I was reading some of Ted Greene's work and came across this PDF


In it, he goes from a vi6 chord (this 6 doesn't mean first inversion, it means the chord with an added major sixth, in this case spelled tonic-major sixth-minor third-fifth) to a I chord. I.e. from a Cm6 chord (spelled C-A-Eb-G) to Eb (spelled Bb-Bb-Eb-G).

I can't understand how this makes sense in the context of tonal harmony. Any help?

  • I don't know a lot about this, but one thing that is immediately clear is the major sixth of the vi6 chord is a leading tone to the fifth degree of the tonic. Another question is why that's not called a half diminished 7th chord instead. Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 23:11
  • 1
    Oh, a half diminished seventh has the diminished fifth and the minor seventh. There should be a name for the chord with a minor third, perfect fifth, and diminished seventh. Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 23:35
  • I'm not sure I understand, by diminished seventh you mean minor 7th? Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 23:53
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    @ToddWilcox -- "There should be a name for the chord with a minor third, perfect fifth, and diminished seventh": parallel with minor major seventh would be minor diminished seventh.
    – user39614
    Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 11:30
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    @DavidBowling - reason I posted is that minor major seventh can't be the same as minor diminished seventh, as one has m7, the other d7, which gives a different note, not only in name, but sound. Agreed, the 'm6' could be 'md7', but not mM7.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 3, 2017 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


My guess is that he harmonized the 4th mode of Bb Major: the Eb lydian scale is a whole-tone tetrachord, a perfect fifth and a major tetrachord which gives us only two alterations Eb and Bb. In this case the vi chord would have a major 6th. Now i'm not sure vi6-I is a common modal cadence in Lydian (I would have thought II-I was) because the #IV degree (a half-diminished chord) is usually not used, nor is the raised fourth used as the fourth tone of a vi tetrad for that matter.


An alternative analysis is to treat the tonic in your specific instance as a passing second-inversion to IV. e.g.

Cmin added 6 - Eb 6/4 - Ab

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