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EpISODE 13 EAR TRAINING-BASIC TRIADS

HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips

 

TYPE- Ear Training

 

DURATION- 41:31

 

BUMPER MUSIC- "The Forgotten Chord" (Area 47 Music)

 

ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe

Listen
DESCRIPTION

We've already given a good listen to the interval. Let's add one more note to it and hear what the triad sounds like. We will discuss the sonic characteristics of the four basic triads:  major, minor, augmented and diminished and their inversions. We will also stack on one more note and talk about the standard basic 7th chords: major major seventh (M7), major minor seventh (Mm7 or the dominant 7th), minor seventh (m7) and even the elusive minor major seventh chord (mM7).

KEY WORDS

INTERVAL- The distance between two notes, harmonically or melodically. An interval consists of two components: 1) NUMBER and 2) QUALITY.

 

TRIAD- A group of three notes: the root note, the note a 3rd above it and the note a 5th above it. This can also be viewed as a combination of two intervals, each that of a 3rd.

 

MAJOR TRIAD- ROOT + MAJOR 3rd + PERFECT 5th

 

MINOR TRIAD- ROOT + MINOR 3rd + PERFECT 5th

 

DIMINISHED TRIAD- ROOT + MINOR 3rd + DIMINISHED 5th

 

AUGMENTED TRIAD- ROOT + MAJOR 3rd + AUGMENTED 5th

EXAMPLES D MAJOR TRIAD IN ROOT POSITION The ROOT (D), it's MAJOR THIRD (F#), and its PERFECT FIFTH (A), in that order, from lowest to highest. The D, or the ROOT of the chord, is in the lowest voice. The Roman numeral "I" by it's self and beneath the notes, signifies this triad to be in ROOT POSITION.

Root position is considered to be the most stable of all note arrangements for the basic triad.

D MAJOR TRIAD IN 1st INVERSION The THIRD (F#), the FIFTH (A), and the ROOT (D), in that order, from lowest to highest. The D, or the ROOT of the chord, is in the lowest voice. The number "6" next to the uppercase Roman numeral "I", beneath the notes, signifies this triad to be in 1st INVERSION. Why the number 6? Because the ROOT (D) is now a6th above the lowest note (the 3rd, or F#, in this case).

In 1st inversion, listen for the 4th in the highest register. This interval is a little more pronounced in 1st inversion.

F MAJOR TRIAD IN 2nd INVERSION The FIFTH (C), the ROOT (F), and the THIRD, in that order, from lowest to highest. The C, or the FIFTH of the chord, is in the lowest voice. The the 6/4 hovering next to the uppercase Roman numeral "I", beneath the notes, signifies this triad to be in 2nd INVERSION. The "6" signifies that the highest note (A) is a 6th above the lowest (C) and the "4" signifies that the next highest note (F) is a 4th above the lowest note (C).

In 2nd inversion, listen for the THIRD in the highest register. You can often identify the third by singing down, 3 scale steps, to the TONIC or the ROOT.

D DIMINISHED TRIAD IN ROOT POSITION The ROOT (D), it's MINOR THIRD (F), and its DIMINISHED FIFTH (Ab), in that order, from lowest to highest. The D, or the ROOT of the chord, is in the lowest voice. The lowercase Roman numeral "i°", beneath the notes, signifies this diminished triad to be in ROOT POSITION.

Where we listened for the PERFECT 4th interval in MAJOR and MINOR 1st INVERSION TRIADS, we will have to listen for the DIMINISHED 5th in DIMINISHED TRIADS.

C AUGMENTED TRIAD IN ROOT POSITION The ROOT (C), it's MAJOR THIRD (E), and its AUGMENTED FIFTH (G#), in that order, from lowest to highest. The C, or the ROOT of the chord, is in the lowest voice. The uppercase Roman numeral "I+", beneath the notes, signifies this augmented triad to be in ROOT POSITION.

Where we listened for the PERFECT 4th interval in MAJOR and MINOR 1st INVERSION TRIADS, we will have to listen for the MAJOR 3rd in

AUGMENTED TRIADS in 1st INVERSION.

THE SAME LISTENING TECHNIQUES CAN APPLY TO MAJOR AND MINOR TRIADS

You must always listen for the BASS note as a frame of reference. You may hear an overwhelming THIRD in the high register,. However, if a THIRD is in the bass voice,

this triad is actually in 1st INVERSION.

SEVENTH CHORDS

Since the full SEVENTH CHORD contains 4 notes, we will no longer call them TRIADS.

MAJOR MAJOR SEVENTH CHORD (M7 or MAJOR 7th)

ROOT + M3 + P5 + M7

(dreamy, sweet, soft, meandering, uncertain)

MAJOR MINOR SEVENTH CHORD (Mm7 or DOMINANT 7th)

ROOT + M3 + P5 + m7

(has a strong need to resolve to the tonic triad)

MINOR MAJOR SEVENTH CHORD (mM7)

ROOT + m3 + P5 + M7

(disorienting, floaty, listen for the augmented 5th)

MINOR SEVENTH CHORD (Mm7 or DOMINANT 7th)

ROOT + m3 + P5 + m7

(train whistle chord, listen for the m3 and m7, unstable but doesn't demand the same

resolution as the Mm7)

THINGS TO REMEMBER

-Try not to think of a triad as one sound. Rather, try to hear each of the 3 notes that make it up. Get used to singing them in your head, high to low or low to high (whichever you're most comfortable with).

 

-In ROOT POSITION, the basic triad is in its most stable position. You will not detect a PERFECT 4th.

 

-In 1st INVERSION, listen for a PERFECT 4th in the upper register. That interval is the strongest in this position.

 

-In 2nd INVERSION, listen for the MAJOR or MINOR THIRD, as the case may be, in the highest register. You can usually detect the 3rd by singing down to the root from that note. There will be a PERFECT 4th in this position but it will be a weaker sonority than that of the THIRD.

 

-Diminished chords have a feeling of tension while augmented chords have more of a "floaty" or disorienting feel.

 

-Where we listened for the PERFECT 4th interval in MAJOR and MINOR 1st INVERSION TRIADS, we will have to listen for the DIMINISHED 5th in DIMINISHED TRIADS and for the MAJOR 3rd in AUGMENTED TRIADS in 1st INVERSION.

EPISODE MUSIC

 

 "The Forgotten Chord"

  (Area 47 Music)

  Brian Maloy- drums

  Jeremy Burns- bass, piano

 

MUSIC STUDENT 101

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