View Full Version : Chord makeup
02-21-2002, 05:22 AM
What makes a cord a 5th, 7th, 9th, and so on? Is there a certain note that you just add onto the chord to change it? And what about if a chord is major or minor, like Cmaj7? Also, what makes a chord augmented and diminished? Thanks alot.
02-21-2002, 11:40 AM
Hmmm . . . we've had these discussions on here before. If you want a comprehensive explanation, check some old threads or the tricks section.
I'll give you a quick run-down -
5th - commonly called a powerchord. Just the root and the 5th.
7th - there are basically two types of sevenths (dominants and majors). A dominant seventh has the seventh tone from the minor scale, and a major seventh has the seventh tone from the major scale.
9th - Take a dominant 7th and add the 2nd.
Augmented - From a major triad, raise the 5th a half step.
Diminished - From a major triad, lower the 5th a half step.
02-22-2002, 12:03 PM
we could write a whole book on the subject of chord make ups, it's not an easy question to answer in the space of 1 thread, but I'll try to help you out a bit.
All chords have a corresponding scale and vice versa, meaning: all chords come from scales.
Here's a 2 octave C major scale;
C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C
R 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910 11121314
Chords are built on 3rds, meaning every other note of the scale, or the odd # tones (w/thee exception of the 6th, sus4 and 2)
You at least need 3 notes to have a chord (R 3 5) This is the make up of your standard 3 note chord, known as a Triad. If there is any additional notes added to the chord this information will be supplied within the chord symbol,Cmaj7 ( CEGB)or Cmaj9 (CEGBD)
Here's some common chords and the scales you can associate them with
Major = Major Scale
Minor = Dorian (usually)
Dominant = Mixolydian
Diminished = Diminished
Augmented = wholetone
[Edited by chris mood on 02-22-2002 at 12:05 PM]
02-22-2002, 09:42 PM
A lot of these explanations are complicated for those of us who dont actually know much music theory. Here's a more simple rundown. Everyone knows that there are 7 notes in every scale(pop music). A chord is just any three pitches from a scale.
Now most chords are based on the major and natural minor(aeolian) scales. Now conventionally each chord is made up of: a root, the third note of the scale, and the 5th note of the scale. Other tones such as the 7th, 9th(2nd), 11th(4th), and 13th(6th) can be added on, however for our purposes they aren't important yet.
The 3rd and 5th and for basic jazz purposes the 7th determine most of the qualities of the chord. If the third is major it is a major chord. If the 5th is perfect(the 5th note of the maj scale) its still major, however move the 5th down 1/2 step it becomes diminished, and up 1/2 step it becomes augmented. The 7th determines whether a chord is dominant or not. A regular 7th (maj scale) is major while a flatted 7th is dominant.
Notes such as the 9th, 11th, and 13th can be added on to chords, extending their range, thereby making them known as extended chords. Flatting or raising these pitches makes the chord (and scale) altered, makaing the chords nown as altered chords. These chords are really only used in classical and jazz music.
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