Why is the V chord called Dominant?
What is so “dominating” about the V chord? It’s just a major chord like I and IV and isn’t anything special. My guitar book just says the term defines its importance. So, what makes it so important? Thanks
And what’s up with people using V in place of vii°?
- MamiankaLv 72 months ago
I am a theory teacher (multiple Theory degrees, plus mus ed). The V chord is called dominant because of its strong pull to resolve to the tonic. No other chord has this BALANCE of power. Let's use C major. V chord in G B D. The G resolves down by gravity - the B resolves up as an authentic leading tone. The D of the triad can resolve up or down by step, in context. Add the 7th - F - and you have 1 gravity, one authentic leading tone, and now one PLAGAL leading tone - resolved down by b half step. Strong like VOLTRON! The viio you refer to is the chord built on the 7th degree - and can be half diminished / B D F A - or the 7 the can be lowered to Ab. One authentic LT, TWO PLAGAL LTs, D still with options in context. Just no GRAVITY resolution. Different coloration if the resolution. You did not ask about Subdominant - more gravity in play, and no authentic LT. IV - I is called a PLAGAL cadence - Amen.
Let me know when I can rock your world with atonal mediants . . .Source(s): Been teaching theory since 1973. Retired from school job - studio teaching only - except for right now . . . Like most of us.