Major Chords Vs Minor Chords

Chords are the foundation of music, playing an integral part in creating its atmosphere. From heartfelt ballads to upbeat anthems, chord progressions help convey your desired emotion to listeners.

One small change to a chord can have profound effects on its sound and emotional resonance; this is especially true when discussing major and minor chords.

Root Note

As you create chords, pay special attention to their root notes. A chord’s root note is what identifies and defines it; for major chords this would be its major third interval above it and for minor chords its minor third interval below.

Major-type scales and chords contain major intervals while minor-type ones contain minor intervals; it is this distinction that sets major and minor apart.

Note that chord roots don’t need to correspond with bass notes in an arrangement. Chords can be inverted and their root replaced by another tone which serves as bass note.

This can be particularly effective when creating unique sounds through chord voicings of major and minor chords, and can even serve as a starting point for improvisation. Even though the chord will still be rootless triad-based, its sound will differ significantly from one with roots located in its bass position.

Major Third

Chords are one of the cornerstones of music. They set an emotional tone for songs and give shape to lyrics. Understanding how major and minor chords work will enable you to play songs more effectively while understanding why specific songs elicit certain feelings.

The difference between major and minor chords lies in their respective intervals. A major chord contains two major third intervals four semitone steps above its root note and one perfect fifth interval above it; for example if we look at C major chord, these notes would comprise this interval; by changing E to E flat this becomes C minor chord.

Major chords possess a more optimistic sound and therefore give major keys their more pleasant tone, leading many people to associate major keys with cheerful songs while minor keys tend to evoke sadness in listeners.

Minor Third

Major and minor chords serve as the cornerstones for all other chords to form upon. To fully comprehend them, we should look closely at their intervals.

Minor thirds are intervals that span three half steps between two notes that create an uneasy or melancholic tone, the opposite of major thirds which possess more consonant tones.

An arpeggiated sixth is often found within natural minor, harmonic minor and minor pentatonic scales; its name can vary. Also referred to as septimal major sixth or 12/7.

Noteworthy is the inclusion of major 9 in many minor major chord voicings to create additional contrast between darkness of minor 3 and brightness of major 7. This produces a specific sound or feeling which I refer to as noir (for lack of better term).

Perfect Fifth

Perfect fifths form when two notes are spaced apart by one fifth, which creates an interval that is stable and doesn’t add too many different flavours to a chord – making them suitable for accompanying all types of melodies, while medieval composers also used perfect fifths to make drones.

If you play C and G on the piano together they form a perfect fifth if they are seven semitones apart (count up from C to G). This principle can also be applied to any other note pair; using this approach helps speed up notation of intervals.

Training one’s ear to identify perfect fifths can be very useful; two such pieces are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Last Post. When the distance between two perfect fifths increases by half steps they become diminished or augmented fifths with subtler differences than those found between major and minor intervals.