Thus, "Neopolitan" has become synonymous with "flat two" or "lowered second degree" or "Phrygian harmony. The passage is in A minor: In very rare cases, the chord occurs in second inversion; for example, in Handel 's Messiah , in the aria Rejoice greatly. Musical Examples Here is an example of a standard and yet highly expressive use of the Neapolitan 6th, from the Mozart Requiem. What is unique about the Neapolitan 6th is the presence of the lowered second degree of the scale.
Thus, "Neopolitan" has become synonymous with "flat two" or "lowered second degree" or "Phrygian harmony. Memorizing the sound of this opening is a good way to infuse the sound of Neapolitan in your ears. What is unique about the Neapolitan 6th is the presence of the lowered second degree of the scale. The Neapolitan sixth chord is particularly common in minor keys. What is unique about the Neapolitan 6th is that it seems to have a dual nature. In summary, the conventional resolution is for all upper voices to move down against a rising bass. The rest is how it is spelled, how to work with it and how it is employed for use by composers. On one level, it is just what we have described: The introductory bars, before the entrance of the plaintif melody, contains an impossible-to-miss D major triad in the context of a C minor composition. At the opening, the Db chord, while reflecting the Phrygian II, actually transforms into a IV chord in the key of Ab major, the submediant. Grasp this central point and you understand everything you need to know about the Neapolitan 6th. The chord either moves directly to V or is interrupted by a passing or elongated I Another famous, and quite different, expression of N6 occurs in Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Its genesis is very simple. Voice leading[ edit ] Because of its close relationship to the subdominant, the Neapolitan sixth resolves to the dominant using similar voice-leading. Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata, Op. As a simple alteration of the subdominant triad iv of the minor mode, it provides contrast as a major chord compared to the minor subdominant or the diminished supertonic triad. Theoretically, however, it really is chord that comes from a Phrygian, lowered second modality. According to some theorists, however, such an unusual consecutive fifth with both parts descending a semitone is allowable in chromatic harmony, so long as it does not involve the bass voice. Go to the Naxos site and listen to the opening of the G minor Ballade. The same allowance is often made more explicitly for the German augmented sixth , except in that case it may involve the bass — or must, if the chord is in its usual root position. The chord has both strong reciprocal energy and yet also points and functions as a pre-cursor to V. Can you hear the Neapolitan opening? Thus, the Neapolitan 6th chord takes on a strong reciprocal quality. Once born, it went on to live a productive and creative life of its own, ultimately proud and happy to be voiced with its "errant" flat two strongly in the bass voice. Go to the Naxos site and give the Moonlight sonata a listen! When analyzing this chord using Roman numerals, one can either use the N6 designation, refering to the term Neapolitan, or one can more formally use bII6.
Video about neapolitan sixth chords:
Neapolitan Sixth Chords
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