frequently an applied chord or cadential 6/4 intervenes. Notice how much more interesting the progression becomes by changing just one chord! Nonetheless, the chord is once again supported by scale degree [latex]\hat4[/latex] in the bass. The bass note (scale degree [latex]\hat4[/latex]) almost invariably steps up to [latex]\hat5[/latex] while the upper voices move down to the nearest chord members: In SATB settings such as the one in Example 31–12, the bass note ( [latex]\hat4[/latex]) is usually doubled. This understanding of the Neapolitan accounts for its tendency to appear as what looks like a first-inversion triad, with the chordal third doubled. Though it has the same construction as a Neapolitan derived by embellishing iv, this Neapolitan is clearly an altered ii chord. As a pre-dominant chord, the Neapolitan leads to dominant harmony. In tonal harmony, the function of the Neapolitan chord is to prepare the dominant, substituting for the IV or ii (particularly ii ) chord. Here is an example progression in C min, going from predominant (N6) to … They are most often found in minor keys, but they can be used in major keys as well. The Neapolitan chord (sometimes referred to as Phrygian II) is notated as a major triad built on b [latex]\hat2[/latex], but can be conceptualized in different ways. The Neapolitan leads to a viio7/V in m. 32 and then a cadential 6/4 in m. 33 before getting to the dominant in m. 34. Look for a chord that measure whose pitches are that of a dominant seventh chord. It then moves directly to a V chord in the following measure which in turn resolves to i at the end of the phrase. To summarize, the Neapolitan can be thought of in two ways. Required fields are marked *. In F minor, we might have an N6 chord (Bb, Db, Gb), then a V chord (C, E, G), followed by a i chord (F, Ab, C). The following example shows one such instance: On the second beat of m. 12, we find a Neapolitan chord with the chromatic pitch (b [latex]\hat2[/latex]) in the bass. Adjust the necessary pitch or pitches in the following ii6 chord to create a Neapolitan in G major: Remember, in a major key, the root and fifth of the ii6 chord need to be lowered. The Neapolitan can also be thought of as an embellishment of a minor subdominant triad. Consider the following example: Here, a Neapolitan chord appears in m. 142. (It is labeled V/N in Example 31–20.) Although the Neapolitan usually appears with scale degree [latex]\hat4[/latex] in the bass, other positions are possible. The first of these (mm. Do you know of any other pieces that use it? These dual derivations are why we label the Neapolitan generically, using N6 instead of a Roman numeral. Neapolitan sixth chords usually function as predominants. Suppose I am playing in F minor. (In major keys, scale degree [latex]\hat6[/latex] must also be lowered.) Like the leading tone, b [latex]\hat2[/latex] is only a semitone away from the tonic and as such has a strong tendency to resolve to [latex]\hat1[/latex]. You might also see the chord labeled “Phrygian II,” referring to Phrygian scale which differs from major and minor scales by beginning with a minor second between its first and second degrees. In the key of A minor, what would be the root of V7/N? The following excerpt consists of two phrases, the second of which has a Neapolitan chord: The two phrases in Example 31–5 (mm. II. major triad built on the lowered second degree of a scale. That means they come right before the dominant chord, which is another name for the V or V7 chord. Neapolitan chords appear more frequently in minor keys, in part because they avoid the tritone between [latex]\hat2[/latex] and [latex]\hat6[/latex] in the iio chord. Is it a special kind of triad, or a seventh chord? It leads to the V7 chord in the very next measure, which makes it a predominant chord. (The bass note has been changed too—from F to D—allowing for smooth passing motion between the i6 in m. 24 and the cadential 6/4 in m. Write a Neapolitan chord with scale degree [latex]\hat4[/latex] in the bass in A major: (Answers may vary as long as D is the lowest pitch and the upper voices consist of Bb, D and F§.). We will also discuss how the Neapolitan behaves over larger spans when it is tonicized or used in a modulation. In other words, the progression VI–N6 can sound like V/N–N6(a tonicization of the Neapolitan) since the root motion is the same as V–I.

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