Pardon me, I'm pretty new on the whole "part writing from figured bass". Based on what I know, I believe that a 6th means 1st inversion? (correct me if I'm wrong) However, here's what I don't get: enter image description here

Are the roman numerals that I've wrote correct for the given bass? The key is in G minor. And the 2nd note is A. My first guess was writing ii diminished 6 because A is the 2nd scale degree on the key of G minor. But then I realized that a 1st inversion could mean that the A was inverted for that so therefore, it is F which is iv 6 (the one I wrote in the image). Which one is correct?

  • Your edit to the question (changing E to G) has totally changed the question and made the answers irrelevant.
    – Peter
    Nov 30, 2020 at 11:01
  • Really? I was mainly focusing on the 2nd chord rather than the 1st. I changed the E to G because it wasn't supposed to be i6, I wanted it to be the "i" chord
    – Leffles
    Nov 30, 2020 at 16:23
  • While irrelevant might be strong, both answers refer to the E in the first chord, which affects their analysis. I had to look at the edit history to see that you had changed it to the G.
    – Peter
    Dec 1, 2020 at 10:29

2 Answers 2


You are correct that 6 indicates a first inversion chord -- specifically a first inversion triad. A first inversion seventh chord would be indicated 6-5, which the 6 above the 5.

However, there are problems with your Roman numerals.

  1. The first chord is either a Gmin6 or an EbMaj7. Either way, i is not entirely correct. In G minor, it would either be i6 or VI[6-5].

  2. The second chord could certainly be in first inversion, but it would be the VII chord in G minor, not iv. The iv chord would be C minor. iio is plausible as well. VII and ii share two pitches: VII = FAC; ii = ACEb.

It's not clear what you're attempting to do here. Is it an exercise you've copied from a book? In that case, knowing the original exercise is necessary. Are you composing your own four-part exercise or composition? In that case, more detail is needed. For example, did you intend the Eb in your first chord?

  • Thank you for clearing some things up. It appears that for my first chord (asides from the lowest aka bass note) that it is my mistake. I've been trying to write it in "i" in the key of G minor. This is an example or practice material I found online for "Four part writing from Figured Bass"
    – Leffles
    Nov 30, 2020 at 5:43
  • @Leffles Just change the Eb to a G; then you'll have a G minor chord -- a i chord.
    – Aaron
    Nov 30, 2020 at 5:49
  • I just realized that I messed up the 1st chord by writing Eb, yes. Apologies. I get it mixed up with the bass clef
    – Leffles
    Nov 30, 2020 at 5:54
  • Why would the 2nd one be in VII? Wouldn't the bass note then be F? The Bass note on the 2nd chord is A.
    – Leffles
    Nov 30, 2020 at 5:57
  • 1
    @Leffles You proposed it was a first inversion chord, in which case F would be the root -- a third below A. F is the seventh scale degree of G minor.
    – Aaron
    Nov 30, 2020 at 6:10

Yes. 6 means the chord is in first inversion.

However,the first chord has an E note. Therefore, we cannot say that it is the 1st degree. The key seems to be B flat major. If we consider the key as B flat Major, then the first chord is IV(E G B D).That also needs to be in 1st inversion and Roman numerals need to be corrected to IV6.

The second chord(if it is in first inversion-according to your Roman Numeral notation), as the given note is an A, probably it should be an F major chord consisting of (F A C F). Here the Roman numeral needs to be corrected as V6.

  • 1
    The first chord would be IV[6-5], because it's a seventh chord.
    – Aaron
    Nov 30, 2020 at 5:52

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