The combination of two or more intervals makes a chord. Chords are ordinarily built by intervals of a third. The simplest chord type is the triad. Triads may be the basis of whole harmonic system.
Members of Triads
The names “root”, “third” and “fifth” are three members of triads. The root is also fundemental base of any chord. Regardless of any inversions, these names preserve their ability to describe triad chords’ note members.
Inversion of Triads
Lowest note of a triad determines chords’ inversion position.
If a triad has a root factor in lowest note, it is said to be in “root position”.
If a triad has a third factor in lowest note, it is said to be in “first inversion”.
If a triad has a fifth factor in lowest note, it is said to be in “second inversion”.
Harmonic Types of Triads
There are four kinds of triads. These are formed by relation of root note and other factors of triads’ interval types.
The major and minor triads are consonant chords, because they composed by consonant intervals.
Diminished and Augmented triads are dissonant, because they have diminished fifth and augmented fifth which are known as dissonant intervals.
Seventh chords are built by adding one more third interval above a triad. There are mainly four types of seventh chords.
- Dominant Seventh
- Maj Seventh
- Minor Seventh
- Diminished-Minor Seventh
The seventh of a Dominant chord adds a dissonant element to the chord itself, so it turns to a harmonic dissonance chord. In root position, it has a characteristic interval of a seven between the root and the added note. Because of dissonance nature and resolving to root degree ability, this chords is a very important part of western music culture. It is built on a fifth degree of any tone, and builted by adding a minor third to major triad.