Intervals ~ what's in a name ?

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  • BradBrad Frets: 197
    Clarky said:
    Brad said:
    HAL9000 said:
    I was told that a 9th contains the 7th as well as the 2nd, an 11th contains the 7th as well as the 4th, and a 13th contains the 7th as well as the 6th. Not sure if that's right but certainly something I've heard.
    Not quite. For example a 2nd and a 9th are the same thing but it depends on the chord type that generally dictates whether you'd call it a 2nd or 9th. If the 3rd and 7th are included in the chord, then 9th 11th and 13th are used, rather than 2nd 4th and 6th. Although I have seen them used on occasion, e.g Cmaj7#11 or Cmaj7#4.

    So C9 doesn't have both a 2nd and 9th because they are the same thing. We say 9th because we are extending above a 7th. So C9 is C E G Bb and D (1 3 5 b7 9).

    From a theoretical perspective, 11th and 13th chords are built on this principle so C11 is C E G Bb D F (1 3 5 b7 9 11) and C13 is C E G Bb D F A (1 3 5 b7 9 11 13). But this doesn't work in practise as depending on the chord type there are clashes between certain notes and a 13th chord has 7 notes. Because of this we alter some notes or omit some altogether.

    another little angle on this [which is not related to modern music theory] is that the 2nd, 4th and 6th are [rather, were in classical music] more typically used for suspensions..
    so they'ed be a momentary dissonance that then moves  to a consonance..

    for example, the sus4 [Root, 2nd, 5th] would resolve to a triad [Root, 3rd, 5th]
    Absolutely and they sound lovely. I hear this a lot by the likes of Ted Greene etc.

    I suppose modern/jazz music theory redefined the use of suspensions and sus chords, actually muddying the waters a little with regards to understanding where a 2nd, 4th and 6th are used rather than a 9th, 11th and 13th and vice versa. Or the difference between a sus2 and an add9 (I've seen add2 quite often as it happens) and so on... 
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    Brad said:
    Clarky said:
    Brad said:
    HAL9000 said:
    I was told that a 9th contains the 7th as well as the 2nd, an 11th contains the 7th as well as the 4th, and a 13th contains the 7th as well as the 6th. Not sure if that's right but certainly something I've heard.
    Not quite. For example a 2nd and a 9th are the same thing but it depends on the chord type that generally dictates whether you'd call it a 2nd or 9th. If the 3rd and 7th are included in the chord, then 9th 11th and 13th are used, rather than 2nd 4th and 6th. Although I have seen them used on occasion, e.g Cmaj7#11 or Cmaj7#4.

    So C9 doesn't have both a 2nd and 9th because they are the same thing. We say 9th because we are extending above a 7th. So C9 is C E G Bb and D (1 3 5 b7 9).

    From a theoretical perspective, 11th and 13th chords are built on this principle so C11 is C E G Bb D F (1 3 5 b7 9 11) and C13 is C E G Bb D F A (1 3 5 b7 9 11 13). But this doesn't work in practise as depending on the chord type there are clashes between certain notes and a 13th chord has 7 notes. Because of this we alter some notes or omit some altogether.

    another little angle on this [which is not related to modern music theory] is that the 2nd, 4th and 6th are [rather, were in classical music] more typically used for suspensions..
    so they'ed be a momentary dissonance that then moves  to a consonance..

    for example, the sus4 [Root, 2nd, 5th] would resolve to a triad [Root, 3rd, 5th]
    Absolutely and they sound lovely. I hear this a lot by the likes of Ted Greene etc.

    I suppose modern/jazz music theory redefined the use of suspensions and sus chords, actually muddying the waters a little with regards to understanding where a 2nd, 4th and 6th are used rather than a 9th, 11th and 13th and vice versa. Or the difference between a sus2 and an add9 (I've seen add2 quite often as it happens) and so on... 
    I totally agree about the muddying of the waters...
    over the years I've had a few students ask "why is a sus4 called a sus4 / what does us actually mean?"

    modern theory allows a sus chord to exist in isolation rather than being a moment within a transition event between two chords..
    in my own songwriting and orchestral compositions I make a distinction when it comes to the use of sun chords..
    so I teach my students the conventional / modern sus chord stuff but will also back it up with my own personal take on this..
    so if for example I had a chord containing D, G, A, and the chords before and after were A7 and D...
    and the G from the A7 eventually resolves to the F# in the final D chord..
    we have a suspension event with preparation -> suspension -> resolution
    the D, G, A, is a Dsus4 chord

    if anything else happens so the G note is not prep'd in the previous and / or never resolves, I prefer to think of D, G, A as being a chord in isolation, and so it is D5 add11 [because there is no event sequence providing the suspended context]..

    kinda nit picky I know..
    and my lil' take on this has on occasion triggered some unusually strong flaming wars online [over a chord name ffs... lol]..
    however.. when I'm writing out chord charts I personally find it useful because I can immediately see the difference between them and so be able to appropriately voice the chord..
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • BradBrad Frets: 197
    Clarky said:
    Brad said:
    Clarky said:
    Brad said:
    HAL9000 said:
    I was told that a 9th contains the 7th as well as the 2nd, an 11th contains the 7th as well as the 4th, and a 13th contains the 7th as well as the 6th. Not sure if that's right but certainly something I've heard.
    Not quite. For example a 2nd and a 9th are the same thing but it depends on the chord type that generally dictates whether you'd call it a 2nd or 9th. If the 3rd and 7th are included in the chord, then 9th 11th and 13th are used, rather than 2nd 4th and 6th. Although I have seen them used on occasion, e.g Cmaj7#11 or Cmaj7#4.

    So C9 doesn't have both a 2nd and 9th because they are the same thing. We say 9th because we are extending above a 7th. So C9 is C E G Bb and D (1 3 5 b7 9).

    From a theoretical perspective, 11th and 13th chords are built on this principle so C11 is C E G Bb D F (1 3 5 b7 9 11) and C13 is C E G Bb D F A (1 3 5 b7 9 11 13). But this doesn't work in practise as depending on the chord type there are clashes between certain notes and a 13th chord has 7 notes. Because of this we alter some notes or omit some altogether.

    another little angle on this [which is not related to modern music theory] is that the 2nd, 4th and 6th are [rather, were in classical music] more typically used for suspensions..
    so they'ed be a momentary dissonance that then moves  to a consonance..

    for example, the sus4 [Root, 2nd, 5th] would resolve to a triad [Root, 3rd, 5th]
    Absolutely and they sound lovely. I hear this a lot by the likes of Ted Greene etc.

    I suppose modern/jazz music theory redefined the use of suspensions and sus chords, actually muddying the waters a little with regards to understanding where a 2nd, 4th and 6th are used rather than a 9th, 11th and 13th and vice versa. Or the difference between a sus2 and an add9 (I've seen add2 quite often as it happens) and so on... 
    I totally agree about the muddying of the waters...
    over the years I've had a few students ask "why is a sus4 called a sus4 / what does us actually mean?"

    modern theory allows a sus chord to exist in isolation rather than being a moment within a transition event between two chords..
    in my own songwriting and orchestral compositions I make a distinction when it comes to the use of sun chords..
    so I teach my students the conventional / modern sus chord stuff but will also back it up with my own personal take on this..
    so if for example I had a chord containing D, G, A, and the chords before and after were A7 and D...
    and the G from the A7 eventually resolves to the F# in the final D chord..
    we have a suspension event with preparation -> suspension -> resolution
    the D, G, A, is a Dsus4 chord

    if anything else happens so the G note is not prep'd in the previous and / or never resolves, I prefer to think of D, G, A as being a chord in isolation, and so it is D5 add11 [because there is no event sequence providing the suspended context]..

    kinda nit picky I know..
    and my lil' take on this has on occasion triggered some unusually strong flaming wars online [over a chord name ffs... lol]..
    however.. when I'm writing out chord charts I personally find it useful because I can immediately see the difference between them and so be able to appropriately voice the chord..
    I think it's good to be nit picky wink my pedantry alarm often rings playing extended chords, in as much that many of the shapes commonly used are not strictly 11th or 13th chords, but actually slash chords, 7sus, 7add11 or 7add13 etc, although they are used (and I do too) as though they are 11ths/13ths. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things providing the right sound is achieved, but I think it's important to be aware of this stuff nonetheless.

    I like your logic and sadly I can very well imagine people getting bent out of shape over it. Although I have to admit, I wouldn't appreciate seeing D5add11 on a chart at short notice!

    @ChrisMusic a couple of things regarding the second post.

    5 - perfect 4th up an octave is an 11th (not major 3rd/diminished 4th)
    6 - Is also a #11 

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    edited January 13
    Brad said:

    @ChrisMusic a couple of things regarding the second post.

    5 - perfect 4th up an octave is an 11th (not major 3rd/diminished 4th)
    6 - Is also a #11 

    Thanks for spotting that, all attended to now  D 
    I suspect there are some other addendums to that post, so if anything else comes to mind, please let me know.

    Thanks for adding more depth to the conversation, I am so out of my depth with chord conventions (and other things!), so the more knowledge you can share on here the better.  I can guarantee that there will be many folk on here who will also appreciate a stronger grounding in this.

    Hopefully it will become a valuable forum resource to reference for the future.  I will add it to the index of resources that I have set up in the "Music Theory" thread.

    "Other Resources" index here

    the "Music Theory" thread:
    http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/7506/full-in-depth-music-theory-see-post-3#latest

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    An interval is the distance (in scale steps) between two pitches. A harmonic interval occurs when two notes are played at the same time. Intervals can also be melodic, meaning that the two notes are played in sequence, one after the other.
    The topic of harmonic intervals and chords would be good topic as well, perhaps on another thread.

     I think that both Harmonic Intervals and Melodic Intervals have a natural home in this thread, and with so much informative discussion happening, I might even get to grips with this part of theory myself, at last   :o3

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    With regards to naming conventions between Melodic and Harmonic intervals, it is slightly confusing to me when Melodically the flat 7th is also a minor 7th, and Harmonically Am7 is both minor 3rd and minor 7th,  E7 has a minor 7th, or am I just easily confused ?  Basically I do "get it", and I'm not sure I explained this very well, but it seems a little ambiguous to me.

    Personally, I would love some clarification on SUS chords, and what suspension actually means, and a bit more explanation on ADD chords too would be a great starter.  (Thanks for your earlier post @Lestratcaster , you paved the way to better understanding, I just need a bit more guidance.)

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    @stratman3142 , what fingerings are you using for the Mu Major chords, anything Steely Dan related is always interesting IMHO ? 
    Maybe you could also add that to the "
    Your favourite chord ~ right now?" thread too?

    "Your favourite chord ~ right now?"
    http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/120996/your-favourite-chord-right-now#latest

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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 702
    edited January 13

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    @stratman3142 , what fingerings are you using for the Mu Major chords, anything Steely Dan related is always interesting IMHO ? 
    Maybe you could also add that to the "Your favourite chord ~ right now?" thread too?

    "Your favourite chord ~ right now?"
    http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/120996/your-favourite-chord-right-now#latest

    I've already mention that chord on that thread - pay attention!

    It's an absolute pig to play on guitar because it contains consecutive intervals of 1, 2, 3 then the 5th.

    There's a bit more info on the chord at the link below:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu_chord

    I used the chord extensively in the change on this month's Sotm backing track (hence the pretentious title) but played it on keyboards.
    http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/120658/solo-of-the-month-sotm-32#latest

    It's not a competition.
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    ^^ cheers for the links @stratman3142 , I was being lazy (well actually just trying to get all the info in the thread itself ;) )  so was asking about the fingerings particularly as the consecutive intervals must make it a bitch (or at least gives limited opportunities).  Go on, help a brother out, don't make me loose the next hour (or two) down the Wiki rabbit hole  :)

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  • BradBrad Frets: 197
    edited January 13
    @ChrisMusic no probs. @Clarky gives a great explanation of sus chords in a classical context. General rule of thumb for sus and add chords is this,

    Sus is the absence of the 3rd. If a triad is 1 3 5, then sus2 is 1 2 5 and sus4 is 1 4 5. You can have 7sus chords where the 3rd again is replaced, most commonly with the 4th. So a voicing for C9sus4 would be 8-x-8-7-6-x giving a formula of 1 7 9 11. I've also seen this called Bb/C or G-7/C as a C11 although this isn't strictly correct.

    An add chord is the addition of an extension to a triad. So add9 is 1 3 5 9. 
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    Cheers @Brad   :)

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  • A suspended chord to me is literally what the name suggests, to "suspend" the 3rd interval of said chord, by raising or lowering it.

    E.g for an Asus2, the C# in the chord (formula A (root) C# (3rd) E (5th) now becomes a B as that's the 2nd interva in the key of A major.

    Thus an Asus4 would raise the C# by a semi-tone and it'd now be a D as its the 4th in the key of A.
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  • BradBrad Frets: 197

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    With regards to naming conventions between Melodic and Harmonic intervals, it is slightly confusing to me when Melodically the flat 7th is also a minor 7th, and Harmonically Am7 is both minor 3rd and minor 7th,  E7 has a minor 7th, or am I just easily confused ?  Basically I do "get it", and I'm not sure I explained this very well, but it seems a little ambiguous to me. 
    @ChrisMusic out of interest, what exactly is confusing you here? I'm a little confused by your confusion and would like to help out :smile: 

    Is it just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7?
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    A suspended chord to me is literally what the name suggests, to "suspend" the 3rd interval of said chord, by raising or lowering it.

    E.g for an Asus2, the C# in the chord (formula A (root) C# (3rd) E (5th) now becomes a B as that's the 2nd interva in the key of A major.

    Thus an Asus4 would raise the C# by a semi-tone and it'd now be a D as its the 4th in the key of A.
    hmmmm not so sure about this explanation matey...
    raising and lowering intervals is sharpening and flattening, or augmenting and diminishing
    if you raise a 3rd for example, it's still a 3rd.. even if it's been double sharpened..
    so for example.. if the note C was a major 3rd and was raised by a tone.. double sharpened, it would not become a D [even though it'll have exactly the same pitch as a D].. it would become C##
    which is not nice at all I'll agree... but that's what it would become..
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    edited January 14
    Suspension in old money [classical harmony]

    A suspension is an event that is a transition between two chords.
    Typically when you change from one chord to another, all of the notes [that need to] change do so at the same time.
    But this does not have to happen. You can change all of them but leave one where it was and then change it later.
    Essentially, one note hangs over from the previous chord which creates a dissonance.
    When this note changes to the note it should be in the target chord the dissonance resolves.
    Possibly without knowing it, you will without doubt have heard this many many times before, especially in classical and church music [hymns: because their harmony typically follows 17th century rules].

    A suspension has three phases:
    1 - preparation: this is where the note to be suspended appears in the chord that is to be suspended
    2 - suspension: this is where the note is suspended, so all the notes of the chord change to that of the next chord except for this one.. it 'hangs over " from the previous one.. hanging... suspending.. this creates a nice dissonance..
    3 - resolution: this is where the suspended note changes to the note that belongs to the next chord and so resolves the suspicion and therefore the dissonance becomes a consonance... releasing the tension on the dissonance..

    imagine a I - V progression in C
    this is C - G

    E---D
    C---B
    G---G
    C---G

    nice and easy so far..
    so if we take the higher C from the C chord [preparation] and allow it to 'hang over' into the G chord [suspending it], it'' be a 4th with respect to the root of G. Therefore a suspended 4th.
    The suspended 4th in the Gsus4 chord [the C] then resolves to the 3rd of the G chord [the B]
    we get this

    1---2---3--- [where 1 = C chord, 2 = Gsus4, 3 = G chord]
    E---D-------
    C--------B-- <-- C preps, then suspends, then resolves to B
    G---G------
    C---G------
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    Nice explanation @Clarky , thanks for taking the time to write that out  :)

    As for C##     :o
    but I can totally see that.

    Just for clarification, a SUS chord is intended to resolve from either a 2nd or a 4th (or 9th / 11th) (a chord tone in the prior chord) to the third of a subsequent chord.  Are there any other instances of similar movements from & to other intervals being badged "SUS" ?

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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    edited January 14
    Nice explanation @Clarky , thanks for taking the time to write that out  

    Just for clarification, a SUS chord is intended to resolve from either a 2nd or a 4th (or 9th / 11th) (a chord tone in the prior chord) to the third of a subsequent chord.  Are there any other instances of similar movements from & to other intervals being badged "SUS" ?
    no probs matey...

    for clarification a few rules:
    You only tend to suspend notes within the triad [root, 3rd or 5th being suspended as sus2, sus4 and sus6 respectively].
    I've never come across 9th 11th etc as suspensions: which makes sense as they're outside of the triad
    Most commonly [but not always] suspended notes resolve in the downwards direction [a sus4 becomes a 3rd for example].
    The suspended note must resolve stepwise [sus4 to 3rd but never sus4 to root].
    The suspension must remain in the same part [in old money, if the note in the alto part was suspended, the alto would resolve it; so it cannot switch to another part like a soprano or tenor... or change octave].

    also... you can perform more than one suspension at a time..
    imagine moving from chord X to chord Y by moving one note at a time [JS Bach loved doing this.. creating sequences of dissonances all stacking up.. when they all finally resolve it's like the music makes a great sigh of relief]..
    you can also make chains of suspensions one after another [JS Bach loved doing this too]
    for example: I - Vsus4 - V7 - Isus4 - I
    in the case above, I - vsus4 - V is as I previously described 
    when V becomes V7, the 7th becomes the prep for Isus4
    this is very common / very beautiful and often used at the end of pieces
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    edited January 14
    I - V sus4 - V - V7 - I sus4 - I in the key of C

    1-----2---------3--- [where 1 = C chord, 2 = Gsus4, 3 = G chord]
    I - V sus4 -- V -- V7 - I sus4 -- I
    C--Gsus4----G---G7---Csus4--C <=chords
    the notes [highest at the top / lower case = the note is already sounding from when it was first made to sound]:
    E-----D--------d----d------C------c
    C-----c--------B----b------G-----g <= 1st C preps, 2nd c suspends, then resolves to B
    G----G--------g----F-------f-----E <= F preps, F suspends, then resolves to E
    C----G--------g----g-------C----c
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    Thanks for the clarification @Clarky   :)

    Nice movement in your example, just my sort of thing, and if it was good enough for JS Bach  ;)

    I just wish I had paid SO much more attention in music classes back at school, and the teacher would have been so pleased to have an attentive pupil too.  I was probably the most interested in class, but it was so un-rock & roll !  The benefit of hindsight (and a few years on the clock) I guess.  Thanks for helping me to catch up on lost time chaps, keep the education flowing...  :)

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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    edited January 14
    Thanks for the clarification @Clarky  

    Nice movement in your example, just my sort of thing, and if it was good enough for JS Bach  

    I just wish I had paid SO much more attention in music classes back at school, and the teacher would have been so pleased to have an attentive pupil too.  I was probably the most interested in class, but it was so un-rock & roll !  The benefit of hindsight (and a few years on the clock) I guess.  Thanks for helping me to catch up on lost time chaps, keep the education flowing...  
    makes a difference when you're paying to put yourself through Uni don't it... ya kinda want to listen a bit more.. lol..
    and I didn't qualify for grants, and student loans didn't really exist then, so it was all my own 'hard earned'..

    btw - I actually use all this stuff in my song writing [of all kinds] and composition..
    so all this knowhow is not limited to just reproducing 17th / 18th century music and / or passing exams..
    there is real beauty in this stuff and can be just as relevant in a song today as it was in a piece 200 years ago..
    so what's the difference between sounding modern or sounding Baroque? context and how you use it

    hopefully, this explains a little why I make a distinction between D5 add11 and D sus4
    they are formed and so behave quite differently

    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    edited January 14
    Context is so important to most things in life, but often underestimated.

    I know that you live music deeply @Clarky , so the history forms a continuum, which gives a valuable perspective to your contributions here on the forum.

    I found the distinction between D5 add11 and D suss4 both interesting, educational and logical.

    Yes, I have to agree about paying hard earned cash for your education, I did a Masters in Digital Imaging as a mature student.  You are there because you are interested and choose to learn, and the pain in your pocket soon reminds you to stay focussed !  I do wish that I hadn't walked away from the music business so many years ago though, it was always my first love and passion in life.  Disillusionment set in, so it became history (a good one, but history none the less).  So now I am making up for lost time, theory was always my weak point, and the support of the forum is priceless in that regard  :)

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  • ChrisMusicChrisMusic Frets: 1114
    @Brad ; said:
    ChrisMusic said:
    ... With regards to naming conventions between Melodic and Harmonic intervals, it is slightly confusing to me when Melodically the flat 7th is also a minor 7th, and Harmonically Am7 is both minor 3rd and minor 7th,  E7 has a minor 7th, or am I just easily confused ?  Basically I do "get it", and I'm not sure I explained this very well, but it seems a little ambiguous to me. 
    @ChrisMusic out of interest, what exactly is confusing you here? I'm a little confused by your confusion and would like to help out smile 

    Is it just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7?
    As always, the answer is probably quite easy, it is phrasing an effective question which is the hard part !
    (and also the most elusive)

    I think it is what i perceive as ambiguity between describing melodic intervals of flat 7th, minor 7th or 7th (as opposed to major 7th), and the fact that it is simply referred to as the 7th or dominant 7th in regard to harmonic intervals.

    It could be as simple as just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7 too...
    Is there is an accepted hierarchy of interval names, and any rules by which to apply them ?

    BTW what is the delta used for, I have often seen it used as ∆7 for major 7, but I think that may be a wrong assumption on my part ?

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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    edited January 14
    @Brad ;;; said:
    ChrisMusic said:
    ... With regards to naming conventions between Melodic and Harmonic intervals, it is slightly confusing to me when Melodically the flat 7th is also a minor 7th, and Harmonically Am7 is both minor 3rd and minor 7th,  E7 has a minor 7th, or am I just easily confused ?  Basically I do "get it", and I'm not sure I explained this very well, but it seems a little ambiguous to me. 
    @ChrisMusic out of interest, what exactly is confusing you here? I'm a little confused by your confusion and would like to help out smile 

    Is it just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7?
    As always, the answer is probably quite easy, it is phrasing an effective question which is the hard part !
    (and also the most elusive)

    I think it is what i perceive as ambiguity between describing melodic intervals of flat 7th, minor 7th or 7th (as opposed to major 7th), and the fact that it is simply referred to as the 7th or dominant 7th in regard to harmonic intervals.

    It could be as simple as just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7 too...
    Is there is an accepted hierarchy of interval names, and any rules by which to apply them ?

    BTW what is the delta used for, I have often seen it used as ∆7 for major 7, but I think that may be a wrong assumption on my part ?

     ∆7 for major 7 <= this is correct.. Root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, major 7th

    gonna make a bit of a guess here.... a reasonable one though..

    I think the b7 thing is a bit of an Americanism..
    they [generalising badly here] talk about everything with respect to the major scale
    so intervals can be flattened / sharpened..
    personally I'm not a fan of this..

    the way I was taught was..
    2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th can be minor or major
    these can then be further modified by sharpening and flattening..
    a sharpened major 6th or flattened minor 7th for example
    4ths and 5ths are either perfect or imperfect
    if imperfect they can be either diminished or augmented
    I prefer this because it does not pin you to a scale for reference..
    it's simply a set of rules for naming intervals..

    like all conventions.. they only work when we all use the same one..
    the cross population of ideas from both sides of the Atlantic via mags, web etc can cause confusion to a topic that is already not exactly without ambiguities here and there..
    and of course... everyone is more correct than everyone else.. flaming wars.. death threats over chord spellings etc... lol..
    there are even differences in conventions between universities / academies within the UK..
    ACM is very American Jazzer... University of London is more classical based as you'd expect..
    thing is.. I think some modern stuff was in some areas a bit of a reinventing of the wheel because the guys doing it originally may not have had the formal music education to describe things and so found ways to do so..
    being popular form and not Uni based, it reached a wider audience and so stuck...
    hence.. suspension being allowed to occur in isolation rather than being part of an event..
    possibly a misunderstanding due to hearing the chord named without the context being explained..
    and so it sticks.. Root, 4th, 5th = sus4 but without the how / why the sus bit is what it is...

    another is the determination to try to spell all chords by assuming the lowest note has to be the root..
    I often hear folks call the notes E, G, C, E augmented [which is incorrect] or Em6
    to me it's a C chord in first inversion... much simpler.. and enables the chord to sit sensibly within a key
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • BradBrad Frets: 197
    edited January 15
    Clarky said:
    @Brad ;;;; said:
    ChrisMusic said:
    ... With regards to naming conventions between Melodic and Harmonic intervals, it is slightly confusing to me when Melodically the flat 7th is also a minor 7th, and Harmonically Am7 is both minor 3rd and minor 7th,  E7 has a minor 7th, or am I just easily confused ?  Basically I do "get it", and I'm not sure I explained this very well, but it seems a little ambiguous to me. 
    @ChrisMusic out of interest, what exactly is confusing you here? I'm a little confused by your confusion and would like to help out smile 

    Is it just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7?
    As always, the answer is probably quite easy, it is phrasing an effective question which is the hard part !
    (and also the most elusive)

    I think it is what i perceive as ambiguity between describing melodic intervals of flat 7th, minor 7th or 7th (as opposed to major 7th), and the fact that it is simply referred to as the 7th or dominant 7th in regard to harmonic intervals.

    It could be as simple as just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7 too...
    Is there is an accepted hierarchy of interval names, and any rules by which to apply them ?

    BTW what is the delta used for, I have often seen it used as ∆7 for major 7, but I think that may be a wrong assumption on my part ?

     ∆7 for major 7 <= this is correct.. Root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, major 7th

    gonna make a bit of a guess here.... a reasonable one though..

    I think the b7 thing is a bit of an Americanism..
    they [generalising badly here] talk about everything with respect to the major scale
    so intervals can be flattened / sharpened..
    personally I'm not a fan of this..

    the way I was taught was..
    2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th can be minor or major
    these can then be further modified by sharpening and flattening..
    a sharpened major 6th or flattened minor 7th for example
    4ths and 5ths are either perfect or imperfect
    if imperfect they can be either diminished or augmented
    I prefer this because it does not pin you to a scale for reference..
    it's simply a set of rules for naming intervals..

    like all conventions.. they only work when we all use the same one..
    the cross population of ideas from both sides of the Atlantic via mags, web etc can cause confusion to a topic that is already not exactly without ambiguities here and there..
    and of course... everyone is more correct than everyone else.. flaming wars.. death threats over chord spellings etc... lol..
    there are even differences in conventions between universities / academies within the UK..
    ACM is very American Jazzer... University of London is more classical based as you'd expect..
    thing is.. I think some modern stuff was in some areas a bit of a reinventing of the wheel because the guys doing it originally may not have had the formal music education to describe things and so found ways to do so..
    being popular form and not Uni based, it reached a wider audience and so stuck...
    hence.. suspension being allowed to occur in isolation rather than being part of an event..
    possibly a misunderstanding due to hearing the chord named without the context being explained..
    and so it sticks.. Root, 4th, 5th = sus4 but without the how / why the sus bit is what it is...

    another is the determination to try to spell all chords by assuming the lowest note has to be the root..
    I often hear folks call the notes E, G, C, E augmented [which is incorrect] or Em6
    to me it's a C chord in first inversion... much simpler.. and enables the chord to sit sensibly within a key
    I agree that the naming of intervals in such a way most probably comes from the States. More specifically I'd hazard a guess that it's rooted (pun intended wink) in Jazz, where it's probably easier to think of intervals in such terms when the changes are coming so thick and fast, as in Bebop for example. I'd say these naming conventions were probably quite exclusive to the Jazz guys. But then the explosion of Jazz education in places such as Berklee brought them to a wider audience and ultimately as accepted convention. Gotta say I prefer this approach personally, I think it's a more imediate way of learning and visualising intervals when improvising, particularly on tricky changes. 

    I'd suggest (with no proof mind!) that the modal era of Jazz has created this problem you describe with sus chords, treating them as 'sounds' to be explored in an improv context rather than a harmonic technique/device. 

    If people are saying E G C E is *E+ when it's actually E G# B#, or Em6 (E G B C#) is that not a problem with someone's knowledge of chord construction rather than any particular root bias? Like yourself I'd see that initially as a 1st inversion C triad.


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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    Brad said:
    Clarky said:
    @Brad ;;; said:
    ChrisMusic said:
    ... With regards to naming conventions between Melodic and Harmonic intervals, it is slightly confusing to me when Melodically the flat 7th is also a minor 7th, and Harmonically Am7 is both minor 3rd and minor 7th,  E7 has a minor 7th, or am I just easily confused ?  Basically I do "get it", and I'm not sure I explained this very well, but it seems a little ambiguous to me. 
    @ChrisMusic out of interest, what exactly is confusing you here? I'm a little confused by your confusion and would like to help out smile 

    Is it just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7?
    As always, the answer is probably quite easy, it is phrasing an effective question which is the hard part !
    (and also the most elusive)

    I think it is what i perceive as ambiguity between describing melodic intervals of flat 7th, minor 7th or 7th (as opposed to major 7th), and the fact that it is simply referred to as the 7th or dominant 7th in regard to harmonic intervals.

    It could be as simple as just a case of when to use the terms minor 7 and b7 too...
    Is there is an accepted hierarchy of interval names, and any rules by which to apply them ?

    BTW what is the delta used for, I have often seen it used as ∆7 for major 7, but I think that may be a wrong assumption on my part ?

     ∆7 for major 7 <= this is correct.. Root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, major 7th

    gonna make a bit of a guess here.... a reasonable one though..

    I think the b7 thing is a bit of an Americanism..
    they [generalising badly here] talk about everything with respect to the major scale
    so intervals can be flattened / sharpened..
    personally I'm not a fan of this..

    the way I was taught was..
    2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th can be minor or major
    these can then be further modified by sharpening and flattening..
    a sharpened major 6th or flattened minor 7th for example
    4ths and 5ths are either perfect or imperfect
    if imperfect they can be either diminished or augmented
    I prefer this because it does not pin you to a scale for reference..
    it's simply a set of rules for naming intervals..

    like all conventions.. they only work when we all use the same one..
    the cross population of ideas from both sides of the Atlantic via mags, web etc can cause confusion to a topic that is already not exactly without ambiguities here and there..
    and of course... everyone is more correct than everyone else.. flaming wars.. death threats over chord spellings etc... lol..
    there are even differences in conventions between universities / academies within the UK..
    ACM is very American Jazzer... University of London is more classical based as you'd expect..
    thing is.. I think some modern stuff was in some areas a bit of a reinventing of the wheel because the guys doing it originally may not have had the formal music education to describe things and so found ways to do so..
    being popular form and not Uni based, it reached a wider audience and so stuck...
    hence.. suspension being allowed to occur in isolation rather than being part of an event..
    possibly a misunderstanding due to hearing the chord named without the context being explained..
    and so it sticks.. Root, 4th, 5th = sus4 but without the how / why the sus bit is what it is...

    another is the determination to try to spell all chords by assuming the lowest note has to be the root..
    I often hear folks call the notes E, G, C, E augmented [which is incorrect] or Em6
    to me it's a C chord in first inversion... much simpler.. and enables the chord to sit sensibly within a key
    I agree that the naming of intervals in such a way most probably comes from the States. More specifically I'd hazard a guess that it's rooted (pun intended :wink:) in Jazz, where it's probably easier to think of intervals in such terms when the changes are coming so thick and fast, as in Bebop for example. I'd say these naming conventions were probably quite exclusive to the Jazz guys. But then the explosion of Jazz education in places such as Berklee brought them to a wider audience and ultimately as accepted convention. Gotta say I prefer this approach personally, I think it's a more imediate way of learning and visualising intervals when improvising, particularly on tricky changes. 

    I'd suggest (with no proof mind!) that the modal era of Jazz has created this problem you describe with sus chords, treating them as 'sounds' to be explored in an improv context rather than a harmonic technique/device. 

    If people are saying E G C E is *E+ when it's actually E G# B#, is that not a problem with someone's knowledge of chord construction rather than any particular root bias? Like yourself I'd see that initially as a 1st inversion C triad, but depending on the context I might prefer to think Em6 or C/E. Either has differing sound implications to my ear at least!


    as always... context is the thing.. and there will be occasions where context can be view a little differently by different people..
    I think the theory stuff mostly works in most cases.. there are just a few you encounter on occasion where things can be a little ambiguous or open to interpretation..

    I completely agree with your take on the Jazzers..
    I think that another area that could help muddy the waters are the people themselves pioneering the genre..
    some would have come from a more blues background meaning that they write and play intuitively.. they may well have an amazing ear for what they're doing but lacked the formal education to provide them with the technical language.. and in amongst these guys there would also have been the 'Debucy / Ravel types' making the crossover from the modern classical world into jazz..
    so you'll end up with a pool of guys with a wide variety of levels of formal education, but all musically super switched-on none the less.. all rubbing shoulders and sharing ideas...

    there are some things about the American style of theory that I quite like.. mainly it's compactness..
    none of this crotchet / quaver stuff.. 1/4 note / 1/8 note etc is so much more intuitive and efficient..

    also I agree that the nature of jazz, especially as it's harmonic style is so unstable and unconventional [at the time] that evolving / developing a more efficient means of describing things makes a pile of sense..
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • BradBrad Frets: 197
    Absolutely, the cross pollination of musicians from all backgrounds pioneering a new art form will have it's issues in that respect. But it's very interesting. 

    I guess it falls apart with pretty much anything other than 4/4, but the American terminology made the difference between understanding beats and rhythms and not. Otherwise I'd probably still be struggling now!

    What's in a name eh?
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    Brad said:
    Absolutely, the cross pollination of musicians from all backgrounds pioneering a new art form will have it's issues in that respect. But it's very interesting. 

    I guess it falls apart with pretty much anything other than 4/4, but the American terminology made the difference between understanding beats and rhythms and not. Otherwise I'd probably still be struggling now!

    What's in a name eh?
    I think the area where it falls apart most is chord spelling, simply because of the insistence on choosing the lowest note as the root.. it can lead you to some needlessly difficult places
    I was taught to grab all the notes and to try to rearrange them so that they stack in 3rds..
    when you've done that then you have the chord's name.. 
    and if the lowest note is not the root, then work out the inversion
    and if the notes cannot all stack in 3rds, find a combination that stacks them best / accounts for as many as possible, then deal with the odd / difficult ones individually and finally determine the inversion

    a modern thing I love and use a lot are slash chords...
    not only to show inversion, but it also makes easier reading for more difficult chords when charting them out..
    E7 4th inversion = E/D - which is quicker and easier than figuring it out

    these are especially good if you're in a band / ensemble cos you can just go for the top chord and let the bassist deal with the root.. in a session it's nice and quick and enables you to more quickly think on your feet. for example E11= D/E

    play every note as if it were your first
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  • Clarky said:
    A suspended chord to me is literally what the name suggests, to "suspend" the 3rd interval of said chord, by raising or lowering it.

    E.g for an Asus2, the C# in the chord (formula A (root) C# (3rd) E (5th) now becomes a B as that's the 2nd interva in the key of A major.

    Thus an Asus4 would raise the C# by a semi-tone and it'd now be a D as its the 4th in the key of A.
    hmmmm not so sure about this explanation matey...
    raising and lowering intervals is sharpening and flattening, or augmenting and diminishing
    if you raise a 3rd for example, it's still a 3rd.. even if it's been double sharpened..
    so for example.. if the note C was a major 3rd and was raised by a tone.. double sharpened, it would not become a D [even though it'll have exactly the same pitch as a D].. it would become C##
    which is not nice at all I'll agree... but that's what it would become..
    That's just how I think of it, cos to "suspend" is to get rid of that third, so its either a 2nd or 4th. Maybe I could have not mentioned sharpening or flattening perhaps, but I know what it is, lol.
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    Clarky said:
    A suspended chord to me is literally what the name suggests, to "suspend" the 3rd interval of said chord, by raising or lowering it.

    E.g for an Asus2, the C# in the chord (formula A (root) C# (3rd) E (5th) now becomes a B as that's the 2nd interva in the key of A major.

    Thus an Asus4 would raise the C# by a semi-tone and it'd now be a D as its the 4th in the key of A.
    hmmmm not so sure about this explanation matey...
    raising and lowering intervals is sharpening and flattening, or augmenting and diminishing
    if you raise a 3rd for example, it's still a 3rd.. even if it's been double sharpened..
    so for example.. if the note C was a major 3rd and was raised by a tone.. double sharpened, it would not become a D [even though it'll have exactly the same pitch as a D].. it would become C##
    which is not nice at all I'll agree... but that's what it would become..
    That's just how I think of it, cos to "suspend" is to get rid of that third, so its either a 2nd or 4th. Maybe I could have not mentioned sharpening or flattening perhaps, but I know what it is, lol.
    fair enough...
    in modern theory that'll get you by for sure..
    the main thing is that you have some means to recognise the chord and reliably be able to find it..

    all my stuff about suspension is of classical origin [more accurately, Baroque] and is only important if:
    - you need to pass exams in music
    - you need to authentically compose a piece in a style from roughly the early 1600's to the late 1800's
    - you just like handling suspension events that way cos it sounds cool

    for me it was / is a case of all of the above...
    I had to pass exams..
    My movie trailer work involves composition with orchestras in an authentic fashion. My boss for this work is Tolga Kashif - a professional conductor / composer... so he spots this sort of thing and likes things to be "as they should"..
    and... even in my regular song writing, there are moments where I quite like doing this because of the effect it creates..

    like I said though.. whatever works for you, so long as you end up with the right outcome is all that matters..
    on my chord charts though, your X sus4 chord would most likely end up as an X5 add11..
    this is because I've been reliably informed more than once over the years that I'm a complete dick when it comes to this... lmao
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • Lol don't worry, I have a degree in professional music performance so I know what's what, I had to pass exams too! 

    I also teach guitar privately so I think its just a case of explaining it to someone else in a simple way.
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2693
    Lol don't worry, I have a degree in professional music performance so I know what's what, I had to pass exams too! 

    I also teach guitar privately so I think its just a case of explaining it to someone else in a simple way.
    haaa.. me making granny suck eggs then... lol...
    won't be the first time or the last... lmao
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • Haha
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