RE: [Harp-L] Numbers Game
Quoting from "Chord Chemestry" by Ted Greene:
The terms 9th, 11th and 13th (they are the same letters names as 2nd, 4th and 6th) are a carry over from piano theory. These higher notes were to be played in the right hand or in the higher octaves. On guitar, they are usually played near the top of the chord, but sometimes the 9th and 11th are even played in the bass. So, it is just due to tradition that they are still called 9, 11, 13, as opposed to 2, 4, 6...
On the C2 formula mentioned below, I think playing the 3rd is optional as is omitting the 3rd is acceptable in many other chord voicings.
I am not a theory teacher. Just had a few classes. When I have taken theory, I took classes as applied to guitar because no one offered theory as applied to harmonica in my home town. However, I have had many harp students and most were not interested in theory and harp is such a different animal that I always have to be careful about getting into harp theory. Let's face it; the way many of us play the harp is not the way it was designed to be played.
Chord building is a great thing to know and understand and I wish you all the best. When I write charts, I use the Nashville number system and lay it out for guitar. So, as far as writing an Am7 vs a C6 would be a somewhat subjective thing depending on the feel I am going for. If the song is in key = C, it would most likely be an Am7 since the Am is the relative minor (or 6m). What mode would impact this as well. Hopefully you (we) will get a better answer from someone reading this. I'm going to have to pull out a couple of theory books and do some investigating. It's a good thang!
When I do sessions, just give me a number chart and as the harp player I know what notes are or are not available to me on the harp. I play with an orchastra some (church) and those folks get lead sheets. I have never been handed a lead sheet for harp in my 30+ years of playing.
> From: boogalloo@xxxxxxx
> To: trackharpl@xxxxxxxxxxxx; harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: RE: [Harp-L] Numbers Game
> Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 13:14:28 -0600
> A few quick examples:
> Chord Formula (From a C Major scale)
> C2 1, 2, 5 (no 3rd is played)
> C9 1, 3, 5, b7, 9
> C4 is an explosive :D (however, a Csus4 = 1, 4, 5)
> C11 1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 11
> Cmaj6 1, 3, 5, 6
> C13 1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 13
> At a glance, your obsevations look fairly sound, however, a 2 note vs a 9th note does not necessarily require an octave of seperation etc. It depends on the voicing or position.
> Please correct me if I am wrong.
> > To: Harp-L@xxxxxxxxxx
> > From: TrackHarpL@xxxxxxxxxxxx
> > Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 13:12:20 -0500
> > CC:
> > Subject: [Harp-L] Numbers Game
> > Why are they called 9th chords and 11th chords and not 2nd chords and
> > 4th chords? Is the difference between a Maj6 chord and a 13th chord
> > that in the 13th chord the 7th, 9th, and 11th are in there, too? Or is
> > the difference the octave in which the note-in-question (6th/13th) is
> > played?
> > A major 6th chord and a minor 7th chord seem to have an awful lot in
> > common: Am7 vs C6, for example. Is one not an inversion of the other?
> > Is there any value in thinking of these as "enharmonic chords"? Is
> > the decision of what to write on the chord sheet dependent on context?
> > Something else?
> > When can you play a chord in any inversion that's convenient, and when
> > is the inversion played (or written) significant?
> > These are not burning questions... Just stuff that's rattling around
> > in my brain that won't go away.
> > Thanks in advance.
> > Elizabeth (aka "Tin Lizzie")
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