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I'm working on an analysis of a song, and there is a section where the phrase starts off on this E-natural note over a B-flat major triad. This is the first note of the melody line.

Since it isn't approached by anything, would it make sense to call this a 4-5 retardation? Is it better to call it a free tone?

I know nonchord tone criteria doesn't always work, but I wanted to see if there is a good way to label this note. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Looks to me like a blue note - flat 5. So, a chromatic approach to the P5. Retardation is usually what is called sus2.
    – Tim
    Dec 3, 2020 at 9:27

1 Answer 1


It's an accented lower neighbor.

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