# 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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### 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 ...
356 views

### What is the basso continuo numbering of the inversions of a dominant seventh chord?

Consider for instance the following chord (C7) : C E G Bb E G Bb C G Bb C E Bb C E G How can I number these inversions? I remember it was something with a '+'.
469 views

### A 3/3 figured bass

I am working on my homework and encountered this that I cannot understand and the teacher did not talk about this. What does the 3/3 mean?
604 views

### 7th chord notation confusion

I simply cannot understand the notation used in this question: I need to express this chord in 4-part, open or closed position; I just can't seem to understand how the notation works. I know that ...
221 views

### What does an isolated horizontal dash mean in figured bass notation

Here you see a fragment from Francesco Geminiani's Guida Armonica (ca. 1752), a sort of 'dictionary' or catalogue of figured bass snippets. My question is, what do the isolated horizontal dashes mean ...
251 views

### 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 ♮...
127 views

### In the partimento tradition, what strategies were used to harmonize non-bass melodies?

In my readings on partimento theory (mainly the books by Sanguinetti and IJzerman) I have so far only encountered rules for harmonizing a bass melody. This is to be expected of course, because ...
329 views

### Meaning of numbers under bass line in BWV 51 mvt.3 (maybe chords?)

Natalie Dessay performs Bach's very beautiful Aria "Höchster, mache deine Güte" (A minor) in these two videos (only the sound and the score) ...
205 views

### Modern convention for writing raised sixth in figured bass?

In typesetting figured bass for modern readers, what is the preferred way of indicating a raised sixth? I'm under the impression that the backslash approach is considered archaic, but unsure about ...
168 views

### 5/7b in figured bass

What does 5/7b mean in figured bass? If it is just a 7th chord in root position, then why is it not just 7b? In other places in the same score, 7 or 7b are used to denote a 7th chord. Here is the ...
70 views

### Figured bass and ties

How does one play figured bass when the bass line contains ties? For example, here are the first three measures of Vivaldi's "Filiae maestae Jerusalem" (sheet music source). Do I understand ...
146 views

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

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
301 views

### How to realize a figured bass

I am arranging a Bach piece. I know, what the challenge it is to do it. But I have been able to successfully arrange Mozart and later, Beethoven, so I think I'm ready. But here is the challenge I am ...
116 views

### 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♭-...
778 views

### is this F 6'9 chord a figured bass or a chord extension?

I am looking at a lead sheet for I loves You Porgy, and the chord notation reads like a figured bass but does it not make sense as such, so I am wondering, if it is intended as a chord extension for ...
935 views

### Abbreviations for dominant seventh chords

I'm reading about dominant seventh chords and this is a summary of the notation that my book has introduced: After a few moments' thought, I can deduce the convention for denoting the different ...
401 views

### What chord does the following figured bass represent in this progression?

I am working through a figured bass exercise in the "Ninth, Eleventh and Thirteenth Chords" chapter of Piston's Harmony. The first bar of the figured bass is given as: What is the chord represented ...
151 views

### Is it necessary to use a dash to indicate a suspension in a figured bass?

In the ABRSM theory exams, a 4-3, 7-6 or 9-8 suspension always has a dash between the two numbers in the figured bass. I have not found this to be the case in analyses that I have looked at. So is the ...
497 views

### Figured bass help. Am I on the right track with it?

I was wondering if anybody would be able to tell me if I am on the right track for working out figured bass. If not I would love any tips on how to improve this worked example.
150 views

### How to realize the figured bass of the second movement of BWV 1014?

I am planning a performance of the second movement of Bach's violin sonata BWV 1014 in B Minor. The beginning of second mvt, Allegro is shown below. As you can see there are some figured bass below ...
229 views

### Extra accidents in Roman Numeral analysis in Modulation by Max Reger

I've been thumbing though Modulation by Max Reger and while he explains most of his notation, there is one thing about the figured bass in his Roman Numeral analysis that bothers me. For example, in ...
67 views

### How can we play a Bach chorale in different ways? [closed]

Reconstructing Chorales: How can Bach Chorales be arranged or played differently? Are there typical kinds of harmonization named by criteria? What would be the effects? Some styles will be better ...
379 views

### 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.
315 views

### How to read the accidentals and other modifiers in figured bass?

Is this figure correct? That images comes from this page http://www.teoria.com/en/reference/b/baroque7.php. I thought the +6 should mean a sixth raised from the key signature. In this case should ...