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Encyclopedia > Root (chord)

In music the root (basse fondamentale) of a chord is the note or pitch upon which that chord is perceived or labelled as being built or hierarchically centered upon. This feeling of centeredness is aurally perceivable for those who grew up with European music, and its verbal labelling is a basic skill for the musically trained. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ... This article is about music. ... Pitch is the perceived fundamental frequency of a sound. ... Tonality is a system of writing music according to certain hierarchical pitch relationships around a key center or tonic. ... The music of Europe includes the music of Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe. ...

When the root is the bass note, or lowest note, of the expressed chord the chord is said to be in root position. This may also be described as uninverted or in normal form. Often the root is not the lowest pitch played in a chord, in which case the chord is inverted. This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... The term normal form is used in a variety of contexts. ... In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ...

Conventionally, the name of the note which is the root is used to denote the chord, thus a major chord built on C is a C Major chord. Starting with Rameau, the analysis and theory of tonal music usually treats the roots as the defining feature of chords and much information can be gained from a progression of roots even if chord inversions are unknown. Also, if the key is known then the chord qualities are known for each root in simple music. 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. ... Jean-Philippe Rameau, by Jacques André Joseph Aved, 1728 Jean-Philippe Rameau (French IPA: ) (September 25, 1683 - September 12, 1764) was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era. ... Music theory is a field of study that investigates the nature or mechanics of music. ... Tonality is a system of writing music according to certain hierarchical pitch relationships around a key center or tonic. ... For other uses, see key. ...

In a root progression, the most familiar form of labelling chord progressions, chords are labelled by their root, rather than bass if different, as above. This is in contrast to an older pre-tonal conception of chords as sonorities wherein root position or first inversion triads are simply considered alternative and fairly equivalent ways of "filling in" the consonance between octaves, C (E G) C or C (F A) C. See: Figured bass. A chord progression (also chord sequence and harmonic progression or sequence), as its name implies, is a series of chords played in order. ... 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. ...

Basis in physics & mathematics

Although the concept of root is cultural, it does have some basis in the physical properties of waves. When two notes of a interval from the harmonic series are played at the same time, people sometimes perceive the fundamental note of the interval. For example, if notes with frequency ratios of 7:6 (a septimal minor third) were played, people could perceive a note whose frequency was 1/6th of the lower interval. The following sound file demonstrates this phenomenon, using sine waves, pure and simple waves for which this phenomena is most easily evident. In music theory, the term interval describes the difference in pitch between two notes. ... In music, the septimal minor third, also called the subminor third (by eg Helmholtz) is the musical interval exactly or approximately equal to a 7/6 ratio of frequencies. ... In trigonometry, an ideal sine wave is a waveform whose graph is identical to the generalized sine function y = Asin[ω(x − α)] + C, where A is the amplitude, ω is the angular frequency (2π/P where P is the wavelength), α is the phase shift, and C is the...

Septimal Minor Third (just intonation, 7:6 ratio), sine wave

The file plays A880, followed by 1026.67 Hz, followed by both tones together, followed by the implied root frequency of 586.67 Hz, a fifth below the A.
Problems listening to the file? See media help.

This concept formed the basis for the method by which the composer Paul Hindemith used to determine and identify roots of chords in his harmonic system which he used both to write music and to analyze the music of other composers.[1] Paul Hindemith aged 28. ...


  1. ^ Hindemith, Paul, The Craft of Musical Composition, Schott & Co. (1945)

See also

In music theory, the word inversion has several meanings. ... Music theory is a field of study that investigates the nature or mechanics of music. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Chord Progression Glossary (4402 words)
Chord names identified by the note which is the root of the chord where this note is described by its alphabetic name.
A succession of two functional chords where the root of the second chord is an interval of a perfect fourth or augmented fourth higher or an interval of a perfect fifth or diminished fifth lower.
The chord on the first degree of the scale), II the supertonic chord (the chord on the second degree of the scale) and V the dominant (the chord on the fifth degree of the scale).
triads : root position : chord inversions (501 words)
The chords in the figure are written in root position, which is the most basic way to write a triad.
The third of the chord is written a third higher than the root, and the fifth of the chord is written a fifth higher than the root (which is also a third higher than the third of the chord).
A chord in second inversion may also be called a six-four chord, because the intervals in it are a sixth and a fourth.
  More results at FactBites »



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