[Smt-talk] BELGIAN +6

Walt Everett weverett at umich.edu
Sun Nov 20 10:15:26 PST 2011

Stephen Jablonsky wrote: 

> 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. 

Applied to V, this might be called the Bayreuth or Bavarian 6th, honoring the Tristan chord, which precedes the Franck usage by three decades.  Just a bit flip, I called this chord the Levittown 6th when it resolves to IV in Billy Joel.  (This same function also occurs in the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows," perhaps why some have called it the "American" 6th.  As the Beach Boys song precedes the Joel example by nearly a decade, perhaps "Hawthorne" or "California" 6th would be a more appropriate label.  Joel's father, by the way, emigrated from Bavaria. . . . )  Good sources: Phil Lambert's "Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds" (*twentieth-century music* 5/1, fn 34), Dan Harrison's "Supplement to the Theory of Aug 6th Chords," Spectrum 17/2 and his "After Sundown" in Covach-Boone, eds, *Understanding Rock* pp 39-40 and n 13).

Walter Everett
Professor of Music
Department of Music Theory
The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
1100 Baits Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-2085

weverett at umich.edu
voice: 734-763-2039
fax: 734-763-5097

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