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Harmony Notes Book 1


Marie Moran and Jean Archibald

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Chapter 1: Primary Triads


Taking the notes of a major scale (d r m f s l t d’) and building a triad on each note produces the following variety of chords. Each chord consists of a root (highlighted), a 3rd and a 5th.

Roman numerals are generally used to label the chords.

Notice that major chords use upper case while minor chords use lower case and diminished chords use lower case and a small circle symbol.

The most important, useful and most commonly used of these triads are those built on the tonic, subdominant and dominant i.e. I, IV, V. These are known as the primary triads.

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Write the primary triads in each of the following major keys.

Building triads on the harmonic minor scale (l t d r m f si l’) produces a different variety of chords as follows:

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