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Triads

Intervals above
Figured Bass Definition Notes Example
the bass

The root is in the bottom 5


No Symbol Root Position
voice. Double the root. 3

The third is in the bottom


voice. Double whichever
voice provides the smoothest 6
6 First Inversion
voice-leading, as long as it is 3
not the leading tone (7).

6 Second The fifth is in the bottom 6


4 Inversion voice. Double the bass. 4

Seventh Chords
Intervals above
Figured Bass Definition Notes Example
the bass

7
7 Root Position The root is in the bottom voice 5
3

6
6 The third is in the bottom
First Inversion 5
5 voice
3

6
4 Second
The fifth is in the bottom voice 4
3 Inversion
3

6
4 The seventh is in the bottom
Third Inversion 4
2 voice
2
Other Symbols Definition
When in front of a number, raise that interval above the bass one half step.
#
When there is no number present, it refers to the third of the chord.
A slash through a number indicates that you should raise that interval above the
/
bass on half step.
When in front of a number, lower that interval above the bass on half step.
b
When there is no number present, it refers to the third of the chord.
o Diminished
+ Augmented