Top Ten Voice-Leading Errors

Top ten voice-leading errors made by music theory students.

The Top Ten

1 Spacing Errors

More than an octave between the tenor and alto or between the alto and soprano - byorgason

2 Parallel Fifths and Octaves

Often caused by not moving upper voices in contrary motion to the bass in the IV-V progression - byorgason

3 Leading Tone In Minor

You need to manually raise the leading tone in minor keys - byorgason

4 Improper Doublings

Doubling something other than the root for root position triads--particularly problematic if the leading tone is doubled. - byorgason

5 Unnecessary Leaping

Voices that leap a lot when they could move by step to a different chord tone -- often causes other errors. - byorgason

6 Tendency Tones Unresolved

Chordal 7ths should resolve down. Leading tones in the soprano must resolve up. - byorgason

7 Missing 3rds

You need a third in every chord. Don't leave this out. - byorgason

8 Range Errors

Tenor going way too low, usually. - byorgason

9 Wrong Notes

Make sure you are spelling the chord right! - byorgason

10 Voice-Crossing

Alto is going below the tenor! - byorgason

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