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figured bass

Posted by Sarah 
Sarah
figured bass
November 02, 2005 06:29PM
I'm realizing a figured bass exercise right now and have come across two new (to me) figures - 7/4 and just plain 9. what do these mean? thanks!
Re: figured bass
November 05, 2005 11:30PM
Hi -
I know the "9" just means the root position chord with an added ninth (it's shorthand for 9/5/3); I'm actually not sure about 7/4... maybe that suggests 7/4/2? It would help to know the bass note and key signature so we know exactly what the intervals are.

Just building the plain intervals above a C, for example, we'd get C F B... hmm. 7/4/2 occured to me because you could stack thirds like this: B D F .. C, that is, diminished B triad with added 9th in the bass... or the C could just be acting as a pedal tone as the harmony moves over it (?).

Maybe someone else on the forum can help out more on this one....

-Rob
Re: figured bass
March 21, 2006 03:41AM
the 4 in 6/4 represents the interval (P4) from dominant to tonic, in 2nd inversion.
the same applies to 7/4 except that its a diatonic 7th instead of 6th..
yielding a "sus4" chord in 2nd inversion.... the "9" was your clue that you've left 17th century harmony, and are now in the realm of Jazz lol

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