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D flat major

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Celebaelin
49316.  Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:14 am Reply with quote

Well yes, music is something you put in your ear and musical notation came about as a way of describing how to play music without necessarily having to have heard it; but it would be nice to figure it out (or, as seems more likely, have it patiently and kindly explained to me).

 
Gray
49327.  Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:12 am Reply with quote

That first chord has Ab and C and Gb in it, making it belong to Ab7 - that is, Ab dominant 7. Dominant 7 chords have a flattened 7th in them, and the 7th note of an Ab scale is normally G. Flattened, this is Gb.

The second chord is Ab major 7th, which is the same as Ab dominant 7th (Ab7) excape that the 7th is not flattened - you just use the normal 7th note of the Ab scale, which is G. It's unusual to have the 7th note on the bottom, though - it's on the bottom E string there, so it won't sound much like a major 7th chord.

That third chord - an Absus4 chord is called that because it would be a normal Ab7 chord (like the top one) but instead of the usual major 3rd in it (which, in the key of Ab would be C) you raise it up to the perfect 4th of Ab - which is the Db. You often find a flattened 7th in a sus4 chord as well, so you could sneak in another Gb like in that first chord.

The trick is to always count from the 'root note' of the key you're in (Ab in this case) and recognise how the quality (and name) of the chord changes as you alter one or more notes from the normal notes that you'd find in that key. To be able to do this quickly there's no alternative but to know all your keys and scales, so that you instantly know that Ab major goes:

Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab

And that C is the third, Eb is the fifth, Gb is the flattened 7th, etc.

Maj: 1-3-5
Maj6: 1-3-5-6

Min: 1-b3-5
Min7: 1-b3-5-b7

Dom7: 1-3-5-b7
Dim7: 1-b3-b5-6

Sus4: 1-4-5-(b7)

You can move the notes around so that you don't necessarily have to have the '1' note on the bottom, and this gives interesting sounding 'inversions' that you can use to move to other keys.

For example, suppose you want to go from a C7 chord to an F chord. You can use:
Quote:
C-E-G-Bb -> F-A-C-F

But this is a little dull and unadventuresome. Instead, allow the bass not to 'lead the way up' by re-arranging the notes in the first chord:
Quote:
E-G-Bb-C -> F-A-C-F


Different styles of music draw heavily on certain types of chords. Jazz, for example, uses a lot of major sevenths and minor 7ths (it's based around sevenths, in fact), but you never find those in baroque classical, say - or very rarely, unless you know how to use them well like JSB. Blues and rock use a lot of sus4 chords.

 
Celebaelin
49329.  Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:37 am Reply with quote

Thanks very much, I think I understand that now (remains to be seen obviously) except that I'm not sure what you're telling me in this bit
Quote:
...It's unusual to have the 7th note on the bottom, though - it's on the bottom E string there, so it won't sound much like a major 7th chord.

You must mean the bottom 'string' (the "top" E course in the mandolin has both strings tuned to the same E rather than octave tuning like the other courses) phyically (highest pitch) but after looking around briefly I find the 7th on the B string of the guitar (2nd bottom, 2nd highest pitch) quite a lot. Is it that it is rare to find the 7th on a high pitched string or only that it is rare to find on the bottom (highest pitched) string (or course)?

PS Special thanks for the inversion bit, must give that a try.

 
Gray
49353.  Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:25 am Reply with quote

Ah sorry - yes I meant 'bottom' as in pitch rather than 'nearest the floor'. It's most common to find major 7ths towards the top of chords - that is, in the higher registers.

I'm assuming that the mandolin has the highest pitched string closest to the floor, like the guitar? I was confused reading those diagrams, and for some reason thought that the string closest to the bottom of the screen was the lowest in pitch, which isn't true, I now realise...

 
Celebaelin
49403.  Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:01 pm Reply with quote

Now we both know better...er...presumably; well, I do anyway.

 
dr.bob
49526.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:39 am Reply with quote

Gray wrote:
I'm assuming that the mandolin has the highest pitched string closest to the floor, like the guitar?


That rather depends whether or not you're playing it with your teeth, a la Hendrix :)

 
Gray
49533.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:05 am Reply with quote

But then he was actually lying on the floor when he did that...

"Low E string - you know, the one nearest the premolars."

 
samivel
49566.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:49 am Reply with quote

Hendrix played guitar with his teeth, and behind his head, but he never did both at the same time, and even my granddad can do that :)

 
bythewatersedge
131598.  Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:17 pm Reply with quote

Zaphod Beeblebrox wrote:
What does come after the hemi-demi-semiquaver?


... rewriting the music so you avoid so many ledger lines!

 
bythewatersedge
131919.  Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:47 pm Reply with quote

I consulted with another musical friend of mine and we both reckon the technical answer is a semi-hemi-demi-semi-quaver. But I have found no confirmation of this in any official text, probably because it's more sensible to ... (see answer above)

 
smiley_face
131922.  Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:54 pm Reply with quote

bythewatersedge wrote:
Zaphod Beeblebrox wrote:
What does come after the hemi-demi-semiquaver?


... rewriting the music so you avoid so many ledger lines!


Why would a hemi-demi-semiquaver lead to many ledger lines?

Unless of course, it was a very very high or very very low hemi-demi-semiquaver.

 
bythewatersedge
131927.  Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:24 pm Reply with quote

Very good point. What sort of idiot would suggest that .... oh, it was me. For ledger lines read tails/flags/beams. Needs a rewrite!!

 
bythewatersedge
131928.  Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:30 pm Reply with quote

Interestingly enough, I've just spotted semi-hemi-demi-semi-quavers also called quasi-hemi-demi-semi-quavers. Even at an incredibly slow tempo anything beyond a hemi-demi is gonna be pretty 'quasi'.

 
Susannah Dingley
558117.  Fri May 22, 2009 6:33 am Reply with quote

The slow movement of Antonín Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony is in D flat major. That’s of course the piece that most people know of as the “Largo from the New World”.

As this hasn’t been mentioned in this long thread at all, I thought I’d just put it in.

Another one is Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody № 6 – though I have a suspicion it is sometimes transposed to the more playable key of D major.

 
Jenny
558364.  Fri May 22, 2009 4:52 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Susannah and welcome to the forums :-)

 

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