This article considers the idea that Rameau’s controversial theory of supposition is worth reviving. In analyses of music by Rameau, Marchand, Bach, and Couperin, among others, it examines some of the standard progressions that contain “chords by supposition.” Rameau’s theory provides a plausible account of many of these progressions, and in some cases it actually offers the best available explanation. Rameau also presents a clear rationale for distinguishing supposition proper from the ordinary 4–3 and 9–8 suspensions, where the theory is more problematic. In passing, the article describes the connections between Rameau's theory of supposition and traditional French composition and thoroughbass pedagogy.

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