Im still trying to get my head around thirds..

most major triads consist of major thirds but not all...is this just because of the different key signatures? Does this mean the third in the minor scale is also flattened?
All major triads have a major third from the root and a perfect fifth from the root.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.

Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
Keep in mind this is measured from the root, not the new note. The distance from the third to the fifth in a major triad is a minor third, is this what is confusing you?
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.

Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
so all minors have a minor 3rd?
^^
yep
thats why they're minor

Do you know how to construct triads??
For a major triad you have the root then you move up a M3 then from there up a m3 to give you a P5 from the root.
Minors are just the opposite.. m3+M3
dim m3+m3
aug M3+M3
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Last edited by victoryaloy at Mar 10, 2009,
Dude I'm thinking you're a little mixed up.

Remember the term Major triad does not mean a triad from the major scale. The major scale and major triad are two distinct things.

Similarly the minor triad and minor scale are two distinct things.

A major triad is any chord that has a root note a major third and a perfect fifth.

So C E G = C to E is a major third and C to G is a perfect fifth (C is the root). The same is true of any major triad it is made up of a major third and perfect fifth.

Note that in the major triad the distance from the major third to the perfect fifth (from the E to the G) is a minor third. A C major triad for example has a major third from C to E and a minor third from E to G. A major third plus a minor third = a perfect fifth.

A minor third has a minor third and a perfect fifth. So Cm = C Eb G. The distance from C to Eb is a minor third and the distance from C to G is a perfect fifth.

Note that the distance from Eb to G is a major third. A minor third plus a major third = a perfect fifth.

When applying this to a scale we see that a Major scale has a major third from the 1st note to the 3rd note in the scale and the distance between the 1st and the 5th is a perfect fifth. This makes the Tonic triad (the triad built off the tonic or 1st degree) a Major triad. T

he triad built off the 3rd degree of the major scale (the mediant) however will have a minor third between the 3rd note in the scale and the 5th note in the scale and a perfect fifth between the 3rd note in the scale and the 7th note in the scale. This makes the Mediant triad in the major scale (built using the 3rd degree or mediant) a minor triad even though it is from the major scale.

Take C major as an example.
C major scale = C D E F G A B C.

The tonic triad will be using scale degrees 1 3 5 to get C E G = C major since C to E is a major third and C to G is a perfect fifth.

The mediant triad from the same major scale using scale degrees 3 5 7 = E G B. Since E to G is a minor third and E to B is a perfect fifth this mediant triad is minor in quality but still from the major scale.

Similarly the chords built from the minor scale are not all minor. However, the tonic triad (built from the first degree of the minor scale) will be minor in quality.

Both the major and minor scales have three major triads, three minor triads, and one diminished triad.

In the Major scale the major triads are off the 1st, 4th, and 5th scale degrees the minor triads are off the 2nd 3rd and 6th degrees. And the seventh degree yields the diminished triad of a major scale.

This is why you'll see the chords of the major scale written as:
I ii iii IV V vi viidim
where a capital is a major triad and a lower case is a minor triad and the dim is a diminished chord. Those are the chords of the major scale.

In the minor scale the minor triads are off the 1st the 4th and the 5th degrees while the major triads are of the b3rd, the b6th, and the b7th degrees. The 2nd yields the diminished triad of a minor scale.

Of course in the minor scale the minor fifth is often made dominant by temporarily raising the b7 in the minor scale by half a semitone to a natural 7 just for that one chord. This is such a popular practice it gained it's own name (harmonic minor).

Hope that all makes sense. Best of Luck
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Mar 11, 2009,
Quote by 20Tigers
Dude I'm thinking you're a little mixed up.

Wow. I'm not the TS, but that was a great explanation. Thanks!
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CYNONYTE!

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Rats, I thought someone would sig it and make me famous...

it was going to be my big break

I just got it in my head that maybe when the TS was confirming that all minor chords have a minor third he was actually thinking all the chords in a minor scale or minor key are minor with a minor third. I've seen this mistake before so just wanted to make sure he was on the right track.

I'm glad someone got something out of it though.
Si