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Hi, I would like to ask you how to classify an A/D chord, which is D, A and C# on the score.

I know that it is a so called slash chord, but I am trying to analyse it from a harmony point of view.

Is it like a Asus4 chord with both the 3rd and the 4th? Is the D the 11th note? Is the score not showing the other notes in the chord? Thank you very much.

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Hi Bob, HERE is the link to the first page of the score. This score has an additional F#, so it would be Dmaj7, as you said, but it is still noted as A/D, for some reason.

Hi Bob, thanks for your answer, but I need to clarify.

Where should it be the E that you are talking about? In the A/D guitar chord? Which notes would be in a A/D chord? Is there an other alternative name for this chord, like Asus4 plus the 11th?

However, if I play D, A and C#, like in my own music sheet (I couldn't find this one on internet, sorry), it sounds exactly like the song chord, so I guess these three notes could be the right ones.

It is obvious to me that from the measure in question a Tonic pedal is involved in the base till the end of the passage and it is reflected in all chord symbols by the addition of "/D". In that sense all chord symbols are notated correctly apart from the one you both refer to. It is not strictly an A chord in the sense of a dominant chord (V) but a chord (III) ie F#m, in its first  inversion (A-C#-F#). Obviously the chord diagram above the treble staff is wrong as it shows that both D and E strings of the guitar should be played open while not making any provision for the existence of the note  F# in the score. So in my opinion it should be noted as F#m/D.

The penultimate chord diagram seems to be wrong also as it contains an open D guitar string,

One wonders in the end about the effectiveness of jazz symbols and how insufficient they are in dealing with every day minor problems of notation such as this. Figured base notation (more than 300 years old by now) makes a trifle of such problems, but find me a jazz musician who has the mental discipline or brain bend to think about it and learn it.


I thought i might break it down even a bit more… 

(Firstly, the e that Bob mentions, is the open e string played in the chord diagram… though not reflected in the reduced score, as Bob correctly noted)

The f# is last note of the noodling phrase,  -- and it is heard- as an A 6 -  (as a kind of suspension that doesn't resolve to e)

The d is a pedal tone, while the V and IV chord alternate - though each missing  one note in the triad.

Notice that when the chord pattern returns, there is no f#… (It is because it was part of the other noodling voice, which is no longer playing)

Much to do, about a simple song… :)



Here is a figured bass version of the passage which given to any baroque guitarist, lutenist, harpsichordist etc, would be read easily and produce the same harmonic results. Looks much simpler in my mind (provided of course that one can read a simple base line and interpret numbers attached to it).

Not the ridiculous equations and diagrams of modern day…, but still… much ado about bass. :-)

Hi, thanks to everyone who contributed. I still have a few doubts about this F#m/D, it is difficult for me to explain why it's there.

1.Let's say that it's F#m/D in bar 6, but in bar 8 there is the same chord without F#: I cannot hear a difference, as if that F# is not so important. Would you name the chord in bar 8 F#m/D if the score didn't show you bar 6?

2.The chord progression with F#m/D would be I-IIIm-IV, that I-IIIm is a little bit odd for what I know. How would you explain this I-IIIm?

3.How the author had the idea to use a chord on a pedal instead of a "proper" chord? What is the kind of effect given by this solution instead of an F#m in second inversion or an A chord, for example?

Yes, I will have to study contemporary harmony a little bit more.

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