Music theory > Pitch of sounds > Chords

Chords

A chord is a set of notes (pitches) sounding simultaneously. A chord can contain two or more notes.

Examples of chords:


As you can hear, those chords are sounding with a different feeling: some of them are like thin, or colorful or dissonant.

Triad

A triad is a set of 3 notes that are been stacked vertically in thirds.

Example of a triad:


From low to high, the notes of the triad are called:

* The root
* The third (a third above the root)
* The fifth (a fifth above the root)

Major triad chord

The major triad chord is composed of:

* The root
* The third is a MAJOR third (4 half steps united states of america / semitones united kingdom)
* The fifth is a PERFECT fifth (7 half steps united states of america / semitones united kingdom)

Below is a Major triad:


Minor triad chord

The minor triad chord is composed of:

* The root
* The third is a minor third (3 half steps united states of america / semitones united kingdom)
* The fifth is a PERFECT fifth (7 half steps united states of america / semitones united kingdom)

Below is a minor triad:


Root, root position and inversions

Root of the chord

Root of the chord is the lowest note (pitch) of the chord when the notes of the chord are been stacked vertically in thirds.

The root is not always the lowest note of the chord: When notes of the chord are not been stacked vertically in thirds, you should reposition the notes of the chord to find the root.

Roots are written in red in these examples:

Root and root position

Root position and inversions


Root position is the position of a chord when notes of the chord are been stacked vertically in thirds.

* Root position of the chord occur when the lowest note is the root
* First inversion of the chord occur when the lowest note is the third
* Second inversion of the chord occur when the lowest note is the fifth

Root and root position

C Major chord, root position and inversions

Below are C Major chords in root position and the first and second inversions:

C Major chord, root position and inversions

C minor chord, root position and inversions

Below are C minor chords in root position and the first and second inversions:


Chord sight-reading practice game

Below is a game to practice chord sight-reading:

Level :
Vitesse :

All music practice games: Let's play to our free games
All music practice games


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