Hot answers tagged

28

The root note is always the note that is the basis for the chord, regardless of its inversion. In root position the lowest note is the root (hence the name), but other notes are the lowest in other inversions of the chord. For example, take a C Major chord. In every position, the root note is C. Whether it is voiced as C-E-G (root position), E-G-C (first ...


16

Just to expand on Pat's answer, there is a figured bass symbols for all type of inversion including root position. The picture above shows the complete figured bass symbol and how it will be denoted in analysis. As you can see root position triads and 7th chords have their own complete figured bass symbols, but reduce drastically because how common they ...


11

Wikipedia says "a 6th". It doesn't say what kind of 6th. An interval from any "flavor" (my word) of an E (such as Eb, E, or E#) up to any flavor of C (Cb, C, C#) is a sixth, because E-F-G-A-B-C is six notes. But the kind of 6th---major, minor, augmented, diminished, double augmented, double diminished, etc.---depends on the respective flavors of the E and ...


10

A chord is typically defined by intervals of thirds, minor or major. Intervals are the distance between two notes - if a note is three half steps apart, it is a minor third. If it is four, it is a major. Here is a little visual representation of intervals on a piano in the key of C. Not sure what those numbers on the right are... A typical chord is ...


10

As a bass player, I am typically trying to either play something unexpected/less than intuitive, or really awesome. Only when I am asked to fulfill a role in a band with a traditional approach to the bass part do I consistently end up relying on standard sorts of lines or the expected notes (there are definitely times where it sounds better to just chug on ...


9

It might also help if you figure out the FUNCTION of the chords. I can't easily tell what chord is what without realizing its function. For example, the most common cadence is V-I. If you're in the key of F major, V is C and I is F. If you have a chord that looks C-ish going to a chord that looks F-ish, that might be your answer! Also, use your ear -- ...


8

They are figured bass numbers, as used under bass lines in (primarily) the Baroque era to indicate harmonic content to be improvised by continuo players such as the harpsichordist. The numbers refer to the diatonic intervals above the bass. Look at your 6/4 example above. The two distinct notes above the bass note are a sixth and a 4th above, hence 6/4. This ...


7

I think the confusion comes when ideas are lumped together. From a harmonic perspective, the bass note determines what is the inversion of the chord and given C in the bass and E-G-C the chord is a C in root position. That being said however, from a pianist perspective, the closed form in the upper voices is a C chord in first inversion. When grabbing ...


6

The earliest version I can think of is Bach's Musikalisches Opfer which is a series of canons Bach composed after given a theme by the King. The music can be played forwards and backwards simultaneously harmoniously in various ways (refer to the video). I also remember reading a score of Mozart's violin duet piece called "The Mirror". To play this piece ...


6

I'm going to disagree with Tim (he removed his answer, in case you are wondering what I am referring to). I think it is safe to assume this is an F dominant seventh (f-a-c-e♭). (I don't know the names for chords with sevenths in English.) To determine which inversion a chord is, one should always look at the lowest note, so here it would be first inversion. ...


6

It is not considered a different chord. The name is still the same, the notes are still the same, they are just in a different order - so they are effectively a different voicing. They will sound different, which is why inversions are used - you can impart a number of different flavours of sound to a piece of music.


6

The thing you need to learn is what notes are in a chord. It doesn't matter how they are placed in a chord; it still is the same. The basic chords are built on thirds. So, take the notes you have and try to put them in order of thirds. We need a Root, a third (major or minor) and a fifth. The fist chord you have is: G-E(bass clef) C-G (treble clef). The ...


5

It's not a different chord, and in terms of guitar I wouldn't even think of it as a different voicing. It's an inversion! That's what the term is for, to describe taking a particular chord structure and changing the order of notes so that a different note is on the bottom. Guitar voicings tend to have specific structures, like closed triad, spread triad, ...


5

One way to think of chords is you're playing a few selected notes from a chord that stretches from sub-bass to ultra-sonic. So the full C major chord contains all the Cs, all the Es and all the Gs. With enough pairs of hands, you could play 8 octaves' worth of this chord on a piano. This is a C major chord, and C is the root note. All of the Cs are root ...


5

The problem is that this is not a common notation, and the meaning of the symbol "C/Em" is unclear. What Lilypond can do - as you know - is add a letter after a slash, e.g. C/E, which means that you're supposed to play a C major triad with the note E in the bass. What does exist are polychords where two different chords are stacked on top of each other. ...


5

This is generally true of a melody in a major key. However, things can be more complicated in actual usage. If the melody contains chromatic notes that are not in the key, the basic three chords may not work. Also if the melody modulates into an entirely different key than the original key, it won't work either. There are many songs where the melody does ...


4

Here is a diagram I made to illustrate the points discussed in the other answers.


4

The roman numerals indicate which chord we are using in the scale. If the Roman numerals are written with capital letters then they indicate a Major Chord. If they are written in lower case letters then they indicate a minor chord. A Major chord has a major third and a perfect fifth. A minor chord has a minor third and a Perfect fifth. I(i) - Tonic II(ii) ...


4

As @Menglan pointed out, the crab canon from Bach's musical offering is probably the most famous example. I transcribed it and put it on musecore: http://musescore.com/rpbouman/scores/143009 The art of fuge (Also Bach) has 2 fugues which can be inverted. Look for Contrapunctus XII and XIII (there's a rectus and an inversus version for both of them) I ...


4

I would be careful of how you use the word timbre, which refers to the quality of the sound. There are several embedded questions here, and I will try to address them. Most doubling rules apply to voice-leading, and the treatment of the bass is integral into creating a satisfactory and refined sound. Instead of "accent" I would use the word "emphasize" ...


4

Chord inversion simply refers to which note is in the bass (i.e., the lowest note). We start in root position with the root in the bass: for a C major chord, C is the lowest note. If we imagine a simple C-E-G triad, then we can "invert" the chord by moving the C up an octave, getting E-G-C, with E (the third) in the bass. This is first inversion. We do ...


4

The notation D/A refers to a D major chord with the note A in the bass. This is an example of a major chord in second inversion. The letter after the slash indicates a specific note, not the name of a chord, so your idea of "D/Am" would make no sense. Any triadic chord can be played with the root in the bass, the third in the bass, or the fifth in the bass. ...


4

Adding to Wheat's excellent answer, the note after the slash is indeed the bass note, put there to create an inversion of the prevailing chord, but mainly to make a bass line under the song. As such, if there is only a guitar (or maybe piano) playing, it makes sense for that instrument to play the inversion of the chord indicated. However, once the bassist ...


3

You have the notes B, G#, E#, C#. Chords are built in 3rds so you need to arrange the chords until the are in 3rds. Thirds in general are when you skip a letter name. So all the possible thirds are A - C - E - G - B - D - F - A. Only the letter name matters not the quality i.e. if it is flat, sharp or natural. In this case you would rearrange them to C#, ...


3

As you point out, once you've learned ear training, it's relatively straightforward to determine a melody, the chord, and even the bass notes (listen to the bass line, and treat it like its own melody). What can be harder, is the inner voices. It's not always easy to get these right, and, at least when I do it, it involves some amount of guesswork, and ...


3

Not having heard the song, I guess it'll be a bass figure, running down from Eb on the IV to D on the Bb, to C on the Cm. If it had been recorded with 3 roots, playing this may sound odd. It's partly what we get used to hearing.


3

Knowing chord inversions is very important because it will allow you to play any chord in almost any position. This will increase (left-hand) efficiency while playing chord changes, and, more importantly, it will make your changes sound more smoothly due to the more natural voice leading. You could combine learning chords and their inversions with learning ...


3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interval_(music) An interval is simply the count of notes from one to another. So a sixth just means that, including the root, you've counted up six notes in that scale. It's not the count which determines the sharp/natural/flat-ness of the note. The scale determines that. If the scale contains C, then it will always be C, ...


3

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. ...


3

I agree with @MattPutnam's answer as far as chord inversions and close/open voicings are concerned, but I'd like to add an explanation of what drop voicings are. First of all, there are no "drop 2 chords", there are only drop 2 voicings of chords. The concept of drop voicings is often applied to four part chords. A drop voicing is obtained by dropping one ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible