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I usually reduce inverted chords into root position to analyze them (in classical music).

When reading about augmented 6th chords, specifically the Italian 6th, I did this exercise which yielded a triad that is non standard (not M, m, A, or d).

For example: F/A/D# is an Italian 6th chord. When reduced to root position it is:

D#/F/A. So this is a triad consisting of a diminished third and a diminished fifth.

Is there a standard name for this type of triad that is used in classical music analysis?

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Looking on the Wikipedia entry for "Augmented sixth chord," I see that the triad with D# in the bass is a "double-diminished triad." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_sixth_chord#Double-diminished_triad

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The reason that Italian 6th is spelled like that, instead of F A Eb, is because the F is going to resolve down to E. And the D# is going to resolve up to E. That's the important essential bit ... The augmented 6th resolves out to an octave.

There are a bunch of ways theorists use to explain how that came to be. Some say your example stated out as a IV chord in 1st inversion (in A major) , which would be F# A D. The F# got lowered a 1/2 step to F. Now the chord is iv in first inversion. Then the D got raised a 1/2 step to D#. And there's the Italian 6th.

Inverting the chord so the D#'s on the bottom doesn't really help to explain the chord. Because the point is it started out as a IV chord in 1st inversion. Then the third was lowered (F# -> F) and the root was sharped (D -> D#).

A French sixth starts out in a similar way. It begins as a ii7 chord in 2nd inversion. In A major that would be F# A B D. Sharp the D to D#. Lower the F# to F. There's the Fr6th.

A German 6th is similar as well. Start with a ii7 chord in 2nd inversion - F# A B D. Raise the D to D#. Now that chord is a secondary dominant. It's V7/V (in 2nd inversion). Sharp the B (make it B#). Lower the F# to F. That's the Ger6th.

And the bonus 6th .. The Tristan chord ... Start w/ii7 in 2nd inversion. Lower the F# to F. Lower the A to G#. Leave the B as it is. Raise the D to D#. The chord is F G# B D#. The so-called Tristan chord.

Hope this helps.




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Chord's depend on context. You can't analyze a chord by itself, you need to look at the key it's in, as well as surrounding chords. So please provide more context.

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Originally Posted by Coldsalmon
Looking on the Wikipedia entry for "Augmented sixth chord," I see that the triad with D# in the bass is a "double-diminished triad." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_sixth_chord#Double-diminished_triad


Thank you. That name, double diminished triad, makes sense. Have not seen it in my theory books.

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Ted,

I'm gonna add one more bit to what I posted. Actually, what D#/F/A shows is this chord started off in life as a iv chord. Which is what I explained in my previous post.

To see that just remove the sharp from the D. And what you have then is D F A.

So if - you take into account the fact that an Italian 6th chord, and the other 6th chords too - are chromatic alterations to basic triads your way of re-arranging the chord works perfectly well and shows exactly that.

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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
The reason that Italian 6th is spelled like that, instead of F A Eb, is because the F is going to resolve down to E. And the D# is going to resolve up to E. That's the important essential bit ... The augmented 6th resolves out to an octave.

There are a bunch of ways theorists use to explain how that came to be. Some say your example stated out as a IV chord in 1st inversion (in A major) , which would be F# A D. The F# got lowered a 1/2 step to F. Now the chord is iv in first inversion. Then the D got raised a 1/2 step to D#. And there's the Italian 6th.

Inverting the chord so the D#'s on the bottom doesn't really help to explain the chord. Because the point is it started out as a IV chord in 1st inversion. Then the third was lowered (F# -> F) and the root was sharped (D -> D#).

A French sixth starts out in a similar way. It begins as a ii7 chord in 2nd inversion. In A major that would be F# A B D. Sharp the D to D#. Lower the F# to F. There's the Fr6th.

A German 6th is similar as well. Start with a ii7 chord in 2nd inversion - F# A B D. Raise the D to D#. Now that chord is a secondary dominant. It's V7/V (in 2nd inversion). Sharp the B (make it B#). Lower the F# to F. That's the Ger6th.

And the bonus 6th .. The Tristan chord ... Start w/ii7 in 2nd inversion. Lower the F# to F. Lower the A to G#. Leave the B as it is. Raise the D to D#. The chord is F G# B D#. The so-called Tristan chord.

Hope this helps.





Thank you. I'll need to digest this information in association with my other reading about augmented 6th chords.

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Originally Posted by Michael Martinez
Chord's depend on context. You can't analyze a chord by itself, you need to look at the key it's in, as well as surrounding chords. So please provide more context.


I was only interested in the nomenclature of this atypical triad so did not provide any musical context. It actually is just from the first page of a theory book chapter introducing augmented 6th chords. In the text, no explanation of how this chord would be named in root position is provided. Of course, it is not to be used in root position anyway so my question is theoretical.

Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
Ted,

I'm gonna add one more bit to what I posted. Actually, what D#/F/A shows is this chord started off in life as a iv chord. Which is what I explained in my previous post.

To see that just remove the sharp from the D. And what you have then is D F A.

So if - you take into account the fact that an Italian 6th chord, and the other 6th chords too - are chromatic alterations to basic triads your way of re-arranging the chord works perfectly well and shows exactly that.


Looks like you are right on with that because the example is from the key of A minor, where D is the 4th scale degree tone.

By the way, my example is from:

Music/In Theory and Practice Volume II/Benward & Saker/page 93

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Ted,

I should have just posted this to begin. I taught this stuff for years so I have some background with it .... smile

[Linked Image]

It shows how an It. chord goes to a Fr. chord and on to a Ger. and then it resolves. The example after that shows the Neapolitan sixth. The last example shows the Tristan chord. The Tristan chord is NEVER shown like that. But that it is what it is.

The key thing about this stuff is the voice leading. The way the voices move and what gets emphasised. So you can see on the It. 6 it's the tonic note of the key (the C) that gets doubled. That's an important part of it too.

There's another thread, CHORALES FOR CATS where some in the forum have been discussing this kind of stuff. But not yet at the level of 6th chords. You're welcome to join the group of course. It's informal. People just post examples and there's discussion.

If those example I posted above need more explanation just say so -

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Thanks Mark. That is very helpful. By the way, I am reading about these altered chords in conjunction with the Coursera class and got a bit confused watching the lectures on these topics so all this stuff is making it more clear for me. Thanks again.

Ted

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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
Ted,

I should have just posted this to begin. I taught this stuff for years so I have some background with it .... smile

[Linked Image]

It shows how an It. chord goes to a Fr. chord and on to a Ger. and then it resolves. The example after that shows the Neapolitan sixth. The last example shows the Tristan chord. The Tristan chord is NEVER shown like that. But that it is what it is.

The key thing about this stuff is the voice leading. The way the voices move and what gets emphasised. So you can see on the It. 6 it's the tonic note of the key (the C) that gets doubled. That's an important part of it too.

There's another thread, CHORALES FOR CATS where some in the forum have been discussing this kind of stuff. But not yet at the level of 6th chords. You're welcome to join the group of course. It's informal. People just post examples and there's discussion.

If those example I posted above need more explanation just say so -


Mark,

I actually do have one question on the N6 example. First of all I presume this example is in C Major. If so, I thought the N6 chord would then be F/A/D flat. Why is the A flatted?

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Ted,

There are a bunch of ways to explain it. First, it's probably slightly more common in a minor key. It derives from a ii chord in 1st inversion. So the spelling of the ii chord (in first inversion) in Cm is F Ab D. To get the Neapolitan chord the root is lowered - D becomes Db. The characteristic sound of the Neapolitan is the Db to the B and then to the C.

The way it ended up in the major key was the whole thing got ported over from the minor key. So that A stayed as Ab.

Here's another explanation on the web.

https://web.duke.edu/mus065/n6th.htm

Here's a page with 100000++ Neapolitan examples. Unfortunately the N6s aren't marked or pointed out. But they're easy enough to find ...

http://musictheoryexamples.com/neapolitan.html


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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
Ted,

There are a bunch of ways to explain it. First, it's probably slightly more common in a minor key. It derives from a ii chord in 1st inversion. So the spelling of the ii chord (in first inversion) in Cm is F Ab D. To get the Neapolitan chord the root is lowered - D becomes Db. The characteristic sound of the Neapolitan is the Db to the B and then to the C.

The way it ended up in the major key was the whole thing got ported over from the minor key. So that A stayed as Ab.

Here's another explanation on the web.

https://web.duke.edu/mus065/n6th.htm

Here's a page with 100000++ Neapolitan examples. Unfortunately the N6s aren't marked or pointed out. But they're easy enough to find ...

http://musictheoryexamples.com/neapolitan.html



And I just realized that my N6 proposal (in root position Dflat/F/A) is actually an augmented triad. The N6 chord is supposed to be a major triad so lowering the A to A flat takes care of that.

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Originally Posted by Michael Martinez
Chord's depend on context. You can't analyze a chord by itself, you need to look at the key it's in, as well as surrounding chords. So please provide more context.


Michael, let Mark do the teaching. I don't think you know what an Italian 6th chord is otherwise you would have figured it out. You probably don't know what a French or German 6th is either.

"Music educator"...

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The Wind, I don't appreciate it when certain users are at war with other(s). This is close to mobbing, the way you behave towards Michael Martinez, and I don't like that, neither in internet forums, schools, at the job, nor anywhere else.

I dislike it as much as you do, if people are giving themselves titles of professions, they do not have the preferred schooling for. Nevertheless, this is a forum of self-learning and self-educated pianists, though many have taken formal lessons, not all have, but many of them are still quite good piano players.

If we were to allow only educated teachers to answer theoretical questions, the number of posts here would only be a fraction of what it is now. If someone is talking about things, he doesn't know too much about, then so be it. I believe the people here have enough common sense to evaluate and divide by two, three or four, or whatever into everything that is written here.

We could easily argue that 70-80% of all advice given here is the blind leading the blind, if we were to go that route. Only a small portion of users here are educated in music or music teaching. It's up to each and everyone to decide for themselves, what to believe. For the record, I think most of the advice given here, is very sound. If it isn't, usually someone comes around and corrects it.


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TheodorN....normally I don't care if people give advice here and are not teachers or even if it's bad advice.

The problem I have with Michael Martinez is that he has made SEVERAL critical remarks to other well known jazz teachers on this forum. Namely Dave Frank and Mark Polishook, who both have excellent videos and give great advice on these forums.

Michael speaks like he knows what he is talking about, but in fact has no idea. Many other members here have pointed out the incorrect statements he has made, regarding rhythm, tempo, jazz improvisation.

Yes you are right, most of the advice here is sound. And those who are educated in music know.

But there are many beginners here.

What I don't like is that he is calling himself a music educator when he is not qualified to do so. He has links to his website where he is selling music books. And he has angered many other members here, who have asked him his musical education and experience.

Yes I am harsh but I don't like people who deceive, who portray themselves as an expert but in fact are not and then belittle and criticize the real teachers.

Can you see why I am upset. Read what he wrote about that 10 year old jazz kid. He keeps making rude, uncalled for remarks and I will call him out on it every time.

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Even in this thread, the OP is talking about Italian chords for classical music.

Michael then puts a comment about "chords in context". You can see that he is not familiar with either the chord or it's use in classical music.

Mark has done a great job of explaining. Now I have played classical music and finished my Royal Conservatory training. I wonder how much classical music Michael has played. I am guessing not much if at all.


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I agree with you that Mark (and also Brian Lucas) are good teachers, offering good advice, but let's not stalk other users here, which I felt you did with Michael. In the recent thread "Definitons of beat", a similar thing was going on, and a moderator threatened to close it, though there were other uses chiming in and participating in the discussion about Michael. He said you were banned temporarily from the forums, because of remarks about him, though I know nothing about that.

Personally, I've long since started taking titles with a grain of salt. With all them therapists, kyropractors, and whatever they call themselves, giving variably sound advice to even long-time patients with back problems and such. Often with only a few weeks seminars to back up their titles.

In Iceland, it got so bad, that (real) doctors and nutritiono-logists (don't know if it's the right word) wrote articles to correct all the wrong advice. Like advising to eat huge amounts of protein, or going on low carb/hi fat diets. They pointed out such eating habits put too much pressure on the liver or the kidneys.

Anyway, I'm sorry for going off topic, hope this discussion will from now on, revolve around the original topic, chord and music theory.


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BROTHER WIND, I DO APPRECIATE your support! But sometimes the best way to deal w/stuff is just don't engage. To support what I've just said: You mentioned here that this stuff (+6 chords) comes from classical music.

Indeed it does. And until you said it that point wasn't explicitly made in this thread. But it should be said. And you're right to point it out.

Because by pointing it out (a) you've demonstrated that knowing a little music history goes a long way - and (b) there is the question we haven't addressed which is how does this stuff slot over to jazz?

And it does slot over ... smile





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