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I found this handy chart stapled at the centre of a manuscript book.

Does the colour scheme have any significance? For example: ninth, diminished seventh, augmented and suspended are all green. Why?

enter image description here

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    It seems that red is for (strictly) major chords, purple for minors, and green for "anything else", probably indicating chords that are used in other harmonic functions, such as dominants Feb 10 at 12:54
  • Ah okay. I noticed the connections among the reds and purples but the green threw me. Feb 10 at 13:02
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    @musicamante Consider rewriting your comment as an answer, which it is.
    – Aaron
    Feb 10 at 15:06
  • @Aaron I was waiting for having more time to consider possible reasons about grouping the "green chords" (and the reason behind the color selection). And, possibly, other point of views. Feb 10 at 20:07
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I will go with some logic, a bit of "hunch" and some critics.

  • red: "strict" major chords, chords that have a major triad and use diatonic notes of a major scale with that fundamental as it root;
  • purple: chords that have a minor triad and use diatonic notes of a minor scale with that fundamental as it root;
  • green: anything else, which has a (probably) harmonic function that is not that of a tonic or subdominant;

The colors are tricky.
I'd try to justify them by saying: green is where you "keep moving", red or purple (which is similar to red) is where you "can stop".

But, the reality is that I believe that that chart is just misleading, if not just wrong without any given (and justifiable) context, and that's also because it only shows the "fingered" notes for the guitar on the keyboard, which is very confusing: those chords do not sound like that if played on a keyboard just as written, and they are not the same.

The most clear case is the ninth, which actually is more a half-diminished chord. Yes, those chords share very similar aspects, but if the 9th is shown without a tonic, then why the minor 7 and the major 6th should differ?
And, no, just saying "C type chord" is not sufficient.

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Does the colour scheme have any significance? For example: ninth, diminished seventh, augmented and suspended are all green. Why?

Significance and coincidence are not the same. So I would say "no" significance. My reasoning it this. If a major triad and a major seventh chord are somehow in the same category (red) regardless of extensions (add6 or maj7) then why isn't a dominant seventh, which is a major triad with dom7 extension in the same category?

If the base triad is the main determinate of category, why does green include diminished, augmented, and major base triads?

Rather than significant, I would call the color scheme haphazard.

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  • Major triads, minor triads, everything else may not be terrible useful, but is not haphazard. Feb 14 at 12:43
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Two categories of stable chords with no tension notes

Red: Plain Major triads (added 6th seems to also qualify).

Purple: Plain Minor triads.

Then a category for less stable chords, ones with 'dominant' 7ths, suspensions etc.

Green: Anything else.

But give @musicamante the vote if he comes up with it as an answer!

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