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Piano Power: Intervals (Part 3) and Triads (Part 1)
By Richard Prokop, Greenacres Press, Inc.
(more articles from this author)
2001-01-10
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Here are the completed intervals from the previous article, Intervals (Part 2).

Before introducing you to triads, I would like to briefly demonstrate how to construct an interval below a given note.

Constructing Intervals Below A Given Note

Construct an Augmented 5th (A5) below B.

* Counting down five steps from B (B-A-G-F-E), leaves us with the following interval:

* We notice that the interval (E-B) is 1-5 of the E major scale and is therefore a Perfect 5th (P5).

* By definition, an Augmented 5th is a half-step larger than a Perfect 5th.

* Lowering the E to an Eb gives us an interval that is a half step larger.

* Therefore, Eb is an Augmented 5th below B.

TRIADS

Using our knowledge of Major scales as a foundation, let’s define Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented Triads.

Major Triads

A Major Triad is an harmonic structure consisting of the first (also known as the root), third and fifth notes of any Major scale. The interval formed by the root to the fifth is a Perfect 5th (P5). The interval formed by the root to the third is a Major 3rd (M3).

The G Major triad below, consists of the root, third and fifth of the G Major scale.

The root and the fifth of a Major Triad form a Perfect 5th, while the root and the 3rd form a Major 3rd.

Minor Triads

A Minor Triad is formed by lowering the third of a Major Triad one-half step.

The G Minor triad below, consists of the root, flatted third and fifth of the G Major scale.

The root and the fifth of a Minor Triad form a Perfect 5th, while the root and the 3rd form a Minor 3rd.

Diminished Triads

A Diminished Triad is formed by lowering the third and fifth of a Major Triad one-half step. The Diminished Triad is the most condensed of all the triads.

The G Diminished triad below, consists of the root, flatted third and fifth of the G Major scale.

The root and the fifth of a Diminished Triad form a Diminished 5th, while the root and the 3rd form a Minor 3rd.

Augmented Triads

An Augmented Triad is formed by raising the fifth of a Major Triad one-half step. The Augmented Triad is the widest of all the triads.

The G Augmented triad below, consists of the root, third and sharped fifth of the G Major scale.

The root and the fifth of an Augmented Triad form an Augmented 5th, while the root and the 3rd form a Major 3rd.

Identifying Triads

Identify the triads below as either major (Maj), minor (Min), diminished (Dim) or augmented (Aug).

Constructing Triads

Construct major triads above the given notes:

Construct minor triads above the given notes:

Construct diminished triads above the given notes:

Construct augmented triads above the given notes:

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» Piano Power: Intervals - Part 1 (2000-11-14)
» Piano Power: Intervals - Part 2 (2000-11-14)


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