The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #17666   Message #171354
Posted By: Mark Clark
31-Jan-00 - 07:40 PM
Thread Name: Help: Chord Theory/Questions
Subject: RE: Help: Chord Theory/Questions

I remember the thread but didn't try the software. Does the program give all the possible names for a single chord spelling? What does it do with different spellings for the same notes? For example, if you *saw* someone playing playing EA#B, how would you know they weren't playing EBbB? Would the program provide the same chord name for both spellings?

It often takes more than just note names to properly identify a chord when it is found in a progression. This is partly because of inversions and substitutions---as GW points out, G6 and E-7 (Em7) contain the same notes---and partly because, in practice, people often play partial chords that act as a particular chord even though the notes being played don't truly spell the chord being represented. The key in which the progression is written makes a difference as well.

Often, strange and complex chord names are never intended by either the composer or the performer. They are the result of a copyist or computer program that doesn't actually know the music, only the theory. A common situation is a descending base line moving by half steps through a chord or progression. It's really just a chord or two with a descending base but when you write it down and tell a computer about it, the odd names start to pop up.

I agree with GW, it's good to know why such names are possible but don't spend time memorizing fingerings for chords with names like those, they'll become more limiting than enabling.

Good luck,

- Mark