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Encyclopedia > Chord (music)
Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar.
Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar.

In music and music theory a chord is three or more different notes that are played simultaneously, or near-simultaneously. Most often, in European-influenced music, chords are tertian sonorities that can be constructed as stacks of thirds relative to some underlying scale. Two-note combinations are typically referred to as dyads or intervals. Download high resolution version (1152x864, 169 KB)Photograph of guitar neck showing frets, strings, and fingers making C-major chord; taken by Tom Gally (User:Tomgally) on October 17, 2004. ... Download high resolution version (1152x864, 169 KB)Photograph of guitar neck showing frets, strings, and fingers making C-major chord; taken by Tom Gally (User:Tomgally) on October 17, 2004. ... For non-musical meanings of inversion, see inversion. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... // Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. ... Music theory is a field of study that investigates the nature or mechanics of music. ... In music or music theory, tertian is the quality of a chord constructed from thirds, and other things constructed from thirds such as counterpoint. ... A database query syntax error has occurred. ... In music, see the following intervals: Major third Minor third The mediant, and the chord built on the mediant, is often called simply the third, as it is the third degree of the diatonic scale. ... In music, a scale is a collection of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work. ... In music, a dyad is any two notes or pitches, more commonly known as an interval. ... In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ...

Contents

History

Main article: Harmony

The word chord comes from cord which is a Middle English shortening of accord. In the Middle Ages, Western harmony featured the perfect intervals of a fourth, a fifth, and an octave. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the major and minor triads (see below) became increasingly common, and were soon established as the default sonority for Western music. Four-note "seventh chords" were then widely adopted from the 17th century. The harmony of many contemporary popular Western genres continues to be founded in the use of triads and seventh chords, though far from universally. Notable exceptions include: modern jazz (especially circa 1960), in which chords often include at least five notes, with seven (and occasionally more) being quite common; and atonal or post-tonal contemporary classical music (including the music of some film scores), whose chords can be far more complex, rooted in such disparate harmonic philosophies that traditional terms such as triad are rarely useful. Harmony is the use and study of pitch simultaneity, and therefore chords, actual or implied, in music. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... The perfect fourth or diatessaron, abbreviated P4, is one of two musical intervals that span four diatonic scale degrees; the other being the augmented fourth, which is one semitone larger. ... The perfect fifth or diapente is one of three musical intervals that span five diatonic scale degrees; the others being the diminished fifth, which is one semitone smaller, and the augmented fifth, which is one semitone larger. ... In music, an octave (sometimes abbreviated 8ve or P8) is the interval between one musical note and another with half or double its frequency. ... In music or music theory, a triad is a tonal or diatonic tertian trichord. ... For other article subjects named Jazz see jazz (disambiguation). ... Atonality describes music not conforming to the system of tonal hierarchies, which characterizes the sound of classical European music between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. ... Atonality in a general sense describes music that departs from the system of tonal hierarchies that are said to characterized the sound of classical European music from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. ...


Chords are so well-established in Western music that sonorities of two pitches, or even monophonic melodies, are often interpreted by listeners (musicians and non-musicians alike) as "implying" chords. This psychoacoustic phenomenon occurs as a result of a lifetime of exposure to the conventional harmonies of music, with the result that the brain "supplies" the complete expected chord in its absence. Psychoacoustics is the study of subjective human perception of sounds. ...


Composers can and do take advantage of this tendency to surprise the listener, by deliberately avoiding certain defining tones. For instance, a composition may be predominantly composed in the pentatonic minor scale, implying common Aeolian mode to the listener, before deliberately including a more uncommon tone in a melodic progression or chord, such as a major VI (signalling Dorian mode) or a flattened II (signalling Phrygian mode). A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five pitches per octave as compared to the Major Scale which is made up of seven distinct notes. ... The Aeolian mode comprises a musical mode or diatonic scale. ... Due to historical confusion, Dorian mode can refer to two very different musical modes or diatonic scales. ... Due to historical confusion, Phrygian mode can refer to two very different musical modes or diatonic scales. ...


Constructing and naming chords

Instruments playing different notes create chords.
Instruments playing different notes create chords.

Every chord has certain characteristics, which include: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1067, 402 KB) Classical Specatular 2005 in the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Photo taken at ISO 1600 with no tripod File links The following pages link to this file: Orchestra ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1067, 402 KB) Classical Specatular 2005 in the Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Photo taken at ISO 1600 with no tripod File links The following pages link to this file: Orchestra ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ...

  • the number of chromas used in constructing the chord (or the number of distinct pitch classes from which the chord takes its notes)
  • the general type of intervals it contains: for example seconds, thirds, or fourths.
  • its precise intervallic construction, sometimes called "chord quality": for example, if the chord is a triad, is the triad a major, minor, augmented or diminished?
  • the scale degree of the root note
  • whether the chord is inverted in register

In music and music theory a pitch class contains all notes that have the same name; for example, all Es, no matter which octave they are in, are in the same pitch class. ... In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... Generally speaking, a minor chord is any chord which has a minor third above its root, as opposed to a major chord which has a major third. ... In general, an augmented chord is any chord which contains an augmented interval. ... Generally speaking, a diminished chord is a chord which has a diminished fifth in it. ... In music theory, a scale degree is the name of a particular note of a scale in relation to the tonic (the first note in the scale). ... The root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as built or centered, the root of a chord in root position or normal form. ... In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ...

Number of notes

One way of classifying chords is according to the number of distinct pitch classes used in their construction, a pitch class being identified by a degree of the chromatic scale (that is, a certain musical note, such as A, B, C, D, etc.) without regard to which octave it occurs in. Chords using three pitch classes are called trichords. Chords using four notes are known as tetrachords. Those using five are called pentachords, and those using six are hexachords. In music, especially in musical set theory, a trichord is a collection of three pitch classes, often one of the four ordered trichords in a tone row or set form. ... In musical theory, a tetrachord is a series of four diatonic tones encompassing the interval of a perfect fourth. ... A pentachord is a perfect fifth divided into four subintervals by five tones. ... In music, a hexachord is a collection of six tones. ...


Type of interval

Main article: Interval (music)

Many chords can be arranged as a series whose elements are separated by intervals that are all roughly the same size. For example, a C major triad contains the notes C, E, and G. These notes can be arranged in the series C-E-G, in which the first interval (C-E) is a major third, while the second interval (E-G) is a minor third. Any chord that can be arranged as a series of (major or minor) thirds is called a tertian chord. A chord such as C-D-E♭ is a series of seconds, containing a major second (C-D) and a minor second (D-E♭). Such chords are called secundal. The chord C-F-B, which consists of a perfect fourth C-F and an augmented fourth (tritone) F-B is called quartal. Most Western music uses tertian chords. In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... The term interval is used in the following contexts: cricket mathematics music time This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A major third is the larger of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... A minor third is the smaller of two commonly occurring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... In music or music theory, tertian is the quality of a chord constructed from thirds, and other things constructed from thirds such as counterpoint. ... Look up second in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In music or music theory, secundal is the quality of a chord made from seconds, and anything related to things constructed from seconds such as counterpoint. ... The perfect fourth or diatessaron, abbreviated P4, is one of two musical intervals that span four diatonic scale degrees; the other being the augmented fourth, which is one semitone larger. ... The augmented fourth between C and F# forms a tritone. ... Quartal harmonies and quintal harmonies are harmonies based on fourths and fifths rather than the traditional harmonies based on thirds. ... In music or music theory, tertian is the quality of a chord constructed from thirds, and other things constructed from thirds such as counterpoint. ...


On closer examination, however, the terms "secundal", "tertian" and "quartal" can become ambiguous. The terms "second," "third," and "fourth" (and so on) are often understood relative to a scale, but it is not always clear which scale they refer to. For example, consider the pentatonic scale G-A-C-D-F. Relative to the pentatonic scale, the intervals G-C and C-F are "thirds," since there is one note between them. Relative to the chromatic scale, however, the intervals G-C and C-F are "fourths" since they are five semitones wide. For this reason the chord G-C-F might be described both as "tertian" and "quartal," depending on whether one is measuring intervals relative to the pentatonic or chromatic scales.


The use of accidentals complicates the picture. The chord B#-E-A♭ is notated as a series of diminished fourths (B#-E) and (E-A♭). However, the chord is enharmonically equivalent to (and sonically indistinguishable from) C-E-G#, which is a series of major thirds (C-E) and (E-G#). Notationally, then, B#-E-A♭ is a "fourth chord," even though it sounds identical to the tertian chord C-E-G#. In some circumstances it is useful to talk about how a chord is notated, while in others it is useful to talk about how it sounds. Terms such as "tertian" and "quartal" can be used in either sense, and it is important to be clear about which is intended. An accidental is a musical notation symbol used to raise or lower the pitch of a note from that indicated by the key signature. ... In music, an enharmonic is a note which is the equivalent of some other note, but spelled differently. ... A major third is the larger of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ...


Quality and triads

The quality of a triad is determined by the precise arrangement of its intervals. Tertian trichords, known as triads, can be described as a series of three notes. The first element is called the root note of the chord, the second note is called the "third" of the chord, and the last note is called the "fifth" of the chord. These are described below:
In music or music theory, a triad is a tonal or diatonic tertian trichord. ... The root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as built or centered, the root of a chord in root position or normal form. ...

Chord name Component intervals Example Chord symbol
major triad major third perfect fifth C-E-G C, CM, Cma, Cmaj
minor triad minor third perfect fifth C-E♭-G Cm, Cmi, Cmin
augmented triad major third augmented fifth C-E-G# C+, C+, Caug
diminished triad minor third diminished fifth C-E♭-G♭ Cm(♭5), Cº, Cdim

As an example, consider an octave of the C major scale, consisting of the notes C D E F G A B C. Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... A major third is the larger of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... The perfect fifth or diapente is one of three musical intervals that span five diatonic scale degrees; the others being the diminished fifth, which is one semitone smaller, and the augmented fifth, which is one semitone larger. ... Generally speaking, a minor chord is any chord which has a minor third above its root, as opposed to a major chord which has a major third. ... A minor third is the smaller of two commonly occurring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... The perfect fifth or diapente is one of three musical intervals that span five diatonic scale degrees; the others being the diminished fifth, which is one semitone smaller, and the augmented fifth, which is one semitone larger. ... In general, an augmented chord is any chord which contains an augmented interval. ... A major third is the larger of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... An augmented fifth is one of three musical intervals that span five diatonic scale degrees. ... Generally speaking, a diminished chord is a chord which has a diminished fifth in it. ... A minor third is the smaller of two commonly occurring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ... This article is about the musical interval. ... In music, an octave (sometimes abbreviated 8ve or P8) is the interval between one musical note and another with half or double its frequency. ... In music theory, the major scale is one of the diatonic scales. ...

C major scale
C major scale
play 
The C major triad consists of the notes C, E and Gplay 

The major triad formed using the C note as the root would consist of C (the root note of the scale), E (the third note of the scale) and G (the fifth note of the scale). This triad is major because the interval from C to E is a major third. moving over from meta How can one use the same english image in another languages wikipedia??? ( to spare space with the same image archive). ... moving over from meta How can one use the same english image in another languages wikipedia??? ( to spare space with the same image archive). ... Image File history File links C_major_scale. ... Image File history File links C_major_triad. ... Image File history File links C_major_triad. ... A major third is the larger of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span three diatonic scale degrees. ...

The D minor triad consists of the notes D, F and Aplay 

Using the same scale (and thus, implicitly, the key of C major) a minor chord may be constructed using the D as the root note. This would be D (root), F (third note), A (fifth note). Image File history File links D_minor_triad. ... Image File history File links D_minor_triad. ...


Examination at the piano keyboard will reveal that there are four semitones between the root and third of the chord on C, but only 3 semitones between the root and third of the chord on D (while the outer notes are still a perfect fifth apart). Thus the C triad is major while the D triad is minor. A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ...


A triad can be constructed on any note of the C major scale. These will all be either minor or major, with the exception of the triad on B, the leading-tone (the last note of the scale before returning to a C, in this case), which is diminished. For more detail see the article on the mathematics of the Western music scale. In music theory, a leading-tone (called the leading-note outside the US) is a note or pitch which is resolves or leads to a note one semitone higher or lower, being an lower and upper leading-tone, respectively. ... Musical scales A musical scale is a discrete set of pitches used in making or describing music. ...


Scale degree

Chords are also distinguished and notated by the scale degree of their root note or bass note. In music theory, a scale degree is the name of a particular note of a scale in relation to the tonic (the first note in the scale). ... The root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as built or centered, the root of a chord in root position or normal form. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ...


For example, since the first scale degree of the C major scale is the note C, a triad built on top of the note C would be called the one chord, which might be notated 1, I, or even C, in which case the assumption would be made that the key signature of the particular piece of music in question would indicate to the musician what function a C major triad was fulfilling, and that any special role of the chord outside of its normal diatonic function would be inferred from the context. This key signature – A major or F# minor – consists of three sharps placed after the clef In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp symbols or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the...


When taking any scale and building a triad with a base in the scale, the second, third, and sixth intervals, when used as a root, will form a minor triad. The root, fourth, and fifth form a major triad, whereas the seventh will form a dimished triad.


Roman numerals indicate the root of the chord as a scale degree within a particular key as follows: The system of Roman numerals is a numeral system originating in ancient Rome, and was adapted from Etruscan numerals. ... In music or music theory a scale degree is an individual note of a scale, both its pitch and its diatonic function. ... In music theory, the key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section. ...

Roman numeral I ii iii IV V vi viio
Scale degree tonic supertonic mediant subdominant dominant submediant leading tone/subtonic

Many analysts use lower-case Roman numerals to indicate minor triads and upper-case for major ones, with degree and plus signs (o and +) to indicate diminished and augmented triads, respectively. When they are not used, all the numerals are capital, and the qualities of the chords are inferred from the other scale degrees that chord contains; for example, a chord built on VI in C major would contain the notes A, C, and E, and would therefore be a minor triad. Chords that are not on the scale can be indicated by placing a flat/sharp sign before the chord (e.g the chord of E-flat major in the key of C major is represented by ♭III). The tonic is the first note of a musical scale, and in the tonal method of music composition it is extremely important. ... In music or music theory, the supertonic is the second degree of the scale, it is the second note of a diatonic scale. ... For mediant in mathematics, see Mediant (mathematics) In music, the mediant is the third degree of the diatonic scale. ... In music, the subdominant is the technical name for the fourth tonal degree of the diatonic scale. ... In music, the dominant is the fifth degree of the scale. ... In music, the submediant is the sixth degree of the scale. ... In music theory, a leading-tone (called the leading-note outside the US) is a note or pitch which resolves or leads to a note one semitone higher or lower, being a lower and upper leading-tone, respectively. ... In music, the subtonic is the lowered seventh degree of the scale, as opposed to the leading tone. ...


The scale to whose scale degrees the Roman numerals refer may be indicated to the left (e.g. F#:), but may also be understood from the key signature or other contextual clues.


Unlike pop chord symbols, which are used as a guide to players, Roman numerals are used primarily as analytical tools, and so indications of inversions or added tones are sometimes omitted if they are not relevant to the analysis being performed.


Inversion

Main article: Inversion (music).

When the bass is not the same as the root, the chord is inverted. In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ... In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ...


The number of inversions that a chord can have is one fewer than the number of constituent notes. Triads, for example, (having three constituent notes) can have three positions, two of which are inversions: In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ...

  • Root position: The root note is in the bass, and above that are the third and the fifth. A triad built on the first scale degree, for example, is marked 'I'
  • First inversion: The third is in the bass, and above it are the fifth and the root. This creates an interval of a sixth and a third above the bass note, and so is marked in figured Roman notation as '6/3'. This is commonly abbreviated to 'I6' (or 'Ib') since the sixth is the characteristic interval of the inversion, and so always implies '6/3'.
  • Second inversion: The fifth is in the bass, and above it are the root and the third. This creates an interval of a sixth and a fourth above the bass note, and so is marked as 'I6/4' or 'Ic'. Second inversion is the most unstable chord position.
  • Inverted triads ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
    • the first three chords played are C major root position, first inversion, second inversion; then C minor root position, first inversion, second inversion.
    • Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Image File history File links Cmaj_min_inversions. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ...

Types of chords

Seventh chords

Main article: Seventh chord.

Seventh chords may be thought of as the next natural step in composing tertian chords after triads. Seventh chords are constructed by adding a fourth note to a triad, at the interval of a third above the fifth of the chord. This creates the interval of a seventh above the root of the chord. There are various types of seventh chords depending on the quality of the original chord and the quality of the seventh added. A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chords root. ... In music or music theory, tertian is the quality of a chord constructed from thirds, and other things constructed from thirds such as counterpoint. ... A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chords root. ...


Five common types of seventh chords have standard symbols. The chord quality indications are sometimes superscripted and sometimes not (e.g. Dm7, Dm7, and Dm7 are all identical). The last three chords are not used commonly except in jazz. A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chords root. ...

Chord name Component notes (chord and interval) Chord symbol
major seventh major triad major seventh CMaj7, CMA7, CM7, CΔ7, Cj7
dominant seventh major triad minor seventh C7, C7
minor seventh minor triad minor seventh Cm7, C-7, C-7
diminished seventh diminished triad diminished seventh Co7, Cdim7
half-diminished seventh diminished triad minor seventh Cø7, Cm7♭5, C-7(♭5)
augmented major seventh augmented triad major seventh C+(Maj7), C+MA7, CMaj7+5, CMaj7#5, C+j7, CΔ+7
augmented seventh augmented triad minor seventh C+7, C7+, C7+5, C7#5
minor major seventh minor triad major seventh Cm(Maj7), C-(j7), Cm#7, C-Δ7

When a dominant seventh chord (a major minor seventh in its most common function) is borrowed from another key, the Roman numeral corresponding with that key is shown after a slash. For example, V/V indicates the dominant of the dominant. In the key of C major, where the dominant (V) chord is G major, this secondary dominant is the chord on the fifth degree of the G major scale, i.e. D major. Note that while the chord built on D (ii) in the key of C major would normally be a minor chord, the V/V chord, also built on D, is major. In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ... A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chords root. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... The musical interval of a Major seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh, the leading tone, in a major scale. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... The musical interval of a minor seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh in a minor scale. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... Generally speaking, a minor chord is any chord which has a minor third above its root, as opposed to a major chord which has a major third. ... The musical interval of a minor seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh in a minor scale. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... Generally speaking, a diminished chord is a chord which has a diminished fifth in it. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... Also known as a minor seven(th) flat five or Tristan chord Category: ... Generally speaking, a diminished chord is a chord which has a diminished fifth in it. ... The musical interval of a minor seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh in a minor scale. ... A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chords root. ... In general, an augmented chord is any chord which contains an augmented interval. ... The musical interval of a Major seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh, the leading tone, in a major scale. ... A seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chords root. ... In general, an augmented chord is any chord which contains an augmented interval. ... The musical interval of a minor seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh in a minor scale. ... A minor/major seven chord (alternatively written m/M7, minor major seventh and *lowercase root name*M7, such as am/M7) is naturally occuring diatonic chord in the harmonic minor scale. ... Generally speaking, a minor chord is any chord which has a minor third above its root, as opposed to a major chord which has a major third. ... The musical interval of a Major seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh, the leading tone, in a major scale. ... In music, the dominant is the fifth degree of the scale. ... Secondary dominants are a kind of chord used in musical harmony. ...


Extended chords

Main article: Extended chord.

Extended chords are tertian chords (built from thirds) or triads with notes extended, or added, beyond the seventh. Thus ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth chords are extended chords. After the thirteenth, any notes added in thirds duplicate notes elsewhere in the chord, so there are no fifteenth chords, seventeenth chords, and so on. Extended chords are tertian chords (built from thirds) or triads with notes extended, or added, beyond the seventh, including all the thirds in between the seventh and the extended note. ...


To add one note to a single triad, the equivalent simple intervals are used. Because an octave has seven notes, these are as follows:

Chord name Component notes (chord and interval) Chord symbol
Add nine major triad ninth - C2, Cadd9,
Major 4th major triad perfect fourth - C4, Csus
Major sixth major triad sixth - C6
Six-nine major triad sixth ninth C6/9
Dominant ninth dominant seventh major ninth - C9
Dominant eleventh dominant seventh (the 3rd is usually omitted) major ninth perfect eleventh C11
Dominant thirteenth dominant seventh (the 11th is usually omitted) major ninth perfect 11th major13th C13

Other extended chords follow the logic of the rules shown above. In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... In music or music theory a ninth is the note nine scale degrees from the root of chord and also the interval between the root and the ninth. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... In music, see the intervals: Major sixth Minor sixth The submediant, and the chord built on the submediant, is often simply called the sixth as it is the sixth scale degree. ... Generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root, as opposed to a minor chord which has a minor third. ... In music, see the intervals: Major sixth Minor sixth The submediant, and the chord built on the submediant, is often simply called the sixth as it is the sixth scale degree. ... In music or music theory a ninth is the note nine scale degrees from the root of chord and also the interval between the root and the ninth. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ...


Thus Maj9, Maj11 and Maj13 chords are the extended dominant chords shown above with major sevenths rather than dominant sevenths. Similarly, m9, m11 and m13 have minor sevenths.


Extended chords, composed of triads can also have variations. Thus madd9, m4 and m6 are minor triads with extended notes.


Sixth chords

Sixth chords are chords that contain any of the various intervals of a sixth as a defining characteristic. They can be considered as belonging to either of two separate groups:


Group1: Chords that contain a sixth chord member, i.e., a note separated by the interval of a sixth from the chord's root, such as:


1. The major sixth chord (also called, sixth or added sixth with chord notation: 6, e.g., 'C6')


This is by far the most common type of sixth chord of this group, and comprises a major chord plus a note forming the interval of a major sixth above the root. For example, the chord C6 contains the notes C-E-G-A. The musical interval of a major sixth is the relationship between the first note (the root or tonic) and the sixth note in a Major scale. ...


2. The minor sixth chord (with chord notation: min 6 or m6, e.g., Cm6)


This is a minor chord plus a note forming the interval of a major sixth above the root. For example, the chord Cmin6 contains the notes C-E♭-G-A


In chord notation, the sixth of either chord is always assumed to be a major sixth rather than a minor sixth. Minor versions exist, and in chord notation this is indicated as, e.g., Cmin (min6), or Cmin (aeolian). Such chords, however, are very rare, as the minor sixth chord member is considered an "avoid tone" due to the semitone clash between it and the chord's fifth. A minor sixth is the smaller of two commonly occuring musical intervals that span six diatonic scale degrees. ... An avoid tone is a music theory term given to a scale degree which is considered especially dissonant relative to the harmony implied by the root chord. ...


3. The augmented sixth chord (usually appearing in chord notation as an enharmonically equivalent seventh chord) An augmented sixth chord is a chord which has the interval of an augmented sixth between its highest and lowest notes and also a major third above the lowest note. ...


An augmented sixth chord is a chord which contains two notes that are separated by the interval of an augmented sixth (or, by inversion, a diminished third - though this inversion is rare in compositional practice). The augmented sixth is generally used as a dissonant interval which resolves by both notes moving outward to an octave.


In Western music, the most common use of augmented sixth chords is to resolve to a dominant chord in root position (that is, a dominant triad with the root doubled to create the octave to which the augmented sixth chord resolves), or to a tonic chord in second inversion (a tonic triad with the fifth doubled for the same purpose). In this case, the tonic note of the key is included in the chord, sometimes along with an optional fourth note, to create one of the following (illustrated here in the key of C major):

  • Italian augmented sixth: A♭, C, F#
  • French augmented sixth: A♭, C, D, F#
  • German augmented sixth: A♭, C, E♭, F#

The augmented sixth family of chords exhibits certain peculiarities. Since they are not triad-based, as are seventh chords and other sixth chords, they are not generally regarded as having roots (nor, therefore, inversions), although one re-voicing of the notes is common (with the namesake interval inverted so as to create a diminished third).


Group 2: Inverted chords, in which the interval of a sixth appears above the bass note rather than the root; inversions, traditionally, being so named from their characteristic interval of a sixth from the bass.


1. Inverted major and minor chords


Inverted major and minor chords may be called sixth chords. More specifically, their first and second inversions may be called six-three (6/3)and six-four (6/4) chords respectively, to indicate the intervals that the upper notes form with the bass note. Nowadays, however, this is mostly done for purposes of academic study or analysis. (see figured bass) Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of integer musical notation used to indicate intervals, chords, and nonchord tones, in relation to a bass note. ...


2. The neapolitan sixth chord In music theory, a Neapolitan chord is a major chord built on the lowered second (supertonic) scale degree. ...


This chord is a major triad with the lowered supertonic scale degree as its root. The chord is referred to as a "sixth" because it is almost always found in first inversion Though a technically accurate Roman numeral analysis would be ♭II, it is generally labelled N6. In C major, the chord is spelled (assuming root position) D♭, F, A♭.


Because it uses lowered altered tones, this chord is often grouped with the borrowed chords. However, the chord is not borrowed from the parallel major or minor, and may appear in both major and minor keys. In music alteration, an example of chromaticism, is the use of a neighboring pitch in the chromatic scale in place of its diatonic neighbor such as in an altered chord. ...


Chromatic alterations

Although the third and seventh of the chord are always determined by the symbols shown above, the fifth, as well as the extended intervals 9, 11, and 13, may be altered through the use of accidentals. These are indicated along with the corresponding number of the element to be altered. An accidental is a musical notation symbol used to raise or lower the pitch of a note from that indicated by the key signature. ...


Accidentals are most often used in conjunction with dominant seventh chords. For example:

Chord name Component notes Chord symbol
Seventh augmented fifth dominant seventh augmented fifth C7+5, C7♯5
Seventh flat nine dominant seventh minor ninth C7-9, C7♭9
Seventh sharp nine dominant seventh augmented ninth C7+9, C7♯9
Seventh augmented eleventh dominant seventh augmented eleventh C7+11, C7♯11
Seventh flat thirteenth dominant seventh minor thirteenth C7-13, C7♭13
Half-diminished seventh minor seventh diminished fifth Cø, Cm7♭5

"Altered" dominant seventh chords (C7alt) have a flat ninth, a sharp ninth, a diminished fifth and an augmented fifth (see Levine's Jazz Theory). Some write this as C7+9, which assumes also the flat ninth, diminished fifth and augmented fifth (see Aebersold's Scale Syllabus). Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... The musical interval of a minor seventh the first note (the root or tonic) and the seventh in a minor scale. ...


Augmented ninthe is often referred to as a blue note, and is used as such, particularly in blues and other jazz standards. In jazz and blues notes added to the major scale for expressive quality, loosely defined by musicians to be an alteration to a scale or chord that makes it sound like the blues. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... Jazz standard refers to a tune that is widely known, performed, and recorded among jazz musicians. ...


When superscripted numerals are used, the different numbers may be listed horizontally (as shown), or vertically.


Added tone chords

Main article: Added tone chord.

An added tone chord is a traditional chord with an extra "added" note, such as the commonly added sixth (above the root). This includes chords with an added second (ninth) or fourth (eleventh), or a combination of the three. These chords do not include "intervening" thirds as in an extended chord. An added tone chord is a triadic chord with an extra added note, such as the added sixth. ... Extended chords are tertian chords (built from thirds) or triads with notes extended, or added, beyond the seventh, including all the thirds in between the seventh and the extended note. ...


Suspended chords

Main article: Suspended chord.

A suspended chord, or "sus chord" (sometimes improperly called sustained chord), is a chord in which the third has been displaced by either of its dissonant neighbouring notes, forming intervals of a major second or (more commonly), a perfect fourth with the root. This results in two distinct chord types: the suspended second (sus2) and the suspended fourth (sus4). The chords, Csus2 and Csus4, for example, consist of the notes C D G and C F G, respectively. Extended versions are also possible, such as the seventh suspended fourth, for example, which, with root C, contains the notes C F G B♭ and is notated as C7sus4. A suspended chord is an added tone chord in which the third is replaced or accompanied by either a fourth or a major second, although the fourth is far more common. ...


The name suspended derives from an early voice leading technique developed during the common practice period of composition, in which an anticipated stepwise melodic progression to a harmonically stable note in any particular part (voice) was often momentarily delayed or suspended simply by extending the duration of the previous note. The resulting unexpected dissonance could then be all the more satisfyingly resolved by the eventual appearance of the displaced note. In music theory, a suspension is a nonchord tone that occurs when the harmony shifts from one chord to another, but one or more notes of the first chord are held over, suspended, into the second but then resolved to a chord tone. ... In music, voice leading is the continuity between pitches or notes played successively in time. ... In music the common practice period is a long period in western musical history spanning from before the classical era proper to today, dated, on the outside, as 1600-1900. ...


In modern usage, without regard to such considerations of voice leading, the term suspended is restricted to those chords involving the displacement of the third only, and the dissonant second or fourth no longer needs to be prepared from the previous chord. Neither is it now obligatory for the displaced note to make an appearance at all. However, in the majority of occurrences of suspended chords, the conventional stepwise resolution to the third is still observed.


Note that, in traditional music theory, the inclusion of the third in either the suspended second or suspended fourth chords negates the effect of suspension, and such chords are properly called added ninth and added eleventh chords rather than suspended chords.


A notable exception to this analysis of suspended chords occurs in jazz theory. In post-bop and modal jazz compositions and improvisations, suspended seventh chords are often used in nontraditional ways. In these contexts, they often do not function as V chords, and do not resolve the fourth to the third; the lack of resolution gives the chord an ambiguous, static quality. Indeed, the third is often played on top of a sus4 chord; in jazz theory, this doesn't negate the quality of the chord as a suspended chord. Post-bop is a term for a form of small-combo jazz music that evolved in the early-to-mid sixties. ... Modal jazz is jazz played using musical modes rather than chord progressions. ...


Borrowed chords

Main article: Borrowed chord.

Borrowed chords are chords borrowed from the parallel minor or major. If the root of the borrowed chord is not in the original key, then they are named by the accidental. For instance, in major, a chord built on the parallel minor's sixth degree is a "flat six chord", written ♭VI. Borrowed chords are an example of mode mixture. A borrowed chord is a chord borrowed from the parallel key. ... In music, the parallel minor of a particular major key (or the parallel major of a minor key) is the key which has the same tonic and a different key signature, as opposed to relative minor (or major, respectively). ... In music mode mixture is the use of pitches or chords from the parallel minor or major scale or key of a piece or section. ...


If a chord is borrowed from the parallel key, this is usually indicated directly (e.g. IV (minor)) or explained in a footnote or accompanying text.If there is no mention of tonality upper case can be taken as the major and lower case as minor. A borrowed chord is a chord borrowed from the parallel key. ... In music, the parallel minor of a particular major key (or the parallel major of a minor key) is the key which has the same tonic and a different key signature, as opposed to relative minor (or major, respectively). ...


Polychords

Polychords are two or more chords superimposed on top of one another. See also altered chord, secundal chord, Quartal and quintal harmony and Tristan chord. In music and music theory a polychord consists of two or more chords, one on top of the other, multiple chords. ... In music, an altered chord, an example of alteration, is a chord with one or more diatonic notes replaced by, or altered to, a neighboring pitch in the chromatic scale. ... In music or music theory, secundal is the quality of a chord made from seconds, and anything related to things constructed from seconds such as counterpoint. ... ( Listen) Four tone quartal chord In music, quartal harmony is the building of chordal and melodic structures with a distinct preference for intervals of fourths. ... The Tristan chord is a chord made up of the notes F, B, D# and G#. More generally, it can be any chord that consists of these same intervals, viz. ...


Guitar and pop chords

Main article: Guitar chord.

All pop-music chords are assumed to be in root position, with the root of the chord in the bass. To indicate a different bass note, a slash is used, such as C/E, indicating a C major chord with an E in the bass. If the bass note is a chord member, the result is an inverted chord; otherwise, it is known as a slash chord. This is not to be confused with the similar-looking secondary dominant. Fingering for an open-position C Major chord (with the 5th, a G note, in the bass) played on a six-string acoustic guitar. ... The root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as built or centered, the root of a chord in root position or normal form. ... The root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as built or centered, the root of a chord in root position or normal form. ... Bass (IPA: [], rhyming with face), when used as an adjective, describes tones of low frequency. ... In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ... Secondary dominants are a kind of chord used in musical harmony. ...


The tables in the linked subarticle include a column showing the pop chord symbols commonly used as an abbreviated notation using letters, numbers, and other symbols and usually written above the given lyrics or staff. Although these symbols are used occasionally in classical music as well, they are most common for lead sheets and fake books in jazz and other popular music. The term notation can be used in several contexts. ... Lyrics are the words in songs. ... In musical notation, the staff or stave is a set of five horizontal lines on which note symbols are placed to indicate pitch and time. ... A lead sheet is form of music notation the describes the melody, lyrics and harmony of a popular song. ... A fake book is a collection of musical lead sheets intended to help a performer quickly learn new songs. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Power chords

Main article: Power chord.

Power chords are constructed by playing a root, perfect fifth and, in some cases, perfect octave. Because the chord does not contain a third, the major and minor qualities are not present. They are generally played on electric guitar and are used extensively in rock music, especially heavy metal and punk rock, where heavy amounts of distortion are used. Because distortion adds a great deal of harmonic content to an electric guitar's timbre, perfect intervals are the only intervals with enough consonance to be clearly articulated and perceived at high distortion levels. Even the addition of a third can cause a chord to sound dissonant. In music, a power chord is a bare fifth, or a similar chord, usually played on electric guitar with distortion. ... Left: Rosa Hurricane, a heavy metal-style solid body guitar. ... Rock is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars, and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles, however saxophones have been omitted from newer subgenres of rock music since the 90s. ... Heavy metal (sometimes referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... A distortion is the alteration of the original shape (or other characteristic) of an object, image, sound, waveform or other form of information or representation. ... In music, a consonance (Latin consonare, sounding together) is a harmony, chord, or interval considered stable, as opposed to a dissonance, which is considered unstable. ...


Chord sequence

Main article: Chord progression

Chords are commonly played in sequence, much as notes are played in sequence to form melodies. Chord sequences can be conceptualised either in a simplistic way, in which the root notes of the chords play simple melodies while tension is created and relieved by increasing and decreasing dissonance, or full attention can be paid to each note in every chord, in which case chord sequences can be regarded as multi-part harmony of unlimited complexity. A chord progression (also chord sequence and harmonic progression or sequence), as its name implies, is a series of chords played in order. ... A chord progression, as its name implies, is a series of chords played in an order. ... The root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as built or centered, the root of a chord in root position or normal form. ... Harmony is the use and study of pitch simultaneity, and therefore chords, actual or implied, in music. ...

  • Chord sequence ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
    • from Erik Satie's Sarabande no. 3
    • Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Image File history File links Satie_Sarabande_3_chord_sequence. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Selfportrait of Erik Satie. ...

Nonchord tones and dissonance

A nonchord tone is a dissonant or unstable tone which is not a part of the chord that is currently playing and in most cases quickly resolves to a chord tone. A nonchord tone, nonharmonic tone, or non-harmony note is a note in a piece of common practice music which is not in the chord that is formed by the other notes; for example, if a piece of music is currently on a C Major chord, the notes CEG are... In music, a consonance (Latin consonare, sounding together) is a harmony, chord, or interval considered stable, as opposed to a dissonance, which is considered unstable. ... Resolution in western tonal music theory is the need for a sounded note and/or chord to move from a dissonance or unstable sound to a more final or stable sounding one, a consonance. ...


Simultaneity

Main article: Simultaneity (music)

A chord is only the harmonic function of a group of notes, and it is unnecessary for all the notes to be played together. For example, broken chords and arpeggios are ways of playing notes in succession so that they form chords. One of the most familiar broken chord figures is Alberti bass. In music, a simultaneity is more than one complete musical texture occurring at the same time, rather than in succession. ... This article will be merged with Italian musical terms at some point in the near future. ... Various arpeggios as seen on a staff Notation of a chord in arpeggio In music, an arpeggio is a broken chord where the notes are played or sung in succession rather than simultaneously. ... Alberti bass is a particular kind of accompaniment in music, often used in the classical music era. ...


Since simultaneity is not a required feature of chords, there has been some academic discussion regarding the point at which a group of notes can be called a chord. Jean-Jacques Nattiez (1990, p.218) explains that, "we can encounter 'pure chords' in a musical work," such as in the "Promenade" of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Jean-Jacques Nattiez is a musical semiologist or semiotician and professor of Musicology at the University of Montreal. ... Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (Russian: , Modest Petrovič Musorgskij, French: ) (March 9/21, 1839 – March 16/28, 1881), one of the Russian composers known as the Five, was an innovator of Russian music. ... Mussorgsky in 1874 This article refers to the original suite by Modest Mussorgsky. ...

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition "Promenade"
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition "Promenade"

However, "often, we must go from a textual given to a more abstract representation of the chords being used," as in Claude Debussy's Première Arabesque. The chords on the second stave shown here are abstracted from the notes in the actual piece, shown on the first. "For a sound configuration to be recognized as a chord, it must have a certain duration." Download high resolution version (885x170, 8 KB)Modest Mussorgskys Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade, chords Created by Hyacinth using Sibelius and Paint. ... Download high resolution version (885x170, 8 KB)Modest Mussorgskys Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade, chords Created by Hyacinth using Sibelius and Paint. ...

Upper stave: Claude Debussy's Première Arabesque
Upper stave: Claude Debussy's Première Arabesque

Goldman (1965, p.26) elaborates: "the sense of harmonic relation, change, or effect depends on speed (or tempo) as well as on the relative duration of single notes or triadic units. Both absolute time (measurable length and speed) and relative time (proportion and division) must at all times be taken into account in harmonic thinking or analysis." Download high resolution version (869x170, 8 KB)Claude Debussys Premiere Arabesque melody and chords abstracted from that melody. ... Download high resolution version (869x170, 8 KB)Claude Debussys Premiere Arabesque melody and chords abstracted from that melody. ... Claude Debussy, photo by Félix Nadar, 1908. ...


References

  • Dahlhaus, Carl. Gjerdingen, Robert O. trans. (1990). Studies in the Origin of Harmonic Tonality, p.67. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09135-8.
  • Goldman (1965). Cited in Nattiez (1990).
  • Nattiez, Jean-Jacques (1990). Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music (Musicologie générale et sémiologue, 1987). Translated by Carolyn Abbate (1990). ISBN 0-691-02714-5.

Further reading

  • Twentieth Century Harmony: Creative Aspects and Practice by Vincent Persichetti, ISBN 0-393-09539-8.
  • Benward, Bruce & Saker, Marilyn (2002). Music in Theory and Practice, Volumes I & II (7th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-294262-2.
  • Károlyi, O Introducing Music. England: Penguin Books.
  • Piston, Walter (1987). Harmony (5th ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-95480-3.

Vincent Persichetti (June 6, 1915 – August 14, 1987) was a composer and teacher at the Juilliard School whose students included Philip Glass and Thelonious Monk. ...

See also

Chord notation refers to the written notation for musical chords. ... A chord chart is a simplified text document that typically represents lyrics with ASCII chord (music) placed above the appropriate syllables of the lyrics to associate the relative timing of the chord changes to the words of a song. ... A chord progression (also chord sequence and harmonic progression or sequence), as its name implies, is a series of chords played in order. ... Homophony is a musical term that describes the texture of two or more instruments or parts moving together and using the same rhythm. ... A three-chord song is a song whose music is built around three chords that are played in a certain sequence. ... A chord building grid is a graphic reference for determining which notes are included in a particular chord. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Chord (music)
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Chords
  • The Piano Encyclopedia- Piano and Keyboard Chord Finder. Has free chord, scale, and intervals dictionaries, and also harmony guides for learning how to use chords for composing and improvising at the piano or keyboard.
  • Brian's Huge Chordlist Collection An enormous chordlist collection encompassing different stringed instruments and tunings.
  • HarmonicSense.com Guitar chord finder for Mac OS X. Has a powerful rule editor for advanced searches and a reference tool.
  • Guitar Chords - A web-based resource to find the chords you are looking for.
  • Jazz Guitar Chords
  • Jazz Chord Voicings
  • Chords Generator
  • Guitar Chord Finder
  • Chord Theory (Chord theory for Mandolins, Mandolas etc)
  • Morphogenesis of chords and scales Chords and scales classification
  • Visual Guitar Guitar scales, modes, and apreggio viewer program and fretboard theory
  • Guitar Chord Generator Over 9,000,000 printable chords
Chords

By Type Triad Major · Minor · Augmented · Diminished

Seventh Major · Minor · Dominant · Diminished · Half-diminished · Minor-major · Augmented major · Augmented minor

Extended Ninth · Eleventh · Thirteenth

Other Sixth · Augmented sixth · Altered · Added tone · Polychord · Quartal and quintal · Tone cluster

By Function Diatonic Tonic · Dominant · Subdominant · Submediant

Altered Borrowed · Neapolitan chord · Secondary dominant · Secondary subdominant


  Results from FactBites:
 
Chord (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3647 words)
Chords are also distinguished and notated by the scale degree of their root note or bass note.
In the key of C major, where the dominant (V) chord is G major, this secondary dominant is the chord on the fifth degree of the G major scale, i.e.
All pop-music chords are assumed to be in root position, with the root of the chord in the bass.
Chord progression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (621 words)
A chord change is a movement from one chord to another and may be thought of as either the most basic chord progression or as a portion of longer chord progressions which involve more than two chords (see shift of level).
The most common chord progressions in Western classical and pop music are based on the first, fourth, and fifth scale degrees (tonic, subdominant and dominant); see three chord song, eight bar blues, and twelve bar blues.
The chord based on the second scale degree is used in the most common chord progression in Jazz, ii-V-I. Chord progressions are usually associated with a scale and the notes of each chord are usually taken from that scale.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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