Chord name

Comments and questions about Chordhopper.
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danc
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Chord name

Post by danc » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:18 pm

Playing through Chordfall for the first time....a great drill so far but a more accurate name for the "Suspended 7th" chord (cow) would be Maj7sus4 (major 7th chord with a suspended 4th). "Suspended 7th" leaves one guessing on the quality of the 7th. Maj7sus4 is clear on the quality of the 3rd (suspended) as well as the 7th (major).

That brings us to the ages old argument over "half-diminished" vs. "min7b5". Alright....if you ask me, "half-diminished" is a just a rotten, unspecific term that needs to be abandoned. I've argued this countless times with my Traditional Harmony instructors to utterly no end... If clarity is the goal in naming chords, one should always be a clear as one can while revealing just as much information as one needs to decipher the meaning. Min7b5 may seem like a mouthful to say and ugly to look at but, sadly, it's the best we can do for that particular jumble of notes.

Just suggestions is all....I'll leave it up to you, Chris, as how you want the chords labeled in your games, of course. :)

aruffo
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Post by aruffo » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:23 pm

Golly! That's very generous of you-- but as you'll readily discover, my knowledge of traditional music theory is weak. Chordfall is up for some serious revision (for example, the augmented chord gets inverted in later levels, which as you might imagine becomes confusing), and all suggestions are extremely helpful. I'm beginning to think that the basic Chordfall mechanism needs to be highly customizable so that, following the basic triads and M/m 7ths, people can play with the chords they want to learn and call them the names they want to use.

danc
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Post by danc » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:40 pm

aruffo wrote: Golly! That's very generous of you-- but as you'll readily discover, my knowledge of traditional music theory is weak. Chordfall is up for some serious revision (for example, the augmented chord gets inverted in later levels, which as you might imagine becomes confusing)

Hmmm...an augmented triad should actually be one of the easier sounds to recognize. It's different than most of the other chords because each inversion is the same sound (but a maj3rd up or down) because of it's intervallic equivalence. Each inversion is exactly the same as the next (two maj3rd intervals jammed together), just moved up or down by a maj3rd. Like the dim7 chord (which repeats at the min3rd), each inversion repeats the same interval pattern as every other of it's inversions. Instead of listening intently to the root, 3rd, or 5th, just hearing that blast of *augmented triad* or "diminished 7th* right off the bat should be enough to give the chords right away and easily. In fact, I would think that once one gets their sound in their ears that they would be a nice break!
aruffo wrote: , and all suggestions are extremely helpful. I'm beginning to think that the basic Chordfall mechanism needs to be highly customizable so that, following the basic triads and M/m 7ths, people can play with the chords they want to learn and call them the names they want to use.

That's would be a great idea. I would love to be able to drill nothing but the altered dom7th chords with a few tricky min7b5s, min(maj7)s and maj7#11s thrown in for good measure.

Musa
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Post by Musa » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:50 pm

In other threads in the forum there are some other posts about 6th, altered, customizable... chords in ChF. Since I posted myself and read those of Chris and others, I continued thinking about it.

The fact is that, given the number of possible combinations (m6, 6, 9, 9b, add9 = that is, with 9 but without 7, ... sus2, ... 11, 11#, 13b... ...blah blah) it can be extremely difficult to choose and test for a closed list of chords that is, at the same time, BOTH manageable in number and really satisfactory.

Moreover, as Chris stated, also it can be hard to draw so much extra little animals! :lol: .

In the other hand, there is this idea about customizing yourself the chords that you want to be tested for.

First, I found it interesting. But after a while, somehow, I began to feel uneasy about it. The reason, I think now, is that one of the ETC features that I liked from the beginning is that the player need to unlock levels, it is not possible to play a level before achieving proficiency in the previous one.

This implies a process, a graduation, a hierarchy in training. No matter how arbitrary or reasoned it is, it gives structure and a path, and prevents the user from "wandering from a drill to another", "giving a look to that high level and see how it is like", and perhaps getting disappointed.

danc seems to have some ability yet, seemingly achieving the "cow" level in his first time playing ChF. And also has knowledge of musical theory. (I must say that I prefer labels as "half-diminished" or [slashed "o"] to those labels as "X-7" or "ii7" (for Xm7 or IIm7): see Pete Thomas' www.petethomas.co.uk page about this. But I do agree with danc that m7b5 is better and shorter).

However, other players need to start at the very beginning, i.e. discriminating between major triad and minor triad. Or can feel insecure about customizing chords. Some structure is needed.

Moreover, if there is a fixed list, you can compete with yourself, as the tests are always the same. The "High Scores" list have sense and is useful both as an evaluation device and as a reinforcer. But if you can change the tests at any time, then it has to be solved the question of giving meaning to the scores.

To summarize this reflection, perhaps a good solution would be: customizable chords, yes, but... not in the first "n" chords, only above some given level (i.e. after the "cow", or any other chord/inversion).

Or perhaps even more easy, to have "Customized chords" as an option in the "Customize game" that exists yet in I.L., and ChF. Without registering the scores. At most, creating extra "Customized game High Scores" table(s) to track your progress with your preferred combination of customized chords.

I don't know what is more feasible/practical. What I don't find appealing is to have customizable chords as the main game, and from the very beginning. I find the basic idea of ChF is ok as it is. The question is: how could it be improved to accommodate also 6, m6, X7(9b)... chords?. And their inversions. (And hopefully without drawing the entire "universal zoology atlas" :?).

A useful contribution for Chris could be, perhaps, if people with theory knowledge can achieve some consensus about what chords -in what order- should be tested as the foundation for chord recognition ability (starting from the very beginner's level), before or apart from playing customized/altered chords.

Perhaps I extended a bit, myself, in this post. But I think this is both a stimulating and important point. Sorry.

aruffo
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Post by aruffo » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:40 pm

I think you're quite right... and in that respect, it's the path of least resistance (read: cop-out) for me to throw open the system to full customization. Right now Chordfall is broken up into multiple games, as Interval Loader had been. I intend to bring it together into two games (it's got to be two games because more chords means a larger circus-cart) and allow the last 3-4 animals of each level to be customizable... but, of course, there should be a default.

It's true that I would appreciate any input about which chords are "harder" than others and should come later, and which voicings or inversions should be incorporated. The pitch order in APB is based on a scientific assessment of which pitches are easiest to hear; the interval order in Interval Loader provides the greatest possible distinctions in dissonance. The chord order in Chordfall is, I admit, based solely on what I can see visibly as increasing irregularity.

KosciaK
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Post by KosciaK » Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:09 am

Hello!

I'm not sure if it's worth complicating it too much. I've always thought that (at least in jazz, pop music) it's important to be able to distinguish basic "groups" of chords - Xmaj, X- (in jazz it's obvious that it's Xmaj7 and X-7), X7, Xm7b5, Xaug, Xdim. The rest (9, 11, 13, altered 5, 9) are just colours and can be played "ad lib". So it's important to hear inside X7 inside lets say X11 with diminished 5 and augmented 9

Greetings!
KosciaK

danc
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Post by danc » Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:22 am

KosciaK wrote:Hello!

I'm not sure if it's worth complicating it too much. I've always thought that (at least in jazz, pop music) it's important to be able to distinguish basic "groups" of chords - Xmaj, X- (in jazz it's obvious that it's Xmaj7 and X-7), X7, Xm7b5, Xaug, Xdim. The rest (9, 11, 13, altered 5, 9) are just colours and can be played "ad lib". So it's important to hear inside X7 inside lets say X11 with diminished 5 and augmented 9

Greetings!
KosciaK
You're correct for the most part. I would change that only in the sense that the natural (in key) tensions above a 7th (9,11,13) should be used "ad lib" (although a 13th generally sounds not so good on m7 chords- be careful of an 11th on a maj7 chord as well). The altered tensions (flat and sharp 5, 9, #11, b13) should be used with a bit more care as they can really create havoc if just thrown into a tune haphazardly. If your band can't recognize or doesn't know that you're using altered tensions in your comping, for example- you, your band and your audience will all hear that something isn't quite right! Feel free to play whatever notes you want but you'll want to be sure that you're on the same page as your bandmates before altering your tensions.

I would recommend learning chord sounds by grouping them by triad type first (major, minor, dim, aug, sus4. sus2 and their inversions)- then 4-note seventh chords (maj7, min7, dom7, min7b5, dim7, dom7sus4,) then seventh chords with added natural tensions (maj9, maj7(13), min9, min11, dom9, dom11, dom13), and finally seventh chords with altered tensions(maj7#5, maj7#11, min7#5, all the dom7 flat & sharp 5 & 9 combinations). Another sound I would add are quartal and quintal chords (3 & 4 note chords built in 4ths and fifths, respectively). I think of all those sounds as *the foundation*. Just about every other chord you can think of can then be easily learned and added (maj6, min6, maj6/9, etc). As you'll find, many of them will just be inversions of chords you've previously learned here or they utilize sounds that have already been learned on here.

Sxandy
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Post by Sxandy » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:49 pm

Go to Chord statistics in the Game menu. When you hover the mouse over the bar for a particular chord's statistics, you'll see the letter names of the note, in order from low to high, at the bottom of the bar. (eg., CEG, CFA, etc.) It doesn't actually say "C major 1st inversion, F major 2nd inversion". I guess it's up to you to know or care about that terminology.

Also (and somehow I didn't notice this at first) for the symbols, all C majors have a pink background, all F majors have an orange background. All first inversions have a square border, all third inversions have a circular boarder, etc.

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