The Relationship Between Intervals and Chords


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The Relationship Between Intervals and Chords.

Today we get to the interesting part. You already know that chords and intervals are closely related and that intervals are actually the building blocks. Even though intervals are usually stacked up to make chords, it’s useful to think about the relationship of each of the notes of the chord in respect to the Root of the chord. The Root of the chord is simply the name for the first note of a chord.
If we had a C Major Triad Chord, for example:

 

C Major Chord Piano

C Major Chord Piano

The Root of C Major would be C.
The same works in any other complex example, for example a B m9b5 chord:

 

Bm9b5 Chord

Bm9b5 Chord

Still, B is the Root of B m9b5. Don’t fear about the chord naming, we’ll see those chords
in future lessons, but the concept I want you to get is that the Root is just the first note of any chord, when the chord is in its ‘original’ position.

So the point is that you can think of a chord as adding up several intervals, and can predict how a chord will sound from this. This can be done with the intervals forming from the root of the chord, as we’ll see in a moment. Before going into that, let me tell you about a very important characteristic of the Minor and Major Third intervals. These intervals are actually really important, and have a special characteristic that usually divides most scales and chords into two distinctive groups, in addition to the division we made regarding the tension / relief. If you listen to them on the piano, you'll perceive that while all of them sound pleasant and not disturbing, the Fifth interval sounds neutral, the Minor Interval usually sounds a bit sad, melancholic, blue, or dark, while the Major Interval usually sounds happy, cheerful, or playful.

As you already know, the above intervals don't produce tension and you might have
already figured out that neither the Major nor Minor Triad chords will be tension-producing chords. However, the last bit of information regarding the quality of the third will become more useful in predicting more about the chords’ sound, as you’ll see next.  

 

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