How Does A Major Differ From A Minor

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How Does A Major Differ From A Minor
How Does A Major Differ From A Minor

Video: How Does A Major Differ From A Minor

Video: Major Vs. Minor Chords. What's the difference? 2022, December

The name "major" comes from the Latin major, which means "big". There is also a second meaning of this word - "cheerful". Pieces written in major keys sound cheerful and energetic. In turn, the minor got its name from the Latin term minor, that is, "small". The structure of major and minor keys is different.

Find the key on the keyboard
Find the key on the keyboard


  • - piano keyboard;
  • - table of scales, chords and arpeggios.


Step 1

The easiest way to understand the structure of the major and minor keys is to build one and the other on a piano keyboard. Find the sound "before". It is in a group that includes 3 white and 2 black keys. This is the key to the left of the first black key. Between adjacent keys, regardless of their color, the interval is ½ tone. There are no signs in the key of C major, that is, the black keys are not used. A tonality is a scale starting from the "C" sound.

Step 2

Calculate the distance between the keys "to" and "re". It is 1 tone (since C to C sharp is ½ tone, and the same is C sharp to D). The same interval will be between the keys "re" and "mi", but between the "mi" and "fa" - only half a tone. As for the group, where there are three black keys, then the distances alternate there too. Between the keys "fa" and "salt", "salt" and "la", "la" and "si" - by tone, and between "si" and "do" - semitone.

Step 3

Make a diagram of the major scale. It looks like 2T-1 / 2T-2T-1 / 2T. Following this simple formula, you can build a major scale from any sound, regardless of which key gives it - white or black.

Step 4

The C major triad consists of the sounds "C", "E" and "G". These are the first, third and fifth steps. If you count the intervals between the corresponding keys, it turns out that there is a large third between the first and third steps, and a small third between the third and fifth. The third is denoted by the number 3. The chord can also be written in the form of the formula: 3B + 3M.

Step 5

The key parallel to C major is A minor. This scale is also played on some white keys (although there is a harmonic and melodic minor, in the first the seventh step is raised, in the second when moving up - the sixth and seventh, and down the scale is played as natural).

Step 6

By counting the intervals between different steps of the scale, you get the formula T-1 / 2T-2T-1 / 2T-2T. This is a natural minor. For harmonic and melodic, there is no need to draw up a special formula, it is enough just to raise the corresponding steps by half a tone.

Step 7

Build a minor tonic triad. In A minor it will consist of the sounds "la", "do" and "mi". Count the intervals. The first (lower) third consists of one and a half tones, that is, it is small. The second is large, it includes two tones. Accordingly, the formula for a minor chord can be represented as 3M + 3B. Compared to the bouncy and energetic major chord, the minor one sounds soft and sad.

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