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Lesson #35: More Triads

by Tyler de Witt posted on 1999-10-18
Topic: Theory Subtopic: General
Level: Beginner Number of Readers: 73478

More Triads

We've taken a look at the major triad. Now you'll be presented with some other triads.

Triads consist of thirds, and these thirds can be major or minor. Since there's only two types of thirds, there's only a few types of triads that have different interval structures. Consider this:

C  Eb  G
 m3  M3

The interval structure is m3, M3. Note also that the interval between the root and the fifth(C and G, in this case) is a perfect fifth(p5). This type of triad is called a 'minor' triad. A C E is an example of another minor triad.

Consider this:

C  Eb  Gb
 m3  m3

The interval structure is m3, m3. The interval between the root and the fifth is a diminished fifth(dim5). This type of triad is a 'diminished' triad.

Consider this:

C  E  G#
 M3 M3

The interval structure is M3, M3. The interval between the root and the fifth is an augmented fifth(aug5). This type of triad is called an 'augmented' triad.

These are all the triads. Many other chords will be based on just these few triads. The most important triads are the major triad and the minor triad. Don't forget that all major triads have the same interval structure, all minor triads have the same interval structure and so on.

Here's a chart of the triads:

major triad		M3, m3		C E G
minor triad		m3, M3		C Eb G
diminished triad	m3, m3		C Eb Gb
augmented triad		M3, M3		C E G#

Things to remember from this lesson:

1. There are only a few triads.
2. The names of the triads are the major triad, minor triad, diminished triad and augmented triad.
3. Try to learn the interval structures of each of these.
4. Remember that we can build triads on any note we want, using the interval structure.


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