Open Voicing Chords

A chord a group of three or more tones forming a harmony can be written with different spacings between notes. In this example the E of the C Major chord has moved up an octave an interval with the same note names but twelve half steps higher or lower in the second chord.

 

 

 

 

To identify chords written in open voicing rearrange the notes into a stack of thirds.

 

 

The first chord has the notes D B G F. These notes can be rearranged into a stack of  thirds to form the root position G dominant 7 a Major chord with a m7th built on the fifth degree of the Major or minor scale, V7 chord, G B D F.

 

Because the fifth of the chord, D, is the lowest sounding pitch, the chord is in second inversion. This chord is an open voicing G7 chord in second inversion, G7 2nd Inv (G 43 in figured bass).

 

see also: Chord Construction, Chord Inversions, Figured Bass, Chords