What are chords?
Chords…You keep hearing this, but do you know what they are?
A chord is defied as two or more notes played at the same time. In popular music a chord generally has a minimum of three notes. The pitches which make up a chord are called chord-tones:any other pitches are called non-chord tones.
Chords can be related to major scales by means of scale degrees.
The chord-tone upon which the rest of the chord is built is called the root. The chord-tones of any chord can be related to the scale degrees of the major scale having the same keynote as the root of the chord.
NOTE: R is used to differentiate clearly the root of the chord from the keynote of the scale when using numbers.
Major and Minor Piano chords
What are Triads?
A triad is a set of three notes that can be stacked in thirds. A major triad consists of the root, third and fifth scale degrees.
When stacked in thirds, the triad’s members, from lowest pitched tone to highest, are called:
- the root
- the third – its interval above the root being a minor third (three semitones) or a major third (four semitones)
- the fifth – its interval above the third being a minor third or a major third, hence its interval above the root being a diminished fifth (six semitones), perfect fifth (seven semitones), or augmented fifth (eight semitones).
The above chords are called triadic.
For example, here is the C major triad: