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C Major Chord and Chord Theory

C Major Chord and Chord Theory is part 25 in a 31 part series on musical notation and basic music theory. A chord is any combination of two or more notes played together. A triad is a type of chord with three notes played together.

The C chord (triad) is made up of degrees (notes) 1, 3, 5 in the key of C. This would be do, mi, sol all played together. This would be the I (one) chord.

Can you figure out what degrees (notes) would be played together to make a II (two) chord in the key of C?

You create triads by skipping letters or numbers, however you want to think of it. Use the images above to make sense of what's below.

NOTES:
1) In music we use roman numerals to label chord names in a key: I II III IV V VI VII (or I ii iii IV V vi vii)

2) The distance in semitones (or half steps) from the 1st note to the 3rd note in the chord determines the quality of the chord (ie., major or minor).

3) The distance in semitones (or half steps) from the 1st note to the 5th note in the chord determines if it is diminished or not. Chords I-VI have a perfect 5th or a distance of 7 semitones from 1st note to 5th note. The VII chord has a diminished 5th or a distance of 6 semitones between notes 1 and 5.

C-E-G (C Major triad)
1-3-5 (This is the I (one) chord in C major)
From C to E is 4 semitones, that's why it is a major chord

D-F-A (D minor triad)
2-4-6 (This is the II (two) chord in C major)
From D to F is 3 semitones, that's why it is a minor chord

E-G-B (E minor triad)
3-5-7 (This is the III (three) chord in C major)
From E to G is 3 semitones, that's why it is a minor chord

F-A-C (F Major triad)
4-6-1 (This is the IV (four) chord in C major)
From F to A is 4 semitones, that's why it is a major chord

G-B-D (G Major triad)
5-7-2 (This is the V (five) chord in C major)
From G to B is 4 semitones, that's why it is a major chord

A-C-E (A minor triad)
6-1-3 (This is the VI (six) chord in C major)
From A to C is 3 semitones, that's why it is a minor chord

B-D-F (B diminished triad)
7-2-4 (This is the VII (seven) chord in C major)
From B to D is 3 semitones and from B to F is 6 semitones making this a diminished chord


C MAJOR CHORD AND CHORD THEORY PART 25


NOTE: This sounds complicated, but again if you try playing these triads or chords on the piano, you will begin to hear the different sounds each group makes. Here you have Major, minor and diminished music theory chords. Can you hear the difference?

Here are the guitar chords in the key of C Major(I would print this if you're learning guitar):






Cont. to Parts 26 & 27, Music Theory Course/Chromatic Scale

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