# Major or minor (chords)

Axl_Rose
Registered User
Joined: 04/08/01
Posts: 1,258
01/09/2003 10:48 am
We all know the C major goes C D E F G A B, but which of these is major or minor? can you have d major and D minor chords in the same scale (or key) ? you cant can you. So is there a rule, like the 2nd 4th or 7th are minor! or sumin!
Zeppelin
Moderator
Joined: 08/22/00
Posts: 848
01/09/2003 3:58 pm
Major or minor chords,as you probably know are called triads (triads = chords which are built from 2 thirds or, in other words, 3 notes)
there are 4 types of triads we use
major (major third + minor third ,or 2 tones +1.5 tones)
minor (minor third + majord third, or 1.5 tones + 2 tones)
augmented (two major thirds)
dimished (two minor thirds)
if we use the notes of the major scale C, we can get the following triads: (using the notes of the scale only)

C=major c,e,g (c to e =2 tones, e to g =1.5, major chord)
D=minor d,f,a (d to f = 1.5 tones, f-a = 2 tones , minor chord)
E= minor
D= minor
F=major
G=major
B=diminshed (two minor thirds: from b to d theres only 1.5 tones and from d to f there are 1.5 tones as well)

the same formula can be applied to any major scale.
in minor and harmonic minor scales, the chords appear in different order but the idea remains the same.

7th chords
7th chord is basicly a triad with another third added to it.
there are 7 types of 7th chords (should be 8 but since the aug7 is the octave, the augmented7h chord - aug. triad + aug.7 does not exist).
using the same formula ive used before to find out about the triads, we can see that the 7th chords which will suit the C major scale
are:
C= major 7th (major triad + major 7th)
D= minor 7th (minor triad + minor 7th)
E = minor 7th
F = major 7th
G= dominant 7th (this chord is "special" in harmony terms , if you want any further explanation just ask :)
A = Minor 7th
B= Half diminished (dim triad + minor 7th)
sometimes B can be Diminished 7th as well (dim triad + dim 7th).
as you probably noticed there are only 5 types of 7th chord out of 7 ,i have mentioned.
the other 2 are :
minor triad + major 7th -it iss a chord which will usually be solved into minor chord (for example Cmin7+ will be solved into Cmin)
this chord can be used as the first Degree of the minor scales (by minor scales i mean the natural minor, harmonic minor and the melodic minor )(in Cmin scale it can be the chord of the note C )

augmented triad + major7th will be usuaully used as the chord based on the third note of the harmonic and the melodic minor scales.

I hope that makes sense.
if it doesnt , you can always ask me again :)

"They think im crazy..
but i know better.
It is not I who am crazy.
It is I who am mad.."

ren hoek
griphon2
Senior Member
Joined: 08/14/02
Posts: 297
01/09/2003 11:56 pm
The key to making this work is to play in terms of cycles.
Basic progressions:
I V
I IV V
I ii V
I iv ii V
I iii iv ii V
I vii iii vi ii V

There are many variations, but these are the basics. The majority of American music is this logic... the cycle of 4ths and 5ths. All chords or changes can be either maj, min,aug, dim, or half dim and will sound correct. Augs and dims work a little different but will still work within this cycle. (they're symmetrical)
This is truly an over simplification, but the crux is correct. Understanding dominants and/or a series of dominants is most important. To extend a one chord 4 bar line, backcycling (a progression above) is most common.
A lie goes around the world before the truth gets it's shoes on. (Mark Twain)
Axl_Rose
Registered User
Joined: 04/08/01
Posts: 1,258
01/10/2003 9:30 pm
So Bmajor isnt in key with the C major scale? B diminsished is? Or am i getttin keys and scales ixed up?
griphon2
Senior Member
Joined: 08/14/02
Posts: 297
01/10/2003 10:51 pm
Please read the moderator's comments thoroughly. I'd also recommend writing down the idea so you can see it. Using this formula for constructing a major scale, the scale will be the same for all major keys. For example, C major scale = C D E F G A B C (1,1,1/2,1,1,1,1/2) (interval distance between notes)
Chord building:
C E G = C maj chord (triad)
D F A = D min chord (triad) etc.
Do this for all keys. Then do it again for 4 note chords or 7 type chords.
C major scale C D E F G A B
C E G B = Cmaj7
D F A C = Dm7
E G B D = Em7 and so on.

In all major scales this chord formula arises.
I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii
Capital roman numerals are always major within the key
and small roman numerals are minor. vii is a half diminished. Naming four note chords can be complicated if you don't know how chords are stacked or built. You will ultimately find that chords repeat themselves in other keys.
You'll also notice that keys themselves work in cycles.
That's when life gets really fun. Hope this helps a little.

A lie goes around the world before the truth gets it's shoes on. (Mark Twain)
noticingthemistake
Crime Fighter
Joined: 08/04/02
Posts: 1,518
01/11/2003 1:25 am
In C major, the B is a diminished chord. You can read the above replies for an explanation. There is also another language, which was not written above. It’s a little harder at first, but you might run into it at sometime. So it is good to have a common knowledge of it. It’s the music language written in formulas, which can be extremely helpful when it comes to building chords.

C major scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B
Here’s the Major scale formula: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Each number in the formula also signifies a different letter note, in ascending fashion. In the key of C: C equals 1, D equals 2, and so on. The number 1 always signifies the root! How here’s how the formula works. Take what Griphon and Zeppelin said about intervallic distance between notes.

Intervallic steps between notes in the major scale: (1,1,1/2,1,1,1,1/2)
Now check out the major key formula: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Now put them together: (bold or regular = numbers in formula, italic = steps to next number in formula)

1-(1 step)-2-(1 step)-3-(1/2 step)-4-(1 step)-5-(1 step)-6-(1 step)-7-(1/2 step)-8 (also the root)... then it goes on and on. You can easily fill in the rest if needed.

Now when it comes to Chords, it is the same formula. It works with both chords, and scales. Almost like a universal language, but it’s written mostly for understanding chords. 1 still equals the root of the chord.

You have probably seen this all before, but maybe not as a formula. Most sites use letters to signify the notes. Either way is correct, but sometimes you may see this. So it’s good to know it also, if you didn’t know it before.

Now for a major chord.
Major chord formula: 1, 3, 5
Major chord letters: C, E, G
Intervallic distance: C to E equals 2 steps, E to G equals 1 and 1/2 steps.

Now a minor chord. It’s a little bit different, to make a minor chord the 3rd step needs to be a step down. So you would write it as a flat in the formula. Just like you do with any other type of written music.
Minor scale formula: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
C minor scale: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb
Minor chord formula: 1, b3, 5.
Minor chord letters: C, Eb, A
Intervallic distance: C to Eb equals 1 and 1/2 steps, Eb to C equals 2 steps.

This works the same through all the chords and scales.

Here’s some of the other chords and there formulas:
Augmented Chords: 1, 3, #5
Diminished: 1, b3, b5
Dominant Seventh: 1, 3, 5, b7
Major Seventh: 1, 3, 5, 7
Minor Seventh: 1, b3, 5, b7

There are others, if you want a list just let me know. I tried to explain it the best I could, hopefully I didn’t confuse anyone. Although formula representation is alittle more advanced, it is easier when it comes to writting extended chords, like Cmaj6, and so on. Later.

[Edited by noticingthemistake on 01-10-2003 at 07:28 PM]
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