Monday, October 30, 2006


Lesson - 55 : Chords of a Major Scale - Quick Start

Let us proceed with the study of different chords, (the triads as we normally know them for a three notes chords), that are coming on any Major Scale.

As decided earlier we will take C-Major as our example scale for our study.

The triads are formed by the adding of 1st , 3rd, and 5th notes together on any given note.

The notes of C-Major are C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.

So the 7 triads that can be formed on the notes of C-Major are as follows :

Triad on C – the Tonic ------------------ C-E-G
Triad on D – the Super Tonic ---------- D-F-A
Triad on E – the Mediant --------------- E-G-B
Triad on F – the Sub-Dominant ------- F-A-C
Triad on G – the Dominant ------------- G-B-D
Triad on A – the Sub-Mediant --------- A-C-E
Triad on B – the Leading note --------- B-D-F

Now in order to name these chords, we should know the nature of intervals in between 1st & 3rd as well as 3rd & 5th .

Let us tabulate these intervals and hence the name of Chords derived as follows:

From the above table, we can summarise, for our easy remembering that, in a Major scale,

· the triads (chords of 3 notes) on the Tonic , Sub-Dominant and Dominant are Major Chords;

· the triads on Supertonic, Mediant, Sub-Mediant etc are Minor Chords;

· the triad formed on leading note is a Diminished Chord.

So 3 Major Chords, 3 Minor Chords, 1 Diminished chord are there in any Major Scale.

The above is applicable to any Major scale, be it on Sharps or on Flats…!

For example,

the triad on Dominant of G Major scale will be D - F# - A which is a Major chord…

(….must be major chord as per our generalisation above…!)

Another example, the triad on leading note of E-Major will be D# - F# - A , which is a Diminished Chord

(…yes….must be diminished chord… )

So, remembering the notes sequence of a Major Scale, we can easily write the chords formation and specify the characteristics of such triads based on the location of base note from Tonic.

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