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Figured bass for a dominant seventh chord is with the accepted abbreviation of . In root position, the root of the dominant seventh may be doubled and the fifth omitted with a figured bass of voicing is called complete; the voicing is called incomplete. When a complete root position dominant seventh resolves to a root position tonic chord, the tonic chord will be incomplete (fifth omitted). When an incomplete root position dominant seventh resolves to a tonic chord in root position, the tonic chord will be complete.

FIGURE 7.4: Complete and Incomplete Dominant Seventh Resolution Seventh and Resolution
When the dominant seventh chord appears in inversion a complete spelling will be used. The figured bass for a first inversion dominant seventh is . It resolves to a 5 tonic chord. root position

FIGURE 7.5: First Inversion Dominant
When the dominant seventh chord appears in second inversion, it must pass between I and I6. This requires an irregular resolution. When it occurs between 16 and I, regular resolution is required. Figured bass for a second inversion dominant seventh is or , abbreviated in major keys.

FIGURE 7.6: Second Inversion Dominant Seventh and Resolution
With the addition of a fourth note to a chord, a third inversion is possible. When the seventh of the dominant seventh is the lowest sounding note (Bass voice) the third inversion is created. Figured bass for a third inversion dominant seventh is abbreviated or (sometimes 2). This inversion will always resolve to a I6 but is still a regular resolution because the seventh in the Bass voice does resolve to the third of the tonic chord.

FIGURE 7.7: Third Inversion Dominant Seventh and Resolution

As indicated, the dominant seventh chord primarily progresses to the tonic chord. Occasionally, the dominant seventh chord may occur in a dominant seventh to subdominant to dominant seventh chord succession. When this occurs, the subdominant scale degree must be maintained as a common tone from chord to chord. This delays the resolution of the first seventh. The seventh ultimately resolves to the mediant scale degree.

FIGURE 7.8: Dominant Seventh to Subdominant to Dominant Seventh Chord Succession


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