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music theory for musicians and normal people by toby w.

rush

The Neapolitan Six


in addition to the altered root borrowed chords,

*****
there is another altered root chord that fits well since its not a borrowed
with the borrowed chords, even though it is not chord, this chord can be used
actually borrowed from the parallel minor. in both major and minor.

that chord is a

b w
major triad there are a couple of interesting
built on the things about this chord. one is
lowered second the fact that it is almost

& b ww
scale degree. exclusively used in first inversion.

seriously! although this


chord is extremely common
in the common practice
period, there are very few
examples of it used in
root position.
second inversion is
even rarer.

the second interesting thing about


6
C: N the chord is its name: you might expect
it to be called a flat two, in keeping
with the other altered root chords.

The Neapolitan six chord, since it is but, in fact, this is the first of a few chords
built on a form of the supertonic, that have special names. This particular one
has some characteristics of a is called the neapolitan chord.
subdominant function chord
in that it often resolves toward a neapolitan means from naples,
dominant function. in fact, it is very referring to the city of naples,
common to see the neapolitan chord italy. the chord isnt actually
resolve to a dominant seventh in from naples, though; it was
third inversion, or to a cadential just associated with the operas
six-four chord. written by neapolitan composers

& b b
like alessandro scarlatti.

b
scarla


Naples

?
tti


funny thing is, this chord was used pretty
commonly before scarlattis time, in
compositions far from the courts of italy.
C: N6 V24 N6 I46
(even though the neapolitan chord its also worth noting that although nearly
has a lot in common with other every theorist and theory textbook calls the
subdominant function chords, it is chord a neapolitan sixth chord, it is more
most often referred to as part of properly called a neapolitan six chord. thats
a larger group of chords called because in the rare situations where it is used
predominants, and the label of in root position, it is simply called the neapolitan
subdominant function is generally chord, and when it is found in second inversion,
limited to the subdominant and its called the neapolitan six-four.
supertonic chords and their
variants.) since we dont pronounce I6 as one sixth,
we shouldnt say Neapolitan sixth for N6!

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