The Architecture of Music

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Analyzing Chords Using the Circle of Fifths (con't)

The illustrations below use the LCOF to analyze the root position chords and inversions. The intervals of the chords have been circled to show the three intervals that make up each chord. In this book, all root position chords have an ascending P5th to the right of the central note on the LCOF and all 2nd inversions have a P4th descending from the bass note included in them.

Negative Chords have been indicated by attaching the boxes surrounding two negative chords together. For instance, a negative maj3 (-maj3) is the min3/2. Negative chords are useful as it helps to play intervals that might not sound good in root position chords. For instance, the min2 sounds in dissonance. However, by playing the min6/2 (which has the same 3rd note interval of the min2), we bring the notes closer together along the LOCF which may lead to a more harmonious sounding chord than the min2. Study these diagrams to help explore chords you might not normally use.

Analyzing Chords Using the Circle of Fifths