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We wanted to share with you the following correspondence regarding a question about Ted's V-System and the presentation on our site.  This is an excellent question that may come up as others dive deep into Ted's system.  James' answer provides sheds some light on the subject.

Question from Steven Muschalik:

I was looking at the material on the 43 chord qualities [in Ted’s V-System presentation] and have found one mistake for chord no 30.

You’ve called it ‘C6/9 no R’, but I detect a root.

30) 2 - 3 - 2 - 5 rotated so that the C is the root gives me:

30) 2 - 5 - 2 - 3 = ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘G’, ‘A’, ‘C’ = ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘5’, ‘6’, ‘1’ = C6/9

 ~ Steven


Response from James Hober:

Hi Steven,

Thank you for your interest in the V-System.  The 43 Four-Note Qualities is a difficult chapter.

The chord you are referring to, #30, which has notes separated by half steps 2-3-2-5, could be named 6/9 with no 3rd, or it could be named 6/9 with no root. Since I considered the second of these two names more common, I put that name on the root C. C 6/9 no R is the notes E G A D which are the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 9th in the C major scale. These same notes make G 6/9 no 3. That is, G A D E are the root, 9th, 5th, and 6th of the G major scale.

Now you started from the notes C D G A and got C 6/9 no 3. That is also a chord that would be #30, 2-3-2-5. It is a homonym of F 6/9 no R. So no matter what root you put the chord on, it can be understood as either a 6/9 no R or as a 6/9 no 3 on a different root.

So you didn’t find a mistake in my chapter. You just began with a different set of notes that are a transposition from the notes I picked. There are 12 possible choices for four notes separated by half steps 2-3-2-5 and we just picked different ones.

People have found mistakes in this chapter in the past and I have corrected them. So I appreciate you bringing this to our attention, even though in this case there’s no mistake in the chapter.

As far as including the note names of the chords, I didn’t want to do that because there are 12 possible transpositions of the set of four notes. What we’re really talking about is the intervals between the notes. However, Ted did write out the list of 43 using letter note names like you suggest and fewer homonyms. You can find that here:

As far as including the formulas for the chords, yes, I could have done that, but someone who has gotten as far as understanding the 43 certainly can determine the chord tones from the given chord name.

So I hope that helps.

~ James

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