Psalms chord

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Psalms chord
Component intervals from root
minor tenth
perfect fifth
minor third
Forte no. / Complement
3-11 / 9-11
Psalms chord

In music, the Psalms chord is "the famous opening chord"[1] of Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, a "barking E minor triad – characteristically spaced",[2] "like no E-minor triad that was ever known before".[3] It is common to both the octatonic scale and the Phrygian scale on E, and the contrasting sections of the first movement based on the scales are linked by statements of the Psalms chord.[1]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Tymoczko, Dmitri (2002). "Stravinsky and the Octatonic- A Reconsideration", p.93. Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Spring), pp. 68–102.
  • van den Toorn, Pieter C. (1975). "Some Characteristics of Stravinsky's Diatonic Music", p.121. Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Autumn – Winter), pp. 104–138.


  1. ^ a b Straus, Joseph N. (2005). Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory (third edition), p. 152. ISBN 0-13-189890-6.
  2. ^ Mellers, Wilfred (1971). "1930: Symphony of Psalms", Tempo, New Series, No. 97 ("Igor Stravinsky 17 June 1882-6 April 1971"), pp. 19–27. Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Berger, Arthur (1963). "Problems of Pitch Organization in Stravinsky", p. 33. Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Autumn – Winter), pp. 11–42.