Traditional music consists of three elements: harmony, rhythm, and melody. The majority of music we hear or play is based on three-note chords, called triads. A chord is a combination of three or more sounds. A chord is composed of more than one tone. An interval can be made up of two tones. A chord is formed by three or more tones that sound together.

A chord with three tones is referred to as a triad. A triad is a chord that has three tones. Triads are often based on the Tertian system of Harmony. This system relates the tones of the triads to each other by the interval of 3rd.

A triad is a chord that consists of two interconnected 3rds. F to A, for example, is a third interval. A to C is a fourth interval.

Any note on the basic scale can be used to build a triad. These triads, also called basic triads, are found in seven scales.

Overview of the Basic Chord Structure

The chord suffix and the chord root can be broken down into two separate parts. The root is the note on which the chord is based. The root can be any note on the chromatic (flat, natural, or sharp) scale. The suffix indicates the type or quality of the chord. There are many kinds of chords. There are many types of chords: major, minor and seventh, major ninth, major eleventh flat five and many others. A major triad is one that has no suffix. A chord is considered major unless it is otherwise specified.

All melodies are, in general, based on a skip motion through chords and step-wise movement through scales. A melody can be composed by using one or both of these methods.

The pattern of both short and long notes within a piece is called rhythm. It’s the sum of all the note values, including quarter notes and half notes. The melody must fit within the steady beat.

Harmony occurs when more than one pitch is used at once. You will then be able to feel the song’s harmonic rhythm. Do the chords change quickly or take a while? Listen to the exact moment when the chord changes.