The theory behind building and naming chords.

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Classical music theory notation for chord inversions (figured bass)

In classical music harmony analysis, we see the chord inversions notated like I6/4, I6, V4/3. Examples: What are those numbers? How do they define the inversion? What's the theory behind using ...
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Why are two pitches considered a chord?

According to Wikipedia, a chord is any harmonic set of two or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. But I always thought that two notes aren't a chord, they are an interval. ...
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4answers
253 views

Progressing from a C Minor 9th

If I am playing a C Minor 9th chord what are the next chords up that work with a C Minor 9th? Am I able to follow the C Minor scale and create a 9th from each note in the scale? A bit confused on ...
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What are 5 and 6 note chords called?

I only know how to play 2 different types of chords which is a Triad (3 notes) and a 7th (4 notes). But, I often see chords with 5 or 6 notes being used. What are these types of chords called? An ...
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What is the most common way to notate dominant chords with a sharp fifth?

Is just adding #5 a common practice? As in: D Gb Bb C E G = D11#5 I've seen it also as D11+. Is there a more conventional way to notate this?
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What are the notes in a 11th chord?

Does a chord like C11 contain (apart from 1st, 3rd, 5th) the 7th and the 9th? Or I can just play the 3rd, 5th and the 11th and the root? I have the same question with chords like C9 and C13.
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7/6 no 3 or 13 no 3, 9, 11; which chord name is more correct (if any)?

Which name is better, more correct? C13 is C E G Bb D F A. If we remove the third, ninth, and eleventh, we get C G A Bb. Would C13 no 3, 9, 11 be an correct name? I've found that same chord named ...
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What does a number inside a parentheses in a chord name mean? Example: B(7)#9b9

What does a number inside a parentheses in a chord name mean? Here are some examples I have found: B(7)#9b9 no 5, Ab(7) #9#11 no R, A(7)b9sus no b7 . For context, I found them on this James Hober ...
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What is a 7/6 chord?

I am reading James Hober's paper "The 43 Four-Note Qualities", that is based on a Ted Greene paper. You can find it here. It mentions that there are a total of 43 four-note qualities, nothing more ...
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What are the chords in the harmonic minor and the melodic minor scales?

I want to know what the chords are in the harmonic and the melodic minor scales. Like if we take C major scale, then the chords are C Dm Em F G Am Bm(b5) C If we take C natural minor scale, then ...
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What is a “D-10” Chord?

I found a Paul McCartney Song..."Maybe I'm Amazed"... that showed a chord that still has me stumped: D-10 is the name of the chord Now, I understand that most chord names are 'even' (as opposed to ...
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Why does the dominant chord contain a flattened 7th?

Why does the dominant chord contain a flattened 7th while this tone is not even in the scale? Let's take for example a C7 chord. It is a 1-3-5-b7 (C-E-G-Bb). But the C major scale does not contain Bb. ...
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Naming two-note chords

Is there a convention about how to name two-note chords? I noticed that software like Apple Logic Pro names two-note chords like this: Db C = Db no 3 ma7 C Eb = Cm So I'm assuming the dynamic for ...
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Looking for a list of common 4-note chords

I'm looking for a list of common 4-note chords. So far, I have: maj7 min7 7 min7b5 dim7 minmaj7 maj7#5 7b5 7#5 And that's it. I know I'm missing many, like 6th chords, or probably other common ...
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How do you name chords in 20th Century Music? (Chords stacked in intervals other than 3rds)

This question stems from some thoughts on List of possible trichord/triad names.. When you stack chords in 3rds, you get all the standard chord names of Major, minor, 7 etc, but what about when ...
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List of possible trichord/triad names

I'm looking for the names that trichords can have. I know chord naming and recognition is a complex dynamic, and context is important; but for now I'm only looking for names that are assigned to ...
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Looking for letter-based chord identification algorithms, and related literature

I'm searching for chord recognition algorithms that will assign a chord name(s) to a group of notes, and related literature. Sometimes known as reverse chord identification, where you feed notes to ...
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Building Lydian chords

I am learning about chords and their relationships to major scale modes in jazz. As I understand it, each mode allows a different chord to be built by choosing the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th of the scale. I ...
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What note type in the 7th of a chord? - Music Theory

If this diagram is accurate, would the 7th of a Bmin7 be formed from a minor 7th interval or a major 7th interval, e. g. A-natural or A-sharp? I'm assuming A-natural. If this line of thinking is ...
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Chord progressions ending in “I” at the end of a phrase vs. the beginning of the next

Is there a generally accepted term or a useful published discussion of differences between chord progressions that resolve within a phrase (say in the fourth bar of a four-bar phrase) as opposed to ...
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What determines a chord's name?

I have very little knowledge of music theory (enough to know what's the major scale and how to find the major chord of a note) but I know a good number of chords by name and could figure out the ones ...
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How would you interpret this chord progression?

Ok, To be Specific I'm looking for Key Chord Types With Degree I've included both keyless and how I understand it. My Interpretation so far To me it's obvious that this Key is B, which would ...
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What do you call a Major chord with a natural 4?

I have seen a few singer/songwriters use this and Incubus, though I can't think of which songs in particular. I've seen it done with a Dmaj most frequently. The 4 appears a half-step above the 3, ...
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Melody improvisation over chords

My question deals with what scale to play over a given chord progression. For example, consider a progression containing I,II,IV,V in C. I.e., the rhythm guitar is playing C, Dmin, F, and G... My ...
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The chord formula for the Major Chord is 1- 3 - 5. What do the numbers represent?

According to Wikipedia (paraphrased), a Major Chord has a Root, a Major Third, and a Perfect Fifth. One way, therefore, to arrive at the notes in the C Major Chord is to begin with the note name, C; ...
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Does a chord need to include its root?

While I understand that it is very important to include the root note in a chord, is it required? Let's say I'm in C Major, and I want to play a I chord. Do I need to include C in order for it to be ...
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Chord naming conventions: add2 versus add9

I'm confused about the chord naming convention for the chord C-D-E-G. Is it Cadd2 or Cadd9? Similarly, I'm confused about the chord C-E-F-G. Is it Cadd4 or Cadd11? EDIT: I understand what is the ...
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Theory of Major and Minor Chord Sounds

Since a major triad is comprised of a minor-third stacked on top of a major-third, and a minor triad is comprised of a major-third stacked on top of a minor-third, they should, in "theory", have the ...
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Knowing what chord to play next?

This is a question I've had for a long time but I've never really found the answer other than following some suggestions on chord sequences like 1,3,2,5 and 1,4,5, but I'm sure there must be another ...
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Playing a Coltrane polychord and the limits of space

As I was the reading sheet music for John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, I noticed a chord I had never seen before. It looks like this: I'm familiar with slash chords, but never had to practically ...
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Learning how to be a good rhythm guitarist before becoming a lead guitarist, where to start?

I have recently been trying to hone in my improvisational skills. I'm stuck in the first position of the Am pentatonic box and can't move away from it. Whenever I try to move out of it, I randomize ...
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Dominant functioning as a Subdominant!

The D9 chord voices appropriate seems to be able to function as a subdominant chord. This is very intriguing and I've always thought and read that dominant chords function as dominant chords(except in ...
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Chord Leading Question

I've been writing for quite some time, but only recently have I begun to earnestly study up on music theory to a greater level than the basics. Given that, I'm a bit confused on one thing: Do ...
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“Andalusian cadences”: How are they commonly heard?

The "Andalusian cadence" I-bVII-bVI-V is commonly heard as a repeated figure in Flamenco music as well as many pop songs, e.g. "Hit the Road, Jack": ...
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What is A flat to C minor?

I know that Cm is the relative minor of Eb. I noticed the Eb chord is made up of two of the same notes of Cm (beginning on the third degree). Ab is also made up of two of the same notes, but on the ...
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Why are thirds used to construct chords?

I am (slowly) learning music theory on the guitar. I've begun learning about scales and chords, and it seems that all chords are built using some combination of thirds. For example, a minor triad is ...
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Why play out of scale notes as part of a chord?

So, I'm learning 'Stray Cat Strut' right now and came across something I'm not sure I understood. I have to say, I've only just begun to learn theory, so maybe that's why. Anyway, as far as I can ...
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What does a triangle mean in chord notation?

For example, what does the △ mean in C△7?
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Scale modification in sus2 and sus4 chords

I've recently been looking at what makes chords what, and hence my first target for this was looking at major, minor, sus2, and sus4 chords. I know major chords are made up of the first, the third, ...
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“slash” chords, e.g. B/F♯ - are these only for inversions, or can any note be the bass note?

I'm trying to work out whether it is technically correct to have a "slash" chord where the bass note is not one of the notes in the chord. I thought the main reason for slash chords is to show which ...
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Does the C chord change based on what key it's in?

Typically, the "C" is played like this in the key of C: But when I play another song, in the key of D, is the C chord still played like this? If not, how do I play it on the guitar? Likewise, if ...
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What are the feelings & emotions behind chords?

I studied some different books on Music Theory and all were too much scientific and definitely very helpful to some point. Now that I have started writing some songs, I feel I need to know more ...
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Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? (as opposed to containing C and D♭ notes)

Can a chord contain both the C and C♯ notes? Or do you always have to use D♭ rather than C♯ in a chord that already contains the note C? I'm guessing the answer is no, both C and C♯ should not be ...
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What is the full list of possible chord names? Are there chords that don't have a name in chord theory?

My chord book covers 35 different chord types. When I look on the web or in other tools, all the same types of chords come up. But I don't think this is the "full" set of possible chords. I'm not ...
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What notes are optional in jazz chords?

I have a question on jazz chords, and what notes can be removed from the chord. My understanding is fairly superficial - mostly from what I've read in books. This is what I understand: In some ...