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Symbol Meaning Definition

H5
Hidden
(Direct) fifths
A leap in the same direction by outer voices to the interval of a perfect fifth is present and marked with
lines.
H8
Hidden
(Direct)
octaves
A leap in the same direction by outer voices to the interval of a perfect octave is present and marked
with lines.
D
Improper
doubling
A pitch that should never be doubled is doubled, e.g. a leading tone.
d Weak doubling A more preferable doubling exists.
INC
Incomplete
chord
A vital pitch is missing from a chord, e.g. the third
inc
Incomplete
chord
A complete chord would be preferable given the voice leading situation
INV
Improper
inversion
The chord should not be used in this inversion (e.g. diminished triad in root position).
inv Weak inversion A more typical inversion (most likely, root position) is preferable.
L Bad line
One of the voice parts contains undesirable melodic intervals, i.e. augmented or diminished intervals, or
difficult leaps (mostly 7ths).
M
Metric
placement
A chord is improperly placed in the measure, e.g. a cadential six-four is on a weak beat.
P5 Parallel fifths
The two voices marked with lines are in parallel motion a perfect fifth apart. This notation is also used
for consecutive perfect fifths in contrary motion.
P8 Parallel octaves
The two voices marked with lines are in parallel motion a perfect octave apart. This symbol is also
applied to the error when consecutive octaves occur by contrary motion.
PREP
Pitch not
Prepared
A suspension, or some other non-chord tone or sensitive pitch is not prepared properly in the previous
harmony. The non-chord tone is indicated with an arrow pointing backward in the typical direction of
preparation. (e.g. Suspensions must be prepared by a common tone in the previous chord.)
R
Improper
resolution
A pitch is resolved incorrectly, e.g. a leading tone is not resolved to the tonic, or a chordal seventh is not
resolved downward by step. This also applies to unstable chords that have specific resolution tendencies
(such as the cadential 6/4). The sensitive pitch is indicated with an arrow pointing in the typical
direction of resolution.
r Voice range A pitch is above or below the typical tessitura of that voice type.
S Chord spacing There is more than an octave between the soprano and alto, or between the alto and tenor.
TYPE?
Improper use
of 6/4
A 6/4 chord has been used in an unstylistic manner. (A 6/4 chord must be a passing 6/4, a neighbor 6/4
(pedal 6/4), or a cadential 6/4.)
VC Voices crossed
One of the voices is in the wrong position relative to another voice (above or below, e.g. tenor above
alto).
VO
Voice
Overlapping
Two voices overlap improperly, i.e., one voice ascends above or descends below the note another voice
was just singing in the previous chord.
WC Wrong chord The wrong chord has been used.
WI
Wrong
Inversion
The bass note is incorrect for the specified chord inversion.
WN Wrong note The chord contains a wrong note.
WP
Weak
progression
The harmonic progression is poorly conceived. (This notation is used for harmonization of melodies
and unfigured bass exercises.)
X Wrong label
The wrong symbol or label was applied for analyzing the music (e.g. wrong key, chord name, cadence,
etc.).
?
Missing label
or music
The exercise is missing required information.