30. Chords as stacked intervals

So like…we’re supposed to look at things from a programmer’s perspective now?

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will take a look at chords, but from a different perspective. So, let’s have some fun.

2. Looking at chords from another point of view

Remember way back when we first talked about triads? And how the ones of interest were basically two triads stacked on top of each other? IT was something like this:

  • a major triad consists of a major third and a minor third, played at the same time (or in other words, stacked on top of each other)
  • a minor triad consists of a minor third and a major third, played at the same time
  • an augmented triad consists of two major thirds, played at the same time
  • a diminished triad consists of two minor thirds, played at the same time

The same rules apply for 7th chords as well. For each possible 7th chord type, all we did was add a third on top of a triad. For major 7th chords we added another major third on top of a major triad. For dominant 7th chords, we added a minor 3rd on top of a major triad. For minor 7th chords, we added a minor third on top of a minor triad. For minor 7th flat 5 chords, we added a major third on top of a diminished triad. And finally, for diminished 7th chords, we added a minor third on top of a diminished triad.

We can even look at suspended chords in the same manner. For sus2 chords, we are stacking a major second and a perfect fourth on top of each other, while for sus4 chords we have a perfect fourth and a major second stacked on top of each other.

We will be discussing more advanced chords in future tutorials, and this technique of stacking intervals on top of each other will come in very handy. But for now, this is all I wanted to discuss in this tutorial. Next time, we will be discussing compound intervals. See you then.

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