2.2 Neighbor Tones

Antonio Vivaldi of Venice

In the video above, from The Four Seasons (the third movement of Spring), Vivaldi expanded the initial tonic with, among other things, neighbor tones (NT).
On pages 1.2 and 1.4 a neighbor tone was described as a kind of embellishing tone which expanded the primordial tonic. In this chapter, neighbor tones are a kind of nonharmonic tone. In either case they are approached by a chord tone by step and then go back to the original note.

Play the video and watch the harmonies grow!
Neighbor tones can expand any chord of the fundamental harmonic progression. For instance in the video to the left
  • an upper neighbor expands the initial tonic in measure 1,
  • a lower neighbor expands the dominant in measure 2 and
  • a chromatic lower neighbor--a note not belonging to the key or scale--expands the final tonic in measure 3.
Listen to more neighbor tones on the nonharmonic tones Contextual Listening page.

Comments? Click here.