Can someone please explain to me how the hell to identify the quality of chords?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Mastodon, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Mastodon

    Mastodon Songs about My Cats

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes Received:
    261
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Bizurke
    I have a test in music theory tomorow and I do not understand how to figure out the quality of an interval.

    For example, for Triads and Seventh chords.

    I know that if there is a Major third stacked on a major third then the triad is Augented.

    If there is a minor 3rd stacked on a Major third then it is a Perfect 5th and vice versa.

    If there is a minor third stacked on top of a minor then it is diminished.

    But how the heck do I figure out if the interval is Major or minor?:scratch:
     
  2. God Hand Apostle

    God Hand Apostle Tin Foil Central

    Messages:
    896
    Likes Received:
    120
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago IL.
    I'm a spatial learner so I'll give you a diagram here;

    Key: d = diminished / m - minor / M = Major / A = Augmented (Notice I use lower case (smaller) letters for smaller values, and CAPITAL (Larger) letters for larger values).


    Larger----------------------------------------->
    (d) - half step (m) - half step (M) - half step (A)
    <-----------------------------------------Smaller

    So, this little doojob here can tell you that a minor interval is TWO half steps smaller than an Augmented interval. A Major interval in made minor by decreasing its size by ONE half step...etc.

    So what does this mean about triads?
    diminished triad - made from a minor triad lowering the 5th ONE half step, or by raising the root and 3rd ONE half step.
    minor triads - 1st, 3rd, and 5th degrees of a minor scale.
    Major triads - 1st, 3rd, and 5th degrees of a Major scale.
    Augmented - made from a Major triad raising the 5th ONE half step, or by lowering the root and 3rd ONE half step.

    I dont even remember what your actual question was now...

    Where art thou Romeo?

    Ok, I re-read your post...so...if you know that a diminished triad is a minor triad with a lower 5th, then you also know what a minor triad is by reverse-engineering that sucker right? Same would go for finding a Major triad from an Augmented.

    Examples:
    Given a basic minor triad (A,C,E) add accidentals to make it diminished.
    - As above, just take the 5th and lower it ONE half step. (A,C,Eb). BLAM~!

    Given a basic minor triad (DFA) add accidentals to make it diminished.
    - As above, just take the root and 3rd and raise them ONE half step. (D#,F#,A) BLAM!

    .....So, like did any of that help...was I even answering the question? haha :flame:
     
  3. Ancestor

    Ancestor Contributor

    Messages:
    4,243
    Likes Received:
    190
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Sounded pretty damn good to me, GHA.

    I might just add that if you're trying to determine if a chord is major or minor, look at the third. If it's 3 frets above the root, it's minor. If it's 4 frets above the root, it's major.

    It's a hell of a lot less confusing if you check your interval size against the root note.

    *edit*

    A fourth is five frets above the root, and a fifth is seven frets above the root. A fret is a 1/2 step, btw.

    Dimished means you've reduced the interval (any interval) by a 1/2 step. Augmented means you've increased it by a 1/2 step.
     
  4. Mastodon

    Mastodon Songs about My Cats

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes Received:
    261
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Bizurke
    Thanks guys, it definately helped.
     

Share This Page