Irregular Resolution
Get Irregular Resolution essential facts below. View Videos or join the Irregular Resolution discussion. Add Irregular Resolution to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Irregular Resolution
Irregular resolution Type I About this soundPlay . Two common tones, two note moves by half step motion.
Irregular resolution through augmented sixth equivalence About this soundPlay .[1] One common tone, three notes move by half step motion.

In music, an irregular resolution is resolution by a dominant seventh chord or diminished seventh chord to a chord other than the tonic. Regarding the dominant seventh, there are many irregular resolutions including to a chord with which it has tones in common or if the parts move only a whole or half step.[2] Consecutive fifths and octaves, augmented intervals, and false relations should still be avoided.[2] Voice leading may cause the seventh to ascend, to be prolonged into the next chord, or to be unresolved.[3]

The following resolutions to a chord with tones in common have been identified:

  • Type I, in which the root motion descends by minor third. C, E, G, B would resolve to C, E, G, A; two tones are common, two voices move by half-step in contrary motion.
  • Type II, in which the root motion rises by minor third. C, E, G, B would resolve to D, E, G, B; again, two tones are common, two voices move by half-step in contrary motion.
  • Type III, in which the root moves a tritone (two minor thirds) away. C, E, G, B would resolve to C, E, F, B = A; again, two tones are common (with enharmonic change), two voices move by half-step in contrary motion.
Regular resolution About this soundPlay . One common tone, two notes moves by half step motion, and one note moves by whole step motion.

Type I is common from the 18th century; Type II may be found from the second quarter of the 19th century; Type III may be found from the mid-19th century. The composer Richard Edward Wilson is responsible for the categorization.

The most important irregular resolution is the deceptive cadence,[3] most commonly V7-vi in major or V7-VI in minor.[1][3] Irregular resolutions also include V7 becoming an augmented sixth [specifically a German sixth] through enharmonic equivalence[1] or in other words (and the adjacent image) resolving to the I chord in the key the augmented sixth chord (FACD) would be in (A) rather than the key the dominant seventh (FACE) would be in (B).

See also


  1. ^ a b c Owen, Harold (2000). Music Theory Resource Book, p.132. ISBN 0-19-511539-2.
  2. ^ a b Chadwick, George Whitefield (2008). Harmony, a Course of Study, p.160. ISBN 0-559-22020-0.
  3. ^ a b c Foote, Arthur (2007). Modern Harmony in its Theory and Practice, p.93ff. ISBN 1-4067-3814-X.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes