#1
I have a general idea of what they are, but could someone just clarify it for me?
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#2
It's an altered supertonic triad. Built off the lowered second degree of the scale. (In both minor & major case).

You'll normally see it in first inversion called 'the neopolitan sixth'.

It's primary function is to prepare the dominant chord.

That should be enough for you to construct it...
#3
So...if im playing in the key of F major, to get the neapolitan chord i would flat the G to Gb, then make a normal triad based off those notes in the F Major scale?

Sooooo the neapolitan chord of F Major is Gb Bb Db?
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#4
So if I build a triad off the lowered supertonic.... it's a bii?

So it has the minor 2, dim 4, and min 6 tones relative to the tonic?
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#5
Quote by Ace88
So...if im playing in the key of F major, to get the neapolitan chord i would flat the G to Gb, then make a normal triad based off those notes in the F Major scale?

Sooooo the neapolitan chord of F Major is Gb Bb Db?



Exactamondo.

You'll see it either written as bII6 or N6 - and like I said you'll normally see it to prepare the dominant, so substituted for IV, ii or ii6.

Another way of looking to construct it is simply taking the subdominant triad in root position, lowering the third and raising the fifth.

So in your case..


F Major.

F - G - A - [B]Bb[/B] - C - [B]D[/B] - E - [B]F[/B].

Bb - D - F ([B]IV[/B]) becomes Bb - Db - Gb ([B]N6[/B])


If you construct that in a minor key, you can see how closely the N6 resembles the subdominant, thus making the preparation stronger by simply chromatic alteration.

I use it quite often these days.

Edit: Also, you can try adding the major 7th to the triad. Notice anything? That's called a neopolitan major seventh - which leads nicely into secondary dominants...
Last edited by Johnljones7443 at Sep 7, 2006,
#7
musictheory.net has a walkthrough lesson on these.
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#8
Yeah i was looking at the one on that website but i didn't fully grasp it so i had to ask. Would this be an example of a neapolitan progression:

Cm Ab Db/F G
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#10
So if you're in the key of F and you have an Ab chord and/or a Db chord (both major), what are they? Are they even Neapolitan? Am I making things up here?
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#11
^The example he gave above was in the key of Cm.

In the key of F, a Gb major or any extension or inversion of that, would be seen as the neopolitan chord.

I don't know where you got Ab in F from, lol.
#12
Well, it's obviously not in the key. Just wondering if it had a name other than "that chord that doesn't sound like it's in the key."

And another question, where did the name "Neapolitan sixth" come from if the root is the flat second on the scale? (This is where my theory knowledge gets fuzzy ...)
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#13
Quote by aprescott_27
Well, it's obviously not in the key. Just wondering if it had a name other than "that chord that doesn't sound like it's in the key."

And another question, where did the name "Neapolitan sixth" come from if the root is the flat second on the scale? (This is where my theory knowledge gets fuzzy ...)

The Neapolitan 6th chord is a Neapolitan triad in the first inversion. A triad in first inversion is sometimes refered to as a 6th chord.
#14
And another question, where did the name "Neapolitan sixth" come from if the root is the flat second on the scale? (This is where my theory knowledge gets fuzzy ...)


Im not 100% on this but im pretty sure it got it's name because it was used a LOT in classical music, around the Neapolitan Era.
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#16
Acutally, I meant how it got the "6th" name when it is a modified 2nd on the scale. But that's cool, too.
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#17
Oh **** i was way off lol
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#19
Quote by aprescott_27
Acutally, I meant how it got the "6th" name when it is a modified 2nd on the scale. But that's cool, too.


The neapolitan 6th (N6) is the neapolitan chord in it's first inversion. Someone already explained, so I'll show you why.

Take your original root position neapolitan chord in F Major. (But the same applies to any inversion of any chord.)

Gb ([I]1[/I]) - Bb ([I]3[/I]) - Db ([I]5[/I]) = Neapolitan chord (N).


Then, we'll take our first inversion by putting the root at the top of the chord so it looks like this.

Bb ([I]3[/I]) - Db ([I]5[/I]) - Gb ([I]1[/I])


Okay, so in our triad key, Gb major we know that Bb is the iii chord, minor.

Gb (I) - Ab (ii) - [B]Bb (iii)[/B] - Cb (IV) - Db (V) - Eb (vi) - F (vii°


So, what we do is take our chord, Bm - and write out it's scale. B natural minor.

Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - [B]Gb[/B] - Ab


Now, notice where our root note is in relation to the lowest tone in our inverted chord? The 6th. That's why you'll see first inversion of a neapolitan chord notated as N6 in figured bass.

So, in F Major, the first inversion of our neapolitan chord is..

Bb ([I]3[/I]) - Db ([I]5[/I]) - Gb ([I]1[/I]) = Neopolitan 6th. ([I]N6[/I]).


In figured bass, you'll see neapolitan triads written as such:


Root position - [B]N[/B].
First inversion - [B]N6[/B].
Second inversion - [B]N6/4[/B].
#20
Ah. I got you now.
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