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Sound Waves

Harmony

Pentatonic Scale

Chromatic Scale

Chords

Keys

Diatonic Chords

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Consonance

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Diatonic Chords
Chords that fit in a particular Key.

So far we've learned that:

  • a Key is a collection of notes used in a song
  • a Chord is a set of notes, played together, that sound good
  • and we've learned about Major, Minor, and Diminished chords.

Now, since a Key is a limited set of notes used in a song, not all chords fit in a given Key. Some will be Major, some will be Minor, and some will be Diminished.

The chords that fit in a particular Key are called Diatonic Chords.

Which chords fit in the Key of C Major?

To do this, make sure that all the notes in the chord are also in the Key. Hover over each choice to see the included notes.

C
C#
D
D#
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
A#
B
C
C#
D
D#
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
A#
B
C
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
1.
C Major Chord
C Minor Chord
C Diminished Chord
2.
D Major Chord
D Minor Chord
D Diminished Chord
3.
E Major Chord
E Minor Chord
E Diminished Chord
4.
F Major Chord
F Minor Chord
F Diminished Chord
5.
G Major Chord
G Minor Chord
G Diminished Chord
6.
A Major Chord
A Minor Chord
A Diminished Chord
7.
B Major Chord
B Minor Chord
B Diminished Chord


So we see now that only certain chords will fit in a given Key. Stick to the chords that fit in your Key, and your music will sound good!

Seven Triads in Any Key

By now you've found the seven Triads (3-note chords) in the Key of C Major. There are actually seven Triads in every Key. Use the tool to start exploring which chords are safe to use in each Key.


Major
Minor
A
A#
B
C
C#
D
D#
E
F
F#
G
G#

C Major


A
A#
B
C
C#
D
D#
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
A#
B
C
C#
D
D#
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
A#
B
C
C#


0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

I. C Major Chord

ii. D Minor

iii. E Minor

IV. F Major

V. G Major

vi. A Minor

vii. B Diminished

Next Consonance & Dissonance

Replacing the terms "good" and "bad" when talking about harmonies and music.

Next Section


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