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How Triads Impact Sound
Now that you know what a triad is as well as the four important kinds of triads, it's time to try and figure out how those chords impact the sound of a piece of music. Depending on what material you have available to you, you will need to choose a different prompt for this lesson. If you have access to an instrument that can play triads, like a guitar or a piano, explore Prompt 1. If you have music composition software and have done some simple (or advanced!) composition in the past, look at Prompt 2. If you prefer to explore this lesson from a research perspective, choose Prompt 3.
Prompt 1: Play
Try to play each of the four kinds of triads on your instrument. See how the sound changes. What mood does each kind of triad evoke? Do you already know any songs that incorporate triads? What kinds? What does the kind of triad present in a song tell you about how the song will sound? If you want to experiment, see if you can alter a triad in an existing song from one type to another kind (for instance, from a minor to an augmented triad). If you try to play the song with the altered triad, it will sound very strange! But it's worth a try to see how much a single chord can change a piece of music.
Prompt 2: Compose
Using your composition software, try writing a short piece of music that includes a triad. Include more than one kind of triad in your work if you can! How do different triads influence the tone of the music you're writing? Which do you prefer?
Prompt 3: Research
Try and find four songs, each one incorporating a different kind of triad. You may find songs that include more than one kind. How do the triads add to the music? What depth and tone do they evoke? Which ones do you think are most effective or noticeable, and why?
What are the four types of triads?
There are many kinds of triads, but the four major ones are major, minor, augmented, and diminished. Triads are the building blocks of Western music.
What is an example of a triad?
A triad is three notes on the diatonic scale. A triad consists of a root note, a major or minor third, and a lowered and raised fifth. For example, a C diminished chord consists of a root note of C, a minor third of E flat, and a lowered G flat for the 5th degree of the scale.
What are the qualities of triads?
Triads must contain the root note, a major or minor third, and a flattened or raised fifth. Adding other notes creates complex chords.
What does triad mean?
A triad is a chord consisting of three notes on the diatonic scale. A major triad is the root note, a major third, and a perfect fifth at its most basic. They are the simplest chords and are the building blocks of music.
Does triad mean three?
Triad means three. In this case, the term applies because it takes three notes to make a triad, and the notes are three steps away from each other.