File Name: major and minor chords piano if i fell.zip
Chords have been a staple device in the music of the Western world for, well, a long time. Prior to the Baroque Period approx. Harmonies, the likes of which we might think of as chords or chord progressions, were the result of multiple melodic lines woven together. The Baroque Period witnessed the rise in popularity of a simple and effective manner of providing accompanists with harmonic directions called figured bass. In figured bass, a bass line--a series of single notes in the bass-- is accompanied by tiny numbers that indicate harmonic intervals to be played above each note.
This was the precursor to the modern shorthand of chord symbols in jazz and pop charts, and it evolved in tandem with the increased inclusion of written chords for keyboard and stringed instruments. Instead of existing as the incidental result of a number of melodies coming together as in Renaissance music, in the Baroque Era, chords finally became an accepted texture unto themselves. And things only became more, well, chordal from there. But what is a chord? We can all play them, but can you describe one?
Do you really know how chords are made? And more importantly, given that this is an article series dedicated to understanding keys, how can knowing about chords help us learn about how keys function? As with our previous article, in which we re-built our basic understanding of scales to put towards the greater goal of learning about keys, in this article we will seek out an understanding of chords that gives us both a solid groundwork regarding their construction and identification, and a greater insight into how they function when thinking of keys.
The most simple definition you'll encounter is that a chord happens when two or more notes are played together. This definition might be a little too simplistic, and a better way to define chords goes like this: a chord is a structured collection of notes used in music to convey harmony. Of course, the explanation only gets more elaborate from there. There are many different kinds of chords to be found in many different musical contexts, and many questions addressing whether something even is a chord versus some other harmonic sonority.
And we get to start it all off with a nice little metaphor. Like a tree, we start with the root note in red , and grow up through a consecutive series of thirds intervals until we reach the same note two octaves above the note after the blue A would be a C. Just as scales are built and named by their sequence of steps, chords are always identified by thinking of them in the tightest configuration of thirds that we can, like the image above.
As we build our chord in thirds, we name each new note by its intervallic distance from the root:. However, being able to see a snapshot of the fuller picture to begin with is often helpful for giving some much needed context to the fundamentals as we learn them. Listen for the way each note contributes to the combined sound. Extensions are the favorite notes of romantic music, modern classical music, jazz, soul, and other musics that prefer the addition of more complex harmonic contributions.
The center point of the chord going up is referred to simply as the 7th. It serves multiple functions, depending on the circumstances, but is most prevalent as the nearly-necessary addition to dominant 7th chords, which we will learn about in a later article. Finally, the three lowest notes of the chord make up what we call the triad. Chords are known and used for their ability to immediately give us a sense of harmonic identity.
Need to give a melody some harmonic and textural support? Throw it over some chords. The real advantage of this comes with our ability to transfer the structure of a chord to many different places across the musical spectrum such that it retains its shape and sound. Our C Major Chord will stay a major chord no matter where we move it, as long as we know how to recreate that shape at different spots on the instrument. To build a basic Major chord a triad we need to stack two thirds, and we have two ways of counting up to those thirds.
As we can see, using this method entails counting half-steps up until we hit our target notes: C—E 4 half-steps , E—G 3 half-steps. This method can be used anywhere as long as you can remember the number of half-steps that make up major and minor thirds:.
Remember that you are counting steps using this method, which is different than the way the next method works:. We need a little knowledge of scales to use this method, however it is much more efficient, and much more in line with how we ultimately want to be thinking about both scales and chords.
Unlike counting half-steps, we count the number of scale degrees to get our interval not the number of steps , and name the interval after how many scale degrees it is up from the root. Where we really want to be with our ability to identify thirds and triads is to the point at which we can start to see musical structures intervals, chords, scales, etc. Getting there takes a little bit of practice with counting things out, and as much practice as we can get with using our ears to help tell us if things are sounding like they should.
For the sake of practice, see if you can build several major triads using different roots. Different combinations of stacked thirds result in different sounds and different chords. The most common are the major and minor variations, but all find their way into many kinds of music in some fashion.
Play them at the piano and listen for their different sound qualities. What kinds of music would you use them for? After triads, the next most common chord type is the 7th Chord. To create a 7th chord, we stack one more third on top of the two thirds we use to create our triads. Just like with our triads, that third can be either major or minor, and but unlike with our triads, not every version of 7th chord carries the same identifiable heft.
That is to say, when in the midst of the music, some 7th chords are going to be more important than others when we consider how the music is built. Some 7th chords come off as more colorful, while others are deeply functional, and the music would be noticeably missing a valuable piece of its forward momentum without them.
For now, accept that it is a formal but common term for any time we have a major triad with a flatted 7th. When naming 7th chords, we consider the core triad to be major unless we say otherwise. In fact, when speaking informally, we usually leave out as many words as we can when describing these chords.
To summarize: for any 7th chord, we assume the base triad is major. Now an added point of convention: we also assume that anything referred to as a blank 7 e. If the 7th is major as in, not flatted , we must write it as such. Occasionally the best way to put a finalizing cherry on top of such a convoluted cake is to present an example with all variables present. Here we have a minor triad, with a major 7th on top.
We have one more structural point to address before we can actually start looking at this stuff in the music…. Go ahead and count the steps to figure out the intervals. Yes, it is in fact the lovely F major chord, a common counterpart to its somewhat overrated cousin, the C major chord.
Chords by themselves are all well and good, but it's a rare song that is written with only one of them. One of the great joys of music is the experience of being drawn down the musical narrative by shifting harmonies. Think of your favorite piece and your favorite part in it; whether you know it or not, your choice is almost certainly due in some part to something happening harmonically such as a chord change.
All those shifting harmonies mean shifting hands on our instruments, and at the piano, as with most polyphonic instruments, the degree of hand shifting we have to do is directly related to how hard we have to work to achieve the desired effect.
If you used the counting methods we just spoke of to identify the chord above, you found out that it was an F major chord in root position. See if you can play this on the piano. Does it feel like a bit of a jump?
As it happens, we can achieve the same harmonic feel of a chord even if the notes are not stacked in thirds. Indeed, there is a slight difference in the sound, but it hardly sacrifices the harmonic quality. How about if we take our C and put it down an octave? Now we can see that in moving the chord the root of the C major chord has become the 5th of the F major chord, while the third has moved to the F chord root and the 5th to the F chord 3rd.
The C has become a common tone between the two of them, requiring us to only move the top fingers of our hand to reach the two new tones of the new chord, instead of our entire hand. In moving the note C down to the bottom of the chord, we have changed its inversion. Inversions also generally afford us a smoother transition from chord to chord, which was so important to classical music of old that we now consider it an inalienable part of thinking about that music. Each triad and 7th chord has as many inversions as it has notes 3 inversions for triads, 4 for 7th chords.
Play each of these on the piano, starting from the root position C chord and moving upwards through 1st and then 2nd inversions. As with counting up scale degrees or chord thirds, we name inversions by upward position changes from the root position. For each position change, think of taking the bottom note from the previous position and putting it on the top of the chord an octave above.
A helpful tip for finding the root of a major or minor triad in inversion is to find the 4th interval e. Another helpful thing to try and remember is that in 1st inversion the 4th is on the top, and in 2nd inversion the 4th is on the bottom.
As you might imagine, applying this logic to 7th chords, which have 3 inversions in addition to the root position thanks to their fourth note, is a study unto itself, and a bit more than we need to bite off here. There are multiple shorthands for identifying chords as we see them on the page. Here are some more examples from that style of chord abbreviation:. Notice that all the chords in this example are in root position.
Particularly for non-classical style musics, this kind of designation tends to better reflect the ways in which the players are thinking about the music.
For example, a C minor chord can be written as Cmin, Cm, or C- yes, as in minus…. As we progress in our learning about keys we will learn more about chord designations. In particular, we will learn how chord designations can actually reference the keys we may be playing in in very significant ways.
Ahh…if only all chords could be so clearly seen. Music would be missing most of its character if the only way harmony was expressed was in the fashion of the example above. Even then, the thought of leaving chords as they were, bereft of any sort of elaboration, was nearly unthinkable. Notice that we have some repeated notes in some of the chords in blue , which is called doubling. Doubling does not change the quality of the chord, and, if done well, can add a tasteful emphasis or a powerful reinforcement.
In the master hands of Bach though…. Being able to distill sections of musical material down to the chordal harmonies within them is one of the most valuable skills a musician can have. Consider the following:. This breaking up of the chord is a kind of figuration , which might be best defined as a way of breaking up chordal tones into phrases that give character and identity to the music. There are many different ways of breaking up chords to enrich the musical identity of a piece.
A broken chord is a chord broken into a sequence of notes. A broken chord may repeat some of the notes from the chord and span one or more octaves. An arpeggio may also span more than one octave. The word arpeggio comes from the Italian word arpeggiare , which means to play on a harp. Even though the notes of an arpeggio are not played or sung all together at the same time, listeners hear the sequence of notes as forming a chord. When an arpeggio also contains passing tones that are not part of the chord, different music theorists may analyze the same musical excerpt differently. Arpeggios enable composers writing for monophonic instruments that play one note at a time e.
Click on the linked cheat sheets for popular chords, chord progressions, downloadable midi files and more! Create beats, songs, and musical snippets with built-in music theory, melody guides, and intelligent chord suggestions. Toggle navigation. Toggle navigation TheoryTab DB. Open In Hookpad.
If I Fell has sections analyzed in the following keys: D♯ Minor, and D Major. Click on the linked cheat sheets for popular chords, chord progressions.
If you'd like the sheet music, message not comment me with your email so that I can send you the free sheet music. This video features me playing "Irrestistible" by Fall Out Boy on the piano.
This basic music theory guide looks at fundamental concepts musicians use to understand, analyze, and create music. Music theory is a practice musicians use to understand and communicate the language of music. Musical theory examines the fundamentals of music. It also provides a system to interpret musical compositions. For example, basic music theory defines the elements that form harmony, melody, and rhythm. It identifies compositional elements such as song form, tempo, notes, chords, key signatures, intervals, scales, and more. It also recognizes musical qualities such as pitch, tone, timbre, texture, dynamics, and others.
Sign In. Your high-resolution PDF file will be ready to download in 8 available keys. Rodrigo, Olivia. Cohen, Leonard. Berlin, Irving.
Six hit songs arranged for piano, voice and guitar. A lyrics-only version of each song is also included for quick reference. So take a deep breath and get ready to step into the spotlight!
Chords have been a staple device in the music of the Western world for, well, a long time. Prior to the Baroque Period approx. Harmonies, the likes of which we might think of as chords or chord progressions, were the result of multiple melodic lines woven together.
It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads way back when", Lennon stated in his Playboy interview. Each verse preceding the B section a. The demo version from early just Lennon alone on acoustic guitar , does include the introduction, and has a different ending.
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