Thursday, August 26, 2004

2 is the loneliest Number...So why not 3?

A chord is the name for three or more pitches that sound at the same time. There are three main types of chords in tonal music; major chords, minor chords, and their inversions. Chords used in tonal music typically consist of two or more thirds placed atop of one another. An example of this is the C major chord, consisting of the notes C-E-G. To make this chord a minor chord, the third, in this case the E, would be lowered a half step. The result would be a c minor chord, C-Eflat-G. To make an inversion of the chord, the bottom note, in this case the tonic C is flipped to the top of the chord. The result would be E-G-C or first inversion. You can further invert the chord by flipping the E to the top of the chord, G-C-E or second inversion.
Other chords, which are less stable but still important are the seventh chord, the augmented sixth chord, the ninth chord and the diminished triad. For more information on triads see Definition of Triad .
Chords consist of many different combinations of notes. In 20th century music, which often veers away from tonality, chords are referred to as simultaneity.
Note: Two pitches are generally referred to as intervals.

Information for this blog is from my own learning and from
The New Harvard Dictionary of Music editor Don Randal, 4th ed. “Chord.”