Definitions

Suspended_chord

Suspended chord

A suspended chord is a chord in which the third is replaced or accompanied by either a perfect fourth or a major second although the fourth is far more common.

The term is borrowed from the contrapuntal technique of suspension, where a note from a previous chord is carried over to the next chord, and then resolved down to the third or tonic, suspending a note from the previous chord. However, in modern usage, the term concerns only the notes played at a given time; in a suspended chord the added tone does not necessarily resolve, and is not necessarily "prepared" (i.e., held over) from the prior chord.

Suspended chords are most commonly found in folk music and popular music.

An example of this can be found on the piece "One Short Day", part of the "Wicked" musical by Stephen Schwartz which starts with a descending arpeggio of a suspended chord.

Contrast with sixth chord.

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