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barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #16 
Greetings everyone, 
Here is another take on minor6th type chords.  I had a recollection that Ted and I discussed this, and soon discovered a page he wrote for me.  
(The French 6th is a 7th chord consisting of a major 3rd, diminished 3rd, and a major 3rd.)
 This is the page Ted wrote for me.  Hope it sheds some more light on the subject.
Barbara

Where is Dr. Bishop???   I would imagine he would have something to contribute to all this confusion?   David?

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jpeg Ted's_m6_chords_2003.jpg (643.37 KB, 43 views)


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Barbara Franklin

bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #17 
Oh, I'm here, Barbara, but I haven't been following this thread closely.  Let me read over the original question and the responses and get back to everyone.  Let me repeat what others have written, though:

Out of context, a generic "minor 6th" sonority is a minor triad with an added major sixth interval (measured from the root), e.g., D-F-A-B.  The nomenclature perhaps isn't very clear, as the term "minor 6th chord" might be misunderstood to mean a sonority that includes the interval of a minor 6th (e.g., D-F-A-Bb; a sonority usually understood as a first-inversion major seventh chord).  As with everything, context is vitally important.  In "classical" harmony, in a major key, a minor sixth chord will most commonly appear built on scale degree 4.  So, for example, in the key of A-major, the notes would be D-F-A-B.  The third of the triad (F) is borrowed from A-minor and the sixth of the chord is diatonic to A-major.

The French theorist Rameau discussed the "added sixth" chord in one of his harmony treatises, but I don't remember which.  To him, if I remember correctly, the root of the pitch-class collection D-F-A-B would be either B or D, depending on whether the following harmony was dominant or tonic.

I'm at work, and writing off the top of my head, so let me go over things in my mind and get back to everyone with something a little more ordered (maybe).

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David Bishop
Tucson, AZ
bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #18 
I'm going to address Michael's original question.  Michael, you are correct; in the key of F-major, D-F-A-B is out of the key.  Of course, you are free to use "out-of-key" chords all you want, if that's the sound you're looking for.  If you used a B-flat instead of a B-natural, your chord would certainly sound diatonic to the key of F-major.  Would it sound like a minor sixth chord?  Probably not to my ears, and I'm assuming I'm not alone in this after reading Paul's recent response.  It would sound like a first-inversion IVmaj7.  A minor sixth chord is, to my knowledge, understood as a minor triad with a major sixth added (measured from the root), so if you change this structure, it's naturally not going to be recognized as a minor sixth chord.  I've never heard of anything else being identified as a minor sixth chord.  If others disagree, I'd love to know where such things exist in the literature.

In a major key, minor sixth chords appear diatonically only on scale degree 2.  You're likely to also find a minor sixth chord built on scale degree 4, but that would involve borrowing a note from the parallel minor (scale degree 6).  This is a very common chord in tonal music.

In a minor key, a minor sixth chord occurs diatonically only on scale degree 4.  But with the variable scale degrees 6 and 7, there are more possibilities.

Bottom line from me:  if a minor sixth chord is in the key, it will sound fine (I'm including the "borrowed" minor sixth chord on scale degree 4 in a major key here).  If it's not in the key, it has the possibility of sounding fine, depending on the context and the whims of the composer.  If you change the structure of the chord to fit the key, you no longer have a minor sixth chord, as it's generally understood.

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David Bishop
Tucson, AZ
klasaine

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Reply with quote  #19 
In reference to Barbara's mention of the French 6th ...

Those are what are referred to as 'augmented' 6th chords : French, German, Neapolitan and Italian(?).
'Basically' they're all altered dominant chords or tri-tone subs. leading to a dominant chord. This movement to the dominant is heightened by 1/2 step resolution of both ?6 to 5 and ?4 to 5; essentially, these two notes act as leading tones (Ab7 to G7).
One of them(?) is a b2 dom.7th.

Here's a cool little website trainer that demonstrates beautifully a very famous Neapolitan 6th in action ...

http://www.musictheory.net/lessons/html/id122_en.html

Keep hitting the 'play' button on the lower right.


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ken lasaine
bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #20 
The so-called Neapolitan is not one of the augmented sixth chords, nor is it a flat-2 dominant seventh (there is no "seventh," so to speak, in the Neapolitan).  It's function is the same:  dominant preparation.  But it's a very different animal structurally.

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David Bishop
Tucson, AZ
barbarafranklin

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Reply with quote  #21 
Greetings Charles,
Many times a theoretical discussion can be stimulating and informative as  there are many areas that are full of ambiguity and nebulosity.  Perhaps just one  little comment will touch on something, spark an idea, that will open new doors.  One never knows, therefore we continue on our search for knowledge, keep what we find useful and discard what we don't. (At least that's what I do)

Ted was a born analyst, in so many ways.  Ted loved studying and analyzing music.  By doing so he found many flaws in the way music was explained and found new ways in which to communicate concepts that otherwise might confuse.  (There is a lot to this, so I won't elaborate). 

Ted never "forced" theory on anyone.  It was always a choice but he was thrilled when a student had an interest in theory.  But Ted knew it wasn't for everyone (duh). 

In my humble opinion one can embrace both types of learning and utilize both.
In composition, theoretical knowledge is almost essential!  In just playing with the deep emotional feel - listen to some old blues players, three chords or one chord.  No theory.   Raw emotion- exquisite.

In Ted's case, the knowledge was so deeply ingrained, he used it subliminally.  When he improvised Baroque counterpoint, you could stop him anywhere and he would know what he was doing.  Did the theoretical knowledge confine his ability to play with the most profound emotional expression? Never.

This tiny little box to write in does not allow one to view the entire text of ones post - so excuse the lack of continuity, and at this point, I'm not even sure how well I addressed your question. 

And so it goes....
Barbara





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Barbara Franklin
klasaine

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Reply with quote  #22 
Thanks for the clarification David!
I guess I need to crack my Ottman book again.


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ken lasaine
bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #23 
You're very welcome, Ken.  I went back and read my reply to you and thought it came off as a little snarky.  I apologize for that; it certainly wasn't meant to be.  Just written a bit too hastily, I guess.
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David Bishop
Tucson, AZ
MichaelKeller

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
In a major key, minor sixth chords appear diatonically only on scale degree 2.

Thanks David. 
What brought on my question in the first place, is i am beginning to learn chord substitution, and putting what i learn into practice with standards. So for now, since i'm still new at this, i'm going to consider a min6 chord a substitute for the II minor chord only. I'll use other subs for III minor and VI minor chords.

And thanks to everyone for their contributions to this thread.
klasaine

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Reply with quote  #25 
Not at all David.
One of my Achilles heals is that I'm not as thorough as I should be. I'm sure that I blew a test question in college by lumping all those 'regionally named' 6th chords into the pre-dominant aug.6th classification.

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ken lasaine
TLerch

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Reply with quote  #26 
Hi all,
 I ve been reading this thread and think it's pretty well on track, I especially appreciate the expression of diatonic min6th chords as inversions of the I and IV chords in the key.  I have a  few points that might be helpful. The only issue with using minor 6 (with a nautral six) as a ii chord is that it gives away the V7 sound,  that not a problem if you want that effect but remember ii min6 is essentially V7.
I also don't think anyone mentioned the use of the min 6th chord that Ted spoke to me about most which is what he called Tonic Minor. Try hearing Minor 6 as the the i chord in Summertime or Invitation or Corcovado. Very often the Fake books have this chord written as min7 but the minor6 can be a much more satisfying sound and works better to support the Melodic minor sound world.
Thanks for a good discussion
 Tim

bishopdm

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Reply with quote  #27 
You're absolutely right, Tim; a minor sixth as the substitute for the tonic minor triad (or minor seventh) is a beautiful substitution and not one you're likely to find in "classical" harmony.

If you were to ask me to name what I thought was the single most common use of a minor sixth chord, I'd have to say as a substitute for the major IV chord in major.


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David Bishop
Tucson, AZ
TLerch

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Reply with quote  #28 
Yep, I was going to wait and see if anyone mentioned that. Seems the min6 chord was very common in tin pan alley and pop tunes until the early 40s and often it was a iv minor situation (often resolving to I).  This chord has frequently since been replaced by it's inverted cousins the ii min7b5 or the bVII7  that were favored by jazzers who were dealing with the old songs and wanting to "hippen" them up a bit. It's interesting to compare the "real book" changes to older sheet music and song collections. you see a lot more min6 chords in the old songbooks. I really like the old sound as it seems sweet and kind of quaint amidst all the chromatic backcycling and general hipness : )
Tim


klasaine

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Reply with quote  #29 
The Beatles and the Beach Boys effectively employed that iv6 too.

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ken lasaine
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