#1
I know I'll kick myself for not getting this sooner.
Basically, its a question about harmony, something im not quite sure of. Say for simplicity's sake you're in the key of C major. And for example, the note E would be C's major third. What if you only played the note E and G (still in cmajor), would the relation between the E and G be a major third? Do you account the semitones when naming the interval? Or would you just still reference the G as the fifth?
This is more confusing with triads. If you were in the key of C, and harmonising the 5ths of a few notes, like G A B, the notes G and A would have their fifth in key, but B's fifth is F#, which isnt in the C major scale.
Is this something to just accept and move on in music theory? Or am I over analysing it?
#2
If you're playing an E and a G, then the easiest way to look at it is G is a minor third to E. However, if we're doing something in the key of C maj, with the C being implied (not played) and we're playing the E and the G, then they could be considered the major third and the fifth.

I don't think you're overanalying it, but it is good to be able to see it in other ways, as I've shown.
#3
No, you are not overanalyzing ... this is well addressed in theory.

G will be a minor third above E, or a major 6th below. E will be a major 6th above G or a minor 3rd below.

The intervals are still the intervals--- no matter what the key.

When we speak of stacking thirds to created a major or minor chord, we mean stacking major AND minor 3rds.


Look at the C scale harmonized : CMaj, Dmin, Emin, FMaj, G7, Amin, Bmin7b5 -- this tells you all the relations you are asking about,

E G B is minor because the interval from E to G is a minor 3rd and the interval from G to B is a major 3rd.

F A C is major because the interval from F to A is a major third and the interval from A to C is a minor third.

These relations (intervals) are true no matter what key you are in.

When you change keys and you get to G major, for example, there is no F, there is F# -- the harmonized G major scale accounts for this.

When you find F in a tune in G major, it is an accidental to the key of G major and will have a natural sign. F natural is still a whole tone below or a minor 7th above G, no matter what key.

HTH
#4
^Thanks that clears a lot up.
I guess it even makes more sense when you consider sheet music. How the quantity of thirds stack up on each other on the adjacent lines of the stuff determine the quality of the chord.
#5
Quote by supercoolperson
^Thanks that clears a lot up.
I guess it even makes more sense when you consider sheet music. How the quantity of thirds stack up on each other on the adjacent lines of the stuff determine the quality of the chord.


Exactly.

If you look at the grand staff you see the C scale harmonized:

The line: G B D F A C E G B D F
Spaces: A C E G D B F A C E

As soon as a key signature is applied the full staff works exactly the same.

So, if you know that E Major has 4 sharps: F C G D, then the grand staff will read:

Lines: G# B D# F# A C E G# B D# F#
Spaces: A C# E G# D# B F# A C# E

In C major the chord with root letter F is F A C E = FMaj7 the IV chord in C

In E Major the chord with root letter F is F# A C# E = Fmin7 the ii chord in E

And this works for all keys all the time. So even if you can't sight read well, at least learn the staff and the cycle of 5ths so that you just know how all the 3 and 4 part harmonies of the Major scale work in all keys.

This also helps you line up the intervals -- you can see them on the guitar neck, but you can also look at the key and figure out when you are looking at a major or minor 3rd, a perfect or diminished 5th, a major or minor 7th.

HTH
#6
Yeah, its all about transposing.


Though I have one more question. When you're doing a scale pattern on guitar or piano, say the pattern is to play the scale in 3rds. You're playing the thirds in context of that scale, so I assume you're playing a combination of major and minor thirds depending on what note you're on?
Also, why are most chords built on thirds? Are they just pleasing to our ear?
I tried building a chord based on the notes C D and E adjacent to eachother, but i couldnt seem to find the chord name or anything on it. Unless of course the D is in another octave, then its a add9 chord.