Keyword Analysis & Research: tonicization


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What is tonicization in music?

John Peterson and Megan Lavengood Tonicization is the process of making a non-tonic chord sound like a temporary tonic. This is done with chromatic chords called applied chords, or secondary dominant chords (V(7)) and secondary leading-tone chords (viio (7)) borrowed from the temporary key.

What is the difference between modulation and tonicization?

A tonicization is considered a modulation when any sense of the original key is lost, or the accidentals of the tonicization remain for longer than 10 seconds or so. Another condition of a modulation as opposed to tonicization is when the new tonal center has a distinct or authentic cadence.

What is a tonicized chord?

A tonicized chord is a chord other than the tonic chord to which a dominant or dominant seventh chord progresses. When a dominant chord or dominant seventh chord is used before a chord other than the tonic, this dominant or dominant seventh chord is called a secondary dominant.

How do you find examples of tonicization?

One can often find examples of tonicization by looking for accidentals, as there are always accidentals involved in tonicization. However, it is important to note that the opposite is not true—just because there is an accidental does not mean that it is definitely a case of tonicization. Only major and minor chords may be tonicized.


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