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Minor Triads

Just as minor scales have a different pattern of whole steps and half steps from major scales, minor chords have a different pattern than major chords. We create a minor triad from scale degrees 1, 3, and 5 of the natural minor scale. Follow these steps to determine the pitches of a minor triad:

1. Write out the scale degrees under the staff. Just like the major triad, only the numbers 1 through 5 are needed. We will continue with the key of B flat, and create a B flat minor triad.

Write the scales degrees

2. Write the pattern of whole steps and half steps as they occur between each scale degree (W H W W).

Minor triad step 2: Write the whole steps and half steps between each scale degree

3. Write in the first five pitches of that diatonic scale. Do not skip any pitches or repeat any pitches.

Minor triad step 3: write the diatonic scale

4. Check every whole step and half step in the scale and write in the accidentals, when appropriate. If you need help remembering half steps and whole steps, visit that page in the section on melody.

Minor scale step 4: write the accidentals

Scale degree 1 to 2 is a whole step. A whole step above B flat is C, so no accidental is needed.
Scale degree 2 to 3 is a half step. A half step above C is D flat, so we need to add that accidental.
Scale degree 3 to 4 is a whole step. A whole step above D flat is E flat, so we must write a flat in front of the E.
Scale degree 4 to 5 is a whole step. A whole step above E flat is F.

B flat minor triad

The triad consist of scale degrees 1, 3, and 5 played at the same time. Therefore, the notes of a B flat minor triad are B flat, D flat, and F. When these notes are played one at a time, they are called a B flat minor arpeggio.

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Learn how to create a diminished triad.




Index - Sound - Rhythm - Melody - Harmony - Form - Performance - Links - Kyle Coughlin
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