[Smt-talk] BELGIAN +6

Stephen Jablonsky jablonsky at optimum.net
Wed Nov 23 05:45:08 PST 2011


Thanks for the historical perspective. I certainly agree with you that the national appellations are misleading, prejudiced, and do not help students learn. Maybe it is time to get rid of them. I must admit that my initial suggestion of Bel+6 had a touch of mischief in it inspired by the silliness of the practice.

I am always distressed when I see authors of theory textbooks writing It+6, Ger+6, or Fr+6 in place of chord names or chord functions. One of the interesting things about most theory textbooks is the fact that they never ask the students to name the chords they are analyzing. It is always assumed that we know the name, but I have found that the most efficient analytical process begins with lead sheet chord symbols followed by function identification (chord numbers) followed by a discussion of the data. Many students when asked to look at sheet music (not Bach chorales) are not able to label chords with speed and accuracy.

The "Ger+6" in C is labeled Ab7. Because I was taught that any chord that contains a leading tone has a dominant function I number the chord vii#6/5 of V. I am not certain where you get the notion that the chord is subdominant. For me the word "subdominant" means the chord contains scale step 4, not #4. The "Fr+6" is labeled Ab7b5 when it appears in its traditional 4/3 position. The number is V#4/3 of V.

On Nov 22, 2011, at 8:48 PM, Ildar Khannanov wrote:

> For all the great composers and musicians of the 19th century, the chords with the augmented sixth had very important meaning. They all were the modifications of the simpler chords and, together with them, they belonged to the Subdominant function. 

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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