Parallel fifth


Audio: parallel fifth (0:08)

Parallel fifth
Figure: parallel fifth

parallel fifth plays parallel fourths and fifths in the key of G lydian. The parallel fifth figure shows the score:

  • The soprano sings the original melody.
  • The alto sings parallel fourths below the melody in bars one and two, and parallel fifths below the melody in bars three and four.

A parallel fifth, sometimes called a consecutive fifth, is a part which is a fifth above or below another part.

Parallel fifths and fourths are the basis for some of the earliest known pieces of harmony. They are used in medieval approaches to harmony such as chant plainsong and organum.