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Harmonic Inversion


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I don't really understand harmonic inversion...:confused:

 

I'm currently reading "Harmony(third edition)" by Walter Piston. I'm at the part with interval inversion and I understand pretty much everything so far but Harmonic Inversion is confusing me. I'm wondering if anyone could help.

 

Here is what the text says:

 

"Harmonic inversion is quite different matter. In this procedure the names of the notes remain the same, but the lower of the two becomes the upper, or vise versa, with the consequence that there is usually a change in both the general and specific names of the interval."

 

After rereading it I think I might have got it :facepalm:

 

So, basically, the higher pitched note is lowered an octave? Or the lower note is raised an octave depending on how you want to invert it...

 

I'm sorry if this is the wrong part of the forum, this forum is so confusing to me...

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I think he's just talking about inverting intervals.

 

So, lets say you have a C and an A, A being the higher note. That's a major sixth, right?

However, if you lower that A an octave, then it's A and C, which is a minor third.

 

He's just stating that, if you invert it, it becomes a different interval, basically.

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I think he's just talking about inverting intervals.


So, lets say you have a C and an A, A being the higher note. That's a major sixth, right?

However, if you lower that A an octave, then it's A and C, which is a minor third.


He's just stating that, if you invert it, it becomes a different interval, basically.

 

Thank you, that makes sense is pretty much what I thought only in a fuller explanation. Many thanks :wave:

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The Rules of Inversion:

 

Octaves stay the same

Perfect intervals remain perfect

Major intervals become minor

Minor intervals become major

Augmented intervals become diminished

Diminished intervals become augmented

 

To find the "number" just subtract yours from nine. So...

 

Octave (1 or 8) stays the same

2nds becomes 7ths and 7ths become 2nds

3rds become 6ths and 6ths become 3rds

4ths becomes 5ths and 5ths become 4ths

 

Super easy. So a minor 6th inverts to a major third. An augmented 4th inverts to a diminished 5th. A major seventh inverts to a minor second and so forth.

 

Really, really easy! Cheers. :)

 

P.S. I once wrote some interval trainer software for guitarists -- it's free too. Check it out if you want:

http://downloads.zdnet.com/abstract.aspx?docid=215751

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