10

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 ...


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 ...


8

No, not all three notes of a triad must be present for it to be given a Roman numeral. Common practice requires at least two pitches to be present to recognize it as a triad: the root, so that we know what the root of the chord actually is (!), and the third, so that we know the quality (typically major or minor). This means that the chordal fifth is ...


8

The figures show intervals relative to the given bass note. Unaltered figures generally mean the diatonic pitch at that interval. Therefore, for example, in a piece in A minor, whether the bass is G or G♯, the E is indicated with a 6. It is not particularly fruitful to try to understand figured bass in the context of inversions. Figured bass was developed ...


7

Part of the problem is what is meant by the term "chord." It's tricky to interpret the occurrence of that word (and synonyms in other languages) from the 17th and 18th centuries, as there are a lot of different implications. If, by "chord," the question means something like "a sonority with a root that is invertible" like ...


7

If you also look at the 5th bar... ...the 5+ figure is used again. If the bass were unfigured, both of the chords could be 6 or 6/5 chords, some kind of dominant harmony. I think the editor may be using 5+ to mean a tritone. From my understanding of figured bass that is incorrect. It's confusing. As I understand figured bass, a plain numeric figure has the ...


7

I would add the Roman numeral if there is an implied harmony. The 5th is such a strong fundamental (acoustically speaking) that it is still perceived by the listener even if it is not written in the score.


7

Since figured bass shows the intervals above the bass, it only shows chromatic alterations for intervals above the bass. As such, if the only chromatic pitch is itself the note in the bass, there's no need for any chromatic alterations in the figures, since the figures apply to notes above the bass, not the bass itself. The accidental in front of that bass ...


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.


6

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, ...


6

These numbers indicate what we call octave designation, which these authors discuss in their chapter on key/scale/modes (depending on what edition of the book you have, these chapters may be separated). With that said, the system they're using treats Middle C as C1. This means that Middle C is C1, the C an octave above that (the third space in treble clef) ...


6

You can write it exactly as you've done it! Double accidentals in figured bass are rare, but they do happen; see Can we use double accidentals in figured bass? Another option would be to replace the "x3" with just a doublesharp. Since a lone accidental applies to the pitch a third above the bass, just putting a doublesharp by default applies to the ...


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

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

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 ...


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

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

Just a few quick clarifications to onto Aaron's answer. BAR 5 In many historical figured bass practices, accidentals were sparingly used with figures and only when absolutely necessary. In fact, naturals in historical sources were almost exclusively reserved for the third above the bass. Other figures were generally modified by a slash (which usually meant ...


5

Figured bass and Roman numeral analysis are two separate things. In figured bass, each interval above the given bass is specified. A chord that features an octave and a third above the bass would be figured 8/3. This is especially important if it's the composer's specific intention to have an incomplete chord. Figured bass does not employ Roman numerals. In ...


4

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 ...


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 ...


4

Figured bass tells you which chords to play. Here are two quotes from J. S. Bach's figured bass instructions in Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook: Each chief note has a chord, either its own or borrowed. Note that a "borrowed" chord is Bach's term for an inverted chord. The proper chord of a fundamental note consists of the 3, 5, and 8. N.B. Of these ...


4

The question seems to be about two different things. The title question says, "Is partimento a good way to learn how to write a trio sonata in the style of Corelli?" Sure, if you want to learn how to imitate the specific style of that particular period, using historical pedagogical methods is probably the best approach, though you'd likely need a ...


4

It's reasonably clear that what's happening harmonically is that a first inversion B# diminished seventh chord is moving through a passing-tone C# in the pass to a root position B# diminished seventh chord. An experienced continuo player, seeing a 6-5 indication of a B# diminished chord, followed by a 7 over a B#, would recognize the change in inversion, so ...


4

The Roman numeral label describes the function of the chord; the figures describe the inversion or other modifications. Figures by themselves only describe which notes to play, and Roman numerals by themselves only describe the basic function of the chord. The two together give a more complete description of the specific way in which the notes of the chord ...


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