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For example, take a C chord. One of the requirements for a chord to be a chromatic mediant is that it is a major/minor third away from the root. So why are chords like Cm, Fm, C♯ and F♯ considered chromatic mediants as well?

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    Can you give an example of where you've heard those chords referred to in such a way? I've never encountered that. However, all of those chords contain the mediant or submediant pitches (E/Eb, A/Ab) relative to C major/minor. – Aaron Dec 17 '20 at 22:16
  • I was reading an article from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_mediant – MiaLee Dec 18 '20 at 5:39
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Your understanding of a chromatic mediant relationship is correct, so the chords you listed do not of have a chromatic mediant relationship to C major.

However, those four chords (Cm, Fm, C♯, F♯) all have roots a third away from A. A minor is the relative minor of C major, which means the two keys share the same key signature. So I think the source you were reading was listing out the chromatic mediants for the relative minor.

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  • I see. It just happens that those chords share similar notes with C major. Does this mean that every chord has their own chromatic mediant? – MiaLee Dec 18 '20 at 5:37
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    @MiaLee That's correct -- every chord has it's own set of chromatic mediants, based on the root of the primary chord. – Aaron Dec 18 '20 at 7:37
  • I see. I understand it now thank you. – MiaLee Dec 18 '20 at 8:40

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