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Fundamentals of Music: Triads, Chords, and Symbols

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Douglas Brown

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Fundamentals of Music: Triads, Chords, and Symbols

Chapter 10 Triads We are already familiar with two different kinds of intervals: harmonic interval melodic interval These intervals are both the same: a major 3rd (M3). harmonic interval melodic interval Today, we are only interested in talking about harmony. Anywhere we place thirds on the staff using the white-key notes (without accidentals), we will either have M3 or m3. M3 m3 m3 m3 m3 M3 M3 A B C D E F G A B C D E F G up to up to up to up to up to up to up to m3 M3 m3 m3 m3 M3 M3 Here are some different ways to look at it. Hopefully one of these charts will help you. A B C D E F G A B C D E F G up to up to up to up to up to up to up to m3 M3 M3 m3 m3 m3 m3 M3 M3 A A B C E C D G E F D B G F Identifying thirds is important to our discussion on the topic of triads. triad - a group of three pitches that are fundamentally spaced in 3rds triad triad Let's take a closer look at these two triads. M3 m3 The intervals between each third are either a major 3rd or a minor 3rd. M3 m3 M3 m3 M3 m3 These triads are the two most common in quality. Major Triad Minor Triad M3 m3 M3 m3 Major Triad Minor Triad The minor triad can be identified by the minor 3rd on the bottom. M3 m3 Minor Triad The top interval is a major 3rd . For a major triad, the intervals are reversed. The major 3rd is on the bottom, and the minor 3rd is on the top. M3 m3 M3 m3 Major Triad Minor Triad Remember that the is the one that helps you remember the difference between these two. bottom interval F Major Triad A Minor Triad P5 P5 One other thing to know about major and minor triads: The interval between the outer notes is a perfect 5th . E Major Triad E Minor Triad Let's do a comparison of major and minor triads. M3 m3 M3 m3 F Major Triad A Minor Triad We identify the name of the triad by the root of the chord. A F M3 m3 m3 M3 E Major Triad E Minor Triad The only difference between major and minor triads is the middle note, also known as the third of the chord. The third of the chord is a chromatic half step higher in the major triad than in the minor one. G Major Triad G Minor Triad A Major Triad A Minor Triad E-flat Major Triad E-flat Minor Triad B Major Triad B Minor Triad G-flat Major Triad G-flat Minor Triad D# Major Triad D# Minor Triad Even double flats and double sharps can be involved. Yes, another chart... This chart is important to memorize if you ever want to take another music class beyond this one. This isn't most of you. So for all of the rest of you
(and the insatiably curious),
print off this chart.
It is available for download from Blackboard. For now, I will show you how to use this chart. It begins with the letter . F ...and we build a major chord off this F. F C A The next two chords we build are C Major and G Major. F C A C G E G D B And then we a draw a line. F C A C G E G D B Then we build the next three major triads. D A F# A E C# E B G# Notice that the last note (the 5th ) of the triad is the root of the next one. F C A C G E G D B And then we a draw another line. D# B F# And then we add the last triad. F C A C G E G D B D A F# A E C# E B G# D# B F# The first column just so happens to be the order of sharps (going down) and flats (going up). The lines separate these major triads into three groups: Group 1 has all naturals. No sharps or flats. Group 2 has sharps in the 3rd. Group 3 has sharps in the 3rd and the 5th.
There is only one major triad in this group. If we take one of these triads and raise each pitch by a half step,
we will still have a major triad, but it will have a new root. F C A F# C# A# F Major Triad F# Major Triad F C A C G E G D B D A F# A E C# E B G# D# B F# F# C# A# C# G# E# G# D# B# D# A# Fx A# E# Cx E# B# Gx Dx B# Fx ...but I highly recommend pulling out paper and pencil and writing this down as you follow along. F C A Also, we can lower each pitch by a half step and still keep the same intervals, thus still having a major triad. F C A F C A C G E G D B D A F# A E C# E B G# D# B F# F C A C G E G D B D A F A E C E B G D B F Now we lower each
note by a half step. F F Major Triad Major Triad F# C# A# C# G# E# G# D# B# D# A# Fx A# E# Cx E# B# Gx Dx B# Fx This is the complete chart. F C A C G E G D B D A F# A E C# E B G# D# B F# F C A C G E G D B D A F A E C E B G D B F F# C# A# C# G# E# G# D# B# D# A# Fx A# E# Cx E# B# Gx Dx B# Fx From here we can make any kind of triad. Chart of Major Triads M3 m3 M3 m3 These two are less common, but just as important to know. Major Triad Minor Triad M3 m3 M3 m3 F Major Triad A Minor Triad We identify the name of the triad by the root of the chord. A F We need to learn two more kinds of triads. Augmented Diminished Yes, the quality of triads share the same names as the quality of intervals. The Chart of Major Triads But this chart may help you in this class. To make a minor triad, take the major triad and lower the 3rd . F C A F C A major minor E B G# E B G major minor G# D# B# G# D# B major minor take the minor triad and lower the 5th . F C A F C A major minor E B G# E B G major minor G# D# B# G# D# B major minor To make a diminished triad, (or lower the 3rd and 5th of a major triad. F C A diminished E B G diminished G# D B diminished To make an augmented triad, take the major triad and raise the 5th . E B G E B G major augmented A# E# Cx A# Ex Cx major augmented G D B G D# B major augmented The purpose of this chart is to make it easy for you to find a way of building different qualities of triads using just pencil and scratch paper. Just remember... <END OF PRESENTATION>
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