I've been studying Croatian music theory with durs and mols and H-s and not English so I don't know English names.

I'm encountering one problem while writing the 63 chord in jazz harmony for to play on the guitar. There's a chord in the song When a Man Loves a Woman that soungs like "G# dur", but has C/H# as the bass. Before studying Croatian harmony, I didn't know how that chord was called until I saw a 63-chord called "sextachord". How is that chord called and written in English? How is it written in jazz harmony? In jazz harmony, the base tone and the bass tone is always the same so how do I make the exception while writing chords into lyrics for someone? Should it be H#6/3 or G#6/3 or what?

  • 5
    Note: "Dur" in English is "major". "Mol" in English is "minor". H in English is B. I think "base tone" in English would be called the "root" of a chord, and the "bass tone" is often called the "lowest sounding note". When the lowest sounding note is not the root, that is called an "inversion" in English. Despite your second to last sentence, inversions are actually common in jazz. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 14:59
  • 1
    And "3-tone chords" are called "triads" in English. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


If I'm understanding the terms you are using correctly, I think the notation you are looking for is "G#/H#" in Croatian, or "G#/B#" in English.

In classical chord symbols, inversions are indicated with the actual intervals present (that are not 3rds) after the chord name. So a G# major chord with B# on the bottom would be called a G#6 chord (Not to be confused with a G#6 chord G#B#D#E#). This is also called "first inversion". A G# major chord with the D# as the lowest sounding note would be called G#64 (the 4 should actually be directly under the 6, but I haven't figured out how to do that) and is called "second inversion".

In jazz and pop music chord symbols, it's very rare to use the classical style. Instead, the lowest sounding note of the chord is indicated after a slash. So the first inversion of a G# major chord would be written "G#/H#" in Croatian and "G#/B#" in English. And second inversion of a G# major chord would be written "G#/D#" in both languages.

Here's the English Wikipedia page on inversions, jumping to the section on notation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(music)#Notating_root_position_and_inversions

  • 1
    Thank you! Now I know that I've been making big mistakes when thinking that C/G for example meant that C or G can be played instead of thinking that it's actually the second inversion to be played.
    – Foxcat385
    Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 16:43
  • 1
    There's another way this is presented in spoken form. For C/G someone might say "C slash G", but they could also say "C over G" Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 17:39
  • 1
    Perhaps this has changed in the last forty years, but at the university we learned to call the first inversion chord a "6/3" chord- in other words, we did not leave out the 3rd. That might also be the Croatian practice. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 18:58
  • @ScottWallace That could be a different practice or it could be a second inversion 7th chord, which could be fully called a 6/4/3 chord. Commented Mar 1, 2016 at 19:15
  • 1
    @ThatWebDude Yep. Of course, the only important thing is to make sure the nomenclature is clear to everyone. Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 16:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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