Practical musical theory: Triad

(Paraphrased from Wikipedia but this information is standard).

In music, a triad is a set of three notes (or "pitches") that can be stacked vertically in thirds.

When stacked in thirds, notes produce triadic chords. 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 step and half) or a major third (four semitones, or two whole steps)
  • the fifth
(Note: The notes of a triad do not have to use the root as the lowest note of the chord, due to the principle of inversion. A triad can also use the third or fifth as the lowest note of the chord. Inverting a chord does not change the root note.)

The triad is our basic chord.  C, G, Aminor, Eminor, are all triads.  Most of the chords we play at first are in "root position" with the root note "in the bass".  The bass note is the lowest note sounded.


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