#1
If a triad is a root, a third and a fifth, I guess a sus4 doesn't qualify. Yet clearly it makes sense to group sus4s with major and minor chords sometimes.

Is there any reason it be wrong to think of the the 4th in a sus4 as an 'augmented 3rd'?
#2
I would say it isn't a triad, as a triad has to be a series of third intervals, where as a sus4 contains no third intervals between it's constituent notes.
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#4
I suppose if someone said to me, "play a sus triad," I'd play a I, IV, V.
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#6
Quote by Jehannum
If a triad is a root, a third and a fifth, I guess a sus4 doesn't qualify. Yet clearly it makes sense to group sus4s with major and minor chords sometimes.

Is there any reason it be wrong to think of the the 4th in a sus4 as an 'augmented 3rd'?

It's a quartal chord and can be used in modal music extensively. Bill Evans uses them a lot.
#7
Quote by Jehannum
If a triad is a root, a third and a fifth, I guess a sus4 doesn't qualify. Yet clearly it makes sense to group sus4s with major and minor chords sometimes.




A sus4 chord "qualifies".

You can have suspended triads, you can have suspended 7th chords. The suspension doesn't disqualify them as triads or 7th chords.


Quote by Jehannum

Is there any reason it be wrong to think of the the 4th in a sus4 as an 'augmented 3rd'?


yes. the same reason you don't want to think of it as a doubly diminished 5th....... it's inappropriate for the particular context.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 20, 2011,
#8
Quote by GuitarMunky
A sus4 chord "qualifies".

You can have suspended triads, you can have suspended 7th chords. The suspension doesn't disqualify them as triads or 7th chords.


yes. the same reason you don't want to think of it as a doubly diminished 5th....... it's inappropriate for the particular context.


If you still have the fifth, you couldn't consider the 4th as a doubly diminished 5th.

But, you could possible have your tonic, a doubly diminished 5th, and a diminished 6th to sub in for the Sus4 chord. It would all be upon context and that would really be pushing it.

Editit: This is more relevant, you wouldn't have an augmented 3rd in the the Sus4 chord because it would no longer fit diatonically to the key if you altered it that way.
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Oct 20, 2011,
#9
You can have all sorts of things. We were talking about a suspended triad though. 1,4,5

In this context, I wouldn't call the 4 anything but 4.


Yeah, you would always have the 4 in a suspended triad.

Editagain: I totally tried to quote you, and it didn't let me, so I was like WTF. So I quoted in quick reply and it turns out you deleted this.
#10
Quote by mdc
It's a quartal chord and can be used in modal music extensively. Bill Evans uses them a lot.


Shhh! The existence of roughly contemporary modal music that can't be reasonably reduced to a tonal analysis without stretching it is not allowed to be aknowledged on this board. :P
#11
It would depend on how you're using it. If you resolved the suspension "classically" I would tend towards calling it a triad because it's functioning as one. But if you're using it as a colour chord (which I'm guessing you probably are) then it's not really a triad, because triad typically refers to a chord stacked in thirds (and if you're going to be really stodgy about the whole thing, only root position chords are termed triads).

Also just to be a dick, someone mentioned quartal harmony, which this isn't, unless you inverted it to have the fifth in the bass. Quartal harmony requires things the be stacked in fourths.
#12
Just to exploit that a bit more, it's worth mentioning that quartal chords can be used in functional harmony based off CST.

Incidentally, the original question wasn't in any context.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 20, 2011,
#14
Quote by mdc
Just to exploit that a bit more, it's worth mentioning that quartal chords can be used in functional harmony based off CST.

Incidentally, the original question wasn't in any context.


Sure, if you stacked a diminished fourth and an augmented fourth you'd have a very functional chord

Other than that how would CST make something more or less functional? I admittedly know nothing about CST beyond the very basics, but that would seem to make no sense. Quartal harmonies, broadly speaking, don't really function tonally that I can think of and playing a scale over one wouldn't really make a difference in that. Perhaps I've misunderstood...

Oh, and the lack of context in the OP was why I gave the two possible contexts you would see a sus4 in. Either within functional harmony or as a colour chord.
#15
Quote by Jehannum
If a triad is a root, a third and a fifth, I guess a sus4 doesn't qualify. Yet clearly it makes sense to group sus4s with major and minor chords sometimes.

Is there any reason it be wrong to think of the the 4th in a sus4 as an 'augmented 3rd'?


I suppose if you still play the 3rd while you play the fourth, then it isn't a triad. I somebody else in the band plays the natural 3rd, the band isn't playing a triad either.

With that said, the only actual triads are pure major and minor chords.

The suspended 4th of a V chord, happens to be the root of the I chord. This makes a dandy resolution in popular music, since there's no mucking about with diminished this and that, when trying to resolve from the 7th of a scale. The 7th of a major scale is the 3rd of the V chord . Sure it's an abomination to theoretical musical grand standers everywhere. But plain folks, they jus' likes it.

Add to that an "X"5 (power chord) isn't actually a chord, but a harmonic interval

What I am really curious about is why everybody refers to a dominant 7th chord with a suspended 4th, as being "X"7 add 4 or "X"7 sus4.

Somewhere in prehistory, my guitar teacher told me, "if you have a 7th and a 4th, then the chord is named an "eleventh". That added up for me. (pun intended)

I eagerly await the rancor and dissenting opinions which I'm certain will ensue following this post....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Oct 21, 2011,
#16
I eagerly await the rancor and dissenting opinions which I'm certain will ensue following this post....


I'm not all that riled up, but there are a few things I have to dissent to.

What I am really curious about is why everybody refers to a dominant 7th chord with a suspended 4th, as being "X"7 add 4 or "X"7 sus4.

Somewhere in prehistory, my guitar teacher told me, "if you have a 7th and a 4th, then the chord is named an "eleventh". That added up for me. (pun intended)


The thing here is that there is an actual difference between an 11th chord and a chord with a suspended 4th because the later contains no 3rd. So the function of the interval is different - in an 11th chord it is a color tone heard against the 3rd, but in a sus4 chord it is *replacing* the 3rd.

And the abstraction that we now call a "sus chord", in original musical context, was a functional suspension that always resolved down - what looks like a "sus4" would really be part of a melodic manuever in a line that resolves downwards to what happens to be the 3rd of the chord being formed. In most musical contexts, the "X7sus4" will be followed by a plain "X7".

The sus4 would thus simply indicate a purposeful dissonance occuring prior to the full expression of the chord - the harmony is effectively delayed. Of course, in more contemporary music, there is such thing as unresolved sus chords. But they still wouldn't be the same thing as an 11th chord.

Hope that helps clear it up.

With that said, the only actual triads are pure major and minor chords.


What happened to diminished and augmented?
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Oct 21, 2011,
#17
what he said^
Quote by Captaincranky

With that said, the only actual triads are pure major and minor chords.
...

...
What I am really curious about is why everybody refers to a dominant 7th chord with a suspended 4th, as being "X"7 add 4 or "X"7 sus4.

Somewhere in prehistory, my guitar teacher told me, "if you have a 7th and a 4th, then the chord is named an "eleventh". That added up for me. (pun intended)

I eagerly await the rancor and dissenting opinions which I'm certain will ensue following this post....
No rancor or dissenting "opinions" needed, just a little education.

There are four "actual" triads - The augmented triad 1 3 #5 and diminished triad 1 b3 b5 are both also "actual" triads because they are 3 note chords constructed by stacking notes in major and minor thirds.

a dominant 7 chord with a suspended fourth means that the underlying triad the dominant seventh chord is built from has been changed to a suspended chord hence no third.

A dominant 7 chord is not referred to as "X"7add4 because "add" does not remove the third it simply adds a fourth. And like your guitar teacher said when it's a seventh and you add the fourth it becomes an 11th so "X"7add4 is actually "X"11 - a dominant 11th chord.

Peace out.
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#18
Quote by Captaincranky
I suppose if you still play the 3rd while you play the fourth, then it isn't a triad. I somebody else in the band plays the natural 3rd, the band isn't playing a triad either.

The suspended 4th of a V chord, happens to be the root of the I chord. This makes a dandy resolution in popular music, since there's no mucking about with diminished this and that, when trying to resolve from the 7th of a scale. The 7th of a major scale is the 3rd of the V chord . Sure it's an abomination to theoretical musical grand standers everywhere. But plain folks, they jus' likes it.



Actually, there's no big problem with it according to theoretical music... it's actually widely used on chorals... it comes from the cadential chord, which is the I chord in a second inversion, with the fifth on the bass, which generates that dandy descending resolution
#19
jazz_rock_feel, I would quote, but my computer's struggling atm. Apologies, there was a slight misunderstanding there. I wasn't talking about playing scales over chords.

As long the 4th stacks retain the guide tones of the original, whilst maintaining a diatonic relation to the chord scale, then it's possible to yield a functional sounding movement.

It's very subjective though, kinda depends on one's ear really.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 21, 2011,
#20
its been so long since ive been here and i will never not be amazed at how these threads snowball into what could be a doctoral thesis
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#21
Quote by nightwind
its been so long since ive been here and i will never not be amazed at how these threads snowball into what could be a doctoral thesis


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#22
Quote by Jehannum
If a triad is a root, a third and a fifth, I guess a sus4 doesn't qualify. Yet clearly it makes sense to group sus4s with major and minor chords sometimes.

Is there any reason it be wrong to think of the the 4th in a sus4 as an 'augmented 3rd'?



It's not in the sense that it is not Major, Minor, Augmented and Diminished - the 4 triad classifications.

It is in the "3 notes" sense, but so would a E F and Gb played simultaneously.

It may be, if you like to spawn pointless discussions of the "how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin" variety. Lots of smoke but no influence.

Best,

Sean
#23
^ sus chords play a role in tonal music even though they dont function like regular major/minor/dim/aug chords. I only mention this because i think it'd be a bit more of a stretch to fit the e,f,g flat example you gave into a piece of music and make it function harmonically than a sus chord. I look at it like you though, "3 notes but not a standard triad"
#24
Quote by Sean0913
It's not in the sense that it is not Major, Minor, Augmented and Diminished - the 4 triad classifications.

It is in the "3 notes" sense, but so would a E F and Gb played simultaneously.

It may be, if you like to spawn pointless discussions of the "how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin" variety. Lots of smoke but no influence.

Best,

Sean


it's a triad with a suspended 4th.

Not the same thing as 3 random notes played simultaneously.


Quote by z4twenny
. I look at it like you though, "3 notes but not a standard triad"


it's a standard triad that's been altered (by replacing the 3rd with a 4th) to achieve the aural effect of suspension. As such, it's generally considered to be in the same category of chord as it's unaltered counterpart, just as a 7sus chord is still thought of in the category of 7th chords.


Altering a triad does not disqualify it as being a triad.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 21, 2011,
#26
Quote by GuitarMunky



it's a standard triad that's been altered (by replacing the 3rd with a 4th) to achieve the aural effect of suspension.

Altering a triad does not disqualify it as being a triad.

At this point our views are varied only in semantics i think, i wouldn't really consider taking a standard triad and altering it and having it still be a "standard" triad (my thought is that if it was standard then it wouldn't be altered) though surely it is a triad.
#27
Quote by z4twenny
At this point our views are varied only in semantics i think, i wouldn't really consider taking a standard triad and altering it and having it still be a "standard" triad (my thought is that if it was standard then it wouldn't be altered) though surely it is a triad.

I may have misunderstood you, but you seemed to agree with Sean when he was saying that a sus4 chord is only a triad in the sense that it has 3 notes. I'm saying it's more than that. Those 3 notes are tied to a specific triad. They function based on that relationship. That is the reason for referring to it as a triad.

If it were just 3 random notes, it would be some sort of tertian chord, but not necessarily a triad. For example a chord comprised of C -D -E, would have 3 notes (tertian), but it does not function as a triad, or an alteration of a triad.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 21, 2011,
#28
Quote by GuitarMunky
If it were just 3 random notes, it would be some sort of tertian chord, but not necessarily a triad.

Tertian chords must be stacked in 3rds.

a chord comprised of C -D -E, would have 3 notes (tertian), but it does not function as a triad, or an alteration of a triad.

Cluster voicing.
#29
Quote by mdc
Tertian chords must be stacked in 3rds.


good point, tertian chords are built in 3rds. My mistake there. it doesn't refer to 3 notes, but the interval of a 3rd. While you've uncovered a gap in my definition knowledge, it doesn't change my actual point.

Quote by mdc

Cluster voicing.



what triad would you say that C - D - E is a cluster voicing of?
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 21, 2011,
#30
Cmaj. Although I'd see it as a add chord more than a triad. On reflection I think a cluster chord has to contain more than two intervals of a 2nd. So the next one up would make it a really nice sounding Lydian type chord.

Agree on your thoughts about the sus being part of a triad and how that would function depending on where it is in the progression.

But strictly speaking, and I'm directly answering the TS's question now....finally, it's not a triad. cuz quite simply, it's not constructed in 3rds...it's not...so it's not a triad. Simple as that.
Last edited by mdc at Oct 21, 2011,
#31
Quote by mdc
Although on reflection I think a cluster chord has to contain more than two intervals of a 2nd. So the next one up would make it a really nice sounding Lydian type chord.


Right, it's not really a "cluster voicing" of a triad, but it could be justified as some sort of 9th chord.

Quote by mdc

Agree on your thoughts about the sus being part of a triad and how that would function depending on where it is in the progression.



shred is gaudy music
#32
Quote by mdc


But strictly speaking, and I'm directly answering the TS's question now....finally, it's not a triad. cuz quite simply, it's not constructed in 3rds...it's not...so it's not a triad. Simple as that.


well it's a suspended chord....... a suspended triad, a chord constructed in 3rds, but altered.

To be fair it doesn't always resolve, and you could sometimes refer to them as quartal chords depending on context, but I think it's really important to see that connection between a suspended chord, and the triad you would alter to get that chord.

put it this way. how do you describe the different between Dsus4, and D7sus4?
Id like to say that 1 is a triad with a suspended 4th, and the other is a 7th chord with a suspended 4th.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 21, 2011,
#34
Quote by mdc
Fuckin'hell, look at all those edits! Lol!

But really....


yeah, yeah

Quote by mdc


But strictly speaking, and I'm directly answering the TS's question now....finally, it's not a triad. cuz quite simply, it's not constructed in 3rds...it's not...so it's not a triad. Simple as that.


well it's a suspended chord....... a suspended triad, a chord constructed in 3rds, but altered.

To be fair it doesn't always resolve, and you could sometimes refer to them as quartal chords depending on context, but I think it's really important to see that connection between a suspended chord, and the triad you would alter to get that chord.

put it this way. how do you describe the different between Dsus4, and D7sus4?
Id like to say that 1 is a triad with a suspended 4th, and the other is a 7th chord with a suspended 4th.
shred is gaudy music
#35
'Suspended chords' that resolve in the same way the same type of suspension would traditionally = Not actually separate chords, depending on context they are the resulting triad which they resolve to, with suspension/appoggiatura depending on context.

'Suspended chords' that are used non-traditionally, something along the lines of Dsus2, Bbsus2, Csus2 = Not triads, quintal harmony.
#37
Full, simple explanation:

a "triad" is any chord made of exactly 3 notes. 1-4-5, that's 3 notes. sus4 is a triad.

a "tertian" chord is made of thirds on top of eachother. for example the major chord is a tonic, a major third above that (the 3 of the chord), and a minor chord above that (the 5 of the chord). a sus4 chord can be considered the tonic, an augmented third above (4) and a diminished third above that note (5). so sus4 is a "tertian triad."

i know you're like "wtf, augmented and diminished 3rd?" if you take a major interval and sharpen it, its augmented, and if you take a minor third and flatten it, its diminished.
#38
Quote by TMVATDI
Full, simple explanation:

a "triad" is any chord made of exactly 3 notes. 1-4-5, that's 3 notes. sus4 is a triad.


A triad is a chord of three musical notes, consisting of a given note with the third and fifth above it.

Quote by TMVATDI

a "tertian" chord is made of thirds on top of eachother. for example the major chord is a tonic, a major third above that (the 3 of the chord), and a minor chord above that (the 5 of the chord). a sus4 chord can be considered the tonic, an augmented third above (4) and a diminished third above that note (5). so sus4 is a "tertian triad."


Sorry but no.

You would agree that a Csus4 would consist of the notes CFG right? C to F is a perfect fourth and F to G is a major second. I know that an augmented third is enharmonic to a perfect fourth but that wouldn't be the correct way to spell it. According to your definition a Csus4 chord has the notes C E# G.

That's the whole point why a suspended chord is called sus4 not #3.
#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
I may have misunderstood you, but you seemed to agree with Sean when he was saying that a sus4 chord is only a triad in the sense that it has 3 notes. I'm saying it's more than that. Those 3 notes are tied to a specific triad. They function based on that relationship. That is the reason for referring to it as a triad.

If it were just 3 random notes, it would be some sort of tertian chord, but not necessarily a triad. For example a chord comprised of C -D -E, would have 3 notes (tertian), but it does not function as a triad, or an alteration of a triad.


It's not more than that. You don't know the function without context. No context was provided, so the answer is still the same, unless you add context. At best you have an "implied triad".

By the way I'd argue that even with function, that the suspended chord is functioning as a triad. I'd suggest that its ambiguous but significant in that it wants to resolve to the actual triad.

Best,

Sean
#40
^Functional harmony is the ONLY time it's functioning as a triad. A suspension is just an accented dissonance and, like an appogiatura or rhythmic displacement, doesn't affect the harmony. It's when it's used outside of functional harmony (i.e. colour chords) that it no longer functions as a triad.