The Architecture of Music

Chords

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Chord Formulas and Interval Diagrams

All chords work in this manner. Their formulas describe the notes to be played starting from any bass note. They do not describe the specific pitch of the notes to be played as in standard musical notation. They simply tell us the notes in a chord starting from the bass note. Interval diagrams can be used to show how a chord formula defines the notes in a chord. Study the interval diagram and maj3 chords below, no matter which note is used as the bass note, the maj3’s chord formula remains the same and dictates all the other notes for each maj3 chord.

Chord Formulas and Interval Diagrams