Issue No. 43  ·
"Secrets of Exciting Chords & Chord Progressions!"
 

     
 

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" Secrets of Exciting Piano Chords & Piano Chord Progressions!"

 

Week 43:Time for a review!

Chords...The Building Blocks of Music

 

 

     Last issue we discussed intervals -- the distance between any two notes. If for some reason you didn't get that issue, or need to review it, it is attached below right after this issue.

     Any one note played is called a "unison". Any two notes played constitute an "interval". But if you have 3 or more notes played simultaneously (or at least reasonably close together), you have a "chord".

     So a chord is simply a group of 3 or more notes played together.

     A 3-note chord is called a "triad" (trio -- tricycle -- 3), and triads are the most basic form of chord. There are 4 kinds of triads:

Major triads

Minor triads

Diminished triads

Augmented triads

     You'll find all four kinds of these triads used in music, but far and away the most used type is the major triad -- probably 75% or more of all chords are major. Next comes minor chords -- maybe 15% of the chords in all of music are minor. Bringing up the rear are diminished and augmented chords -- they are only used perhaps 2% of the time.

     If chords were a meal, major chords would be the main dish, minor chords would be a side dish, and diminished and augmented chords would be the salt and pepper of the meal. In fact, diminished and augmented chords ARE the salt and pepper of music. We don't dwell on them, but use them to add spice and flavor to our musical pieces.

     Major triads are composed of the root, 3rd, and 5th of a major scale. So if we want a C chord, we simply take the 1st note of the C scale, which is "C" (also called the root), the 3rd note of the C scale, which is "E", and the 5th note of the C scale , which is "G". Those 3 notes together comprise the C Major chord.

     Minor triads are composed of the root, flat 3rd, and 5th of a major scale. So C minor would be "C", Eb", and "G". The only difference between major and minor is the flat 3rd in a minor chord.

     Diminished triads are composed of the root, flat 3rd, and flat 5th. So C diminished would be "C", "Eb", and "Gb". The only difference between minor and diminished is the flat 5th in a diminished chord.

     Augmented triads are composed of the root, the 3rd, and a raised 5th. So C augmented would be "C", "E", and "G#". The only difference between augmented and major is the sharp 5th in an augmented chord.

     The symbols for these triads are:

            Major maj (or just a capitol letter such as "C")

            Minor min m - (minus sign) (or just a lower case letter such as "c")

            Diminished dim (or a small circle beside a lower case letter -- like a degree sign)

            Augmented aug + (plus sign)

 Have you taken the course on "How To Dress Up Naked Music" yet?

 

   

 

 

 

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