I would like to know of examples of augmented chords of type 5# (I do not refer to 6th) in classical music, I know the theory for the formation of this type of chords (C aug or C+ or C(5#)-> C, 3ª major interval -> E and 5ª augmented interval -> G#), I have learned many examples in popular music and jazz but I would like to know in as much detail as possible examples in classical music.

  • 2
    Definitely check out some of Debussy's work. He did some compositions that focus entirely on the Whole Tone scale, which can only create triads of the augmented type. There's also this wikipedia article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 13:28
  • Ok, if you know more examples write here, I will try to study them all. And many thanks to all. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 14:19

4 Answers 4


Before I start, note that oftentimes these "augmented triads" in classical music are not bonafide augmented triads but actually just dominants with a brief chromatic passing tone. But not always!

Now, there's really no better one-stop shop than this terrific minuet by Mozart (K 355). Here's a score, and below is a sample of the opening measures; check out the augmented triads in mm. 1, 5, 7, and 9. (Whether they truly "are" and function as augmented triads is a much longer discussion; but they do momentarily create augmented harmonies.)

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And since I've got Wagner on the brain, here are some other ideas.

I've linked the music; I'll leave it up to you to find the scores:

  • Wagner, Siegfried, Act I Scene 3 (beginning in m. 2430), at the famous "Nothung!" calls. The calls themselves are above an F augmented triad, and there's a brief intro that could be understood as a D augmented triad.
  • Wagner, Siegfried, Act III Scene 2 (m. 440), as Siegfried confronts The Wanderer. The opening progression, in A flat, alternates between I and V+.
  • Similarly, check out Beethoven's Op. 119 No. 1 Bagatelle in G minor. In m. 17, a V chord in A flat has a chromatic passing tone B-natural that briefly creates a V+.
  • 1
    I would analyize MM. 5, 7, 9 differently. The "augmented triad" is just an written-out appoggiatura before a Bm/D chord (in M.5) followed by an augmented 6th and C# (again, with a written-out appoggiatura). As for MM. 1 and 2, I would call that "counterpoint" not "harmony." The harmonic progression is just D A7. The Wagner example is unambiguous, though.
    – user19146
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 2:26
  • I agree 100%; I tried to hint at this in the parenthesized section of my second paragraph.
    – Richard
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 2:28
  • Sorry, I read it too fast and thought you meant a bona fide example of augmented triads, not ambiguous ones!
    – user19146
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 2:30
  • I tried to make it a bit clearer, in any event!
    – Richard
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 2:33
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    I so glad this post reappeared with recent activity, because I discovered this K355 in your answer. I never heard it before. What a great example of harmony! I analyzed the whole thing last night. I will post a new question about one particular part that confused me. Anyway, thanks! Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 12:54

You will find plenty of augmented chords in the music of Edvard Grieg. For instance, Measures 11 and 13 of "To Spring", Op. 43 no. 6. Grieg: "To Spring", measures 10 through 14


Beethoven actually uses them quite functionally in the first movement of Eroica, right in the beginning of the development. Here, the Ab augmented triad resolves into G7 with Ab moving down to G and E natural up to F. Then with the same melody he moves from C major to F minor, then again from Ab augmented to G7, where he stays for four bars before modulating to G major, using the Ab major chord as a Neapolitan.

Beginning of development from Liszt's transcription

  • 1
    What are your thoughts on that E-natural just being a lower neighbor tone to the F, and this chord being a iv6 instead of A-flat augmented?
    – Richard
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 14:26

Mozart used augmented triads in his sonata in A major (3rd variation for example).
Chopin used augmented triads in his prelude in e minor (augmented triad with a major 7th) and a full augmented triad in his prelude in c minor.

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