Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Lesson - 59 : Some Abstract Perceptions of Chords

What we have learnt so far is Formation of Chord, their naming method and title etc.

Now let us see a little bit more about their importance, inter-relationship etc also.

While learning about scale (in Lesson-19) we noted that certain notes are “ more than equal “ and has some importance assumed.

Like for instance...the Tonic…..the Dominant ….the Mediant, Sub-Dominant etc….!

In the case of Chords also, the chords formed on Tonic, Dominant and the Sub-dominant are considered to be important when compared to chords formed on other notes.

The Tonic Triad is the most critical among all and is the life line of any song.

Just the way the Tonic is as important in a starting and ending of a song, the chords formed on Tonic also gives the punch of effective start and completeness of finishing..!

Invariably, vast majority of the songs start and finish with Chords on Tonic…!

If you consider Tonic Triad as the Full Stop equivalent, ................
you can equate the Dominant Triad as the Semi-colon, ..............
and the sub-dominant triad as the Comma kind of thing…!

-You complete the sentence with a full stop.
-When the meaning has been completed but the sentence is not completed you use the semi-colon;
-and if the meaning as well as sentence is incomplete you use comma. ……!

Similar to that, musical passages also have their own punctuation kind of marks, which are better expressed by such appropriate chords !

( In WCM equivalent these are called Cadences…which we will see later ).

What we can appreciate in simple way is, the Triads of Tonic, Dominant and Sub-dominant are in that order has some priority and importance.

Also, if you note the fact that these three chords put together completely cover all the notes of a Scale…!

To illustrate that ,

Tonic Triad – consists of – Tonic + Mediant + Dominant - ( I + III + V )

Sub-Dominant Triad – consists of – Sub Dominant + Sub-Mediant + Octave - (IV + VI + VIII)

Dominant Triad – consists of – Dominant + Leading Note + Super Tonic - ( V + VII + II )

That’s why, for all beginners in guitar etc., these three basic chords are taught initially, and with that one can cover most of the song…!

In our next discussion, we can see one more concept of Chords … ie…. Inversion of Chords…!
We heard about that term inversion just recently…isn’t it ?

Yes… While talking about the intervals between any two notes…… and their inversion…!

So you can easily guess what we are going to do…!

Anyway, we will see that soon !

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