In music theory we use funny names for nearly everything – for instance, there is a whole family of chords named after nations.
We have the Italian chord and the German chord and the French chord and there may also be a Swiss and a Dutch one…
It’s the family of Augmented 6th chords.
Now, most people are confused by Augmented 6th chords. Indeed they have a reputation of being hard to understand and to use.
But in reality they are quite simple if you understand where they come from.
So I’ll do my best to clear all the misconceptions and useless complications.
Hopefully I succeed… you be the judge of that.
Today we talk about the Italian chord.
Not just because I’m Italian (though it could well be a factor, hehe)
But also because the Italian chord is the simplest of the bunch. So it’s a good starting point for us to understand all of them.
This is not the only chord named after Italian places. Hey we have also the Neapolitan chord.
Of course, neither the Italian or the Neapolitan chord have anything specifically ‘Italian’… why they are named as such is a mystery.
Still, it’s quite a good-sounding chord: