For example F major chord = F0, A0, C1.

Would chords like "C0, F0, A0" or "FO, A1, C2" still be F major chords?


2 Answers 2


Yes. As long as you play (only) the pitches F, A, and C, it's an F chord regardless the order, spacing, doubling, or octaves of the notes.

If the notes are packed as closely together as possible, it's called "close position". If one or more are spaced apart, it's called "open position", which is what you're describing.

If the F is the lowest pitch, it's called "root position." If the A is the lowest pitch, it's called "first inversion". If the C is the lowest pitch, it's called "second inversion."

  • So i can have 5 notes - F1,F2,F3 A0, C1 and its still F major?
    – James
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 11:13
  • Yes, exactly. As long as those are the only pitches, it's a first inversion (because A0 is the lowest pitch) F major chord with the F doubled.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 11:16

The F chord comprises three notes - F A and C. It could even be argued that the C isn't necessary - although that would make it a 'two note chord' - which to a lot of folk isn't even a chord then.

Those three notes, then, when played simultaneously, make the triad known as F major. It matters not which octave any of the three notes are in, it's still F major. True, some mixtures will sound really odd, but it doesn't change the fact. You could also have a 100 piece orchestra, with each individual instrument playing one of those notes as chosen, in many different octaves, some playing the same letter name, in different ways, and it's still F major.

Aaron's answer covers inversions and positions well. Your chord voicing puts it into root, close position.

  • A correction, and a suggestion: "close position", not "closed position"; also, the pitches don't have to be simultaneous (e.g., arpeggios). Since you elaborate that far, worth clarifying.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 12:03
  • @Aaron - thanks. There seems to be a lot out there that use closed as much as close. I understand the word closed is opposite to open, but close means quite near. My jury's out right now. Arpeggios, broken chords, o.k.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 15, 2021 at 15:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.