Figured bass: unknown chords

Hi, I am doing a few exercises about figured bass.

The problem is that, on two exercises, there are the following 4 basses:

5       5       7       3

2       4       4

I do not have any idea about what kind of chords or which inversion they are: I searched for similar examples on my harmony book and google, I cannot find them.

I may guess that the latter indicates just a generic third interval and so there are many possibilities available (please correct me if I am wrong), but what about the first three? Thanks.

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • The first two might indicate suspensions



  • Ishan Bhargava said:

    The first two might indicate suspensions


    I think the third one is also a suspension. If the dominant is in the bass, then the 4 would be the tonic which would then fall to the leading tone, and is probably used at a cadence. The 7 is probably the seventh of the dominant chord.
    Figured bass: unknown chords
    Hi, I am doing a few exercises about figured bass. The problem is that, on two exercises, there are the following 4 basses: 5       5       7       3…
  • In the book all this is introduced into the exercises without mentioning what a suspension is. Ok, thank you for the explanation, I will have to study this argument anyway.

  • I would also consider changing book. :)

    I agree with the previous commentators. 4ths and 7ths are the main suspensions as taught in fourth species counterpoint. The 2nd could be also, and if Ishan above is right then the fourth number in your sequence (3) indicates the tonic chord in root position. (7th of the dominant descending to 3rd of the tonic quite correctly), but I must say: If that is the case the number (3) is not needed in the figured bass notation as it is always assumed that a triadic chord must have a third, unless of course the third is suspended by the number 4.

    Alfred La Fleur said:

    In the book all this is introduced into the exercises without mentioning what a suspension is. Ok, thank you for the explanation, I will have to study this argument anyway.

    Figured bass: unknown chords
    Hi, I am doing a few exercises about figured bass. The problem is that, on two exercises, there are the following 4 basses: 5       5       7       3…
  • Thanks Socrates, I know what you think about the Piston's book: even if it is still my main book (and I repeat that it is rigorous and complete), I am using other books in parallel to solve a few doubts, unfortunately not this one.

    Anyway, I found THIS example useful to my question.

    Somewhere I also read that it would be better not to double the resolution note of the dissonance, this is useful to surprise the listener.

This reply was deleted.