Chords

     A chord is a group of three or more notes played simultaneously that form the basis for harmony. Such notes come from the scale material we are using, or to which the chord notes relate to. In order to form such chords the notes are usually stacked in intervals of the third, fourths/fifths or seconds. For quick reference, here is the overtone series based in C:

     If you consider the intervals between the partials, you will see that the first interval that appears is the perfect 5th from the second to the third partials and then the perfect 4th (between G and C). Up to the twelfth partial, we are able to find major and minor 3rd intervals, as well as major and minor 2nds. These intervals will be the building blocks for chord construction and, as you’ll see, in the same way we derived scales from the overtone series, we can also do so with chords – either by extracting chord formations directly from the overtone series or stacking intervals derived from it.

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