10

Typically, a root-position triad has nothing in the figured bass; if the text is really specific, it will provide "5 3" as the figures. But in this case, they've taken it one step further: they clarify that two pitches will be a third above the bass. This is because of the voice leading from the prior chord. Since the prior chord is a V65, that means that ...


9

I've checked three sources. C.P.E. Bach's Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a public domain English translation (you might be able to find one in a university library), so I checked the first edition German version on IMSLP (which I can't actually read). As far as I can tell from a quick skim of ...


6

69 chords are chords in their own right. They are major triad, with M6 and M9 added. So F69 comprises F A C D G. 9th chords generally are expected to include a 7th of some kind, unless they're 'add9' chords, but in 69 it's a 6th chord with an added 9, so no 7 is required.


5

A big part of it has to do with the abbreviations for triads, which are traditionally taught before the figured bass for seventh chords. (By the way: this whole process is called "figured bass," and for the exact reason that you discovered: the figures measure the intervals above the bass!) First-inversion triads are listed as 6/3, or just 6 for short. ...


5

It's just basic figured bass which on the V chord in a major key would look like: Root position: V7 First inversion: V65 Second inversion: V43 Third inversion: V42 The above is attached to a Roman Numeral for demonstrations, but would be omitted if you were just doing the figured bass. Figured bass is always built off the key so all the notes used above ...


5

Remember that figured bass tells you the intervals up above the bass pitch. With that in mind, the 5/2 above the B♭ suggests C (that's the 2) and F (that's the 5). Unfortunately for us, B♭ C F isn't a chord. But notice that on beat 4 that B♭ resolves down to an A, and the figures there create A C E♭ F, a clear V65 in the key of B♭. When we look at this ...


5

To Bach, the bass was central and often the first voice that he wrote. As an avid keyboard player and composer he was probably too meticulous to not realize voices for orchestral scores. A first search for "Generalbass" in the official Bach repository results in no mention of figured bass: http://www.bach-digital.de/ However, for chorales that he produced ...


5

Figured bass written when it was a living notation is often not so neatly formalized as modern figured bass used as a teaching aid for learning common practice harmony. Also, most music editions published in this era have plenty of typos, so if something seems totally incomprehensible, it may just be nonsense! The horizontal lines are continuation lines, ...


5

As we can see a Chorale setting can easily be made better or worse! Knecht and Wedeburg are describing the following textures: Homorhythmic with upper three voices in close position Wide gap between bass and tenor Older method, for beginners Simple rhythms in opening position Tenor is lower than in the close style Harder because left hand and pedal ...


5

The last chord shows the notes: G, A, E, C#. If we rearrange these into a stack of thirds, we get: A, C#, E, G. This is a dominant seventh chord: A7. But, as the note G is in the bass it is: A7/G. Within a key of D minor, this is represented in roman numeral notation (with the third inversion being shown with a little d) as: V7d. In figured bass, ...


4

The symbol is Roman numeral analysis with figured bass which is more than enough information to build the specific chord. It is telling you that the harmony at that point is a minor 7th (from the lower case of the roman numeral & the figured bass) built on the second scale degree (from the value of the Roman numeral) of Gb major (the note before the ...


4

The suspension won't be shown in the Roman numerals, but it can be shown in the figured bass: As long as we remember that figured bass shows the intervals above the bottom pitch, it just becomes a simple counting exercise. Combined with Roman numerals, we would label beats 3 and 4 of the first measure as a V chord, and we just have to understand that the C ...


4

The 5 is not redundant, and it doesn't mean you have "a four note chord." The point of the notation is that the 7b 5 intervals from the new bass note are the same notes as the 6b 4 intervals from the previous bass note. In other words, since the continuo is for organ (which can sustain notes indefinitely), you simply hold those two notes down, and only the ...


3

I wish the IMSLP had another source beside the Martin Straeten version. It could help confirm the meaning. I notice the key is C minor and this notation uses the modern three flats rather than two flats which was common in the Baroque era. Straeten may have modernized some things in the score. Perhaps too he changed bass figures? Usually a modification of ...


3

You're definitely on the right track! But there are a few comments: In general, there are certain chord tones that have a tendency to resolve a particular way; we call these "tendency tones," and chordal sevenths are one such tendency tone. Note that you double the chordal seventh in the very first chord, which results in parallel octaves leading into the ...


3

Check out Piston's Example 24-12 on page 380. Note that the second through fourth chords progress from a root-position tonic triad through this 6 5 4 harmony and into a first-inversion tonic triad. I've recreated those three chords in the example below, before the first double barline: So his intent seems to be that this 6 5 4 chord is a second-inversion V9 ...


3

You're correct; what I've seen of the Kelley guide looks accurate, and this teoria example doesn't align with anything I've seen. It's especially obvious that the teoria version is inaccurate because it's inconsistent. In the first measure, the figure suggests that the F is somehow lowered (from what remains unclear). Yet, in the second and fourth measures, ...


3

Remember that composers were also performers, and for the most part weren't thinking about how performers 250 years later would read their manuscripts. They wrote music for them to play, and many times didn't need detailed figures, especially if they didn't have the piece slated for publication. Handel's Messiah is another very popular piece where there ...


3

This is a plain major F with 6 and 9 (major) added for some color. You can consider the 6 and 9 as optional, this symbol will sometimes appear when 6 or 9 is in the melody or when there is some nice voice leading possible (or characteristic to the piece) in the context. --- update and clarification (after some additional comments) When chords get jazzy, ...


2

From this http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1083&context=ppr it seems like JS did include some figuring but not everywhere. Of course, the solo stuff, things like the Italian Concerto or the Goldbergs wouldn't need figuring.


2

The numbering stems from the way in which you count from the lowest note up. Lets take those examples you mention. It is good to understand the reasoning behind it so as it not to become a memory exercise. F major's dominant seventh chord (ie. C7) in root position. Now let us count from the bottom note. It is C then the next note is E. That is a third. ...


2

It might seem like you'd weaken the effect of the entrance in m. 5, but that's somewhat of a "presentist" viewpoint. Bach didn't seem to think it would weaken it (because that's how he wrote it), and the countless performers who have recorded it don't seem to think it did, either. One reason might be because of the rhythmic activity: since m. 5 is the first ...


2

The tie is irrelevant to understanding the notation. If you have a figure part way through the duration of a long note, you play the new chord but you don't repeat the bass note. That is very a common notation - for example 64 53 figures over the dominant at a cadence. The only reason for the tie is that modern notation conventions don't have any other ...


2

Your first guesses are correct: you hold the C in the bass between measure 1 and 2, and from measure 2 to measure 3, the C in the bass is held over, and the chord remains the same, C, F, Ab. Btw- "Es" in English is "Eb".


1

...is it common practice to figure suspensions this way? It seems no. The line after a figure means hold the initial chord while the bass changes. I had to look this up so I can't claim scholarly knowledge. Resources to compare against... J.G. Albrechtsberger's collected writings on thorough-bass, harmony, and composition Robert Kelley, Ph.D., How to ...


1

Is it necessary to use a dash to indicate a suspension in a figured bass? No. It is both unnecessary and unusual. As Albrecht Hügli notes, a dash is used when the bass note changes but the harmony (or perhaps one voice in the harmony) does not. But that's not what's happening here. In this case, an upper voice is moving, while the bass is not. The ...


1

or is it common practice to figure suspensions this way? I can’t tell you whether it was common practice for that period. But the explanation of musescore shows that it’s possible to notate this today. The dash assigns that the upper voices or the bass don't change. A horizontal line indicates a changes of voicing or a change of harmony. This may take ...


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