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Exploring Music and Chords

Exploring music and chords requires a good definition of harmony. Music harmony is the sounding of notes at the same time or simultaneously. Consider the following variety of harmonies, using the key of C major as an example. By the way, the left letter in each of the following examples is the lowest note.

Different chord qualities

• C, E and G is a C major triad.
• C, Eb and G is a C minor triad.
• C, E and G# is a C augmented triad.
• C, Eb and Gb is a C diminished triad.

Diatonic Triads

• C, E and G is a triad formed from the first degree of a C major scale. It has the following labels (I or C).
• D, F and A is a triad formed from the second degree of a C major scale. It has the following labels (ii or Dm).
• E, G and B is a triad formed from the third degree of a C major scale. It has the following labels (iii or Em).
• F, A and C is a triad formed from the fourth degree of a C major scale. It has the following labels (IV or F).
• G, B and D is a triad formed from the fifth degree of a C major scale. It has the following labels (V or G).
• A, C and E is a triad formed from the sixth degree of a C major scale. It has the following labels (vi or Am).
• B, D and F is a triad formed from the seventh degree of a C major scale. It has the following labels (vii dim or Bdim).

Are you interested in seeing these and other chords spelled in different keys on manuscript paper? If so, click here for the ultimate resource book.


Diatonic Triads of C Major



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Piano Music | Chamber Classical Music | Inspirational Orchestral Music | Classical Composers | Name That Music | Free Composition and Piano Lessons | Piano Music Notes | Learn Music Theory | Finale Music Writing Software | Composing Music to Films | Writing Classical Score | List of Instruments | Music Sound Recording Studios | Multitrack Recording Process | Music Mixing Advice