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Sus/Aug Chords

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by cassanova, Jul 20, 2003.


  1. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    I was reading Moleys post about 11ths and the topic of Sus chords came up. Rather than hijacking his thread I thought it best to create my own. So please bear with me.

    What exactly makes a sus chord and an augmented chord?

    I appriciate the input.
     
  2. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    2 things:

    Although you will occasionally see it written "sus4", usually only "sus" is noted for a suspended 4th.

    I've never heard someone put both a #5 and a "perfect 5" in a augmented chord just because the dominant 7 is added. This is wrong. Did you misspeak?:confused:
    Such a chord would be something like X7(b13) . Traditional dominant7 chord for the "perfect5" with the added b13 (no other chord extensions) which would be the same (note) as your "#5".
     
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    The sus-chords have no third. The sus2 has a major second instead of the third, and the sus4 has a fourth instead of the third. Sus2 and sus4 are closely related; starting from the sus2 chord, you will get a chord with the same notes if you build a sus4 on the fifith, and a sus2 chord built from the fourth of a sus4 chord will also give you a chord with the same notes.

    An augmented chord has two major thirds. The interval is a half step larger than the perfect fifth. The minor sixth sounds the same as an augmented chord.
     
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not quite true, as the minor 6th (chord) has the perfect 5th in it. An augmented 5th (the interval) sounds the same as a minor 6th (interval).
     
  5. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Yeah, but I was talking about two-note chords. Just kidding. ;)
    You are correct, of course.
     
  6. Not in the music I've sung. Not at all.
    The 2 resolves to the 1, not the 3. The third is there all along. It's also called a 9-8 suspension. Same notes.
    Suspension occurs when you substitute (retain from the prior chord) a note higher than the anticipated 1 or 3 or 5; thus, you can also have a 6-5 suspension.
    Resolving up, e.g. 2-3, is called retardation.
     
  7. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Agreed, but in Turock's defense, I see (quite often) in Pop and Rock (and occasionally Jazz) "sus2" denoted for a Root, 2nd, 5th chord, and even less often "2sus4" for a Root, 2nd, 4th, 5th chord.

    Many progressive rock players use these with no regard (right or wrong) to whether they are true suspensions held over from the previous chord.

    However, his statement on "2 note chords" (i.e. can only 2 notes be considered a chord?) has been hotly debated in another thread. :eek:
     
  8. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    Okay; however, I suggest that what you are really using are add9 (or add2) chords. That is my understanding anyway.
     
  9. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Id like to thank you for answering my question and clarifying it. As always, ya'll confused the **** outta me with other stuff too. But I appriciate that too.
     
  10. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Although I agree with Don's explaination of a true suspension, I have to also agree with Turock in that a chord with Root, 2nd, 5th (sus2) with the 3rd in there also would be labeled as an "Xadd9" or X(9).

    ( ) denoting the 9 as the only extension.
     
  11. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Clarification since Cassanova is already confused.;)

    Pac's point (in chord context) should be refered to as a b6 rather than a "minor 6" so as not to be confused with an "Xmin6" which would contain a minor 3rd & a natural 6 (which is not what we're discussing).

    However, you would almost never see it written as a "b6" (i.e. X b6 or X(b6) ). It would be almost always written as the above (previous post) "X(b13)". The b13 being the same note as the b6.
     
  12. Not so fast, Newhouse. We're not done confusing you. There's a whole bunch of guys that use + and - instead of # and b when noting chords, as in A7+5-9. And to confuse you more, when you see A7+5-9, remember the scale behind it is D harmonic minor.
     
  13. That's the problem with vertical analysis of a single moment in time. The preceding and succeeding music must be taken into account to be sure of the harmonic intent. It's entirely possible that your label could be incorrect.
    Tudor anthems, for instance, frequently spell harmony horizontally, with contrapuntal phrases overlapping in different voices in different keys. Vertical analysis makes no sense and defies labeling.
     
  14. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    OK, now you're just being cruel.;) :D

    Point taken (second quote). Although that kind of thinking (although correct) will only confuse 99% of the guys reading the latest Celine Dion chart, whether on a lowly lounge gig, or backing....Celine.:eek:

    Most guys don't have your extremely deep understanding of complex theory (I know I don't. I understand the concepts you are explaining, they're just not commited to memory), and most will tend to read the literal (vertical) chord rather than analyzing the horizontal, harmonic intent as they're going along.
     
  15. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    In basic terms, in a sus chord, the 4th usually replaces the 3rd. An augmented triad is formed from two major 3rds. For example, C E G#. C to E = major 3rd, E to G# = major 3rd. It usually acts as a dominant chord, and thus can have a minor 7th too.
     
  16. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You're right Don, but now you're talking about classical theory, rather than Jazz/pop...

    To me, a 9-8 suspension is not really the same as a sus2 chord.
     
  17. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Again, Don, you're quite right (of course), but I sorta assume we're talking about the Jazz/pop side of things here, where vertical analysis of the harmony at one point in time usually does work.

    In classical theory, the idea of suspensions is based on horizontal movement as well as vertical. However when we're talking about sus chords in Jazz or pop, they can exist as an entity on their own right, rather than being a product of counterpoint, and needn't even resolve at all.
     
  18. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    All great stuff. But note that an augmented chord is often found as a five-chord of a minor-seven. A minor-six chord is often found is a leading voice, e.g. "The James Bond" progression (going up) or "The Rest of Your Life / Funny Valentine" progression (going down, in its incarnation as a minor chord with added sixth).

    Folks who learn the great standard "All of You" from the old Real Book see the first chord printed as Ab-7 b6. Some of them substitute an F-7 b5 i.e. an Ab minor chord with a sixth in the bass. Folks who learn it off the Bill Evans record hear it as E Maj7 i.e. an Ab chord with a minor sixth in the bass.

    Yeah, Don, that "shorthand" notation certainly is short and handy.