I am analyzing the song "There's a World" from Next to Normal and the first chord is confusing me. Here is an image from this source:

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The first chord is labeled as a Gsus24 chord which I understand because makes sense because contains a G, A, and C. The issue is that I have never heard about a sus24 chord before and cannot find anything about their existence online. If the song was not in G minor, I would be tempted to label it as a half-diminished A chord in the third inversion but that does not make much sense to me with my current understanding of harmony. How should I analyze this chord?

Also, I just noticed that the G could possibly be analyzed as a pedal point or an anticipation.

3 Answers 3


Yes, there can be chords that include simultaneous suspensions of both 4 and 2. They're called "double suspensions" and come in a variety of forms: 6-4, 9-4 (i.e., 4-2), 9-7.

Looking only at the limited example given, 4-2 is a reasonable interpretation, but so would treating the G as a pedal tone. This speaks to the interpretive aspect of music analysis, and depends on a combination of factors, not least of which is how well the analysis describes what one hears.

See also: What is the name for a chord with two suspensions?


A seventh chord in third inversion is a possibility for this. It could be A half diminished seventh. But for that to be convincing, it would probably need to go to D7. That doesn't happen, so some kind of decoration of Gm makes sense. Sus is used in the chord label, but auxillary tones are a more proper description of what that A and C are in relation to G and Bb of Gm.


In this context, Gsus24 is a reasonable way of labelling that chord.

We might question, however, whether chord symbols are helpful here at all. A very specific voicing is required. And if the writer DID think chord symbols were useful, what about the third chord?

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