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Minor triad

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Title: Minor triad  
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Minor triad

minor triad
Component intervals from root
perfect fifth
minor third

In When a chord has these three notes alone, it is called a minor triad. Some minor triads with additional notes, such as the minor seventh chord, may also be called minor chords.

A minor triad can also be described as a minor third interval with a major third interval on top or as a root note, a note 3 semitones higher than the root, and a note 7 semitones higher than the root. Hence it can be represented by the integer notation {0, 3, 7}.

A )) differs from a minor chord in having a major third above the root instead of a minor third. It can also be described as a major third with a minor third on top, in contrast to a minor chord, which has a minor third with a major third on top. They both contain fifths, because a major third (4 semitones) plus a minor third (3 semitones) equals a fifth (7 semitones).

A )

An example of a minor chord is the C minor chord, which consists of the notes C (root), E (minor third) and G (perfect fifth):


The minor chord, along with the major chord, is one of the basic building blocks of tonal music and the common practice period. In Western music, a minor chord, in comparison, "sounds darker than a major chord"[3] but is still considered highly consonant, stable, or as not requiring resolution.

Acoustic consonance of the minor chord

A unique particularity of the minor chord is that this is the only chord of three notes in which the three notes have one harmonic - hearable and with a not too high row - in common (more or less exactly, depending on the tuning system used) : This harmonic, common to the three notes, is situated 2 octaves above the high note of the chord : This is the harmonic of row 6 of the fundamental of the chord, the one of row 5 of middle note, the one of row 4 of the high note:

In the example do, mi\flat, sol : a sol, 2 octaves above.

Demonstration :

  • Minor third = 6/5 = 12/10
  • Major third = 5/4 = 15/12
  • So the ratios of Minor chord : 10:12:15
  • And the explication of the unique harmonic in common, between the three notes, is verified by : 10*6 = 12*5 = 15*4

Just intonation

In ). More tunings of the minor chord are also available in various equal temperaments other than 12-TET.

Rather than directly from the harmonic series, Sorge derived the minor chord from joining two major triads; for example the A minor triad being the confluence of the F and C major triads.[13] A-C-E= f-A-C-E-g. Given justly tuned major triads this produces a justly tuned minor triad: 10:12:15 on 8/5.

Minor chord table

Chord Root Minor Third Perfect Fifth
Cm C E G
Cm C E G
Dm D F (E) A
Dm D F A
Dm D F A
Em E G B
Em E G B
Em E G B
Fm F A C
Fm F A C
Gm G B (A) D
Gm G B D
Gm G B D
Am A C (B) E
Am A C E
Am A C E (F)
Bm B D F
Bm B D F

See also


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