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ELEMENTS OF PART WRITING

Examples
I. Rule of thumb: move to nearest available note--without making errors
(aim for smooth voice leading in all parts)

II. Errors
A. No parallel (or consecutive) 5ths or 8ves
1. P5 to d5 is permitted
2. d5 to P5 is permitted--unless it involves the bass

B. No direct or hidden 5ths or 8ves

C. No augmented intervals in any single voice line


D. No more than an octave between adjacent parts (except between tenor and bass)

E. No exceeding the range of vocal parts (except occasionally by one note)

F. No crossing voices

G. No overlapping voices by more than one note

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III. Voice leading and Doubling
A. Include all notes of triad (however, the fifth may be omitted when necessary or
when desired)

B. Leading tone moves up by step (except in an inner voice the leading tone may
"sneak" down to the fifth of the next chord, a special case)

C. Never double the leading tone or the seventh of a chord

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D. Sevenths of chords must move down by step (one exception: V43 to I6)

E. In a first-inversion diminished triad, double the 3rd

F. In deceptive motion double the 3rd of the vi or VI (the tonic note of the key)

G. When the tonic is the last chord, double the root if possible

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H. Six-four chords always appear in one of the patterns (cadential, passing, pedal,
arpeggio)

I. Non-chord tones must form one of the identifiable types (passing, appog, etc)

EXAMPLES ARE NOT PROVIDED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE HANDOUT