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Changing oom-pah to match melody


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Posted (edited)

Another, perhaps basic, question inspired by trying to arrange for Anglo.

 

I'm working on an Anglo arrangement starting from a melody + guitar chords, and running into a measure that is giving me trouble. The bar is a-a-c'-c', accompanied by a Fmajor chord. I've arranged most of the song with straight forward oom-pahs, but here I'm finding that the normal pah (A/c) doesn't sound great against the c' in the 3rd count of the measure. I'm guessing this is because of the octave correspondence between the c and the c'. So I'm considering rearranging the oom-pah to put c on the 1st count, and F/A on the 3rd count of the measure. Off the bat this sounds somewhat better to me, but the 1st beat sounds "thin", since it's two high notes.

 

Is this... a thing? Is there a better solution?

Edited by Owen Anderson
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Posted (edited)

How about leaving the c out of the “pah” and either just playing the A in the 2nd half of that beat or the A and the higher F (or Eb, if you can get away with it)?

 

Edited to add: I wouldn’t present the F chord with the C in the bass. Yes, it’s a thing (it’s called a 6/4 chord, because it has intervals of a 6th (A) and a 4th (F) above the bass note). But 6/4 chords are considered unstable, dissonant even, because of the 4th above the bass. 6/4 chords generally want to resolve to 5/3 chords (CFA -> CEG).

Edited by David Barnert
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8 hours ago, David Barnert said:

... or the A and the higher F

 

That's what I would do; so you get all three notes of the F major chord with nothing missing and nothing duplicated.

 

8 hours ago, David Barnert said:

I wouldn’t present the F chord with the C in the bass. Yes, it’s a thing (it’s called a 6/4 chord, because it has intervals of a 6th (A) and a 4th (F) above the bass note).

 

I would, but only in specific circumstances. 6/4 is terminology used in baroque music, more usually called a second inversion nowadays. And 6/3 is a first inversion. Both useful, particularly to give a flowing bass line. So, for example, I would play Phil Cunningham's Miss Rowan Davies with chords

 

G, F#(6/3), Em, D(6/4), C, B(6/3), Am, D etc.

 

Equivalently, using (for example) D(f#) to represent a D major chord with F# as the lowest note,

 

G, D(f#), Em, G(d), C, G(b), Am, D etc.

 

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9 minutes ago, Little John said:

6/4 is terminology used in baroque music

 

Much more than just baroque music. Every concerto for soloist and orchestra from the mid 18th century all the way through the 19th has a big 6/4 chord before the cadenza, and the cadenza ends in a trill on the dominant (5/3) chord, resolving the 6/4 that’s been hanging unresolved since the beginning of the cadenza. But you pretty much never hear them in modern popular or folk music, except (as you say) as a passing chord when a stepwise moving bass line requires it.

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I wasn't actually proposing changing the tones of the chord, just the order of play. So I while I would be moving the c to the 1st beat, it would not be the lowest note of the chord. To make it an inverted chord, I think I would need to make the oom "C," instead of c. 

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11 hours ago, Owen Anderson said:

So I while I would be moving the c to the 1st beat, it would not be the lowest note of the chord.

As you’ve already discovered, this is not an ideal solution.

On 5/12/2022 at 8:15 PM, Owen Anderson said:

...but the 1st beat sounds "thin", since it's two high notes.

 

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