Diagram V - The Chords of the Twelve Major Keys


"A threefold cord is not quickly broken."—Eccles. iv. 12.
"What is beauty but the aptitude of parts harmonious?"—Southey.

ON a keyed instrument only twelve are major key-notes, but as the double tones C#-D♭ and F#-G♭ are roots, there are fourteen different chords. The fourteen that are roots are written in musical clef. As an example of the major chords in the different keys, we may examine those in the key of C. A major fifth includes five out of the seven of its key; with the third or central note it is the threefold chord, or fourfold when the octave note is added. Including the silent key-notes, a threefold chord embraces eight, or, counting the double tones, not including E#, eleven. The first and second chords of the seven of the harmony are perfect major chords in the key of C; the central note of the third chord, being #C-♭D, is a discord. The first pair of fifths in the scale, with its central note, is a chord of the key; if we include the octave, the last pair of fifths, with its central note, is the same chord an octave higher than the lowest chord of the seven. Of the chords written in musical clef of the twelve keys, the octave chord is only written to C, the seven of each having two chords and the scale one, thirty-six in all, or forty-eight if the octave chords are added. Notice how the chords of each seven and the chord of its scale are altered.

If the chords of the twelve keys and the thirteenth octave are struck, all agree in their method of development. We see here the order in which the chords are repeated, and the working of the double tones. As an example of the latter, we may trace the chords belonging to the key of D♭, and compare them with those belonging to the key of F#, also the first chord in the key of A♭. The fourth note in depth, sounded last of the seven of each harmony, has been seen as preparing for the chords; it prepares equally for the scale, and the scale for the chords, the octave chord of the scale, ascending, preparing for the latter to descend. Descending is ascending reversed.

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The chords
The fourteen roots of the chords of the twelve major keys
—A threefold major chord examined, fourfold with its octave
—The seven of each key seen to have two chords and its scale one chord, thirty-six in all, forty-eight with octaves
—The chords of the twelve keys as they follow in order are written in musical clef
Colours seen to agree, . . . 27 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents2 - Harmonies]

The minor harmonies
—The eighteen tones repeated veering round, and in musical clef below, showing the twelve that develope minor harmonies
—The twelve minor key-notes as gained from the twelve major, . . . . . . . . . . 32 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents3 - Harmonies]

The difference in the development of a major and a minor harmony
—The twelve developing keys mingled
D♭ shown to be an imperfect minor harmony
E♭ taking B♮ as C♭ to be the same as D#
—The intermediate tones of the seven white notes are coloured, showing gradual modulation
—As in the diagram of the majors, the secondaries are written in musical clef below the primaries, each minor primary sounding the secondaries of the third harmony below, but in a different order, and one tone rising higher, . . . . . 34 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents3 - Harmonies]

The roots of the minor chords
—The difference between a major and a minor chord
—The chords of the twelve keys in musical clef, those of A coloured, . . .37 [Harmonies of Tones and Colours, Table of Contents3 - Harmonies]

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Thursday March 4, 2021 05:14:23 MST by Dale Pond.