Talk:Major chord

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Major third above root[edit]

I don't think that, "generally speaking, a major chord is any chord which has a major third above its root," is true. For instance, an augmented chord has a major third above its root, but is not called major.Hyacinth 19:18, 8 Jan 2004 (UTC) I also feel the same way about the minor chord and augmented chord.

Hm, you have a point. I wrote that because it seemed to me that the previous wording - which basically said that a major chord is CEG (or the same intervals in some other key) - was too restrictive; I would call a dominant seventh, say, a major chord, even though it has a seventh in it as well. One way around the problem is to move this page to the unambiguous title major triad (and minor chord to minor triad). I don't think we'd lose anything in doing this, because I doubt there's anything interesting to say about major chords in the wider sense anyway. There are probably other solutions, I think that's the easiest. --Camembert
Let's see if we can get the definition in this article fixed up by citing some sources. Here's a start:
--Jtir (talk) 20:05, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Per WP:BOLD I rewrote the lead to conform with a more standard definition and to consolidate several subtopics. ISTM that the audio link in the lead is redundant with the one in the example and could be removed. --Jtir (talk) 20:52, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Avoiding "b" and "#" for writing about music[edit]

Let's agree to use wikistandard for writing about music and NOT use "b" for flat and "#" for sharp.

Oops! haha Failed to sign my comment. DChapii 19:00, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Erm, I can't see any sharps or flats, but just weird characters. What's wrong?


See my comments on the proposed merge at Talk:Minor chord. Rigadoun (talk) 20:35, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Since no one has mentioned it, I removed the tag. Rigadoun (talk) 05:06, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


It seems like we could provide some better context for the quotes in these articles regarding the "sound" or feeling of the major and minor chords. Who, when, etc. It seems archaic, at best. Hyacinth (talk) 23:18, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

You can read the Smith quotes in context here. His perspective is broader than what the quotes out of context might suggest.
IMO, the happy and sad characterizations are severe over-simplifications, but sources do use them. Perhap an introductory phrase is needed: "Sometimes the chords are described as ..., however in a complete composition, the effects are more complex." I'm not at all qualified to write anything like that, so feel free to expand or qualify.
What would you suggest otherwise? A wider range of sources? A broader perspective? Sources who are qualified music critics?
--Jtir (talk) 23:26, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we should avoid it, but your reply indicates that you realize the wide number of issues involved, including aesthetics, neurology, etc. Hyacinth (talk) 00:32, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Unsourced claims where removed from the articles on major and minor thirds a while back: [1]
This raises the issue of whether the sources indicate the intervals convey emotion as well, or contribute to the chords feeling. Hyacinth (talk) 00:38, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Neither of those versions nor the current version of Major third cites a source, although the historical perspective is interesting.
Since this article is about the chord, that is what I have been researching.
How would you interpret this quote from Hermann von Helmholtz?
  • "When at the close of a composition in the minor mode, a major chord is introduced, it has the effect of a sudden and unexpected brightening up of the sadness of the minor key, producing a cheering, enlightening, and reconciling effect after the sorrow, grief, or restlessness of the minor." On the Sensations of Tone, 1895, p. 297.
Can you suggest a source that supports this sentence in the article?
In particular, I don't understand what "stable" means here.
--Jtir (talk) 13:45, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
In rereading the wording, "The sound of the major chord …", I can see that it sounds much too general and definite. Can you suggest a way to qualify it? --Jtir (talk) 14:00, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

The link clarifying stable is provided immediately before it. Since, actually, it clarifies what the jargon "consonant" means. Hyacinth (talk) 22:29, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for adding the Kamien quotes to Consonance and dissonance. IMO, "or stable" is not helpful as a clarification in this article, because a reader has to go to Consonance and dissonance to find out what the supposed clarification means. It would be better to remove the phrase or replace it with something more explanatory. --Jtir (talk) 12:50, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

interpreting the chord[edit]

I removed this sourced sentence from the article while this topic is under discussion. --Jtir (talk) 19:58, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

The sound of the major chord "brings about the emotions of hope, happiness, and harmony", in contrast to the minor chord, which "reflects the emotions of dread, doom, and despair".

<ref>Quotes from: Smith, Robert, and James Earl Massey. Doctrine That Dances: Bringing Doctrinal Preaching and Teaching to Life. Nashville, Tenn: B & H Academic, 2008. , p. 165.
Miller, p. 112.</ref>

This is a bigger topic than I realized: (happy) (emotion)

--Jtir (talk) 20:46, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

However, the "crucial difference is that in the minor scale there is only a half step between the second and third tones."[1]
This alteration in the third degree, "greatly changes," the mood of the music and, "music based on minor scale tends to," be considered to, "sound serious or melancholy"[1].

I added the above to Major and minor. It's not perfect but I guess "tends to" is preferable to "brings about" and "serious or melancholy" is preferable to "dread, doom, and despair". Hyacinth (talk) 01:14, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

A minor chord, in comparison, "sounds darker than a major chord"[1].

I added the above to both "major chord" and "minor chord". I think it is preferable because rather than asserting an emotion concretely linked to each individual chord it claims a comparative difference. I believe that in this case "darker" refers to emotion and consonance and dissonance, rather than timbre. Hyacinth (talk) 01:25, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

OK, wrt "comparative difference". That has me wondering whether other pairs of chords are ever compared in such emotive terms. Kamien is certainly a reliable source, but I'm still concerned that there isn't enough context. More broadly, what is the topic of the last paragraph? --Jtir (talk) 12:32, 15 August 2008 (UTC)