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  #16  
Old 04-12-2013, 01:17 PM
ombudsman ombudsman is offline
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Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
I got it, thanks!

It's amazing how this failure by all these books and teachers to share a common set or method of LABELING can so confuse things.


I know what you're saying, and I hate the ambiguity and inconsistency as much as anybody, but it's really not the fault of the books and teachers... musicians themselves don't agree on this stuff. It's just never been a regulated, standardized thing... which would be impossible, really, given what music is and the fact that it is always changing. If there was a set of standards, few of us would adhere to it.

It's like the "litter problem", all you can do is not contribute to it and maybe clean up your block. Like the English language, there are so many exceptions , inconsistencies, contractions and figures of speech that it's just really hard to learn it all, especially as a second language.

In this case, not contributing to the problem means keeping a distinction between names for intervals and for chords and never mixing them up when it comes to names for altered notes that also happen to describe triad/seventh chords.

I generally just refer to all altered notes as "sharp" or "flat" except where it's part of the basic triad or seventh chord structure (so it's OK to call a #5 an augmented 5th if you want because that doesn't create ambiguity). It's not like you gain any practical clarity by referring to a raised 9th as augmented rather than sharp.

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Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
If this were REALLY a D Augmented 9, the 5th would have been an A# ... right? (Because augmented chords are 1 -3 -#5)
Right.
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2013, 02:02 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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You are getting good advice from Jon.

I'd only add that while augmenting the 5th of the dominant 7th chord strengthens the resolution to a tonic minor (e.g., G7#5 to Cm), the #5 neither demands that the tonic is minor, nor is a #5 required for the tonic to be minor. I.e., you can go to a Cm from a G7, or from a G7#5 to a CM. As Jon said, the augmented 5th suggests the minor tonic because it contains the minor 3rd of the tonic chord.

You can further strengthen the resolution to a minor key by flatting the 5th of the ii chord, e.g., Dm7b5/G7#5/Cm. That is because the b5 of the ii chord is the minor 6th of the tonic chord. Some--but not all--minor scales use a minor 6th, which is the same tone as a flatted 6th. When you use a ii7b5/V7#5 for your ii/V7 progression, you really ought to end on the minor tonic because it has been so clearly signaled. I can't think of any time you would see a ii7b5/V7#5 and not then go the the minor tonic chord.
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2013, 04:54 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
I got it, thanks!

It's amazing how this failure by all these books and teachers to share a common set or method of LABELING can so confuse things.

Just to show you, I scanned the page from my chord dictionary and you can see how on the left side of the page it's calling it a "D Augmented 9th", yet the 5th isn't sharpened, just the 9th. And yet on the other side of the page, under the word symbol, it does list it as D7#9:






If this were REALLY a D Augmented 9, the 5th would have been an A# ... right? (Because augmented chords are 1 -3 -#5)
I'll say it a third time (slightly different way)...

A "#9" IS an "augmented 9th", if we're talking about the interval itself (D root up to E# 15 semitones above).
So the book is correct in that sense.
However, it's a silly way to name the chord, because most of us (like yourself) assume "augmented" to always mean the 5th - which is of course not augmented in this chord.

IOW we have a conflict between common language ("augmented" = #5 only, as in aug triad) and academic language ("augmented" = any perfect or major interval raised by a half-step).
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  #19  
Old 04-12-2013, 06:28 PM
Mellow_D Mellow_D is offline
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
I'll say it a third time (slightly different way)...

A "#9" IS an "augmented 9th", if we're talking about the interval itself (D root up to E# 15 semitones above).
So the book is correct in that sense.
However, it's a silly way to name the chord, because most of us (like yourself) assume "augmented" to always mean the 5th - which is of course not augmented in this chord.

IOW we have a conflict between common language ("augmented" = #5 only, as in aug triad) and academic language ("augmented" = any perfect or major interval raised by a half-step).
As you said if you raise a major or a perfect interval you get an augmented.

Now if you lower the major interval by a half-step, you get a minor interval. So take that major 9 interval and lower it, it becomes a minor 9 interval (an E flat, which is 13 semitones above the D). A "b9" is a "minor 9th".

But we call the chord a D7b9; we DON'T call it a "D Minor 9", right? (I know a D Minor 9 is not a D7b9 chord, but I'm saying in the "unsual way" they ended up calling a D7#9 chord a D Augmented 9 chord in the dictionary above, they could have weirdly called the D7b9 chord a D Minor 9 chord ... if they were trying to focus on INTERVAL in naming the chord (i.e., a minor 9 interval, the distance between the D and the E flat being 13 semitones).

I hope that made sense. I'm just trying to follow the "logic" of how the dictionary COULD have defined the D7b9 chord if they had applied the same manner of labeling -- one based on the interval itself -- as they did in defining the D7#9 as a D Augmented 9.

Last edited by Mellow_D; 04-12-2013 at 06:48 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-12-2013, 06:49 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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arrrrrhggghhhhh!

Augmented is for fifths. Burn that book.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why people insist on making this stuff so complicated.
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  #21  
Old 04-12-2013, 11:29 PM
Mellow_D Mellow_D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
arrrrrhggghhhhh!

Augmented is for fifths. Burn that book.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why people insist on making this stuff so complicated.
Blame Mel Bay and Bill Bay.

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  #22  
Old 04-13-2013, 03:31 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
As you said if you raise a major or a perfect interval you get an augmented.

Now if you lower the major interval by a half-step, you get a minor interval. So take that major 9 interval and lower it, it becomes a minor 9 interval (an E flat, which is 13 semitones above the D). A "b9" is a "minor 9th".

But we call the chord a D7b9; we DON'T call it a "D Minor 9", right?
Exactly. Because the word "minor" in that context is as confusing as "augmented" is.
Both words are correct in a narrow sense (referring to the following extension, the 9th), but confusing in a chord name, because in chord names those words are reserved for ONE purpose only:
"Minor" = lowered 3rd
"Augmented" = raised 5th

The other occasionally confusing chord name term is "maj", which refers solely to the raised 7th - not the chord's 3rd, or any other extension.

Eg, when we see "Cmaj9", the "maj" means we have a B note in the chord, a major 7th interval above the root. It doesn't mean the triad is major. It is, of course, but we don't need to to say that in the chord name ("C9" is also based on a major triad)
We can also have a major 7th on a minor chord, expressed the same way: "Cm(maj9)" = C Eb G B D.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
(I know a D Minor 9 is not a D7b9 chord, but I'm saying in the "unsual way" they ended up calling a D7#9 chord a D Augmented 9 chord in the dictionary above, they could have weirdly called the D7b9 chord a D Minor 9 chord ... if they were trying to focus on INTERVAL in naming the chord (i.e., a minor 9 interval, the distance between the D and the E flat being 13 semitones).
Exactly right. They are not only being confusing, they are being inconsistent!

They're picking and choosing: going for "flat" to describe the b9, but "augmented" to describe the #9.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
I hope that made sense. I'm just trying to follow the "logic" of how the dictionary COULD have defined the D7b9 chord if they had applied the same manner of labeling -- one based on the interval itself -- as they did in defining the D7#9 as a D Augmented 9.
Sure - sorry if I suggested you weren't getting the point - obviously you are!
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  #23  
Old 04-13-2013, 04:56 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is online now
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Originally Posted by Mellow_D View Post
Blame Mel Bay and Bill Bay.

I always thought Jamey Abersold was the cat I needed to backhand.
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