Suggested Learning Resources


2) Video Lesson: 6/4 Chords Donoald Sloan Channel

Bonus Video: 6/4 Chords Dr. Gawboy Vimeo Channel

3) Online Reading: Sound Patterns 6/4 Chords Phillip Magnuson

4) Interactive Lesson: 

Music Theory QuickThink: 

-          Root position and first inversion chords are thought of as relatively stable, and often exhibit the harmonic function that their Roman numeral indicates.  However, second inversion (6/4) chords are relatively unstable in terms of function, and usually function as embellishing other chords around them.  There are several categories of 6/4 chord embellishments.

-          An arpeggiating 6/4 chord occurs when the previous and/or following chord(s) is/are the same Roman Numeral quality as the 6/4 chord, and the 6/4 chord occurs as a result of changing bass note.

-          In terms of harmonic function, this type of 6/4 prolongs the functional area of the chord that precedes it.

-          NOTE: The presence or absence of arpeggios is not what makes an arpeggiating 6/4 chord


-          Identify a chord in second inversion

-          Look at the chords that precede and follow the chord

-          If either chord that precedes or follows the 6/4 chord is the same Roman Numeral quality as the 6/4 chord, and the bass changes to create 6/4 chord, you have an arpeggiating 6/4 chord

Objective 19.3: Examples in Music: YouTube

Objective 19.3: Define and label the Arpeggiating 6/4 in music exercises, and identify in real music examples