The theory behind building and naming chords.

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What is the origin and advantages of this system of chord naming/ notation? e.g. G7 is major minor seventh not Dominant 7th

I've received a few emails through my website asking me what a major minor seventh chord was. At first I thought they had mixed up the sequence and were referring to the A-#7 chord (root chord of ...
11
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5answers
6k views

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 ...
7
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5answers
538 views

Why do we call the Hendrix chord 7#9 instead of 7b10?

The Hendrix chord is usually mentioned when a harmony contains both the major and the minor third, together with the minor seventh. Were it a major seventh, I'd say we have an augmented 9th and thus ...
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3answers
1k views

Am I allowed to add a b9 to a maj7 chord in Jazz?

On Jazzology chapter 2, exercise 6, example 2, I have to identify this chord (if it exists): I thought that it was Cmaj7(b9). My train of thought was (from the lowest to the highest note): C -> ...
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2answers
141 views

How to name quarter tone chords

Studying the flamenco mode I found that the third note of the scale is tonic when tonic is played, so it would be a major chord, yet minor in all the other cases. Eg. in the key of E the scale would ...
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2answers
351 views

Why is “A” not used for augmented in Chord symbols?

On Wikipedia it says: Some of the symbols used for chord quality are similar to those used for interval quality: m, or min for minor, M, maj, or no symbol (see rule 2 below) for major, ...
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1answer
52 views

Relation of the diminished chord to the circle of fifths?

Within each key there are seven chords. If I understand it correctly the "first" six correspond to the minor and major variants of the current key and its immediate neighbors in the circle of fifths, ...
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3answers
277 views

Do triads sound strongest in second inversion?

On Mark Levine's Jazz Theory book, on Chapter Five, Slash Chords, it says: Although triads can sound good in any inversion, all things being equal triads sounds strongest in second inversion. ...
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3answers
918 views

Why does a Cm13 chord use A instead of A♭?

Why is the 13th (or the 6th) of a Cm chord A, not Ab?
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4answers
418 views

Major Seventh chord with root note as melody : why the dissonance?

In wikipedia page - jazz chords : Major Seventh it is said that "if the melody note is the root of the chord, including a major seventh can frequently cause a harsh dissonance". But since the root ...
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7answers
747 views

What is a chord with a diminished third called?

The third of the chord is one of the criteria to determine the name of the chord. If the third is major (and the fifth is perfect), the chord is called major chord ; if the third is minor and the ...
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3answers
628 views

C major 6th chord and A minor 7th chord: same notes but different quality, why?

Simple question: many have noticed that the A minor 7th chord is the an inversion of the C major 6th chord. However, the more interesting this is why they have different quality (as minor and major) ...
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11answers
770 views

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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1answer
38 views

How are intervals defined and measured? [closed]

In the key of C: I play C-E-G This is C Maj chord-yes? What is the name of the interval? Next, I play. B-D-F What does it mean that THIS is NOT a CHORD, but is rather an INTERVAL? Does it not ...
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2answers
191 views

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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3answers
57 views

Fifths of #9 chords

It seems like common practice to treat #9 chords as altered chords and, being guitarist, the most common voicing of them I'm familiar with is the Hendrix chord: e|-----| B|--8--| G|--7--| D|--6--| ...
4
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1answer
287 views

Minor major seventh flat five chords: do they exist, and if so, how should they be used?

When randomly playing chords, my husband and I stumbled upon an interesting four-note combination of C, Eb, Gb and B natural, which sounded pretty nice to us despite the dissonance. This looks like a ...
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8answers
3k views

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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4answers
278 views

Can a chord be both major and minor?

So I was messing up with chords the other day and I came with a case where the chord could be both minor and major. I'm wondering if it can be true or if a chord is either, but cannot be both at the ...
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6answers
189 views

The teaching of scales, chords and keys

A question for the music educators out there. What are we doing wrong that is causing so many young musicians to ask so many questions based on the misapprehension that only certain notes and certain ...
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3answers
86 views

Is there a name for this type ascending inversions of a repeated chord?

I was messing around on one of my guitars one day and stumbled upon this interesting ascending progression. I ended up writing a song using the progression even though I wasn't even sure what the ...
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2answers
50 views

“best” chord name for a min♭6

As I developed my (guitar) chord vocabulary, the min7 chords were followed by the min6 chords. One was different. In the major key, the iii is what I have called a min♭6. However I have gotten some ...
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3answers
114 views

Understanding music with multiple key changes within chord progressions

So this has been bothering me for some time now; I've been making beats for maybe 7-8 years now but my earlier work is heavily-sampled. I just started actually picking up piano, but on my own, ...
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2answers
671 views

If you add an E to a Bm chord, what do you have?

For instance playing standard barre on the 2nd fret, but leaving the high E open. My brain is banking out figuring out what an E is in this context and how the resultant chord would be named.
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5answers
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Is there a name for a chord which combines the major and minor thirds of the root?

I noticed while noodling on my acoustic guitar that playing Cm using the Am shape barred on 3rd fret, that opening the high E string gives a pleasingly discordant sound. I realised the E comes from ...
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2answers
92 views

How to correctly classify different guitar tunings?

How would you correctly classify say - ECDGAD? Like, how people will say "E Minor 9th Tuning" or something like that, if you understand what I'm saying - what would you call ECDGAD and how would you ...
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3answers
314 views

proper uses of minor seventh chords

Having used dominant seventh chords extensively,I am now trying to incorporate minor seventh chords into my compositions... Based on my [rudimentary] knowledge, minor seventh chords are usually used ...
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5answers
289 views

Is this a Csus4 chord?

I have a book that labels C, F, Bb, and D as a Csus4 chord. I get the F is the 4th to C, but why the dominant 7th and the 9th? Are those vital to a Csus4 chord, do they add to it, or is the book just ...
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5answers
532 views

Proper symbol for this chord (1 5 7 9 11)?

I'm a songwriter in the jazz-pop idiom, and when playing through a chart with a guitarist, he told me that, in his opinion, I had labeled a chord inaccurately / incorrectly. Here's the chord as I ...
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2answers
10k views
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1answer
220 views

How do C1, C2, C3 relate to C and CSus4 on guitar?

I wanted to check some chords for ‘A Team’ by Ed Sheeran and came across this version which includes C1, C2, C3. Then this video is called ‘How to play a C4’ but is actually how to play a CSus4 So I ...
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3answers
312 views

Is a Cm7 chord considered minor or dominant?

Is a Cm7 chord considered minor or dominant? I'm studying jazz and trying to identify chord scales for particular harmonies. What modes qualify to possibly "fit" with a Cm7 chord, and how do I ...
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2answers
329 views

Do different minor chords (vi, ii, etc) convey different nuances?

I came across some postings discussing whether different minor keys produce different moods, but i have not found one that compares different minor chords... As each minor chord has a different ...
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1answer
74 views

Do bass notes basically just accent and/or add notes to the above harmony?

I'm trying to understand how the bass timbre folds into the harmony. I understand doubling more dissonant intervals is generally bad unless creating a cool melody. Is this basically because it's ...
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5answers
485 views

Ending a song with a dominant chord

As far as i know, almost all songs end in the tonic chord, because this is the most "stable" condition. On the other hand, a dominant chord at the end of a progression (or song) sounds "incomplete". ...
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1answer
159 views

What does the “o” notation signify?

I just saw this comment by Tim, in another question: Do can't have a C. It's spelt D, F, Ab, Cb.Or as a triad, just the 1st 3 notes. Ao/F is F b9, and Ao/F# will just be F#o. Or D b9/F#. If this ...
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7answers
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Why are the chords C-E-G and G-C-E both considered C Maj?

Can someone explain to me in layman's terms why that is the case?
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3answers
188 views

Why is the complete circle of fifth progression more common in minor than major?

In relation to How common is the complete circle of fifths progression? which describes some examples of the complete circle of fifth progression (a consecutive 4-7-3-6-2-5-1 progression), apparently ...
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6answers
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How long should each chord in a chord progression be played?

For example I am making a 16 bar chord progression for a verse of a song and choose to use the I , IV , V chords of a major scale.. How can I put these chords in a nice rythm so they sound good and ...
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10answers
640 views

Why is the tonic chord of a key formed with the 1,3 and 5 notes of the key but the major chords in that key are the I IV and V?

The tonic chord in a given key is formed by using the 1 and 3 and 5 notes of the scale in whatever key you are in. However, in chord theory, the Major chords that work in that key are the one, four ...
2
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2answers
235 views

6th string root dominant 7th barre chord voicing

When I first started playing guitar quite a while back, I bought the Chords and Voicings Guitar Grimoire, and promptly put it on a shelf when I realized I had a lot more to learn then just chord ...
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1answer
260 views

What do the numerator and denominator of a chord name in roman numerals mean?

I'm reading a paper on music theory and I keep coming across names of chords expressed as a fraction - I/I, I/V, ii/I, etc. Based on the use of these names in the paper, I'm reading this as: I/I: A ...
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4answers
393 views

Do the 'natural' chords to use in a key change if you use a different mode?

This question gives a great, not-too-technical explanation of modes: What are modes and how are they useful? I wondered if playing in a different mode would mean the standard chords change move also? ...
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5answers
222 views

Is music really infinite? [closed]

In contrast with the common misconception that "there are 7 notes, so you'll end up repeating 'em", I argued that music is infinite. Is this true, or there're boundaries to music?
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1answer
126 views

why major chords only have 1-3-5 notes why not other notes? [duplicate]

I have gone through this question The chord formula for the Major Chord is 1- 3 - 5. What do the numbers represent? I haven't understand that and I have also read many document. Please can any ...
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2answers
233 views

Melodic Minor - Uses

The one problem I have with the Melodic Minor is that I just don't know how and where to use it. From my comprehension, it is the Minor scale when descending and when ascending it has a maj6 and maj7. ...
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3answers
207 views

How do you properly define diminished 9th, 11th and 13th chords?

I understand that a diminished 7th chord is defined by the intervals 1-b3-b5-bb7 and a half-diminished 7th chord is 1-b3-b5-b7, but how do you determine what intervals diminished (and half-diminished) ...
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2answers
94 views

Are there rules that determine whether a chord belongs to a particular key?

Suppose I have a chord such as FAC. How do I know whether the notes belong to C (Fa La Do') or F (Do Mi Sol) or perhaps another key? Do music theorists have theories for how a key gets established? ...
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4answers
136 views

Is there such a thing as an Add#9 chord?

I understand that the chord formed by the intervals 1-3-5-b7-9 is a 9th chord and that the intervals 1-3-5-9 (omitting the 7) create an add9 chord, but how do you properly define the chord created by ...
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5answers
233 views

How important are chord inversions as an intermediate guitar player and what are their applications?

I've been on a run to get a lot of theory down after realizing how amazing music theory is. As a guitar player going through a intermediate-advanced theory journey, I would like to know where ...