Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For example consider C6 [C-E-G-A] and Am7 [A-C-E-G] which share the same notes in different order.
When we play [E-G-A-C] how is it called?(is this a inversion of C6 or Am7)
Generally, how are these distinguished?

share|improve this question
    
It would be useful to know if you referring to theory in general, or to an arrangement for horns, or piano, or guitar. – user1044 Jul 23 '12 at 14:52
    
I refer in general.It is valid right? – DinushanM Jul 24 '12 at 4:30
up vote 3 down vote accepted

When you play E-G-A-C, it can be called a variety of names:

  • C6 / E (C6 over E)
  • Am7 / E (Am7 over E)

You would use the above in a chart if you need a specific bass note, typically for an ascending / descending bass movement.

Otherwise, they are just generally called C6 or Am7, and you may want to specify that it is C6 1st inversion or Am7 2nd inversion.

When to write C6 vs. Am7 depends on the harmonic role of the chord. In a C major tune, you are more likely to see a C6 chord. In a G major tune, Am7 chords are common (as part of a II-V-I progression: Am7 D7 G)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.