So basically, I know how to identify triad if there is only one clef, but have troubling identifying the triad when there is a grand staff...Could some you tell me how to do this and possibly give me the answer to the first one? Thank you so much![enter image description here]1

  • It's just a matter of notation. How would you identify a triad in tenor clef? Mar 25 '19 at 12:39

The spelling of the chords are the same. If you know how to read the notes in the bass clef you just find all the notes from both staffs and spell the chord. Doesn't really matter what order the notes are in or how far apart.

If you don't know how to read notes in the bass clef, the two dots surround the line that is an F, hence why it is called the F clef sometimes. Spaces are A C E G. Lines are G B D F A.

So the lowest note in that fist example is an E. I'll let you work out the rest.

  • Glad I could help. Feel free to mark it as answer if you feel it was correct.
    – b3ko
    Mar 25 '19 at 13:02

I know how to identify triad if there is only one clef, but have troubling identifying the triad when there is a grand staff

I have a feeling you actually mean you know how to identify the chords in closed position, but have trouble with open position chords.

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Closed position puts all the notes close together which happens to fit easily on a single stave.

Open position spaces out the notes and requires greater space and fits more easily on a grand staff.

So in closed position you might have a chord E G# B and that is easy to read. The starting E is the chord root.

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In open position A F# D is a little more difficult. A is not the chord root. To identify the chord rearrange the letters so the tones are all stacked as ascending thirds. The first letter will then be the root.

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A F# D rearranged in thirds is D F# A. D is the root. D to F# is a major third and D to A is a perfect fifth. This is a major triad. It's a D major triad.

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You have to notate the notes and find out the third position (that means you have to build a tower of thirds:


A f# d (the second chord)

a,b,c,d,e,f,g,a,b,c where can you find here these 3 notes above in 3rd formation?

D,F,A -> so the chord is d,f#,a

but the bass tone is the 5th

This means we have the 2nd inversion of the D major triad


Here's a tip that might make it easier to identify chords on the grand staff: the first ledger line below the treble staff is the same pitch as the first ledger line above the bass staff, and that's the middle C. If you place the staves close enough vertically, they form a unified linear pitch space.

middle C on bass and treble staves

Using such "joint" staves your first chord looks like this: example chord on staves joined together

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