Augmented Sixth Chords

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
brainpolice
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"How about voicings? Are there any special rules there? Do I pretty much just want to keep either the F# or Ab in the bass?"
You can arrange it in any order, any inversion. It resolves the same way.
"They are all just versions of the Lydian dominant type sound , spelled (or miss spelled) various ways for the sake of voice leading and part writing. This is the point where music theory analysis bites itself in the ass and becomes pointless."
Yea i know. Not necisarily just Lydian Dominant (The French chord is the one that implies a Lydian Dominant Sound, the others dont.), and it isn't used as "im in lydian dominant now" it resolves. Yea, the French chord in C (Ab C D F#) is just a D7b5 in disguise. Yea, the German chord in C (Ab C Eb F#) is just a tritone substitution (Ab7 instead of D7) in disguise. Yea, the Italian chord in C (Ab C F#)is just a D7b5 without the root in disguise (or Ab7 without the 5th). But in a counterpointal context you don't want to think like that at all. In a counterpointal context it's an augmented6, not the dominant 7th it appears to be.
P.S. shouldn't that Bb7 go to an Eb, or an A? Or are you going to claim "it's in F dorian for the first two chords"? So you've tonisized G7. It still doesn't sound at rest, and a C chord would make it at rest. :)
markelia
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Bakerman is sharp as a tack. Every time the guy posts anything he nails the bullseye.

I think of Augmented 6th chords as tritone substitution chords; the idea is the same. I seem to remember a while back brain, ricardo, and myself had a heated discussion regarding the phrygian chord progression and its link to the tritone sub function; these augmented 6ths chords are the same kinda thing. I think the classical guys got into this kind of sound from the music of Spain, the middle east, and other cultures, and then the jazz guys got it from the classical guys. Who knows. :wink:
brainpolice
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" I think the classical guys got into this kind of sound from the music of Spain, the middle east, and other cultures, and then the jazz guys got it from the classical guys. Who knows"
I think you're right about that.
As i said though, in a counterpointal context it ISNT a tritone substitution or a dominantb5 (it's just the creation of melodies in this context, it's linear). In a harmonic context it IS tritone substituions and altered dominants. But there's a difference between both of those contexts, and I was showing it first in the counterpointal context because that's what it came from.
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Ricardo
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P.S. shouldn't that Bb7 go to an Eb, or an A? Or are you going to claim "it's in F dorian for the first two chords"? So you've tonisized G7. It still doesn't sound at rest, and a C chord would make it at rest.
I am just claiming this is an example of a tonal type progression, used in a musical context that is not in a major or minor key. I call it "in G phyrgian", which is a "modal" key to me. The only 7th chord that has to go anywhere is the German6 one, because everything is coming to rest on the G. That is the true dominant to tonic movement, in this context. If you have a longer progression that actually did have a Bb-Eb resolution, you would still find it work its way back to G tonic via Ab or the German6 thing. The music is overall, in G, not in Eb, but Eb can be thought of as a brief modulation or key change to the relative major, but it always moves back to G. That is the Spanish flavor, using both tonal harmonic progressions and middle eastern type modality together. The big picture is Phrygian. Spanish music will also modulate back and forth to parallel minor or major keys (G phryg to G maj or G min), either abrublty like you do when modulating modes on the tonic, or in a tonal way via D7.

If you find yourself and your ear dissatisfied w/ the G7b9 resolution, it is because of your western classical mindset and predjudice for major/minor keys, but the rhythm of the music helps to accept the finality of G. It took me a while to get used to also. Just play a modal vamp thing, establishing the G phrygian tonic, w/ just G(b9)-Ab. Then move through the progression I wrote, coming back to G, and vamp again. After awhile you get used to hearing G as tonic and you don't want/need it to go to C, EVEN WITHOUT first hearing the G-Ab vamp.

The clever thing in flamenco is to play w/ the rhythm in a way that suspends the G resolution, creating the tension so you really can't wait for the G7b9 to come. You can use all the progressions you want, so long as you eventually resolve to G, and the trick to that is the rhythm.

Ricardo
brainpolice
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You still didnt explain/justify Bb7 going to F minor7.
"If you find yourself and your ear dissatisfied w/ the G7b9 resolution, it is because of your western classical mindset and predjudice for major/minor keys"
I dont have a western/classical mindset. I don't have a prejudice for major/minor keys. I just realize that modal music has no real progression, it's all counterpoint! It's all just the creation of lines.
Last edited by brainpolice on Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
FINGERS76
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brainpolice wrote:You still didnt explain/justify Bb7 going to F minor7.
"If you find yourself and your ear dissatisfied w/ the G7b9 resolution, it is because of your western classical mindset and predjudice for major/minor keys"
I dont have a western/classical mindset. I don't have a prejudice for major/minor keys.
You have a predjudice against everone who doesn't agree with you.
brainpolice
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Would you quit the lets target Brainpolice stuff? It really doesn't get us anywhere, it isn't mature, and its a complete distraction from the topic. Cheers.
"<snip: these personal attacks stop right here. Mod7wh>"
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Ricardo
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You still didnt explain/justify Bb7 going to F minor7.

I don't have a prejudice for major/minor keys. I just realize that modal music has no real progression, it's all counterpoint! It's all just the creation of lines.
Well, why must I justify that part of the progression, or any progression? That is the harmony, plain and simple. You have never encountered this chordal movement in music, tonal or other wise? Still, you seem to miss my point of the whole post. G is tonic, it is fine if you don't want to call it "modal music" since it has chords that progress, so call it "tonal music in Gphrygian". But it is not "hanging on the V". G(b9)-Abmaj7-Bb7-Ebmaj7-Bb7-Fm7-German6 (Ab7inverted)-G7(b9). These chords could be used in a score w/ counter points for voice/orchestra, or just to harmonize a simple melody. But it ain't Mozart. Must I justify each chordal movement?

I-II-III-VI-III-vii-Germ6(II7)-I. If you want to say these chords don't function, then you are accepting the "modality" of it. If you want to say these chords function, but my Roman numerals are wrong, then I say you have that western classical predjudice. Either way you seem to have a dividing line in your mind which is about to break down I hope. Can you play this progression repeatedly, and hear G as tonic, or does your ear want to take it somewhere else like C minor or back to Eb maj? Imagine hearing all those chords w/ a G bass pedal or drone. Of course you can hear the G phrygianess of it. When you can still hear how G is final, w/out the drone, then you have got what I am talking about. No justifications needed.

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brainpolice
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" G is tonic, it is fine if you don't want to call it "modal music" since it has chords that progress, so call it "tonal music in Gphrygian". "
Vice versa. It is modal music, and there is no progression.
There is no roman numerals going on here. It's Phrygian. If you we're to start on a G chord then it would make even more sense to being phrygian. But your example doesn't start in that place, it starts on a Bb7, and goes through a number of chords until it gets to a G. Since you started on a Bb7, and went through those other chords, the "phrygianness" hasn't occured until your final chord, and since it took all those chords to reach the "phrygianness" then it really wasn't "in phrygian" until you reached that place; but then since you've been so ambiguous preceding it: It wants to resolve to a tonal key. The whole thing is ambiguous. If it were in G phrygian, then you'd start on a G phrygian sound and end on a G phrygian sound. But what you've done is start in an odd place, made your way to the "phrygian area", but it doesnt sound at home, it wants to go to C. Put a C minor or C major7 at the end and it becomes the ambiguous tonality that it is.
Last edited by brainpolice on Tue Feb 08, 2005 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ricardo
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Brain, the German6 thing is strong enough to remove the ambiguity. That is why I brought up this modal stuff again in this thread. It is VERY strong, just as doing V/? in a classic major key can strongly establish a new key. It functions as sub dominant in classical, and as Dominant in phrygian. I can start on any chord I want and move it to G as tonic. You can do the same for major or minor keys, by not starting on the tonic chord. But for your sake I would avoid starting on C minor or Eb, but it can still be done and still feel final on the G.

You seem to still miss the point that if you first start Vamping in G phrygian, then jump to the Bb-Fm etc prog, you can hear the phrygianness better. But even still I gave you some more chords that did start and end on G, w/ roman numerals to boot, that you did not address. Experiment w/ the sounds a bit first, then come back to counter what I have said.

Ricardo
brainpolice
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Well there's no roman numerals in modal music. Your "chord progression" is still just the creation of multiple melodies from the mode. Yes, it appears to be in G phrygian; but like i pointed out: you didn't get the phrygian sound until the final chord - so how can you say it was in phrygian all along? Since you started with a Bb7, you started with the sound of Bb Mixolydian, so everything after that will be heard in relation to Bb as tonic. Since you established Bb as tonic in the first place, when you reach that G chord it sounds like a move into G phrygian after being in Bb mixolydian. Or you could think of it as a tonisized V chord in C minor (Or C Major.). So ok, lets add a G major or G7 or G7b9 at the beginning of that "progression". Now you established G as tonic, so it will all be heard in relation to G as G phrygian. But there is no roman numeral significance regardless. You've really just gone I----------------raised 7th as tension that could be though of as borrowing from hungarian minor's 5th mode, a phrygian dominant variant with a major7th interval that i've seen called double harmonic, but names get ridiculous at that point----------------I. Collectively: I
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