Passing note is the note that serves only as a “bridge” to reach another note. It usually appears as an atonal note that connects two tonal notes, lasts for a short period of time and does not serve as a resting note, after all it does not belong to the key of the song. For example, a solo in C major that had the sequence C – C # – D would have the C# note as a passing note, because it is only serving as a bridge to reach the D note.

However, a tonal note can also be used as a passing note in a certain context, when acting as an avoided note. We will study this in later topics.

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