# Standard chord notation

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### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:57 pm
EmGee wrote:The other poster is incorrect, that the A is not technically a Bbb, even though it appears to be a 7th it is not.

Ouch! That's me put in my place...

And Walter Piston in his book 'Harmony'. And Schoenberg in his Harmonielehre. And R.O. Morris in 'The Oxford Harmony Volume One'.

Or, to put it another way: what's the seventh chord on the leading note in G minor? It has both sharps and flats in it, by my count.

Perhaps you were referring to a diminished seventh chord on Fsharp? It would be A in that one...

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:36 pm
Far be it for little ol' me to argue with Mr. Schoenberg!!

I'm yet to see J.C. Bach mix and match his bs and #s, although quite how he would contend with a diminished 7th augmented 9 chord is anyone's guess! I suppose there must be situations where it is necessary, however undesirable.

The question is, though, and I don't profess to have an answer to this one, is the diminished seventh chord simply a dischordant version of the 7b5, in which case a Cdim would indeed contain a Bbb, or should it be viewed as a chord in it's own right, in which case the A is not a double-diminished seventh, but a minor sixth above the root.

Hmm, wish I'd just shut up now. I'll get my coat.

EmGee ;)

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:47 pm
Mike Senior wrote:
Or, to put it another way: what's the seventh chord on the leading note in G minor? It has both sharps and flats in it, by my count.

Perhaps you were referring to a diminished seventh chord on Fsharp? It would be A in that one...

Sorry, I've just re-read my message and I was unclear as to what I meant. In Gminor, the leading not diminised chord is indeed F#, which contains F# A C and Eb. What I MEANT to say is that if notating on a score, as you're in Gminor (two flats) there's only need to write a sharp by the F, hence it would read F# A C E.

How did I get involved in this? Mike - you're the man, I'll go away...

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:39 pm
EmGee wrote:

I believe that as the diminished chord is a dischordant flattening of a triad, (that is a minor triad with a flattened fifth) it should be referred to as such - hence the Gb rather than F#. The other poster is incorrect, that the A is not technically a Bbb, even though it appears to be a 7th it is not.

Yours, pretensiously,

EmGee ;)

Hi MG,
not quite. If you count up in a dimished scale you get a 7th from C to A.
Remember the minor 3rd interval between each note of the chord, so:
C=1
d=2
Eb=3.
F=4
Gb/F#=5.
Ab/G#=6.
So even though C to A is a 6th, when you use a dimished scale it becomes a 7th!
:?

I know, don't ask me, that's what I was told at Music College!

Best wishes,
Dave.
:beamup:

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 3:54 pm
Haha!

I stand (ahem, sit) corrected.

Back to writing songs...

G Em C D
(repeat)

EmGee :beamup:

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:04 pm
EmGee wrote:What I MEANT to say is that if notating on a score, as you're in Gminor (two flats) there's only need to write a sharp by the F, hence it would read F# A C E.

I see what you mean -- it is a bit unusual to see opposite accidentals in the score.

EmGee wrote:I'll go away...

Not at all! Sorry, got carried away in front of my bookshelf there -- some kind of allergic reaction to the word 'incorrect'... :) As far as I'm concerned, the more Bach nuts on this forum the better!

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:25 pm
No Mr. Senior sir!!

Let's have a few more Delius nuts on this forum; now there was a dude who really knew his norwegians :bouncy:

Olivier Messaien too!!!
:beamup: :angel:

Dave.

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:56 pm
So, my 'Penguin's first book of music theory' probably shouldn't be viewed as an authoritative resource then?

Bach, definately. Delius perhaps. Olivier Messaien, who are you kidding?

EmGee ;)

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:11 pm
EmGee wrote: Olivier Messaien, who are you kidding?

EmGee ;)

"Apparition de L'eglise Eternelle" (my first intro to Messaien): fabbo! :bouncy:

Some bits of the Turangalila symphony are brill, plus you get the Ondes Martenot as well (but other bits are a bit wearing :boring:)

Okay then: Arnold Bax, Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Richard Strauss (cont.p.94.........)

Dave
:beamup:

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:18 pm
Richard Strauss..... wahey! My favourite piece of music is his Four Last Songs. Absolutely sublime.

I wish I hadn't chosen C major for dim chords. G-Bb-Db would have been easier!

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:42 am
Vaughan Williams never did it for me, although I heard one of his at the Proms this year and realised my prejudice was unfounded.

Ravel, oh yeah, and Strauss? what can I say - genius. But then he was influenced by the master, Wagner.

On a side note - went to hear LSO and Wynton Marsalis the other day. Incredible.

EmGee

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Unfortunately some note combinations are difficult to notate in chord symbols such as C-D-G which comes out as C omit 3 add 2

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 5:48 pm
Auch you know most of this thread is pointless pedantic luncacy, you know :)

This is because all this stuff is getting played in equal temperament, so all those "enharmonic equivalents" are the same note (eg F# and Gb)

I'd dry your eyes until you're actually using an instrument which lets you escape equal temperament, in which case you can try both F# and Gb in your chord, they'll sound different, and you can choose which one SOUNDS BETTER.

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:49 pm
Hi Feline1,
now that's naughty; do you know of an instrument that can change tunings as you go? Actually, if memory serves, someone made a revved up piano many years ago with seperate half black keys for differing sharps and flats. Needless to say, it didn't catch on, so references to it now reside in the hallowed portals of Grove's dictionary.
So I'm guessing that if you dial up an alternate tuning on your synth (my Kurzweil modules have a few) you'll only be presented with F#s and not Gbs at the same time.
For the biz on alternate tunings, listen to Wendy Carlos, who's probably taken things as far as possible. Switched on Bach 2000 is the definitive classical version of this, and there's another album who's title currently escapes me where she took things even further.
http://www.wendycarlos.com gives all the info.
Alternate tunings are fab, but for chord notation we're trying here to get a mostly coherent method of labelling for yer everyday muso, rather than your alternate tuning geek.

Dave (pointless pedantic lunatic and proud of it)
:angel:

### Re: Standard chord notation

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:06 pm
Well, if you are conducting or scoring for (say) a string section, they of course could be ordered not to play in equal temperament (although probably most of them would start crying).

Historically, a few nut-bags out there did build instruments with loads of extra keys on their keyboards (wasn't the Motorala Scalotron one such more recent attempt, back in the 70s?)

But in more practical terms, yeah, I was thinking about digitally controlled synths where you can set up alternate temparaments, then switch them at the press of a button to hear the difference.

But let's be clear: if you are using an instrument that's stuck in equal temperament, it really is meaningless to worry about which enharmonic equivalent note-name to use. In reality, you cannot have either of them!