[Smt-talk] BELGIAN +6

Stephen Jablonsky jablonsky at optimum.net
Sat Nov 19 16:58:25 PST 2011

In the music of such late Romantics as Cesar Franck we occasionally see a half diminished chord, usually viiø/V, that has its third lowered in the first inversion or even root position. This is just like the German augmented 6th chord but it is half-diminished, not diminished. I was wondering if there is a nationality associated with this phenomenon. We have the Italian, German, and French versions of augmented sixths chords but I know of no name for this chord.  I am, therefore, suggesting for lack of better appellation that we call this chord the Belgian augmented 6th in honor of Franck. A nice example of such a chord is found in the first movement of his Symphony in Dm (p. 17 in the Kalmus score).

Prof. Stephen Jablonsky, Ph.D.
Music Department Chair
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue S-72
New York NY 10031
(212) 650-7663

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