Inversions in chord symbol

• Mar 13, 2019 - 15:51

Is there any current way to input inversions for chord symbols? So far, I've just been doing 6/4 and the like.


Well, those aren't chord symbols per se but part of Roman numeral analysis, so I wouldn't use the chord symbol mechanism for that. Instead, use staff text or lyrics or something else that doesn't reformat the text as you go. Then, the trick is finding a font that supports the necessary specially-sized and specially-positioned characters. There was one floating around called Sicilian Numerals but it's hard to find these days. Some day I hope to see these made part of the SMuFL standard so all music fonts will include them.

In reply to by Louis Cloete

Perhaps you really mean C6/9? That's common enough, but it means something totally different from what 6/4 means. The number 6 in a chord symbol means literally add the sixth of the chord. The number 6 in Roman numeral analysis means, the chord is in an inversion (first inversion for 6, second for 6/4). Totally different uses of similar-looking symbols

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Yes, you're right!!!

Any chord marked as 6/4, is the second inversion of that chord (the 5th is on the bass note).

Any chord marked as 6, is the first inversion of that chord (the 3th is on the bass note).

Any chord without mark, is the basic chord (the chord main note is on the bass note).

Any chord marked as 6/5, is the first inversion chord plus its 7th (normally minor) note.

But... I remember those marks only from my college harmony classes. In the real world... I've never seen it.

In reply to by Alexander Simpson

If you do not write historical music (general bass), you can use combined symbols, as already said:
C/E EGC sextchord - first inversion
C/G GCE kvartsextchord - second inversion
what is general pattern:
guitar chord / over bass note

Sometimes I lack a symbol for two full chords played at ones (C dur + E minor), usually when played by two instruments - piano plays C major and guitar E minor = together Cmaj7

Inversions are notated as slash-chords: A/E.
However, the 4/6 you are referring to is probably not an inversion, but rather a double suspension.
You could write Esus46 if you don't like to write it as a slash-chord. You will still hear the 5ths though...

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