Questions tagged [figured-bass]

For questions related to figured bass (also called thoroughbass), the notation of a bass line and the intervals to be played above the bass.

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6 votes
3 answers

Did continuo players consider figured bass as "interval symbols" or "chord symbols"?

The "modern" idea of chords and their inversions being functionally equivalent is generally credited to Jean-Philippe Rameau's 1722 Treatise on Harmony. However, figured bass was already in ...
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4 votes
1 answer

How writing a dominant 7 sus4 chord in RNA ( Vsus7 chord in the 1st inversion) [duplicate]

Maybe I’ve just a black out. But I wanted to notate a V7sus (inversion 1) writing a dominant 7 without the suspension of the 4th in RNA. No idea ... g,c,d,f => c,d,f,g
5 votes
1 answer

Can we use double accidentals in figured bass?

I've composed the following figured bass example: It modulates from E to F and therefore needs several chromatic alterations. But my question is on the final beat of the third measure: if I want a B♭-...
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2 votes
1 answer

How to use figured bass over a stationary bass note

I am studying figured bass, and as a test I wanted to try and add figured bass symbols to the following passage marked with the pink arrow. I got stuck right at the beginning, because I am not sure ...
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9 votes
4 answers

Did J.S. Bach write the figured bass in scores or continuo parts?

This full score for Bach's St. Matthew Passion helpfully has the figured bass written below the continuo part. I found this particularly illuminating, as it helped me to see the harmonic movement ...
7 votes
3 answers

Do accidentals in a figured bass last the full measure, or do they only apply to that single chord?

Consider the example below. In m. 1, the second beat has a G♯, but beat 4 should have a G♮. Does the G♯ used on beat 2 carry over into beat 4? As such, should we specify ♮...
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2 votes
1 answer

Figured bass 52?

This is from the ABRSM Grade 8 figured basses. What does the 5/2 mean? I have not come across this before.
2 votes
1 answer

How do you figure an accented passing note in the bass?

How do you figure an accented passing note in the bass, specifically when the harmony changes? If you have non-chord tones in the bass following a figuring, it's easy to show the same harmony ...
1 vote
1 answer

Confused on marking figured bass for modulating sequence

I started writing down the figured bass of an anime theme, and for a particular passage, I am confused on how to accurately write the figured bass progression. I have recreated the bare progressions ...
0 votes
3 answers

Can there be a chord with two inversions represented by the same figure?

When figures are used to describe chords, they represent the intervals above the lowest pitch, and these seem to be treated as unique. For example, basic triads come in 5-3, 6-3, and 6-4 forms; and ...
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