Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Lesson - 61 : Inversion of Triads - Part-2

Just now, we saw the possibilities of the 3 notes of C-Major triad, C-E-G in different inverted and normal forms

As we know, with reference to the C-Major scale, the real, original order of notes are C , E and G only.

Thus based on the real order, the note C is called the “Root” of the chord…..!

Root is the note on which a chord is fundamentally built…..!

Irrespective of the inversions and other appearances…. The note C remains as the root in a chord of C…….!

So fundamentally, with a three notes chord, the following emerges….!

- If the root note is at the bottom most, then the chord is said to be in its “Root Position” …!

- In other cases, the chord is said to be in inverted position…!

- If the third is placed at the bottom most then it is chord of 1st inversion……!

- If the 5th is placed at the bottom most, then its Chord of 2nd inversion…!

For any ordinary people, it may appear in their mind that ……in whatever way you play the group of notes, as far as the same three notes remain there……..how it is going to matter…?

But in Harmony composing IT DOES MATTER…..!

Because it does change the Tonal appearance…!

The note at bottom most, that is the BASS Note…forms one important aspect in Harmony writing…..!

We will see that later ……!

I hope, one thing you might have realized by now, is just by seeing a note in the bottom of a chord, you cannot term that the chord is of that bottom note…!

You have to follow methodical stepwise approach…!

You have to see all the three basic notes of the Chord first…!

and then re-arrange them to get the root, third and fifth ….!

Of course letter name of chord is based on the root note.

So get that..!

Depending on intervals between root & third as well as third and fifth, you can term the characteristic of the chord as Minor, Major, Diminished or Augmented etc.

Depending on the appearance of which note is kept at the bottom most, you can term its inversion number….!

Based on which note of the Scale, the chord is formed, you can term them as Tonic Chord, Dominant Chord etc….!

Take the example of a chord which is written as G-E-B…..!

As per our knowledge of “musical alphabets”, we can easily re-arrange the basic notes available as E as root, G as third and B as fifth…!

So this must be a Chord of E…!

Next the interval of E to G and G to B are Minor + Major…..So this is a Minor Chord….!

So we are talking about E-Minor chord…!

Since, the third G is at the bottom most, this is of First Inversion type…!

Now, which scale it belongs to…?

As we saw earlier….a Major scale has three minor chords on Supertonic, Mediant and Sub-mediant……Similarly, a Harmonic Minor scale also have the minor chords on Tonic and Sub-dominant….!

So options are many….!

If it is considered as part of C-Major, then this is a chord on Mediant……

If you consider this as part of the E-Minor scale…. then this is Tonic Chord…!

And so on…!

Confusing….? But see the positive side of it…! The opportunities it gives us to explore…!

Are you realizing that same Chord can play a different role, depending on the outlook viz the scale to which we want to associate it to…?

That is the “Bridging/ Pivotal Role” a chord can play……!

The Chord is part of “this” scale also…. part of “that” scale also….!

We learnt earlier that WCM prescribes Modulation ….meaning shifting from one scale to another…..!

Chords play the Effective Bridging Roles in the case of Modulations….!

Are you realizing now that , in spite of the change of scales, how IR manages to look them so easy and smooth and effective…..!

A Perfect Morphism……as software people can easily visualize and compare that……!

Now we have become further wiser….on Chords ….!

Having further in-sight into the deep ocean of WCM…!

Stay Floating…!

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