A double tonic
is a chord progression
, melodic motion
, or shift of level
consisting of a "regular back-and-forth motion", in melody
similar to Bruno Nettl
's pendulum type though it uses small intervals
, most often a whole tone
though may be almost a semitone
to a minor third
(see pendular thirds
). (van der Merwe 1989, p.205)
It is extremely common in African music ("Mkwaze mmodzi"), Asian music, and European music, including (ibid, p.206):
- European Middle Ages music such as "Sumer is Icumen in"
- Elizabethan popular music such as "The Woods so Wild" and "Dargason"
- Classical music featuring the regular alternation of tonic-dominant
- alternating 'discords' such as in Debussy or Stravinsky
- "Scottish" and European music such as "Donald MacGillavry"
- work songs such as "Roun' de Corn, Sally" and "Shallow Brown", and in football chants such as:
In American music, a rare example of a double-tonic is the spiritual "Rock my Soul" though American popular music began to use the double tonic commonly in the last half of the 1900s (ibid), including:
Double tonic patterns may be classified as beginning on the lower ("Sumer is Icumen in", "The Woods so Wild", "The Irish Washerwoman") or upper (most Scottish tunes, passamezzo antico, "Roun' de Corn, Sally", "Shallow Brown", "Mkwaze mmodzi") note and may repeat open endedly, though they are often closed through a tonic close, as in (ibid, p.207):
They are also often varied through a binary scheme ending on the dominant then tonic, as in:
A variation of this last progression is the passamezzo antico
- van der Merwe, Peter (1989). Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-316121-4.