I am unsure about which chords I am playing in the guitar study I belowenter image description here

Especially I'd loke to know:

  1. is the chord in the 3rd bar on beat 3 and 4 a dm7b5 or rather an inversion of an Fm6 or something (both are not part of the standard C major scale, so which one does make more sense is this situation?)
  2. what is the chord in bar14 beats 1 and 2 and how does it fit in apart from chromatic voice leading?
  3. second to last bar : is it again to be interpereted as Dm7b5 and if so is this a usual cadence ? (iim7b5-I)

thanks in advance!

  • Hi there. It's common practise to wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer, to give people in other time zones a chance to answer the question too. It's not a massive issue but it's something to consider :) – Aric Aug 15 '18 at 13:02

The problem with making a harmonic analysis of this is that the lowest notes aren't really a bass line, they are the melody.

As such, writing chords like C/E, Am/E, etc is "correct" in a literal sense, but the "/E" doesn't really imply a conventional harmonic function of that note as the bass of the chord.

In bar 3, there is no real functional difference in the harmony between F6 Fm6 or Dm7 Dm7b5 - personally I would probably call them F chords, because to my ears that's what the sound like.

IN bar 14 your "apart from chromatic voice leading might imply you think "chords" take precedence over "voice leading" - that is often not the case! I would be inclined to call the chords Gdim7 G7, again ignoring the harmonic function of the bass note. It certainly doesn't make any harmonic sense to call the first chord Bbdim7 here, just because Bb happens to be the lowest note.

In the penultimate bar, if you call the chord Fm6 chord you do have a conventional (plagal, iv-I) cadence. Naming it Dm7b5/C because the "pseudo-bass but really melody" note happens to be C confuses the issue, I think.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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