Tonic parallel

Tonic and tonic parallel in C major: CM and Am chords  Play .

In music theory, the tonic parallel (relative chord, German: Parallelklang) is a diatonic function and chord, relative to the tonic, and thus considered to have or fulfill the function of the tonic.[1] The term is used in German theory and derives from the work of Hugo Riemann. It is abbreviated "Tp" in major and "tP" in minor.

Tonic and tonic parallel in C minor: Cm and EM chords  Play .
Dr. Riemann...sets himself to demonstrate that every chord within the key-system has, and must have, either a Tonic, Dominant or Subdominant function or significance. For example, the secondary triad on the sixth degree [submediant] of the scale of C major, a-c-e, or rather c-e-a, is a Tonic 'parallel,' and has a Tonic significance, because the chord represents the C major 'klang,' into which the foreign note a is introduced. This, as we have seen, is the explanation which Helmholtz has given of this minor chord."
Shirlaw 2010[2]

In C major:

In C minor:

See also


  1. Haunschild, Frank (2000). The New Harmony Book, p.47. ISBN 3-927190-68-3.
  2. Shirlaw, Matthew (reprinted 2010). The Theory of Harmony: An Inquiry Into the Natural Principles of Harmony, With an Examination of the Chief Systems of Harmony from Rameau to the Present Day, p.401. ISBN 1-4510-1534-8.
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