Music Theory

Here is a preview of some of the lessons included in Musicopoulos

Minor, Augmented and Diminished Chords

Constructing Altered Triads from Major Chords

Now that we have an understanding of how major chords are constructed, we can derive the remaining 3 basic triads by altering the notes of a major chord.

When we alter the notes of a triad, we will either sharpen or flatten the 3rd or 5th note by a halfstep.

When we alter the notes of a triad, we must make sure we name the resulting note correctly. Use the following list as a guideline for selecting the right name for an altered note:

The Minor Triad

The minor triad can be constructed using the following methods:

  1. By flattening the 3rd note of the major triad by a halfstep
  2. The first note of the minor triad is the root note of a given major scale, moving 3 halfsteps up from the root derives the 2nd note, and moving up 4 halfsteps from the 2nd note derives the 3rd note of the triad
Minor Chord Example

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd notes of the minor triad are called the root, minor 3rd and 5th respectively.

The Augmented Triad

The augmented triad can be constructed using the following methods:

  1. By sharpening the 5th note of the major triad by a halfstep
  2. The first note of the augmented triad is the root note of a given Major scale, moving 4 halfsteps up from the root derives the 2nd note, and moving up 4 halfsteps from the 2nd note derives the 3rd note of the triad
Augmented Chord Example

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd notes of the augmented triad are called the root, 3rd and augmented 5th respectively.

The Diminished Triad

The diminished triad can be constructed using the following methods:

  1. By flattening the 3rd and 5th notes of the major triad by a halfstep
  2. The first note of the diminished triad is the root note of a given major scale, moving 3 halfsteps up from the root derives the 2nd note, and moving up 3 halfsteps from the 2nd note derives the 3rd note of the triad
Diminished Chord Example

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd notes of the diminished triad are called the root, minor 3rd and diminished 5th respectively.