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Accented passing notes fall on the beat, instead of between the beats.

Here are some undecorated chords.

undecorated chords

There are thirds in the soprano part which could be decorated with unaccented passing notes, or with accented passing notes. Version A uses unaccented passing notes, B uses accented, and version C uses both. The passing notes are C and G in all cases.

examples of accented and unaccented

Accented passing notes are most often found moving downwards, as in the examples we have just seen. It is more difficult to achieve a nice result in an ascending pattern. Ascending accented passing notes are normally only found in pairs, moving in harmonic 3rds or 6ths. In this example, the soprano and bass move in 3rds with each other.

doubled passing notes

Compare these single ascending accented passing notes – the dissonance is much harsher, so this should be avoided.

single rising accented passing notes should be avoided

Accented passing notes are found much less often than unaccented passing notes, but they add a little extra sparkle because the dissonance is a little stronger, so it is worth mastering how they are used.