Tertial Harmonies & Inversions


OpenMusic Theory overview of Triads and Seventh Chords
OpenMusicTheory leadsheet symbols (includes figured bass & slash notation)

Basic Terms

  • Diatonic vs. Chromatic
    • Diatonic harmony: chords within the key (includes all possibilities in a minor key)
    • Chromatic harmony: chords outside of the key
  • Chord: Combination of 3 or more pitches (*pitch classes, specifically) played simultaneously
  • Tertial (vs. Quartal or Quintal):
    • Tertial harmony: Harmonies based on thirds (basis for most Western music: triads, sevenths, ninths, elevenths, etc.)
    • Quartal harmony: Harmonies based on fourths (i.e. a chord made of C-F-Bb-Eb)
    • Quintal harmony: Harmonies based on fifths (i.e. a chord made of C-G-D-A)

Materials from Class

Extra Resources