Its inversion "D F# C" appeared in the 10th measure of the Prelude in C Major(BWV 846).

Seems like a usual triad, but I just can't fit it into pattern of any triad.

Its most possible basic form of triad I could guess is "C D F#", which is diminished third + minor fifth.

Does it has a name?

  • 1
    I'd say D7, we typically drop the 5th of the V7 chord in harmony theory. Of course w/o context it's hard to know the function of the triad. Don't have Prelude in C in front of me. – ggcg Nov 19 at 17:21
up vote 11 down vote accepted

It's V/V. There's a slight modulation from C, and it goes to G, the V of C. Hardly a mod., the piece needs to get back home to C. To get there, it uses the V of G, which is D7 - hence the notes D, F# and C. It's part of the cycle of fourths/fifths - Am>D7>G7>C.

  • Let's focus on D7~ So the missing A in D7 does not change its name? – Rakanishu Nov 18 at 9:28
  • 9
    It could be called D7 (no5), but it's fairly common to leave out the 5 from any chord (except 'power chords'!!) because there are elements of that pitch sounding in the harmonics of the root. So, no need to change the name. That apart, Bach probably didn't think in terms of chords like we tend to now, I think. – Tim Nov 18 at 9:44
  • 1
    Well... Bach did add A in the 10th measure. I forgot the first two notes (D A) of that melodic chord. But I did meet Dominant Seventh missing A in Maple Leaf Rag. So got it! it's common. – Rakanishu Nov 18 at 9:50

That could be the dominant seventh chord of G Major with the 5th omitted, so D F# A C but with the fifth left out, you can do that. So basically G:V7-5.

  • 2
    Isn't all that in my answer? – Tim Nov 18 at 12:14
  • 4
    I did not read your answer. – Neil Meyer Nov 18 at 12:55
  • 2
    @NeilMeyer But don't you think you should have? It's a bit redundant to have multiple answers with the same information, no? – Richard Nov 19 at 6:06
  • @NeilMeyer See, e.g., music.stackexchange.com/help/deleted-answers, which says that "exact duplicates of other answers" can be removed. – Richard Nov 19 at 6:11
  • I would be greatly disappointed if any of my answers get deleted. I have contributed enough to this site that I do think this small little discretion can be overlooked. There is nothing wrong with the quality of this answer. – Neil Meyer Nov 19 at 10:49

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