8. Melodic Structure

Secondary Dominants

Peter McNeany
October 17/2023

Your attention, please!

Music theory is useful if applied to the instrument.

Five minutes analyzing 50 minutes playing, not vice versa.


  • A dominant is a major chord with a minor seven.
  • A dominant chord’s resolution may be to Any quality of chord a perfect fifth lower except a diminished 7h chord.
  • The chord of resolution could therefore be any diatonic chord in a major or minor key
  • The primary dominant in the Key of C is G7
  • The secondary dominants in the Key of C are:

All secondary dominants have certain common characteristics

  • They are non-diatonic structures (At least one of their chord tones is NOT in the key).
  • They are expected to resolve to a diatonic chord a perfect fifth below.
  • They are built upon a diatonic root.

Harmony 2, Berklee College of Music

Barrie Nettles

Learning from the Masters

Continue practicing the previous lessons