French Sixth


The "French Sixth" is a chord commonly used in music theory and composition to enrich harmonic progressions and create unique tonal colors within musical compositions. Also referred to as the "French Augmented Sixth" chord, it is an altered dominant chord that adds chromaticism and distinctiveness to classical music works.

The French Sixth chord consists of the root note (fundamental), a major sixth interval, and a major third interval above the root.

One of the notable features of the French Sixth chord is its tendency to resolve outward, usually by the augmented sixth interval resolving to an octave. The root note often descends by a perfect fifth to the dominant chord, contributing to a sense of harmonic closure and resolution.

In harmonic progressions, the French Sixth chord serves as a chromatic passing chord, temporarily altering the tonal center of a musical phrase. It introduces tension and color to the progression before resolving to a more stable chord, often the dominant or tonic.

The French Sixth chord is commonly used in classical music, adding flair and harmonic interest to compositions. Composers deploy this chord to create harmonic tension, introduce chromaticism, and emphasize key moments in their works.

Example of French Sixth

The Zesty FRENCH Augmented 6th Chord [Tasteful Dissonance]