What would you name this chord?

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by JAS, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    What would you guys call this chord? In a piece that I wrote, I am voicing it Bb,Ab,Db,Gb. I was calling it Gbadd9/Bb or Bb-7+5. The scale that it is implying is a Bb phrygian scale.

    Also how about this chord, voiced B,Ab,Db,Ab? I was calling that one B6/9(no 3rd).
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    For that first chord, Gbadd9/Bb seems like a good choice - or maybe Bb-7(b6). For some reason b6 seems like a better idea than +5. Maybe it's just that I'm not used to seeing +5 used with minor chords.

    But, I think context and function have to dictate your choice. Viewed in isolation, it's difficult to say.

    As for the B Ab Db Ab one, I think it's difficult to know what to call that. What do you see its function being? Other your suggestion of B6/9(no 3rd) I can't really think of anything.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    It's all subjective and context-driven, by my two cents:

    Bb,Ab,Db,Gb -- I'd call it Ab7sus/Bb or Ab-7sus/Bb. The latter is more in line with Bb phrygian, of course.

    B,Ab,Db,Ab -- Db7/B or Db-7/B

    I was calling that one B6/9 I'm used to thinking of a 6/9 as a substitute for a major-seven chord in swing or bossa. You're missing the major third that makes me think of a 6/9. 6/9s lay real easy on the middle strings of a guitar voiced 1 3 6 9 so I would not think of omitting a major third if you showed me a 6/9 symbol.

    Write on!
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Minor 6/9 chords are not uncommon either. Derived from the melodic minor. Either way, if viewed as a 6/9, this chord is missing the all important 3rd.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Depending on what preceeds it, that could also be another "Dan" chord if it followed a Bma7 chord, a la "Peg". From Bottom to top:

    B A# D# F#
    Bb Ab Db Gb (enharmonic)

    A G# C# E
    G# F# B E

    In this context, it's just a fancy "fusion" IV-I6 progression ( "I6" in the figured bass sense of the term), in which case I'd have to agree with HOT TAMOLEY that the mystery chord in question would function as a first inversion Gb (F#) chord with a ninth.

    I used to play in a fusion band led by a great guitar player who wrote all the tunes, and he always notated our "mystery chord" as a min7#5 - in our case, Bbmin7#5 - because where he studied harminy, he was instructed to always put altered color tones on top. I tried the argument that what was on top was really the root, but it only annoyed him, so I just learned to translate. I'm tempted to think that JIZZ' chord fits this mold because of the Bb Phrygian reference, which is really just another way of thinking of the same note set as Gb Ma.

    (look out for Pacman, he HATES IT when I say stuff like that! :D)
  6. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    Chris I agree with what you are saying, that is pretty much where I am at with that chord. On the lead sheet I actually have had both Gbadd9/Bb and Bbmin7#5 to clarify because I guess the Gb really is the root of the thing. It doesn't sound like a voicing of a phrygian type of sound to me, it is a fusion kind of sound I guess.

    The B Ab Db Ab chord is preceeded by Amaj7/C# and followed by the Gbadd9/Bb thing.