In music, a dyad is a set of two notes or pitches. Generally, a chord has three or more notes, but in certain contexts (especially amongst guitarists) a musician might consider a dyad a chord—or at acting in place of a chord. For example, the power chord contains three notes, but some consider it technically not a chord because two of the notes are octave equivalent.
The most common two-note "chord" is the interval of a perfect fifth, which may suggest music of the Medieval or Renaissance periods, or various kinds of rock music. When fifths are missing from major or minor triads, on the other hand, they may still suggest triads. For example, C and E may suggest a C major triad (C-E-G), which in the key of F major is the dominant and would lead back to F, the tonic.
Since an interval is the distance between two pitches, dyads may be classified by the interval each entails. When the pitches of a dyad occur in succession, they may be regarded as forming a melodic interval. When they occur simultaneously, they may be regarded as forming a harmonic interval.
A relatively common guitar dyad is the 5th chord, which is composed of the root (tonic) note and a perfect fifth note.
- Benjamin, et al. (2008). Techniques and Materials of Music, p.191. ISBN 0-495-50054-2.
- Harnsberger, Lindsey C. (1997). "dyad". Essential Dictionary of Music: Definitions, Composers, Theory, Instrument & Vocal Ranges. Los Angeles: Alfred Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 0-88284-728-7. OCLC 35172595. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
- Young, Doug (2008). Mel Bay Presents Understanding DADGAD, p.53. ISBN 978-0-7866-7641-5.
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