Dyad (music)

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All dyads within an octave on C. About this sound Play 
In a triadic context chords with omitted thirds may be considered "indeterminate" triads.[1] About this sound Play 

In music, a dyad is a set of two notes or pitches.[2] Generally, a chord has three or more notes, but in certain contexts (especially amongst guitarists[citation needed]) a musician might consider a dyad a chord—or as acting in place of a chord. For example, the power chord contains three notes, but some[who?] 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),[3] which in the key of F major is the dominant and would lead back to F, the tonic.

Melodic and harmonic intervals. About this sound Play 

Since an interval is the distance between two pitches, a dyad can be classified by the interval it represents. When the pitches of a dyad occur in succession, they form a melodic interval. When they occur simultaneously, they form a harmonic interval.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benjamin, et al. (2008). Techniques and Materials of Music, p.191. ISBN 0-495-50054-2.
  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. 
  3. ^ Young, Doug (2008). Mel Bay Presents Understanding DADGAD, p.53. ISBN 978-0-7866-7641-5.