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When was the Picardy 3rd, the final tonic borrowed chord, invented?enter image description here

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    Wikipedia has a useful summary of its history here. – user57228 Feb 13 at 11:52
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The Picardy third was likely “invented” during the baroque period by the likes of composers like Bach when equal temperament came into being. Listen to the Bach Preludes and fugues and you will hear them quite a bit.

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    There are plenty of examples of Renaissance era Picardy thirds (like the Coventry Carol), and it was well temperaments that came into wide use during Bach's time, not equal temperament. – Tom Serb Feb 24 at 13:32
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Sometime in the Renaissance - there are plenty of 16th century examples.

My personal suspicion is that the use of the Picardy third developed along with the shift in keyboard instruments from split-key Pythagorean tuning to quarter-comma meantone with twelve keys per octave. In meantone temperament minor thirds are flat compared to Pythagorean tuning, but the major thirds are pure (or at least the majority of them are).

  • Split key keyboards were never common. – phoog Feb 25 at 4:24
  • I don't know how common they were, but I know they weren't extremely rare. This paper identifies more than three dozen harpsichords, virginals, and organs with split keys in Italy alone: core.ac.uk/download/pdf/70978324.pdf – Tom Serb Feb 25 at 14:30

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