posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:21 AM
Building Chords (4)
Ok, hang on to your hats because this is where things start to get a little bit more complicated.
Let's pick a nice easy scale. C major, no sharps or flats. The white notes on the piano. Now if you remember, we started to build our chord of C
major by simply taking notes 1, 3 and 5 of that scale. Just alternating notes, easy.
You can do this for any note in the scale.
Here's the tricky part. If you remember, I said that the INTERVALS (the distance between the notes) in a major scale went like this:
TONE, TONE, SEMITONE: TONE, TONE, TONE, SEMITONE.
Because that's an asymmetrical arrangement of intervals, it means that the chords you build from each note will be different. Let's look at that in
C (tone) D (tone) E (semitone) F (tone) G (tone) A (tone) B (semitone) C
So for building chords, that gives you:
C (tone, tone) E (semitone, tone) G gives you C major.
D (tone, semitone) F (tone, tone) A gives you D minor.
Following that logic through, and expanding it to four-note chords, we come up with this table (don't worry about the terminology, we'll come back
I Cmajor seventh - tonic
II D minor seventh - supertonic
III E minor seventh - mediant
IV F major seventh - subdominant
V G dominant seventh (or just G seventh) - dominant
VI A minor seventh (here's your relative minor) - submediant
VII B half-diminished, or minor seventh flat fifth - leading note
Now here's the thing. A very large proportion of pop music is generated using just these chords. If you get a good handle on how scales and chords
and MODES (coming up in a while) all fit together, you'll really start to understand how Western music works.
Don't worry about the tonic, dominant stuff. That's really there for future reference and for completeness. The main thing to get hold of is how
the chords fit together.
If someone wants to, they can generate chord scales for the other eleven major keys. This is all stuff I know already so I've put the basic info out
there - it's up to others to fill in the gaps for yourselves.
It might seem like huge amounts of work, but take it one key at a time and you'll find that it's a structure you can really relate music to.
Knowing this stuff really helps.