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Next comes the most common form of harmony, tertiary. It consists of chords built as stacked thirds. In other words, start at someplace in the scale and select every other note. The simplest of these are triads. They are, compared to a major scale:
R - 5 ...(Root - fifth or Do - sol...get the idea?)
Aside from suspensions, those are all of the triads. Next come seventh chords. Those are produced simply by adding and altering "7." As a rule, unless the word "major" appears in the name of the chord, the seventh will be flatted. There are a lot more possible combinations with seventh chords, for example:
Major R - 3 - 5 ex: G Minor R -b3 - 5 ex: Gmi or G- diminished R -b3 -b5 ex: Go (pretend "o" is a degree symbol) augmented R -#3 -#5 ex G+
get the idea? There are lots more. In case you were wondering about chords with higher numbers, it continues on in the same way. If you were to put two octaves of a major scale together, you would have
Major 7 R - 3 - 5 - 7 ex: Gma7 minor 7 R -b3 - 5 -b7 ex : Gmi7 Dominant 7 R - 3 - 5 -b7 ex : G7 half diminished R -b3 -b5 -b7 ex : Gmi7(b5) diminished 7 R -b3 -b5 -bb7 ex : Go7 Augmented 7 R - 3 - #5 - b7 ex G+7 major 6 R - 3 - 5 - 6 minor 6 R -b3 - 5 - 6 (note NOT b6)
So any sort of 9th chord is some type of 1 3 5 7 9, any type of 11th chord is 1 3 5 7 9 11, and any type of 13th chord is some type of 1 3 5 7 9 11 13. It doesn't go any farther. When you get to 15, you have started over. It is always assumed that these extended notes are as they would be in a major scale whose root is the root of the chord. If they are to be altered, they must be addressed individually. For example, a Dominant9 with a sharped 11 and a flat 13 would be notated G9 (#11 b13). Now it is usually not possible to play all of the notes of some of these chords. Many notes are optional. Those that are not are the third, the seventh, and the highest extension. The root is kind of important, too, but less so... and usually the bass player will play that. That's tertiary harmony in a nutshell. Something else that some people experiment with is "quartal," or stacked fourths, "quintal," or stacked fifths, etc... I, myself, am unaware of any treatises on discerning between qualities of these kinds of chords, and if anyone knows if anything has been made up in this area or how different kinds of these harmonies are notated (I've seen Q3 to represent a quartal triad, Q4 to represent four stacked fourths, etc) I'd really apreciate hearing about it. - Tim Fullerton.
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